Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bursting our Home Borders

We are now a family of two adults and two children living in a two bedroom apartment and it is fair to say that we are bursting from the borders of our home.  I try not to hoard, to throw things out we dont need and keep things tidy, but with two children under three, it can be a challenge.  I recently read a blog at Kylie Ofiu which inspired me to sell 1000 things.  That is a pretty large number, but with the amount of 'stuff' we accumulate, I am sure it is possible. 

For me the challenge is also to find the time to prepare items for sale (photograph, write up descriptions etc), but this will be a long-term goal.  With discipline, I can probably sell at least five items each week.  So that is my goal in this shortened week - to sell five items.  The key is that even if I sell an item for $1, that will add up to $1000 if I sell 1000 items.  My first items to sell will be some toys I have already set apart to put onto Ebay....wish me luck and I look forward to having some space within our borders.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For Melbourne Readers - Invitation to Register for Paid Market Research

I am just starting a new job where I can work from home, recruiting attendees to paid focus groups around Melbourne.  To begin with, I need to set up a database of people who would potentially be interested in attending a group.  If you, your partner or anyone else you know would be interested, email me at sarahshevy@netspace.net.au or call me on 03 9596 7124 and I will take down your details.  I will then make contact in the near future when an opportunity arises.  Please note this is not selling anything and apart from calls from me to coordinate the groups, you will not be bothered by unauthorized phone calls. 

A Market Research company will pay you $$$ to attend discussion groups.

Sessions go for 1.5-2.0 hours, usually held centrally in the St Kilda, Richmond, Carlton, South Melbourne and Albert Park area. Payment is from $60.00-$100 per session.  Topics can include anything from chocolates to TV, cars to holidays, alcohol to pet food.  We also have many topics for teenagers and Small Business owners.

Come along and have some fun, refreshments are always served.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grow your own Garlic

I was searching for ideas from other great money saving money making blogs when I came upon this handy tip from 101 Ways to Save Money.

I love the idea as we go through so much garlic, and it is really hard to find Aussie grown garlic.  I am concerned with some produced in foreign countries as I know they dont have the same laws regarding pesticides and fertilizers that we do.  So, here goes, I am planting a couple of cloves today and will look forward to my own produce. Sounds nice and easy!

A Quick Tip

~Don't throw away old garlic cloves-- use them to grow more garlic! Just plant a large clove (no need to peel!) in your garden or an indoor flower pot. Plant the clove with the pointy end up, about an inch deep. You should see sprouts quickly, and in a few months you should have a whole new bulb just below the soil's surface~

Cheap fun for the Kids

LJ & I are currently housebound as the weather is too cold and wet to enjoy a good walk, so I am trying to find creative ideas to entertain a very active toddler.  When I was a little, I used to love making things with playdough, so I have looked up a recipe to make some for LJ to enjoy.  Its very simple and can be stored in your fridge for a longer life.

The best thing is that it probably costs under one dollar to make, so is cheap and is a good way to save money, rather than buying play dough from the shops.

 Play Dough

1/2 cup salt
2 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbs oil
food colouring

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and stir over heat until dough resembles play dough.  Then just allow to cool and store in an airtight plastic bag or container.

Once LJ has had a play, I will add some photos of my endeavors.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

For the Carnivor Family

We eat meat!  I cant imagine and dont want to imagine life without it.  But unfortunately the grocery bills for our family is every increasing unless I am very careful, so I try to make our meat last as long as possible.  I have mentioned before that I am a fan of buying at a discount and my local butcher sells better meat at least half the price of the supermarkets.  Every few weeks I plan a vague list of meals and then armed with my cash make my purchases.

Two weeks ago, I spent $40 on the following: 1.2kg chicken breasts, 1.5kg mince, 2 osso bucco, 2 porterhouse steaks, 3 oyster blade steaks and 4 rashers of bacon.  We have had meat every weeknight and I still have another week's worth to go.  There are only 3 of us to feed, but I have managed to have 2 days worth of osso bucco, 2 days with lemon chicken pasta, 3 days of chow mein, 2 days of spaghetti bolognaise, 3 days of beef stew, 2 days of chicken curry, 1 day of egg souffle with bacon which we call 'cheese pud'. 

I stretched out most of the meals by adding heaps of vegetables, and used different sides such as pasta or rice, or even made some of the stew into pies.  And I have to admit that my meal portions have been occassionally smaller as I still feel a little queasy as a result of being pregnant, but there is always still some of my meals that are wasted because we have had our fill.  I feel really thrifty and proud of myself when I see how far I can make the meat stretch. 

I have done an inventory of my freezer today and this week's grocery bill will still not require any meat and very few vegetables.  That means more money that we can put towards paying off our investment property. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lets Trade

We are lucky enough to have family with gardens that produce abundantly and are often blessed with a supply of seasonal fruit and vegetables.  This week we were given a huge bag of lemons, the tastiest, sweetest juiciest lemons you could imagine.  With lemons, I like to juice them and freeze them into ice cubes, then store them for winter when we have sore throats to make honey and lemon tea with.  However at the moment, I am loving making my own version of lemonade.  I squeeze a lemon, add 1dspoon of caster sugar and then fill the cup with cold water.  It is really thirst quenching and satisfies my pregnant cravings nicely.

There are dozens of things that can be done with lemons: lemon butter, lemon merangue pie, lemonade, lemon slice.  You can also put half a lemon in your fridge to absorb smells and freshen it up.

As with any vegetables that I have in large supply, rather than letting them go to waste, I will cut them up and freeze them into meal sized portions.  We often receive pumpkins and as a major fan of pumpkin soup, I like to make up a huge pot and freeze that into meal sizes for those weekends when I just cant be bothered cooking.

The other great thing with fresh produce that you are given is that you can trade with other family and friends, that will give you variety and it helps you both save money.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coming Back Online

I am back!  After taking a month off I am back online with plenty to say.  I have spent the month of April basically being slack and definitely a financial backslider.  I left lights on, used hot water to rinse the dishes and spent every cent that came my way and it felt like crap.  So I am back on the bandwagon and about to reclaim my control of money.

Stay tuned for the next installment of what I have learned along my journey.