How I’m dealing with the rising cost of necessities

You’ve probably felt the pinch of the price of basics going up … and up … and up.

The cost of living can only ever really go one way (and unfortunately cost of living raises don’t always follow).

But I’ll admit that I don’t go too far out of my way, as a rule, to save here and there.

Lately, though, I’ve been rethinking that and upping my efforts a little.

Burning Money is Financial Crime and Waste in ...

(Photo credit: epSos.de)

Saving money on utilities/bills

There’s not a whole lot we can do to conserve water, really, but I’ve become a stickler for turning things off at the wall. Power prices just keep on rising, and there’s no sign of them abating. It looks like this summer prices per kilowatt are going to be close to 30 cents. Ouch. As for internet, we have a pretty good deal that was possible with a credit repair company called New Day Credit. It could be better, in that we could get more for what we currently pay (or even slightly less money) but at the moment I’m not willing to commit to a 12-month contract with a new company.

Saving money on groceries

Somewhere in the past couple of years, we’ve gone from shopping together to me doing most of it. (Part of that is that I’m more confident in driving now, though breaking a wing mirror on a rubbish bin that was on the road rather than the pavement threw me a bit this month.) That means less of T throwing snacks into the trolley (I am bad at saying no) and more of me taking the time to shop for fresh meat and produce at the local Asian supermarket as well. That alone has really helped us keep the grocery bill in check (static, rather than increasing in line with food prices as a whole) because items can sometimes literally be as much as half the price compared to Pak n Save.

Saving money on petrol

We only have one car, and T drives it to work. He also drives around a LOT in his spare time. But he’s been cutting that down lately, with one friend in particular exiting his life, and doing a bit more carpooling/sharing of the driving burden rather than always being the one driving. It helps immensely. Seriously, the difference at the end of one week where T had come home every day straight after work and not left the house was half a tank’s worth.

Are you feeling the pinch of rising costs? What, if anything, are you doing about it?

8 thoughts on “How I’m dealing with the rising cost of necessities

  • Reply Liquid November 5, 2012 at 16:23

    Independent Asian supermarkets are the best way I save on the grocery bill 😀 I find the produce doesn’t last as long though so I have to go through it quickly. Depending on how policies work in your country investing in the supply chain of necessities can provide a hedge against rising costs. For example, if I forced myself to buy 1 share in the Mobil Oil company (XOM) for every 100 liters of petrol I pump into my car then if the price of oil goes up in the future, the company is making more profit, and the value of my shares should also increase offsetting the increased cost for my gas consumption. Plus it automatically prevents me from spending too much on petrol in the first place because my money has to split between buying gas and buying shares. Dividends are also a nice bonus (^_^)

  • Reply plantingourpennies November 6, 2012 at 01:58

    Driving! Mr. PoP recently copped to driving around just for the sake of “getting out of the office”, which totally explained why our gas spending was 25% higher than usual the last two months. Luckily he’s vowed to change his habits and figure out cheaper ways to get out of the office on foot instead of by car. Wish us luck!

  • Reply Kim@Eyesonthedollar November 6, 2012 at 15:48

    I have been working very hard on lowering the grocery budget and cutting out snacks with no nutritional value. We are trying not to eat out often as well. It is always a struggle with convenience vs money.

  • Reply Anonymous November 7, 2012 at 22:11

    I got so frustrated with the amount of boy racers in my street that I bought some BP shares (just 400 via the NYSE) to off set my irritation. BP owns a big chunk of the NZ Refining company and chances are the boy racers driving up and down my street, trying to looking cool in their crappy souped up hatch backs, are contributing in some infinitesimal way to my bank balance. BP pays good quarterly dividends. Not only that, Boy Racers also pay huge amounts of GST everytime they fill up. Ok its only 400 shares but still, noisy cars don’t sound so bad anymore.

  • Reply The Asian Pear November 8, 2012 at 16:17

    Well, my family is pretty frugal to begin with… One way is that it’s currently freezing at our house but we’re holding out! No heat yet. Everyone’s just wearing an extra sweater and socks at home. We’ll turn it on once it gets colder but we’ll hold out as long as we can!

  • Reply Carnival of Personal Finance: Things I Lost This Week Edition November 13, 2012 at 03:02

    […] from NZ Muse presents How I’m dealing with the rising cost of living, and says, “The necessities just keep getting more expensive, forcing my […]

  • Reply Link love (Powered by sugar cookies and new faces) | NZ Muse November 17, 2012 at 10:50

    […] Finally, thanks to Marissa for hosting the latest carnival of personal finance and including my post on dealing with the rising cost of living. […]

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