Wow, can you believe it? Today marks a whole year of my money saving blog! What a fantastic journey of learning it has been – and will continue to be with the help of Simple Savings. Looking back at my first entry it’s hard to believe it’s the same person – mind you, some things haven’t changed, I’m still dealing with costly vet bills and Noel is STILL trying to stop smoking! Simple Savings has become a way of life – I use dozens of tips every day that I have learned over the last 12 months without even thinking these days. I’ve been trying to choose my favourite Vault tip so far and I think it’s still one of the first ones I began using – the vegetable freezing one from Elisabete Basilio (you can find it in the Vault titled ‘Freeze vegetables for no waste’) – that woman has saved me a fortune! Thanks to her, our family enjoys consistent meals of ‘fresh’ vegetables and varied and balanced meals are ready in no time. Maxine started doing it too and she has found she saves heaps as a result. So there you go, take it from a couple of seasoned Simple Savers, it works!
I enjoyed reading the latest newsletter suggestions about starting a Savings Group between friends and likeminded people – what a great idea! Mind you, I can’t seem to help talking about saving money as it is! I probably drive everyone around me mad, but now I know how easy it is to save on so many things, I want to tell everyone how they can do it too! It just keeps cropping up in conversation; I can be sitting on a bus earnestly discussing with a farmer how he can save on dog food one day, or advising my old boss how he can save on his astronomical computer insurance the next. Luckily I have already found a likeminded person in my long suffering friend Maxine! We have become a great mutual source for sharing store specials and other money saving tips and tricks. Our morning walks often turn into money saving discussions – whether we intend them to or not! Just the other day Max informed me of a recipe website she had found in the Vault called www.recipegoldmine.com which she had been really impressed with. Being enthusiastic advocates of crockpot cooking, the vast and mouthwatering range of slow cooker recipes are of particular appeal.
So another 365 days of money saving begins and I’m ready for it! There are so many brilliant hints that I still want to try out! Some of these are ones that take a little more planning or input from the rest of the family, so I’ve been putting them in the ‘will get round to it’ basket, but I can see the time is coming to dig them out and start using them. In particular I want to really start trying to reduce our power bill – I don’t actually think it is too horrendous at the moment but I am sure we can do much better! There are heaps of great power saving ideas in the Vault, which get the whole family involved. Noel thinks that I am crazy always turning the oven off at the wall before I go to bed – it’s actually more for my peace of mind to ensure that I haven’t gone and left any elements on and reduce any fire risk, but I now see that I am saving power too! Judging by the results of other member’s power bills, taking the trouble to turn your appliances off at the socket can actually make a valuable saving on your power bill – simply putting them on standby doesn’t do the job. I also want to try and empty our old beer fridge/freezer, turn it off and only use it for emergencies, as these type of rickety old appliances seem to be one of the chief power guzzling culprits. It will be interesting to see what effect not having it plugged in will make to our power bill!
I must stress that I am not perfect however. I’m embarrassed to admit that I did succumb to a wee impulse buy yesterday in the local gift shop. As I walked in, I was engulfed in this delicious autumnal aroma, which the owner informed me was a ‘Spiced Apple Simmering Waffle’ bar. You put them in your fragrance burner instead of essential oil, but they last much longer and once you blow the tea light out, the wax simply hardens in the burner until you’re ready to use it again. I know, I have been so good and not added to my vast aromatherapy collection for months, but the smell was just divine. I justified my $7.95 purchase by telling myself that my house would smell lovely, the ambience wafting through the air would make my little office sooo much more pleasant and productive to work in, plus of course I would save money on buying essential oils in the long run as my spiced apple stuff would last so much longer. And at the end of the day, it made me feel good and I just wanted it! The only problem I have found is that once they are simmering merrily in one’s own home, they are actually dreadfully overpowering. I decided to light it for the first time while writing my blog and I swear as I type the atmosphere is so full of Spiced Apple I can hardly breathe – eugh, I can even taste the stuff! In fact it’s given me a bit of a headache; serves me right for buying it in the first place! Tut tut Penny, you still have plenty to learn...