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February 20th, 2007 at 01:17 am

My son & his wife arrived home this morning from oversea. They had a good trip and I was sent some very good pictures of they holiday via email as they had access to a computer while they were away.

So much, so that I needed to delete some of the emails, that I was keeping in my inbox folders.

So much for technology I will need to upgrade my computer very soon, as often when I am going on to some web sites now my computer just freeze up. I do think they have upgraded their websites, and that people running the early versions now are have problems. I do know that I canít run the latest versions of some programs on my computer, as my RAMS are not high enough.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers with Cream Cheese & Herbs Fruit Coffee
DINNER Chilli Con Carne with Corn Chips Coffee

Simple Green

February 19th, 2007 at 02:14 am

After reading about this Simple Green all purpose cleaner for so long. I did finally find it at Bunnings Warehouse, our large hardware chain in their cleaning supply aisle it was just by chance as I donít normal go down that aisle. I did buy some to try also this will make up to 5 gallons. I went on to their Simple Green website to find what I can do with it as well! I didnít go the Bunnings to buy this item but for those rubbish bins that I went for a few weeks ago. I got one for myself and two for DF-M who this trip to the hardware store was for. It always cost me money to go to the hardware store. And I am being so good of late too, on cutting out the small stuff.

BREAKFAST Baked Beans on Toast Coffee
LUNCH Crackers with Hummus & Herbs Fruit Coffee
DINNER Pumpkin & Lentil Stew with Garlic Focaccia Bread

Todayís Full price Tally $19.96
Todayís Savings - $ 0.00
2007 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $9963.51

Mobile phone prepaid recharge

February 17th, 2007 at 12:46 am

I had to recharge my pre-paid mobile today as it is soon due and I didnít want to lose my credits if I forgot to re-charge it on the date due. Too much to lose, and I not talking about cents here. itís annual pre-paid plan that I am on as I only use it for SMS & incoming calls. I will only use it for actual calls if I am in trouble or have lost the person I am with and need to find them. As we all have mobile phones in our family. My family bought this mobile phone about three years ago so that I could have on when I am driving back and forth from they place 20 minutes away on a freeway and they can find me if I am out. Itís when I do put my mobile on.

So back to the costing of this mobile phone, Ok I got it for FREE with $30.00 free calls on it. As I canít hear it ring only see the lights when a message come in. I donít use it much to talk on, as the calls on this annual plan are .60cent per minute. I have no voice mail, rarely call out, only SMS mainly. After first 2 months, I bought $50.00 recharge and put it on annual plan. At the end of the first year I had $49.00 left which rollover to next recharge which I put another $50.00 recharge on it and next year another $50 recharge. Because now, I have still $72.00 left to rollover this year I put only $20.00 on it this time which is the lowest I can get. This is not all I saved, as I got 15% off each of those recharges as well! So whatís the cost of my mobile phone to date. As the phone was free with $30.00 in call. I spent only $127.50 out of my pocket. In 3 years I had $200 of call credits now have $92.00 left. Using only $108.00 in this time. $108.00 call credits used on Mobile phone calls in 3 years with a phone that is in daily use. Can anyone else beat this?

Also I went shopping today, bought some groceries $3.85 saving $2.00 and had lunch out $2.95 and free coffee, saving $2.45 and I bought chocolates as I do have a sweet tooth. $3.88 saving .60 here

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers & Marinated Feta Cheese with Marinated Peppers Fruit Coffee
DINNER Savoury Mince on Toast. Fruit Coffee

Todayís Full price Tally $33.10
Todayís Savings - $ 8.05
2007 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $ 9963.51

This Mirror Image Challenge and balancing my budget.

February 16th, 2007 at 12:38 am

The more I do this challenge more, I see that having the pension and claiming all benefit that you are in titled too, does save money over and above what I am saving with other areas of this challenge. I must give you a list of the things that I am getting with pension benefit and see if I can work out before the end of this challenge at the end of April. How much of this Challenge is pension related and how much frugal buying or DIY savings. I will need to review all my posts to date to do this.

Today is one the dayís that I balance my budget and check that I paid all my bills due. I do this at least twice per month. Once for my own balancing and once for this blog as they donít run at the same time and are 2 weekís apart which does keep me on my toes. All is well with my budget to this point. So much so that I did order some books in online today, and went to get at check to pay for them, as I donít use my credit card online if I can find away not too! The firm that I am buying from is Australia and does allow a cheque but it can take a little longer but in this case not as the books are not available until end of the month. Free postage is part of the saving at $7.90 per book that is a large saving here on top of saving of RRP $11.44 per here. I may have got it cheap if I bought from other online book companies but itís the postage & handling charges that cost the money and my bank cheque /check are free because I my pension card. Saving $8.00 here.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers & Marinated Feta Cheese with Marinated Peppers Fruit Coffee
DINNER Poached Fish with Salad

Todayís Full price Tally $78.88
Todayís Savings - $27.34
2007 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $9955.46

Pay that CC card off

February 14th, 2007 at 12:08 am

Itís my day to go to the city, and a visit my Chiro, I do this once every four weeks. As I canít be fix with Chiro but it keeps me balanced and not falling and carrying most of my weight to one side like I use to do as this my way of not coming up for a hip replacement in the future. By the time I got an operation that I could afford I would no longer need it. I cost me around $25.00 per month for the treatment out of my pocket but it works for me. (Note :~ This amount was recorded early in a bulk payment) Refund $19.40 here

While in the city I paid that credit card off that I was telling you about yesterday. So I am back to Zero on all my credit cards yet again!

I also bought a snack today, as I didnít want to buy any burgers to get a free coffee, I went to one of supermarket in the city and bought some snacks for my lunch, 2 bananas, 1 Texan Muffin, and 250ml of Ice Coffee Milk all this for $3.85 much cheaper than $5.25 the cheapest healthy meal with coffee, I could get. Next time I will just buy 1 banana, bread roll and drink this would be cheaper yet again about $ 2.30 this would stop me from being hungry until I got home.

BREAKFAST Baked Beans on Toast Coffee
LUNCH Muffin, Fruit, Coffee Ice Milk
DINNER Beans Patties with Mixed Salad & Hummus on Crackers Fruit Coffee

Todayís Full price Tally $5.25
Todayís Savings - $ 20.80
2007 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $9928.12

Paying phone bill with CC & WHY?

February 13th, 2007 at 12:20 am

Today I made a special trip down to the place where I paid my bills as I am a bit old fashion and like to visualize that I paid a bill and hand over my cash or cards as the case may be. Well as I never pay many of my bills via credit card unless I am very short of money that week and I can be paid before next payment is due. What different about todayís phone bill itís only a very bill and I can afford to pay it cash too! The phone bill is only $38.35 this month I do get a payment with my pension once every 3 months for a discount on my phone bill $20.30 so I better count that in my tally as I was paid it this week.

Different is that I have more than one credit card and this one hasnít been use for a very long. While as I was talking to a cashier at another bank, I said need to make sure that I use it at a least once every few years so the bank knows that I still what it. The cashier did hear of a lady that had hers cancelled because she never used it. As I am going to the city in the morning and will have time to pay the credit card off again so itís back to zero. I donít have any fees on this card and it only there for a safety blanket, as I donít qualify for any new cards so I need to keep them open even if I donít use them. After tomorrow I will put it back in it home. This is one of the problems of having a very low income. Here you need an annual income of $25000 plus to qualify for one and my annual income is below $15000. Do any of you have this problem?

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers & Marinated Feta Cheese with Marinated Peppers Fruit Coffee
DINNER 2 Sausage & Egg with Baked Beans

Todayís Full price Tally $58.65
Todayís Savings - $ 20.30
2007 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $9907.32

Cleaning out my fridge and other household chores.

January 22nd, 2007 at 12:12 am

As I havenít done any housework last week so I set my 100 minutes timer and went at it.

Itís great when I set myself a challenge to get as much done in that time. I canít get the whole house done but the main areas are done. Just the general stuff everyone does I would say. I also cleaned my refrigerator out as I needed to see if anything has been move to the back of it, it was all was clear just needed a wipe down.

I need now to think about clearing the area where the new door is going as I have a bookcase and coffee table across that area. Now where will I put it all, some will only be going until the door is in but some of it will need to find a new home? I will look at some of it to see if any can be culled. Itís mainly my ASL tutor teaching stuff that I collected a few years ago so maybe Iíll box it up for now! Itís my next minor project; itís one of my steps in the Major Door Project. Sorry that I write about projects but I do get things done around here if I think in projects. Smile

Trip to the city with lunch in the park

December 11th, 2006 at 02:19 am

My hearing aid stopped so I rang the company to check, as it didnít work after charges of two sets of batteries. So it was a trip to the city to get it fixed. I went in by bus as usual. I only bought a bottle of water walking up to Hearing Aid Place.

Boy! Can a one bottle of water cost so much in 150 metres? I bought it for $1.00 a 600ml bottle at the Chemist, as I walked past the snack bars in the eatery, I saw it for $1.20 when I walked past the newsagent on the next level and it was $1.50 so the price was a extra 50c in 100 metres then up to the street that I was going to another 50 metres and it was $2.50 there. I made my lunch and took it with me today.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Tuna and Cranberry Sauce Roll Apple Water
DINNER Fillet Steak, Egg, Onion & Tomatoes Coffee

Todayís Full price Tally $2.50
Todayís Savings - $ 1.50
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $8305.86

On the subject of skin cancer.

December 1st, 2006 at 01:41 am

This is very interesting reading, I do eat salad greens all year around.

Spinach linked to sun protection

Eating green, leafy vegetables may be as important as wearing hats and sunscreen in the prevention of skin cancer.

An 11-year study by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research involving 1,000 people in Nambour, on the Sunshine Coast, found those who ate at least three serves of green leafy vegetables a week reduced their risk of skin cancer by up to 55 per cent.

Doctor Jolieke van der Pols says green vegetables such as spinach contain a crucial cocktail of nutrients that can boost the skin's natural defence against sun damage.

"Other research that has looked at individual nutrients haven't found very clear evidence, so it might be that actually the combination of nutrients as they occur normally in the foods that we eat, actually have the effect on the skin cancer," Dr van der Pols said.

She says the findings highlight the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
"So the message is: diet may play a role, but importantly in addition to the usual precaution measures such as using a hat, sunscreen and protective clothing."

ABC online - Friday, December 1, 2006.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers with Avocado & Herbs fruit
DINNER Poach Fish & Salad Coffee

Went shopping again today.

September 24th, 2006 at 01:50 am

I finally got the smoke alarm that I was looking for too! I bought it as so as I saw it @ $25.00 saving $5.00 on quoted price at hardware. Now to get some one to put it up for me. As coffee Nescafe was on special this week and lowest price in the past year so I used some of my Bulk Food Replacement Fund money to buy 1kg. (2 tins of it) saving $14.50 of RRP. Other items bought I saved $3.25 as well! I will need to include my Bulk Food Replacement Fund value again and watch as spend it. I stopped the tally at $200 now I see how long this will last.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Potato & Leek Soup and Crackers with Low-Fat Cream Cheese & Tomato Coffee
DINNER Honey Teriyaki Beef with Rice Noodles Apple Green Tea

Todayís Full price Tally $78.79
Todayís Savings - $22.75
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $6181.21
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $200.00 Ė $22.78 = $177.22

My Dream

September 10th, 2006 at 01:14 am

I have been collecting recipes for a number of years now. What I would like to do with them, is to find about 30 Ė 50 recipes and study and follow them through the past 250 years until now. How they have charged with time. How the recipe were written what the ingredients use in them or how they were made and ways they are cooked and served. This is a challenge that one day I am yet to do! It may never get published but it will be an interesting study.

Today I have been working on the computer editing an ebook that I was sent to edit. Now I need to make an index for it. Which is missing on it! I like to make things so that I only have to do something once or just to update it when itís out of date. It must be my path in life, to find ways so you only do something once or a good routine that can be followed.

I spend a lot of my time re-editing others people work to my way of doing it, so that I can read it once and understand whatís written. Some people do not like the way I do things too! We are all different.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Crackers with Avocado & Herbs fruit
DINNER Steak, Egg, Tomatoes, & Grilled Onions Dinner

Serving lunch at my house.

August 21st, 2006 at 02:07 am

When I have visitors or guests to stay, I serve a lunch, where I put out in divided dishes enough food for all of us in controlled portions plus one extra serve. Itís most times, mix your own salad, only thing I make is one of the following mixed beans salad, rice salad or pasta salad. I serve enough of other things to make a meal. Mixed salad green, olives, sliced tomatoes, pickled onions, bread & butter cucumbers, asparagus, fresh shallots & herbs, cheese, eggs, ham, tuna or sardines, Chutneys, relishes, lemon juice and two salad dressings and a long with crackers & bread. What is left in the dishes is used to make a meal later in the week. I never had anyone say I donít eat this stuff, very little is left too! If put out full containers of each for two or three people they take a lot of one thing and donít try any of others. e.g. olives serving is 4 so I put out 12 for two people. Cheese is 30g each. If itís a luxury item then I only put out enough per serving only.

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee
LUNCH Soup & Toast Apple Coffee
DINNER French Onion Chicken with Toast Fruit Coffee

Morning with my son

August 3rd, 2006 at 11:14 pm

After breakfast coffee with DF-M, I had breakfast with DS at Hungry Jackís. It was two for one deal so we shared the deal. Each gets our own drinks. Can you guess what I had? Saving $4.45

A light bulb idea hit my DS, he normally just buy want he want then eats it all in around 5 minutes. Well today we just bought the deal and just sat and talked. When it got to 20 minutes I asked him if was going to buy his pancakes, he said no I am full. Funny, if you just buy all that stuff in the drive thru you will eat it. But sit an eat it and talk for a while then buy more if you are still hungry, you find that you are not hungry. I have been saying this for a while but he would never listen. If he just does this then he may just lose some weight that he need to lose.

After we when over a shopping centre so that I could pay a bill and bought a few items that were on special at K-Mart too! Saving $3.80

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Bacon & Egg Roll* Coffee
LUNCH Soup & Toast Coffee apple
DINNER Poach Fish & Salad Coffee

Todayís Full price Tally $85.60*
Todayís Savings - $ 8.25
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $195.20
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $3985.09

125th Post of ĎMirror Image Challengeí

August 2nd, 2006 at 03:03 am

This ĎYear Long Mirror Image Challengeí has made me stop think and ask myself a lot of questions.

Why I do, what I do whom I meet, where I go and how I feel about all parts of living, spending and saving money. Learning along the way.

Now I need to stop think, how much I would have paid if I paid full price for everything. As this my challenge.

I put this question ďWhat is the true value of my lifestyle now that I am living on a pension?Ē to myself in April. And this what I wished to find out the difference, than that of someone single paying full price for everything and what I am doing now!

My pension is around $13000 per year before tax, what is minimum income of someone single paying full price for everything paying, doing the same things and lifestyle? Mirror Image Challenge

Last week I found my original Saved Money Journal that I started early in January 2004 with very similar ideas.

This is what I wrote as an outline then.

Saved Money is there difference in Money spent and what I would have paid if I bought it differently.

Lists of areas to look at too save money in.
1. Paid someone to do the job.
2. Paid full price RRP without discounts or buying 2nd hand.
3. Bought it at another outlet
4. Bought it at different time of year when itís more expensive.
5. Bought it at regular price and not on sale.
6. Something that was given to me that had a cash value.

Grey Water

June 24th, 2006 at 01:51 am

I had a go at my new system with all my buckets and water holding rubbish bins etc for my grey water.

Some ideas worked but others were not as successful as I hoped! I need to empty my rubbish bins before I washed so I watered the back yard with them.

Saving the soapy water to put back in the washing machine and having enough buckets to do this task. 10 buckets and 2 large rubbish bins were not enough.

As for the recycle water hose that I bought, I need some way to fix it to my washing machine waste hose and be able to remove it also! I used up 2 ideas as far with very little success.

I am still learning on this one so itís back to the drawing broad. MMMM!

BREAKFAST Oatmeal & Currants Coffee 2 Toast & Jam, Coffee 60c
LUNCH Crackers with Cheese & Chutney, Mandarin Coffee 65c
DINNER Omelette with Sweet Chilli Sauce Apple Coffee. 65c

Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $100.20

In the last 28 days I have

June 22nd, 2006 at 03:21 pm

Gone shopping or bought something. 15 times

Went to the city by bus 2 times

Drove my car only. 9 times

Had bought food or had for free away from home. 5 times

And had 13 No Spending Days.

Lets see what next 28 days tallies will be.

My Storage Areas

June 22nd, 2006 at 01:33 am

Today task was to make room in my storage area downstairs to make room for more STUFF that needs to be move out of upstairs.

As I have the habit of re-buying the same items again and again if donít keep them. I no longer part with them only move them into storage. I do have the storage too!

My aim is to put this goal into practice. Goal: To just leave out what projects & topic, I am working on this week, all other projects are to be returned to itís own storage area. MMMMM!

I do work on a value system, so I donít keep everything. If I can replace it at little cost & no longer need it now then it goes in the bin or given away. But if it cost a bit of money to replace it in the future then I will keep it. I have been known to go back too projects years later.

With this plan, I will be able to keep my house in some form of order, even itís not just tidy as a picture perfect house.

BREAKFAST Oatmeal & Milk with LSA Pancakes & Maple Syrup with Whipped Cream 80c
LUNCH Crackers with Chutney, Home-cooked Corn Beef & Salad Coffee $1.00
DINNER Devilled Sausages Orange $1.00

Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $97.45

Hardware Shopping Trip

June 19th, 2006 at 02:14 am

I had to drive to the hardware superstore today. The nearest one is about 6km away.

As we went into level 3 water restrictions last week, I needed to buy more buckets and Bunnings oneís are more sturdier than the cheaper buckets but half the price more. ($1.50 to 89c) these are for my grey water in my laundry. Also bought a 42L rubber large Tuff bucket to fill so that I am not standing holding it up everytime to fill up. I do have a bad back to start with so I have to find ways around this problem. I got my 2 hose reels and fitting to put my hoses away too! They were a little expensive, I bought them for safety as this comes before money on my list. I would have to look after myself if I had an accident. I got a new rake for $2.65 also I was charged twice which I found out when I arrived home. Plus some other items. $$$Another Strategy ~ safety first

It may be a small amount of $2.65, but if everyone didnít go back for a refund then they win!

I rang them up so that 20c off the refund to start. Yes, they did remember me. So I will not to wait to run a security camera check on the sale. ďThey run a security camera at each register and then view footage before a give a refund if there is any doubt!Ē (Yes, this is what she said on the phone.) They had a run of people taking other peoples dockets at some stage, then duplicating what was on it, when returning to a store for part refunds later! Another friend had her docket stolen while she was getting the charges from her sale. You need a docket the leave the store with any goods. This little exercise costs $58.74 less $2.65 when I get it. I will go back to-morrow as the girl who served me is on duty then!
$$$Another Strategy ~ check dockets & get your refunds if wrong.

As it was lunch time and I need to go grocery shopping on the way home. (Multi task trip here.)

I had lunch of a hot dog & mustard roll and milkshake at our Cheapest Snack Bar locality. Itís a one off snack bar. They serve a very limited menu, hot dogs, doughnuts and gingerbread men & drinks but they prices are cheaper by more than half what you pay at other places like Wendyís. Cost $2.45* saving $4.55 if I bought at cafť in the hardware store. I nearly did too! I bought Pet Food & Grocery needed at supermarket cost $13.75 only saving 65c on Retire Staff Discount Card.

BREAKFAST Oatmeal & Currants with Milk Coffee 35c
LUNCH hot dog & milk shake *
DINNER Devilled Sausages Yogurt & LSA Coffee 75c
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $1.10

Todayís Full price Tally $79.49*
Todayís Savings - $5.20
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $92.65
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $2842.21

Morning Tea Ö.Clothes

June 4th, 2006 at 02:03 pm

Finding something to wear for the Tuesdayís morning tea. I donít want to buy anything, so it will be something out of my wardrobe. As it cool here that you will need something with long sleeve it must be skirt or dress not pants which is what my wardrobe is mainly built around now! Itís will be very frugal indeed as most of my wardrobe is very old or 2nd hand.

I have chosen three outfits that may past muster for this event. One is a dark pink 2 piece suit that was my motherís (20 years old)Wink, the mauve suit (I wore this to DS wedding that I now wear it to weddings & formal occasions) (6 years old) and is very out of date this season. Black skirt and long sleeve black plain top that I would wear my long pearl with. Black Shoes and Handbag (15 year old.) for all outfits.

Retail Therapy - Tightwad Style

June 2nd, 2006 at 01:55 am

As you read in the last post that I did end up at Thriftís Shop ĎFill a Bagí Sale for $2.50 bag.

I bought 3 bags for $7.50.

28 garments in all RRP value between $12.00 for Undergarment Vest to Designer Label Jumper around $125.00. Thatís under a 27c per garment. All designs are of last two years fashions. 6 pieces were Designer Labels (DL)

5 Jackets (2 DL) - $60 Ė125
6 Jumpers (2 DL) - $40 Ė 125
8 Tops (2 DL) - $25 Ė 75
2 Pants Casual - $15.00 each
5 Summer Tops $25 Ė 35 each
2 T-Shirts $25.00 (one new a Hard Rock Cafť London)
Value Around $950. Saving $942.50

Lucky that I have neutral color pants and skirts that will tone in with what I have bought.

Now I will have to wash & iron them and go through my own wardrobe and cull around 30 garments that I donít look great in. (Something In & Something Out Strategy)

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk with LSA Coffee 60c
LUNCH Baked Beans on Toast Mandarin Coffee 90c
DINNER Apricot Chicken & Vegetables 2 Chocolate Biscuits Coffee 2.00

Todayís Full price Tally $950
Todayís Savings - $942.50
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $ 53.90
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $2401.50

How I am pricing my meals?

May 30th, 2006 at 02:25 am

As I live alone all prices are for one person and everything is at cost.

You need to remember what you are paying for things, this skill I learnt when I was working.

Rule of thumb: Cost of items or recipe divide by number of serving.

example: updated 2006
Cost of Economical Breakfast ~
2 weet-bix 11c
1/4 cup skim milk 5c
3 prunes 5c
1 toast 4c
Black Coffee or Tea 5c
Hot Water 0 = 30 cents

Cost of Economical Breakfast ~
1/3c Quick Oats 4c
1/4 cup skim milk 5c
1 tbsp. sultanas 5c
1 tsp. Honey 3c
1 toast 4c
Black Coffee or Tea 5c
Hot Water 3/4 c 0 = 26 cents
Note: If you have Jam & Butter on your toast adds 30c
Vegemite add 2c

The Muesli that I have is homemade and very expensive to start off to make. Now I have got it too around 40c serve. I make enough for 21 days at a time and costing now is under $6.00.

The first time that I made it cost over $21.00 to make. I did a costing chart for it. Now I buy in bulk and on special if I can get the ingredients cheaper. Storing most of the items in the 2nd fridge.

Milk is mostly bought as 1kg bag of skim milk powder made up by the 1/2 cup dried and 600ml (1 pint) of water. This lasts around 4 days for my cereal only. If I can get fancy milk products at a markdown price then I will buy them for variety. Milk on cereal would be around 5c a day.

Lunch per serve

2 slice of bread or 3 crackers (broken into 6 small crackers) @ 10c
Chutney or relishes @ 5c
Cheese is bought when on special @ 20c
Salads around @ 60c
Pasta and 1/2 cup pasta sauce with 1/2 cup vegetables @ 60c
Just a few items here.

Take Steak Dinner with Canned Mushrooms, Egg, Grilled Onions and Grilled Tomatoes @ $2.20
Based on $1.20 per Steak, Onion 20c, Tomato 20c, Mushrooms 40c, and Egg 20c

I only buy steak at its lowest price that I can find. Last time I bought steak, I got 3 trays @ $1.14 each, a steak at its regular price here is $21.99 kg at the moment. When buying meat tray markdowns buy the cheapest and the lowest price you can find. Look at the weight before you choose which tray to take if you are not taking all of them. But in truth if I want too, I could only post value of the bulk items in this case it would be Steak $1.20 & Mushrooms 40c @ $1.60.

Meals made from Chicken To-Night Sauce on special $1.50 to $1.99 range, @50c serve, 300g Chicken Breast diced (@ $10.00 kg), 3 serves of chicken for 4 meal. @ .75 serve, vegetables 500g $1.50 @ 38c allowing $1.65 meal serving.

As I am repeating recipes and meals on a regular bases. I can estimate costs, as I am writing in my Blog at times.

In 28 days I have!

May 27th, 2006 at 11:31 pm

Gone shopping or bought something. 17 times

Went to the city by bus and had lunch out. 3 times

Used my car only. 6 times

And had 15 No Spending Days.

Lets see what next 28 days tallies will be.

Grocery Inventory Started.

May 26th, 2006 at 01:04 am

Boy! I got a lot of groceries in my two pantries; I have a storage cupboard downstairs for the overflow, along with my Toilet Paper and cleaning items. One of my freezer/refrigerator is there too! I have a very large storage area under my house. It canít be made into living areas, as only one area is legal height but just a good height for me to walk around. If you are over 5 feet 5 inches then you will hit your head on the beams as you walk around.

I think I will have enough Grocery items to last until I run out of the proteins meats in about two to three months. Too many items of some things and very little of salad items left which I like to add to my salad in the way of Bread & Butter Pickles which will be on my list in a few weeks. Here you can have salads all year around. I think I will cut back on my bulk asset stock by 50% just buy enough for 3 months not six months supply like I have been doing. I will use up want I have got before I replace it too! I have got a small Gourmet Deli corner in my pantry as DIL loves to buy Gourmet Christmas Hampers in the ĎAfter Christmas Salesí but doesnít like all the food so I end up with it. MMMMMM. YUM!

Did do some cooking in the slow cooker today, ĎFrench Onion Chickení. I used the two trays of chicken thigh I bought yesterday along with half can French Onion Soup and two cans small crushed tomatoes. I portioned the chicken into soup ladle meal sizes and I plan to add it to pasta or rice. I will get another nine meals doing this for 80c a serve.

BREAKFAST - Oatmeal & Currants with Milk, 2 Pancakes & Maple Syrup with Whipped Cream. Coffee. 60c
LUNCH French Onion Soup French Bread & Hummus Apple Coffee + Health LSA Bar (That I won. $3.95 ea.) 50c
DINNER French Onion Chicken Chocolate Paddle Pop Coffee $1.25

Todayís Full price Tally $3.95
Todayís Savings - $3.95
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $34.55
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $1350.69

Monthly Tracking Budget done!

May 15th, 2006 at 03:16 am

I balanced my budget today. I did buy a few extra luxuries this last period but still came within the budget. It is on track but could have been better. I can over spend on books so I need to track everyone that I do buy. Food eaten outside the house was on the high side again but I do get value for my money when I do spend. Mainly Two for One Dealís, as I only eat half & eat the other half next day for lunch. (Doggie Bag Strategy) These areas and my gift giving were my highest this period. When you just have $1000 to budget with for the month it can be tight. Thatís why I am $$$ stretching and not saving, I do save if I can some months. I still had $85 left in my budget A/C when I got paid which is rollovered into next period. All my bills came out of this amount this month and not out of Bill A/C, (Freedom account) any surplus bill money does get banked until needed too! Banking the balance and not paying it out the Bill A/C allows for extra interest by depositing and not withdrawing.

I also did some shopping today, I went for a walk up to the chemist again, to get the right prescription filled this time. Liptor is ($82.31-RRP), general public NPS - $25.00, health card holders & pensioners $4.70 Ö saving $20.30. If I had to pay RRP I would never get the prescription filled. Never went and got a free coffee today as this is only a rare treat and I donít need an ice cream cone everyday!

Popped into two thrift shops on my way, found a cute metal basket & another item for my baby gift basket both for $1.00Ösaving $8.00. So that baby gift basket has come under $15 value around $28.00. I have wrapping paper in my storage. At the supermarket I bought milk that was markdown today and 2 pensÖ saving $2.59 on RRP

BREAKFAST Muesli & Milk Coffee 40c
LUNCH Devilled Sausages Coffee $1.00
DINNER Poach Fish & Vegetables for dinnerÖ $2.50

Todayís Full price Tally $38.14
Todayís Savings - $30.89
Bulk Food Replacement Fund - $5.15
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $991.29

A dose of Frugal Shopping

May 12th, 2006 at 04:45 am

I did washing today, so that I least I have something done today while I said a few prayers. Feeling very low and lost with cold as well. A dose of Frugal Shopping is much better than sitting home thinking about my friends and making myself depressed. I walked up to the local shops to post my sympathy card and have lunch with people even if itís alone! I went thrift shopping instead being alone, talk to my friend at one of the shops which had Two for One on clothing sale as they are closing down that thrift shop in three weeks time. I bought six garments today, 4 tops and 2 pants for $10.00 original value $140
Another Costa Moda (up market) Top $2.00 as new value $55.00 as new in my size too!
Blouse and matching tank top $3.50 as new value $35.00 as new
Top sleeveless $1.50 as new value $25.00 as new
Track pants $ 1.50 as new value $15.00
Cotton pattern pants $1.50 as new value $10.00 Total saving on clothes $130.00
Pottery vase $2.00 value $30.00 saving $28.00 This is my memory vase for my young friend.
2 containers for gift baskets @50c $1.00 saving $12.00 (one is worth around $8)
Historical Romance Novel FREE for stay in the store while a difficult customer was in the store. new value 18.95
Lunch out, Two for One Deal again Spicy Chicken Baguette, with Hungry Jacks voucher + another 30c cone & more free coffee, two cups cappuccino this time with my senior card total cost $5.55 value $15.70 saving $10.15

Todayís Full price Tally $216.65
Todayís Savings - $199.10
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $896.60

Bulk Assets Shopping in My Storage Areas

May 9th, 2006 at 02:05 pm

Fitted & flats sheets are required. I did have some a few years before I retired so it times to find them. Oh Boy docket said I paid $7 each from them. That would now be 428% saving on todayís prices x 5. (I did get them at 90% off when I did buy them at a closing down sale.) $150.00 - $35.00 = $115 saving. Not a bad return for storing linen for the future they were only 7 years in storage. Never store linen for more than 10 years without checking it now and then. Wash and getting them ready for use, the elastic on fitted sheets are OK! That's major problem with storing them.

Greenwaste was pickup today. I got 2x free bags of compost 25L, as I had to put out two piles as I cut the neighbor tree & hedge and put it outside her place also! About $3.50 a bag, I will not count in tally as anyone who did it got a free bag for each household also!

Todayís Full price Tally $ 150
Todayís Savings - $115
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $498.15

Day Ten so itís washing day!

May 2nd, 2006 at 11:17 am

I worked out a washing day strategy to save water in this drought we are having, as my water is very low to start with less than 22KL per quarter. I need to do something out of the ordinary to start with. I work out a washing schedule chart to see if washing more or less often would help in anyway! Itís a 10x 10 grid I posted this in the forum some where. Anyway after doing this chart up, I found that if I washed one load every five days or 2 loads every ten days seeing that I am in single household. I would save money and time than washing every Saturday morning like I did before. Now I do two loads and small hand wash and this lasts me until next wash.

I am saving money on my washing detergent too! As I have of washing powder on hand from specials that I have bought that I need to use up. I also have made up a frugal mixture that I use to wash my bed linen and things that I donít iron. This mixture cost under $1 to make six months supply (about 40 loads) so I am save money by using only 50% of soap powder.

To save my Grey water, I recycle washing machine water by keeping the first load wash water for second load also using the second loads water on the garden as I always wash in cold water I am saving electricity too!. A little work but it does save money and I line dry all my washing too! I use recycle Grey water, in backyard to keep my trees and pot plants a alive, there just enough Grey water to do this, plus I only water one week otherwise for less than 20 minutes.

Fine-tuning my budget goal!

April 28th, 2006 at 04:59 am

I finally have decided that I need to work on fine-tuning my budget. My Question is ďWhat is the true value of my lifestyle now that I am living on a pension?Ē This is what I wish to find out the difference, than that of someone single paying full price for everything and what I am doing now! My pension is around $13000 per year before tax. What is the minimum income of someone single paying full price for everything, doing the same things and having essentially the same lifestyle? Mirror Image Challenge

I can save very little in the way of cash, but I can certainly stretch my money a lot more than most of those around me can! If I had to pay for what I do use in the way of goods & services at full price I would need a lot more money than my pension allows. I want to find out what is the difference. So I plan to tally up what the full prices might be and then find the difference between the discounts found or/and saving made by $ stretching and frugal strategies. Naming the strategy used if possible.

2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally is the amount that I would need to find or earn extra to live at this level. My challenge is to find what my true cost of living would be, I will be using every frugal and saving tip or discount that is available to me! All will be in Australian dollars. (Exchange rate is around 75c to US dollar)

Example of my Tally list is:
Todayís Full price Tally $150
Todayís Savings - $80
2006 Total $-t-r-e-t-c-h Savings Tally $80

ďIt's really hard to come up with $1000 but itís easy to find 1000 ways to save a dollar or two!Ē

So letís go and find those 1000 ways to save a dollar challenge and see what the amount is at the end of 12 months.

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