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In this Newsletter
1. Cath's Corner
2. In the Tip Store - Learning to Seed Save; Seeds!; Easy Seed Sorting
3. Cheapskate's Winning Tip - Save with Seeds
4. Share Your Tips
5. On the Menu - Fish Cakes
6. The $300 a Month Food Challenge - Does Gardening Save You Money?
7. Cheapskates Buzz - Cheapskaters are talking in the Forum and on Cath's blog
8. Member's Featured Blog - Making Our Own, a Gift for Saving Money, and Creating
9. This Week's Question - What veggies can I grow in winter?
10. Ask Cath
11. Join the Cheapskates Club
12. Frequently Asked Questions
13. Contact Details
1. Cath's Corner
Did you get caught out by the school holidays? I did! I guess that happens when you no longer have children at school. Anyhoo, I've had to rearrange a couple of plans because for Victoria at least they're a week early, either that or Easter is a week late. Turns out Easter is the last weekend of the holidays this year instead of the middle. Oh well, these things happen, perhaps I'll remember to double check with my diary for school holidays before booking dates.
The aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, I think, is more terrifying and heartbreaking than the actual cyclone. There are so many Australians affected, and who will be for weeks to come. And the effects will be felt throughout the country in things like fruit and veg prices. We take the unlimited supply of beautiful fresh fruit and veg at reasonable prices for granted here in Australia, and the impact of this cyclone on supply and prices in the coming year is going to be a wake-up call for many people.
This last week the boys pulled the tomato plant out for me and dug compost into the veggie beds. I'll be able to plant in them next week. I have broccoli, rainbow silverbeet, turnips, parsnips, cabbages and cauliflowers to plant. I'll also sow some lettuce and radish seeds (they both grow all year round here in Melbourne) for winter salads. There are limes and mandarins on those trees, and there will be oranges and hopefully lemons in the next couple of months that will give us some fruit. I'm thinking bananas may be missing from the fruit bowl for a while, they're already going up in price, but we'll make do with our homegrown citrus.
I know I harp on about this a lot, but growing even some of the fruit and veg you eat each week will save you money. In the aftermath of the cyclone you'll not only save money but have fresh veg to enjoy. Coming into winter there are some amazing vegetables that will grow in your garden or in pots (if you don't have room for garden beds).
And so, in the interests of saving money, time and energy, and hopefully motivating you to try growing some of the food you eat, this week's newsletter has been dedicated to growing fruit and veg,
Enjoy the read and have a great week,
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2. From The Tip Store
Learning to Seed Save
I loving growing veggies. I recently started growing heirloom varieties. This will help me harvest my own seeds from spoilt fruit. I like cos lettuce because it allows you to pick it over a long period of time however at some point they will go to flower. I went on the 'net to find ways to harvest the little tiny seeds. After one hour of trying to sort flowers from seeds I worked it out. Place the top of the plant in a plastic bag and shake. I ended up with about 100 times what I would get in one packet of seeds worth $6. I normally only need four packets of seeds. Guess whose friend will now have lots of cos lettuce.
Contributed by Kate Nunn
Growing plants from seeds is my favourite part of gardening. It's absolutely magical watching the process and extremely rewarding to see something you planted as a seed grow into something big. Not to mention the financial benefit. Seeds are much more economical, easier to share and usually outperform seedlings and older plants, as anyone that's planted a coriander seedling that's bolted immediately can attest. Another great thing about seeds is that they can literally be free! take some from other plants that you've let go to flower or just plant the seeds directly out of your store bought chilli and capsicum or even tomatoes and you will grow your own food completely free of charge and will give yourself something to do in the process! Here is a little punnet of tomatoes I've grown from seeds which sprouted in my worm farm and pumpkin seeds I saved from a huge pumpkin my father in law grew last summer. So rewarding!
Contributed by Rachel Bendall
Easy Seed Sorting
I enjoy growing my own vegies and flowers from seeds but I have trouble remembering what I have and the use by date, so often buy doubles or triples of the same thing. Now I put the seed packets into the photo sleeves of a photo album. I have arranged them in alphabetical order and labelled each page with a letter for easy access and easy identification.
Contributed by Cynthia Tay
There are currently more than 12,000 great tips in the Tip Store
3. Cheapskates Winning Tip
This week's winning tip is from Jessica Peters. Jessica has won a one year Platinum Cheapskates Club membership for submitting her winning tip.
Save with Seeds
I have managed to save huge amount of money by adding veggie seeds to my shopping budget a few years ago - I have included the amount the seed packet cost to my grocery bill tally for the month. We built raised veggie gardens out of recycled timber and tin from a shed we pulled down and started growing the seeds. As I saved money in my grocery budget from lettuce, carrots, silver beet, tomatoes etc. I was able to use the surplus money from my grocery budget to buy more seeds... only to save more money! With the extra money saved from the veggies grown I could save up for fruit trees and now have a mini greengrocer in my backyard, all fresh, healthy and free! I now seed save as much as I can and swap seeds with fellow gardeners. Gardening is very rewarding and addictive once you get started and the health benefits are amazing, healthy diets and healthy grocery bills!
Congratulations Jessica, I hope you enjoy your Cheapskates Club membership.
4. Submit Your Tip
The Cheapskate's Club website is over 3,000 pages of money saving hints, tips and ideas. Let's get together and make the Cheapskates Club Australia's largest online hint, tip and idea library. Share your favourite money saving, time saving or energy saving hint and be in the running to win a one-year membership to The Cheapskate Club. We publish a Winning Tip each Thursday, so enter your great money, time or energy saving idea now.
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!
Submit your tip
5. On the Menu
1 x 425g can of salmon or tuna
2 cups of cooked, mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon parsley
1 onion, chopped
salt & pepper
2 teaspoon curry powder if liked
Flour, egg for glazing & breadcrumbs
Mix together fish, potatoes, parsley, onion & egg. Add seasonings and form into small round cakes. Using flour on board and hands, coat the balls with egg glazing and toss in breadcrumbs until well covered. Fry in fat or oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
This recipe comes from the Seafood Recipe File
This week we will be eating:
Sunday: Roast Chicken
Monday: Fishcakes, gems, coleslaw
Tuesday: Spag bol
Wednesday: Enchiladas, salad
Thursday: MOO Pizza
Saturday: Omelettes & salad
In the fruit bowl: grapes
In the cake tin: cupcakes
There are over 1,500 other great money saving meal ideas in the Recipe File.
6. The $300 a Month Food Challenge
Does Gardening Save You Money?
We have grown part of our food from the very beginning of our marriage. Mind you we started off with only two plants: garlic chives and parsley in pots, a gift from Wayne's Aunty Elaine. Those two humble plants were the start of my veggie growing odyssey.
When we moved into our house we added a couple of tomato plants in pots. Boy, did we feel clever with our homegrown veggies. Looking back, I can't believe that I thought we were really growing our food.
Then disaster struck. We literally did not have any money to spare, even for food. The groceries were the absolute bare minimum to keep the four of us going. When we made the move back to Melbourne I took a good long look at my mother's vegetable garden and I was sold.
I had already figured out that buying fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch was a much cheaper, healthier and greener way to shop and feed my family. Growing our own food would slash our already very low grocery bill even more and I used Mum's garden as the inspiration for mine.
Having a food garden saves us money, that's a given. What it also does is give us much more variety in the foods we eat. For example, we grow potatoes - five different varieties - and harvest around 160kg a year. If I had to buy potatoes I would only be buying the cheapest available and paying around $1.50 a kilo. The seed potatoes I use cost around $30 initially, an immediate saving of $210. I always keep some spuds back to use to grow the next crop, making each successive crop of potatoes free.
When lettuces are $2.48 each at the greengrocer, ours cost around 4 cents - yes, that's right. A packet of seeds cost $2.95 and has around 80 seeds in it. I grow tomatoes from seed with great success. Each tomato plant costs around 30 cents to grow - even if I only get 1 kilo of tomatoes off it it's still saving me a fortune. Ditto beetroot, zucchini, cucumbers, capsicums, radishes, beans, sugar snap peas, cabbages, cauliflowers, pumpkins, rhubarb, melons, carrots, squash, broccoli, broccolini, celery, garlic, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, onions, parsley, chives, and everything else we grow.
The price and the freshness are huge factors, but so is the fact that what we grow is grown organically, or as organically as it can be in a suburban backyard in a capital city. I don’t use chemical fertilizers on our garden. The soil is enriched before each growing season with my own homemade compost. The plants are fed with my own homemade bokashi tea and compost tea.
Would I still grow our own food even if it didn't save us money? Oh, yes! The benefits to all of us far outweigh any savings we make.
So do you grow your own food? Does it save you money? Is it as satisfying for you as it is for me?
The $300 a Month Food Challenge
The Post that Started it All
7. Cheapskates Buzz
Most popular forum posts this week
What's Growing in Your Veg Garden?
Best Places for Easter Eggs at Good Prices?
Most popular blog posts this week
How to know when to Start Vegetable Seeds Indoors
Becoming a City Farmer
How being More Self-Sufficient Saves You Money
8. Members Featured Blog
Platinum Cheapskates Club members have their very own Cheapskating blogs, and they are wonderful and inspirational and encouraging and even funny. This week's featured blog is written by chrissies plastics.
Making Our Own, a Gift for Saving Money, and Creating
I love to make things from scratch. In this household, we're now using the following: Miracle Spray, MOO washing powder, green tomato chutney, handmade face washers, cakes and scones, brownies, ice cream (although it's a bit cold for it at the moment). In addition, there's homemade bath bombs as indulgence, shower gel (not so successful). We've run out of liquid soap, and I won't make any more until I can find liquid Castile soap.
When one makes something, one knows what's in the food and cleaning products that you're offering to family and friends. Also, I enjoy the act of making as I know that not only have I saved money, the physical act of creating something from the basic ingredients is satisfying.
I have also made notecards, knitted scarves for myself and as gifts, and crocheting a single bed rug in one piece. The notecards use up pretty pictures and paper that I have lying around, the scarves are "made to order" in that I use the preferred colours of the recipient, and for myself are chosen to match my own clothes. The rug is an act of kindness for a friend. I've relished in designing it in a combination which is a pleasure to make, and will be a pleasure to have.
Now I'm confident to move on to trying to knit matching beanies and hats.
Saving money, and having control of the contents of my food and cleaning products were the two reasons that I embarked on Making Our Own. In the process, I've developed my home making skills, my creative ability, and been reconnected to my mother's and grandmothers' lessons on their experience. And, I've gained joy in being able to gift individual items to others, particularly to the children and young people in my life.
Login to read more Cheapskates Club Member blogs
9. This Week's Question
I am from Melbourne where the winter is pretty harsh. I like to grow my own veggies as I have a nice backyard. Can anyone suggest what veggies are best to grow that can survive the winter in Melbourne? I really don't like creepers or plants that grow underground. Thank you for your suggestions in advance.
Do you have the answer?
If you can help Priyanka let us know. We'll enter your answer into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize too.
Send your answer
10. Ask Cath
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
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