A group of budget-minded Australians have shared the investments they’ve made in products that have saved them money in the long run.
A woman who lives in Adelaide, South Australia started the conversation in a Barefoot Investors Facebook group, asking for advice on specific investments that would save her family money long-term.
‘I’m thinking about using reusable cotton pads instead of makeup wipes or a good quality water bottle so you don’t waste money on water while you’re out,’ she said.
There were more than 500 answers posted, with many suggesting things like period-proof underwear, coffee machines, freezing food and dying hair at home.
‘My biggest saving has been getting cloth nappies,’ said one mother. ‘Also safety razors, decent shampoo (because it’s better for your hair and you use less so it lasts), and cloth wipes. I strongly believe you save more by investing in yourself with quality products and services.’
Another assured the group that it was worth spending upwards of $500 on a Thermomix, even it was second hand like hers.
‘It makes everything. It does its own breadcrumbs, grated cheese, dips, mains, cakes. Quick and easy. Saves lots of time and money,’ she said.
Others also liked the idea of slow cooking a meal and freezing the results for later.
‘Slow cooking stops me burning dinner and saves time because you don’t have to touch it while it’s on,’ a man said.
‘We use glass food storage for freezing food (because it lasts way longer than plastic) and bulk buy food purchases (like 10-15kg bags of dry goods). Having a veggie garden is a huge saving as well.’
For those who love their morning coffee investing in a machine of their own was well worth the initial financial sting.
‘We just calculated that we have saved $14,000 over seven years with our own coffee machine,’ one woman said.
‘No more $5 cups of coffee,’ another agreed.
Others review their electricity, gas, phone plans, insurance and internet every six to 12 months to ensure they’re getting the most out of their bills.
Some swear by purchasing Who Gives A Crap toilet paper in bulk, using a litre bottle of Castille soap to make their own body wash, hand soap and cleaning products, and using an epilator instead of shaving or waxing.
‘I pay $200 for my implanon birth control with the glorious side effect of skipping my period for three years,’ one woman said.
Other ladies were huge proponents of Modibodi’s period proof underwear and Diva period cups, which replace the need for tampons and pads.
A more abstract idea came from a family who invested in a small caravan to use on holidays.
‘We bought a cheap caravan. We have two boys and can go on holidays during school holidays and it isn’t that expensive. We also go away locally, for weekends even to a caravan park in our own town. They have specials in the off season where for $70 you can stay two nights in an en-suite powered site and late checkout,’ said the parents.
‘With pools, water slides, play areas, bike tracks it makes for a fun weekend and you are only 10 minutes from home. It costs us nearly $50 to go to the movies for a two hour movie so for an extra $20 we have been away. We take all our own food and even ice creams when we go away.’
A beauty boffin said understanding how to dye your hair at home was a ‘lifesaver’ when you were looking to save upwards of $200.
‘Go to Hairhouse Warehouse and educate yourself with hair colouring. Don’t buy the supermarket ones, their ones are much better for your hair as well as cheaper in the long run. I get at least 2-3 colourings per tube,’ she said.