For those of you who have followed me for a while, you will know that I love a bargain. I don’t see the point in over spending when it’s unnecessary, BUT I also don’t understand compromising your health for the sake of a few dollars.
Because of this outlook that I have, I have somewhat perfected the art of shopping to a budget whilst still eating healthy, nourishing food. I will share this wisdom with you in the form of my top eight tips to shopping savvy without compromising on health.
It’s that time of year again! The time when people everywhere start saying ‘December? Already?!’ and have flashbacks of last years Christmas that literally feels like it was two months ago. The time of year when you get to see your family and usually have to deal with that one relative who always gets too festive and embarrasses themselves. Or worse, embarrasses you.
The time of year when you have to buy presents for people that you don’t really know so you don’t know what to get them and they end up with something super random like a towel from you. The time of year when there is more naughty food and alcohol than you could poke a stick at… the naughty food and alcohol that you’ve been so good at staying away from. This post is about said naughty food and alcohol.
I give you: How to enjoy the silly season without getting too silly.
Composting… you may have heard the term, but wondered what the process really entails. There are many different ways to compost, some quite easy and efficient. Compost is a natural process where organic materials break down to create a nutrient-rich soil, perfect for growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and other foliage.
Organic materials might sound like a vague term, but if you think about it, you’ll realize you have organic materials all over your house. Anything that decomposes, from a banana peel to old newspapers, can be part of your compost pile. Whether you’re an avid gardener or an enthusiastic newbie, composting is a great way to increase the richness of your soil and reduce your carbon footprint. The process for creating compost for your home garden includes:
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of composting, its benefits and the different ways you can create nourishing soil for your lawn and plants.
Let’s be real for a second…. LIFE IS HECTIC! Since when did we all turn into adults and legitimately need to say, ‘let me check my diary’ before committing to plans?!
I know I never thought I would need a schedule or alarms or future planning just to get through the week but I am 100% serious when I say I would be more lost than Nemo if I didn’t have my wall planner and diary.
Going to uni, living out of home, working, volunteering, exercising, having some sort of a social life, writing my blog and finding some ‘me time’ would not happen each week without a little organization. So, without further ado, here’s my tips and tricks to get me through this crazy life we live:
When I plan my weeks I usually look at things in order of commitment, so for example:
Work goes on the calendar first (I work the same days each week so that makes that easy)
Then days/times I need to be at uni (also the same days each week)
Time allocated to study
Work out times (this seems low on the list but that doesn’t make it a low priority! It’s not hard to find half an hour to an hour to work out each day so I slot this in where I can, depending on my other commitments that week)
Anything extra fits in around all of the above
I try and leave my weekends free. Not because I don’t do anything on weekends, I still go to the markets and clean the house on weekends, but because I like to use this time as my time to do whatever I want/need to do. Whether that be going to the beach, hanging with my boy or watching three movies in a row in a pillow fort (or being responsible and studying), I just like to have a day or two where I can wing it.
So there’s my three go to organization tips! I love being organized and knowing what’s going on, at what times and where… Having said that, spontaneity makes life exciting and fun, so as with everything I say, don’t take this too seriously and beat yourself up if one week your less organized than another.
I hope this has helped you in some sort of way in keeping your organization on point. Life can always be crazy but don’t forget that little bit of craziness is always a bit of fun.
With Valentine’s Day having been and gone for another year, I started to think more about self-love. Sure, Valentine’s Day is a nice excuse to show someone how much you love them, and there’s no denying that it is nice having this feeling reciprocated. But why don’t we show ourselves that we love ourselves?
I read a quote on Instagram that really stood out to me…
‘If I were to ask you to list the things you love, how long would it take for you to say yourself?’
When I actually thought about what my answer would be to this question, I was horrified to admit that I wouldn’t even think to say ‘myself’ if someone asked me that. I would be listing things like sunny days, sushi, my dog, flowers and my boyfriend.
How is it that we don’t think of ourselves as someone/something to love, even though we are someone else’s someone to love?
I decided to change this for myself. Every day since Valentines Day I have started my morning with my usual routine; yoga, a short meditation, a cup of green tea or a glass of kombucha and a healthy breakfast. But I’ve added something that has improved each day immensely. I’ve added in some ‘self-love mantra’s’.
Anyone who’s ever been to uni or known a uni student will know one thing: we are always broke. No matter how much we work or how little buy, we never have money. So being at uni for two years and living out of home for two and half years (on the complete other end of the country to my family), I have become quite good at being broke.
I’ve learnt how and where to cut my spending so I save almost a third of my fortnightly income, every fortnight. Let’s begin with the obvious…
What are you are spending your money on?
My biggest tip to work this out isn’t just to think about it for five minutes and move on. Actually go through your last month’s bank statement and write it down everything you’ve spent money on (every. single. thing. No cheating because you don’t want to acknowledge that you spend $50 a week on nuggets).
Now, get your diary or a planner and write out anything that is direct debited out of and into your account for the next two weeks (think gym payments, private health insurance, loan repayments and even your income from work) on the days they come out.
Here comes the hard part…. Think of how much play money you want for that two weeks (for emergency coffee’s or whatever) and halve it. Yep. Halve it. Take that amount out in cash and stash your cards away for two weeks.
Now I know what you’re thinking; ‘but I need my card for emergencies’. Bulls**t (in the politest way possible). What actual emergencies are you going to come across where you need access to all of your money right then and there? None. Its comfort for you, that’s all.
For the next two weeks every time you go to spend your pocket money and you see it slowly dwindling with every purchase you will start to second guess your unnecessary purchases which is annoying to start with, but then you realise where your money is being wasted.
Do this for two weeks and see how you go. You might realise that your pocket money was actually enough for you which is great! Keep going. Or you might realise you only need another $10 to get you through a fortnight without going insane. Keep going. I promise you will save money.
Lastly! Try not to over budget just so that you 'don’t go over'. For example: don’t budget $400 for groceries when you’re a single person who only usually spends $80 a week on food. That’s just silly. Go as strict as you can to start with and see if you can do it. Then allow yourself more money where you need it.
I have become a pro at cutting out anything unnecessary. Seriously, I don’t get my nails done, my hair gets cut twice a year if I’m lucky, I probably go out for drinks three or four times a year and eating out is only for special occasions. If you want to save for something you really have to cut back anything that is unnecessary. The more you can cut back, the less time you need to budget so strictly so really try your best!
Another area I think I’ve mastered (in terms of spending as little as possible) is groceries.
When my boyfriend and I started living together (almost two years ago) I helped him with his budget. I told him that we could make our weekly food budget $100 between us ($50 each) and still eat health-ily (is that even a word?). Did he believe me? No. Did we do it? YES! Even better, about three months ago I decided to try and get that figure lower and increase our healthy food intake…. Do you think I was able to do it? Heck yes I was! And I still am doing it to this day.
Our weekly groceries now cost us $70-$80 between us (a tiny $35-$40 each a week on groceries).