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.