Saturday, 21 May 2011

Beating the rise in prices?

The weather today over here is very but sunny! This is the beauty of spring season... in fact we are now approaching towards summer. Masha Allah... the four seasons in a year somehow make me to have certain expectation for the future. The cool flowery spring  is always being fond of by the people here... come after is summer time... the heaty and prickly temperature, it's a time for tan-skinned lover. But I'm always indifference... naturally tan! I love autumn anyway... though its going to be windy most of the time, the colour is really breathtaking and more importantly it tells you that life would never be 'green' throughout...after such a nice, cool and sunny time... there's always time where you have to face in life...the 'fall' of leaves.... preparing for a bitter season of winter!

Spring in Cardiff 2011
Autumn 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?
Indeed waking up in the morning with news of more increases in prices of goods is really an awful experience. As a person...  a consumer... and a mother of 5 kids, the impact of the economic downturn this time round is really pinching us. Being in the foreign country, indeed, we are struggling to survive... insya Allah for a better future as the sweet and flowery spring comes after the bitter and cold winter!

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!

  • Travelling
    • 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!
  • Carbooting
    • 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 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 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'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 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 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 do not like 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!!!!

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