Are you wasting money in your pantry – How to STOP

Being unorganised is sometimes unavoidable – or so it feels.  But the problem with disorganisation is that it spreads into every sphere of your life.  But being unorganised in your pantry really cost you more than just time and energy looking for food scrunched up the back of the pantry it also wastes money. So are you wasting money in your pantry?

not waste money in your pantry
How to save money in your pantry

First we will look at how being unorganised can cost you money in the supermarket.  By having a cluttered and overfull pantry you are not using the ingredients you have to their capacity.

  • You waste money by not using things before their used by date and having to throw them out.
  • You waste money by buying items you already own because you didn’t do a shopping list (or meal planner) or you couldn’t find them in your crowded pantry.
  • If you haven’t done a meal planner you buy food “just in case” and then you don’t use it and waste it.
  • You don’t store your food properly and waste items because they go off quickly.

Don’t get me wrong all of these things I am guilty of – I have 3 full jars of tomato paste in my pantry as I type this – but I am committed to cleaning up my pantry in an attempt to stop wasting money on food I already own (tomato paste) and have an organised pantry.  I am pretty good and meal planning but I am very guilty of buying food “just in case” and then wasting it.

Ways to SAVE money before you hit the supermarket.
  1. Clean and organise what you already own.  Throw out anything past its used by date.  Any other items that are in date but you know you wont be using (EG that can of water chestnuts…)  donate. Most supermarkets have a donation bin out the front for food donations to local charities – donate any food you know you won’t use here.
  2. Store food properly!!! Not just the pantry but also the fridge – bags and elastic bands are not a storage system.  If money permits a thousand times over I recommend tupperware! I started my ‘glory box’ (yep giant NERD) at 17 and a lot of stuff was Tupperware when my mum or sisters had parties I would buy.  I then also sold Tupperware which is an awesome way of getting free Tupperware.  BUT I understand not everyone is as into Tupper as me! Haha so if that’s you I suggest glass.  Glass jars are cheap and easy to find.  You can keep when you buy food in them – wash them in the dishwasher and fill with food.  You can also buy them from Ikea, Kmart and even Op Shops – wash and use.  Just make sure they have a proper sealing lid! Another cheap and easy to find option is formula tins! Paint the outside, wash the inside and you’re ready to go!
  3. Come up with meal ideas with what you already own including food that may be close to their used by date.
  4. Write a meal plan for you & your family for the week – include what you already own.  Put your food plan on your fridge to remind yourself what the plan is and stop being asked “what’s for dinner” a thousand times a day.  Check out these printable planners on my Pinterest
  5. Write a list and shop what you need for your meals.
  6. Store your food properly when you get home.  Wash vegetables and fruit – start preparation, like cutting up vegetables etc.  Put the newer food at the back and food to be used up at the front so nothing gets wasted. If you have space you could do something like below to get ready for the week ahead.
    Meal Boxes -
  7. Serve up your left overs – I find if I leave the leftovers in a large bowl they stay that way until it rubbish day.  But if I divide it up into lunch boxes they magically walk out the door.  (The times it doesn’t it get’s put in the freezer the following night).
  8. Have a whiteboard on the fridge so you can keep a list of leftovers that need to be eaten – great if you have teenagers.  The more leftovers that are getting eaten the more money you are saving.

Here are some cheap and cheerful items to get your pantry organisation started.

Ikea Jars
Ikea jars $9.99
Kmart meal planner
Kmart meal planner $3

I hope you can use some of these tips to get your pantry organised and stop wasting money!

Budget Mum Blog




20 ways to make extra income

20 ways to make extra income – everyone should have a side hustle.  Some way to make extra money on the side, to help you pay off that credit card or save up for your holiday.  The average millionaire has 7 sources of income, so you should at least have more than 1!  Here are 20 ideas to get you started!

20 ways to make extra income
20 ways to make extra income in Australia
Ways to make extra money
  1. Mow lawns in your area.  Perfect if you live in an area with older residents or business people that are too busy.  You can even start by using their lawn mower so there is no cash outlay.
  2. Start a blog.  Its not going to make money over night but eventually if you write about something that people are interested in – it could.
  3. Start baking – selling and decorating cakes and desserts.  People are so busy these days that this can be very lucrative.
  4. Tutoring high school students in a subject that you are good at.
  5. Delivering papers or pamphlets and as an added bonus you get exercise.
  6. Babysitting – a reliable trustworthy babysitter is worth their weight in gold.  Be a good babysitter and you will have too much work!
  7. Take in a boarder or international student to use up your spare bedroom.
  8. Sell your craft or cooking at local markets.
  9. Pick up the kids from school!  Be your own after school care, pick up the kids and give them afternoon tea until their Mum and Dad finish work.
  10. Become a dog walker – great if your a dog person and great for your fitness.
  11. Wash dogs – a job hated by many.  Turn it into a nice little money maker for yourself!
  12. House sit – especially great if you are between renting.  Sometimes you get paid and you save on rent.
  13. Become an Uber driver.  You choose your hours! Join Here
  14. Clean houses – who loves cleaner – no one!  So many people are happy to pay for someone else to do it for them!
  15. Clean out peoples gutters! All you need is a ladder and a garbage bag (or blower vac) and you ready to go.  Another job no body want to do.
  16. Be a ghost writer for bigger blogs or web sites.
  17. Rent out your garage for storage.
  18. Plant and sell plants.  Particularly easy if you choose plants that propagate quickly such as succulents.
  19.  Pool maintenance, cleaning others pools and getting the water tested for people who are busy.
  20. Clothes alterations, sewing and mending is a dying art.  Know how to hem a pair or pants and replace a zip and you have a nice side business.

Did I miss any ways that you make extra income???  I hope this list helps you to make extra income!

Budget Mum Blog


10 ways to make extra cash

Making extra cash can seem daunting if you are unsure about how to do it?  What would you sell?  How would you sell it?  Who would buy it?  Selling extra items from around your house is easy once you get started and a great way of keeping your house clutter free. Finding items to sell is the hardest part, but once you start you will easily find other things to sell. Ways to make extra cash is easy once you get started.

10 ways to make money
10 easy ways to make extra cash

People sell some very random stuff online – positive pregnancy tests, empty toilet rolls, vintage photos of random people or food looking like a Gremlin.  Think about what you have that you don’t want or need see if you can sell it. Some ideas that you could sell –

  • clothes
  • furniture
  • plants (especially plants that re-shoot very easily such as succulents)
  • sports equipment
  • children’s toys
  • electrical equipment – including old mobile phones
  • cd’s & dvd’s
  • vintage Tupperware, Corningware, plates.
  • vintage records
  • wedding anything (wedding dress, centre pieces, veil, shoes, bridesmaid dresses)
  • Power tools
  • books, especially text books
  • sewing machines/equipment

Once you have something to sell – double check your asking price with others in your area.  Look up sites such as (vintage items)

Once you set your price, choose where you would like to sell the item.

Ebay you have 20 free basic advertisements per month, but you may have to pay fees once your item is sold.

Gumtree is free to put a basic advertisement up, but it costs to renew your item if it doesn’t sell.

Facebook is also proving an easy way to sell items.  There would be multiple buy/sell & swap pages in your area.  This is great because there are no fees but it also seems to have a lot more time wasters.


Be creative with your listing. If you are selling your wedding dress – could it also be a formal dress? Is your item made before 1980 – could it be classed as vintage?  Be as descriptive as possible, measurements and a clear description will help your buyers and there will be less questions from potential buyers wasting your time.


If you have done your research I would suggest you set your price slightly lower if you need a quick sale.  Be aware that people will try to haggle on certain sites so you will need to price your item accordingly.  If going with Ebay, make sure your starting price is what you are willing to be paid. Make sure you do not underestimate the cost of postage – you can get caught here and eat into your profits quickly! Go to the Australia Postage Calculator to get an accurate pricing before you list your item.


Photos are best taken with the best light you can get – natural being the best.  If there is something wrong with the item make sure you photograph it and list it so people can see clearly the damage.  A picture can speak a thousand words – better to take more photos  so people get a clear indication of the item for sale.


Make sure that you don’t list your address on any sites.  If someone is interested make sure that another person is home if it is something that can’t be easily moved (furniture) or opt to meet in a safe place.  A Macdonald’s car park or somewhere that is well lit with a lot of people around (not a local park, or shopping centre at night).

Enjoy your earnings – you may get good at selling and appraising certain items and be able to buy things to sell quickly and make a profit.  Unintentionally I have done this many times with buying reduced clothes from a outlet store and selling them for a profit on ebay.  This especially works well if you hold them over for the next season when they are full price again (Eg jumpers, jeans).

Do you know of any items that I could add to the list that sell easily?

Budget Mum Blog

Stop wasting money on clothes.

When you are trying to saving money – many people often think saving money on clothes means shopping at Kmart and not getting anything of quality.  But actually shopping to save is quite the opposite.  Long term you will save a lot more money if you buy things that will stand the test of time in quality, construction and style.  So let me show you how to stop wasting money on clothes.

save money on clothes
Save money when buying clothes

BUT first you need to clean out your closet.  Like always if you have a messy, unorganised wardrobe then this is half your problem. Clean out all your clothes, I mean everything.  Anything that you don’t wear or doesn’t fit get rid of it.  Sell it or donate it but move it out of the way.  If you have a maybe pile, put it into a spare room or space.  If you don’t use them in 12 months get rid of them too!  A clean and easy to use wardrobe will make it easy to find clothes and wear a range of clothes instead of the same old clothes that are at the front.

save money buying clothes
Having an organised wardrobe helps you save money in the long term
Once you are left with things you actually wear – make a list of what you need and what you want.  Proiritise what you need sooner rather than later and ask your self this questions
  • I don’t own at least 3 things in my wardrobe already that it will match with?
  • Will I change my mind when I get home?
  • I don’t have an event/occasion coming up soon that I will wear it to?
  • Does it have special cleaning instructions, that will turn me off washing it and wearing it?
  • Is this item poor quality and will not last long?
  • Do I have to wear special underwear that I will stop me wearing it regularly (Eg Spanx or strapless bra)?
  • Do I need to lose weight to wear it regularly?
  • Do I need to put it on my credit card to afford the item?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, put it back, you shouldn’t waste your money on this! Then ask yourself these questions…
  • It this item overly trendy and I will only wear it one season?
  • Does this item something that I will get sick of quickly and stop wearing?

If this item cheap enough, then definitely consider it for a quick and easy update to your wardrobe but if it expensive and seasonal consider not buying it because chances are you will not get the value from the item.

What to look for when shopping
  • Neutral colours that will go with a lot in your existing wardrobe
  • Fabric that is easy to care for
  • Quality fabric that is going to last a long time
  • Classic styles that will mix and match with existing wardrobe
  • Quality stores that have a good reputation and rewards programs
  • Quality over brand names
  • Markdowns that offer good savings
  • Items out of season to maximise savings
  • Investigate shops you may not normally shop at (eg Target)
  • Don’t disregard buying second hand – EBay, second hand stores and garage sales in wealthy areas all offer high quality items heavily reduced.

When looking to buy clothes, wear suitable underwear and shoes to get a proper appreciation of what the clothes will look like when you are wearing them out.

Look for classic cuts and quality fabrics. Every summer in the January sales I buy a couple of tops that are in $100 range.  Not something I would normally spend but I have found that these tops have become my go-to I wear them to work and out and every time someone comments on how nice they are.  While these aren’t in my budget regularly they have all out lasted the Kmart tops that I buy regularly to ‘fill up’ my wardrobe and all wash and wear a lot better too!

stop wasting money
Stop wasting money on clothes

I hope this gives you some ideas how to stop wasting money on clothes and start saving money!

Budget Mum Blog

How to use re-usable nappies and save

I use re-usable nappies for a number of reasons but the one I keep going back to is the cost.  If you are on the fence about this I suggest you buy a trial pack and give it a go – I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how easy it is!  I hope you learn to use re-usable nappies and save money!

Save money with re-usable modern cloth diapers
How to save money with re-usable nappies
Its not that gross – 

When I pregnant and thought about changing nappies I thought number 3 and poo-explosions – the worse case scenario.  But it was/is rarely the case.  Yes they happen but honestly it’s a bucket load more 1’s than 2’s and whole lot less of the 3’s!  Using  re-usable nappies is exactly like changing a disposable nappy, so not any extra gross.

Bamboo liners – makes it uber easy peasy.

When I use the re-usable nappies I normally also use a flushable bamboo liner. The brand of nappy I use Bonnibuns doesn’t require these at all. I only started using them because to be honest I was a bit queazy about re-usable nappies in the beginning – but they are so easy I continued using them.  You lift them out of the nappy and flush, the liquid goes into the nappy liner and solid stays on the bamboo liner and into the toilet!  I use these

Easy clean – 1 load of washing a night with a dash of washing liquid.

Nearly all re-usable nappies recommend only a small amount of washing liquid (about half of a normal load) so there is no build up and the liners stay super absorbent! With my nappies the shell is super quick drying but the liner takes a little longer (liner clips out) you can buy extra liners if you need to.  As I said above I use bamboo liners most of the time but when I haven’t and it was a number 2 I flipped as much as I could into the toilet and washed as normal (no pre-soaking needed just washing machine).  Once I dried them on the line I couldn’t tell which liner it was – so they wear and wash very well!

Multi – fit so you can use these for 2 years (or however long your babe is in nappies!

Disclaimer: I did use new-born nappies.  Think of all the land fill you will save if you use re-aseable nappies! Bonnibuns come with snap clips which are super easy and clips last longer than velcro on other brands! My babe has chunky legs but a small waist and they fit him no problems.

They are Cute

If you have a summer baby like me, a nappy and singlet and away you go.  Heaps of different colours so you can match your singlet!


I own 12 nappies (which I find more than enough).  I use on average 6 per day, and I still use a disposable at night.  Bonnibuns come with an extra liner for night time, but I have never used them as Paddy sleeps through and we have never had a leak with disposables overnight.  (If it ain’t broke – I’m not fixing it, or in this case making any changes to my baby’s sleeping patterns!) So I wash every night and I have 6 on the clothes line to dry the next day and 6 ready to go) The original outlay is about $270, a box of Huggies is about $28 on special.  So a set of re-usables equals 9 1/2 boxes of Huggies! Trust me 9 boxes of Huggies isn’t going to get you through 2 years like a set of re-usables will.  And you can re-use your re-usable nappies for all of your children or neices and nephews.  Getting cheaper and cheaper ever time!  If you choose to use the bamboo liners they are about 10c each and a disposable nappy is about 40c, so still ongoing cost but as I said before optional and not necessary.

These are my best reasons why you should at least give them a go.  Most brands have trial packs that you can buy and see for yourself how great and easy to use they are!  Let me know if you love them as much as me!

Budget Mum Blog


Why you should LOVE your budget!

Do you have a budget?  When I was younger I thought budgets were for boring people. People who had a depressing financial outlook, people that needed help.  I didn’t need a budget (so I thought) so why would I use one? But budgets are for everyone, are you to love your budget?


love and use your budget
Learn how to LOVE your budget
Why I didn’t want to use a budget

At first it is daunting to find out how much you spend of things like take away or groceries.  These were our two categories that really got away on us when I didn’t use our budget.  I was almost defensive about our spending and our spending habits and didn’t want things to change because I thought I was happy.  But deep down I wasn’t happy I was embarrassed.  As our income increased I was happy still “making it by” instead we should of been saving.  It is important that as your income increases your spending doesn’t also increase without you noticing.

Why you need a budget

As I have got older I have found that having a budget is liberating.  Yes you heard that right, LIBERATING.  Fun – nearly.  We use our budget to track our spending, it is how we have been able to go on holidays, buy our house and now live on one income.  My point is a budget can be useful at any stage of your finances for any reason.  It can be a way to identify areas to reduce to save for fun events or a way to build a much needed emergency fund so you are finally going forward.

It is comforting to know that you will have enough money at the end of the month to pay the mortgage. But it is also rewarding to live your life knowing that money is no longer a stressful part of it.  Once you start making changes and getting closer to your goal it can be addictive and fun to make a game out of making more changes to get closer.

We use our budget in track all financial actions in our house.   However once you are committed to your goal the implementation and rewards are awesome!

  1. Set a goal.  This could be anything, it may just be to make your money last all month.  Or is could be saving for something large or preparing for financial situation to change (such a going to one income).
  2. Commit.  Everyone in your family who handles the money needs to commit.  It may just be you, but you can’t be half in – it’s all or nothing.  Even if you have teenagers it may be worth sharing your goal with them so you don’t self sabotage.
  3. Keep financial track.  I recommend doing this for at least 1 month.  Keeping track of all financial transactions in the house help you see where you money goes and how you can save money in certain areas.  I know that some areas will truly shock you.  But this is a good thing, knowledge is power.
  4. Add up year/monthly and weekly bills. Make a full list – car registration, insurance, health insurance, school fees, dental work, credit cards, mobile phone bill, maintenance for car.  Everything that is a necessity in your life.  Add it all up for a year and divide by how often you get your pay so you know how much to save each pay cycle.
  5. Make your budget. Referring to your goal and your financial track record work out your budget.  Don’t forget to work into your bills fund, and how much you want to save (if thats you goal).  They key is to not slash areas of your budget.  If you want to stick to your budget your need to make it realistic.  If your money doesn’t stretch as far as you would like then you need to make some lifestyle changes.  Shop around for big bills such as insurances or phone and internet providers.
  6. Implement your budget and stick to it.  This will be the hardest step, but once you know how quickly things add up (eg $300 on takeaway because your lazy or unorganised.) You can then realise how attainable that family holiday.  To keep inspired set up an inspiration board to show what your goal is. You can make a physical one on your fridge or set one as your screen saver on your phone so you have a reason to stick it out.
  7. LOVE YOUR BUDGET. Once your into your budget and you have your goal and you start to see that your goal is achievable, you will love what you and your budget have done for your lifestyle.
  8. Re-evaluate your budget. Once your goal is near you can afford to “put yourself under pressure” and get even better results.  Every 6 months a good shake up is refreshing and helpful.  Its important to keep your budget relevant to your life so you are more likely to keep at it.

Do you use a budget? Let me know how you use your budget at your house and how it has made a difference in your life!

love budget mum blog - frugal and budget living blog