30 September 2009

Tip of the Day 30 September 2009

Walk or use public transport

Don’t waste money on taxis. Try walking or if it’s a distance you’ll be travelling try public
transport. If you’re in the CBD of major cities, look for free public transport. For example Melbourne has the City Circle tram which is free to travel on. It literally circles the CBD and Docklands , a great time and money saver. You don't need to be a tourist to use these free services.

29 September 2009

Tip of the Day 29 August 2009

A Childhood Favourite

Use stale cake to make jelly cakes. Cut the cake into squares and toss in a strawberry or raspberry jelly, cooled until it is quite thick but not set. Cover each piece of cake with the jelly and then toss in coconut.

28 September 2009

Tip of the Day 28 September 2009

Make a Memory Quilt

Instead of purchasing fabric to make a quilt, why not use your old clothing? My grandmother made me a quilt for my 21st birthday that was created using left over fabric and out grown clothes. My mother's wedding dress, scraps from the bridesmaids, my christening dress, the first dress I wore home from hospital, my old school uniforms, band tee shirts, the seat covers from my first car, my high school formal dress: literally every square tells a story that means more to me than any colour coordinated fashion quilt ever could do- and every piece of it was free.

Contributed by Sandi, Brisbane

27 September 2009

Tip of the Day 27 September 2009

An Easy Way to Grow Carrots
Approximate $ Savings: $200

Since I was young I have always been a keen gardener. Unfortunately the soil where I live is very hard and I have had no success in the past at growing carrots. I needed a way to solve this problem as I spend lots of money throughout the year buying organic carrots. My solution was to get old tyres from my local tyre store (they usually give them away for free or a very small charge) and fill them with soil and compost, and then plant the carrot seeds on top. As the soil has been built up, I now have delicious carrots that are very healthy and big. This year I have tried planting potatoes with great success. The tyres in my garden are a great space and water saver also.

Contributed by Annaleise Mahoney

26 September 2009

Tip of the Day 26 September 2009

Kids Craft Workshops

Having three young children school holidays can be quite exhausting and expensive. This block however we went to our local Bunnings and did 3 kids craft workshops each week plus 2 on the weekends all for free. At the end of the activity the kids also got free face painting. After that off to the indoor play area for free play. We even went there over Easter for the free Easter egg hunt. We go to Bunnings in south Oakleigh but check your local Bunnings for what they may offer. My kids can't wait to get there and get crafty.

Contributed by Margaret, Hughesdale

25 September 2009

Tip of the Day September 25 2009

Thinking Outside the Supermarket

Approximate $ Savings: $5 or more per week

Watch for specials at places other than the regular supermarkets. Toys R Us had Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper for $6.99 for a pack of 16. Priceline also has good specials for health and beauty products. Your local chemist most likely stocks a range of soap powders and other household supplies, often at much lower prices than supermarkets. Don't go past department stores for cleaning supplies and toiletries at discount prices either. See if your greengrocer stocks canned goods (tomatoes, beetroot, corn etc) at budget friendly prices. Thinking outside the square (or supermarket in this case) can save you hundreds of dollars a year on basic household staples.

24 September 2009

Tip of the Day 24 September 2009

Fix Chipped China and Ceramics and Save $$$$

Approximate $ Savings: $50 - $100

I recently considered throwing away several decorative wall plates and other ceramic items which were chipped until I remembered my favourite tube of glue - Selleys All Fix. This glue has a thick paste-like consistency and dries to a white colour. I was easily able to fill the chips level with the surface of the plate, and smooth off the surface using my fingers. Once dry, I used felt tip pens to add any necessary colour. The repairs were quick and easy to do and the items are now back on display, with the repairs being hardly noticeable. This method is not recommended for items used to serve food as the glue may not be food safe and if your china is antique or very valuable, leave repairs to the experts. A helpful web link with instructions using a similar method is http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-repair-chipped-china

Contributed by Sharee, Woodville Park

23 September 2009

Tip of the Day 23 September 2009

Borrow magazines from library

How often do you by a magazine and just flick through it out of boredom? Instead of spending your hard earned money on magazines and papers you’ll probably either never really read or just browse and throw away, visit your local library. You’ll find plenty of magazines and papers there, all free to read. Alternatively, find a good quality magazine that you’ll really enjoy and subscribe to it. There are often bonuses and extras that come with magazine subscriptions. And you won’t be tempted by intriguing headlines at the supermarket checkout either.

22 September 2009

Tip of the Day September 22 2009

Biscuit Logs

When making biscuits, make a double recipe and roll one half into a log, slice and then wrap in clingwrap and freeze. These biscuits can then be baked from frozen, and being pre-sliced you can bake one or all of them.

Bargain Bikkies

7 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
500g margarine
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar. Mix vanilla essence with eggs and add to butter/sugar, mixing well. Add the flour. The mixture becomes quite stiff at this stage but make sure all the flour is thoroughly mixed in.

Now comes the fun part – creating different varieties of bikkies.
Divide the dough into portions – 4 is a manageable number – and flavour each portion.


Cornflake: Take spoonfuls (tea- or dessert- depending on how big you want them) of dough, roll into balls and then roll in crushed cornflakes. I have also used the weetbix crumbs from the bottom of the box too.

Choc Chip: Mix ½ cup choc chips through the dough. Then either roll into balls and freeze or bake, or into a log.

Thumb Prints: Roll into balls, flatten out and then poke a dent in the middle of each bikkie with your thumb. Add a dollop of red jam.

Sultana: Mix through a handful of sultanas

Apricot & Almond: Chop a few dried apricots and add with ¼ cup chopped almonds.

Cherryripe: Add a packet of glace cherries, 1/4 cup choc bits and 2 tbsp coconut.

This mixture freezes really well. You can simply flash freeze the individual bikkies and then bag them, ready to bake. Or you can roll the mixture into logs and freeze. Then simply thaw a log, slice and bake.

Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Watch with the choc chip variety that they don’t burn on the bottom – the chocolate melts and may catch on the tray.

This biscuit recipe comes from the Cheapskates Club Recipe File.

21 September 2009

Tip of the Day September 21 2009

Old Make-up Make Great Watercolours

Let the kids use the old make up to draw pictures with (using the lipsticks, eyeliners etc). The powders (like eye shadow, blushers etc) can be used like water colours. Just wet a paint brush and dip in.

Contributed by Rachael, Rivervale

20 September 2009

Tip of the Day 20 September 2009

Make Compost Tea

When you are weeding, fill a bucket about half full of weeds and add water until the weeds are covered. Put a lid on the bucket (to stop mozzies) and leave for 3 weeks. You will have a foul smelling but fantastic fertiliser (for free!) for your plants. Use it diluted in a ratio of about 1 part fertiliser to 4 parts water and water your plants on a weekly basis. It gives back nutrients without any chemical additives and you can make as much as you want.

Contributed by Rhonda, Erindale South

19 September 2009

Tip of the Day 19 September 2009

Challenge Your Kids

Set them a goal to work out some ways to earn money themselves so they can either save it or spend it on the things they want to do. They can go through and find things in their rooms they no longer want and learn how to sell them on eBay. Offer their services doing things like babysitting, mowing lawns, ironing etc. Or they could even go out and get a job. What a great way to start the year. It will also help them to learn the value of money. They will be more hesitant to spend their hard earned cash.

Contributed by Melanie, Dapto

18 September 2009

Tip of the Day 18 September 2009

Union Shopper

If you or your partner is a member of a union, check if your union is a member of "Union Shopper". When you buy anything from appliances to cars to chainsaws, these people can get you great deals. You shop around for what product you want and what the best price is you can get. Than you call these people up and they call you back within 48 hours to let you know if they can get you a better price. We have saved thousands of dollars over the years by buying fridge, dishwasher, chainsaw and even 2 cars through this organization. Our fridge saved us $350 for exactly the same fridge, about $2000 on each car. It costs you only 1 phone call to check with them before you buy.

Contributed by Bianca, Advancetown

17 September 2009

Tip of the Day 17 September 2009

Free Scoops

Save the plastic laundry scoops from washing powder and wash them in the dishwasher to thoroughly clean before use with food. Then use them as scoops (they are roughly half a cup) for rice, pasta, any dry foods that you store in Tupperware containers, animal food, anything that you would usually scoop out - esp. handy for Tupperware containers instead of the expensive scoops that you would usually have to buy to go with them, what's more, if you have extra left over that you are not using they take up very little space because they stack on top of each other very neatly in a utensil drawer.

Contributed by Genevieve, Sutherland

16 September 2009

Tip of the Day 16 September 2009

Sponge Clean Clothes

Dry cleaning bills can be outrageous, especially for business suits and formal clothes. You can cut your dry cleaning costs by only purchasing clothing that can be washed either in the machine or by hand or by treating small spots and everyday wear yourself. You can cut your dry cleaning by at least a third if you sponge your suits and coats yourself. Hang them in the bathroom while you’re showering and let the steam take the creases away. Invest in a good pressing cloth (under $10) and learn how to properly press trousers and jackets.

15 September 2009

Tip of the Day 15 August 2009

Butter Wrappers

Approximate $ Savings: A few cents here and there, but is all adds up

When you use packaged butter, keep the whole wrapper in your fridge door instead of throwing it away. You can use them to line cake tins and to grease the inside of tins instead of buying non-stick greaseproof paper or paper towel. I even use the paper on top of the margarine for greasing. My mother always did this; I thought it was something everyone did, until a girlfriend asked why I had a bunch of old butter wrappers in my fridge door.

Contributed by Fay, Broadford

14 September 2009

Tip of the Day 14 September 2009

Re-Invent Second-hand Jewellery and Save on New Beads

The latest craze seems to be making your own jewellery. When buying beads, clips etc it can be very expensive from the bead shops. I now go to second hand clothing stores such as Lifeline, the Salvation Army etc and buy very cheap second hand jewellery. I then dismantle the items and reinvent my own fabulous necklaces, earnings bracelets etc.

Contributed by Robyn, Redland Bay

13 September 2009

Tip of the Day 13 September 2009

Stop Snails in Their Tracks

Rub Vaseline around the base and top edged of plant pots and seedling trays to keep snails at bay. The slimy little critters can't (or won't) crawl over the Vaseline. The snails are defeated and your pot plants are safe.

12 September 2009

Tip of the Day 12 September 2009

Make Flubber

This is great fun to make and even more fun to play with. Because it involves boiling water, for safety an adult will need to supervise young children while the flubber is being made. It looks great made in bright colours such as lime green, purple, hot pink, fire engine red and sunshine yellow. In a container, put some PVA glue and add a small amount of cold water. Mix it well to thin down the PVA. Add some food colouring. Now, carefully add boiling water, mixing well, a little at a time, until it is thick and resembles play dough. Turn it out and knead it well. Then go have some fun with your flubber!

11 September 2009

Tip of the Day 11 September 2009

Setting Soap

Let your new soap breath for awhile before you use it. Unwrap it and leave the cakes of soap to dry and harden for 4 weeks before using. Dry soap has a reputation of lasting longer as it has hardened. Put it in your linen cupboard amongst the towels and sheets to keep your linen smelling fresh and silverfish and moths at bay while it matures.

10 September 2009

Tip of the Day 10 September 2009

Cold Tea

Don't empty the tea pot down the drain. Cold tea makes an excellent cleaner for wood. Wipe over with a cloth dampened with the tea and then polish dry with a soft, clean cloth. This retains the natural patina of the timber without waxing.

09 September 2009

Tip of the Day 9 September 2009

Coffee Just the Way You Like It

A good cup of coffee is not to be passed up, but it soon adds up to big dollars if you are buying
one or more takeaway coffees a day. Instead of paying $3.20 for your latte, why not invest in a
coffee plunger or even an espresso machine and buy your favourite blend ready ground? Then you can make a cup of coffee just the way you like it any time you like and you’ll be saving heaps. I pay $14.30 for a 200g bag of my favourite blend, freshly ground and get approximately 21 cups of coffee from it, a saving of $48.90 for coffee just the way I like it.

08 September 2009

Tip of the Day 8 September 2009

Plain or Self-Raising?

If you get your self raising flour and plain flour mixed up, put a spoonful of flour in a bowl and stir in enough vinegar to make a thin smooth bend. If the mixture foams and thickens, then it is self raising, if not and the mix remains smooth and thin, it is plain flour.

07 September 2009

Tip of the Day 7 September 2009

The advantages of online shopping for Christmas

It's not too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping, especially if your budget is tight and if you have to send Christmas (or birthday) presents interstate, it pays to check out the prices of online shopping sites before you hit the shopping centres.

The advantages include:
1. often lower freight charges than the postage you would pay
2. some offer free gift wrapping
3.they have specials which regular shops can't beat because of the lower online overheads
4.you don't waste petrol and wear and tear on your vehicle driving to the shops and post office
5.you can shop any time of the day or night without having to find a park or stand in a long queue
6.you can bookmark the sites where you find the best deals so you can compare with shops and find them again if you need to
7.if you've left your shopping to the last minute they usually guarantee delivery before Christmas.
8.most have a free newsletter which tells you about their latest specials

06 September 2009

Tip of the Day 6 August 2009

Natural Bug Spray

Add sprigs of Rosemary to boiling water in a spray bottle and let it cool. You can then use this spray to deter to rid ants and other bugs from benchtops, cupboards etc. Spray the item with the rosemary water and wipe over. Keep a pot of Rosemary growing by doors and windows that don't have flyscreens to keep flies out of the house. It works when you're camping too. A little pot of Rosemary outside the tent flap will keep the flies away.

05 September 2009

Tip of the Day 5 September 2009

Make moving house simple

When moving house, save loads of time and money by planning ahead. Gather up anything that hasn't been worn in recent months or any item that you don't absolutely love, sell the things that are in excellent condition on eBay and get rid of the rest by garage sale. What's left might go to someone needy. The money you make will help pay for the move, it's cheaper and easier with less to move and you move into your new place with more space and only items you love. What a great feel! We made $3000 doing this last time we moved and are doing it again now for a future move.

Contributed by Ronnee Russell

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04 September 2009

Tip of the Day 4 September 2009

Truly Gentle Scrubbers

For scrubbing around the house, such as bathroom or kitchen, don't throw away used socks and stockings that have holes. Roll the sock up, put into the stocking and tie around to make a ball. Use it to scrub bathroom (or anywhere). It's better than any of the mops or cloths from supermarket. It's particularly good for stubborn stain as the stocking can break down the stain and yet is gentle in texture so it won't scratch delicate surfaces.

03 September 2009

Tip of the Day 3 September 2009

Safe Stain Remover

Besides absorbing odours in refrigerators and freezers, bicarbonate soda makes a good scouring powder because of its mild abrasiveness. It removes light soil and stains on sinks, bench tops and stovetops. A paste of bicarb and water onto stained Tupperware type containers will miraculously remove the stain. Mixed with water it makes an all around, light-duty cleaner.

02 September 2009

Tip of the Day 2 September 2009

Buy treats in bulk

Save a small fortune on your morning and afternoon tea treats and snacks by planning ahead and buying them in bulk from the supermarket. Why pay $1.80 for one chocolate bar from the local milk bar when you can buy a pack of 3 for $3.60 from the supermarket? And you’ll save on multi packs of chips, mints and lollies too. At the same time if you don’t bake, pick up your muffins and cakes from the bakery department and freeze them. You’ll still have your treats and desserts and you’ll be saving money.

01 September 2009

Tip of the Day 1 September 2009

Fresh Muffins in Minutes

Muffin batter can be frozen and baked from frozen at a later date, saving you time and energy if you prepare a double or triple batch. Line the muffin tin with the papers, add the batter and put the tin in the freezer until the batter has frozen. Take the papers out of the tin, store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Simply place the filled paper cases in the muffin tin to bake.