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Budgeting for the budget

Funny story: On Saturday we went to watch the rugby at Emirates Lions Park. It was loads of fun. On our way there I suggested to David we full up the bus, he was pretty confident we would be fine. Getting out of the stadium can be pretty stressful so we were focused on that and not on the petrol light that was now on. We have pushed the limits a few times so we weren’t overly concerned. About 600m from home David whispers “we have run out of petrol.” I thought he was joking, the car was still going and he seemed very calm. We had in fact run out of petrol but somehow we managed to free wheel over an intersection (safely), around the corner and into our complex. I think we found it as amusing as we did because we knew we were so close to home.

It is the first time in my life I have ever run out of petrol. EVER.

That story isn’t really related to the point of this post but I am hoping some of you can share some of your “running out of petrol” stories with me. 


I am pretty sure everyone has, in some way or another, felt the effects of our struggling economy. I have always used sugar and mince as my markers of whether or not prices are increasing. When I was a student we used to get mince for R26.99 p/kg – it is around R60 p/kg now (on special and you have to be careful to check what is in it.). Sugar used to be R18.99 for 2kg not so long ago, like less than a year ago. It is now over R30.

It is pretty depressing if you it and think about it so I don’t. I focus on trying to get as much bang for my buck instead.

Point me to the points. Sign up for points everywhere. I have PnP points, Clicks points, eBucks, Discovery points. I even have a Starbucks card and I go there like once in a blue moon, but I have the card. It does take a little longer to build up points with some of the stores but it does all add up. If you are with MTN you can earn points there too and then use those points for data – this is really cool for the kids. Budget|HarassedMom

Checkers reduced food. I have started shopping at Checkers more now, mainly because it is convenient. They mark down all their fresh produce that is due to expire that day. I started buying a few things but now I buy so much of our weekly produce from the reduced stuff. My kids inhale fruit and Jack can eat a whole bag of raw carrots in an afternoon so nothing has time to go off. 

Woolworths burger night. Every Friday Woolworths have their burger patties on special and they have a 12-pack which is perfect for us. Woolworths actually has some really great specials on, you just have to keep checking. 

Buy what you need not what you think you may need. I only buy things when they finish, so instead of buying tomatoes because they are nearly done, I wait for them to finish. Often we actually don’t even need whatever it is that finishes. 

Make it yourself. I try to make as much of my own stock as possible. It is so simple to do, healthier and saves on stock cubes or whatever you use. I have also started making our own bread and while I think it does actually work out slightly cheaper, the gluten free loaf definitely does. 

Save water! I have written about this before but we have saved almost R400 a month by introducing the water saving tips I wrote about. The same applies to electricity. It requires a little effort but small changes can make a big difference.

Do it yourself. Somethings are nice to have done by someone else but you can really do them yourself. Washing your car, cleaning your garden, walking your dog. It may take some planning and compromise but really you can do these things yourself.


Petrol is one of my biggest expenses. I shared some of my fuel saving tips in this article. David and I check our diaries and if I have a meeting in the same area as he does we drive together.

Get the most out of your medical aid or insurance. We are on Momentum medical aid and have signed up to Multiply. We maximise the points system they have and are currently on their top level so we get 50% off flights on Mango, which for us makes flying affordable. If I get to the gym 16 times in the month we get R1000 back into our med aid savings (so does David, so each month that is R2000 into our med aid savings). We get 80% off movie tickets. Discovery has similar benefits. I know many people think these are just sales gimmicks but used right you can also benefit. We also have a benefit on our insurance that allows for a certain amount of plumber and electrician call outs.  

Stash the cash. This isn’t really a budgeting tool but is the coolest app I have just started using to save. It is from Liberty and the aim is to encourage people to save. 

What are some of your budgeting tips?

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  1. 22 May, 2017 / 9:33 am

    We also use our UCojnt rewards, and I have bought groceries yesterday with SnapnSave, a very cool app!

  2. 22 May, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Great list. i like the Woolies tip and Momentum’s features. Yesterday was kids eat free at Dros (Sundays). One adult per kid. Kid under 12 gets meal free. i had a R66 burger.

  3. 22 May, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    I lost my mind last month and went on a crazy spending spree. This month, I’m going to have to take it easy and make the budget stretch…
    Some of these sound like good ideas. I used to have the SnapnSave app but deleted it because it was a schlepp & would often reject the slips I tried to upload. I may look into reinstalling it. Definitely going to check out Stash the cash.
    MeeA recently posted…Protected: Daily GrindMy Profile

  4. 22 May, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    You have some great suggestions here. We use snap n save too. It’s a great way to get cash back on the things you buy.

  5. Chantal
    23 May, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Here’s my running out of petrol story, it’s only happened once to me (and I wasn;t the driver of course, so not my fault)

    I was dating a guy, Mark, in 2012, he rang me up one morning in a tizz asking for help because he had been out the night before and couldn’t find his wallet and a drug dealer had his cell phone which he needed to retrieve, he had used it as collateral for some coke as he didn’t have the cash on him. So he picked me up from work and used my cell phone to call him, drove to a petrol station off a freeway to wait for him, waited about fifteen minutes and Mark gets paranoid, and says we must leave, get back on the freeway and drive for like five minutes max and we break down, who breaks down after sitting in a petrol station for 15 minutes lol. So I called a guy I know and he came and saved us. Oh and Mark found his wallet in his golf bag in the boot during the course of the day, and we made another plan with the dealer and got his phone back too 🙂

    • Laura-Kim
      23 May, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      Oh lol Chantal!!! I hope that was the last of Mark for a number of reasons 🙂

      • Chantal
        24 May, 2017 / 7:09 am

        LOL yes, he had too many issues 🙂

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