Things you can do stretch your money

May 19 2022. views 84


The ongoing crisis, scarcity of goods, and unbearable prices, have taken a major toll on many of us and we are struggling to get by. Here are a few things you can do to help save money, make the most of your purchase and overall keep some semblance of sanity in this chaotic time. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that ‘this too shall pass.’ It might seem bleak, our odds may be against us but a positive mindset is key. Mental health is everything so take a deep breath, be grateful for all you do have, be kind and share as much as possible.

Travelling from point A to B
How many times have you had mini heart attacks each time you opened a ride-hailing app or when you pump fuel? Not only is fuel expensive but also hard to come by. One way we can try to use fuel efficiently is by carpooling whenever it is possible. Find people (just enough to fit your vehicle comfortably) who live in your route on your way to work and get them to tag along and contribute a fair cost for fuel. Not only is this good for the environment as fewer vehicles will be on the road, but it will relieve some financial strain we face.

Groceries and essential items
Start with planning your meals. Trust the process, it might seem like a huge preparation, but small details can really help save your money and prevent wastage. Start with a weekly plan. Plan all 3 meals for your family and any snacks and buy exactly what you need. This way you won’t have any rotting vegetables that
will end up in the bin and you will also save the hassle of having to wrack your brain on what to have for each meal. Keep track of every item in your house, from salt to detergent, see how much of it you need each month, and by when. Write it down or create an excel. End of each month go through all your cupboards and see what you need. This way you buy exactly what is necessary and won’t have unwanted stock of perishable goods.

If you have a wholesale boutique or small “gamei kadei” close to your house, go there, it’s the same product for a lot less but we understand some places do not have this and supermarkets are a lot more convenient. Don’t worry, you can save from here too with a little research. First, follow all the leading
supermarkets on social media platforms and subscribe to their SMS services. Most give amazing discounts for cardholders or loyalty cardholders. When you follow their socials, you know who has the best price and you can either order online or drop in. this might seem like a lot to do but it’s well worth it and you can save money.

Many Supermarkets also carry their line of products under their name which is often cheaper than other brands so you can opt for that. Also, keep an eye out for discounts on products, some supermarkets give attractive discounts on products they have excess stock of but make sure you look at the expiry dates and make an informed decision and see if you can use them before that. We understand that stockpiling can feel like a good answer to all our issues, but we strongly discourage this. It simply creates more problems than solutions. When we panic buy items the first to get hit are the daily wage earners. Buy what you need and how much your family uses.

Making things last
Instead of hoarding, how about you make the best use of an item. For example, soap. Instead of keeping the whole bar of soap, cut it into two and use. This way, the product doesn’t dissolve and if you used it for
one month you could possibly stretch it for at least 2 extra weeks. Add a reasonable amount of water to any liquid-based detergent or shampoos to stretch it as much as possible.

Cooking up a storm
Try not to stick to one method of cooking. Use the gas stove and the induction cooker, and if possible, build a wood fire hearth. This way you can divide and conquer. Even if you run out of one medium, you still have something to rely on. Soak your rice and pulse in water before cooking. This will yield more food for less. Your rice cooker can do more than cook rice. This appliance is your best friend! Use it to make anything, and we mean anything, it’s an excellent gadget to make curries, desserts, and one-pot meals.

Use your pressure cooker
Cooking chickpeas, even after soaking overnight can take 45 minutes when cooked in a normal pot. If you use a pressure cooker, you will be done in about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also use it to make biriyani, curries like polos that take forever to cook in a fraction of the time.

Back to our roots
Cook food like ambul thiyal, pickles, polos, seeni sambol, these can be kept for long.

Staying fashionable
Websites like Shein and ASOS have become extremely popular due to their attractive pricing. However with our not-so-attractive dollar rates, trying to stay on trend may seem tough. It goes without saying, shop local. When you buy local, you support a chain of local people, from the fabric suppliers to the small-scale garment factories. Keep an eye on thrift stores, second hand is not a bad word! You can find some amazing pieces for a fraction of the cost. Don’t forget to follow pages that allow you to rent outfits, from sarees and lehengas for any occasion. This way you don’t have to break the bank and have a new look for each occasion.

Grow your food
Even if you live in an apartment, many things can be grown in pots like tomatoes, herbs, curry leaves, micro salads, etc. Even if you aren’t blessed with a green thumb there are so many YouTube videos showing you how to grow your own small garden, so start now. It’s never too late.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charindi Meegastenna

A fashion designer by profession with a flair for all things related to food and lifestyle. She is also an adrenaline junkie, animal lover, vegetarian and island girl through and through.


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