31 October 2009

This Old Wives' Remedy Really Works

If you have a stubborn splinter that you just can't get out, try this old wives' remedy. Make a paste of soap and sugar and put it over the splinter. Cover with a bandaid and leave overnight. Next morning when you take the bandaid off the splinter will lift out with it. Works like a charm and costs practically nothing.

30 October 2009

Tip of the Day 30 October 2009

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and know what you're going to buy so your grocery shopping trips will be short and sweet -- under 30 minutes if at all possible. If you linger longer, it will cost you. Market surveys indicate shoppers spend an extra 50 cents each minute for every minute over 30 spent in a supermarket.

29 October 2009

Tip of the Day 29 October 2009

Organized Storage Stops Double Up Shopping

If you have a storage problem try installing another shelf in the wardrobe if there is room above the existing shelf. Add a shelf at the bottom or a half shelf. Or put drawer units at the bottom. Or stack see-through boxes. By having things stored properly, you will always be able to find them. If you can find them, you won't double or triple up because you don't know where to put your hand on them!

28 October 2009

Tip of the Day 28 October 2009

Plan Early for the Best Savings

If you would like a summer holiday, start planning early in the year, saving a little towards it each week. Shop a season ahead for basic clothing items. When entertaining, start buying extra goodies a few at a time a few weeks before hand. By doing this, the impact on your budget won't be as sudden and you'll be less inclined to impulsively pull out the plastic!

27 October 2009

Tip of the Day 27 October 2009

$2 Dinner

1 sheet of puff pastry
4 eggs
1 dollop of cream
Shredded cheese
Diced Ham
Spring onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Line a quiche dish with the pastry and par-bake it for 5 minutes and mix all of the other ingredients together and pour in the pastry. Cook in the oven until the top is golden brown and is firm to the touch.

Contributed by Kathryn

26 October 2009

Tip of the Day 26 October 2009

Making a Magnetic Photo Frame

Recycle promotional magnets by spray painting them, then cutting out the middle to make a picture frame for your refrigerator. They are the ideal size for those little 'extra' pictures that come with school photos - just perfect for Granny to have on her fridge.

25 October 2009

Tip of the Day 25 October 2009

Get the Watering Right

Gardens need 30ml (an inch in imperial measurements) of water a week. But how do you know low long to water to get that amount? Put a can, a pot or a glass under your sprinkler and see how long it takes for the container to collect 30ml of water.

24 October 2009

Tip of the Day 24 October 2009

Car Organizer

It may sound simple but it really works, especially if you have young children. Hand a shoe organizer over the back of the front seats in the car and use it to keep the back of the car tidy and clutter free. The pockets are deep enough to hold drink bottles and pencil cases and wide enough for books and small toys.

23 October 2009

Set a Bargain Budget

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.

22 October 2009

Tip of the Day 22 October 2009

Natural Air Freshener

For a natural, non-toxic room deodoriser try this mixture. Place 6 peppermint tea bags in a glass of cold water. Sit it on a sunny window sill to steep until the tea is very strong - about half an hour. Then squeeze the tea bags into the tea, pour it into a spray bottle and top up with cold water. You can now safely spray your cupboard doors, bench tops, sinks even around the pet bowls for a lovely fresh, clean scent. And without poisoning the family or the animals.

21 October 2009

Tip of the Day 21 October 2009

A Personal Loan from Savings

"I borrow from my savings account when I am short rather than use credit cards. I divide the amount by ten, multiply by twelve and start making payments for a year. I pay myself 20% interest and my savings account is growing fast."

Contributed by Gordon, Beecroft

20 October 2009

Tip of the Day 20 October 2009

$2 Dinner Tuesday

Zucchini Slice
400grams grated Zucchini (very cheap when in season).
1 large Onion
250 grams chopped bacon
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup SR flour (lightly packed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs
salt/pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour mixture into a well greased slice baking dish and bake in a moderate oven for 30 - 40 minutes. Serve with a side salad. Makes 6 good sized slices!

Contributed by Belinda Walker

19 October 2009

An Ideal Pin Cushion

Use a bar of soap. Makes sewing easier and needle just slides through hard material. This is a great idea if you are taking up school pants, tunics, jeans etc as you are able to easily take small stitches without pulling the fabric.

18 October 2009

Tip of the Day 18 October 2009

Putting Used Coffee Grounds to Ground

Composting is the most well known use for old coffee grounds. You can add your grounds, filters and even used tea bags right onto your compost pile. As they decompose, they will add nitrogen to your compost. You can also add your old grounds directly into the soil around your plants, or in your flowerpots. The old coffee grounds will increase the acidity of the soil so you'll want to be careful about the amount that you use.

17 October 2009

Tip of the Day 17 October 2009

Bag the MP3 Player

MP3 players are almost as prevalent as mobile phones and they are just as sensitive to dust, sand and water and often more expensive to replace so when you go to the beach, river or lake pop your MP3 player into a ziplock bag, leaving the cord for the ear buds trailing out and zip it shut. You'll be able to turn it on and the dust, sand and moisture will stay out.

16 October 2009

Tip of the Day 16 October 2009

Alternative Grocery Stores

You can save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping at the lower-priced food stores. Convenience stores often charge the highest prices. Don't be put off grocery and cleaning items at the discount shops, often the quality is equal to or even better than the more expensive regular supermarket items.

15 October 2009

Tip of the Day 15 October 2009

Underbed Storage Keeps Bedrooms Organized

If you want to use the space under the beds for storage, but can't afford the plastic bins, try this. Attach wheels to old drawers and use them instead. Look for old drawers in op shops, or at hard rubbish time. Don't hesitate to knock on the door and ask if you can have the drawers - most people are happy to let them go to a good home. Give them a clean up and line them with scented paper if you are going to store clothing etc. They are great for small toys, Lego, pencils and colouring books etc. And as a bonus, the kids are more likely to tidy up if they can just push the 'mess' under the bed!

14 October 2009

Tip of the Day 14 October 2009

Money Myths & Truths

Myth: Buying things on sale is a great way to save money.

Truth: Buying things on sale is a way to spend less money, but it has absolutely nothing to do with saving money

13 October 2009

Tip of the Day 13 October 2009

$2 Dinner Tuesday

Spanish Rice
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tin tomato soup
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ cup grated cheese

Brown onion, add curry powder. Cook 1 minute. Add tomato soup. Stir in cheese. When melted add the rice, heat through and serve immediately.

Leftovers can be rolled into croquettes or patties, dipped in crumbs and fried.

11 October 2009

Soft Scrap Stuffing

If you knit, crochet, or do any type of work with washable yarns, save your little bits and pieces and use them for stuffing in dolls, pillows or stuffed animals. It's free stuffing and makes your projects 100% washable!

Tip of the Day 11 October 2009

Fertilize with Ashes

Spread the ashes from your winter wood fires around your garden beds. The ashes will build the soil up, adding potassium. It's the easiest and cleanest way to get rid of ashes and best of all it's free.

10 October 2009

Tip of the Day 10 October 2009

Camera Stable Table

Fill a small ziplock bag with rice and keep it in your camera bag. It makes a great stable surface to rest your camera on when you want to take time exposure photos or you want to be in the photo and don't have a tripod. Just put the bag on a stable surface and rest the camera on top. Voila, a steady camera and a steady shot!

09 October 2009

Tip of the Day 9 October 2009

Frugal Gourmet

Don't be tempted to scrimp on your favourite foods and brands at the supermarket just to save money if it means you won't enjoy your meals and will be tempted to skip them and eat out instead. You'll be wasting money on the food you don't eat and on eating out. Instead employ some savvy shopping strategies and buy the cheese, meats, dressings and occasional treats that you like when they are on sale and enjoy them at home. You'll save money, time and energy and really enjoy your Cheapskate style meals.

08 October 2009

Tip of the Day 8 October 2009

Laundry Savers

One of the biggest spends on cleaning products is laundry items: washing powder, fabric softener, ironing aids, stain removers and such. You can still have stain free, clean and soft laundry without spending hundreds of dollars a year on these products. Just try our homemade versions and see for yourself.

Cheapskates Washing Powder
1 bar soap, grated
1 cup washing soda (Lectric Soda)
1/2 cup borax

Mix together and store in a sealed container. Use 3 scant teaspoons per load for a top-loader and 1 scant teaspoon per load for a front loader. You can use up the small slivers of toilet soap you collect if you like, ordinary bath soap or laundry soap. This recipe is ideal for using up all the leftovers you collect in the family bathroom. This detergent won’t produce masses of suds, but it will get your clothes clean.

Give the washing powder an extra boost if you wash really dirty or greasy clothes by adding one small box of bi-carb soda to the mix.

Pre-wash Stain Remover

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup ammonia
1/2 cup shampoo
1/2 cup water

Mix together and pour into a spray bottle. Spray spots and stains and wash as usual. This is especially good for greasy and food stains.

Ironing Aid

1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup water

Mix the cornflour and in a little of the water to make a paste. Stir into the remaining water and slowly bring to the boil. Cook until cornflour has dissolved. Cool and pour into a spray bottle. If using on dark clothes, spray and then gently wipe over with your hands to prevent flaking.

07 October 2009

Tip of the Day 7 October 2009

Keep the Change (and watch your savings grow)

As silly and as simple as it sounds, only spending notes and saving coins can grow your savings by hundreds of dollars each year. Except for the coins needed for parking meters and ticket machines on public transport (and keep these in a separate container in your bag or the car) save every coin you get. Between you and your partner you will save an amazing amount of money over the year. Of course it's not saved until it is safely in a savings account so total it and bank it every month. You'll be saving virtually without even trying.

06 October 2009

Tip of the Day 6 October 2009

$2 Dinner Challenge

With the cost of basic food items rising continually having some tasty, nutritious budget conscious meals that help stretch the grocery budget is a necessity. The Cheapskates Club has a forum thread full of great ideas for $2 meals. These meals cost a total of $2 and serve 4 so they fit in really well with the Bare Bones Grocery Challenge too. If you'd like to join us in the $2 Dinner Challenge, login and go to the forum.

Today's $2 Dinner is Veggie Crisper Fried Rice, a simple dish to get you started on your $2 Dinner Challenge.

2 cups rice @25c
1 onion @20c
1 egg @20c
soy sauce @10c
1tbsp vegetable oil @10c
Veggies from the crisper - old carrots, peas, corn, capsicum, celery, spring onion, etc

Two hours beforehand cook rice in boiling water. Drain and lay on a tray in the fridge to dry. Dice veggies into small pieces. When ready to cook, heat oil in wok or heavy based fry pan. Saute veggies two minutes, being careful not to brown them. Remove from pan. Whisk egg and add to pan. Cook 1 minute without stirring, turn and cook 30 seconds. Remove from pan and shred. Add rice to pan and toss to heat through. Add veggies and shredded egg and toss through rice. Turn heat down to low and warm through. Season with soy sauce before serving.

Contributed by Anne F.

Please share your $2 dinner ideas with us, the more we have the more we save.

05 October 2009

Homemade Soap

Have you ever tried making your own soap? It can be a lot of fun, with the added benefit of you being able to create a soap to suit your skin. Handmade soaps make lovely gifts too. Wrap a bar in cellophane, tie it off with raffia and add a paper label for a lovely present that is useful and decorative. Good soap needs time to harden, 4 - 6 weeks at least, so start your soap making now to have a supply on hand for those unexpected Christmas gifts you need.

Vanilla and Almond Soap
This soap is great for removing dirt and oil from the skin without drying. Vanilla gives it a delicious fragrance and the ground almonds provide a beautifully textured soap.

1/3 cup whole almonds
113.5g castile* bath soap
1/4 cup distilled water
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla scented essential oil

1. Grind the almonds to a fine powder in a food processor or coffee grinder and set aside.
2. Shred the soap and set aside.
3. In a heavy saucepan bring the water to the boil; then reduce heat to a simmer. Add bath soap and mix until dissolved.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the almond powder, almond oil, and vanilla fragrance oil, stirring until well blended.
5. Spoon the soap into a mould and let set for five hours or until hardened.
6. Use it in the shower!


Contributed by Korina, Woy Woy

Note: Castile these days refers to the type of soap. First made in Spain from olive oil, it gets it's name from the region, Castilla. Castile soap is olive oil based, very soft and gentle and suitable for the most sensitive of skins. You'll find it at your health food shop, good soap shops or online.

04 October 2009

Tip of the Day 4 October 2009

Give the Lawn a Feed

Feed your lawn with this easy to make lawn food and you'll have lush, green grass for the coming summer. This recipe makes a lot of lawn food, you'll need a large container to mix it in. A 20 litre spray pack is ideal for spreading the mixture over your lawn, it's not too heavy to carry and it will cover a reasonable area before you need to refill.
1 can beer
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup ammonia
1 cup dishwashing liquid
1 cup mouthwash
80 litres water
Combine all the ingredients. Spray generously on lawn, preferably early in the morning.

03 October 2009

Tip of the Day 3 October 2009

Fading Travel Plans

Don't be afraid to use a pen to mark out your travel route in street directories or on maps, your own or those supplied by hire car companies. Go to your local craft or fabric shop and pick up a fabric marking pen, the type used by quilters and dressmakers. These pens contain disappearing ink, so after a few days the marks you've made on your map will simply disappear.

02 October 2009

Tip of the Day 2 October 2009

Use Gift Cards to Stay on Budget

If you have trouble sticking to your grocery budget try this trick. Once a month buy a gift card at your supermarket to the value of your grocery budget for the coming month. Each time you shop, use the gift card to pay for the groceries. As the balance decreases, you'll be aware of how much is left in the grocery budget to do you until the end of the month. Seeing the shrinking balance will help you track your grocery spending for the month and keep you from over-spending the grocery budget. You can apply the same principle to petrol and any other regular fixed budget categories you may have. You'll also be more inclined to stick to your budget because the gift cards can generally only be used at specific stores.

01 October 2009

Tip of the Day 1 October 2009

Personalised Freebies Galore!

Looking for personalised address labels, key rings (for the kid's schoolbags), personalised stationary etc? Then visit www.vistaprint.com.au and check out their free stuff. Sign up to their newsletter to get regular updates on more free stuff as soon as it becomes available! Vistaprint offers lots of free items and only charges you postage on those items that they offer free of charge. They give 3 postal options and although I've always used the slowest (and cheapest) option I've always received my order within in 10-14 days. My first order was for address labels which I personalised using a massive range of designs. I've since ordered address labels for my mum, Christmas address labels, really cool and original personalised key rings for my daughter's schoolbag, business cards (personalised to give to friends and acquaintances as address cards), hats, t-shirts, calendars, fridge magnets and christmas cards and I've only ever paid for the postage. With Christmas not that far away, doing your shopping at Vistaprint can save you money, time and energy.

Website: www.vistaprint.com.au