THE PARENTING BIZ – Battling Rising Costs: Extending Your Budget In 2023
It’s 2023 and there have been talks of an upcoming recession, cost of living is going up and consumer spending behaviour is shifting. For some, it’s time to cut costs in order to pay the bills.
The family budget has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain disruptions, rising oil prices, and increased demand continue to affect our day-to-day spending, so Biz X is starting the new year with some advice on how to manage your expenses from food, entertainment, clothing and more.
FOOD & GROCERIES
EAT WELL & SAVE MONEY
Food prices show no signs of going back to pre-pandemic levels so how can you cut costs on your grocery bill? Try to review flyers and plan your meals ahead of time based on those sales, and make a list (and stick to it!) to avoid impulse buying.
Look online for ideas about cooking freezer meals for one to two weeks in advance, or even a month.
For families on the go, purchasing prepared meals can save time and money as well.
Chef Zule Ankamah, Owner of Zuleeats, suggests buying or utilizing ingredients that you can use for multiple recipes.
“Plan your meal with what’s already in your pantry and fridge,” she suggests. “Use the same ingredients for two or more completely different dishes so nothing gets wasted.”
For busy families, picking up prepared meals not only saves time, but Ankamah believes selecting a variety of pies (or keeping them in the freezer) that she sells, can also satisfy different palettes at the table.
Swing by Zuleeats at 2760 Howard Avenue (Unit 7) to take home delicious meat pies, sausage rolls, Ghanaian dishes, snacks, and sweet treats. Go online to find more information about their fresh and frozen offerings, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Auntie Aldoo’s Kitchen (Cottam)
“Buying a prepared meal gives you a chance to slow down and spend more time at home with your family,” says Alexandrea Anber-Lumadue, Head Pastry Chef and Owner of Auntie Aldoo’s Kitchen.
Along with saving you time in the kitchen and resisting impulse takeout dinners, Anber-Lumadue points out that shopping at a small business like hers means no long lineups that eat up your valuable time.
As well, her products use local seasonal ingredients so you can support area growers and try new things without driving too far.
“You’re putting money right back into the community,” she expresses.
When it comes to groceries, Anber-Lumadue recommends buying seasonally, buying in bulk when possible, and preparing and freezing food in large quantities.
Savoury pot pies, homemade soups and poptarts are always on the menu at Auntie Aldoo’s Kitchen, 123 County Road 34 in Cottam and their products are sold at select local businesses in the region. Visit their website to shop ahead, order specialty pies and desserts, and check out seasonal items.
The Farm House Market (Amherstburg)
“Everyone suffers from running out of time, with busy lives and kids activities . . . it’s no surprise that dinner is the last thing on people’s minds,” comments Elisa Quaggiotto, Owner of The Farm House Market. “By stocking up on local, pre-made meals that are nutritious and delicious, families can save money, time, and energy on figuring out dinner every single night.”
You can find a large variety of prepared meals and locally-sourced goods at The Farm House Market, 7601 Middle Side Road in Amherstburg.
The choices include local seafood from The Fish Guys, Oven 360 pizzas, Quinlan Farms meats, Picard’s nuts, and Chalice Spice.
To find out what is coming out of the kitchen alongside lasagna, Italian wedding soup, cabbage rolls, quiche, and other ready-to-go meals, check their website.
Schwab’s & Primo’s (Windsor)
“The best way to save money is to purchase in bulk,” indicates Brad March, Owner of Schwab’s & Primo’s.
The full service butcher shop and deli sells a large variety of foods including meats and sausages that can be bundled into a freezer order to save money.
March suggests that if your local butcher does not have a freezer package available, talk to them to get some ideas on bundling.
“Come up with the various cuts you use the most and speak with the butcher at your favourite meat shop to see how you can save money,” March states.
He continues by giving more details on his business: “We specialize in fresh beef, pork, chicken and lamb. We are also well known for our authentic Italian sausage and we also carry a wide variety of sausages, and a few grocery items including desserts, cheese bread and salads.”
Schwab’s & Primo’s is located at 1587 Tecumseh Road East. Freezer orders and weekly specials are listed on their website.
PRE-LOVED IS RE-LOVED
If you have a child who is growing faster than you can do their laundry, or a teen who wants to keep up with the latest fashion trends, you may be making frequent trips to the mall −− and that adds up.
Consider thrifted fashion: it’s eco-conscious, budget-friendly, and a big trend last year that certainly will continue in 2023. (In addition to the two shops listed here in this section please also see the home décor section for information on Thrift On Mill, which also carries clothing and footwear).
Plato’s Closet (Windsor)
Newly opened in Windsor in December 2022, Plato’s Closet carries gently used clothing and accessories that are in fashion and up to 70% off retail prices.
“Check in frequently as our inventory is made up of lots of unique items, so it changes daily,” says Scott Doerr, Owner of the Windsor location with his wife Lisa, who also owns a London location of Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child. “Watch our social media posts for information about events, sales and in store promotions.”
Plato’s Closet also buys used clothing so you can get cash for things you no longer need or your teens have outgrown. Doerr adds that when you bring clothing in to sell, if you plan on shopping in store the same day, you can save the HST.
“If the offer is $20 for us to buy the clothing that you are selling to us, let us know that you have been shopping and you won’t pay tax on the first $20 of your bill,” he notes as an example. “You would pay tax only on the difference.”
Check out the large selection of clothing (women’s size 00 to 30 and men’s size 26 to 44) Plato’s Closet offers, at 7555 Tecumseh Road East.