From the teenager who stored her dirty clothes under her bed, Katrina Springer has become Australia's own super saver, blogging to her half a million followers about organisation, cleaning and saving cash.
‘I wasn’t born organised,’ the Gold Coast mum-of-three tells New Idea. ‘When I had twins, and then my daughter two years later, we had a family of five on one income and I realised being organised saved me money.’
Some of her most popular tips and tricks are ways to save cash at the supermarket.
‘I always advise to meal plan at the start of the week and then shop just once for what you need,’ she says.
Instead of shopping around in different supermarket chains Katrina, 40, just visits one store and knows it back-to-front.
‘It means I know which aisles to skip,’ she says of her shopping process. ‘So no getting tempted by the lollies and chips.
‘I can also write my shopping list in order, which makes it quicker, and I also know they have the cheaper items on the bottom shelf,' she adds.
But how does she manage to avoid the quick pop in for bread or milk, and the inevitable extra purchases that come with that?
‘Freezing bread is such a lifesaver,’ she says. ‘I am a self-confessed bread snob and I love a fresh loaf but, if you freeze the bread the day you buy it, I really can’t taste the difference once it’s defrosted.’
It makes kids’ packed lunches a breeze, too. Katrina explains she makes sandwiches when the bread is still frozen and then it defrosts in the lunch box ready for eating at midday.
Another money saving tip? She purchases milk in bulk.
‘Buying three litre bottles is cheaper and I buy a few because it lasts 10 or so days,’ she says.
Katrina’s simple tips on how to store fruit and vegetables again mean saving cash because these perishable items will last longer and there’s no need for top-up supermarket visits.
‘When I get home from the shops I chop all the vegetables up and store them in plastic containers. They last longer than if I leave them in plastic bags,’ she explains.
She cuts and portions up the watermelon and grapes, making easy snacking options. She pops carrot and celery sticks into jars of water to keep them fresh.
‘I want my kids to eat healthily and this stuff is cheaper than pre-packaged biscuits and chips,’ she says.
Another simple thing to help you save cash is to buy at the deli.
‘Things like chicken breast, bacon and sliced cold meats are cheaper than if you buy them pre-packaged,’ she says. ‘It also means you get exactly how much you want so there’s no wastage.
Katrina sees things like pre-grated cheeses and herbs bought in the supermarket as an extravagance and happily grates and grows her own!
‘Buying some seedlings at Bunnings is the same price as a packet of basil or parsley and they last for ages.
'I'm no green thumb but even I can keep herbs live,' she laughs.
Buying in bulk is another important part of her mantra and Katrina advises everyone to have an area at home to store a few extra items.
‘I never buy laundry powder or dishwasher tablets at full price,’ Katrina says. ‘If they’re on half price I buy three or four. The same with toiletry items like mouthwash and toothpaste and when I had kids in nappies I’d buy six boxes at a time if I found them on special.’
Katrina’s pantry is also super organised so she can see at a glance what needs to be replenished and what she has lots of. ‘It’s a simple way to keep saving,’ she says.
With teenage children now, what started as a few tips for her friends to share has become an online sensation. Katrina loves blogging as The Organised Housewife, helping other Aussies save cash wherever they can.
Whatever she’s blogging about, though, she’ll be doing it more quickly and she jokes that after the weight loss she’s buzzing around the shops now.
And, as she teaches her readers, the less time you can spend in the supermarket means the smaller amount of cash you spend there, so it’s a win-win!
See more in this week's issue of New Idea, on sale now!