Whoops

I accidentally took off a bit longer than I intended to from the blog. We’ve been having an interesting time with Little Mister having hospital appointments workshops on eating (apparently yelling “Y U NO EAT!?” won’t help 😉 ) and just in all trying to cope with the mayhem. So please forgive me for my disappearance Here’s a brief spiel on what I’ve been up to the past 2 months.

I’ve been gardening. In truth this is probably the biggest reason I haven’t been blogging – I’ve been gardening when I normally could have blogged. Gardening has been highly therapeutic for me and also helped when Little Mister is particularly out of sorts. I’ve recently planted some broccoli, silverbeet, corn and carrot which I hope will harvest in time. I also have intentions of planting some cabbage, tomato, and lettuce. I’ve been grabbing coffee grounds from a local coffee shop to help improve our soil and more recently I’ve just created a bokashi bin to compost food scraps. I hope to post more on this as it’s a great environmentally friendly way of dealing with waste as well as improving soil quality – and can be done for really cheap if you’ve got some time to wait.

I’ve been decluttering around the house (and having mild breakdowns when I’m surrounded by so much unnecessary clutter). I am striving for much more minimalist goals and have been reading the KonMari method. I’m also trying to keep small areas totally free of (child related) clutter at all times so I can maintain a semblance of sanity.

I’m also preparing for Mr Fim to come home permanently from the FIFO lifestyle. We are super excited about this although I know at some point there is little doubt we will have clashes from being constantly back in each others spaces. However I am so keen to get back into a more traditionally normal lifestyle and also have an extra pair of hands to help deal with teething meltdowns and the like.

Frugal Fortunes & Fumbles: FFF#10

fortunefumble

 

Each week I like to look back at the week that was and reflect on whether or not I am still undertaking steps to get me to my financial goals. I am not superhuman and as such I have my fumbles as well as my fortunes and I think it’s important to learn from my mistakes as well as my successes.

 

Fortunes

  • Maccas is currently running a monopoly game which gives you the opportunity to win some freebies. Little Mr and I often clean up rubbish on our walks around the neighbourhood and we’ve picked up a few of the game pieces from the rubbish. I’ve enjoyed a few free coffees as well as a sundae and cheeseburger – with the added side of feeling good for removing rubbish from the environment.
  • I came in under budget on the grocery shopping for the second month in a row. This month I used 93% of the budget compared to 81% the previous month. I’m hoping to be much further under budget this month as I aim to reduce my inventory.
  • We’ve been getting out of the house more recently which should reduce our electricity bill slightly.

Fumbles

  • I’ve fallen far behind in doing my surveys lately, resulting in less gift cards to pay for my groceries. This gives me a second incentive for reducing my inventory at the moment.

Frugal Fortunes & Fumbles: FFF#9

fortunefumble

 

Each week I like to look back at the week that was and reflect on whether or not I am still undertaking steps to get me to my financial goals. I am not superhuman and as such I have my fumbles as well as my fortunes and I think it’s important to learn from my mistakes as well as my successes.

 

Fortunes

  • I got a great deal on the most expensive component of my homemade version of cereal, allowing me to maximise my savings.
  • Following Little Mr’s anemia diagnosis I received an easy pate recipe from a friend that made almost 2kgs of pate. I looked up the shops price of pate and it’s around $30/kg – since the ingredients all cost less that $8 – including electricity etc I saved around $50! Bonus is getting a delicious pate in which I know exactly what went into it.
  • It was time to buy some more bird crumble. I discovered that one of the two packets at the pet shop was actually expired. I asked if I could get a discount on it and they gave me 50% off! A saving of $15, and there is NO difference to the budgies.
  • There have been some great specials on yogurt at the shops lately which I took great advantage of considering it’s one of the few things guaranteed to be eaten by Little Mr.

Fumbles

  • Little Mr stressful hospital visit resulted in maccas for lunch.
  • We have slightly gone overboard with the groceries this month. Not yet over budget however a no spend week is in order.

Frugal Fortunes & Fumbles: FFF#8

fortunefumble

Each week I like to look back at the week that was and reflect on whether or not I am still undertaking steps to get me to my financial goals. I am not superhuman and as such I have my fumbles as well as my fortunes and I think it’s important to learn from my mistakes as well as my successes.

 

Fortunes

  • I got a great deal on the most expensive component of my homemade version of cereal, allowing me to maximise my savings.
  • I remembered to collect my Swagbucks Bonus, and while it was only 66SB, basically free SB is always good SB. Thinking of joining up to Swagbucks? I covered it in my post on Australian Survey Sites.
  • So far we are still on track with our grocery budget goal, and I’m actually contemplating lowering the goal to keep it challenging, but still attainable.

Fumbles

  • FID (Frugally Inclined Dad) was home this weekend so we had a few extra expenses at the last minute with Ubers and then some yummy icecream. A Fumble from the goal, but well worth it still, and was enjoyed guilt free.

Cutting Costs: Project Cereal

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I’m picky when it comes to cereal. Ever since I was a kid, light ‘n’ tasty was the only cereal I never got bored of â…“ of the way into the box (sorry mum!). I dislike porridge and always have, weet-bix gets soggy and gross… but combination cereals, like just right and sultana bran are my kinds of cereal! However… they’re expensive and more often than not the box image expectation and the reality of what’s inside the box leave me totally disappointed.

Solution: make your own cereal!

Now I’m not saying this is the cheapest way to eat cereal, but I find it is the cheapest way to eat this type of cereal, and you can chop and change it entirely to your tastes.

 

I don’t have a set recipe and each batch I make is slightly different but the basic elements I try to include are

  • Corn flakes
  • Rolled oats
  • Weet bix
  • Rice bubbles
  • A combination cereal like light n tasty
    Optional extras:
  • Dessicated coconut
  • Sultanas

Honestly you can use any cereal you have available to you but it’s the quantity of what that averages the cost out for you. For example I use the cheapest of everything available to me (yes, even the cardboard tasting home brand weet-bix!)

Instead of paying around $7/kg for combination cereal, if I combine the following in complete packet sizes-

Combination cereal 770g = $5
Corn flakes 550g =$2
Rice pops 400g =$2
Rolled oats 750g=$1.19
Weet bix 1kg=$2.86

It comes out at
=3.475kg/$13.05=$3.75/kg
Which is by itself a $2.70 saving per kg however, that’s not the quantities I use.

The rough quantities I use are closer to as follows-

10% combination cereal =(.64c)
30% weet bix (crushed)=(.85c)
20% corn flakes=(.72c)
10% rice bubbles=($.50)
30% rolled oats=(.48c)

Or $3.19/kg a saving of more than 50% of store bought combination cereal!

Of course adding sultanas and dessicated coconut bumps the unit cost up a tad, but still it is much cheaper than a store bought version and if times are lean I can tailor the cereal to be cheaper again by increasing more of the cheaper ingredients and less of the expensive ones. The price can also be reduced by buying the cereals in bulk quantities while they are on special, or sometimes stores have multi-buys (such as 3 for $5 instead of $2 each for homebrand corn flakes and rice pops).

For the actual making part I just layer them all into a airtight container and then – to my sons amusement – shake it all up, and serve.

Have you tried making your own cereal?
What ingredients do you include?

Frugal Fortunes & Fumbles: FFF#7

fortunefumble

Each week I like to look back at the week that was and reflect on whether or not I am still undertaking steps to get me to my financial goals. I am not superhuman and as such I have my fumbles as well as my fortunes and I think it’s important to learn from my mistakes as well as my successes.

 

Fortunes

  • I got a few DVD rentals for free with some promo codes for entertainment this week.
  • Extra repayments on the mortgage meant the end of month mortgage interest was reduced by $1.11 a day compared to last month – down $5.76 a day from January!

Fumbles

  • No fumbles that I can think of this week aside from spending more time indoors than I would have liked, increasing the electricity usage.

PSA: Huggies Little Swimmers Freebie

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Free Sample (Up to 2 per year) For Huggies Little Swimmer pants.

https://www.huggies.com.au/samples/little-swimmers

I have been told by a swimming instructor that these pants don’t actually contain wee, but just catch poo from escaping. This means if your little one doesn’t poo onto these swimpants you could in theory dry the swimpants in the sun until they look worse for wear. So if you only have the occasional swimmer this could make a packet of these pants last much longer.