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Archive for January, 2010

Cleaning Zone 7

January 24th, 2010 at 08:13 pm

I have set up a zoning system for my house downstairs, there is about 15 Zones in all for that part of the house. This way I can work on one zone at time and not feel overwhelm by how much there is to do or being able to fine something if I need to look for it. As each zone have only the simular things in it. So when you tidy it up after removing anything unnecessary stuff its easy to find things. All the boxes are labelled that will give you an idea what may be inside but not labelled in away that would make it easy to take a box and you would not know about it. As most are books so learning would be Brain food. This is one box that will go when I get to it next but it not in Zone 7.

I did about hour there; I did find a few empty boxes from items that I bought that are no longer under warranty so I could remove them to the recycle bin. I also found one box of books that needs a new home so I empty one plastic container of odd and ends and use it. Again the label tells me whats likely in it but not a stranger. It looks a lot better I will do some more work in that area until I am finish. Its 4 metres square as are most of the Zones in my system. Today I am planning to review the odd and ends that I remove from that container. I have five large containers or bags to check on before I finish this Zone 7 or I get bored with it. I will find a few treasures in these containers as when I clean up for visitors, I bag or box up everything that in the way and take it downstairs.

I do need to get into the one next door to it soon! It will be falling on the floor if the cats have a play in that area.

No Spending Day

Pandora box

January 20th, 2010 at 11:12 am

Oh dear what I have I started here!

Its time to use the make up and toiletries that I have in one of my stockpile cupboards, most are now out of date so they cant be sold but are all sealed so I use them over time. Just need to remember what is there. Enough deodorants, soaps, shampoo and conditioners, tooth paste, toilet paper, foundations, lipsticks, hand creams, face creams and masks to last a few years.

What was I thinking of buying more shampoo and conditioners when I had so many in the first place. I do use a lot more conditioner that shampoo so will start by using up some of the samples that I have first of whatever there is there.

I did sell for Avon at one time and bought a lot of samples then stop selling, I need to use up this stuff first, same goes for some of creams and masks too! Its almost 5 years since I bought it and I am still using this stuff up. I have been taking samples away with me when I went on holidays but my holidays are so few now!

Here just a sample of my sample stockpile

Shampoo& conditioners - 10 of one kind
Shampoo -6 of another kind
Shampoo & conditioner of Head & shoulders -10 sets from sample bags these are most the latest ones.
Two Face masks tubes so very old that plastic tube are perished and have emptied them into a container as they were the same kind. Plus 20 sample masks to use up before I start on any of the six that are there tubes.
I just gave myself my first mask for a year. That was with my 12 year old stuff with perished tube. I do know how old it is as it has my old job store tags still on it.

Oh dear! Waste Not, Want Not and this is just the tip of the pile.

I banked $50 today

What will I be reporting on in my WNWN Challenge

January 16th, 2010 at 05:46 pm

I will need to report on what I am using and how I am using it if its not the norm and what I have found to use in the future.

Doing my Weekly Menu plan again

I will continue with my Monthly Living Allowance reports.
Hopefully I will see a downwards trend on my spending.

Include a report on any saving money transferred to ING account or other accounts.

Any saving will used to replace the cost of painting my house this year.

I wouldnt say I was a spendthrift by any means just have a collection of a lot of stuff over time. Some things came with the house and are still here today. Its a case of do you have still got Mum or Dad or Nana or Aunty this or that! Now that may be a strange to some of you that move around a lot but as a family member built this house in early 1950s and some family member has been living here ever since. Its alway been thought of as the family retirement home the only problem is that I just retired in the last few years as I came here in my twenties with my parents and have been here ever since. A few pieces of the furniture came into the house when it was new!

Its time to use what I have got here then find a home or sell things that I will never use again. I do know that I could sell some of it on eBay if I ever wanted or had too!

If I ever move from this house in the future I would reckon that I could only take about 20- 25% of what I have here now! I think its time to start review what is that very special to me.

Weekly Main Meal Menu
Sunday~ Pasta with Tuna & Tomato Sauce
Monday ~Steak & Vegetables
Tuesday~ Scramble Eggs on Toast
Wednesday ~ Spaghetti Bolognese
Thursday~ Leftovers night
Friday~ Grilled Crumbed Fish with Vegetables
Saturday~ Chilli Con Care & Corn Chips

WNWN Menus Challenge - 1

January 9th, 2010 at 07:31 pm

I have a large cane basket that I have put items of food that I wish to include into my menu in the coming weeks. This along with wants in the freezer is to be used first.

Stockpile list to work with.

Basic staples
Rolled oats

Items in the baskets to be used next
4 cans of Tomatoes
425g Tuna Chunks in Brine
400g can Creamed Corn
310g Corn Kernels
420g Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
95g Tuna with Tomato & Onion
1 x 400g can pineapple pieces
165g can Coconut Cream
180g pkt of Rich Tomato & Cracked Pepper
1 x 45g pkt Fish Chowder
1 x 45 Caribbean Chicken mix
1 x 400g can Champignons Pieces & Stems
1 can 3 Bean Mix
Can of Plum Pudding
Butter Cake Mix
Jar of Fruit Mince 410g
Mixed Fruit 375g
3x 825g can Apricot Halves
2 x pkt Flavour Jelly Mix
140g pkt Lavish Crackers
1x 400g Skim Condensed Milk
420g Cream of Mushroom Soup

Basic mince mix
Whole Chicken
Kangaroo roast
250g diced chicken

Plus basic spices & other condiments.
Basic vegetables in fridge & freezer

Can I make meals out of this list?
This is what I came up with so far
Tomato Sauce - 2 can tomatoes + tomato cracked pepper sauce (sauce makes about 4 cups)
Caribbean Chicken with rice -flavouring packet + 250g diced chicken, pineapple piece & juice, & peppers - 3 serves
Pasta & Tuna - 1/2 can flavoured tuna, 1/4 cup tomato sauce mix- balance of tuna used for lunch with lavish crackers
Spaghetti Bolognaise = basic mince + 2 cups tomato sauce - 3 serves plus Chilli mix
Chilli Con Carne = 1/2 Basic mince used for bolognaise, 1/2 can baked bean, chilli powder - 3 serves
Roast chicken - with roasted vegetables and chicken for salads - 4 serves
Small Kangaroo Roast with vegetables & Champignons 1/2 can - freeze balance - 2 serves
Tuna Mornay Fish chowder + tuna + coconut cream + corn kernels - 4 serves
Tomato soup - made from can of tomatoes - 2 serves - lunch with toast
Beans salad - 3 Bean Mix + diced shallots & celery
Creamed corn - served for breakfast on toast - 3 serves
Baked beans on toast for breakfast - 1/2 can
Jelly & Apricots
Plum Pudding & custard
Boiled Fruit Cake
Fruit mince tarts
Cookies made with the cake mix + Skim Condensed Milk.

Any meals that have more serves that I am unable eat in one day, which can be frozen, are for next week menu. Ones that cant be frozen then are use later in the week.

Made and used so far
Tomato Sauce
Caribbean Chicken with rice
Pasta & Tuna
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Chilli Con Carne,
Small Kangaroo Roast with vegetables
Baked beans on toast for breakfast - 1/2 can
Jelly & Apricots
Plum Pudding & custard

Saving Money so far
Banked $40.00

My Food Stockpile

January 8th, 2010 at 09:13 am

In the Waste Not, Want Not Challenge the plan is to use down my stockpile that I have collected over the past few years. There are a number of areas that are covered in this challenge.

Having found a few cans that I didnt want to open, because they didnt past my safety check when I looked at them.

Please first of all note some of my cans are well past their use by dates so I am going on look of the can and look of stuff inside it when opened. If it looks like any way different than a new can then it failed the test. My health and that of my pets are well more important than a few cents saved.

So Rule number one here is - If it is not safe to use then dont. Never use dented or leaking or blown cans or if the product doesnt look right or smell right in anyway. Still up to now you havent tasted it so also if taste is wrong too! The more different ingredients in the can the more closer to the use by date it needs to be.
Rule two - Only buy want you will use and in quantities that you will use.
Rule three - Know what you can do with it before you buy large quantities of anything. If it food have at least 5 different recipes or ways of using it up your sleeve.

My Challenge for 2010

January 7th, 2010 at 10:01 am

Each year since I have been writing blogs, I have picked a part of my budget to have a closer look at, on how and what I am doing in that area so this year is no exception. I have found some surprises too!

I will be looking at storage & stockpile areas and making effort to use up what I can that I have bought over the years. Now its no good to give this stuff away as much of it is very old fashion or past it best before dates if they have one so it will only end the dump if I gave it away. A little picky, thats the modern world for you! Now if it has any value I am not giving it away, anyway. I will find a use for it!

So a hunting we will go in 2010 the year of Waste Not, Want Not Challenge!

Some Strategies that s-t-r-e-t-c-h my budget

January 5th, 2010 at 09:55 am

On last Saturday Morning, I end up going to a shopping to get the best deal at Jeweler store chain as they have their best sales around this time. I got some money for Christmas gift and a birthday gift voucher from this store of $25.00 so when I put the two together I can get some nice as I need to buy gift with the money and use that gift voucher before the end of the month. Its a show and tell kind gift.

So to upshot was that it was a 50% sale until Sunday then a new sales of some kind most unlikely on silver. I got a beautiful silver chain for Christmas so I wanted some extra silver locket to go with it. There were three lockets about the size I wanted there, priced at $149, $85, & $69, as I didnt like the design on $149 one and it was toss up between other two in the end I got both.

So RRP for both $154, less markdown of $76, less $25 gift voucher so cash outlay in the end was $53 of which $50 was gift money. Cost $3.00 out of my pocket. Saving of $151.00

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

That was not all the bargains that I end up with either. I had just five items on my list and lunch there as its a very large shopping centre and can take you 20 minutes to walk from one end to the other without shopping.

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

Item two - New computer ink cartridges
I always buy twin pack cartridges for printer as it work out better in the end. Doing a price check in the last few weeks want everyone was selling it for. So I went to Big W store here as they has the cheapest price the one I came to buy was sold out but another one of two twin packs was even better buy. Top RRP for a single twin pack $44.88, but I got 2x twin packs that 2 color & 2 black ink cartridges pack for $69.88. Saving of $19.88 if you just believe the sale talk that they sell it for the cheapest price you can get. Not likely after my experience!

Strategy - Dont believe all the sale talk, do your own leg work.

Item three & lunch
As one of the items need to bought at the supermarket I went to one that I can get a retire staff discount from. Now as I didnt know what was on special it was nice to know everything that I got was but for the drink to with my lunch. Potato crisps, personal items, crackers, Xmas bows & drink RRP $ 25.67 costing $18.54 Saving of $7.04

I had only two items my list for the supermarket, one was on sale personal items so I bought two packets saving $2.15, potato crisps 50% off special again bought two saving $3.15, multi buy on crackers that I use all the time 3 for $5 less my % saving $2.90, then Xmas wrapping bows in sliver, gold & red colors saving $1.32 plus my drink buying the drink small bottle of ice coffee at supermarket not where I am planning to dine in open plan food court saved a lot of money as drinks are around $3.30 where I was dining.

Using the supermarket strategy for buying my drink that cost only $1.49.

Strategy - Try to buy drinks at the supermarket if dining in open plan food courts.
Strategy - Only buy what you will use when shopping without a list.

Lunch was another saving as I bought a small size meal that was on special for $4.95 instead of $6.80 of Japanese Chicken Curry saving of $1.85 plus saving on my ice coffee of $1.81 so saved total of $3.66 here.

I saved another $2.00 buying some green seedless grapes for $3.99 per kg instead supermarket ones at $5.94 kg.

Strategy - Price check other shops before going to the supermarket As both supermarket in this shopping centre have a fruit & vegetable store outside each other at opposite end of the complex.

Bargain Price rite store that beauty & chemist lines as chocolates & gift lines, I couldnt resist the bargain here Tim tams Mugs gift set pack only $4.00 saving $10.99 and tin of cookies for $3.50 saving $6.49 here. I have enough treats now until end of February at least.

Strategy - If you will use it and cheap enough then have a treat now and then!

Now off the K-mart store another one that I can get retired staff discounts at. This was just shopping for the fun of it here. First off the only item left on my list was a Christmas Wreath that needs to be replaced for next year. Found on a Clearance trolley with someone there to mark them a further 50% off the mark price with another 50% off when you at the checkout. I got two wreaths for 75c saving of $14.40, Christmas Santa for $3.00 saving $16.95, two x Christmas empty tins set of 3 for $2.50 saving of $21.50 plus candy shocking for $1.25 saving of $3.50. as well some two x gifts sets that were price wrong RRP $9.00 checkout of price $5.00 but on shelf price for $3.00 so I question it and got it for $3.00 each. If they are $5.00 each I will have my money back please. I thought the shelf tag said $3.00 and there were a lot of them there!

Strategy - Check your dockets and ask for a refund If they pull a its in the wrong place or wrong code talk
Strategy - If you will use it and cheap enough then have a treat now and then!

Whats the moral of this story, I had planned to go shopping with gift money & voucher to get a few items on my list, namely silver jeweler, printer ink, personal items, wreath and have a look at sandals which I would buy if in my size. But subconsciously set myself amount to spend of around $200 including the $50 gift money plus the gift voucher of $25.00. What did I spend in the end was $203.30 but out of my pocket cost only $128.30 RRP price of items $418.31, saving of $290.01 on the day. Now if I went bought these items at normal times like pre-Christmas I would have been poorer by $290. Now that what I call is stretching ones dollars.

RRP cost $418.31
Out of my pocket cost $128.30
Saving of $290.01

(All in Australian dollars)

Annual Summary Daily Living Allowance part of my budget for 2009

January 3rd, 2010 at 06:38 pm

Eating out ----------$630.98--------over target by $228.98
Groceries -----------$911.33--------under target by $714.67
Non -Food ----------$90.41---------under target by $107.59
Clothes -------------$288.40--------under target by $173.60
Grooming -----------$166.72--------over target by $16.72
Gas -----------------$166.86--------under target by $133.14
Pets ----------------$439.37--------under target by $ 148.63
HH items ------------$413.20--------under target by $58.73
Fares ---------------$87.20----------under target by $14.80
Entrainment----------$228.27--------over target by $78.27
Garden---------------$224.67--------over target by $122.67
Gift & Donations------$304.66---------under target by $97.34
Medical --------------$1110.66-------over target by $930.66
Misc -----------------$112.63--------over target by $10.63
Personal Allowance----$888.71--------under target by $119.29

Daily Living Allowance allotted amount for 2009 was $6210 and I spent total $6063.78--under target by $146.22.

Even with a medical extra outlay owning to eye problems this year and being over in five other categories, I still just manage to come under my budget allotment for 2009. As I have extra float for emergency Medical expenses to draw on to cover these costs, the problem of being short money for the year didnt rise.

This does give me the idea that I am subconsciously set myself amount to spend then holding back on some things if I think that I have to cut on my spending because I spend a lot one area that was needed like the medical.

This blog marks my 600th milestone.

January 2nd, 2010 at 07:37 pm

Who would have thought an age pensioner on full pension could come such a long way both in just writing these blogs and saving money along the way, saving at least $5000 in the last 2 years by stretching out every cent that I could that is in cash too! Every dollar had to do the work of two or more so every trick I could find and any deal that was in my flavour I took with both hands and a smile of thanks.

All of my bills are paid into this year and money is there for most of new ones due for the next few months too!

So my motto will stand for another year

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

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

This year challenge is Waste Not, Want Not or WNWN for short.

I better start posting my menus again too!

Weekly Main Meal Menu

Sunday ~ Grilled fish with light salad
Monday ~ Kangaroo Steak with Mushroom Sauce & Vegetables
Tuesday ~ Pasta with Tuna & Tomato Sauce
Wednesday ~ Omelet with salad
Thursday ~ Leftovers night
Friday ~ Salmon Patties with Vegetables
Saturday ~ Steak with Onions & Grilled Tomato