30 July 2007

Weekend roundup

Hello Cheapskaters it's a new week and it's going to be fantastic, I have already had some great money, time and energy savings (and after last week I needed them too).

It was Hannah's birthday on Friday so of course we had to produce the traditional birthday cake, large enough for the class and all the staff. With all the running around I was doing already and facing the funeral on Friday afternoon I simply couldn't face baking a birthday cake, even one as simple as our Favourite Chocolate Cake . I knew that buying one would be expensive but Hannah looked so sad when I suggested icy poles instead. Then I remembered a discount cake outlet – Factory Direct Cakes. They are one the way to my mother's and I was driving past on Thursday anyway so I called in.

I am so glad I did. They had the perfect birthday cake all ready for me to buy and it was only $18. Now I know that if had ordered this cake from Michels or another bakehouse it would have cost me at least $48 (I've priced them before when I've been feeling a tad lazy). I was so thrilled. I also picked up 12 cheesecakes for $20. They are seconds but with my hungry hoard they won't notice that the piped cream is crooked. That equates to just $1.66 each – even cheaper than generic from the supermarket! Into the freezer they have gone for easy desserts and take-a-plates.

Saturday night the house was filled with sleeping bags, mattresses and lots of giggling girls in PJs. Did you know that 12 year old girls can eat more pizza than 16 year old boys? Luckily homemade pizza is cheap and quick to make. After tea they settled down, snug in their sleeping bags to watch Annie and Annie II on DVD. We only had to roar at them a dozen times before they went to sleep (ok they weren't that bad and everyone was asleep by midnight, including me).

We had hotcakes for breakfast and I think they were all impressed that they were just like the McDonald's hotcakes, only in a seemingly endless supply. If you haven't tried the hotcake recipe yet, give it a whirl. It's really easy and really yummy. While you're in the kitchen try the pancake syrup too. It is better than McD's and way cheaper than any bought syrup.

Sunday afternoon we went rollerskating. It was so much fun and the girls had a ball. If you are looking for a birthday party idea this one is the easiest and best value for money I have ever found. You can book a party for just $11/head for 2 ½ hours of skating, skate or blade hire, food and a stack of vouchers for free admission and lessons for each child and the birthday child receives a gift. Best of all was I had to do nothing but take lots of photos and leave the mess behind.

Made up another batch of washing powder this morning. It cleans the clothes so well, I can even use it on Wayne's work clothes and know they are clean. And without added fragrance it doesn't upset my asthma or make the kids itchy, always a bonus.

Petrol was down to $1.15/litre this afternoon and it's only Monday. Hopefully when I fill up tomorrow it will be even cheaper. Every little bit helps. I'll add the change to the money tin. It's getting heavier everyday. I can't wait until it's time to open it.

Dinner tonight was mock Continental Pasta & Sauce. There was some chicken left over from dinner last night and I was a little pushed for time. I was tempted to call Wayne (on the mobile cha ching cha ching) and suggest he bring home fish and chips (cha ching, cha ching, cha ching) but after I found the chicken and had a little think it was just as easy to whip up curried chicken and noodles and much, much cheaper as all the ingredients were in the house. I had put a loaf of bread in the breadmaker earlier so we had lovely fresh bread with our dinner. It was just delicious and there is enough leftover for my lunch tomorrow :).

We didn't get a chance over the weekend to have our chat about funeral plans. We were too busy, well that's what Wayne told me anyway. I fully intend to have this chat with him. I'll just have to pick another time.

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