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------------------------------In this newsletter
1. Cath's Corner
2. In the Tip Store - Kid Happy Clothes without Breaking the Budget; Saving Your Fruit Trees from Fruit Fly; Keeping Track of Loyalty Cards
3. Share Your Tips - Share your best money saving tip here
4. 2017 Revolution
5. On the Menu - The Perfect Pav
6. The $300 a Month Food Challenge - Taming the Grocery Budget Part 1
7. Cheapskates Buzz - Cheapskaters are talking in the Forum and on Cath's blog
8. Member's Featured Blog - 2017 Revolution
9. Last Week's Question - Is there an easy way to keep a tablecloth in place?
10. Ask Cath
11. Join the Cheapskates Club
12. Frequently Asked Questions
13. Contact Details
1. Cath's Corner
I'm busy cleaning today, getting our home ready for our New Year's celebrations, but I'd like to take a few minutes to sit down and say thank you….
Thank you for being loyal Cheapskates Club members.
Thank you for being a subscriber to this newsletter. I'm sure your inbox is overflowing, but you still take the time to read and respond each week.
Thank you for amazing patience when I accidentally send the same newsletter out twice - or worse, forget to send it at all!
Thank you for kindly letting me know when I send out newsletters with broken links.
Thank you for sharing your hints, tips, ideas and saving stories as you live the Cheapskates way.
Thank you for your encouragement. It always comes just when I need it, no matter what I'm struggling with.
But most importantly, thank you for being a part of this amazing community of like-minded people. The Cheapskates Club wouldn't be half the resource it is without you, so thank you, thank you for being a part of it.
2016 is almost over, and we have a brand new year ahead of us.
May 2017 be filled with family, friends, fun; may all your goals be accomplished and may all your hopes and dreams come true as you live the Cheapskates way.
PS: Love our site? We love referrals! Send a note to your favourite newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, friends and relatives, and tell them about us!
2. From The Tip Store
Kid Happy Clothes without Breaking the Budget
It can be hard when your child wants to have the latest Disney/Pixar/Spiderman fad emblazoned across their clothes, costing a small fortune but making them feel part of the crowd. For a tiny fraction of what Barbie or Thomas clothes will cost, you can buy an iron-on transfer from Spotlight, eBay or the like and iron on to any of their existing shirts/jeans/backpacks/hats/socks/underwear/singlets etc. and no-one will know the difference. Transfers at Spotlight are as little as a dollar and eBay the same cost plus a dollar for postage. Makes a great gift on an inexpensive t-shirt as well. Everyone's happy!"
Contributed by Cindy Ives
Saving Your Fruit Trees from Fruit Fly
You can make a simple Fruit Fly trap from a plastic jar or bottle. I use peanut butter jars and make small holes in the lid. Make up a mixture of ﾽ teaspoon Vegemite and 1 tablespoon cloudy ammonia mixed with about 2cm water in the bottom of the jar. Hang these traps in your trees. Empty and wash them out each week and then refill. I believe you can also use beer in the traps.
Contributed by Graham
Keeping Track of Loyalty Cards
I got tired of carrying dozens of different loyalty cards in my wallet; they are bulky and make it hard to keep it closed. I don't have a smart phone to scan them with, so I needed an easy alternative. Now, if a card doesn't already have one, I hole punch it and put onto a key-ring, ready for when I know I'm going to the shopping centre. These are the only ones I can justify keeping and that key-ring cluster of them lives in my car, ready to grab and go! I rarely miss getting a stamp for whatever bonus the store is offering and my wallet is lasting longer too - no more strain on the studs!
Contributed by Krys
There are currently more than 12,000 great tips in the Tip Store
3. 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
4. 2017 Saving Revolution
Do you want (or need) to take control of your financial life?
Perhaps you're floundering, not sure where to start. Or you've started (and maybe re-started) and just need some encouragement and guidance to keep working towards your goal of being debt free.
You need the Cheapskates Club Saving Revolution.
The Saving Revolution is a yearlong plan to get you onto the road to financial freedom.
The Revolutionary Challenges include:
Spending Plans - what is a spending plan, how to develop a spending plan, reviewing a spending plan and sticking to a spending plan!
Peace of Mind Accounts and Emergency Funds - what they are, how they work, what the difference is and why they are essential for financial peace of mind.
Assessing your finances - getting bills under control, paid on time and reviewing expenses.
Stockpiling 101 - learn how to strategically and economically build a stockpile, what to stockpile (and it's not just groceries), how to rotate your stockpile, when to stockpile and most important of all, why stockpile.
Monthly menu planning - the how and why of feeding a family on a limited budget.
Children and money - start teaching your children the benefits of living the Cheapskates way now and they'll follow your example to a debt free, cashed up life.
Registration for the 2017 Saving Revolution has opened (it's free!). Click here to register, then get ready for an amazing financial revolution.
5. On the Menu
The Perfect Pav
You wouldn't think pavlova, surely Australia's most famous of desserts, would be diet friendly. But Annette Sym's amazing pav recipe is most definitely a diet friendly treat. This recipe is from Symply Too Good 2, page 49.
3/4 cup castor sugar
4 egg whites
2 level tsp cornflour
1/4 cup almond flakes (optional)
2 x 200g tubs vanilla light Fruche
1 punnet (250g) strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Coat a non-stick baking tray with cooking spray, shake cornflour over base, removing any extra. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Gradually add in sugar, beating well each time until sugar dissolves. Spread pavlova mixture in centre of tray to form a round 20cm size. Position almonds around side edges of pavlova. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Once pavlova has cooled use a large spatula to live pavlova onto a large plate, spread Fruche evenly over top, decorate with strawberries and drained passionfruit.
You can get more delicious low fat recipes from www.symplytoogood.com.au Annette's books are available from newsagents nationwide.
This week we will be eating:
Friday: Pasta bake, salad, garlic bread
Saturday: BBQ and salad
Sunday: Christmas Dinner
Tuesday: Leftovers/BBQ sausages, salad
Wednesday: BBQ steak, salads
Thursday: MOO Pizza
Friday: Rissoles, mash, veggies, onion gravy
Saturday: New Year's Eve BBQ
In the fruit bowl: peaches, nectarines, apricots
In the cake tin: Christmas cake, shortbread, chocolate biscuits
There are over 1,500 other great money saving meal ideas in the Recipe File.
6. The $300 a Month Food Challenge
Taming the Grocery Budget Part 1
The one bill you have absolute control over is the grocery bill. You, and you alone, determine how much you spend when you enter the supermarket or the butcher or the greengrocer or the bakers. You choose to spend money on groceries or to not spend as much.
When disaster first struck us, I had very little in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Sure I had a lovely upright freezer, a nice big pantry and a decent sized fridge. But they didn't really hold much.
There were packets of things, jars of this, tins of that and not a lot of ingredients.
The first thing I did was do a stocktake of just what food, cleaning supplies and toiletries were in the house. I made a list of the packets, tins, jars and ingredients and then tracked over the next couple of weeks just what we used and how much of each thing we used during that time.
While I was tracking, I was also going through my impressive collection of recipe books, searching for basic meals I could make, that we'd all enjoy and that used the ingredients on my tracking sheet. I made a list of 20 meals we liked: things like chow mien, fried rice, quiche, rissoles, curried sausages, stir-fry, vegetable soup, beef casserole, moussaka, spag bol all made their way to the list (and most of them are still on rotation on my meal plan today).
Searching the recipes books was a bit of an "AHA" moment - I realised that most of what we liked to eat used pretty much the same basic ingredients and those same basic ingredients were also on my grocery tracking. That tracking became my shopping list. I multiplied it by two to give me an approximate monthly number of things to buy and I started shopping just once a month.
I had $200 to spend. Once it was gone, there wasn't even a spare cent I could "borrow" from anywhere, it was gone. If we ran out of something (and the first couple of months we did run out of things) we had to make do. That started me MOOing things, saving even more money while expanding our variety of meals and cleaning products.
Some of the things that are on my MOO list is:
Washing powder - I've been making my own for years. It takes about 5 minutes and costs under $3 to make enough to do 90 loads of washing. That's just about 3.5 cents per load, much cheaper than buying even generic detergent.
Fabric softener - I don't really make this, I simply add 1/3 cup white vinegar to the final rinse on towels and jeans. It has the added benefit of giving the washing machine a mini clean too. Cost is around 4 cents a load.
Ironing spray - If you were to take a peek in the linen cupboard you'd see a Fabulon spray bottle sitting on the shelf and think I was cheating. I'm not. The bottle holds plain water and 2 tablespoons fabric softener concentrate. Cost is around 20 cents for 500ml and it does a great job.
Window/glass cleaner - I don't buy it or make it anymore. I use two microfibre cloths - one to wet and wash and the other to polish. The cloths were $2 each from GoLo and I've been using the same ones for about eight years.
Spray and wipe cleaner - for really stubborn marks and heavy duty cleaning I make one up that costs around 80 cents for a 500ml bottle. It's strong enough to give any of the commercial spray cleaners a run.
Drain cleaner - bicarb, washing soda, vinegar and boiling water down the drains once a month keeps them clean and fresh smelling and best of all unblocked. Much cheaper and safer than buying Drano each month.
Dishwasher detergent - homemade beats even the most expensive of the bought products for a fraction of the price. And the dishwasher smells cleaner and fresher too.
Liquid hand soap - if the kids want to go berserk in the bathroom it's not a problem. Making our own costs a fraction buying refills.
Shake'n'Bake - so easy to make, lasts almost indefinitely in the fridge and is so versatile - it's used on chicken pieces, sausages, fish cakes and rissoles, can be sprinkled on top of mac'n'cheese (also homemade) and other casseroles. Cost is approximately $2.70 for 1.5kg
Hotcakes/Pancakes - my recipe rivals McDonalds and is so much cheaper
Pancake syrup - As pure maple syrup is so expensive, homemade pancake syrup is much nicer than the bought bottled imitation syrups and costs less than 1/4 of the price to make.
Breads, scones, cakes, biscuits, muesli bars etc. - making our own we know exactly what goes into them. I will admit the being stunned at just how easy it is to make scones or a batch of Lunchbox Cookies and I always thought cakes took special skill. These days I make all manner of baked goods without blinking an eye. Cost for a batch of Lunchbox Cookies is around $5 for approximately 100 cookies or $3 for a large, family sized chocolate cake.
Sauces, jams, spreads - tomato sauce, bbq sauce, lemon butter, marmalade, jams etc. are all easy to make and cost a fraction of the bought ones. Best of all homemade preserves are so much nicer than bought.
Yoghurt, Yogos, custards - It costs around $1.10 to make a kilo of the thickest, creamiest yoghurt ever and best of all it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare it! Yogos and custards are so easy to make, once you've made your own you'll never buy them again.
Ice Blocks - You can use cordial, fruit juice, water, flat soft drink, milk (pour milk into an almost empty jam jar, shake around and then freeze in moulds) or the juice from canned fruit all make delicious icy poles for just a few cents.
Pizza - three can be made for less than the price of one bought one and in less time than it takes to ring up and have one delivered!
Pastries - Pies, sausage rolls, quiches can all be made at home in just a few minutes.
Pita crisps - We make our own pita crisps for dips and nibbling on instead of buying potato chips. Cost is $1.99 (or less if the pita bread is on sale) for 500g crisps. Because they are oven dried they are lower in fat than crisps too, another benefit of MOOing.
When we started making our own it was out of necessity. Now we make our own because it's better for my family and our budget.
When you make your own, you'll notice that your shopping list and habits will change. You'll start adding more raw ingredients and basic pantry staples to your trolley and less and less of the processed, convenience type products. You'll also notice that your grocery bill will start shrinking, and that's another great benefit of MOOing.
The $300 a Month Food Challenge
The Post that Started it All
7. Cheapskates Buzz
Most popular forum posts this week
Let the 2017 Saving Revolution Begin
Getting Back on Track
How Much did you Spend on Sending the Kids Back to School?
Most popular blog posts this week
Homemade Mocha Coffee Syrup
A Quick Substitute for Corn Syrup and a Cracker Recipe
The Slush Fund
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 mumof2.
We have achieved a lot this year financially...yes, we had some setbacks but we worked through them and reached all the goals that we had set.
However, our back room isn't done which means our place is cluttered and really annoying me until it is done....and we have new financial goals for next year which we are already working towards
So, I have saved all year the 2016 Revolution lessons and I'm going to do them again each week next year to make sure we stay on track and have a fantastic year.... thankyou Cath for putting the Savings Revolution up, it has really helped me stay on track. And for everyone else who has helped me get back on track when we fell off over the year with things that just popped up... you have all been encouraging me and that has helped me stay on track and become debt free.
So, Revolution 2017 here I come!
Login to read more Cheapskates Club Member blogs
9. Last Week's Question
Last week's question was from Beverley who wrote
"Has anyone a suggestion for anchoring a lace tablecloth with a clear protective plastic cover over the top (or any tablecloth for that matter), i.e. how to stop the thing moving across the table, particularly as my husband unwittingly pulls it down with his arms!! It is a round glass-topped cane table in our family room. Many thanks."
Cathy Morcom answered
You could try using clip on suspenders, the kind you use to hold your pants up, crisscross them under the table. Or some Velcro dots, placed on the table and plastic cover, put them where the lace opens up and you can attach to, the plastic should stay in place. It will also keep the lace cloth in place.
Antoinette Young answered
I have had clear plastic covering my material cloths for years. Simply use the metal clips you can often buy in the dollar shops, for fastening your picnic table cloths! Works a treat!
Denise Scotford answered
If you're a crafter, you may well have those double-sided bits of clear tape to attach photos while doing papercraft, otherwise you can get those little clear plastic roundish knobs that go under glass table tops. Both of these are available in a lot of $2 shops, it might just take a little asking around. Once you've put the lace on find several places you can put the holders in the lace spaces, then put the plastic cover over the top (Spotlight and Clark Rubber both carry clear plastic), and just press down on the spots where the holders are. Alternatively, when you get a gift card, or new bank card, they often have that sticky clear gum to hold the card. This comes off the card easily; roll it into a ball and do the same thing with this.
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
11. Join the Cheapskates Club
For just 10 cents a day you can join the Cheapskates Club and get exclusive access to the Cheapskate Journal, the monthly e-journal that shows you how to cut the costs of everyday living and still have fun.
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!
12. Frequently Asked Questions
How do I change my email address?
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13. Contact Details
The Cheapskates Club -
Showing you how to live life
debt free, cashed up and laughing!
PO Box 5077 Studfield Vic 3152