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Team HC’s methods of trying to control the cost of living are as varied as the personalities involved! From avoiding using appliances and gas to recycling and making the raspberry budget go further here are some of our most frugal suggestions.

Kendi – I’m not naturally frugal but a certain someone in my house is incredibly, well, let’s say careful with money. Our air conditioner and clothes dryer are purely decorative. Our freezer is known as the chicken graveyard, as it’s mostly full of bones that will be turned into gallons of soup. Ask me some time about the binned apple that was not only retrieved but turned into dessert….

Sue – When I saw my gas bill from the winter quarter last year I did a double take. I grew up believing gas was cheaper right? Well hell to the no. I have solar and already have reverse cycle air conditioning units so why ever wasn’t I using the heat cycle on those?  Well I am now and am very conscious about using the clothes dryer, dishwasher and charging my electric car timed to the best parts of sunny days to drive down energy costs for our household of five.

Alex – Not ordering take out as much and trying to use the food I have in my freezer and fridge more! Plus making conscious choices while shopping – why buy a punnet of raspberries for $5 when I can buy 500g of frozen raspberries for $7!

Karen – During the drought here things did become tight, and as there is no “endpoint” to budget for we had to be very frugal – for a couple of years. Simple things like keeping an eye on power consumption, making your own lunch and telling the kids no to trips and treats were essential. And with water at such a premium one bath for the whole family became the norm. Still is most days! We processed our first steer here last year and that made meat for three teenagers accessible, we have chickens for eggs and grow some of our own vegies too.

Shereen – We’re playing the long-game at our house, by teaching our kids to save money doing the Return & Earn recycling program. They always keep an eye out for bottles and cans and have even recruited the grandparents to help out. Each month they put the money they get from recycling their cans into a savings account with the goal of buying their first car with it. They are five and seven years old, so they will watch that money grow for a while yet, and see how ten cents, patience and dedication, can turn into a car one day.