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Creating a Stressfree Christmas

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It is crazy October is here and there is about 11 weeks til Christmas. I need to be organised and ahead of the game for my sanity and pocket.  I really dont want to be going Christmas Shopping with four kids in tow!! I am writing a few Christmas posts to help me and my readers create a stressfree Christmas.

Here are some things to help you be a savvy shopper and feel organised and enjoy Christmas with our families.  We can Create a beautiful relaxed Christmas and enjoy the things that are really important to you.  Keep it Super Simple and have a plan now to alleviate the stress that Christmas can bring.

Here is your first step.

 

Decide on a theme for Christmas

  • What theme would you would like to create this year?  What traditions do you have or would like to create.  Look at Pinterest for ideas
  • What stage is your family  at?
  • What do already have?
  • What do you need to replace?
  • How much do you want to spend on decorations? Don’t forget to think about the New Years celebrations as well.
  • Look at what Wrapping paper supplies you have leftover from last Christmas. Don’t forget sticky tape, gift tags , cards, wrapping paper.
  • Table decorations (napkins, Christmas Crackers, Advent calendars)

At the beginning of this year I disposed of our christmas tree.  All the leaves  were falling off and it was such a nuisance So I have known that I would need to replace our tree this year. I was fortunate enough to come across an idea that I felt would solve my problem of little children playing with ornaments  and pulling the christmas Tree down.  It is a Christmas tree painted on fabric which you hang up and It was an absolute  bargain $5 at Typo. There are some fabulous ideas and you don’t need to have a Christmas tree.    Look at these Alternatives

I have decided to go with a natural theme using burlap, candles, green foliage and doilies.   A simple table arrangement and get the children involved by helping decorate the table with burlap. foliage  and candles .  I won’t need any decorations for My “tree” which is going to save me money . Gifts for will be wrapped with Brown paper and ribbons and /or stamps.  The children gifts will be wrapped with christmas paper that I have left over from last year.

Actionables

  1. Make a list of everything you need.
  2. Make a date on your calendar within the next 2 weeks and go out and purchase what you need.

 

October 14, 2016 |

Toddler Shoes Dilemma

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I am feeling extremely frustrated with shoe…. Specifically shoes for toddlers that don’t cost the earth.  Yes I want good shoes but I don’t want to be spending $80 -$100 for shoes ,especially when you have 4 kids that grow and are growing fast.  I was looking for good shoes for running around in at kindy.

My eldest grew 4 shoes sizes in 1 year and that was 2 years ago.
In the last 2 months I have bought 2 pairs of shoes from a departmental store that have literally fallen apart in weeks. It was driving me crazy.  So I got my thinking…  I don’t know many shoe factory outlet. Where am I going to go and get some good shoes and around that $30-$40 and are good quality.  I did look online at Paul’s warehouse , they didn’t have  anything in DD1 shoe size.
toddler shoes
 Then I remembered the podiatrist my eldest went too sells shoes and often has sales at this time of the year. Many other places are starting to have their end of financial year sales and / or getting rid of last pairs.
 The podiatrist was very helpful and measured both of my girls feet. They looked at the shoes they had on sale and also last pairs.  DD1 tried on 2 pairs that would be suitable, We chose a beautiful pair that gives her feet space to grow and are realy pretty. (My little girl loves pretty things!!) I have been told they are excellent quality and hopefully pass them down to DD2
The lovely lady that helped me recommend that I keep the girls shoe size handy and sign up for their mailing list. Apparently every 6-8 weeks they have end of lines / last pair  and they email customers on the list.

Tips to get good Shoes.

  • Have you kids feet measured and keep the sizes handy. ( use an app to keep to all the kids sizes handy)
  • Ask your podiatrist/ quality shoe outlet  about last pairs / clearance shoes.
  • Compare and look online / instore what is available.
  • End of financial year Sales

I am totally thrilled I got $80 pair of shoes for $35. Made from leather and really good sole. DD1 thinks they are wonderful and i hopefully wont be buying shoes for a while!

June 17, 2016 |

How to Assess your Expenses

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Our everyday expenses can be the biggest and most expensive.  Every year I think it is a good idea to assess what our needs are and look at all the bills and see where  and what we can reduce .  This is definitely not a fun job to do but it can save you possible hundreds of dollars that you can use in other areas that are fun eg a holiday.

  • List of  expenses

  • What are our needs?

  • Does the plan/ deal we have meet our requirements?

  • Research on the Internet

  • Ring around at least three suppliers

  • See what deal they can give

  • Assess if it is worth talking with your current supplier to see if they can match the best deal for you.  Sometimes it is a hassle to move providers and often they will happily come to the party if they know you are prepared to move.

  • Every year when our insurance comes up I always ring them and say we have several policies with them and what is the best deal they can give me. They generally go through  everything with me and tell me what they can do. Every year that we have been with this particular provider they have given me more of a discount than what they have said on the renewal notice.

This is an expense that was really annoying me as I felt we were spending too much and he seemed to be using the prepaid up so quickly!!.  There are many competitive it is just finding the right fit. Last year my eldest son started high school so we wanted him to have a cellphone.   He gets the bus too and from school and I wanted to know that he could contact me in an emergency or let me know if he was going to hang around with friends after school and was going to be home later.We started looking into what plans were available and how much data and call time he would need.

We initially went with the Aldi  pay as you go but he used  the data up really quickly.  We looks at other plans and decided to go with Vaya.  The plan he is on is $18 and we havent had any problems with him going over his usage.  We also came to an agreement with him that we would pay some and we would pay the rest.

 There are some templates and expense Sheets coming your way for you to write all the info down so you have everything in front of you to make an informed decision.

I challenge you to look at just one expense to assess and see if you can get a better deal. Would love to hear what happened and if you got a better deal.Come over to the  Savvy Shopper Facebook and let us know your win for the day

 

 

February 26, 2016 |

Its Never too Late!!

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Well 2016 is here and I just haven’t started on the footing that I wanted to. I haven’t done the planning that I have wanted to do. We are in a transition phase with the 2 littlies changing their sleeping patterns , D3 from 1 sleep to no sleep and the D4 from 2 sleeps to one. I just find that my time is so limited,  I need to change my routine and habits.
I still believe that I can still do the planning and look at my goals and visions for 2016.  I am slowly working through some planners to help create and visually see my goals for 2016. There is an action list to reach my goals- personally and for new business ventures.    I think we all should  reflect on the past year what has worked and not worked.  Get some quiet time and reflect and  write things down. Getting out thoughts and ideas onto paper help us process things mentally.  Only then can we see the big picture of what is really is going on in our lives.  Writing things down helps our brain work things out and process it. Keep your brain space free for creativity and get all the other stuff big and small down
  1. What do you want to achieve in 2016?
  2. How are you going to reach your goals?
  3. What do you need to change ,  in your routines and habits?
 
I need to change my routine this year and I just need to work out what is going to work.  The most important thing that I would like everyone to take away from this post is that it’s so important to write down what you want to achieve and what steps do you need to take. Just take Small steps to achieve your dreams and don’t get disheartened. It is the small changes we make in our lives every day over a period of time will have more effect.
Let me know how you  are going with your planning. What changes are you making? What big dreams do you have?
January 15, 2016 |

Top Tips to be a Savvy Shopper

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  1. Have a budget. Know exactly how much you can spend according to what you can spend in each allocated category . How much you have and how much you  can spend in each area and and what is realistic. This is for everything from the basics like groceries and goes right across the board to things like renovations. I also suggest you have a contingency especially with renovations and if possible every week put a certain amount aside even if its only $5 so when there are specials you can stock up.
  2. Take the time to plan. As Brian Tracy says, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!” You also save money when you plan well. 
  3. Plan in the small and big things. Have a weekly menu plan even if its just a basic idea. It helps you save Brain space and mental energy. Use a note book to plan or an app. I use evernote which is very useful and accessible from everywhere especially when you left you notebook behind. There are some wonderful shopping/ list apps available. Anylist is just one available app 
  4. Be intentional when spending . Don’t buy just because it is on sale. Ask your self is do I really need this? Do I love this ? I suggest to walk away and think it over for 24 hours
  5. Sourcing what we need.   Look at different places to source what you are looking for. There are so many options you will be surprised . Depending what you are looking for you. There can be many options eg sourcing organic foods you can look at farmers markets, bulk bin companies and co ops. This can be a wonderful way to buy better produce and in bulk with substantial savings to be made.
  6. Second Hand Goods. This one can be very hard for many of us but be humble ask to borrow or ask if someone has second hand items they don’t need any more. When we had our little girl I had no baby things as I had given them all away. I asked people and I bought second hand items.
  7. Look at the return on investment what you want to purchase. Eg you need xyz for renovation. It’s going to cost $400 but it is going to cost $100 day to hire. How many days do you need for other projects. Look at selling it afterwards to recoup costs . Now that’s smart thinking.
  8. Quality vs quantity – clothing spend vs per wear Personally I have had to learn this one the hard way especially as an adult it is better to buy better quality and it last for a few seasons than cheap and having to get rid of it before the end of season.
  9. Remember all of these tips also pertain to services as well. I highly suggest that you phone for at least 5 quotes for something you will then definatley get a gauge on the reasonable cost to get the job done.
  10. Remember always ask for a discount you never know. If  you don’t  ask you won’t get!!

 

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November 26, 2015 |

Where are you going in your food Journey?

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Eating better for my health and well being and my family’s has been on my mind for quite a while. I do cook from scratch and there are things we don’t have in our home now except for special occasions. However I know I could be doing a lot better. Recently I came across Lisa Corduff’s course – Small Steps to Whole Food.

Well, this is really the beginning of my wholefoods journey. I have learnt sooo much and the information has been invaluable. I love her approach , Lisa is genuine and her approach is small steps and no guilt. I loved the course and I have signed up to continue the Small Steps Together Program to help me continue on this journey.

 

 

Doing this course got me thinking.Many the people are looking for organic, grass fed meat and looking for alternative ways to source vegetables , fruit and nuts and other grocery items. I felt this could be a great opportunity for me to share with Savvy Shopper Community. Savvy shopper is not only about saving money built being clever in other areas of our lives. So I felt if I could endeavor to help others to source better produce through some of the places I have heard about and some that I have tried personally. So I will be including farmers, co ops and other bulk buying places on the website directory.

People will be able to source produce, meat and other grocery items directly from Farmers,co ops and other stores. There are many co ops around and they their own have rules of how they operate. You could always get some families together and start your own co op. I belong to one where we go to the Rocklea Markets fortnightly, we all help to split the food up between the families. You get great value for money and the vegetable are fresh last so much longer.

Watch this space as new farmers, co ops and bulk foods suppliers will be added.Food Journey

November 11, 2015 |

Introduction to Savvy Shopper

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This Blog has been an idea in my mind for such a long time and I am so excited to share this with you. I am always looking at ways to be a savvy shopper and be wise with the resources we have. We have a large family ( 2 adults, 4 kids aged between 12-1 years old.) When we first moved to Brisbane I was expecting to be able to buy a directory of factory shops within the Brisbane area. I also found a few websites however I felt that there is gap in the market here so I have started my own. It is going to take time to grow and for reviews to be done.

 

This blog/ directory is not about the cheapest place around it is about shopping smart and finding good value. I am wanting this to be shared for people to use and get involved and review the businesses they visit. Please let me know of any businesses that should be added to the directory or you can add them yourself.

 

I would love to hear any thoughts and ideas, please email me savvy (at) savvyshopper.com.au or post on our face bookpage

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1413223392279030/?ref=br_tf

August 26, 2015 |
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