|Spring in Cardiff 2011|
Huh! so much introduction! But it's just to reflect the perfect creation of Allah...the four seasons come into picture naturally in our life or structurally into the man-made systems. Everybody is aware that we are experiencing the impact of economic downturn, almost in every single corner of the world. Neither an economist nor a theorist, but a two-year stint doing A Levels economics make me understand a bit of the cycle in the economy... the downturn will be there! And to a certain extent is predictable!
Fuel price triggers the economy! Even my mother who had never gone to any economics school could comment on the effect of the rise in fuel price... 'kalau naik harga minyak...nanti barang lain pun naikla tu...'. Now with almost £1.40 per litre of unleaded, what could you expect?
|Would we enjoy pumping at this price again?|
What choice do we have to beat this economic downturn?
Be positive, this is the period for us to learn managing the economic affairs of our family effectively. Usually the wife or mom leads the way like me! It's good to get the kids involve in the economic management of the family as well ... be the economist and money-keeper for the family... by the way it does not involve the live and death situation!.
Try these out and the lists are actually endless:
- Grocery shopping
- shop at bargain stores like Home Bargains, Lidl, Asda or Tesco...but do compare prices (usually moms are more alert with price differences!) through the internet FOC. For marketing sake, these stores have the tricks in charging prices. Anyway, take advantage of the price war over here.
- buy the supermarket brand confidently. These products are ridiculously cheaper than the established brand but the quality is still superb. Most of the time brand kills your pocket! Normally supermarkets have the high and low range of products. The high end is still very much cheap than the establish brand. Have a thought about it if you are brand mania person.
- Take advantage of loyalty cards membership. We could enjoy some discounts through vouchers sent to us from time to time and the reward point system. However, I reckon Sainsbury is only good for its fuel and not for the groceries
- 'Reduced price' really keeps our purse but we have to strategise our visit to supermarkets. Evenings on weekdays and late afternoon on weekends give you good bargains. Don't worry with the quality... still edible! You could have 2 kg of carrot for just 20p and I had once bought 2 sticks of lemon grass for 1p!
- Plan your travel well in advance as you could save a lot on the accommodation bills. Travelodge is good for this. Grab the £9 per room offer and it is not a gimmick. I had this ridiculous price for our London trip and North wales break recently. After all it's just for us to have a tight sleep after wandering around the places.
- Bring our own pre-cooked food as much as we can. For a big family like mine, it does safe a lot on the food bills. Anyway, our time is saved from looking for halal takeaways...confident and comfortable! Unless if go to Bradford, Manchester or Leeds where you could have loads of choices and the prices are appealing.
- online shopping
- beat the fuel price and time! Go for the free delivery and don't forget the review for the sellers!
- in making decision to shop online, please also take into account non-monetary costs...driving time, queuing time, looking for goods in ever changing aisles...another marketing trick by supermarkets!
- enjoy carbooting... the unbelievable prices! But don't just buy things for the price sake! Think about re-selling! Anyway it is part of saving the earth...recycling.
- Bargain the price if possible.
- Look for non-traders and non-regular carbooters if you are a regular shopper.
- cheapest bargain or FOC
- always look for bargain sales...charity shop is a good place. If you want a good and quality charity, go to British Heart Foundation...though a little bit expensive than others, the stuff are of good quality and clean. But don't forget Islamic Relief also does have its charity shop and proces are very affordable, OR
- bid at ebay...am not good at bidding but friends do recommend this. Atleast the 'Buy it now' prices are sometimes better than the superstore/high street prices.
- join the local/community yahoo group... members will be posting stuff to be given away FOC...sometimes almost new! Again a good practice of recycle... save the planet and save your money!
- Keep abreast FOC
- take advantage of the online newspapers...unless there's free local newspaper
- go for METRO...definitely FREE
- cook and serve fresh food
- Eat out really tax your money over here...avoid eating out or even takeaway...special occasion is fine, anyway.
- if you are super duper busy...wife...mom...student...employee...it's like 4 in 1, plan your routine of cooking... practice makes perfect!
- always stock up with blended onions/shallots+garlic+ginger for one week ration as well as blended chillies. That's really save your time!
- if you are asking help from your other half, make sure the above is ready and do not forget to label all your spice containers...it does help, otherwise he gonna call you just asking about the kurma powder while you are convincing your supervisor on your research!
- and never any waste food...be creative in cooking. Anyway, cooking is actually an art...the basic is there...the taste is depending on how we manouvre the measurements...if you don't believe, try it yourself! The common example is never throw away bread crust...kids do not like it...so could easily have a big container of crust...prepare for versatile bread pudding...simply soak with fresh milk and mix with butter, sugar...simply add in anything sensible to make it tasty...dusted cereals, raisins or mixed fruits are all welcome...
Owh...too long, but hopefully they are useful for us.... but the list would never end!!!!