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Showing posts from May, 2016

Looked at yurts

I was looking at yurts as an alternative to normal, dare I say somewhat boring, buildings.  I'm not sure they are any better value in the long run, in Australia given building regulations and Australian costs, but they sure are fun!

I successfully made some gluten free bread today, did a little housework and spent the rest of today resting as I feel a little on the flu-y side.  I did try denial for a few days but the sneezing and generally feeling of malaise are a bit difficult to ignore.

Not feeling terribly inspired but I did add to my food stash the last few days and went to the library, and only went to the library, so I guess feeling inspired has little to do with saving money!

Here's some yurt related links:

http://boingboing.net/2015/05/08/whats-it-like-to-live-in-a-y.html

https://thebillfold.com/why-live-in-a-yurt-and-how-much-does-it-cost-a-conversation-with-melissa-fletcher-5abba1e268f9#.ety78kttr

http://simpleorganizedlife.com/the-ultimate-in-simplicity-yurt-living…

Art therapy

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My art therapy for today was to make wrapping paper with pretty colored gel pens and butchers paper.  It's all wrapped around a present for my mum.  I'm getting ready early, which really is my mum's influence.  Cute little hearts!  Actually, a bit of fun too.
Went out to dinner last night and had a random act of kindness foisted on me.  Had my dinner paid for.  Very grateful.  More importantly, had a wonderful night out with family, many giggles and saw the end of fire works organised by the council (I think).  Other people had organised themselves and planned their evening.  The last bit was rather spectacular.
Saw some inspiring craft last night too.  Amazing what can be done with a bit of paint, some beads and creativity.
I am grateful for clean sheets and my warm hot water bottle.

A spend, or three

I am still being disciplined.  Having gone out to dinner in the last couple of months I was not planning on going out again for a while.  I rather got an offer worth accepting, worth six fancy coffees and a new op shop clothing seasonal collection.  Speaking of the op shop, I went to two today, and bought nothing.  Given the last dinner was the only one out in two years that I can recall, and given the person who asked frequently has not been around for festivities, this is sensible spending.

I heart coffee

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Home made coffee inspiration for the week ahead.

Funny

Too funny to not share.  Post-it note art war breaks out in NYC:
http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/postit-note-art-war-takes-over-new-york-city-20160521-gp0i81.html

Cup of tea

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I seem to be drinking an awful lot of tea this week.  I know why too.  I've been under a little more psychological and physical stress than is good.  
My coping strategy under these circumstances would normally be to eat too much rubbish food.  This is something that I am trying to deter myself from.  Nothing wrong with a treat but stress eating is not ideal and I really do not enjoy it.  Often I will substitute chewing gum, I am trying to limit that too.
Getting better at politely and firmly communicating boundaries and drinking lots of tea seem to be the go.
I recommended plain black tea and flavored tea with milk.  You can get great flavors by popping in a herbal tea bag into the cup, or pot.




10 ways to save 50 cents, or more

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This is to inspire you to do little things to help you achieve your savings goals, or just to make daily life easier.  I sometimes need to be reminded myself.  I've been hit by big medical bills and found it hard to get from one day to the next, but even then, these little steps did help.
Sometimes life is all about just getting from one day to another with no real room to move financially.  For most people in the developed world, we can find something to save, or something to do to provide benefit long term.

10 ways you can save 50 cents, or more, tomorrow:
1.  Plant some lettuce, or other hardy greens (I did this today and used garden soil and pots provided by my mum.  Seeds and plants she had spare too.  Not always possible but you can get seedlings and soil for a small initial investment).
Save at the super market by buying fewer greens.
2.  Only buy petrol at the service station.
I also did this today.  I have a weak spot for sweets at the servo.  I am determined to nix it a…

Reading Picks

1) Enjoyed an evening of reading the posts in the blog Frugal In The Valley:

http://frugalinthevalley.blogspot.com.au/
2) Just discovered Australian discount retailer, The Reject Shop, has a blog on saving money and using their products,  Even if you do not buy their products, some great ideas can be found here : 
http://savvy.rejectshop.com.au/
I have no affiliation with them but it strikes me as awfully clever indeed.

3) These articles made me smile!
This article is something I found that made me smile during the week.

https://au.travel.yahoo.com/news/a/31625664/bored-businessman-makes-hilarious-requests-to-hotel-with-ridiculous-results/

This story also put a smile on my dial, one being told to write a report, young people doing a Power point presentation to get hamsters, ingenious.  How could you say no?

http://www.frugalfamily.co.uk/five-fabulously-frugal-things-ive-done-week-13th-may-2016/


10 cent treat

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Last week, I went to the supermarket to top up my supply of Lipton's Forest Fruit tea bags which are a blend of black tea with berry flavours.  I noted that the package now looks much fancier with a price to match.  I decided to change my night cap tea to Rose and Vanilla as Dilmah's blend was on special at the same supermarket.
For around 10 cents a cup, plus a splash of milk, it's quite an affordable night cap.  I often find that I can drink black tea and sleep but coffee and sleep are not compatible for me any more.
What is more, I have all the fancy packaging at less than I originally planned to pay!  Next time I expect the price to go up.  I will stock up on Forest Fruit Tea bags if they are on special again.  It's still a relatively frugal treat.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the above brands, I just enjoy their tea.

Quick greens

Looking to have some greens planted this week for some weeks of house and animal sitting, so, articles on fast growing vegetables are worth reading:
http://www.homelife.com.au/gardening/gardening-tips/how-to-grow-fast-growing-vegetables\

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/Edible-Landscaping/tp/10-Vegetables-You-Can-Grow-Super-Fast.htm

I think buying a few spring onion seedlings may be worth my while too.  I love spring onions, love.

This gardener suggests wheat grass in her mix.  Wheat grass on it's own, in a salad may well be tasty.  I know that I used to eat the sprouts as a child and in some strange hippy food my parents made (was not diagnosed as Coeliac then) and they were sweet.

As someone who had a family member acutely obsessed with wheat grass, who smelt the resulting gourmet product, I am yet to get so sick that wheat grass juice is even remotely tempting.  I always go to hospital first. Then again, I'm a coeliac so it's not recommended anyway.

http://www.tree…

President Obama - Ignorance is not a virtue

United States of America's President Obama's ideas and policies are loved, and criticised by many.  That's not what I am going to write about here.  I am merely going to share a quote that I love, from a report on a speech he did today, according to The Guardian:
“In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue,” he said. “It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about.”
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/15/barack-obama-commencement-speech-donald-trump

4G benefits

I just totaled up my YTD (year to date) spending on my mobile prepaid, which is generally phone and text based.  I do use secure wifi at home and at some people's places where I know it's secure safe network, and they have given me permission to do so.  If I did not do that, I would purchase a prepaid plan, or look at budgeting in a broadband plan and cutting other expenses.  Probably I would settle on minimal internet at home, and then use public accessible wifi.

I have been told by the IT guru that the flaw with free publicly accessible wifi is that devices that link to it are not protected unless a VPN is initiated.  A VPN is a Virtual Private Network and is designed to protect your bank passwords and other details that are best kept private.

For more information about the benefits of VPN contact a provider of the service.

Anyway, my smartphone service after nearly five months totals just under $40 prepaid calls and text.  I do have the odd data use in there to check with …

Lost: one silver slipper

I'm too tired to check, whether Prince Charming placed a silver slipper, or other shoe on Cinderella's foot.  Needless to say, the title is supposed to allude to the story of the house working woman who blossoms with the help of a fairy godmother.  Some days I could definitely do with a god mother make over, if for no other reason than to not scare people (myself included in the mirror).

I've not exactly been working at quite the Cinderella level.  If I am honest I spent a significant period of this morning drinking coffee and harrumphing at the news' headlines.  I took one look at the windy wild weather and was glad to be able to stay inside.

I did manage to do a few useful tasks the last 48 hours:

YOGURT - Made a liter of yogurt from milk and culture (I would say from scratch, yet no milking of cows was involved)BREAD - Made a loaf of gluten free (assuming you include oats) wholemeal bread (one gluten free white bread mix, two cups of oats (Australian Coeliac foundat…

Remarkable

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/catalyst/SC1502H014S00

Two articles

Currently, I am reading the internet.  I found this website, living on a dime, which have some interesting articles, and advice, on ways to save money.  Reading this article about considered buying from warehouse stores.  Clearly they work for some but not all:

http://www.livingonadime.com/warehouse-stores-wearing-wallet/

This is smart, choosing items marketed for children, that can be in adult rooms:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/under-50-fashionable-finds-from-kids-stores-for-grown-up-homes-230653


DIY Coffee Pods (filter coffee) 11 cents each (for Amodo Mio)

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You should know that Lavazza states that the machine warranty is void if you do not use their branded pods.
With a little work, I've managed to figure out how to make 11 cent coffee pods (based on buying coffee for $10 per kilogram (2 pounds), at $20 a kg there is still a significant saving).  Admittedly, I do reuse the bottom part of the pod.  The quality of the pod is not as good as the original.  However, given the brand name pods are 67 cents and I've decided I can live with drip coffee quality coffee, at 11 cents they make a satisfying coffee.  They actually make a less bitter coffee and are better tasting black than the brand name Lavazza coffees.  The pods do make better milky coffee, of that I have no doubt.  If you want the taste and experience of the pods, well you pay for it.
When I can not sleep, I have a tendency to try and solve problems that have been bugging me lately.  I could not help feeling that I've been missing a trick with the reusable pod thing.  

World of pain

I often read comments around the world wide web from people who experience fatigue, or more accurately tiredness in most cases, and self diagnose and identify as chronically fatigued.  What they do not know is that 70 percent of general medical doctors' visits are due to tiredness and fatigue.  Feeling regular fatigue can be a symptom of endless things. At moments like this with my glands inflamed and highly painful, with my legs aching like I have been in a fight, not just rest and a short walk down the street, and feeling like I have acid for blood, I wish people understood how insulting self diagnosis is.  Equally you do yourself no favors ignoring medical knowledge and possibly finding the solution to your symptoms. Please go to a doctor, and by all means get a second or third opinion if you struggle with low energy.  Then look up the medical definition of ME/CFS and understand that we make up a tiny proportion of patients.  We would not wish this on anyone.

Seriously smart money saver

Frugal Ain't Cheap http://frugalaintcheap.blogspot.com/?m=1 -- shared by Browser

Lavazza developing compostable pods!

I really, really, really enjoy my single serve coffee machine and while I think that the global warming/ climate change rhetoric is tedious, and grossly overstated, I do like to keep the environment clean while enjoying my coffee.

In an ideal world, I would keep my amodo minu machine and throw the capsules in the compost.  Thankfully Lavazza are working on this proposition and hope to have developed them within five years.

Now, I've just got the issue of wanted to spend a little less on the capsules as I am drinking two a day on average at the moment.  In a world where other people spend $7 on a card, I think I am doing fine.  I may have to buy some non-capsule coffee and use a drip machine sometimes.

http://www.lavazza.com.au/au/sustainability/values/partnerships/compostable-capsules/

An Australian Horror Story: Low interest rates?

To the point of nausea, I endure while people talk about low interest rates, with intensity and excitement.  My fear is that young people in particular fall for the low interest rates equal good news paradigm.  To put it in common language, I fear that young people will believe their elders, when they spout that low interest rates are exclusively a good thing.

Let's have a look shall we?

1) Low interest rates make it difficult to save

Why save when your return on savings is low?  Low interest rates affect your savings by reducing return on them.  When interest rates are higher you can save more, faster.  That includes saving up for a newer car or a house deposit.

Yes, do save but it's much harder to do so.  Equally, retirees can not live on savings for as long as they would have been able to in the past.

This costs us all more, as there are more people at risk of financial hardship, even responsible types.

The flip side?  Higher interest rates make it easier to save and retire…

Heartless, with brain

Good grief.  I am going to take the high road and not point out the sheer idiocy that seems to drive some social media posts.  Yes, I know, three minutes too long.

Apparently, women would not have full hearts, without the blessing of children.  For a start, while I am not really into the spiritual ideology that is karma, if I was...can I remind people of teenagers.  Now, I've worked with teens a little, and if you feed them well, and treat them with respect, they really can be remarkable people.  Let's be honest though, the teenage and parent relationship, even the best can be strained.  That will be highly entertaining for me.  I do look forward to that, being a cold cow, sorry, empty vessel.

My second point is that I can find plenty to fill my heart.  My nieces, other young children I know, and hopefully positively influence.  The very idea that a person without children has not heart is daft.

My final point is this, I may be without child but thankfully, I have a brain,...a…

A confession and gluten free frugal lasagne

For dinner I made low amine lasagne and because I never have gluten free lasagne sheets on me, and making them was taking domesticity too far, I used parboiled thin slices of potato.  Frustratingly, I had to make it low amine, so no cheese, low (preferably no) tomato sauce and all fresh flavours.  

The white sauce was made using gluten free flour, butter and milk and then towards the end I added home made plain yogurt, a little sour cream, parsley and similar garden greens, grated nutmeg (never use much as it can be toxic http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/10/31/nutmeg-toxicity/ ) and salt and pepper.

The meat sauce was made by browning beef mince, adding diced vegetables, white beans, green tomatoes, fresh oregano, rosemary, chilli and sage and a few other bits and pieces.  I alternated the meat sauce, pre cooked potato slices and white sauce and seconds were requested!  It certainly is worth precooking the potato, I've had a number of disasters from skipping that step, and potatoes …

A little nudge and a rash

I do love to achieve things that I think with a little nudge are a possibility.  I really love to achieve those things when people make the mistake of telling me that they are high on the impossibility scale. Over the last few days, I have managed to save some money, that was my original plan, and I had declared likely impossible.  I think I will meet my goal for this fortnight, it ends in a couple of hours.
I achieved an information result that older and wiser people told me, a couple of emails would not achieve.  Happily I am well on my way to getting the information by the end of this week.  As it was, pursuing it myself would have been a total waste of my time, as I had suspected.  I used my knowledge from a training course and professional experience to great effect.  I love when a plan comes together.

I'm at the home straight with my winter warmer blanket.  It's been such a labor of love I am tempted to keep it.  That it is clearly a labor of love was the point of makin…

It's not me. it's you (Olive Leaf Extract)

After four days and four nights of suffering, and no sleep due to pain and caffeine to deal with OLE (Olive Leaf Extract) side effects, I have decided to place the tablets somewhere useful.  Yes, I have placed them somewhere the sunlight does not get, namely the compost.

I know I wrote about the Herx, and healing side effects, and the hope that this might bring a bright new dawn.  In a way the OLE has brought a new dawn, I feel remarkably cheerful now I have not only decided to quit, but that I literally placed the remaining tablets in the compost.

I spent the wee hours of this morning considering the very real possibility that developing clinical depression might be the way to go.  Being a pain ridden, sleep deprived shell, I am sure I could have convinced someone I was depressed.  I was horribly depressed at the thought of putting myself through another twenty four hours.

I was even considering giving the OLE a go at a lower dose.  That made me feel gloomy too.  If you've read…

Three winter warmers

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Some easy and fairly affordable ways to cosy up your place this winter:
1) A quality fake wood fire, electric in this case:
https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/dimplex-wall-mounted-electric-fire-heater-clovaw/?origin=product-search&kwd=&gclid=CJm4-bXeuMwCFUiUvQodM5gPLA
2) Hot water bottles!

I do love a good hot water bottle.  Just be careful when filling it, that you do not burn yourself with steam.  Yes, I did do that once, many moons ago.

There's a hot water bottle and cover from Target:

https://www.target.com.au/p/hot-water-bottle-with-cover-2-litre-white/58933510?utm_term=58933510&utm_content=hot-water-bottle-with-cover-2-litre-white&utm_source=google&utm_medium=merchant-site&utm_campaign=merchant-site&gclid=CMmhwrWCucwCFYKWvAodzUEJ5w&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CLe6graCucwCFREkvQodiLsLNA

Alternatively, make your own cover from scraps of wool/ acrylic, or an old jumper like my mum did. I have a spare bottle and cover given to me for my birthday.  Ha…

Weekend Reading Picks: small spaces, detention and school and cyclone proof shelter

1) Some good ideas for people with limited floor space:
http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/designer-tricks-small-spaces

2) I find this article, and the concept of a school in a detention facility, surprisingly inspiring.  Given the good order that seems to be the flavor of this facility, it's a shame that more mainstream public schools, lack this level of support for students (based on anecdotal evidence and my own reading).

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/school-at-wacol-youth-detention-centre-covers-a-lot-of-learning/news-story/2363f9fc433d9fff7fc6df7e48617fc0

3) This article is appropriate give the rain and wind battering our windows.  Thankfully, not cyclone proof and we badly need the rain here.  Incredibly grateful for rain given the drought conditions of recent months.
Australians create cyclone proof shelters:
http://www.domain.com.au/news/australian-duo-create-cycloneproof-buildings-made-from-plastic-in-vanuatu-20160430-goixx5/

4) If nothing else,…