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 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.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Affordable Health Insurance - Is it Worthwhile?

Within Australia, you need to purchase health insurance cover before you turn 31 or face higher annual premiums for each year that you are without cover.  I wasn't keen, but to avoid this extra cost and to save money on my tax I joined up before my 31st birthday, with the most basic cover available.  After I had finished working full-time, the Australian Government decided that a couple could earn $150,000 before they were charged a Medicare surcharge through their tax meaning that I dont need to pay health insurance....except I am now over 31.

I have been paying for about three years and never made a health insurance claim.  I visited the health insurance quotes website ISelect and applied for health insurance quotes in my search for low cost health insurance plans.  Based on my details, the recommended individual health insurance cover was with the exact same policy. 

I have now received a letter informing me that my health insurance premium will increase by about $7 a month.  It is not much, but I really hate to have to pay for something I am determined I wont need for 30-40 years.  I gave birth to my son in a public hospital and loved the experience.  I have no desire to be out of pocket many thousands of dollars, just so that I can have my own hospital room for 3 days with a few other perks here and there.  If I have an accident, I would be treated immediately so really I would only be inconvenienced for elective surgeries. 

It is so tempting to cancel my individual health insurance, but insurance is for 'just in case' so I guess I'll be spending many more years paying for something that I am determined not to need.

There are ways you can save on low cost health insurance policies.

1. Ask for a higher excess and you may be able to reduce your premium.  It just means you will pay more if you have to use your health insurance for any reason.

2. Paying annually can save up to 10 per cent on your premium when compared with monthly.

3. Quit smoking, some insurance companies will charge you less if you are a non-smoker.

4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle so that even if you are paying for health insurance, you dont need to make a claim.

5. Compare policies that the different health insurance companies offer to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to Plan a Cheap Trip

The Easter holiday is fast approaching, another opportunity to plan a cheap trip vacation.  As usual, my husband decided mid-2009 that it was time to book for our Easter holiday 2010, a nice cheap trip to Australia...well interstate within Australia, since we are already living here.  We discussed options for cheap holiday vacation packages searching for the best cheap holiday.

We finally decided to plan a cheap trip to Cairns, as I have never been there and there is just so much to see.

To save money and to plan a cheap trip, we researched all aspects of our holiday to plan a cheap trip.  We are lucky enough to be members of a holiday club through Worldmark South Pacific Vacation Club by Wyndham so we were able to pay for accommodation with our points.  Had we not had points available, we probably would have looked further into cheap holiday getaways to plan a cheap trip.

We also invited my in-laws, since we will be staying in a three-bedroom apartment.  They will enjoy a cheap trip, will get to spend time with us - especially little LJ and we will have childcare available when we want to go out ALONE together.  I cant wait to go on a date with my husband again!

Listed below are tips on how to plan a cheap trip and save money when you book your cheap holiday trips.

When you Plan a Cheap Trip, Compare Airfares
I compare airfares between carriers and if I can save a few bucks, will use one airline in one direction and another for the return.  My favorite Australian carrier is Qantas as our family all have Qantas frequent flyer memberships and between us we have enough points for return flights to either the USA or Europe, which we plan to use next year.  However, if we can save money by flying another carrier, it is worthwhile.

Book cheap holiday trips well in Advance
To plan a cheap trip, we book cheap holiday trips well in advance to ensure availability.  Most bookings can be changed or cancelled until a certain date, so periodically we compare prices to see if we can get a better price elsewhere.  We booked our car hire in July 09 which was a good thing.  To hire the same car now would cost an additional $400 for the week.  

Pay for Cheap Holiday Getaways with Cash, not Credit Card
Booking in advance also allows us to save money toward a cheap trip so that we dont need to use the credit card to pay for bookings and spending money.  We use our credit card out of choice to earn points and can easily afford to pay it off at the end of the month, rather than feeling guilty about recreation credit card use that leads to credit card interest charges.

Points used the Right Way will Save Money on your Cheap Trip Vacation
I am devoted to points, probably because I like the feeling of getting something for nothing...well almost.  I know there's an annual credit card fee, but we never pay credit card interest.  To plan a cheap trip, you can still spend a lot of money, so if each dollar I spend earns points I can eventually plan a cheap trip for nothing.

When you plan a cheap trip earn points by using an airline loyalty program for flights, paying with a credit card that offers rewards and if you can use accommodation loyalty clubs, timeshare or vacation club points, utilize these as well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Save Money when you Bring a Plate

Each week my Mother's Group takes turns in providing coffee and cake for morning tea.  In the nicer weather we have been meeting in our local parks (we live in a fantastic area for parks and playgrounds).  Mostly the mums bring a divine cake from the bakery, they are so yummy and look amazing.  But as I am trying to be good and save money, I try to bake something.  Comparatively, the cost of buying a cake or slice is much more expensive.  However, when baking the cost of time needs to be considered.  I have a lot on my plate, but if I plan ahead I can usually manage to whip up a slice or some cookies.

If a small cake or slice costs about $12 to feed 6 people, then I estimate I am saving at least $8, by baking something at home.

Below is the Brownies Recipe that I have been making since I was about 12 years old.  I got it from the wife of our American Baptist Pastor who was in Australia for a few years.

1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup oil (I use olive oil, but vegetable oil is fine)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Cook 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven)  I check it after 15 minutes, just gently jab a knife into the slice and if the blade comes out clean, then it is ready.

I love this recipe because it tastes great before and after cooking.  I always make sure I leave extra in the bowl, so that I can enjoy licking it while the slice is cooking.  My estimation is that this recipe costs about $4 to make and you can cut it into around 30 good sized slices.  That is enough for my Mum's group, as well as to feed my ravenous husband when he arrives home from work.

Actually I'll just make a little admission here.  I love to bake.  The main reason is that I LOVE cake mixture, cookie mixture...almost anything raw.  I even went to Mrs Fields Cookies once, and asked them if they could just sell me their mixture.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get Paid for Articles using Xomba

I have always been interested in writing, and have discovered the world of freelance article writing.  One site I have been using to develop my name as a freelance writer is called Xomba. You can earn money through Adsense.  When people click on the ads on your profile or when viewing your articles, you earn money.  It works similar to the way many blogs, including this one works.  People read the content and Google Adsense will place ads around the page.  If readers are interested, they click on the ads and Google Adsense will pay you for the ads that are viewed.

Xomba will also pay you a percentage of advertising revenue if you refer someone to join.  You earn 10% of their earnings.

There are two types of submissions you can make, Xombytes and Xomblurbs.  Its like a different language, but basically, a Xombyte is an article of 150+ words which can contain links or photos.  A Xomblurb is a blurb or social bookmark that links to a website, article or video. It contains a minimum of 50 words.  I have only been a member for a month or so and not really used it much, but I am planning on increasing my portfolio.  I will be adding any articles that have been rejected for freelance clients.  These are still quality articles, but did not necessarily suit either the genre or niche market that I was originally writing for.

My goal is to include two articles a day into my Xomba portfolio, when I dont have other freelance work to keep me occupied.  The money you earn in the beginning is not heaps and you really need to be using your Google Adsense account elsewhere to receive a payout.  I believe the minimum balance for payout is $100, which is why you can either wait a few months to earn this completely from Xomba, or be using Adsense with other blogs and websites.  I am currently using Adsense on my blogs, as well as with my people search website and after three months hope to receive my first payout.

As with my other online pursuits, I will document my earnings at the end of each month to show you how I am going and to assist myself in discovering the most profitable earners.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Stay in Touch with Friends

How to stay in touch with friends is a big thing for me.  I have friends on every continent except Antarctica.  Not a bad effort is it?  While I must admit I am most likely to send an email at Christmas, or a quick Face Book message, I have started using Skype for video calls.  It is a great way of seeing someone and talking to them, whether they are in the house up the street, or you are divided by oceans.

And the great thing is that it is free.  What better way to save money, than hook up via video feed for a chat.  All you need is a broadband connection, a web cam and something to say.  The savings made using this are potentially massive.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Slightly Delayed Gratification

Last weekend I was shopping at my Westfield Shopping Centre and as usual, gravitated towards my favourite kid's shop, Pumpkin Patch.  I saw some great boardies for LJ for next summer, and then were marked down more than 50 per cent.  I was so tempted, but we have a lot of bills coming up, and rather than throwing everything on the credit card, then getting stressed at the end of the month, I decided to put off my purchase until either we had another pay in the bank, or I had decided that LJ really didn't need these boardies.
After seriously contemplating my dilemma for the week, I decided to go back yesterday.  Thankfully they were still on the rack, so I went up to purchase the board shorts with cash.  You can imagine my surprise and excitement when I discovered at the cash register that they were another 20 per cent off the already reduced price.  I was so tempted to shop some more, with that discovery, but I held back.  This is a great example of when my delayed gratification actually paid off.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Search of Paid Surveys - Part 4

My series on free online paid surveys and paid emails is coming to an end, following is my final entry.  These are just the sites I have joined, there are many more available in the USA & UK.  I should point out that you often receive a sign up bonus, as well as bonuses for referring friends.  This is why I have provided unique sign up id links to you.  If you join some of these sites, in addition to you receiving a bonus, I will too.  You can pass on this pleasure, by referring friends once you have joined, and receive rewards as well.  I have also provide some banners around my site, for various paid surveys and paid emails.

Advertisers pay SendEarnings® to reach consumers like you. SendEarnings® shares the revenue we receive from advertisers with Members. Your time and participation are valuable, so join now to be rewarded! SendEarnings® is 100% free to join. In fact, they pay you! Simply complete their sign up form and they’ll credit your account $5.00 just for trying their service.

Click on the following link:

By taking advantage of the ClixSense online advertising program, as a potential online consumer, you can actually get paid for your web browsing, up to $5.00 for every 30 seconds worth of work. The income you earn is paid directly to you every month. The best part about the ClixSense program is that as a potential online consumer, there is no charge to register your new account and begin earning money immediately.

Click on the following link:

Get paid to click on ads.  As a welcome to the site, all new members start as upgraded members for the first 24 hours and get $0.02 for every link they click on the surf ads page and $0.0125 for every link a referral makes.

How to Earn Money at The Survey Doctor
1) Survey Invitations. You will receive email offers for paying surveys. Be sure to register at ALL the surveys on our website. You get an immediate $10 payout for doing this.
2) Don't confuse the registration process with actual surveys. First  you must register with the online panels, THEN, you will receive surveys invitation.
3) You will be notified about offers that are appropriate for the community of paid survey-takers. They NEVER send an anonymous email. They are upfront about what they’re sending and why. You are free to ignore these offers, or even unsubscribe if you want. Everything about The Survey Doctor Australia is free and voluntary.

Click on the link:
When you first start trying to earn money and rewards from paid surveys it is useful to join as many surveys and panels as you can. This site sends you free information about new survey sites to join.

You can continue building your survey portfolio by registering at even more surveys. You can find additional surveys, organized by country, at:

The Harris Poll is one of the oldest and most prestigious polls in the world. By participating, you'll not only have your say in matters that affect you, you'll also be able to see the results from the surveys you complete. You can then compare your opinions and experiences to many others'—people who are like, and unlike, you. Occasionally, you may participate in surveys whose results will be published in national or international media.

To show thanks for your support and participation, you'll be enrolled in our new appreciation program, Harris Poll Online Rewards. Harris offer the opportunity to earn HIpoints for the majority of our studies. On occasion a study will be conducted that will not have HIpoints associated with it, but this only occurs in exceptions. Once you've accumulated enough points you may redeem them for your choice of a variety of great rewards. You can redeem your points as soon as you reach a redemption level, or you can let them grow for even greater rewards.

To join, click on the link:

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Search of Paid Surveys - Part 3

Members are eligible to earn "Reward Points" based on the surveys they complete. "Reward Points" may be redeemed for rewards. "Reward Points" are non-transferable and cannot be converted into cash. "Reward Points" can only be redeemed for items listed on the Rewards page of the SurveyVillage website.

Click on the following link to join:

Membership in this online panel is fun, easy and most importantly, free.
By participating in online surveys, you will have a direct link to Government, and major companies and share with them your opinions. This will aid in their development of products, policies and services.

Opinion Matters
Opinion Matters is an online community of Australians who want to voice their opinions. Our members participate in surveys on such topics as Product Development, New Advertising Campaigns, Political Polling, Social Issues.  When you join Opinion Matters you will receive Cash Points: Redeem for Cash or Donate to Charity!
Every time you complete a survey you will earn points worth between $2 and $10.
Your answers will directly influence the decisions made by companies on products and services. By making a contribution you will influence and help form the strategies of social organisations and different levels of government.

Click on the link:

Toluna is your one stop site for everything polls & opinion related; if you’re looking for an online community that allows you to create and participate in online polls and surveys and gives you the tools and audience to voice your opinions look no further - Toluna is the place for you!

To join click on the link: and let them know you were refered by Sars3121.

Browse through hundreds of catalogues once you are signed up with Catalogue Central.  
A great way to get a bargain and save money.  Catalogue Central is an environmentally friendly company. 
Help reach the target of planting 20,000 trees by inviting your friends to join Catalogue Central.

Follow the link below to continue and Send To Friends:
ClickBank provides digital content — e-books, software, memberships and subscriptions — to consumers around the world through a network of product vendors and affiliate Internet marketers. ClickBank vendors have a digital product or service to sell. ClickBank affiliates are Internet marketers who earn commissions by promoting ClickBank products. A single ClickBank account is designed to be used by both vendors and affiliates.
To illustrate, here is an example of how ClickBank works:
  • An author writes an e-book on dieting and chooses to become a vendor on the ClickBank network. He features the book on his web site and offers a 60 percent commission to ClickBank affiliates who successfully promote the book (resulting in a sale) to end consumers.
  • An affiliate sees the vendor's e-book in the ClickBank Marketplace and decides to feature the dieting e-book on his web site or in other online promotions.
  • Each time a visitor to the affiliate's web site or advertisement clicks on the product link, the visitor is referred to the vendor's site where the product can be purchased though ClickBank and downloaded. ClickBank handles the tracking and transaction (screens for fraud and processes the payment, etc.), and if the transaction is successful, pays both the vendor and the referring affiliate.
  • ClickBank also processes any sales from the vendor's web site that are not referred through a ClickBank affiliate. In those cases, ClickBank pays the vendor only, as no referring commission has been earned.

To join clickbank, click on the link:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Search of Paid Surveys - Part 2

Before I continue, I want to point out that these sites are all free to join.  I am not interested in paying someone for something that should be free to join.  They are also relevant to Australia, but often have international counterparts, just do a search on the website name and you may find you are in luck.

This is a large project to undertake when I have a lot on, so I am going to admit I have cut and pasted wording from the survey websites and slightly adapted it.  Best place to get correct information is directly from the links I provide.  Often I will receive a commission from a successful sign up.  You can also earn this by referring your friends to the sites.
At the end of February, I will give a tally of my points with each site, then try to do that monthly to give you an idea of how long it takes to really see benefits.

Anyway, back to the subject of free to join online surveys:
As a member of GlobalTestMarket, they want to hear your opinion they'll reward you for it! It is free to sign up and receive online paid surveys about:  Restaurants, Automobiles, Consumer products, Current events, Movies, Many other topics that interest you!
The online paid surveys you complete directly influence the development of products and services from top companies.  GlobalTestMarket will reward you for every online survey you complete. GlobalTestMarket rewards MarketPoints as well as sweepstakes entries into daily and monthly cash drawings. Once you reach 1,000 MarketPoints, you can redeem your balance for $50 U.S. dollars. Sweepstakes winners will be contacted directly to claim their cash prize.

To join, click on the link:
RewardsCentral is an online rewards program exclusively for Australians, where you can earn rewards and have lots of fun.  Earn rewards for online shopping, reading email, clicking on links, and more.  Redeem your reward points for real cash or prizes

Click on the following link:

What Do You Think (WDYT) 
WDYT is documenting today's trends for tomorrow. promises to be an interesting reference tool for who we are - or at least, who we think we are - and the issues that are of interest to us today. In years to come, perhaps we can look back at the WDYT polls of today in order to better understand where we are heading in the future.

To join, click on the link:
Refer a Friend - you'll both earn $10

aShopFor aims to make it as easy as possible for groups of friends to make money.

It was born out of the founder's passion for collecting life experiences, and more importantly sharing these experiences with friends.

Your group of friends can set a goal, create a shop, and start making money towards your goal almost immediately. Creative groups have started shops for skydiving trips, to fund a party, for weekend holidays, and even to buy a greyhound.

In 3 easy steps you can create a shop with over 500 retailers, and earn money on all purchases made through these retailers.

Your shop will also make money when you and your friends participate in free product trials, and when you invite others to set up their very own shop.

You will be paid on the first of each month by Paypal.  Introduce your friends, family or work colleagues to Ashopfor. For each person that creates a new Ashopfor account via your special referral link we will reward you with $10.00 once your friend has earned $30.00 or more.

Your Friend will also receive $10 when they sign up.

The UNIQUE Link is:

Live Tribe 
LiveTribe is a community of people from around the world participating in surveys, polls and discussions for great rewards and giveaways: we need your opinion on all sorts of topics, products and concepts. 

LiveTribe gives you an amazing choice of rewards for your opinion: Earn lotto lines into the national lotto draw Get the chance to win $50 cash instantly for every survey you take part in. Get entries into their monthly "Chance to win $50,000 a month" cash prize draw. Earn points redeemable for gift vouchers from Wotif, Qantas, Amazon, Bigpond Music, etc... Have donations made to a charity on your behalf or help save the equatorial forest. You can even link LiveTribe to your existing online social networks like MySpace and Facebook so you never have to miss out! 

Click on the following link:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Search of Paid Surveys - Part 1

One of the ways I have been trying to earn some extra money is with paid surveys and emails. I have had a few people ask me about the sites I am a member of, so the next few posts will attempt to answer any questions and refer you to the sites to join.

None of these sites have made me millions. In reality, I have probably only made a hundred dollars or so in 12 months, but I missed many paid online surveys by ignoring the emails, or being screened out early in the process. Most sites will send fairly regular surveys/paid emails, you just need to have the time to complete the requirements. Time required varies for just a minute to view an ad, to a 30-40 minute survey. You are reimbursed according to the time, but dont expect to make minimum wage. Often you will earn bonus points/dollars for referring friends to a paid surveys website. To this end, I have provided the links from my accounts where I could, to earn these bonuses.

Because there are so many, I am going to carry this post over several entries.

Survey Savvy

Since its inception in 1999, the SurveySavvy online community has grown to include business professionals and consumers in more than 195 countries around the globe. Its unique patented referral program (Patent #7194448 & Patent No. 6446044) offers its members one of the industry's most innovative ways to maximize incentives while helping to enrich and grow the community.

As a member, you can make a difference by participating in online surveys, focus groups, as well as other interactive studies.

SurveySavvy is unique from other online panels because of its patented referral program that gives you incentives for every survey your referrals complete and additional incentives for every survey their referrals complete. This represents growth to your account balance regardless of whether or not you actually complete any surveys!

Join SurveySavvy and earn $1 to $20 for each survey you take (paid by check). But wait, it gets even better. Refer your friends and family to SurveySavvy and earn an average of $2 for every survey your referrals take, and if they refer others, you will earn an average of $1 per survey your referrals' referrals take. And there is virtually no mininum payment, since you can request a payment even if your account balance is a single dollar.

To sign up, click on the following link:

If that doesn't work, copy and paste the link into your browser.

My Opinions

MyOpinions is a web site that rewards you for participating in online market research surveys about your lifestyle and habits.

A company would not develop a new product without conducting research. Through a survey panel like MyOpinions, they can find out the opinions and preferences of the future consumers of their product.

As part of the panel, you have the choice to complete surveys and make your opinion count in developing new products. Because of the survey, the company is more confident about a launch of the product, and you win because you have helped to create and influence the product, and been rewarded for your time.
To join, click on link below:


You get a $10 bonus, just for signing up.  You will receive a message to the email address on your Hits4Pay account stating that you have a paid email waiting to be read. As soon as you get this notification, you may login to your Hits4Pay account and read your paid emails!

You may also choose to simply login to your Hits4Pay account, and click on internal mailbox to check for new paid emails.

To get credit for the ads sent to your internal mailbox, click on the button or link on the ad that will read "Click Here", or something similar. You will then be taken to the advertiser's website.

There will be a Hits4Pay banner above the website. You must remain on the advertiser's website for at least 60 seconds in order to receive $0.02 credit. After 60 seconds, an orange button that says Click Here to View Next Advertisement will appear on the Hits4Pay banner above the website. You must click on this button to receive your $0.02 credit!

When your first and second level members validate their email ads, you will also be credited $0.01 per email that they read and validate!

To join, use the following link:

Valued Opinions

Valued Opinions is a service which rewards you for taking part in market research surveys. It is your opportunity to influence the development of new products and services.

To join, use the following link:

Lighspeed Panel

It is always nice to get a little extra for your efforts and this is why Lightspeed Consumer Panel is good for you!  Members can redeem their points right on our site for credit through PayPal, online gift vouchers, and donation to charities.

To join, use the following link:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Looking for Someone?

One of the ways I am trying to supplement my income is by creating my own website that helps you find people you are looking for.  Its got more information than you can find about someone in the regular White Pages so please check it out.  I have had someone set up all the programming and all you have to do is click on People Search Link to test it out.

This is just one of the ways that I am going to start to make a better income for my family.  I have just signed up for one of those internet home business deals, with minimal outlay to begin with and the promise of earning reasonable to amazing money if you put the effort in.  Once I have a better understanding of the whole process, I will give you all the information.  Yes, I have been know to be sucked into things before, which is why I am going to wait for it to prove itself before I alienate you with some scam idea.

Here's hoping...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Delicious Option for Aging Fruit

The fruit bowl was a rainbow of colour, but unfortunately things were starting to soften a bit to much to eat, so I decided to juice all my questionable pieces.  For the apples that tasted floury, the soft plums and half a banana I had not used in LJ's breakfast, an honourable fate awaited them.

I peeled the apple, cut the top off the carrot & cut out the pips of the plums then wacked them in the juicer (which incidentally we had purchased for $30, marked down from $90).

Less than a minute later, I had a yummy drink, had prevented my fruit going to waste and had a nice little pile to put into the compost bin.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Pork Steak & My Misadventures with Dinner

I found pork steak in Coles at a reduced price, so being the bargain hunter I am, I bought some to freeze.  After a few days, I defrosted it with the intention of making a pork stir-fry for dinner.  However, the man of the house decided that he didn't like pork anymore...first I'd heard of it.  Rather than my planned meal, I had to just pull out some Chilli Con Carne from the freezer and microwave that, but I was left with the dilemma of what to do with the pork steaks.  I have decided that they will do nicely in a meat stock that I am planning to make in the next couple of weeks, so I fried up the steaks and have frozen them. 

I keep all my takeaway containers and use them to freeze food in them, but I have discovered that things get frosty because they dont seal well. To combat this, I first put glad wrap over the container, then put the lid on and label it with a permanent marker.  As  you can see from the photo, my containers are reused many times, until they have no life left in them, then they go into the recycling bin.  They are not sexy, but at least they stack neatly in the freezer and are cheap to use and easy to clean. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making Money with Snap Dollars

 This blog is supposed to include ways I am trying to make money, and though I have mentioned a few things I have tried, I have not been very specific.  I am in the process of trying to rectify that, and will periodically let you know of offers as I think of them or receive information about them.  I have joined up with every survey site that I am eligible to join as an Australian citizen.  There are hundreds out there, but many are targeted at residents of the USA, Canada or UK. 

I'm making TONS of extra money with a site called SnapDollars.  They pay me to read email advertisements, complete offers and surveys, to try free stuff, play games, shop online and more! Earn unlimited extra cash and request a payout at any time.  I usually receive 4-5 emails a week, so there are lots of ways of getting bonuses.  Sign-up now and I'll earn referral money too...and so can you!  Just click on the Snap Dollars link below and follow the prompts.

Saving Money When Shopping

It was 4pm and I had only eaten two pieces of toast with strawberry jam and I decided to shop for my husband's lunches for work.  Thinking about carbon footprints, thunder thighs and actually trying to get LJ into his car-seat, my chosen set of wheels was the I pushed it along.

I got to Safeway and found what I needed, and then some of what I didnt.  I'd forgotten to pack myself a bottle of water so I succumbed to a bottle of some red sweet drink from the fridge at the counter.  I also purchased three tins of baby food at full price!!! What on earth was I thinking.  First of all...full price!  Plus LJ wont eat tinned food.  I am so annoyed at myself.  Then, walking past a bakery, I saw that they had date scones.  I have been craving them for weeks, so I went in and got myself one, then looked at LJ and thought I should get him one too.  Then I thought it would hardly be fair if I went home without getting something for my darling, so I got him a cinnamon bun.  What I didn't realise is that it was full of cream, and he hates cream.  If I was to put a dollar value to my money wastage, buying unnecessary items today, then it would be in the vicinity of $18.  Two things could have prevented me from throwing away this money, first of all, I should have had a shopping list, and secondly I should have eaten and had a drink before I went out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

An afternoon off

Thursday didn't work for me.  I was tired, a little bored and LJ was not in the mood for anything except getting his own way.  However I saw light at the end of the tunnel when my husband suggested I call his parents for some baby sitting. 

In the 15 months since LJ was born, this was the first time my in-laws had looked after him.  Writing this, I am sitting in the cool of my local library.  Ahhhh the peace!

I thought about catching a train into the city or to borrow my husband's car, but that was just too stressful.  I have opted for some quiet time at the library.  As a result I saved $4.80 on a train ticket and thousands of dollars on clothes and knick knacks that I may have bought had I gone to the shops....maybe not thousands but at least a few dollars on food and drinks, a coffee or two and perhaps a bargain here or there....what a nice way to save money.  I feel better now, having this time to myself, I think I need to do it more often.

Oh and good news, while I was there I found information on baby rhyme time, a fortnightly time for babies to get together with parents and have a book read to them.  There is no charge at our library, so I am going to take LJ to give him some more interaction with other kids.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahhhhhh Semolina!

Our 15 month old son is starting the terrible two's early, and for a few days would not eat the food I tried to feed him.  He had been eating the same meal as us, just vitamized, but for some reason, he put his foot down and said loudly 'nnnnnnnnnnnnno!'  I was tearing my hair out until my husband remembered something he used to eat as a child - semolina. 

We can buy 1 kilo of Semolina for $3.00.  We only use 1/4 of a cup of the stuff, so it will last ages.  Little LJ loves it, for a week he ate nothing else but Semolina with a piece of fruit mixed in. His favourite is with banana.  Yesterday he was feeding himself with a spoon in one hand and using his fingers on the other hand, he just couldn't get enough of it.  I have attached a photo for your entertainment.

To make the Semolina, put in 1/4 cup semolina to a saucepan with 1 1/4 cups of milk and about a heaped tablespoon of sugar.  Cook until the mixture thickens and pour into bowls.  This is enough for two meals for LJ.  I then cut up a piece of fruit and mix it in to each bowl.  I use bananas, sultanas, plums, stewed apple or nectarines, but any fruit could work.  Just be adventurous. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010




    Custom Search

Save $30,000 in 30 Days

I saw an ad for A Current Affair a few weeks ago, how to save $30k in 30 days, but missed it, so looked it up on the website, see attached link:

I'm going to look into this.  This is a huge figure, and I just cant imagine how it would work for us.  We are not super consumers.  Has anyone else tried this out?  I'll look into it further and provide comment where I can. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How NOT to celebrate your birthday - The dangers of CFDs

Two years ago, while pregnant with my son, I started trading CFDs (Contracts for Difference) on the stock market.  I had been planning on doing this full time so that I would  not have to go back to work after the baby was born.  Every morning the adrenaline would shoot through my veins as if I'd had a shot of caffeine and I would turn the computer on, holding my breath, hoping the markets had gone in my favour overnight.

Sometimes I'd gasp at the profit I'd made, but other times, my heart would sink to my stomach, my shallow breaths would make me feel light headed and I would worry about my loss.  It all came to a head the first of July, the day before my birthday.  The markets had gone horribly down, I was holding losing positions and there was no hope of a quick recovery.  My husband told me that we had to cut our losses and close our positions, so I did that, with a loss of several thousand dollars.  In fact it was approximately one month worth of maternity leave pay.

My birthday came and there was no adrenaline, just dread as I work that morning. Another year older and thousands of dollars poorer.  It was a tough day for me, and when he came home from work to take me out for dinner and a movie, I just felt sick at the money he was spending on me.

As a result of this, I have decided that CFDs are not for me.  I dont think getting rich quick really works.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Imaginative Ways to Save Money

Other blogs have suggestions on ways to save money, but I want to be original.  There are a few things that I have thought of so, as of next week, I will be researching an A-Z of imaginative ways of saving money.  I will begin to publish my findings as of Friday.  Feel free to contribute any hints you have. They can cover absolutely anything you like, but I guess it would be helpful if they were legal.

Let your imagination run wild!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cars - the type you drive

My first car was a restored 1965 Renault 8, which was the exact car my Mum purchased for her first car.  She drove it for years, then after she was married, Dad drove it, but the engine blew up.  Rather than disposing of it, we had it sitting on our farm with bags of chook food stored in it for years...and then I reached the big 18.  There was no spare money around so I got the idea of restoring my 'little white beast'.  After raising as much money as I could from breeding ducks, saving my Austudy, shoveling chook poo and cleaning eggs, Dad & I got it going.  It was 30 years old by this stage, a vintage car.

I moved to Melbourne, four hours away and soon was aware of the cost of a car.  While initially I had a free car, the cost of regular repairs became too much, so I had to sell my car, get a loan and buy a more reliable car.  When I look back, I got good money for it.  I sold the car for $2,000 which was a lot of money for something as unreliable.

My next car was great, and I'd have kept it for years except I wrote it off.  Maybe I'm not a good driver, but my main expense on all my cars has been insurance claims.   My driving habits have always required car insurance.  My first accident I was turning a corner while putting lipstick on.  Then I was putting mascara on and ran into someones bumper.  Then my friend was driving my car, full of luggage and friends and spun it out of control on a freeway.  We traveled backwards for a few hundred metres, gaping at oncoming trucks, and then landed in the median strip.  Then another friend was backing my car out of the driveway and scraped the brick wall.  But the end of that car was when I had been on a no-carb diet and passed out while driving.  Thankfully in all my accidents, noone has been hurt!

My next car was accident free, except for a scrap at the back from parking too close to the wall.

My last car, I purchased with only 3000km on the clock, it was beautiful I thought.  Then when I had only been driving it for two weeks, while on holiday, someone pushed their shopping trolley into it then ran off.  I had that repaired, then a couple of weeks later, I scraped the side on the brick wall of our carport while parking.  Then while I was pregnant, I backed, pretty hard into someone else.  Their car was unscathed, but I had to repair the bumper.  Then as soon as that was repaired, wouldn't you know it, I had someone back into my while I was driving.  Pretty stressful when you have a precious bump you are trying to protect.  I finally got that fixed, and while it was all looking good, I managed to sell this car.

The lessons have taught me that I need to carry all my information with my so I can show car insurance details to the other driver when the inevitable happens. 

We are a one car family, and I'm fine with it.  Unfortunately at Christmas, I must have parked to close to something and there is a scrap on the front bumper...this one I dont even remember doing, so I am going to say it wasn't me.  There are two drivers of this car after all.  At least we have the required car insurance, we just have to pay the excess and make the claim.

If I had only been more careful, I would be so much better off financially now:  I have had about 10 accidents/incidents in 16 years and if you average that out at $450 per claim, then you come up with $4500 that the insurance companies have taken.  However, the first accident cost me closer to $3500 because I was a P plater and had only third party insurance, so had to pay for my car to be repaired.

I'm pretty happy with just one car right now, I save on the purchase price of the car plus any interest on the car loan, maintenance, required car insurance, petrol, registration and accessories (coz you need them).  We are lucky enough to live walking distance from Coles & Safeway and have close public transport.  I drive our car regularly and my vigilance on the road will pay off.  When we need to, we will buy a second car, but in the meantime its save save save.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Princess Cushions

My nieces are mad about Princesses, so for Christmas I decided to use the fabric I had around the house and make them 'Princess Cushions'.  I have loads of pale pink princess satin left over from when I made my wedding dress, I had a roll of make your own zippers and some scraps of other fabrics.  All I needed to purchase was the double sided iron on interfacing and the cushion inserts.  I found some pictures off the internet to match what they have on their doona covers.  One has flowers, one has hearts (she is the most into princesses) and one has butterflies.  So after tracing these pictures onto the double sided interfacing, I cut out the shapes from the fabric and stuck it onto the made up princess satin cushion covers and did a running stitch around the borders with embroidery cottons that I have had for many years.  They turned out great, and were cheap to make because I had a lot of the materials already.

The cushions were based on the 'work with what you've got' idea that helps save money and use resources you already have at home.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The week before Christmas, my husband & I were shopping for gifts, when an awesome bargain caught our eye.  We found an outdoor shower that would look great near our pool at our investment property in QLD.  It was reduced to half price, and then being the cheeky bargain hunter that I am, I asked if we could get more of a discount since it was a display model.  We actually got another 25% off the price again, so it pays to be cheeky.

Anyway, we opened it up at home and it was promptly set up in our living room as 'art'.  My husband thought it looked like a cool sculpture.  I do love the way it looks,  If anyone asks, our living room is a temporary modern art museum.  So anyway after it was displayed for a couple of weeks, it was dismantled yesterday and packed away until it can be installed when we next travel to update our QLD property.  One day when I am able to use it properly, I will enjoy showering under a work of art.