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Living Lean on a Pension

January 27th, 2015 at 12:58 am

2015 will be Living Lean year as I can and being on age pension. My goal and challenge is Living Lean on a Pension.

I have no other extra income other than my pension, so I have to be as crafty as possible to make it my dollars s-t-r-e-t- c -h further than before.

I do have a little amount put aside for rainy day. Which I use when I need to and pay this rainy day account back out of my saving I can find in my frugal living challenge and any saving I can make on getting low bills which of late are increasing instead.

I will try cut back on my food, entertainment areas and personal allowance. I do better with challenges by focusing on certain areas than trying to do it over all challenge in all areas at once.

I will try to reduce my spending on what spend in the supermarket and on treats in personal allowance areas to start with.

I still wish to go on holidays this year, that about 4 months way. I will try to keep expenses down to minimum as I will be staying most nights with family.

Supermarket Spend Challenge - Try to spend less than half over the next 15 weeks.

Normal amount allowed = $472.00 - Target $230 over 15 weeks starting on Friday when my next monthly period starts. Note all my budgeting periods are 28 days in length.

Personal allowance and entertainment will try cut by 30% for now and go lower if I can do so.
.
So my motto will stand for another year or two.

It's real hard to come up with $1000 but it's easy to find 1000 ways to save a dollar or two!
So let's go and find those 1000 ways to save a dollar challenge and see what's amount is at the end of 12 months.

No Spending Year Challenge for 2014

March 3rd, 2014 at 09:51 am

My goal is to spend as little as possible in the coming year on unnecessary items.

I plan to list my needs that need to buy here before I do so.

So my need list is
One washing machine [if I need to spend money on it.]
Normal monthly bills and services
Dentist bills
Glasses for computer
New anti-virus program in July

It's time to start saving again for other things that I need over next few years so as I have to save for them I better start now!

Car Boot Sale

October 3rd, 2011 at 10:50 am

I went to local Church Car Boot Sale last weekend, I found some wonderful bargains.

This is what I found.


Mixture of items found


Oil painting and books


Oil Painting


Both oil paintings are by the same artist

Spent about $16.00 all up.

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 vet�s as I have a float for that and the float money from my last trip to the vet�s 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 don�t 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 it�s 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 don�t 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
http://www.pricelesspets.com.au/product-categories 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 vet�s 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.
http://www.ability.org.uk/pet_food_cooking_recipes.html

http://www.simplypets.com/pet-recipes/ looks interesting that I may try some of them at some time.

Shopping for one, my way on Fruit & Vegetables

September 1st, 2011 at 03:42 am

This is the third in this series

I went to the greengrocer last week as they had some specials that would have liked but I was a day early for them. So I was able to buy specials that I would have bought had I went last week. They do have a pensioner discount 10% off Fruit & Vegetables on certain days of the week but not on grocery lines.

Buying what was cheap and in season is my goal. This greengrocer sells fruit in buckets for a much cheaper price than buying by the kilo. If it will last then I will buy it this way. Tangelos are a fruit I have never eaten before; I think it's a cross between mandarin and orange. 2.5kg @99c, Pink Lady Apples 2.2 kg @.99c, broccoli 1kg .99c, punnet of strawberries 500g @$1.99, 1/2 drumhead cabbage $1.49 and on marked down table I got 4 green pepper s 99c, tray of Turnips & Swede $1.49, tray of celery sticks 69c. I bought the other day also 1kg avocados (8)@$1.99 and 1.5kg Mandarin $2.49 plus 2 kg Roma tomatoes @99c kg.

I also gave my friend some of this as she does give me some things too! 1kg Roma tomatoes, 4 avocadoes, 6 tangelos, 4 pink lady apples and head of broccoli. I would never eat this much on my own and I still have 3 kg of navel oranges that I bought 2 weeks ago.

While in the city this week I went to the Farmer's market which is held each Wednesday in front of the casino. I manage to buy 4 cobs of corn $2.00, 2 bags of zucchini $2.00 one which gave to my friend, 1kg of carrot $2.00 along with 3 herbs pot plants for $5.00. All were a lot cheaper than I have seen elsewhere. When I see cobs of corn for around 50c or less then I will keep buying them until they go higher in price.

As for a pumpkin I still have one I bought last time I did large shop. Once I cut it I will need to use it up or make mashed pumpkin puree and freeze it.

Now that my fridge is full and I need to use most of supplies before I will buy anymore so you can see I will be making some vegetable soups in the near future.

I do eat 3-4 pieces of fruit and 4 kinds of vegetable per day. I do like variety in my diet but without a lot of sauces which many people like. I don't use any sauce with fresh cream it at all so my sauces all end up being tomato base ones which in the end all taste the same.


Vegetables & Fruit: Buy in season only. If not buy canned tomatoes and baby corn or frozen vegetables. Check the country of origin on the packs so to buy where you can locally.

Remember Size and the way you buy things does counts.

Rice and Vegetables in a Pot
Serves Four.

2 cups raw rice
8 cups water or stock
3 cups mixed vegetables, diced - see note
Little salt to taste

Put water and all other ingredients into a large stockpot or saucepan.
Bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer on low heat very gently for one hour or until all vegetables are tender.
Do keep a watch on the water and add more if required.

Note: Mixed vegetables, depending on what is in season and the cheapest at the time. Carrots, yellow sweet potato, pumpkin, celery, peas or green beans. You could use best generic 'Mixed Vegetables' from freezer section (that is already diced), this is what I use when vegetables are expensive along with one or two cups of the above.

Do have a glass of milk or fruit juice with this, along with a piece of fruit to add more nutritional value.

Use brown rice, as it's a little healthier than white rice, which is just filler, and gives you very little nutritional value.

Use one cup of rice to two cups of water or stock. From each cup of raw rice you get about three cups cooked rice, enough for 2 - 4 servings depending on the other items that you are serving. Portion serving is 1/2 cup cooked rice.

http://tightwadkitty.savingadvice.com/2006/06/18/cooking-my-...

http://tightwadkitty.savingadvice.com/2006/06/28/home-made-v...

For extra reading that I have found

Three PDF downloads on shopping for one.

http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@health/documents/doc/uow082463.pdf
http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1423.pdf
http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/pdf/0160.pdf

Sorry here the links

http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@health/doc...
http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1423.pdf
http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/pdf/0160.pdf

Shopping for One Canned Fish & Seafood

August 31st, 2011 at 04:37 am

This is the second in this series

Can's of Tuna - You can buy small cans 95g, 185g or large 420g tins only buy when on special or at the lowest price you can get. Most tuna now is canned in Thailand in our area. So buy the size that suits your needs.

I use sardines in tomatoes sauce 1/2 can for me & 1/2 can for the cats. I tried to keep it for myself but that is not going to happen. As for smoked salmon that I do not let them even taste it as one will take the food off my plate if she gets the chance.

Same with canned salmon I have be very careful how I make my meals or very quick about putting it away. As for frozen fresh fish and seafood I use these too! Mainly grilled or poached again the cats get one piece between them I get the other. I don't buy fish that much so it's a treat for all of us. Frozen crumbed fish I get to eat as I will not give them any of it. Same with marinara mix I buy when on special then bag it into single serving lots and freeze. If there is a lot of normal fish pieces in it the cats may get a treat if not then I get the lot. Shopping for one can have its perks by having more expensive threats but in small quantity.

http://tightwadkitty.savingadvice.com/2010/08/04/is-canned-t...


MARINARA PASTA
1 quantity Basic tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
650g marinara mix (see note)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Cooked spaghetti pasta, to serve
Make Basic tomato sauce
Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half then adding wine
Add marinara mixture for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
Serve with spaghetti.
Top with parsley.
Serves 4 -6
Notes
Marinara mixes are available from your local fishmonger, seafood retailers and some supermarkets. Marinara mix here is small pieces of white fish, fresh salmon, mussels, green prawns & calamari mix together. All in bit size pieces. Whatever is the cheapest normally white fish & calamari has the most portions in this mixture at times you will get no salmon at all.

MARINARA PASTA cheat's version

Cooking this for one person this is how I cook it.

Put your pasta to boil. When cooked drain and save small amount of pasta water to pour over pasta. This takes about 10 minutes to cook

In the mean time, I find it's better to cook the marinara mix in a frypan with drop of oil by starting with the thickest piece of seafood then work your way through mixture until get to calamari cook this for a few seconds, heat your pre made basic tomato sauce I do this in a microwave add the marinara stir through and serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley.

http://www.savingadvice.com/forums/recipes/19033-basic-tomat...

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

http://frugalandthriving.com.au/2010/asian-style-chicken-dru...

http://frugalandthriving.com.au/2010/lemon-and-thyme-marinat...

http://frugalandthriving.com.au/2010/portuguese-style-chicke...

http://frugalandthriving.com.au/2010/cheats-apricot-chicken-...

http://frugalandthriving.com.au/2011/spicy-yoghurt-marinated...

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


http://tightwadkitty.savingadvice.com/2006/09/13/thai-creamy...

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.

Frugal Spending Spree Today

January 30th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

Today I went for a walk up the street for milk for DF-Maria, and drop in to the Charity Thrift shops on the way, I have to go past them, all five thrift shops to get to the supermarket. They are putting up their prices so I will not spend as much as I normally do but when they have a 50% off sale which two of them did today I stopped to look. I found a nice classic top cream & navy which will go with my basic navy pants in a style that will not go out of style for along while. RRP $19.95 for $4.00, German cookbook $1, like new baby picture frame RRP $20 for $1.50 and on Baby on Board car sign for .50c, this is for a gift in few months I making a baby Gift basket up. Bought the grandma some sewing patterns 4 @ $1, Year 12 text book on Home Economics $1 - RRP 29.95, my treat for the day Silver Plated Art Deco 1930 style milk jug & sugar bowl for $4.00 - (RRP $60) and bag of confectionary at supermarket when I got there on special $2.95 - RRP $4.50. If I had to buy all these things at full price in the thrift shop I most likely only bought the two books. Oh I did remember to buy the milk too!

I love it when I can spend money to keep the economy going and doing some good will at the same time.

I came home with approx. $172.80 worth of stuff costing only $15.95 including the candy bars. I would say its worth it to have these little spending sprees now and then.