Friday, May 31, 2013


I love a good bargain.

At the supermarket today I spotted several packets of 7 pairs of undies age 8-10 on sale. $6. 39 a packet. My daughter was in need of new ones so I popped them in the basket. At the checkout however they came out at full price, so I politely queried this. After a quick check of the label on the shelf  the undies came out at the said $6.39 as I thought. I was happy with this, but even happier when the checkout lady told me that their scanning policy was, because they had scanned incorrectly that I get one packet free. Brilliant, cheaper and free.

So I purchased 21 pairs of new underwear for a grand total of $12.78.


You betcha!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eat Less, Save Money, Lose Weight...The Successful Trifecta!

Now I have my wasteful spending under fairly strict control,I want to hone in on what I am still spending that is still superfluous to requirements, even if it falls under the ' sort-of necessity' umbrella.

There are still savings to be made and I have an aim to be so frugal that once I have no debts left, I can still live very simply to build up the savings. The aim is definitely not to pay off debt and then drop my frugal bundle. No way.

So my spending is mainly limited to food and bills for living.

But I do still buy snacks and a little bit of 'lunch out'. Sometimes,depending on schedule,it can be a couple of times a fortnight and even though I use coupons fora two for one, it is still spending more or is $8 for two Subway sandwiches not a rip off?. I wish I could learn to have an opinion.

I do still eat too much and even though my diet is working,less would certainly help with the weight both in kilograms, dollars and portion sizes. I like that triple combo.

I have also had to buy gifts for children, for when my daughter has been to a party or for my nieces.

Is there a way to be frugal and buy gifts when you really can't avoid it and not look like a cheapskate?

That is not to say I spend oodles, $20 is my limit ( or thereabouts) is that OK I wonder? I feel fairly happy with that.I also usually buy  plastic vouchers, so at least the recipient can choose their own thing and there is no chance I am replicating a gift or buying something unwanted.

I am still spending too much on food, but I have to say my ability to bargain shop, and find the times when things are cheaper has improved.

Either way, there are still greater improvements to be made, so I will continue to check everything I buy and consider necessity versus excess.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Story Of $80 & The Hydro Bill

A couple of weeks ago we had a power cut. It simply went on and on. I was beginning to fear for the contents of the freezer. I kept trying to do things until I remembered I needed power to complete the task.

So imagine my surprise when an $80 reimbursement cheque came through the mail last week for the fact we had the power off for so long.

I was gobsmacked to say the least.

As we pay lump sums of money off our bill per fortnight to lessen the amount when the real bill comes, we decided to put this $80 on our regular repayments. That way an even larger chunk has disappeared when the bills comes through the door. Power bills are so big these days that we decided to pay off what we could, as we want to make the pain of the huge bills slightly more acceptable. We do this with our rates as well. We don't notice the money going out fortnightly as much as we did in a lump sum way.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ways To Save For A Down Payment

Ways to Save Up for a Down Payment
If your family is growing rapidly, you may have more stuff than space. The size of your home may have been adequate years ago. But with each additional family member, you might find yourself in cramped quarters. Moving into a bigger house can solve this problem. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Purchasing a house is difficult nowadays, with many lenders requiring a down payment. This isn’t a huge issue if you own a previous home, as you can use proceeds from your sale as a down payment. But if you’re currently renting and interested in buying, here are practical ways to save for a down payment.

Put Aside 10% of Your Income
With any type of savings goal, you need a plan. If you’re looking to purchase a house in the near future, develop a strategy for coming up with the down payment. Some families have had success by putting aside 10% of their income. They basically treat their savings account like another bill. Before they pay their mortgage, their auto loan and other bills, they deposit money into their bank account. Ten percent of your income is an ideal number, but if you can’t afford this much, something is better than nothing.

Skip Vacations
Who doesn’t enjoy an annual vacation? Whether it’s during the summer or a holiday, a vacation creates the perfect opportunity to spend quality time as a family. But if you’re looking to purchase a home, you might consider skipping your annual vacation. Not to say you can’t have fun as a family. Rather than spend thousands of dollars on airfare, hotel, food and other activities, plan mini getaways closer to home. To help keep these getaways cheap and affordable, check promo codes listed at Nerd Wallet and other similar websites.

Use Coupons Whenever Possible
If you have never shopped with a coupon, now is the time to start. Coupons are an excellent way to save on practically everything from groceries to dining out. And with the availability of coupons, you can save hundreds. For example, look for coupons and save on your prepaid cell service, or search for coupon codes when buying online to save on shipping costs. Never enter a grocery store without a coupon, and only eat out if you have a two-for-one coupon. This increases your disposable income, thus increasing how much you can put toward a down payment.

Sacrifice Regular Activities
Like most moms, you probably jump at the opportunity to enjoy a little me-time at your local spa, hair salon or nail shop. Although it’s therapeutic to pamper yourself, too much pampering can cut into your family’s disposable income. You can enjoy your me-time - but do so in moderation. Tally how much you spend on personal services each month. Can you cut back in some areas? If so, deposit the savings into your bank account and you’ll come up with a down payment faster.
Buying a home is a huge accomplishment, but sadly, some people never realize this dream because of their spending habits. Take note of where you can improve money wise, and then strive to build your bank account.

This is a guest post.

Ellie Rubinstein Is My Hero


And on that note I urge you to watch the video LINK HERE of Ellie Rubinstein.

She says all I think. I know Australia isn't there yet, but we are heading in practically the same direction.

Is there any wonder teacher burnout is so prevalent? Yes,we do get good holidays, I know my detractors will fire this back at me, but at some point no-one can deny teaching has changed in so many ways. I have never had a class of 25 children who all wanted to learn, that was my honourly teacher mission to try and achieve that.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday's Stupendous Suggestion

Meet JOHN GRAY and his entertaining and extremely down to earth blog GOING GENTLY .
Living in a small Welsh village with his partner, a menagerie of animals, along with a plethora of home-baked comestibles you must simply stop by.

This fella tells it like is, and he has the cutest dogs ever.

Let me know your suggestions too in the comments,always keen to know more!

Have a great day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Food Waste Friday

This food waste actually looks quite nice.

What is consisted of stale bread, sloppy lettuce and some meat that tasted like dog food.The chooks loved it. It seemed like a lot of waste but the meat just had a smell I couldn't handle,nor could anyone else. So it had to be reassigned.

Not sure why blogger has stretched the picture though. So sorry.

Saturday Night Non-Shopping

More Books Decluttered.
A few Saturday nights ago I was at a little of a loose end. So I decided to go looking on some of my favourite clothing websites. I was a discerning customer,as well as a customer determined not to buy anything. But before long I realised I had filled up a shopping basket with many 'what I thought' were must-haves.

The total came out somewhere near $800.

Holy crap!

When I saw this I quickly shut down the page and logged off the computer. What they hell was I doing? I mean I seriously contemplated buying some,if not many of the items placed in the cart. Despite all I own. Despite all I know. Despite the fact that I don't actually want anything.

I still did this.
One message rings loud and clear for me,simple KEEP OFF THOSE SITES.

Tell me, what is your Achilles heel?

PS Read more of my micro articles at TasmanianMinimalist

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You don’t need as much as you think you do.

I used to think I needed so much. I would have a notebook with a list from a-z and back again of things I wanted. It consisted of clothes, make-up, jewellery and all kinds of glittery items I thought were required for  the so-called *perfect* life.

I would tick one thing off and another would come to it's wake.

It was a never ending battle of obtaining what I thought I needed.

I don't have a list anymore. There's nothing I really want, not anything that can fit on a list anyway. My needs are more ethereal than that. I want good relationships for example and a less quick temper. Oh how I long for more patience. I want more time to read, less time thinking I need to watch TV.

A person really does need very little to live. Food, water and a warm, safe place to live. Whatever that place may be. Not necessarily a house.

The older I get, the less I want. It's a nice place to be.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If I Won The Lottery

I used to fantasize about winning the lottery.

I had a list as long as my arm detailing what I would do with the winnings. That list revolved mainly around me and my immediate pleasures.

But as I have grown older, that wish to be filthy rich has faded quite significantly. I just have no idea what I would do with a bazillion dollars.

I think if I did win a significant amount, what I would do is at least give up work. I would be pretty keen to work in some sort of charity job unpaid. I would give much of my money away to help family and loved ones, just making sure I had enough to live well, but not excessively.

Having some money would be great for my child's education and being able to donate to the RSPCA would also be at the top of my list.

But there would be no spending sprees on clothes, or cars, or world travel. I wouldn't buy a huge house, I love the little easy care one I have.

In fact, other than helping others and changing jobs to one that was more helpful,I am not sure I would change much.

Tell me, what would you change?

Please visit my BUBBLEWS for more simple living reflections and cynical ramblings. I have earned $5 in one day for writing opinions and reading them.This is not a scam, but a legitimate writing site,with potential. Once you write your own articles you will begin to earn money too. Click HERE NOW!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Making Money Online

Want to make some money ? Then click Here

This is not a scam, and you get $1 just for signing up.

It is basically a review site, plus a site where you can submit your own articles too It's worth having a mooch around and making some cash as you go. It was recommended to me by someone I know doesn't recommend things unless they are useful and real. Check it out and let me know what you think.

How To Keep Me On Track

Image MLT

It is an obscenely cold day today.

My bed was so warm and despite nagging backache from laying in a twisted fashion I did not want to get up. My dear daughter scraped the ice off my car for me (she likes doing it as she thinks it looks like snow when it's collected). I have a coffee and cream by my side as I type, but stupid shoes on, not suitable for zero degree temperatures.

Coming to work was the last thing I wanted to do today, staying in with my family would have been oh so much preferable. But in one way, having to get up and come to work is quite helpful. Quite aside from the fact that it pays the bills, it also keeps me on track.

You see I don't want to be doing this job forever. I don't think I have it in me. Being a teacher has changed so much in the 22 years I have been doing it, and whilst kids are the great part, the absolute bullshit and political agenda that we teachers are supposed to embrace completely puts me off. The fact that teaching these days is so much about number crunching or box ticking for some faceless politician who can pit one school against another just does my head right in.

So coming to work keeps me focussed. It reminds me that the sooner I can deal with any debt and create magnificent savings, the sooner I could contemplate others choices. I just couldn't be 65 and doing this...hey I won't be 65 and doing this....Coming to work also reminds me that the money I earn can work for or against me. I can spend it on a wild book spending bender, or on other pointless purchases, or I can pay down debt, I can save, I can earn interest and I can lessen my attachment to things, in order to make the changes sooner rather than later...

What keeps you on track?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Daughter Sets The Decluttering Example

My daughter started off small with a declutter of her art materials

She was happy enough to do so.

So striking whilst the iron was burning, I declared that for each item in her bedroom she disposed of I would give her ten cents. Do you want to know how much I finally had to give her? Though it didn't bother me and it certainly didn't bother the charity shop lady.

Yes, my daughter decluttered $25 worth of toys and outdated books- you do the math!

None of this included any of the items you see above's been a few weeks since she did the cull and not once has she missed anything she got rid of. She loves her new accessible room and is playing with most of her toys, books and bits and pieces.

She spent her earnings on a license for MINECRAFT, thus not bringing anything tangible into the house to re-clutter.

I was so proud of her and have actually noticed that she doesn't ask for anything much anymore.It might be that she knows I am most likely to say 'no', but there has been no sookage ot whingage whatsoever....and that makes me SMILE!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday's Stupendous Suggestion

It's Saturday's blog loving day readers.
Today I am keen as a whistle to share with you the top banana blog of KANELSTRAND

Read here about the Simple Living Chronicles. Lots of food for thought, lots of ideas and good, sound, friendly advice...

Now feel free to share your own wonderful blog finds in the comments.

Friday, May 17, 2013

2 Months Of No Buying

Of course I won't be celebrating with a treat! How peculiar would that be? It is actually two months and one week since I last bought clothes. I haven't even thought about them other than to be consistently getting rid of the ones I already own. I am still finding that there is a place for all my money each fortnight, which begs the question how did I still manage to pay bills and buy all that crap? Aah yes, credit....that thing of yesteryear....well that's going too...thank god.

Onwards and upwards..

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Books O-U-T!

Here are a few more of my decluttered books. I know I am not going to regret getting rid of them, their ships have really sailed, but nonetheless hope someone somewhere gets a lot from them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cook Books-The Bain Marie Of My Life

Cook books. Hmm. Cook book purchases...since my spending diet began I have bought four.

Why is this allowed?

Is it allowed?

Well no- not really BUT I am allowing myself these four purchases and I will tell you for why.

First off, I am a very crapulous cook.

From time to time my daughter goes into raptures about my cooking, but then she's nine and loves my guts. But I am realistic and I know that cooking does not come naturally to me. However, I do enjoy our crock pot and I do enjoy Jamie Oliver. Thus I felt the purchase of books with the said titles and authors would not actually become a dusty shelf space taker upper, I actually thought I would use them. Not only that but I got all four of my books 50% of shelf price and have used them. I have as a concession to these purchases decided to clear our shelves of all diet books. Those I have in abundance and I have to declare that the only two that actually work for me at the low carb or the eat sensibly and not like a farmer diet.

I don't need the apple diet, or the Weight watchers diet or any other sort of diet,so I will clear these and at least not add to the clutter.

Oh and I promise,these books will continue to get a hammering.

The Difference Is Why?

Since my commitment to limit, nay obliterate my stupid spending, I have found one question to be absolutely vital in allowing me to choose wisely.

The difference I have found between spending and not spending is Why?

So for example, if I happen upon a certain thing I think I need,  let's say a new bottle of perfume (unlikely since I don't care for perfume, but anyway) I ask myself why do I think I need it?

Let's consider the talk going through my head............

Francesca the illogical: Hmmm I think I need this über stupid chemical laden fake caka of a bottled smell to spray over myself and bring on an asthma attack.

Francesca the frugal: Why do you think you need to cover yourself in a fake smell?

Francesca the illogical: I will feel so much more attractive if I wear this, I will feel like a classy lady with lots of wealth,  a woman who breezes through life without a care in the world ( apparently this perfume is amaahhhhzing!!)

Francesca the frugal: How does wearing a fake smell make you feel classy? Surely you just smell like someone who is trying to mask something about yourself. You're fooling no one and anyway, why would you want to? You're clean, you shower often, you don't smell like something the cat dragged in, heck I even wear deodorant. Why does a perfume made of nothing more than some sort of unspellable concoction make you think you would be all those things?

Whilst this is going on I am slowly beginning to realize how pointless this want it's not about need at all. It's about trying to convey a picture of me that isn't really true.

Thus I realize actually I am OK. That it would be daft of me to think something pointless and chemical laden could improve me, then the wish to buy is gone.

Money saved.

Self esteem intact.

Smug, smirking, self -satisfied self is restored.

So the difference between a full purse and an empty one really is why?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Smug Cow Or The Benefit Of Having A Teeny Tiny Car

It's 5:42 and I am sat in the autumnal dark in my car whilst my daughter has her gymnastics lesson. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and I am feeling smug.

I have been watching this driver (female) trying for the last five minutes to reverse out of her car parking space without taking a few other cars with her.

Back and forth she goes, I even hear some squawking of breaks and clutch. But it's simple you see, I see the problem. Her car is a monster of a thing. A huge silver gas guzzling waste of money. It's too big for this normal sized car park. Oh there she goes again, she is having to reverse and drive the opposite way out to reverse yet again to be facing the right way.

What a caper.

What a palaver.

Ok, so my car is a nameless, faceless tiny little thing.

And thank god for that. It runs on the whiff of an oily rag, and is so non-descript that should I ever commit a car-based crime, the victim of the crime wouldn't be able to describe my vehicle...other than to say, 'oh average in style, colour and tidgy in size'. My car is the Johnette Doe of cars. She is all paid for and she is a cheap lady to run. She gets me from a to b and back again without stacking a turn and other than the droopy left hand inside door handle, she's in good nick.

But most of all, dear Johnette is a babe to park....

Monday, May 13, 2013

What I Made My Mum

So Mother's Day came and went without any purchasing. However what my daughter and I did do together was to bake a berry and yoghourt cake with fruit couli and share it with my mum and dad.

Doesn't it look ace?

I actually didn't have any, but reliable sources say it was yummy.

The recipe is as follows for all who think they might like to try it....super quick and easy...

Stuff You'll Need

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 mashed squishy bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fruit yogurt
  • 1 cup berries
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix sugar, bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, yogurt and strawberries in another large bowl. Give them all a good squishing
  3. Mix the dry ingredients & wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin
  5. Bake in a preheated 180 degrees c oven until golden brown and poke a skewer in to see that it's cooked enough
  6. Make a couli, 300g of fruit, tablespoon of icing sugar and lemon juice. Mash and whiz up to pouring consistency. Some people strain to get rid of pips, but I like the pips. You might also add cream too.
  7. Trough like a pig! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Some Decluttered Books

Here are a few of my latest decluttered books. There are a quite a lot more,but every time I try to upload the images they upload upside down?? So here are a few to be getting on with....

I am on a mission with my books as I am with my clothes. Only keep what are useful and what I will read again..otherwise read and donate so someone else can have the benefit and so I am not hoarding them for the sake of it...

What have you decluttered lately?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Saturday's Stupendous Suggestion

Today's stupendous suggestion has to be my most favourite yet. Each time I find a new frugal/money blog I am really impressed to hear what people do to save money and achieve their financial goals MR MONEY MUSTACHE along with MRS MONEY MUSTACHE write an amazing site that tells it like it is.

What I like so much about this site is that the authors make no bones about paying down debt and saving. They don't pussy foot around by saying " ooh take your time, just keep at it ". They send some strong unequivocal messages, get rid of the debt, at all costs.

This site is written with humour, a little bit of foul language (which is funny) and lots of damn great ideas. Check this site out, you will be gobsmacked.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Leonie's Latest Workshop

Regular readers know how much I am a fan of Leonie.

Check out her work here...please click the image below OR THIS LINK HERE

Answering Karen's Questions

Believe Me This Isn't True!

I got an email the other day from Karen, a fellow Australian reader.

It's terrific getting mail and comments let me tell you. Keep 'em coming.

She too laments the lack of low cost/ bargain buying food stores over here. And even though Sunday served me up a fair few Woolworth bargains ( dog food reduced to $2.99 from $8.99 and dented tins of baked beans for 0.79) believe me this is a one off thus far.

Karen asked how I managed to keep our food bill down as she felt hers to be considerably higher than ours. The first thing to say is our food shopping and the cost is extremely varied.Some weeks I am just lucky and do happen upon some well-priced items. It also happens that the fruit and veggies we eat in our house are sometimes on special and we eat a lot of them throughout that pay cycle.

I do make our own bread in my Freecycled bread maker, and whilst I can't quite pinpoint the cost per loaf, I know it is significantly lower than a bought loaf, not to mention the distinct lack of preservatives too! I would always recommend a bread maker, it is a great way to save money if your family are bread eaters.

I always buy Home Brand and I always look for the orange labels on items. I can't bring myself to buy expensive items, I refuse. I root through the reduced shelves and have found that beginning there and revisiting the shelves all within one supermarket shop can reap rewards. There are always a few things coming and going on the reduced shelves and they vary within the space of 1/2 an hour. Thus what sits on those shelves at the beginning of a shop and what's there when you are about to leave can really vary.

Growing veggies ( not that we did this much this year) is also a life saver. I also think that we as a race tend to each too much, so by simply cutting down what we eat by a third can also save money.

They are just simple things.Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But it's become personal now and I see it as a challenge!

Every Day Should Be Mother's Day

Source unknown

I love my mum, she's ace.

She is the one who judged me according to her own principles, the one who still tells me off for swearing ( even though I'm 42) she is the one who said I looked 'slutty' in my gothic attire as a teen and the one who tells me when my weight is doing me no favours.She never says 'I told you so' when I buggar up, even when I made some really crappy choices like who the father of my child was going to be!

And d'you know what, that's fine?! ..I may have been mad with her when we locked horns, but so what? She is a mighty fine mum, who loves me, cares about me and only wants the best for me.

So, that aside,I think it's damn weird to have something called a Mother's Day. Why the heck would you have a day for buying a present to show your mum you love her. Realistically every day is mother's day, and father's day come to that. Not some dumb ass day in May when you shell out extra $$$ to 'prove' your love.

I got cross with the TV last night. A stupid Target ad showing what you could get your mother for mother's day. All these cuties saying why they love their mums, and then rewarding them with something from the store. Or the darn jewellery ad, buy your mum some crappy crap made in crappy conditions for crappy pay to show her you love her.

I would like to think that we can show our appreciation more consistently to our parents (if they have been good parents and not bashed us up or treated us like cacka) through our words and gestures. Not through some damn piece of the earth that has been ruined or wasted or mined or child slave laboured.

I hear of people spending hundreds of dollars on days like this. But why do it just for some made up day? Is it to assuage guilt or conscience?If you really want to give a gift,do it whenever...not because it's been dictated to you.

The origin of Australian Mother's Day is


Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
The tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day in Australia was started by Mrs Janet Heyden, a resident of Sydney in 1924. She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor.

This at least sounds kind,altruistic and caring...


The day has since become commercialised. Traditionally, the chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother's Day as the flower is naturally in season during May (autumn in Australia) and ends in "mum", a common affectionate shortening of "mother" in Australia. Men will often wear a chrysanthemum in their lapels in honour of mothers.

And it's the commericalism I object to!

So my darling daughter, you never have to take me out to dinner, buy me some towels in green,or get me a piece of jewellery, because I know you love me 365 days of the year- and that's all I could ever want!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our First Bargain Online Supermarket Shop

Not My Real Delivery

 Hello fellow Frugal folk,

I received the first of my online bargain shopping orders yesterday...Whilst I am not exactly sure, a quick tally of what I would have spent if I had gone to the supermarket tells me I have saved about 30-50 percent per item. On the site I buy from it also tells you what local supermarkets are charging currently for the same item. I like that. I don't think I will buy every fortnight, but when there are enough items on sale that our family eat, I will do a shop. Each time you buy, the site also give you a gift code to take further $$$ off, essentially rendering the order post free,or at least post cheap.

I do also know that this lot will last us for ages, now I only need buy meat, veg and dairy. I can make our food budget work. I can.

I am pi$$ed though as I took a very cool photo of the items modelling their newly delivered lusciousness for you, then promptly deleted it on my Ipod, instead of sending it to my computer, thus only a cartoon reenactment is pictured for your viewing pleasure!

I was happy with the two working day delivery time as well as the free noodles throw in in either by fate or design, I don't know.

I purchased:

1 x 2x Tetley Tea Cup Bags 50pk $3.60
1 x 2x Sanitarium Peanut Butter Smooth 375g $4.50
1 x Weet-Bix Bites Cocoa Malt 500g $3.43
1 x Uncle Tobys Oats Multigrain 10Pk 350g $2.99
1 x 12 x Musashi SLM Cocoa Bars 40g $6.99
1 x 2x Sara Tinned Peeled Tomatoes 400g $2.14
1 x 6x Macleans Iso-Active Foaming Gel 120g $8.24
1 x Lupi Extra Light Olive Oil 500ml $3.50
1 x 2x GoulburnValley FruitSalad in Juice 490g $3.50
1 x Nature's Way Vita Balls Omega-3 50 Caps $5.94
1 x 2x Griffins Choc Chippies Muesli Bar 6pk $4.00
1 x 2x Selsun Blue Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 200ml $3.98
1 x 2x Kellogg JustRight Clusters 5Grains 760g $7.50
1 x 2x Nature's Way Omega3 Gummies Adult 110Pk $6.98
1 x 2 x Heinz Big BBQ Sauce 500ml $3.50
1 x Sun Rice Pour & Store Long Grain Rice 1kg $2.99
1 x 2 x Cadbury Drinking Chocolate Mint 225g $4.00
1 x Weet-Bix Golden Crumble Bites 525g $3.43
1 x 2 x Healtheries Ricey Bites Cheese 8pk $3.86
1 x 2x JC Nuts Dried Cranberries 175g $3.48
1 x 2 x SPC Pears in Raspberry Syrup 695g $3.50
1 x 2x CSR White Sugar 500g $2.98
1 x Healtheries Deluxe Appl/Raisin Muesli 420g $2.99

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Best Way I Have Found Not To Spend Money...

I think I fancy a bit of a drive, not sure why, but will just do it anyway. So I hop in the car, hmmm better get petrol. On my way I pass the supermarket, perhaps they've got some bargains,will just bob in there to check and pick up a few non-essentials while I'm there too. Oooh I feel a bit hungry now, better grab a bite to eat...what'll it be ? Oooh there's a sale at XYZ shop, I might just check it out........

Any of this sound familiar ? And I wondered where all my money went each pay cycle. A simple trip to town, usually for something I didn't need, not only cost me in wasted money for items I didn't really require, but all the extras as well, petrol, snacks and foodstuffs that were not necessary.

A quick drive could easily turn into a $100 overspend, sometimes more.
A trip to swimming each week could easily have a $50 price tag plopped on top.

Thus, the best way I have found not to spend, is to stay in.
Or if you have to go to work, drive there, do not pass go,do not spend $200 and drive straight home.

After all if you didn't know you needed something, then you certainly don't need to buy it when you're out.

And if you do have to call into the supermarket....make sure you have a list!
Stick to the list and only ever buy anything else IF it's on extreme sale and it is on your list more often than not!

I always always buy dog and cat food if it's on major sale,this is one time I make an exception for the list.

What item will you ALWAYS buy if it's on sale or reduced!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It Only Cost Me....

Source Unknown

How many times have you said the words 'it only cost me......'?

If you're anything like I was you will find that the answer to that question is .....often!

And usually I would say those words with a sort of self-satisfied smirk in my tone, excited that I was about to reveal the tiny amount of money on the item that someone else had noticed, had cost only pennies.

Except the joke was on me.

Because the 'only pennies' purchase, when multiplied by many other 'only pennies' purchases added up to one helluva lot of debt.....not to mention clutter.

And here I am, and maybe here you are too. And maybe you are looking back at all those tiny purchases and shaking your head. Or maybe you are having difficulty remembering what those purchases actually were. Or maybe you are paying for those long forgotten penny purchases several times over because you paid for them with your credit card....and we all know that interest is a b@$tard! Maybe you are chucking them out because they were crap, or perhaps you donated them aeons ago, or perhaps they are cluttering up your life and making you depressed....

So next time you are tempted to buy something because you think it's cheap and therefore not going to affect your ability to pay down debt or cost you anything much by plopping it onto a credit card.....consider this....Would you still want this item if you knew you were still paying for it at five times the cost and in five years from now....?

Makes that smug smirking self-satisfied grin fall right from your face doesn't it? It certainly made my face droop longer than a race car driver's dipstick to know that cheap K-mart tee shirt that cost me three bucks and fell apart after two wearings is still being paid for over a year later.

It also makes my face longer than Pharlap's when I realise that I actually wanted to impress people (most of with whom I don't have a relationship) with my 'savvy' (ironic!) spending.

The joke is and certainly was (and ever will be, until those credit cards are annihilated) on me!

Save your pennies!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday's Stupendous Suggestion

I guess I must be a bit of a voyeur these days since I love seeing what people have bought when they have been food shopping. Especially when bargains have been discovered.

This week's blog recommendation is NO MORE SPENDING
I love seeing photographs of Laura's shopping bargains and her budgets. She is brutally honest and shows the ups and the downs of spending thriftily.

I find this blog inspirational and am once again reminded why writing things down and documenting them is a big help.

Check her out.

Friday, May 3, 2013

School Lunches But No Canteen Bill

I work in a school. The school has a canteen. Each month between the two of us my daughter and I were spending at least $100 there, usually more.It was so easy for me to not be bothered getting organised with food each day. I always did my daughter's lunch box but never mine.She was allowed to have treats from the canteen and even though the canteen is GOLD STANDARD in terms of the quality of what it sells, there was still a discrepancy between what healthy really is and what constitutes healthy in a school tuck shop.

Also the manager makes THE best lattes at a considerably cheaper price than say Maccas, but nonetheless I was still having too many, too often.

Monthly I would get my bill and monthly I would vow to change my ways. But it took a while, make no mistake.

My first move was to give my daughter $2 a day to spend there in coins. That cut the bill down a lot to money spent only by me. Then of course days appeared when I didn't have real coins available and my girl just shrugged it off and didn't really mind. So then we had a chat and she said she was happy not to have anything from the canteen which surprised me, but made me happy and gave me the extra impetus to make big extra efforts with her lunchbox in terms of home baked comestibles and other sensible choices.

Inspired by this fabulous nine year old I thought 'if she can say no to this, then so can I!'. And I did. I stopped buying from the canteen and in the last 3 months our bill has been a total of $20, for the days when coffee simply got the better of me.....

....there's work to do, but the bill will be $0 eventually, trust me!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Do We Deserve Treats?

One of the things I have found myself considering whilst I am being a tight-bum financially is the idea of treats.

After all, treats are pretty much what got me into the 'major spend' mode of behaviour in the first place. A belief that I deserved something because I went out to work, paid off a debt that was not mine and supported my daughter with no input from her biological father, including expensive out of school extra lessons.

My treats were:

Those daily take-away coffees.
New clothes.
Expensive take-out food.
New make-up.
New bags.
Glossy magazines.
A basket full of this and that (you know the type of stuff you can easily spend $50 bucks on but not actually name a day later).
Books and music.
Beauty procedures, hair, nails etc etc...(well not nails as I bite mine,but you get the drift)

But what happened is that these types of purchases no longer became treats, they became simply every day occurrences, whittling any money I had down to the quick and leaving me with nothing every fortnight.

Because if they were treats, then when I acquired them,there would have been some joyful satisfaction, a lift to my day leaving me fulfilled and happy to have partaken of these things. Instead all I felt was anxiety, anger at myself and a sense of deflation.

Everything looked tawdry once I had it home. The clothes looked nothing more than rags, my hair do could have been done for a quarter of the price and I am quite capable of making my own coffee.

So back to the original we deserve treats?


...I honestly think I need to re-look at what I term as treats. I know I need to realise that a treat doesn't necessarily come in a heart shaped box or a take away cup with a lid. I believe we deserve treats,but perhaps they should come in the shape of a home cooked meal (my husband would debate this maybe as my cooking is crap) or a long bath with a nice drink, a self-foot massage, a cup of coffee and cream in your own home.

The occasional gift from a loved one or as a birthday treat would also have much more meaning too. For example I am desperate (well, keen to have) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's RIVER COTTAGE COLLECTION but will wait for my mum to ask what I want for my birthday and get it then and I know I'll appreciate it in August!

For too long I have sought satisfaction by throwing money at it. And as a result I had very little in terms of contentment. So it is pretty dumb to continue doing something that wasn't helpful in the first place and expect a different result.

Thinking this way helps if I think I need something which I patently don't. So far I haven't felt hard done by....I guess time will tell.

What are your opinions on treats? Do you need them?

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Have Found A Cheap Online Grocery Store....

I am excited.Whilst it might not be Aldi, Lidl or Approved Foods,it certainly is an online store with ace bargains to be had. Even with the $11 postage fee on top. Some of the bargains,especially if you buy in bulk are terrific. So long as the items you buy are items you and your family eat.

I almost felt sorry I didn't use certain creams and cosmetics as the prices are LOW!

I am more interested in the tea, the cereal, toothpaste,coffee, sugar type comestibles and if you are in Australia, and you are too then check out GROCERY RUN , create your account and get spending to save!

If you are Australian and decide to sign up, please let me know what you think, what you buy and if you find it useful...

...but whatever you do, don't buy up all those white teabags before I get there, or I'll have YOU!

Not really!