Things you don’t need to buy when money is tight

Hello again. There are so many things to buy, so many things we need that it can make our head spin when money is tight. You need to reevaluate what you actually need. What are those things you need for absolute survival, the most basic of the basic. Some things we’re so used to buying that we don’t even think that we could totally get by without for a little time. Today I’m sharing a few ideas from me. Just remember, these are not forever solutions but just to get you by when times are really rough.

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Cleaning supplies. That stuff costs! But you can totally get through by making your own detergents, you’ll spend a whole less & it’s even better for you and the enviroment. Pretty much all you need is white vinegar and baking soda. You could even do your own dish soap, but it’s really cheap so I still bought it, plus it’s a great addition to your other diy cleaning mixes or getting stains out of your clothes. For cleaning you can use rags made of old towels or clothes. I did still buy sponges to do the dishes, but tecnically you could even just use your hands and dish soap.

Body wash. Just buy a big packaging of delicate hand soap and use it for body wash and regular soap, 2 in 1.

Hair conditioner. I guess this depends on your hair, but most people can survive without conditioner for a little or long time. If you really need something, here comes vinegar to save the day again. Just rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar, don’t worry – it won’t leave the smell on your hair. I didn’t use conditioner until I was 18, even though I colored my hair, I just didn’t like to use a lot f products, I was a simple girl :) And I stopped using it for 9 months during our financial disaster. You can do it too.

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Fabric softener. This is something I don’t use a lot anyway, mostly for towels and sheets, but not for normal clothing. And just like for hair, you can use vinegar to soften your items. If only use the fabric softener for the smell then you can use some essential oils if you have them in hand or just get used to clean clothes without any smell. Remember what I said in my How to get through tough financial times – you can’t be picky!

Big brands. For some reason we think that the most known and biggest brands are the best. Think about famous singers, just because someone isn’t famous doesn’t mean they can’t be an amazing singer! Other times we’re just so used buying the brand we always buy , it doesn’t even cross our minds that there are plenty of other options out there. Just give smaller cheaper brands a go and you might be surprised! Some of my all time favorite products are from small and cheap brands, cause they work so well.

Organic & expensive food . We all know the importance of good food for our health and wellbeing, but all those healthy foods are usually the most expensive. It’s ok to stick to the regular and cheap food for a little while. Don’t feel guilty about it, it’s important that you and your family have your bellies full!

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Clothes, makeup etc. I mean, this is probaly the most obvious. Unless you only have one pair of pants with a hole in them you probably can wait a little longer. What’s great about this is that you’ll get more creative with the things you own and use up clothes that maybe you haven’t been wearing. Or use a different lipstick or eyeshadow color. It’s awesome to discover new clothing & makeup combos that you really like. If you’re lucky then you’ll get hand me downs from friends or family. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone for my boys so I had to buy everything but atleast they didn’t go to school therefore they only needed a few “going out of the house” pieces and at home they could just chill in old sweatpants and t-shirts.

Shaving cream for your body. If you’re a man and shave your beard almost every day then it’s better to use a shaving cream. But for all the women out there, to shave your legs you can easily use soap foam, simple shower gel, baby oil, olive oil, hair conditioner – all kind of stuff that you already have at home. It’s something that I have always done and not to save money but I was so used to it, somehow for me shaving cream was something only for men.

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Food & beverages when out. This one is probably obvious as well, but bring your own everything – lunch, snacks, water, coffee. Even a soda or whatever kind of drink, it’ll probably cost more when you buy it at a bar near your office then buying it from supermarket when you get your groceries and buy in bulk.

 There you go, these were just a few things from the top of my head. There are definitely many more things you can give up to save some money. Use your imagination, get creative and remember that all have different thoughts about what are the absolute basic things we need. Next time your making a list or are in the shop, think about the items you’re buying – Can you get a more cheap version? Can you make it yourself? Can you go without for another week/month? Thank you for reading, hopefully you got some ideas on how to save those extra pennies to get through and see you soon :)


How to get through tough financial times

Welcome back beautiful people. A lot of us will go through financially difficult times, shit happens, life happens, it isn’t fun! Don’t be ashamed of those times, just concentrate on getting through those times the best you can. Today I want to share my tips from my tough times and what I did to come out on the other side and not to let it get the best of me.

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Be grateful. This is the number one thing you need to do! I started writing down every day a few things I am grateful for, because no matter how tough things are there is probably someone who is doing even worse. I wrote things like: having food to eat (even if it’s not the tastiest food), having a roof over my head, health, spending time with my kids and husband, getting extra money, beautiful weather, good mood, having energy to work out, having fun with the kids at the park, talking on the phone with my mom/dad/brothers/grandparents/friends from back home, talking to someone nice on internet. Those tough times really shifted my perspective and made me a better and a more thankful person.

Plan. It is soooooo important to plan all your budget and your expenses and meals. You need put away money for bills and groceries first to arrive to the next payday. And you need to know exactly what you’re going to eat so you don’t overspend on groceries. It is crucial! Let me just make an example on what a difference good planning makes. During our hard times we lived with my in-laws, we moved to another (cheaper) country and lived all from my father-in-laws retirement. We were 4 adults, 2 kids, 3 cats and a dog. I did all the groceries and food planning and my husband did the bills. Everyone was fed and bills paid, it was tight but we made it. My husband got a job and we moved out, they now have the same amount of money but minus 5 mouths (2 adults, 2 kids & a cat) to feed but they can’t make it! They never have enough! How is that possible!? This goes against all logic! They don’t plan, they don’t think outside of the box and are very picky eaters.

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Help from others. This one is obvious, but if someone can help you in any way, then why not. Whether it’s hand me down clothing or apples from their garden, or a friend who can help with repairs, anything.

Sell stuff. Another obvious one, but we have a lot of un-used stuff we can make a little money from. Maybe before you never thought about it, but during the tough times even the smallest amounts can make a big difference. We literally sold all of our old phones, printers, cameras that we had lying around. Whether you get to buy an extra loaf of bread or a small treat to yourself, it may save your tummy from hunger for a day or just give you an extra boost for getting to eat some chocolate for a change.

Get creative. Another big lesson I learned and am very grateful for was the creativity I gained. When you don’t have the money or resources you find ways to do things differently. You’ll find that things you thought were impossible are actually doable.

DIY. Since you can’t buy new stuff or hire people to do stuff for you, you’re going to have to start doing things on your own. Thank god for internet on how to make, repair and revamp anything under the sun.

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Can’t be picky. I know it can be hard and frustrating, but be thankful you have something to eat/wear/to live in and so on.We all have our preferences, we get tired of the same stuff, but stay strong and think about those people who are starving or freezing, at least you have something! I have to bring my mother-in-law in this again, but she truly is the example of everything you shouldn’t do when you don’t have money. She has always said how she eats everything. But during these times she was always complaining, so I said: “I thought you said you eat everything?!” And she answered:”Of course I do, I eat everything tht I like!” My….gosh…..yeah, I don’t think this is what it means to eat everything :D

Lose the poverty mindset. This might not be something that everyone believes in, but our words and thought hold immense power! The best thing you can do concentrate on what you have, be thankful and don’t keep saying how poor you are. Instead say you’re going through a tough time. You could (and in my opinion you definitely should) do also affirmations of abundance:

  • I am abundant in all.
  • I have enough.
  • I have everything I need.
  • The Universe is abundant and there is enough for everyone.
  • The Universe will provide for me
  • Money comes to me easily.
  • My actions create constant prosperity.
  • I deserve abundance and prosperity.
  • I am open to receive wealth.
  • I attract success.

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Quality over quantity is not always the way. Yes, you should invest in things that last longer and that you get more use out of. But sometimes you just don’t have the option to choose, it’s either quantity or nothing. And it’s ok. It’s ok to buy the cheaper food and not the organic stuff, cause it fills your childrens bellies up. Bad food is better than no food. It’s ok to buy the cheapest low quality clothing for your kids, cause they grow so fast anyway and you can’t afford buying brand sweaters, pants, shoes, jackets and so on to multiple kids.

Get a side hustle if you can. If you have a possibility to do something, do it. A part time job, working from home or sell your services. Use your skills, teach a language you speak or a skill, do some repair work, mend clothes, do gardening, do tutoring, clean houses. There are a lot of possibilities, it all depends on your personal skills and possibilities.

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Enjoy the simple and little things. This kind of goes with the first one, but not exactly. Learn to enjoy the simple things and activities that are free. Like taking a walk in the city/neighbourhood/forest, going to the park with the kids, watching movies and chatting with your significant other instead of going out, working out or dancing at home, drinking a cup of coffee/tea in the morning, tending your garden if you’re lucky to have one, going on a picnic, discovering your city/area instead of going on a tropical vacation, playing with your pet, game night with the family or friends, reading a book/magazine/article in the internet and so on. It’s the key to your happiness and sanity during hard times!

As always I hope this post was useful or inspiring to you. If you have your own tips, please share them in the comments, let’s help each other out :) If you’re going through difficult financial times then I ‘m sorry to hear that, but you can do it! You’re going to get through, you’re going to dig yourself out of it! Stay strong and until next time!

3-5 ingredient meals Part.2

Here I am with another post for simple, cheap and few ingredient meals. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it.

Rice with veggies

Again, old photos, not meant for a blog, just to give you an idea.

All I did here was to boil some rice and a frozen veggie mix, threw it all together with some spices and voilà. Feel free to add a sauce of any kind.

Homemade pizza

This one is tecnically more ingredients but if you count the dough as just one then you’ve got: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, wieners .Maybe you can find a good price on the dough, or you can just do it yourself – it’s super simple I promise (maybe I’ll do a post one day). I don’t know about the tomato sauces in ther countries but I always add a little bit of sugar to eliminate the acidity and salt for taste. During our hardest times we even made the pizza with just the tomato sauce, no cheese or other toppings. Use what you have! Once we used just onions as toppings too and it was great.

Semolino porridge breakfast

Prepare it with water or milk, add a little sugar and just a tiny bit off salt and serve it with jam. Or maple syrup, compote, cinnamon or fruit – as always whatever you have in hand.

Egg-butter sandwitch

Boil some eggs, smash them with a fork. Mix the eggs with butter, salt and pepper (you can add mayonnaise too). Spread it on your sandwitch and add lettuce. Boom, simple and tasty and cheap!

French toast casserole breakfast

For this take some old bread, make big pieces and put a first layer on your oven dish, take some jam and put it here and there on the bread. Then mix some milk, sugar and cinnamon, pour some over the first layer. Then repeat for the second layer. Do as many layers as you want, cook in the oven until the top is nice and crunchy. Serve it with some milk while it’s still warm. Add some fruit is you have some, the original recipe just goes with milk.

Hopefully these gave you some ideas and please let me know if you try these! See you next time.

How to plan meals on a very small budget

Hello again and welcome if you are new to my blog. So, when you have a very limited budget then this is the best time to plan your meals to make sure you don’t spend too much and to make sure you always have something to eat. There was a time when we lived 4 adults, 2 kids, 3 cats and 1 dog on a single income, I took it on myself to plan out the meals and the shopping every week in the budget so we wouldn’t starve . Thankfully things are much better now for us, everyone goes through difficult times, there’s no shame in that. I am actually very thankful for those times, cause I learned so much! Today I’m going to share with you the tips and tricks. I also need to mention that different countries (probably states as well if you’re from US) have different cheap items, something that costs nothing in one country could be a luxury item in another. I know that well after living in 3 different countries and it can be frustrating, especially when I search for “cheap recipes” online and the ingredients cost a lot where I live.

Photo from Pixabay by rawpixel

How many meals? And what kind? First you need to find out how manay main meals you need (lunch and dinner), if you get these down it’s all good. Even if you skip breakfast or a snack some days at least you have something to fill your belly. For us this was 14 meals for week, but maybe you get a free meal at your work some days or you can go to your parents (or whoever) to dinner. Then do the same with breakfast. And then the least important, but we can’t live without our afternoon snack. Now you have the numbers, let’s move on.

Photo from Pixabay by Bru-nO

Promos & coupons. We don’t have coupons where we live, but I always checked online all the offers in different shops before starting my plan. If the rice is discounted I’ll have more rice meals that week and so on. You have to know your shops, where to get the best prices on stuff.

Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

The basics. Those are the main part of your lunch and dinner meals, the ones that fill you up, the ones that shouldn’t you be able to buy anything else, you could still survive by eating those (wouldn’t be fun or good but it’s something). The basics are pasta, potatoes, rice, bread flour, any cereal (buckwheat, cous cous etc). Keep in mind how big is your household. How many people does one pack of 500g pasta feed? If it’s only 2 of you you can have around 3 uses from one pack, so when you’re making a list do the math. For us it was one pack for one meal. A kg of rice gave us around 2 meals.

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The toppings. This is the stuff you put on your basics: tomato sauce, veggies, beans, meat, cheese etc. Stick to simple meals with few ingredients. Spices are your best friends and stock up on sauces (like ketchup, mayo, barbeque – whatever is your thing) when there is a good offer to give a more taste to your simple meals. Now that you’ve checked out the promos you can decide which ones are the most convenient, which vegetables  are on sale, which toppings are the most versatile and you can make the most of of them and so on.

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Breakfast & snacks. Now see what can you use for your breakfast. Flour and bread are really cheap everywhere I think. I didn’t even buy eggs for pancakes or french toast. I made pancakes with yogurt, flour, some water, sugar, baking soda and oil. And for french toast I made them with milk, sugar and cinnamon. We also ate bread with jam or margarine, or just plain cheap tea bisquits. Oatmeal is cheap but we never used that cause no one but me likes it in my family.  Eggs are not that cheap where we live so lucky you if they are where you live. If you can get your hands on cheap bulk cereal and milk – go ahead.

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Buy for the whole week & avoid small shops. Yes, yes I know, support the local, support the small shops. The small shops are usually a little more expensive, it might not be a lot but it adds up in the end. First you gotta strive, then you can support them in the future :)

I am going to do a post on 3-4 ingredient foods you can make for some inspiration. In the meantime I hope this helped you out a little! Stay strong and with a little bit of organization you can get through anything!