Sometimes the value of insourcing, is not just what we are able to save for our own family, but what we are able to give back to the community.
In the last seven days, I've been able to give two small hampers to families in need, in my own social circle. I was able to disguise these as a gift, so that they did not know I was aware of their financial crisis. Consequently, it was a bit like being a Secret Santa, and just being able to enjoy the smiles my gift generated, rather than feeling like it was a charitable donation. Having a 'shop', as I call my stash of food items and hand crafted gifts, is a great benefit, not only to us, but to others. When I assemble these gift hampers, I make sure there is a good balance of useful pantry items, and little luxuries. I think many times we imagine that families who are in need, only need essentials. Of course, that is exactly when a little luxury can make the difference between feeling desperately that life has thrown you a curve ball, and feeling that this is just a little hiccup that you will overcome.
I don't know how to put a dollar value on that. I think the feel good factor is, as the well known advertisement says, 'priceless'.
I have already generated five Easter gifts...Easter is early this year you know...from Valentines Bath Fizzies. Fizzies are miniature bath bombs. At $8 for 25, they were a bargain anyway, but by Monday, they'll probably be $2 for the same thing, so I'm poised to swoop after the school drop off! You can read about my Valentine to Easter gift Flip here. Those savings are yet to be generated, but planning is half the battle. And who says Easter has to be about chocolate? The little foil wrapped bath fizzie above, is the result of yesterdays efforts. I took the plain shrink wrapped fizzies, and wrapped them in confectionery foil, available inexpensively on eBay. But you'll need to order quickly to have it in time for Easter. Remember too, that the foil is always coloured one side, and silver the other, so you in fact get two colours for the price of one. I think in terms of paying full price for a similar Easter gift for The Divas friends, I've probably saved about $15 per gift. So I'll call that $65 saved after paying for the materials.
It's really worth looking out for the Clearance specials after a designated retail 'event'. Even if the items are not ideal, they're often worth purchasing for the pretty containers, or the re-workable contents for another occasion. You couldn't buy the container OR the contents for the going prices after The Day, be it Valentines, Easter, or Christmas!
We're back to school, so I've saved at least $100 in making lunches, over giving my daughter money to spend at the school canteen.
I saved another $95 by remodelling an existing ill fitting dance uniform to give her a second one now that she has several Dance classes in her week at school. Many uniform items can be given a new lease of life with bleaching, altering, or reworking. She didn't like this one because the straps on the cami top sat oddly, and the legs on the pants were too flared. Both of those were easily remedied with minor alterations.
Fuel was saved by topping up when it's at the lowest prices. Some days I was only purchasing $12 worth, but with fuel prices fluctuating as they are at the moment, todays $1.08c a litre, could be tomorrows $1.38c a litre! Probably a $30 saving there.
I've baked two birthday cakes which I'm about to decorate for my four year old granddaughter, saving about $400 in similar purchased cakes from a professional cake decorator, even after buying materials and ingredients. Birthday cakes are big business!
We've eaten healthfully and well, thanks to shopping from a list and menu planning last week. I baked a beautiful butter cake using my Sunset Peaches preserved while on holidays which has provided morning teas and dessert for those who eat it (not me!). You can see those here. We've been busy, and I just know without that pre-planning, and a well stocked refrigerator and pantry, the local Thai takeaway would have been a familiar haunt. Savings there of easily $100.
I've enjoyed a Chai Latte` from a premix with my disabled son. I visit him each afternoon, as his little apartment is on the way to my daughters school. Often we'd meet at the local cafe', but the Chai Latte`s there, are $6. I like them, but I don't necessarily like them any better than the one out of a packet quite frankly! Saving there of $30.
I cleaned the house, washed the dog and gave him his flea treatment, trimmed my own hair and did my own manicure and pedicure. I'm going to call that $120 for the cleaning, $45 for the dog wash and treatment, $50 for the trim, condition, and straighten of hair, and $60 for the mani-pedi. Impressive savings there, on things I would outsource if I worked outside the home, of $255.
So without really trying, and just by being focused on treating my role in the home as my job, I've generated the equivalent of a take home pay of $1095 at the very least, and that isn't counting the 'gift baskets'. To earn that, after tax, I'd have to be on a $65,000+ salary, and that would be a full time job with all kinds of pressures.
How did treating your role in the home like a job, save you, or generate you potential savings this week? Tell me all!