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Final Review of my spending plan for six months of Bills!

February 28th, 2013 at 03:13 pm

I wrote about this in these blogs

Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Review of my spending plan for Bills!

Hereís a list of some things that was planned and how I went after the six months has pasted.

Only two things that I planned within this six month period are now held over until March -August period.
My chiro is not due until mid - March and fares for my trip to Adelaide $400 are still not booked yet!

Trips - Sydney wedding and visit to my sister later next year but fare need to be paid in this period. (both are interstate.) Estimate $2000

Estimate $1600 Sydney trip cost was $920 saved $680 here on estimate

Out of pocket dental that canít be put off. Estimate $2000 - Dental - $1915
saved $85 here on estimate

Car service that is well overdue so approx. $500
Paid $189 for car service card but still need pay for parts for major service? Had my car service done and tyre fixed $254 = total cost $443 so saved $57 here on estimate.

House & Car Insurance due (these were the ones that I was worried about) Estimate $2700
Both insurances came in $2145 saved $555 here on estimate

Rates and water bills, power, medical fund annual fee, phone & internet fees, car rego. Approx. $5500
- Totals $4305 saved $1195 here on estimate

Over all I did estimated for around about $12,300 with my Age Pension over this time frame under $10,000 so where did I end up with my over estimates and removing air fare to Adelaide from the list.

September to February Bills
Item ====Estimate =====Cost ====Saved

Wedding - $1600 =====$920 ==== $680
Dental --- $2000 =======$1915====$85
Car service ---$500 =====$443=====$57
Insurances---$2700=====$2145====$555
General bills $5500======$4305 ===$1195
Totals ====$12300=====$9728====$2572

All bills are paid in full with credit on Credit Cards.

Daily Living expenses outside these bills came to $2547 for this period which had to come from savings.

To think I will need to do this all again at the end of the year but less the dentist bill this time.
Planned expenses for next six month estimates is a work progress.

Strategy - Donít spend your forward bill money on trivia, itís been put aside for a purpose and keeps you stress free.

Strategy - Review your bills every six months that you are still saving money with your changes that you made since renewed or changed bill companies. Change your habits if you canít change the company.

Strategy - Put in writing what you are worried about and see the figures then work out an action plan.

Answers on utility and health insurance costs

February 25th, 2013 at 02:19 am

I will try to answer these questions to my understanding of them.

Do ĎOur governments have ultimate control of utility and health insurance costs?í

Answer to this question NO to ultimate control and YES to some say in control of utility and health insurance costs?

We have three levels of government here. The Federal, State and Local councils as Federal government has input into these utility and health in some way by owing or rebates. They do have some say and can veto price rises but do allow some price rises once per year April for health and July for power. If there no request for higher price rise then does rise by level with the CPI which is around 3%. Of late each group is asking for higher price rises so governments have make the call as they do put money into these areas with rebates and owing the grids and power stations etc. Itís the same with water too!

Power grid in some States that they let the power stations rundown that money had to be found so Federal Government step in but has to be paid back.

The state governmentís own the power stations and grids but the suppliers buy it off the governments sell it to us. Once it was all own by the state governments but sold it off now they fix the lines if broken with all these weather events and bush fires itís costing a fortune. So 50% of the price rise is government inter-structure costs and they set the prices so each power retailers can work out pricing for next year. At first they wanted to up to 500% within five years.

Electric here costs slightly over .09 kWh, what is the rate there?

As for our tariffs we pay much more than you do. Most likely a different system, these prices are off the last bill and not the new ones which come due in July 2013.

Service to property charge (No days) 88 days @ 28.91c , anytime power 26.71c per kWh, off peck rate 22c per kWh (hot water power use to run it), solar power rebate 44c per kWh which is credit off bill.

On top of this I get a pension rebate from state government around $50.51 each quarter. Plus a 9% discount if I pay my bill before the due date. With interest rates at below 3.5% for the best online ones it better to pay before every time.

My usage and costs paid after all discount and rebates for last year

Bill for Dec $52.18 - Days 88 - Anytime 506 kWh - Off peak 9 kWh - Solar rebate 125 kWh
Bill for Sep $84.78 Ė Days 86 - Anytime 551 kWh - Off peak 95 kWh - Solar rebate 59 kWh
Bill for Jun $68.17 - Days 92 - Anytime 635 kWh - Off peak 16 kWh - Solar rebate 92 kWh
Bill for Dec $71.14 - Days 90 - Anytime 672 kWh - Off peak 5 kWh - Solar rebate 102 kWh

So if I allow around $30 per quarter I should have money left over for surprises.

Only in winter or wet weather do my solar panels cost charges hot water higher and power lower. I do only have one kWh x 6 panels unit and 2 panels x 400L hot water unit.

ĎIs your chiro not included under the other health cover?í

Health Chiro costs is covered by health insurance but only to $232.80 per year. I paid annual fee for 12 visits at pensioner rates get 10% off the single fee charged for doing so but only can claim single rebate after each visit. Now you canít get that interest from any bank for 10% so as I budget for it so I pay in advance. Only down side would be if I had to stop going then I would need to pay a cancelation fee.

My idea is to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my money so by paying early where I can to get rebates and discount or not incurring fines for paying late then I am saving on the overall costs in the end.

Itís better off in your pocket than theirs.

Review of my spending plan for Bills!

December 14th, 2012 at 01:51 am

I wrote about this in this blog Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Hereís a list of some things that was planned and how I went so far four months in.

Trips - Sydney wedding and visit to my sister later next year but fare need to be paid in this period. (both are interstate.) Estimate $2000
Still waiting to book air fares for June visit to my sister so only air fares will come in this six spending plan not the holiday expenses. Sydney trip cost was $920

Out of pocket dental that canít be put off. Estimate $2000
Dental - I paid the first out of pocket bill today - $1375and second bill should be $540 = $1915

Car service that is well overdue so approx. $500
Paid $189 for car service card but still need pay for parts for major service? I will have this done mid- January.

Rates and water bills, power, medical fund annual fee, phone & internet fees, car rego. Approx. $5500
So far I paid medical fund annual fee $2320, first rates and water bills $456 car rego $515, first power $53 = $3344 with and will have extra Chiro Bill coming of $560 in February that not on this list. Another rates and water bills $456 and power $65 to come yet! = $521
Phone and internet will be around $500 for 6 months. I have reduced this cost by $30 per month.

House & Car Insurance due (these are the ones that I am worried about) Estimate $2700 but could be more.

Planned expenses for next six month estimated about $12,700
Age Pension over this time frame under $10,000


So living expenses will be almost nil for next few months, itís lucky that I do have savings to fall back on if I need too! I will try not to spend too much of it though.

By estimates I am within reach of the target but still living off my savings for Living day to day expenses. So far I have shaved off $2070 off the original total with around $650 will need to come out savings also!

I will have a few months to recoup this money before the next around of large bills. I am still a little worried about that House insurance bill coming in February or early March as some households have gone through the roof by thousands.

Strategy - Review your bills every six months that you are still saving money with your changes that you made since renewed or changed bill companies. Change your habits if you canít change the company.

Car Service VIP Card

December 12th, 2012 at 08:06 am

The other day I got a door to door salesperson drop by here. He was selling Car Service VIP Cards for local garage. As I am in need of a major car service in the New Year past, I thought I buy one as the price was cost of this service only, the deal is I donít pay for labour but I do pay for all parts.

As my car has very low mileage and is now 8 years old. My car hasnít had a major or minor service for almost two years now so itís long overdue for one. I may need most of jobs on offer as there are 2 minor services plus heaps other little jobs that can be done.

The card cost $189 with $1009 man hoursí worth of jobs to be done over next 18 months. I am allowed to have three jobs each time off the VIP card.

It should be interesting to track whether I get good service or not with this deal and how much extras parts will cost etc. I know I may need a new tyre for a start.

Last time I had one of these VIP cards years ago, I stayed with that garage until I sold that car six years ago and got this one.

New Glasses and Christmas Shopping

December 5th, 2012 at 02:35 am

I had a spending spree of sorts today I had to order some new glasses at certain shopping centre as my optical store closed down and the staff move elsewhere. I paid for them via cash and medical benefit refund they cost $179, I will pick them up in the New Year as I am in no hurry for them. I get a new pair each year so I have enough pairs around the house. I handed in 5 old pairs of glasses so they can be recycled for those who canít afford them in poorer counties. Itís a system that optical store do here.

While I was out I posted a Christmas parcel then did my grocery shopping for the things that were on special that I wanted for December. After having Subway sub and coffee I went to find some Christmas ideas and presents for last few on my list. I got a comfort and toiletries gift for one person which I thought I was paying full price for but it was on special as was the other gift that I bought for the other person which was grocery hamper and both of them had 20% off, I was happy about that!

Also I bought tins of biscuits and candy for other gifts as shocking fillers or extra gifts.

I had a very long walk today so my exercise of walking took hours today. Medical research is now telling us Ďwe are sitting too long now these days and this not good for our healthí. Well I walked and stood for over 5 hours around this shopping centre today. I struck at it until I got all on my list finished so I wouldnít have to go again to the shops as the school children finish up this Friday for their annual summer holidays. No parking or very little park in shopping centres after this date or at least none in the shade at 39 degrees C. I was very tried by the time I got back to car to drive home.

I will only shop locally from now on until they go back to school.

Carbon Tax and price rises

November 21st, 2012 at 01:28 pm

Carbon tax is making some bills like Rates and water go up of late, I think next Power bill will be higher too!

Revamped my internet plan today as this bill was getting to high, it jumped in price by $20.00 this month so I change it to another plan saving $30.00 but I can get a higher G plan if I need too!

Another thunder storm is forecast for Thursday so we will wait to see if it does arrive.

No spending days here + recipe

October 7th, 2012 at 01:38 am

I haven't not been near the shops for over 5 days now! I will need to go tomorrow thorough with my friend but I am hoping not to spend at all.

I had some free pizza given to me today as my friend decided to have pizza for lunch. When she does this she buys 3 of them, one to share with me for lunch, one for her freezer and one for my freezer too! I put this pizza into Gladwrap with 2 pieces at time then freeze I do get 4 lunches out of this.

I think she is lonely and tries not to cook in hot weather as it was 35C today here and no rain.
I do other things for her so it's her way of paying me back I think.

Here is another Vegetarian recipe that I found.

Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry

Mix together in large saucepan
1 cup coconut cream
3 cups vegetable stock
10 curry leaves
1 -2 stalks lemongrass
1 cinnamon stick

Boil up for a few minutes then simmer and add -
1 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tbsp turmeric

Simmer and stir for approx. 10 minutes.
Chop up bigger chunks
1-2 carrots
6-8 small chat potatoes

Add cook 15 minutes then add-
2 chopped zucchinis
Cook another minute.
Then add in
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cashew nuts
2-3 tbsp coriander
lime juice to taste.

Cook further 2 minutes.
Serve with boiled rice.

Refund arrived

June 10th, 2012 at 12:58 am

As I have posted before I have bought a blood glucose meter, which was normally priced $59.99 but was on special for $39.99 at the time. This included a refund voucher that was applied for and I now received that refund for $40.00. So this item came out FREE but for the ongoing costs of test strips and lancets. The test strips are normally around $15.90 for 100 here but you can get them for $1.20 for 100 on a pension discounts scheme. As for the lancets there isnít any discount but you need to shop around for the cheapest price ranging from $32.95 to $17.95 at discount chemists. So I will need to do some leg work when I need to buy my next box of lancets.

I am still monitoring my blood glucose levels and still on diet controlled.

Bills and some medical news

February 11th, 2012 at 12:48 am


Car insurance $552 .00 is paid for another year and I got the cost of my house insurance that is to be paid early next month. Which is good for the flooding we had last year, some have got up by 500% I think mine one has only gone up by 18% but then I wasnít flooded. There is an increase in the amount insured too!

This insurer does cover for all flooding and before Christmas had all last yearís insurance flood claims back in their homes, all 42000 of them. A lot of policies were not covered for flood with other insurers.

I have been getting chest pains on and off for a while now! Told that it was muscular pain and have x-ray to say that too! Here we are getting news that doctors should be checking both arms for blood pressure and not just same one each time if they are not doing this then ask for it to be done.

Blood pressure 'should be measured in both arms'


There can be a difference in the reading which could prove that there is something wrong and needs to be checked out. I have a wrist blood pressure machine which I check myself if I donít feel too well.

As I canít tell I am having a heart pains or just muscular pains in the chest. Taking my blood pressure on same arm that the doctorís always use my blood pressure is normal to low most of the time. Last weekend I tried both arm tests to see if there was difference in readings. I did it twice once at rest and once after walking around and sitting on the bed. The difference was over 30 points between both readings so I planned a visit to the doctor as soon as possible but first getting my blood test done as I had the form to do that. The blood tests came out normal and diabetic lower than last time. But my blood pressure reading on both arms was 10 points difference between both arm and 10 points is the start point for something amiss.

Doctor sent me for a Stress Test Echo and result came out that I have clear heart arteries but a problem with part of aorta tube which leaking back into the heart and need to be watched. So much for muscular chest pains.

So $599 later less a refund which I will get later in the week that I will have out of pocket expense for about $260, I will now have to make up from somewhere.

Itís luck that I can afford to paid these bills out of floats and bill account without need to worry and Daily Living Allowance which I do monitor here. The money I need to save is too put back the float in my medical float.

So a stretching that dollar again until it the target of $2000 float so that I have extra there as I will need more of these echo sound tests done in the future.

Focusing on my Food & Grocery Spending

January 24th, 2012 at 02:12 am

I think I could find some spare money in my budget if I focused on my food spending for a while.

These will be my target area to work on for now!

Non -Food ---$221--------$184.52---------under target by $36.48
Pets -----------$650------$547.26--------under target by $102.74
Eating out ----$455--------$560.05--------over target by $105.05
Groceries ----$1755-------$1601.08-------under target by $160.42

So money that I have to work with $3081 using 2011 target budget amounts.

In 2011, I came under by [$3081 -2893.10] = $187.90 so I would like to see a bigger drop in this figure this year. Without changing my lifestyle that much knowing that I can cutback harder if things change around here. So itís to focusing and planning what I intend to do here.

So what strategies do I plan to use to reduce this further with cost of living going up here and my income is only age pension.

I will start with the easiest on first Non-food, this is area mainly covered by items that I canít eat like Toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning items that I need to buy. If do a stocktake of these items, I may find that I will only need buy toilet paper this year. By looking online and some in of my books I will find replacement for other cleaning items.

Next easiest one is Pets this includes cat food and litter for them. As they are old cats I will not be retraining them with new ideas but focusing on any wasteful habits and paying more attention to what they eat. They flea and vet treatments are covered in the bill area of my budget so are not included here. But will try to find ways of reducing these as well.

Now time to think about my food out as I like to call it! This area I can control to a degree but not all the way. I have 12 planned lunch dates each year which I just go along with cost can between $9.00 and $26.00 each time at current prices. Then you have 5 birthday dinners or lunches that can cost around $30.00 each time at current prices. But will not go if it gets above this unless itís a wedding which a once in blue moon event. Now the other lunches I can reduce or not have depending on my time schedule when out. I do try to keep these to under $12.00 where possible.

So where does that leave my food out budget, thus having budgeted for $350 outing with family and friend as socialising and form of entertainment. I do keep a float aside of $35.00 so that if asked out I can go will out worrying if I can afford that week. I am trying to get the family to eat at home more but itís an uphill battle.

I will review my grocery shopping in my next post.

Final 13th monthly totals for 2011

January 19th, 2012 at 02:18 am

These are my 13th period monthly totals as I have 28 days month budget (13x28=364 days)

I only just updated my Excel so here are the figures for last month. Tomorrow I will post my annual summary for 2011.

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$20.05
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $88.54
Non-Food===$17.00
Clothes ====$35.00
Grooming===$15.00
Gas======$25.00 ======$19.10
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$33.32
HH items===$42.50=====$20.99
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$169.75
Medical =====$15.00
Diabetes Expenses====$50
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$79.63

Note only one amount is a no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $431.38 so under budget by $148.62
No Spending days over the 28 days = 12 days in total.
Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month this month I paid half of next month bill so I am ahead here.

Spending on books and papers $63.03 for the month including 4 papers. I spent on Sara Douglass novels as this is my reading challenge for 2012.
I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $2286.15 so no balance banked this month. This included Annual Medical Fund payment. This fund does cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This fund does cover replacements when needed. My next replacement due is a new washing machine the money is already saved. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year. This amount includes the catís trip with the Vet.

As for food out, I dined out 4 times this month costing between $20 & $9 a time most were around the $9 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 mealís at Casino is still looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

My grocery bill came in under budget for this month.

Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Waste Not, Want Not Christmas

December 25th, 2011 at 02:28 pm

I had breakfast with the family Christmas morning, BBQ sausages, Bacon, Hash Browns, & Eggs with Coffee and 2 Chocolate centred biscuits but true to form they cooked too much food for four adults. So I was given the 8 cooked sausages and 3 small slices cooked bacon to take home. It was still hot when I got home too! As we gave out our presents before we had our bunch so it was almost 10.30am before it was started to cook it.

On the way out my DIL ask if I would have some custard too! Then she came out with the end of the roast ham that they had in fridge too! They are only going away two days but too lazy to cut it off the bone and freeze it. I took that as well all 3lbs of it. The bone will make a great pea & ham soup come winter. Out of the sausages I got 4 servings and 1 serve of bacon which will be tomorrow breakfast and 15 servings of ham which I have frozen for now. Some of it will make salads and other will go into different dishes that I will make over the coming weeks along with what meats I bought in the last week I now have a full freeze again.

But my son works at the fruit markets and was given a tray of mangoes so I got 6 mangoes to top it off.

Tally of foods

6 Mangoes $2.00 each = $12.00
8 sausages uncooked = $5.50
3 slices of lean bacon = $ 2.00
1.5 kg Ham of the bone @29.95kg = $45.00

Waste Not, What Not Total $64.50

These prices are what I would have paid yesterday for the same things had I bought them!

The cats & I had a wonder nibble on the ham scraps while I cut it up for freezing.

Chain reaction of sorts

December 22nd, 2011 at 01:30 pm

I had to call the roadside assist while out Christmas grocery shopping today.

I opened my door because something was wrong with my foot pedals in the car so I thought. But I had trigged the door lock when got in and didnít know it. This set off the car alarm which I had forgetting how to stop it. Now I was in a pickle with my DF-M 82 year old with me and all her groceries. Lucky that I had my mobile with me so I could phone roadside assist as I have been member for as long I have had my car licence now!

I ask some other ladies in the car park if they knew how to start the car now that had immobilise it and had on full set the lights across the dashboard and one I had never seen before a car with a key on it. Do you know what that one is? I never knew that my car had a car immobiliser and I had it for the last 5 years. The ladies couldnít help but had this problem once before and no men were about either to ask. So it a job for road side assist, the lady on the other end couldnít tell me over the phone how to restart the car as it just wouldnít start. The service man will have to come out in the next 60 minutes.

Lucky we were in the underground car park and not in full sun. I had to get across to my friend that she couldnít sit in the close car while we waited, I donít speak Italian so this took a while in the end she decide get a taxi home instead of waiting with me. As I couldnít stay with the car as I had to go to the meeting point in the car park. I had to fix up getting that taxi as she past calling for one herself, luckily it came quickly and I was able load most her groceries in the taxi and send her on her way. I sat on the taxi rank seats until I saw the mobile roadside assist car at the traffic lights and was able to direct him to my car.

With all the moving of the groceries and opening the door and locking the doors getting my friend to the taxi the car had reset itself and I didnít need him after all. It started when I put the key in the lock again like normal. We had a chat about what happen and what does happen with these car immobiliser at times. All I needed to do was push the button on key ring and unlock the car then relock then unlock and drive away. Simple! I was told never to park under Fluorescent lighting in shopping car park or a power transformer in the street as this can them set it off too!
I got home about 15 minutes after my friend and she was still bringing in her groceries and I gave she the tray of mangoes still in my car.

Well I did have a learning lesson after all today of sort. Just uses that button on the key ring it may save money and time in future. My seventy dollars per year membership was worth it. I try to be as stress free as I can.

You can tell I donít drive it that much!

Strategy - Park your car in a spot that you will get your daily walk done too!

I donít like the look of Euro crisis thatís coming.

November 28th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

With the way the euro crisis is shaping up I think it time to pull that belt in a lot tighter, and any money that we save can go to something we need not just a want or whim. We are a lot safer here and I am worried about this.

Next year I will just do jobs around the house, like house painting which I have put off for too long now. For my Christmas present to myself I will spend money on a digital antenna for the TV as I still donít get all the stations with the old system which is long past its use by date 1980 model it shouldn't work with digital but does most of the time! After that it will replace it or repair anything else. I can do a bit of painting on bits that I will not be getting the painter to do.

Another no spend day here!

11th Monthly Financial Summery for 2011

November 22nd, 2011 at 01:31 am

I am a very late in putting up my monthly, others things did get in the away at times but thatís another story which you have been reading about lately here. I only just updated my Excel so here are the figures for last month.

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$52.95
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $119.90
Non-Food===$17.00=====$6.99
Clothes ====$35.00=====$35.00
Grooming===$15.00=====$10.00
Gas======$25.00
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$77.32
HH items===$42.50=====$51.10
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00 ====$4.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$101.80
Medical =====$15.00======$69.56
Diabetes Expenses====$50
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$62.85

Note only one amount is a no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $591.52 so over budget by $11.52 + computer outlay

No Spending days over the 28 days = 8 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month just on medicine
As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category.

Diabetes Expenses Ė nil

A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some things in this category I will need to cut something in other categories.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month.
Spending on books and papers $35.05 for the month including 5 papers.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $ 3107.94 so no balance banked this month.

This included buying a new laptop and all the extras that went with getting back up to the latest. I donít upgrade until I buy new computer then do it all at once. This fund does cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This fund does cover replacements when needed. My next replacement due is a new washing machine the money is already saved. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year. This amount includes the catís trip with the Vet.

As for food out, I dined out 3 times this month costing between $25 & $9 a time most were around the $9 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 meals at casino is still looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

My grocery bill came in under budget for this month.
My clothes and grooming budget was on target this month I bought 2 handbags.

Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.
If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now.
Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had expensive month.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

10th Monthly Financial Summery for 2011

October 30th, 2011 at 04:12 am

I am a very late in putting up my monthly, others things did get in the away this time but thatís another story which you have been reading about lately here. I only just updated my Excel so here are the figures for last month.

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.


Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$22.00
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $78.18
Non-Food===$17.00=====$7.72
Clothes ====$35.00=====$105.50
Grooming===$15.00=====$35.00
Gas======$ 25.00=======$8.00
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$63.19
HH items===$42.50=====$40.44
Fares== ====$9.00====$20.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$3.00
Medical =====$15.00======$37.15
Diabetes Expenses====$50
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$58.29

Note only one amount is a no spend
Budgeted for this period $580 spent $478.38 so under budget by $101.62

No Spending days over the 28 days = 7 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month just on medicine
As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category.
Diabetes Expenses Ė nil

A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some things in this category I will need to cut something in other categories.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

Spending on books and papers $38.80 for the month including 4 papers.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $ 378.80 so balance banked this month. This fund does cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year.

As for food out, I dined out 4 times this month costing between $5 & $9 a time most were around the $9 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 meals at casino is still looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

My grocery bill came in under budget for this month.

My clothes and grooming budget was well over this month I bought 4 new bras and only paid for 3 and had a watch battery replaced along a haircut.

Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.
If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now.

Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Spending is the norm for now!

October 27th, 2011 at 02:42 am

Getting things for my new computer and buying Christmas presents will be the norm around here for a while. This week I have bought 3 computer books, two for Windows 7 and one for MS Office 2010 these along with online Help and asking around should keep me going for now! Also I picked up USB Travel Hub, 8G USB sticks and extra DVD-R blanks plus a Mouse for a Laptop.

Until I learn to use this computer much better I will be on the slow side.

As my son has just got a new computer too! I have been buying a few odds & end for him as well.

So far I have spent a bit of money in getting it right without needing to go to IT tech for help.
Books were full price $107.65
But the other items were on special of 50% off or less = Totalling $178.00
So another $285.00 spent hoping this will be the last unless my printer doesnít work but it should do so. Some items I got Senior discount off so every 5% off helps.

All this is coming out my emergency fund and I have been told I am not spending enough money by my financial adviser as I saved too much money since I lasted saw him. I knew I could save but not that good; it was so much that finding ways to stretching that dollar must be working. A lot of that is bill money and saving fund that I stretch it more than six times in the last year.

Itís real hard to come up with $1000 but itís easy to find 1000 ways to save a dollar or two!

This has been my motto from the beginning and still is; now I can choose better items than the cheapest ones around because of it.

Windfall in second-hand clothes

October 10th, 2011 at 02:35 am

As I buy very few new clothes anymore which a rare. The last time I bought a complete expensive outfit was for my sonís wedding back in 1999. The rag trade would close up shop long ago if it depended on me. I do buy some slacks, ĺ pants, shorts and t-shirts when I do buy new, I buy on special or markdown thatís the same price I can buy at the Charity /goodwill shop or second hand clothes stores. I get better quality in charity shops than when I buy new. I mainly buy the bottom half of my outer clothes new as this were I fine the shortage for my size and the most damaged clothes with elastics or Zip failing in a short time after buying. I need to take up the hem lines or wear the ĺ pants longer than you would do so if you were normal height. I like the longer length so this part doesnít worry me that much. Under wear and socks are always bought new.

I have had busy few days, as our local charity shop is having a fill a bag sale of clothing for $5.00 last week. One morning I went up to browse around and as they were short staff until some arrived I opened up the second shop and watch other customers until the staff arrived hour later. As I knew the way around this sale and could look at the same time I was ok with this. I just was there as everyone else was just looking too when the staff arrived.

So I end up spending $20.00 for $1070 worth of clothes.

I bought 4 Bags of clothes totalling 42 items of which only one was not wearable. So at under 48 cents per garment this how can keep my clothes cost to under $300 per year. Buy very little new.


Pile of womenís clothes for picking over.


Bounty from two of bags of clothes

You donít get the latest fashion buy second- hand clothes which I am past that stage now. The colour may be few years past in shades and styles that donít matter if you feel good in the outfit and it goes altogether in tones. I buy by the look and feel of the fabric then the colour then look at the size then at the tag if has one. I was able to find all these off a pile on the floor with all size mixed together within under two hours. Everyone had the same task if you wished to buy something.


List of clothes bought - approx RRP

T-shirts
White -Bot Cornsurf RRP$25.00
Brown & cream, stripe V neck Ė Susannegrae RRP $25.00
White & beige stripe Cotton - Millers RRP$15.00
Black & White Stripe - Relaunch RRP$25.00
Grey & off white stripe - Pun Nai RRP$20.00
Yellow - Cherokee RRP $20.00
Pink & Beige stripe sleeveless Ė CMS RRP$20.00
Light Blue -CTM- DNM RRP$15.00
Black & white Floral sleeveless - Jag RRP$25.00
Pink with design printed -Jag RRP$20.00
Dark green with collar - Urbane RRP$20.00
Total RRP $230

Shirts
White Millers Cotton RRP$25.00
Black plain ĺ sleeves Ramie - Katies RRP$25.00
Pink ĺ sleeved Cotton/spandex - Crossroads RRP$25.00
Pink ĺ sleeved - cut off brand name RRP$30.00
Pink floral Poly - Daxon RRP$25.00
Lime plain Ramie - Now RRP$30.00
Lime cotton - Aqua by ping pong RRP$35.00
White& Brown Poly/cotton Ė Millers RRP$20.00
Cream background with Beige pattern , Rayon -Millers RRP$20.00
Green with mauve floral pattern, rayon Ė Millers RRP$20.00
Light blue with trim, Poly Rayon Ė Millers RRP$20.00
Blue small check with Grey trim, 100% cotton- Panola RRP$25.00
Blue Pattern rayon poly Ė Millers RRP$20.00
Dark Green poly - Postie Fashion RRP$25.00
Orange Plain background with a breaded trim, Poly - Millers RRP$20.00

Total RRP $365

Tops
Burnt Orange Rayon /Poly Perri Cutten RRP $40.00
Cream background with floral print, Silk Ė Real Clothes RRP $35.00
Black nylon S-less tank top - Now RRP $20.00
Black with white flowers Nylon S-less - Katies RRP $20.00
Total RRP $115



Two piece outfit
Top - Off white back ground with Blue floral print, Rayon/linen - Geiger Essentials RRP $25.00
Skirt - Off white back ground with Blue floral print, Rayon/linen - Geiger Essentials RRP$25.00

Pants
Brown Cargo shorts long Ė Millers RRP$20.00
Light grey linen /cotton slacks - Giordano Linen RRP$50.00
Grey Cargo slacks expensive ones RRP$50.00
ĺ casual pants Beige 100% cotton - Jay Jayís RRP$20.00

Total RRP $190

Dresses
Cream & black check - floor length will cut shorter RRP$30.00
Check - Potarorri Floor length will cut shorter RRP$30.00
Long blue with yellow floral print on hem line. Polyester Millers RRP$20.00

Odd pieces
Cardigan -Cream short sleeved -cut off brand name & buttons missing. RRP $25.00
Sarong aqua with mauve-pink flowers Ė Vanuatu- RRP $15.00
Bath robe -Pink poly -Shooze Zone (never worn) RRP $50.00

Total RRP $170

Grand Total RRP $1070


Clothes Line some of the clothes.


Two other posts on clothes shopping tightwad style.
Retail Therapy - Tightwad Style
the fill a bag sale

Strategy - Know when the best sale may be on and be ready to go!

Free Food

September 29th, 2011 at 04:18 am

One of my neighbours just came over with a bag of food left at her place by house sitter while overseas. They donít eat these foods normally, and the fish has bones in it that my cats may like to eat it!



Yes red salmon has some bones but my cats are not going to get much of it @ $5.99 a can and $3.99 for the small can. The soup packets are $1.89 each and can of soups are around $2.49 can here. You guess it I will eat the lot myself thanks very much!
Value Total$26.62 that helps $-t-r-e-t-c-h the budget quite nicely.

Shopping for one, summing up

September 15th, 2011 at 02:17 am

I have done a lot of thinking about how I shop over the past few days, along with a lot of reading and writing and viewing different downloads and links. This task has given me some food for thought and I hope it's given you some ideas on shopping over the number of areas I have covered.

One area I didn't cover is eating and drinking way from home so try limiting the amount of food and drinks you have away from home. This area is the biggest waster of your food budget and I didn't even touch on it. Try writing down every cent you spend for a month and see how much you are spending here. You may find the money for that overseas holiday you only dreamed about.

One of the major points we all need to do at this point in time. Is to review what we have in own homes and use this before go out and buy more stuff.

Some of the other points to think about are:
- Check what we have bought and use it!
- Make a menu using what in the house first then what on special that week.
- Make a price book so you know what the cheapest price is.
- Don't be loyal to just one supermarket
- Learn to cook if you can't!

Links

While researching for this series I came across a number of interesting links some are for small families or singles and other ones can be used by everyone. I don't know how much anyone of you reading this series has explored your government resources in the way I have done here. There a number of free downloads or online reading that I can open on this side of the Pacific Ocean. I have included some I found from Australian websites also!

Some are from US government websites and others are from umaine extension and Mayo Clinic. If you can explore these websites a lot more as there are plenty more to out there to be found. I could give you the links to a lot of downloads but exploring them yourselves will make it more interesting.

The ones that I have given you here that are marked PDF will need a reader to open them.

Mayo Clinic
explore this link for interesting articles

Thrifty Meals for Small Families
At the bottom of this one you will find links to the other parts of this series 5 parts in all.
If you search for Thrifty Meals for Small Families, you will come up with other downloads versions.
Keep the Beat Healthy Heart Recipes PDF


healthier you
links to recipes

School meals

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services There are two PDF files on this link that one 130 pages & the other one 160 pages PDF.

Vegetarian Learn about different types of vegetarianism, nutrients of concern, how to plan a healthy diet, and find recipes.

Nutrition index Shopping, Cooking & Meal Planning

Australian Links

Recipes & shopping - What's there to eat? PDF

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating PDF

Victorian Better Health

Victorian Better Health - Recipes Here

The last of Shopping for one series

Shopping, my way on Cat & Dog Food

September 13th, 2011 at 02:27 am

This is the seventh in this series

For someone living from pay check to pay check this system may not work for you.
I allow a budget fixed amount to care for my cats each year excluding trips to the vetÔŅĹs as I have a float for that and the float money from my last trip to the vetÔŅĹs is back up to $500 again plus the cost of their flea treatments. My goal each year is to come under this amount so far I have won this battle and I have had these cats for almost 15 years.



I buy a clumping cat litter as this what my cats like to use. This is the store brand one, as I donÔŅĹt like to have to drive my car to the supermarket very week, I try to buy enough to last 3 weeks ,same with the cat food except for the store brand one, that one of my cat likes and itÔŅĹs the cheapest by far @ 69c! I buy enough this one until I am back into that supermarket chain again or when I get down to the last can. I only buy on special, I check each week the catalogues for good buys in the brand that they will eat. I will drop in and buy if the price is right. As the amount I buy depends on the price and how much I still have in stock from the last buying trip. Normally the price is around RRP $1.59 per can, I will try to buy it around a $1.25 or less the lower the price the more I will buy. If it even comes down 89c again then I will make extra trips to buy as many as I can up to 100 cans.

As for dry cats food I buy three different varieties for them. I will have in stock about 3 packets unopened so that I donÔŅĹt just go shopping for this item. Lately our supermarkets have lowered their prices on some of their goods and these are just one of those lines that now rarely go on special now! If they do go on special then I buy extras that week.

As for vet supplies the online company I deal with here is
Priceless pets I buy enough to last 6 months at a time. This does save on postage again check the sizes and prices before you order. When I went to the vetÔŅĹs he told me to change brands for a while when ordering online, I have been using Revolution for a few years now, told to change to Advantage for a while different formula but both do the same job as I have 2 cats the same size I buy the 2x 6 packs do check the price of these items at the local pet shop and online.



If things get tough in the future then I will be taking a closer look at some of these websites.

Google -- cat and dog food recipes

I came up with two gems but there are many more there but watch out for ones selling you stuff as you can find a lot of this information for free.
Pet Food Cooking Recipes

this one looks interesting that I may try some of them at some time.

Shopping for one, my way on Personal & Cleaning Items

September 11th, 2011 at 01:02 am

This is the sixth in this series

I am lucky enough to have an oversupply of beauty products. I was selling Avon a six years ago so I have a lot of leftovers that are now out of date that I am using up myself. I now only buying one item that I have finish my supply of and still using most other items more slowly as no longer wear make up that much these days. That's what you get when you are your own best customer.

As for hair care, I buy hair dye and shampoos and conditioners, as I stockpile these when I find a good buys on them I have enough of these items for the next few years too!

So would suggest look at your discount stores for these items whether it a discount chemist or discount store always check size & price for the best price. At times Avon can beat both when they have some of their deals in their catalogue at times. Toothpaste, shower gels, soaps etc. you need to know your prices on these then buy when you find a good deal. I multiple buy if I find it at the best price I had found so far.

So my strategy here is to buy when I found at good price and buy enough to last 3 months or longer.
At a pinch you could use some homemade beauty products but will leave search for those on Google
Try using -- good homemade beauty recipes

Paper goods in the way Hand towels & toilet paper I only buy only on special or TP at 50c per roll or less. I only buy one brand in toilet paper which now here which sold at 50c per roll in 20 or 24 packs.

As for laundry and kitchen cleaning items, I have a bit of stockpile I need to use up first.
I buy dish detergent at the chemist when they have it marked down. As for laundry detergent I use 50% of homemade one and using up some bought packs that were bought on special. Again do a price check before you buy these lines buy at the price and size.

Here some links
The Benefits of Organic and Natural Cleansers

Homemade Household Cleansers

Alternative Cleaners and Recipes

vinegar and baking soda cleaning recipes

My Basic Bean Recipes

September 5th, 2011 at 03:15 am

Seeing that I have not posted my bean patties recipe
I thought I better do so here.

I found this recipe in an old cookbook that had lost it cover. At the time I was looking for a bean recipes to use up 3kg beans, I and my friend was growing at the time. I still have some of these beans left. You can use any kind of bean for this recipe.

Cooked Minced Beans Mixture
Any kind of beans can be used for these dishes. If dried beans are use they must be well washed, then soaked in water overnight, and cooked until tender but not mushy. Mince the cooked beans or rub them through a coarse sieve, using the back of a wooden spoon. (I use a potato masher)

Make a mixture of 2 cups of beans and 1 cup of the following (or a mixture of them): Breadcrumbs, wheatgerm, mashed potato, or cooked cereal. Up to 1/2 cup of cheese or chopped nut may be added, but these are optional. (That's for every 2 cups of minced beans add 1 cup of bulk mixture. Up to about 3 teaspoons of flavorings.)

In the following recipes any of these foods and /or flavorings can be added: Soy sauce, grated garlic, mixed herbs, chopped celery, Worcestershire sauce, Chilli sauce, 2 part curry powder + 1 part turmeric, finely chopped capsicums (red or green), paprika, mustard, chutney, sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice, cider vinegar, tomatoes, eggs, milk or whatever you like. Make to your taste. Note:- I divide mixture in two and do two flavors normally curry & herbs ones.


3 dishes of beans

Closer look at Mashed beans texture

Mixing in the mashed potatoes

Using Cooked Minced Beans Mixture

Bean Croquettes
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into sausage shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 90mm (3 1/2 inches) long. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Two per serving.

Bean Rissoles/Patties
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into patties cakes shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 60mm (2 1/2 inches) round. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Two per serving.

Bean Cutlets
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into cutlets using a piece of macaroni inserted into the end to resemble a bone. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs, or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Serve with tomato wedges and green peas or beans. Serving size: 2 bean cutlets (80mm x 50mm each)

Mashed Beans

Bean Loaf
2 cups cooked & mashed beans
1/2 cup milk
6 tsp. Soya flour
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup wheatgerm
1 cup chopped celery
1 egg, well beaten
salt

Mix the milk into the Soya flour and stir until smooth. Add the other ingredients and shape into a loaf. Bake in greased baking dish in moderate oven (375 F) 190 C for 35 minutes.

Baked Bean Casserole
1 cup cooked & mashed beans
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated onion
1 cup chopped celery
salt
tomatoes slices
grated cheese
wheatgerm or breadcrumbs

Place vegetables in layers in greased casserole, season and top with the sliced tomatoes, grated cheese and sprinkling of wheatgerm or breadcrumbs. Bake in a moderate oven (375 F) 190 C until the wheatgerm or breadcrumbs browns - usually 20 to 25 minutes.

From Old Vegetarian Booklet

Curried Bean Rissoles using the above method

4 cups cooked beans unfrozen
2 large potatoes cooked & mashed but still hot.
2 tsp curried powder
1 tsp turmeric
Few pieces finely chopped capsicums (red or green)
Add Breadcrumbs as dried filler if mixture is too moist.

Blend and mix well.

Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into patties cakes shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 60mm (2 1/2 inches) round.
Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm.
Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown.
Two rissoles per serving.
About 16 rissoles/patties


Curried bean mixture


Plates of bean patties ready for the freezing

Freezing Instuctions
Mold rissoles or Croquettes as above and put on to plastic plates about 8 to a plate with glad wrap over them to keep freezer clean. Freeze for about 2 hours or more until solid remove from plates and wrap in serving size amounts and label. Cook from frozen this whole shapes better.

Note:-
**You could divide the mixture up before adding flavoring ingredients so that they are not all the same. I have done this on occasions.
**I usually soak and cook 4 - 6 cups of dried beans at one time in large pasta cooking pot with a drainer, cool and then put 2 cups cooked beans per bag then put into freezer. Defrost and use as above when required.
**Now if the beans are old and the skins are the tuff then remove the outer coating of the cooked beans. The beans in the picture were grown in 2006 and dried in my garden I got around 3kg worth. They were a heritage bean. I still have a few left of them.

The Bold and Beautiful Book of Bean Recipes PDF

there are recipes on here including some bean ones

Shopping for one, my way on Beans and Lentils

September 4th, 2011 at 03:23 am

This is the fourth in this series


These beans have been soaked & cooked both are the same bean, one has had the outer coating removed.


The end result - Bean Patties

It's was once said that beans were a poor man's food. I do know that beans & lentil are one food when bought dried do multiple and you get more for your dollars and the same with rice. So to save money or make food budget go further just make yourself learn to like beans. You can do a frugal foodie trip around the world without leaving home to do it. I often will pick a country that use beans in they diet and then try they foods for a week or two!

I buy no more than 1 kg (2lbs) at a time of different varieties. I do keep dried beans in glass jars so they are well sealed. Soaking and cooking about 1/2kg at a time. I do precook my beans and bag them into 2 cups portions then freeze until needed. Defrost before use.

This is an interesting website to read and each newsletter has recipes that are low GI in them do look at archives for past newsletters.

How much protein you can get from plant foods

Hardy lentils ' poor man's meat' worth their weight in gold

As I have done a lot of posting on beans and lentils before I will just post the links this time.

Just try Recipes on the side bar. It's about 3 pages long or go to post that interest you! Then have a look in My Pages section for more beans recipes.

This is the lentil series that was posted a few months ago!
Lentils - part one
Lentils Recipes - part two
More Lentils Recipes - part three
Saving Advice Lentils Recipes - part four
Red Lentils and Barley Soup - low GI

Here the links to my beans & rice posts from last year.
More links on Beans and Rice Recipes
Complete Protein Myth
More on Beans and Rice Challenge Bean & Rice Recipes Links

Other bean posts over the years.
Broad Beans Provencale
My Mezze or Meze Platter (Hummus bi Tahina)
CHICKPEA CURRY Chickpea and Spinach Recipes
MINESTRONE
MIXED BEAN SALAD
Italian Bean and Tuna Salad

Shopping for one my way on Chicken & Meats

August 27th, 2011 at 02:03 am

This is the first in this series

A little while ago someone ask in comments here.

" I am really struggling to keep my grocery spending down, I always allow $70.00 a fortnight, but I am finding it's not enough, I don't eat Meat, I only buy Chicken Drumstick's, can's of Tuna, lot's of Bean's, and veg, but it is very difficult, I would love some idea's from you, how I can stretch it, also Cat Food is very expensive here! I live off of a very tight Budget as it is, but find I am dipping into my saving's more and more, just to live, very depressing, thank you for sharing with us."

So over next few posts I will try to answer some of these areas.

In the past week I have bought more meat for the freezer.
1/2 kg (1lb) Short cut bacon packed into single serve with layer of freezer bag between each layer of bacon slices. 2-3 slices is enough for one serve.
4 kabanas, which I have sliced up and pack into 50g (2oz) packets.
Gypsy Ham 100g which is already sliced will eating over the week.

2 trays 4 x chicken drumsticks (see notes below)

3.6kg (8lb) 8 breast chicken with skin on. (@$6.99kg skin on and @$10.99 skin off this was a better buy even through I had do an extra 20 minutes work than I normally do when buying skin off breast chicken. I got the tenderloins which is most times missing). I bagged them up into 4 x diced chicken 250g each, 4 x 300g sliced chicken for poaching or frying. 2 x250g tenderloin chicken 3 pieces each

Chicken Drumsticks & Wings - I buy organic ones that marked down to almost half price when I can and come home and freeze them immediately. Thaw to use as needed. I buy normally 4 drumsticks packs and portion size is two per serve. So when I cook these I cook for 2 servings.
Rule of thumb
- Large drumsticks serve one & small drumsticks serve 2 per person
- Chicken wings 4-6 per person

Eating it later in the week again.

Breast or Thighs of Chicken - I do try to buy breast of chicken when on special for the same price as thighs and diced it up before freezing with no more than two breasts per pack. I will get four servings out of these packs and they can be refrozen to use later in the same month.

Some recipes that I found

Asian Style Chicken Drumsticks

Lemon and Thyme Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

Portuguese Style Chicken Drumsticks

Cheat's Apricot Chicken with Rice and Veggies

Spicy Yoghurt Marinated Chicken Drumsticks


On this site also there is an ebook p240 that you can download that has some very good information and recipes, these recipes above is in the ebook but written differently. P166


Thai Creamy Chicken Satay

Tomato Vegetable Sauce

2 cups (mixed vegetables, or beans, corn kernels, sweet peppers)
1 bottle of Cacciatore Sauce or any pasta sauce (2 cups)
1 can 400g diced or crushed tomatoes
Few dried herbs
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)

Place the lot in microwave dish, defrost and then cooked for 1.55 minutes (W1100)
or 3 minutes (W700) in microwave.
Serve 4

Cooked drumsticks then cover it with Tomato Vegetables Sauce
Can be served over fish as well!

You must remember that I'm cooking for one.

Size and the way you buy things does counts.

Buy only special or store brands if you can use coupons then use them if it's the best option.

I always think that a good buy in protein is around $1.25 or under per serving.

My views on the sock monster & over coming it

August 22nd, 2011 at 04:02 am

I once was paid by a neighbour to sort laundry basket of socks out. Having 3 males in their household most of the socks were odd, I only found 18 pairs of wearable socks in the whole basket.

The balance was odd or with holes that were unable to be mended if you still mend sock these days.

Some remarked the other day that they came home from they overseas holiday with no socks but took 10 pairs with them and sock monster ate their socks.

After thinking about this problem after first instance, I watch my own habits more closely and came up with this conclusion.

The monster sock eater is ourselves I found, I have a habit of wearing my socks to bed then they come off during the night and either left in the bed or under the bed. Now if you are travelling and doing this youíll have a great loss of socks or sock is left behind in each hotel will soon add up. At $15.00 a pair for diabetic socks that a lot of money to loose.

To overcome this habit I have now made it a habit to put the pair of socks with my shoes or together before I leave the room each morning, since doing this I have never loss a pair of sock to the sock monster.

Another thing I found is buying as many pairs the same in style & colour as possible and on special minimum of 25% off that means multiple pairs at the same time to maximum benefit. I did on the last special and got 3 pairs of diabetic socks for $18.48 by buying multiple packs and buying on special.

Saving money and keeping it in my bank is my main aim so I can
s-t-r-e-t-c-h every cent out as much as possible. With a pair of ankle sock around $5.00 and a pair of diabetic sock $15.00. The longer a pair stays together the better.

Oh! Shopping Spree

July 29th, 2011 at 02:45 am

Its Medical appointments day, once every two months these appointments are on the same day.

Chiropractor and Podiatrist visits both within 1 Ĺ hours of each other this is so that can do things in between and be ready to catch the bus when finished the last appointment.

Today I planned to do any shopping that I would to do as well these appointments. When I got off the bus I found a pair of shoe that I was looking for but when I tried them on and ready to pay for them, I was informed these shoes shouldnít have been put in the marked down bin they were full price $139.00 when all the other shoes were $69.00 oh I could have them if I bought gold or red ones for that price but not black which is the only colour that I wanted so I walked out. Not happy with that but I will not be tricked into buying something wanted but could live without. No sale.

Drop by the newsagent and bought GO CARD fare ticket top up $20.00. I donít need to look for charge anytime I catch public transport with this card and I get senior discounts with it.

While walking around on Wednesday I checked the frypans out that were going on special this Thursday, as I need a new 20cm frypan as the one I got is burning food too much. So I got myself a nice new stainless steel one and a new measuring jug both 30%off all up (RRP $28.00) then marked down to $19.95 after I used my new staff card. When I went to the kitchen shop which had a silicone whisk that I saw on Wednesday RRP $7.95 to $1.55 so I got one of theses too!

I stopped for morning tea and had some pancakes $3.45 with a free Senior % coffee. Off to the book store but in the end didnít buy any books today. Chiro visit went without any problems so then went to the Officeworks which sells computer programs and I found the one I bought that for $38.09 Saving $6.01 on price tag of which $2.01 was staff card discount. I just get donít some price tags these days this not the first time the registers scan different to the shelf tags. If itís lower I now just pay what they ask for it but if higher I pay the shelf price or walk out. In some cases you will get the item for free but not always.

I walked down to the medical refund office as this takes enough time to get my daily walk in as well. Went and did some window shopping in new revamp Wintergarden shopping building stage 1 without buying and shoes were only that I could afford but not my style before going to my next appointment. Off to get my next medical refund before I went home for the day and on the way to the bus dropping in to Crazy Clarks discount store for some hand wash. I found a few bargains while I was there so in the end my $2.49 had blowout to $62.37 I got some bargains while I was there and did buy my hand wash too!

Medium Amber Hair dye was on special this week normally you buy this at chemist for about $16.95 a packet at these discount store you can buy it for a lot less and at 2 for $10.00 all the same colour which is the important part of my system, I bought enough for the next two years $50.00 worth and put it on that credit card. I found a tip that I use to make this work.

Also I bought as well this:
Craft supplies - moulding clay 3@$1.47 & beads for necklace $1.47 = $5.88
Date rolls biscuits 2@ 1.00 & smoked oysters 2 @1.00 = $4.00
Hand wash $2.49

Total $62.37

My savings for the day

Medical Refunds $70.35
Computer program $6.01
Senior % coffee free - saving $2.80
Kitchen items saving $14.45
Craft supplies $12.00
Hair dye $119.50

Saving over all $225.11

I donít think I have loss my touch. No more unplanned shopping until of EKKA show time in two weeks time.

Strategy - Know when the best sale may be on and be ready to go!

Strategy - Only buy what you will use when shopping without a list

No spending days and surprise in the mail

July 18th, 2011 at 02:27 am

I had a good run of no spending days this week hopefully I can go one more day. I do know I will be spending some money on Wednesday as this the day I buy my paper for the Weekly TV guide, as the Sunday paper is almost double the cost of the Wednesday one. I also need to pay my credit card 2 off this week as itís due before my next trip to the city which is another week away. I also will need some tuna cat food and eggs as these are on the low side and will need to go another shopping centre for that. So I will be taking the car out.

Shopping List

Pay $10.00 on credit card 2
Paper @$1.10
Eggs @$3.00
10 cans store brand tuna cat food @69c
French stick @2.00

Total $23.00 now to see if I can in on target.

I got a surprise today in the mail, we were told that we would lose our retire discount cards at the end of May this year. But the company has had a charge of heart and reissued them again. I have my retire staff card 5% off again, every little helps in this climate of uncertainty GFC wise. I was able to get some gift cards with 5% off the price so will be able both together when I shop for groceries equal 10% off and get 5% off at non grocery stores.

Read this post End of an Era this is the card I'm talking about.

Not that I am spending a great deal these days, as I planning what I purchase and when and how.

How I am going make this work will be my next theme for a while as I plan to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my money yet again.

My style of shopping

March 13th, 2011 at 01:23 am

Going to the supermarket for pet food is when I shop most times now. I always buy cat food when on special and this week it was at its lowest price for months. So I set out to stock up on it by 40 cans and some dry cat food that cats have run out of. While there I planned to check out some of the special in the meat and seafood lines. So I bought some seafood and sausages on special to give some variety to my diet. These will give me about 24 extra single meals over the coming months. Along with what already in the freezer this should do for a while. I do still have a lot of can tuna in the pantry. Thinking of making some fish cakes as I have still got some potatoes that need to be used soon!

I get more serving buy making fish cakes /patties than making a Tuna Mornay or tuna bake. There are plenty of recipes around for canned tuna. Mostly I buy in bulk when it comes to fruit by buying the cheapest fruit in season and then buying it by the bucket, this can last up the 3 weeks in the fridge. As for vegetables when they are expensive I stop buying and then buy just frozen vegetables and buy a few items that are cheap at the time of buying my fruit.

Seafood and sausages $18.76
Potatoes $1.00
Pet food $24.48

Ok my pet food cost more than my own food is always been the case when I shop for the cats. Itís not called the cat shop for nothing.

Giving Birthday voucher amiss

January 19th, 2011 at 10:42 am

Will not be using my birthday $25.00 voucher this year as they have charged the rules unless I buy a new watch or a piece of jewellery over $100 this year, I have download it but when I read this condition I think I donít need a new watch or any more jewellery this year.

I did write about this voucher here So I will save money by not buying anything and it will s-t-r-e-t-c-h my savings by minimum of $75.00, this will kick start my challenge as I will be including ĎWaste Not Want Notí strategies by not buying but using whatís in storage.


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