31 July 2009

Tip of the Day 31st July 2009

Wrinkle-free ribbons

Don't throw away those beautiful ribbons that come with bouquets and gifts because they are curled up or full of creases. You can use a common, everyday appliance to quickly and easily remove the wrinkles. Simply run a ribbon through a heated curling iron and like magic, no more wrinkles! This is quick and easy for crafters or dressing up a little girl's hair!

30 July 2009

Tip of the Day 30 July 2009

Scuff marks

There's nothing more annoying that scuff marks on a tiled or vinyl floor. They look unsightly and can be a pain to remove.

Here are two simple tricks that really do work, using things you are sure to have handy.

1. Use the pencil end of an eraser to lightly rub over the scuff mark. It should lift right off.

2. Don't have an eraser handy? Easily remove scuff marks from tile or linoleum by scuffing over them with your rubber shoe or slipper soles lightly. You don't even need to take the shoe off to do this one.

And you can prevent scuff marks on your floor by making sure shoes and boots come off at the door.

29 July 2009

Tip of the Day 29 July 2009

Lots of little savings

Most people believe that saving money takes time that they don’t have. It’s simply not true. I can whip up a batch of coconut muffins for just $1.80 in less than 5 minutes. Buying muffins from the supermarket costs $8.94 a dozen, a dollar saving of $7.14 a dozen.

The most savings are made by doing simple, little things that take only a few minutes every day. It’s not doing them once or twice that saves the money, but the constant repetition of lots and lots of inconsequential little things that add up to the huge dollar savings.

Here is my Basic Muffin Recipe:

3 cups SR Flour
1 tspn coconut essence
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup milk powder
1 1/3 cups water
½ cup vegetable oil

Sift flour in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork until just mixed. Put into a muffin pan and bake at 180 for 15-20 minutes. To bake as mini muffins (you’ll get 2 dozen from the mix) bake them for 10 minutes.

To make Coconut Muffins
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
to the Basic Muffin Recipe and follow the instructions as above.

28 July 2009

Tip of the Day 28 July 2009

Spreading the icing around

Every now and then convenience is worth the price we pay and for me buying ready to spread icing is worth the $3 a tub for special occasions. The brand I use most often is Betty Crocker, it's available in vanilla and chocolate flavours and one tub will cover four 20cm round cakes or at least 3 dozen cupcakes if you use this simple trick: empty the tub of icing into a mixer bowl and beat it on high speed with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double the volume, and ice more cakes or cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and fewer calories per serving.

27 July 2009

Tip of the Day 27 July 2009

Craft Project Holder

It never fails I have more than one knitting or sewing project going on at once. To keep all of the yarn, fabric, and needles together I save the plastic bags from linen and comforter sets. The bags are made of a thick plastic and have a zipper and handle. When you want to take the project with you everything is in one convenient package!

Contributed by Lissa Thomas

26 July 2009

Tip of the Day 26 July 2009

Cuttings Turn into a Beautiful Friendship Garden

I can't even imagine how much money I have saved over the years in establishing (and expanding) my garden! We built a small house on a rural block just over 9 years ago. Obviously, it was just a barren paddock when we began. I now have a garden that I am extremely proud of and the entire garden has been grown without spending a cent!! That's my rule! Everything in my garden either grows from cuttings or bulbs given to me by friends and family. Sure, you have to wait longer for the plants to become established, but that's part of the joy of gardening - watching these tiny little 'sticks' turn into gorgeous rose bushes, daisies, lilies and lavender bushes (to name just a few!). I call my garden our "Friendship Garden" because everything in it comes from either my family or my friends. And of course, I LOVE having friends over to my place now to share a coffee before we wander into the garden with a shovel, secateurs and a plastic bag to fill with cuttings and bulbs for them to take home to flourish in their gardens too! (And of course, that means I have to call into their homes for coffee after my cuttings have flowered in their gardens!! Great excuse for a visit!!!) Gardening is a cathartic hobby (and if you do it like I do) its great for a girl's social life too!!! (You would be blown away by the amount of things that can be grown from a cutting!!) So, happy gardening everyone!!

Contributed by Loretto, Bushfield

25 July 2009

Tip of the Day 25 July 2009

Affordable books

Purchasing books can be expensive, but an affordable option to purchase books is to check with your local library to see if they have any older books for sale. My local library has a sale twice a year where you can buy a bag of books for a dollar, which is even cheaper than buying secondhand from a market or book exchange. You can find some beautiful books as well as classics and often some quite recent releases at library sales. It pays to give your library a call to check when they hold their book sale.

24 July 2009

Tip of the Day 24 July 2009

A Great Christmas Gift

Designer T-shirts are a great Christmas Gifts – but the store prices prohibitive. So, why not make your own designer T’s?

Buy a plain t-shirt from a discount retailers and decorate it with some of your creatively and personal flair. Choose from fabric paints, tie dying, laces, ribbons, buttons, and computer generated or store-brought transfers and apply according to the wearers personality.

Encourage your children to help. It is fun and gives you an individual gift they can’t buy. The best part is that each T-shirt should cost you less than $15 each.

23 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 23 2009

Removing wax on carpet

Accidents happen, no matter how careful we are and candle wax on carpet can be hard to remove. Let the wax dry on the carpet. Once it's dry, place an old tea towel on top of the wax and run a hot iron over the towel. Pick up the towel and place a clean area of the towel over the rest of the wax and iron again. Repeat this until all the wax has been absorbed into the tea towel. Depending on how much wax has been spilt, you may need to use more than one towel.

22 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 22 2009

Budget for bargains

Allow a set amount of money each week for 'bargain' buys - extra cheap margarine, soap powder, toilet paper etc. - on top of your grocery budget. This way you will always be able to take advantage of a great buy when you find it, without putting a strain on your budget. If you don't use it each week, save it and you will build up your bargain fund quite quickly.

21 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 21 2009

Storing garlic

To save time when cooking, peel and skin a whole batch of garlic cloves at once and freeze in plastic bags. This gives the garlic a much greater shelf life and it can be used directly from the freezer.

20 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 20 2009

Save a lot of money with a sewing machine

A sewing machine will save you a lot of money. If you are not an avid sewer it's probably best to not get a new one, there are good second hand options: in the paper, Salvation Army op shops etc. Look for a basic machine that you can get to know and get used to it. I am a sewer and sometimes I buy flat sheets at garage sales and make them fitted, you can make your own pillow cases too, very easy, just see how your old ones have been done. With a sewing machine you can do a lot of recycling, your big t-shirts can be altered to your size or kids size. Sometimes I buy fabric from op shops for $1 or $2 that can be made into nice tops, etc. I suggest you go to the library and borrow a book about sewing, that's the way I am learning, and practice every lesson in those books. A sewing machine will pay for itself very quickly, and you will have a lot of fun.
Contributed by Elizabeth, Berkeley

19 July 2009

Tip of the Day 19 July 2009

Tips for a Stress Free Christmas

A great tip for a stress free Christmas is to planning ahead of your shopping time. Make yourself a list of the people and presents you plan to buy and most importantly, your budget for that person. Once you know what you want and the price you want to pay, Christmas shopping is fun. Look through sales catalogues or head to clearance centres where you know you can get a good deal. When you get to the shops, stick to your price plan. Don’t be fooled by advertising and marketing tricks. Remember, a little planning now can give you an enjoyable a happy, stress and debt free Christmas.

18 July 2009

Tip of the Day 18 July, 2009

Get out the door on time

Put an inexpensive battery operated wall clock in the kitchen, bath, bedroom and family room. Now when you stop to do 'one more thing' while you are trying to stay on schedule you will be able to see if you can afford the time. Time yourself to see how long it takes to walk out your door and get to work on 3 different mornings. Then set aside the longest time over the three days for getting ready, out the door and to work on time. You will feel so powerful knowing that you will not be late.

17 July 2009

Free Flowing Nail Polish to the Last Brush Stroke

One way to make those expensive little bottles of nail polish last longer is to store them in the refrigerator between uses. They won't thicken as quickly if they're kept cold, giving you perfect nail cover with every manicure

16 July 2009

Tip of the Day 16 July, 2009

Keeping clippings neat

Ever cut out recipes from magazines or the back of food products, put them somewhere safe and promptly lose them in your kitchen? A great way to keep them all in one place is to take a small photo album with clear drop-in sleeves (you can usually find these at the $2 shop). The recipe clippings are sometimes so small you can fit two, sometimes three, per page. To be really organized you can assign one album per product - pasta, poultry, meat, etc. Keep them neatly together on a pantry shelf where you'll see them and be reminded to try the recipes.

15 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 15, 2009

Buy your morning coffee and save

Approximate $ Savings: $365/year

I save money by buying my own homemade coffee! I am hopeless at putting money away for a rainy day, then I had an idea. I cannot function without my morning coffee, so I have put a tin next to the coffee jar, and have to put $1 in the tin before I make my first coffee. I always manage to find $1 in change laying around the house, so instead of it disappearing into thin air, the dollar goes into my coffee tin, helping me to save at least $365 dollars a year, and it is very helpful toward those Christmas expenses! Of course if your partner also enjoys his morning drink, get him to pay, doubling the cash savings.

Contributed by Nicole, Fulham Gardens

14 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 14 2009

Handy mash from leftovers

When you have left over mashed potatoes from a meal, scoop the potatoes into small balls, place them on a cookie sheet and put the sheet in the freezer. Once completely frozen place them in a labelled and sealed freezer bag. When making potato soup (or any other cream style soup) use the potato balls in the soup to give a creamier, thicker texture. You can use a melon baller to make small, bite sized potato snacks. Just roll in breadcrumbs and shallow fry until golden.

13 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 13 2009

A use for teabag dividers

I buy teabags in a box of 100. The teabags are in the box in nice little rows with 3 x rectangular pieces of rather good quality white glossy cardboard separating the rows. Ever since I can remember, when I open a new box of teabags I keep these pieces of cardboard. They make great bookmarks (as is or decorated) and I often use them a gift tags for presents. Just punch a hole in one corner and tie it to the gift with a personalised message written on the card. They can also be used as thread sorters - punch holes down one side, add a snippet of thread and then write the details next to it (if you use pencil then you can re-use them).

Contributed by Deborah, Gawler

12 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 12 2009

How to stop frittering away your hard earned dollars

A good coffee is terrific, though at $3.20 per cup, it puts a serious dent on your budget. Just one coffee per day, (and often you need 2 cafe latt├ęs a day), will cost you $1,168 each year – ouch! You can save over $900 per year by investing in a coffee plunger or an espresso machine and buying your favourite blend of coffee, ready ground. This way you can make a terrific cup of coffee just the way you like it any time you like and you’ll be saving heaps.

11 July 2009

Getting Fit on a Budget

Getting fit can cost you a fortune, however it doesn’t have to be that way. Forget the fancy fitness attire and shop around for some genuine bargains on your fitness gear and shoes. Look to pick up end of lines, seconds and even second hand things for a fraction of the price. Most cities now have discount chains and factory outlets where you can buy top brand shoes for $50 - $80 instead of $150-180. Likewise the major department stores offer clearance and discounts at various times of the year. You can often receive 10 – 20% of the normal price by shopping at Big W or K Mart, especially when they have their sales. Myers and DJ’s have great clearance sales which include sports gear every 6 months. The dedicated sports stores have sales and are often useful to find clearance and end of line discounts.

10 July 2009

Tip of the Day 10 July, 2009

Leftover pizza? Re-heat it for a quick snack!

Leftover pizza can become soggy and unappetizing if it's warmed in the microwave and it dries out and becomes like cardboard if it's reheated in the oven. For perfect re-heated pizza every time, try this simple method. Simply heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick fry-pan on top of the stove, over a medium to low heat and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza or dried out cardboard base. It really works, try it next time you have leftover pizza.

09 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 9, 2009

Easy Glider

To keep the zipper on heavy jackets and jeans in tip top shape and to prevent it from sticking, run a bar of soap up and down both sides of the zip after each wash. The zipper will glide easily, preventing tugging when it gets stuck. No more tugging means no more broken zips. A side benefit is the ease of zipping for littlies and those with arthritic fingers.

08 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 8, 2009

$5 Here, $5 There Really Adds Up

When my daughter was getting married a couple of years ago I didn't know how I was going to afford a really beautiful Mother of the Bride outfit. So I decided that I would try to not spend the $5 notes that came my way as change from breaking a note for another purchase. It worked. Whenever I got $5 as change I would put it in a separate purse and forget about it. Well they really started to add up pretty quickly. Within a few months I had a few hundred dollars. When I went shopping for my outfit I ended up finding a truly beautiful outfit for just over $300 dollars and only had to add $25 to what I had saved in $5 notes. It saved me having to put my purchase on credit card and pay back over several months, not to mention the interest that would have been added as well. So I still save my $5's. It's great for Christmas presents, birthdays, and holidays. Now I never spend my $5's until that special time that I've been saving for.
Contributed by Dianne Park

07 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 7, 2009

Terrific Tacos

Have the perfect taco shell every time with this simple tip. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Once the oven has reached 200 degrees, switch it off and immediately drop your taco shells over the oven rack, so they are hanging down. Close the door and leave 10 minutes. Perfect taco shells, ready to be filled and enjoyed.

06 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 6, 2009

Coin Bags Ideal for Keeping Cottons Clean

I am an avid cross stitcher. Instead of buying an expensive thread box and cards to keep my threads separate, I use the plastic money bags from the bank. I write the cotton number on the outside of the bag and it can fit more than one strand of the same colour in it.
Contributed by Rebecca, Culcairn

05 July 2009

Tip of the Day July 5, 2009

Keeping herbs fresh

When storing your herbs in the fridge, wrap them in a damp tea towel and store in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. This keeps them fresh for days and they don`t wilt at all as they would in a glass of water.