A mother from Adelaide who looks after a household of eight, including six children under the age of six, has revealed how she saves $1,000 in a week.
Krechelle Carter, 28, who blogs under Eight At Home recently shared there are times she has had to adjust the family budget to accommodate for unexpected costs.
‘Sure we should all have a backup account and savings but what if we can just get by with a little hard work and thrifty thinking?’ she wrote on her blog.
Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the budget-savvy mother’s top eight tips for cutting costs and rustling up a little extra cash for when times are tough. Try them – and see how much you can save.
Mother-of-six Krechelle Carter (pictured with her kids) has shared how she adjust the family budget for those times when she has to accommodate unexpected costs
1. Always eat at home
The South Australian mum said one of the most effective ways of saving money was to stop spending on takeaways and eating out.
While she said that this seems simple enough, the cost of takeaway coffees, lunches and dinners out quickly add up.
‘Be prepared: take food and coffee with you,’ she advised.
‘Although it won’t be as tasty, it will keep your money in the bank.’
2. Keep track of spender reward points
Mrs Carter said she’s a big fan of tracking, and using, points she has accumulated on reward cards.
She recommends those with these sorts of cards check how many points they may have accrued.
‘I’m currently eligible for an $80 food voucher for Coles with my points,’ she wrote.
The busy mum said look for easy ways to cut costs like being prepared to take your own food and coffee to work
‘Last Easter, our entire Easter was paid for using Fly Buys!’.
‘Rewards cards are the bees b***** bee’s knees,’ she chimed in enthusiastically.
Additionally, the busy mum said to keep track of store vouchers you may have been given as a Christmas or birthday gift – and remember these expire so watch dates!
‘If you’re like me you’ve got one you keep forgetting about! Make use of them in the weeks where you need them,’ she said.
3. Look for a side hustle
With stagnant levels of wage growth in Australia, more people than ever are turning to side gigs to supplement their main stream of income.
‘There are so many jobs you can now do from the comfort of your own home!’ Mrs Carter said.
With six children under the age of six, the South Australian mum knows how important it is to keep a close eye on the family finances
She said sites like Freelancer.com or Airtasker.com offered a whole range of jobs and were perfect for those looking to make a little extra cash,.
Additionally, Mrs Carter said to look for overtime or the option of working an extra day.
‘An extra four hours can mean an extra $100+ in your pocket. Some weeks; it’s totally worth it!,’ she said.
Mrs Carter said she makes savings where she can whether this is using a birthday/gift voucher before it expires or tallying up her reward points to buy a much-needed item
4. Walk don’t drive
While it’s hard to imagine how the mother-of-six manages to ferry her brood without driving, she said this is also an area where she looks to cut costs.
‘Save up to $50 on petrol by walking/riding to school run or work or even friends houses!’ she said.
‘My husband used to ride his bike to work but then we got extremely lazy and we’ve been thinking recently it might be worth him doing that again instead of sitting in traffic!’.
Mrs Carter isn’t afraid to admit she will shop for home brand products at the supermarket as a way to keep costs down
‘Not me. I’m not doing it. Can you imagine me six kids on bikes; talk about a heart attack. But it’s certainly cheaper!’.
5. Sell things you are no longer using
Mrs Carter said this is one of her favourite ways of generating some extra money.
Her advice was to take a look around your home and consider items which haven’t been used in a while but were in reasonable condition.
‘Quite often I’ll bundle together a whole bunch of decor items I no longer need and sell it as a ‘home bundle’, she wrote.
‘Things I no longer want is cash in my pocket.’
The budget-savvy mum said selling this she no longer used was one of her favourite way of generating extra cash
6. Shop your pantry
Rather than always feeling like you need to stock up when you do a weekly grocery shop, Mrs Carter said to spend a little time taking a look at what you already have in your pantry.
‘We all have a bunch of baking products or dinner inspo in our cupboard we haven’t touched in a while. They may be close to expiry!,’ she said.
Rather than simply stocking up on extras, Mrs Carter will regularly ‘shop the pantry’ first to see if she can make food from what she has to hand
‘Make use of them, maybe one or two dinners sorted for the week and hopefully afternoon snacks after some make-do baking!’.
7. Buy home brand products where possible
While there’s comfort in buying name brand products from the supermarket, the thrifty mum said shopping home brand versions can be a great place to save.
‘Homebrand have some great substitutions in all categories; give them a try this week to save some money, they may surprise you!,’ Krechelle said.
‘Except for toilet paper. Don’t buy Homebrand toilet paper. Ever.’
8. Use what you have
When the seasons change, or there’s a special occasion on the horizon, it can be tempting to rush out and buy something new under the guise what you have isn’t good enough.
Mrs Carter said she recently found herself set to hit the stores to stock up on new clothing for her kids when she checked their cupboards and realised she didn’t need even half of what she was thinking.
While there’s always an excuse to head to the shops, Mrs Carter suggested first taking a close look at what you already had to see if it was really necessary to buy more
‘I was about to overspend because I didn’t check! We’ve got so much left over from last winter,’ she admitted.
She added also apply the same thinking to herself and if there’s a special occasion she has planned rather shop first, she’ll take a moment to assess what she has in her wardrobe that could work.
‘Don’t spend money you don’t have, the budget-savvy mum concluded. ‘New doesn’t necessarily mean better.’