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Your Cheapskates Club Newsletter 12:19
In This Newsletter
1. Cath's Corner
2. From the Tip Store - Ways to Find and Use Almost Free Fabric; Fastest Breakfast; Mend to Save
3. Share Your Tips
4. On the Menu - Chicken Hash Brown Surprise Casserole
5. The $300 a Month Food Challenge - 5 Simple Ways We Save On Groceries
6. Cheapskates Buzz - Cheapskaters are talking in the Forum and on Cath's blog
7. The Cheapskates Club Show
8. Ask A Question - Have a question? Ask it here
9. Join the Cheapskates Club
10. Frequently Asked Questions
11. Contact Details
1. Cath's Corner
Hello Cheapskaters,Welcome to our new Cheapskates Club members, and to our new newsletter subscribers.
This week's newsletter has some great ways you can save money, time and energy, not just today or next week, but forever if you choose to use them.
Living the Cheapskates way isn't a momentary thing, it's a way of life that becomes habit; a permanent lifestyle that gives you peace of mind knowing you're debt free (or well on the way to being), building savings (cash in the bank is good) and laughing as you enjoy the lifestyle you dreamed of.
Pick an action that fits within your goals and abilities, and stick with it. Practice it over and over until it becomes a habit. Then pick a new tip to help you reach your goal and repeat. Before long you'll be living the Cheapskates way on autopilot - and enjoying it!
Have a great week everyone
.2. From The Tip Store
Ways to Find and Use Almost Free Fabric
One of the tips this week was fabric napkins and Cath said to use any fabric. That reminded me that I use old doona covers or buy $1 ones from the op shop to make tablecloths and make the serviettes out of the back side. Sometimes they just match but aren't the same. I also use old sheets to make V pillow covers. They actually use up a LOT of fabric because of the shape.
I buy flannelette sheets from the op shop and make pj bottoms with elastic waists.
I've made aprons from sheets and doonas and I've made place mats in the past but we prefer tablecloths on our table. We have a big table, hence the need for a doona. Sometimes you can get two tablecloths out of one doona cover, depending on the size, but also depending on the pattern on the other side.
You can also put a pole through holes you make on the side of a doona on the folded end and make temporary or permanent curtains for rooms that don't need anything fancy; we did that when my daughter moved into her new house, until she could get proper curtains. I had all the doona covers from her room here and some old king size doona covers from my bed.
When you look at sheets and doona covers, look at them as free fabric. Aprons, pillow slips for the sofa, extra pillow slips for the bed - I never ever throw out doona covers. If they are heavy and a suitable colour you can even use them for summer pants. Of course if they are very worn, wrk around the worn patch. I bought three flannelette sheets for $1 one year and made two pairs of pj bottoms from each, one for me and one for my daughter; the quality is much better than flannelette you get at Spotlight because it's sheeting. Happy sewing.
Contributed by Silvia Panciera
I’ve always struggled to eat breakfast mainly because I don’t have time in the mornings getting everyone ready and out the door on time to get to work or school. At the moment I am trying to become more health conscious, so breakfast was my first fix that I needed to make.
I have looked all over the internet and discovered making oats for breakfast the night before in a mason jar, no cooking needed!
There are endless variations of ingredients, my favourite is chocolate nibs and shredded coconut.
Basically add 1/4 or 1/2 cup oats, depending on how much you want to eat in a serving, add your preferred extras e.g. sultanas, walnuts, chia seeds, dates, prunes, shredded coconut, any fruit (can be fresh or frozen), the list is endless and you can experiment with ingredients you already have so no need to buy anything new, and fill up the last 1/4 of the jar with your liquid of choice. This can be almond milk, regular milk (any milk) or water. Screw on lid and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning grab your jar and enjoy a healthy homemade breakfast.
You can take it with you and eat it on the go, also suitable for lunch!
Note: I like to drizzle with honey or maple syrup in the morning just before I eat mine.
This has saved me time and money because I no longer need to think about breakfast and what am I going to cook, plus the whole family is on board so I have purchased smaller jars for the kids and they are eating healthier. In the winter months I just zap the jar for 30 seconds or 1 minute before serving.
Contributed by Sofia Natsioulas
Mend to Save
I am in the process of mending some children's trousers. Two pair with one knee out in each of them. It will take me longer to unpick the seams than to do the actual mending of them but when finished they will be like new and the children will be able to wear them again. What does this cost me? My time and the cost of a tiny bit of electricity to run the machine and cotton to sew the seams... so practically nothing. What do I gain? Well my grand-kids will think I am wonderful and what grandmother doesn't want that?
I know its old hat and not the done thing nowadays, but if you can learn to wield a sewing needle and thread or have the good fortune to be able to get the use of a sewing machine, you could save yourself a fortune by mending it yourself. A hem, a loose button, an unravelling seam, a tiny hole that appears in a top... all are easy to mend and can give your item of clothes a longer run and your wallet a rest from having to be opened up to provide money for replacement items.
I am a novice at best when it comes to sewing and wish I could be better but I still make sure I get the most out of a sewing machine my husband bought me years ago, if only by mending our clothes.
Contributed by Linda Stapleton
Add a Tip
3. Share Your Tips
Share your favourite hint or tip that saves money, time and energy and be in the running to win a one-year subscription to The Cheapskate Journal.
Remember, you have to be in it to win it!
Share Your Tip
4. On The Menu
Chicken Hash Brown Surprise Casserole
I was blessed with a couple of packets of hash browns last weekend, a real treat for us. We love hash browns, but I don't buy them often because they are expensive, and I've only ever made them a couple of times because quite frankly, to me they are an absolute pain to prep and make.
So when two packets were kindly put into my hands, they went into the freezer and I started to think about how to use them. And I remembered making this casserole when the kids were younger and they'd gobble it up.
So here it is, it's quick and easy, and tasty. And we'll be having this for dinner tomorrow night. And if you'd like to see how to make it, I'll be making this casserole and a sweet surprise on tonight's Cheapskates Club Show, live on You Tube at 7.30pm AEDST.
Chicken Hash Brown Surprise Casserole
750g frozen hash browns
2 cups grated cheese (use whatever you have - tasty, cheddar, mozzarella or combine them)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper (adjust to suit your own taste)
2 tubs sour cream (or cottage cheese beaten until smooth)
1 tin cream of chicken soup (I use whatever I have - could be chicken & mushroom or chicken & corn etc. MOO Cream of Chicken Soup is perfect!)
1/2 cup milk
500 g cooked chicken, shredded (save leftover roast chicken or cook 1 chicken breast fillet and shred)
2 cups corn flakes, crushed (or cracker crumbs or Weetbix or even breadcrumbs)
4 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
In a large bowl combine together cheese, hash browns, salt, pepper, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, milk and chicken.
Place into a lightly greased lasagne dish (9 x 13)
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the hash brown potato casserole.
Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.
This week we will be eating:
Sunday: Roast Lamb
Monday: Corned beef, mashed potato, greens
Tuesday: Spag Bol, salad, garlic bread
Wednesday: Lemon fish fillets, homemade wedges, coleslaw
Thursday: MOO Pizza
Friday: BBQ rissoles, salad
In the fruit bowl: Strawberries
In the cake tin: Fruit cake
There are over 1,700 budget and family friendly recipes in the Cheapskates Club Recipe File, all contributed by your fellow Cheapskates, so you know they're good.
Add A Recipe
Recipe File Index
5. The $300 A Month Food Challenge
5 Simple Ways We Save On Groceries
Since Disaster Struck I've watched our grocery spending like a hawk. We have a very strict grocery budget and I try very hard to not go over it. I need to tell you what is included in our grocery budget, just so you know what's covered by my $320 a month.
For my family groceries include:
3. Whatever fruits and vegetables we don't grow or get via bartering
4. Cleaning products
5. Basic toiletries and hygiene products.
I shop for my family of five adults. Yes, our kids are all grown up but still living (and eating!) at home. I buy meat once every three months, so to be sure I have the "meat money" I put $60 a month aside to use. This is usually more than enough (thanks to Australian Butcher Store's great prices and some good specials at our local butcher).
So how do I keep the grocery bill low?
1. Menu planning
I typically plan our monthly menu during December, ready for the new year. I shop for a month so I meal plan for a month, even a year in advance, gives me an idea of what meats and poultry I'll need to get during my quarterly meat shop. Cheapskates Club members can see what we are eating in the Member's Centre and access archived meal plans. By doing this, I buy what exactly what we need for the month. Meal planning is a great way to stop "random" shopping, which really causes chaos with a grocery budget. Meal planning also stops the takeaway temptation. Knowing you have something planned for dinner is half the struggle of getting tea on the table. I'm not saying we don't ever have takeaway or eat out but the temptation to do so isn't there if we know we have something delicious already planned.
2. Planning my shopping trips
I shop with a list, a very comprehensive list. It has the item, size, quantity and the last price I paid on it. I write my shopping list in order of stores and I try to write each stores list according to the layout. My shopping list keeps me focussed on the task at hand: getting the groceries. I do one big shop on the first Friday of each month, then buy milk and cream and any fruit and veg top-ups once a fortnight. That's it. I stay away from supermarkets until shopping day.
3. Shop the sales
When I'm writing my shopping list, I always do it with the Coles, Woolworths and Aldi websites open (I really miss the Aldi online shopping list!). This is probably the biggest way we save on groceries; having the online catalogues open lets me compare prices between the supermarkets quickly and easily. This means I can jot items down under the supermarket they are cheapest.
4. Build a stockpile
I practice the buy-ahead principle as much as possible, in order to create a stockpile and build up our pantry with items we will use later. I aim to have a twelve month supply of our basic grocery items at all times. I don't have stuff stashed everywhere and I don't stockpile things we rarely use. I do use the grocery slush fund to stockpile things we use a lot of when they are on a super great sale, especially if they are the pricier items like shampoo, conditioner, dried fruit, meat and so on. This way I always pay the lowest possible price for groceries.
5. Ditch brand loyalties
I am not a brand snob. Flour is flour, sugar is sugar. Most basic grocery items available in Australia are excellent quality regardless of the price. I try to buy Australian owned, then Australian made when they fit within my grocery budget. There are times I'll have something on my shopping list that isn't on sale. When that happens I buy the best value brand I can find. If the cheapest brand is the store brand, then that's what we buy.
I could write a lot more about how I keep the grocery bill low, but for today these five points give you the general idea. Everyone is different, every family's needs and wants are different and that is fine. You may live hours from supermarkets or you may be catering to special dietary needs. Your grocery budget doesn't have to be the same as anyone else's, you determine what meets your needs. If you're struggling with cutting the cost of groceries, implement these five simple steps.
I guarantee you will save money and if nothing else, you'll have your grocery spending under control. You can work on getting it as low as you want it to be then.
The $300 a Month Food Challenge Forum
The Post that Started it All
6. Cheapskates Buzz
From The Article Archive
40 Quick Healthy Snacks you can Pack in a Lunchbox
MOO Frozen Yoghurt - No Ice-Cream Machine Needed!
Dating on a Budget - It Is Possible!
This Week's Hot Forum Topics
Refinancing - Wrapping Up Mortgage and Car
What if I Don’t Have a Food Processor for Penny Pinching Pizza?
Gentlest Effective Body Wash
Most Popular Blog Posts This Week
Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas
The State of Your Economy
What are Your Vices? Are there Expensive Foods you can’t Resist?
7. The Cheapskates Club Show
Join Cath and Hannah live Tuesdays and Thursdays on You Tube at 7.30pm AEDST
Tuesday: Around the Kitchen Table - join Cath and Hannah for a cuppa and a chat around the kitchen table as they talk about living the Cheapskates way.
Thursday: Cheapskates in the Kitchen - want to know how to cook delicious, healthy and cheap meals? Watch Cath and Hannah as they create cheapskates style cuisine and share their favourite recipes.
Cath's Mum's Famous Fish Cakes
Your Price Book - The How & The Why
8. Ask A Question
We have lots of resources to help you as you live the Cheapskates way but if you didn't find the answer to your question in our extensive archives please just drop me a note with your question.
I read and answer all questions, either in an email to you, in my weekly newsletter, the monthly Journal or by creating blog posts and other resources to help you (and other Cheapskaters).
Ask Your Question
9. Join The Cheapskates Club
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Joining the Cheapskates Club gives you 24/7 access to the Members Centre with 1000's of money saving tips and articles.
Click here to join the Cheapskates Club today!
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11. Contact Cheapskates
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Showing you how to live life
debt free, cashed up and laughing!
PO Box 5077 Studfield Vic 3152