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Get through recession with household survival tips

by Chris Lang on November 20, 2008

Recession food sale
It seems to me that all we hear lately is recession, recession, recession. The economy is in downturn, the interest rates are being slashed, the unemployment is on the rise, jobs are at stake and people are panicking.

This has to stop. Recession or not, life goes on and nobody should live in fear for the next 2 years or so. We must take control, after all we only get scared because of watching bad things happen and thinking we can’t do much about it.

This is why I put together series of articles about how to make sure your household survives a recession. They are covering it all – food, petrol, entertainment, budget and expenses, income, debt, disasters and emergencies and will show you how to revise and optimize you entire household to get through the tough times. They will help you to feel safe, stay positive and enjoy life. Enough said, here is the first bit:

Household survival tips: 7 Recession Food Strategies

1. Grow your own

Growing your own fruits and veggies is one of the most effective strategies to spend less on food. There are a lot of low-maintenance vegetables and herbs you can even grow in pots (useful if you’re renting). They don’t need much attention and can save you a fair bit of money. If you like this idea, have a look how a Frugal Dad built a square foot garden for only $40.

Growing your own fruit will take more time, because the fruit trees take at least 2 years to yield crops. I would say this still is worth a try, because the tough times can last longer than that and you have free fruit supply for life. The fruits can be preserved by canning or dehydrating and you will be eating for free all year round.

2. Barter and trade

If your neighbors are growing fruit trees, veggies or herbs you could exchange the fresh produce – apples for lemons, dill for parsley, you get the idea, right?

3. Bake your own bred

I thought that baking bred at home is difficult, takes a lot of time and the outcome is not worth the effort. And I was entirely wrong because it is a simple process that takes 15 minutes of work and the bred comes out of the oven crispy and yummy. But I won’t describe here the whole process because Trent from TheSimpleDollar has done it already, click here to read his article.

4. Brew your own beer.

Join thousands (if not millions) of Australians who already brew their own beer at home. There are complete beer brewing kits available in the large supermarkets (K-Mart, Big W), they even come with a DVD that guides you through the process of brewing.

5. Cut back on takeaways.

Dining out is more expensive than eating in. Switching to home made meals will require some planning ahead, especially from people who are used to relying on takeaways (don’t feel bad, I am one of those myself), but your budget will reflect it right away.

6. Never go shopping for groceries when you’re hungry.

Shopping when you hungry leads to buying unnecessary things and spending more. It is much easier to fight temptations on a full stomach.

But let’s say you’re already at the supermarket and you’re hungry. The best thing would be to get something to eat first – a sandwich from a deli with a bottle of juice, an apple/banana/peach whatever you like, an then go ahead with the shopping.

7. Women, consider breastfeeding.

I will be cautious about this one – not every woman can breastfeed due to various medical reasons and health conditions. However, if this is only a matter of choice for your family, the here is how much you save: the average cost of formula tin is about $23 and it lasts for 3 weeks (then it expires and you need a new tin). Do your sums and see that breastfeeding saves you at least $400.

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Update: this post has made it to the Carnival of Saving Money.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hives Remedy Guru March 6, 2009 at 6:55 am

Your household survival tips are great! One thing that has made a huge difference to our budget and health is changing to almost vegetarian diet. It has dropped our grocery bills by 25-30%!

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