Thursday, November 25, 2010

Little Savings Every Day :

Only part of the results shopping for 33% less than full price 

Well, hello ~ still here...
The Daily Report has been entered and posted ~ the first time in nearly 10 days. 
The Weekly Update has a note, will be updated and the past 8 weeks reviewed.
Ahhh ~ accountability ~ how I have missed thee :D

Today there was a shop at the supermarket, which gave 8c off on petrol, and fuel was desperately required. As the last shop was on Saturday 13 November returning from the supermarket by taxi, following a 'horrible' medical visit, picked up and driven to by our 'mechanic' as our car no longer had a working engine - *breathes in ... out* - its a long time between fresh fruit n veg

The grocery budget allows $100pw, usually $150 one week, $50 for top-ups the next. We'd ball-parked $75 for 'needs only' to $100 if any ok mark-downs. We've not shopped in over a week, but we have been finding wonderful variety in little treasures within the now-open pantry.  The total cost of the groceries was $152.13, after mark-downs, 2for$ offers, reduced to half-price discounts were taken off, the spend was $110.62.  
How we shop for 33% less than the full price!  My slogan!! 

Some of the marked down treasures
Over $60 in marked down meat - roast lamb, posh sausages, blade/chuck steaks, sausage rolls. An extra block of butter, muesli, mangos (3for2), a magazine ~ which gave you another one free *joy and bliss* AND under $3!! It's a $150 'rich week' shop that would usually leave $50 for next week's shop. Now we have extra meat in the freezer, juice in the pantry, salad for more than a week AND $90 to spend in 'poor' week. Plus the docket saved $4 on petrol - laughin'...

Faxing for Free ~ A Handy Place to Know
Took the fax to the Salvos Community Centre ~ we had to fax our lender the additional pay details, doctors' notes and other rah rah the 'capitalisation hardship application' documentation required. Faxes cost money to send and it's more than you would expect. To send a 5-6pg fax costs $8 upward - that's not even a job application, resume and references!

Before we fell into the black abyss of telephonic connectivity stuff-up, calls had been made and paperwork emailed (downloaded and printed where appropriate) to get things under-way to request some changes to our repayments, limits and rates. Of course, the day after receiving the last 'important' docs, we lost all communications required to complete easily and for free, down our phone line, which we pay $17.40 every month for nothing. It's a good rate for 'just in case' ~ only now we are thinking "just in case  what?"

We had all the forms, check lists, numbers and ways to get the completed information back to the appropriate department ~ so we got it all filled in, organised the appropriate appointments for particular documents, reports, statements to be collected so when we got the car back from the mechanics on 18/11, we went to the Library to send the 8-pg fax to our lenders - it came at the cost of $9.90. Now to print the fax sheet and covering letter of explanation of hardship from the library printer had already cost $2.20, which was a bit OTT to say the least ~ the fax cost left me dumbfounded. A post office I can understand, but the Library? To a 'low/no toll' fax number?? This doesn't sit real good ~ 'specially not for the purse...

We Love Hindsight ~ We now know there are several agencies that will send hardship papers, job applications, medical support documents with little or no charges - if you ask, are polite, patient and grateful for the service provided. One way to find out if your Salvation Army Community Centre can help you, or know of another place doing the same which might be closer to you, is to call ahead and ask both questions: 
"Can you help me send my resume and references for a job / financial hardship papers to my lender by fax or is there any place other than paying the library or the post office $10+ better put on bills?"
It's not for piffle, copying extra soduku puzzles or outlines of Australia for the kids' project - it's not for exploitation or mis-use because this will end the service those using appropriately.  *daydreams* remember when you could get a photocopy or print out for 5c a page (to cover the cost of the sheet of paper) at the library ~ it's $1 dollar now.  Sure, inflation ~ but that's highway robbery...

Check out the Salvos, St.VdPaul, Red Cross, United Way. There is more to charity than food parcels or vouchers. You can even get a free loaf of fresh bread just for walking through the door if you go in at the right time ~ sometimes special grainy types, raisin toast or crumpets! Don't look down at the carpet - check out what signs are on the window or boards. You'll see the bread, sometimes there is a sign up offering eggs - Bonus!! *grins*  Less for the shopping budget and not the 'basic plain white' variety! Seriously, have you seen the price of eggs and a loaf of bread these days??? 

Every little corner cut, every 5c or $5 shaved from the known expenses budget really does add up in the long run. We are showing MudGuts how to do similar with his budget to give him more access to his money and be more responsible for its distribution. He says he will only have $100 for 'everyones' Christmas presents but we can show him $250 plus $80 at his Auntie's 30th birthday party the weekend before Christmas. *shakes head*  These young peoples...

It's wonderful to see some more red meat in the freezer ~ and a lovely big lamb roast, perfect for SmallBoy's birthday dinner. Plus a fridge full of fresh fruit, veg and dairy. Gee it feels good to know the control is there and the relief is coming. Can't wait to have all the figures done!

Until next we natter...

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