Many Aussie families have been feeling the pinch lately with supermarket, petrol prices and the cost of living on the rise.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look think things are about to get any easier as millions of Australian households are set to be slugged by soaring electricity costs!
Scroll down for some great money saving tips on energy and grocery costs
Why is Energy going up?
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has increased key prices by hundreds of dollars a year.
Rising gas and coal prices globally have contributed to a spike in wholesale power prices to record levels. Extreme weather in NSW and Queensland had also affected coal supplies and electricity demand. Repairs or outages to as much as a third of the coal-fired power fleet have also contributed to the recent jump.
What does this mean for your Power Bills?
In terms of what it will cost:
- Residents in NSW can now expect their prices to rise by as much as 18%
- In Queensland they are looking at an increase of close to 13%
- In Victoria consumers will be hit with a 5% increase.
- South Australian prices are predicted to rise by 9.5%/
The increases are set to come into effect from July this year and in some cases will amount to more than $250 a year.
This news comes just weeks after the wholesale energy price, the prices that energy retails pay for electricity before on selling to consumers, rose by close 150% over the past 12 months with that cost now being pushed onto households.
Clare Savage, the chair of the AER, described the decision to increase prices so substantially as “particularly difficult” but she said the cost pressures facing electricity providers were real.
She said “In setting these new DMO [default market offer] prices, we understand the significant impact they will have on some consumers who may already be struggling with cost-of-living pressures,”
As with Australian Consumer groups, Ms Savage urged consumers to shop around for a better deal.
It seems that playing close attention to the family budget has never been more important. The Healthy Mummy is more committed than ever in helping busy mums stay on top of their health AND budget.
Budgeting for Busy Mums
With budget on everyone’s mind, we’ve also pulled together EVERY single money saving tip we can get our hands on for saving, food shopping and lifestyle. Check it out here.
Be sure to also download our FREE Meal Prep Essentials Guide + Recipes for budget friendly recipes and meal prepping tips (which can save you big $$$).
10 simple tips to help you save energy and most won’t cost you a cent
1. Switch off lights and electricity appliances when you don’t use them
Turning heaters, appliances and lights off at the powerpoint can save even more than when left on standby. Make sure you switch off your computers, wifi routers, or printers overnight and certainly when you’re away.
2. Shut doors and close windows
These are very simple things you can do to reduce the cost of heating and cooling without making life uncomfortable.
In cooler months, make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly.
In warmer months, keep your curtains closed during the day. By keeping the sun off your windows with external shadings such as external blinds or canvas awnings, your house will remain cooler.
Stop cool air leaking out by blocking draughts around doors and windows.
3. Switch to energy saving LED lightbulbs
While energy-efficient lights are more expensive, your costs are recouped through substantial energy savings. When it comes to lamps, light coloured lampshades absorb less light. To maximise your power savings, regularly clean your lampshades and light fittings.
4. Save energy in how you wash and dry clothes
You can save some considerable cash per year by washing clothes in cold water and set on the shortest cycle.
Clothes dryers may be extremely useful but they do use lots of energy. Dry clothes and linen outside on the line when you can. If using the dryer is unavoidable, never overfill it and always clean the lint filter after each load.
5. Conserve energy in the kitchen
Running 24 hours a day, all year round, even the smallest energy saving on your fridge freezer can make a big difference. Start by checking the door seal. If the seal is good, you shouldn’t feel any cool air escaping.The ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. Your ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees.
Put frozen food in your fridge in the morning to thaw out and reduce cooking time in the evening. When you’re cooking, use the microwave when you can. Microwaves use much less energy than an electric oven. Plan to cook more and have leftover meals for the next day or the whole week. Keep leftover meals in the freezer.
6. Avoid peak electricity times
Avoid using appliances like your dishwasher between 4 pm and 7 pm. This can save you up to $100 a year.
7. Staying Warm and Keeping Cool
Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10% to your heating bill. In winter, heating can account for over 30% of your bill.
In winter, set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees. In summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above.
8. Take Shorter Showers
Around one third of home energy use is associated with heating water, and more than half of all hot water use is in the bathroom. Reducing the length of showers and balancing water temperature by reducing hot water rather than adding cold water are two very easy energy-saving tactics.
9. Get the best energy deal
One of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to compare energy offers. It’s an extremely competitive market and it pays to shop around.
10. Commit to Save
With energy prices set to increase, now is the perfect time to ask how we can save energy in our daily life, and put in the effort to make a difference in our daily routine. It only takes some small energy savings that can make a great impact! Review the energy outgoings in your home, and make sure the whole family is on the same page and commit to save.
15 tips to save money on your grocery shop
If you’ve been struggling with your ever-rising food shop, then here are some top tips…
1. Swap the meat
There’s no need to be super strict with the meat that you use in recipes such as stir-fries, wraps, salads or soups. So if the recipe asks for pork but chicken is on special, use chicken instead.
2. Read the catalogues
Keep an eye on the specials in your local supermarket catalogues and stock up when your favourite products are on sale.
3. Go veggie
Many meals contain meat, and a great way to save money is to reduce your meat intake. Feel free to remove the meat and add tofu, lentils or chickpeas instead. Plenty of traditional recipes can be changed in this way and still remain delicious. Check out recipes for Vegetarian Pizza Scrolls and Veggie Lasagne.
4. Bulk up
When you see items on sale that you use regularly, stock up if you have room to store it. It might be almond meal, walnuts, flour, oats, almond milk.
5. Avoid one-offs
If a recipe calls for a specific ingredient that you don’t have, don’t rush out and buy it right away if you don’t think you will use it again. Choose another option from the menu or switch it out for an alternative.
6. Double up
There’s no need to cook a different meal for every lunch and dinner. Save money and time by cooking double one night and using the leftovers for another meal (or freeze to use later). Meals like Chilli Con Carne and Spaghetti Bolognese are perfect for this.
7. Use what you have
Get creative! If a recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream (that you don’t have at home) but you do have Greek yoghurt, don’t rush out to buy the sour cream. Many products can be switched for other alternatives.
8. Shop online
This is a great way to visually see your bill tally up before you part with your cash. If you need to you can cull a few items to ensure you come in under budget.
9. Avoid buying too much
If you regularly find yourself tossing certain foods in the bin that have gone bad, rethink how much of it you are buying. For instance you might only need a small amount of baby spinach so you could buy a handful of it loose instead of in a large bag.
Frozen veggies are another great way to prevent spoilage and are just as nutritious as the fresh variety. We use them in plenty of recipes, including this Healthy Chicken And Pineapple Fried Rice.
10. Use similar textures
Need a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs for a burger patty recipe but don’t have any to hand? Look around the pantry and see if you can find something else. You could whizz up some rolled oats or Weetbix in the food processor.
11. Watch your portions
Be sure not to cook too much if you will end up tossing it in the bin. Things like porridge, rice and pasta are very easy to prepare far too much of. Just keep an eye on the dry product as you’re popping into the saucepan and note that it will expand as it cooks.
12. Use your leftover smoothies
If you made too much smoothie, pop the leftovers into an ice block mould for a tasty treat for the next day.
13. Have an easy night
A great way to save cash is to have one night a week for a super thrifty meal. Think Vegemite and avocado on toast; or a jacket potato with kidney beans and pesto.
14. Avoid pre-prepared foods
Items that have been grated/chopped/sliced tend to cost more than the original item would. For instance, grated cheese cost more than block cheese. Sliced mushrooms cost more than whole ones.
15. Package your own snacks
Instead of buying snacks for yourself or the kids in packets, buy a larger serve and package up your own in small tubs. Think popcorn, pretzels, sultanas. You could even try making up a healthy trail mix to pop in school bags or your handbag for work.
Save money with our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
If you are interested in kickstarting your weight loss and want to improve your energy – not to mention – improve your overall health and wellbeing – our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an awesome program to check out.
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge includes:
- 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
- Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans (including a 7 day cleanse)
- Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
- Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
- Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
- Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!
To learn more about our 28 DAY WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE CLICK HERE