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I really enjoy blogging.  Not only does it give me the ability to interact and share my knowledge with my incredible readers (yes, you!!), it also at times throws up at times some pretty amazing opportunities. A couple of weeks ago one of these astounding opportunities hit my email inbox. It was an email from Holly Wainwright Editor of Mamamia!!! Yes the Mamamia, Australia’s premier website for women!!! Holly said that she had read my blog and was wondering if I would be interested in joining her and Andrew Daddo discuss pocket money on Mamamia’s popular parenting podcast “This Glorious Mess”.

“YES!!!” was my swift response!! Let’s face it, no one wants to reject the opportunity to be in the same room as a Daddo!!! 🙂  So before I knew it I found myself in a recording studio chatting pocket money with Holly and Andrew!!! It was an amazing experience.  I was super nervous and it was waaaaaayyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone but Holly and Andrew made it heaps of fun!

So without further ado here is episode 6 of the pod cast of “This Glorious Mess” with Holly Wainwright, Andrew Daddo and myself talking pocket money!!! (I am in the middle after their chat about Mothers day 🙂

Click here to hear me on “This Glorious Mess” talking pocket money.

Oh and the pic above is the obligatory selfie of the three of us in the studio!

Have a great day!

 

Shelley

If you liked this you might also like:

Simple Savings Ideas That Absolutely Everyone Can Use

5 Websites That Will Help You Make Or Save Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

5 Financial Tips You Need To Know Now You Are A Parent

If you would like to read more from me don’t forget to sign up to my weekly email using the form below:



Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

10/05/2015 6 comments
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Save holiday USA

You might have been wondering why things have been a little quiet on the Money Mummy post front over the last few weeks.  Well, the Money Mummy clan have been having a holiday in United States of America!!!  We spent most of our time in California including a trip to Disneyland which we all LOVED, but also popped over to New York and Washington to check them out and experience what it is like to be a tourist in minus 12 degrees!!!!! Yes we were there for New York’s coldest day in 50 years and it was FREEZING!!!  Mind you, our daughter loved the snow!  I have to hand it to the Americans you think that you know them because we see their TV, movies and their news but it is a far more diverse and interesting country than I gave them credit for and we had an absolutely fantastic time there.

-12 degrees!!!  Do I look cold to you?

-12 degrees!!! Do I look cold to you?

 

So if you are thinking of heading over to the US here are some of the ways we made our trip happen without breaking the bank (too much) 🙂 .

  1. Go in winter

    Winter?  What winter?  We spent most of our time in California where we discovered their reputation for amazing weather was well deserved.  Most days were around 23-25 degrees and we didn’t have any rain at all.  Ok, granted that California currently has a drought which is not great, but it did mean that weather wise we had an amazing trip.  Also the best part about travelling in winter was the lack of queues when you go to the attractions.  We spent four days in Disneyland and the most amount of time we spent in a queue was to meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen and even then it was only a 45 minute wait!!!  For most of the rides we either walked straight on or waited for a maximum of 10 minutes!!  It was fantastic.

    Little Miss Money meets the 'real' Elsa and Anna

    Little Miss Money meets the ‘real’ Elsa and Anna

  2. Use a travel agent

    We used a travel agent for a decent chunk of our travel.  He saved us a fair bit of money by convincing us to stay in a couple of hotels that we would have never picked ourselves and an airline we generally wouldn’t fly.  We stayed at the Hyatt Orange County when visiting Disneyland which got us a two bedroom suite for approximately $200 per night (my sister was staying with us) as opposed to $350 per night per room for the cheapest Disney hotel.  He also got us a great deal on “Bertha” our rent a car which I could never have got on my own.

    'Bertha' and the family at one of our many unusual road side stops

    ‘Bertha’ and the family at one of our many unusual road side stops

  3. Don’t use a travel agent

    Ok so I just contradicted myself but for some of the things we found it was far cheaper to book them ourselves.  The agent wanted to charge us $130 Australian dollars for a car to take us from the airport to our hotel.  We decided to catch a cab ourselves and it cost us about $60 Australian dollars.  We also used trip advisor to find some offbeat hotels which had kitchen facilities which saved us the cost of quite a few burger meal deals :-).

  4. Don’t be afraid to stay at cheaper hotels

    We found the standard of hotels to be pretty good in the US and there was a lot of choice.  In Las Vegas we stayed at the Excalibur which looks like a castle for $65 Australian dollars per night.  If you are looking for luxury this certainly wasn’t  it  but it was a nice enough place to sleep and my daughter loved it!!!  Given Las Vegas is not the most kid friendly destination, though it was better than we thought, certainly Excalibur was probably one of the most kid friendly hotels there.

    Life in a castle in Las Vegas!

    Life in a castle in Las Vegas!

  5. Hire a car and drive

    “What!!!  Don’t they drive on the other side of the road????”  I hear you say.  Yes it is a little scary to start off but driving around the US is awesome.  You get to see and do things that you would never get to otherwise.  The roads are amazingly well made compared to ours and we found the drivers pretty polite, contrary to what you might think 🙂 .  We picked up “Bertha” our hire car from San Diego and took her all the way around to San Francisco over 14 days.  She cost around $45 per day and we ended up taking her something like 3,200kms.  Petrol is cheap in the US as well.  We think we paid around $2.50 per gallon generally speaking so that is about $0.80 cents per litre in Australian dollars!!!!!  Mind you we brought our GPS from Australia and downloaded US maps so that was a big stress reliever in terms of getting us from A to B!!!!  It turned out to be a lot cheaper than flying for the three of us and it meant we got to see a lot more of the “real” America.

  6. Stay out of the Disney Stores with your 4 year old….

    Oh I had an epic fail here, mind you all the merchandise is substantially cheaper than in Australia, even accounting for the falling Australian Dollar while we were there 🙂

    Warning: Disney stores are BAD for the budget!!

    Warning: Disney stores are BAD for the budget!!

If you are thinking about going to the US I would highly recommend it.  We are going to be saving hard for the next few years to try and go again.  Next time we might try Disney World in Florida!  It is always good to have a goal!!  Now back to the real world!!!

Have you been to the US?  What did you think?

If you liked this you might also like:

15 Ways To Save Money In 2015

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

5 Financial Tips You Need To Know Now You Are A Parent

If you would like to read more from me in 2015 don’t forget to sign up to my weekly email using the form below:




Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

29/03/2015 10 comments
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How To Raise Extra Cash For Christmas

Freaky!  How fast has this year flown!!  I cannot believe it is already the first week of November and it is only 7 weeks until Christmas!!!  Yowsers!!!  So given the time pressure lately I have been putting a lot of thought into how to raise some extra cash to help pay for our Christmas.  Not that our Christmas is particularly elaborate, usually it is a pretty simple roast chicken lunch at my house for my mum, sister, hubby, daughter and myself.  We try to keep Christmas simple and low key.  No pressure.

However, this year Miss Money is hankering after a Barbie Dream House and with $270 being the best price I can find on the internet, it is a big chunk of the Christmas budget.  Given I have fond memories of my 1970s/early 80s Barbie Townhouse I would really like to get it for her.  Also on the Christmas shopping list is a GPS.  Let us just say the one place Mr Money and I fight is in the car, usually over directions and one of us not following them.  Hopefully a GPS will resolve this problem, so this is the Christmas gift we want to buy for the whole family and any poor bugger that has to be trapped in the car with us 🙂  So with a quite expensive shopping list, this year I set about looking to raise some extra cash for Christmas, and this is how I did it.

(1) Converting Our Frequent Flyers – $350 raised

As part of our strategy to pay off our mortgage faster using our offset account (read about it here), we use out credit cards a lot, always paying off the balance in full :-).  This means we had accumulated a fair few frequent flyer points (53,736 this year to be precise).  Now if you follow the advice of all the frequent flyer gurus they say that points are best used for flight upgrades, however, we would have to save points for an age to be able to do that plus who wants to take a four year old in business class?  Not me!  So every year we choose to redeem our points in vouchers to help pay for Christmas.  So this year we got 2 $100 JB HiFi vouchers which has paid for our marriage-saving GPS!  And an extra $150 in Woolworths vouchers to help pay for the Christmas food bill.  The cool thing is now with some of the vouchers, such as JB HiFi, they email them to you direct the same day!  No more waiting!   Yay!!!  Vouchers might not be the most value way to use your points but they certainly work for us.

(2) Selling Things That We No Longer Needed – $440 raised

From a balance bike that was only ridden once, to Xbox games to kids clothes, below is a picture of only some of the things that I have sold and are no longer a part of my house.

 

How To Raise Money For Christmas

Here are just some of the things I have sold… yay!

I sold them all on a local parents facebook group for free!  It was so easy I just uploaded the photos, gave each item a price, told them which suburb to pick it up from and hey presto I converted a tonne of stuff we no longer needed or wanted into cash!  Sure it took a bit of effort but it was very worthwhile.  The $440 raised pays for the $270 Barbie Dreamhouse and maybe Santa might even bring her a most revered Elsa doll as well!  Not to mention after cleaning out all that stuff I have some space in my cupboards and can actually see what I own!!!  Win-win! Besides, who keeps a portacot when they have a four year old? – Oh that would be me! – But not anymore it was sold for $40 – yay!

(3) Checking My Spending Leaks – $120 raised so far

The last 4 weeks I have been focusing on my spending leaks.  A spending leak is something you spend money on regularly that you could do differently to save money.  So in my case I used to buy my lunch and a hot chocolate the 3 days I work per week (sorry, I don’t drink coffee – crazy, I know).  So I calculated this one habit was costing me approximately $15 per day or $45 per working week.  Over the past 4 weeks I have been bringing my lunch to work at say $5 per day and drinking the free tea at work.  That has saved me approximately $120 over the last four weeks and I hope to at least double that by Christmas.  Such a simple change has been a great savings tool for me.  It is amazing how making small, simple changes can really add up.

So that is how Christmas in the Money household will be paid for.  Any excess cash will be used on maybe a few small extra festivities leading up to Christmas, but certainly not a photo with Santa as my daughter is terrified of him!!  Good luck on your Christmas savings journey.  It pays to start thinking about it now as before you know it Christmas day will be here 🙂

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06/11/2014 22 comments
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how to win free stuff

This post is a guest from my great friend Lisa-Marie from The Retro Mumma.  I am constantly in awe of Lisa Marie’s ability to win the best free stuff.  She is always winning the kind of stuff that you really want.  So she has popped over to Money Mummy to share her secrets with all of us. Take it away Lisa Marie!

How To Win Free Stuff!

Today I was pampered and treated to a beautiful cut & blow dry from Yeah Hair Baby in Marrickville.

What was even more fabulous was that it was FREE!

Some people say that I was born with a 4 leaf clover, but I don’t believe that – it just comes down to the old saying of ” you have gotta be in it to win it”.

So how did I win this beauty treatment? Well I won it through a Facebook promotion on the Yeah Hair Baby Facebook page. It was pretty simple. To enter all you had to do was upload your worst hair style. Below is mine – I just happen to be sporting an ultra cool skunk stripe and I am standing next to Mel Gibson. (I am also dressed in nautical themed clothing because I was working on a boat – ok!!) Notice how this photo is so old that its an actual photograph and not digital….. a 2001 blast from the past!

mel gibson

So how did all this Free Stuff happen to come my way? You’ve probably heard of the term “Compers” or “Comping”, well these are people who are serious about entering competitions.

Well, here are my 4 top ways of winning stuff:

The Radio:

It was probably about 5 years ago now, every morning I would be listening to the radio. Jonsey & Amanda on WSFM to be exact. At 6am every morning, they had a game called the magnificent 7 where listeners call through and try and answer the 7 questions of the day. The caller who answers the 7th question correctly wins their daily prize. I have lost count of the times that I have been the person to answer the last question correctly. A little bit of luck and knowledge is required. They also have segments where you can call through with a funny stories too.

Last year a good friend of mine won tickets through Nova to see Beyonce in the USA. All she did was phone the station when Beyonces’ song came on. She had 2 options. guaranteed tickets to her Sydney concert OR forfeit those tickets and go into the draw for the USA trip. There were only 6 other contenders, so she went into the draw and won! We were so excited, jumping up and down screaming with tears running down our faces!

A few (not all ) of the prizes I have won to date are : Concert tickets to the B52’s (ticked them off my bucket list!), tickets to The Village People, a table for four at the Masterchef Pop up restaurant, meet & greet with the cast of The Deadliest Catch, tickets to Tim Finns’ intimate record release, car shows, rodeos, other concerts, dinner at various beautiful restaurants, entry to Wings over Illawarra Air Show, a $500 digital radio, gift cards, countless dvd’s and cds.

Whilst I have won lots of prizes, I also share them around. Before I had kids, I always gave away tickets I’d won to family events. I believe in prize karma- the more I’ve shared, the more I win!

My Top Tips: Less people listen to the radio early in the morning, so it is easier to get through. I always have the radio station number in my phone on speed dial!

I ran into Amanda Keller at The Village People

I ran into Amanda Keller at The Village People

b52s collage

Up close with Tim Finn at his Album Launch

Up close with Tim Finn at his Album Launch

My Husband met the cast of The Deadliest Catch

My Husband met the cast of The Deadliest Catch

I won a table for 4 at the Master Chef Sold Out pop up restaurant

I won a table for 4 at the Master Chef Sold Out pop up restaurant

Wings Over Illarwarra Air Show was a dream come true for my little boy

Wings Over Illarwarra Air Show was a dream come true for my little boy

Facebook

Facebook is an awesome way to follow and engage with your favourite brands. Not only can you follow their current seasons & sales, quite often they run competitions for their followers too. Through Facebook I have won movie tickets from Dendy Cinemas to several premiers, I have won vouchers from some of my favourite local stores like Lush Arena in Marrickville, beauty treatments , kegs of beer from Tap King and lots of dinners! My most favourite Facebook win was from Little Ruby Photography . This was a competition drawn randomly as a part of a mother’s day promotion and this was very special as it was my first mothers day! Capturing those special memories are priceless.

My Top Tips: Like all your favourite brands and follow them keeping an eye out for promotions and competitions. Facebook competitions will either be drawn randomly once you’ve shared their competition on your page with your friends, Sometimes competitions will require you to use skill to answer a question creatively or other times the competition may involve submitting a photo as a competition entry and then getting people to like your entry.

This was a Mothers Day Prize from Little Ruby Photography

This was a Mothers Day Prize from Little Ruby Photography

Instagram:

Instagram is a great way to follow your favourite brands and get them to notice you with the simple power of a hash tag #. It’s also a great way to get creative with photography. My favourite local pub The Henson in Marrickville runs a weekly Instagram comp where they award $50 worth of Henson dollars to be used in house. The biggest prize I have won via Instagram was through Adriano Zumbo. Last mothers day they had an instagram competition where you had to upload a photo to Instagram and then use their special hash tag. Those photos all filtered through to a tv in their store for the month of May. They chose the 3 winners, in which I won first prize which was a $1999 Kenwood cooking chef appliance.

Henson

Shopping Centres

Do yourself a favour and sign up to your local shopping centre newsletter, Facebook page and Instagram. Quite often they have mini give aways in store with their local retailers. Through Broadway shopping centre I won movie tickets and a $250 voucher for coming 3rd place in an instagram valentines day promotion they were running. A month ago I also won $100 worth of gift cards for commenting on a Facebook post asking us for our funniest misheard song lyric. Marrickville Metro is a small centre in Sydneys inner west – last week our family went to the zoo thanks to a family pass I won through one of their centre promos (just collecting receipts). I’ve also won cooking books and vouchers from them too.

My top tips: Sign up to your local shopping centres, follow their Facebook pages & Instagram. The smaller the centres, sometimes the better chances of winning. I know that when I first started following Marrickville Metro and Broadway they had less than 1000 fans on Facebook.

broadway

zoo64

So that’s just some of the stuff I have won and how I won it! They may not be major prizes, but we have had a lot of fun experiences along the way!

Whats the best prize you’ve ever won? Do you have any tips?

If you want to read more from Lisa Marie pop over to her blog The Retro Mumma or like her on Facebook here!

If you liked this post you might like to try:

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

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14/10/2014 10 comments
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Sort Out Your Superannuation

Yayyyy!  Spring has sprung (not that you can tell from our recent weather!) and it is time to get cracking on sorting out all those things you have neglected over the cold winter months.  Now I am not just talking about getting rid of the dust bunnies hiding behind the furniture (guilty) but spring can be a great time to sort out your superannuation too!  I know most people would rather poke their eyes out with hot sticks than think about their superannuation.  However, the truth is that superannuation is your friend; it is there to help you out when you get older and want escape from the world of work forever.  Unfortunately nowadays you cannot rely on the pension to save you as governments creep the qualification age further and further away.  So do it!  Follow these five easy steps and sort out your superannuation for spring and keep yourself off the cat food in retirement!

(1) Get to know your superannuation

Ok so if superannuation is your friend then you need to check in with it and get to know it a little better.  The more you know about your superannuation, the more comfortable you will feel in making decisions about it.  Most funds allow you to access your account on the internet, and some on your phone or tablet.  Login and check your balance.  Knowing how much you have in your super account is a fantastic start to your spring clean.

(2) Check which option your money is invested in

Now take a look at which option your money is invested in.  Which option you choose can have a big impact on how much you will have at retirement.  Which option is right for you is entirely an individual choice and is influenced by factors such as your age, stage in life and risk tolerance.  Get your fund to explain to you what each investment option means and the risks involved.  Many industry funds offer free financial advice.  So if you are the member of an industry fund, ring them and see if you can access that service.

(3) Check your insurance

Super funds offer three types of insurance: life; total and permanent disability (TPD) and Income Protection (IP).  Ask yourself the important questions: do you have the right type/s of cover?  Do you have the right amount/s of cover?  Which is the right cover and how much you should have is entirely an individual choice.  What is right for one person might not be right for another.

(4) Track down any lost or unclaimed super

Apparently there is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed superannuation that is waiting to be found.  Some of it could be yours!  Superannuation often gets lost when you change address, jobs or name and let’s face it most of us have done one of those things at some time or another.  The Australian Tax Office’s SuperSeeker site will find any of your lost or unclaimed superannuation.  You can use SuperSeeker to claim the lost funds and consolidate them into your current superannuation account.

(5) Consolidate your accounts

Many Australians have more than one superannuation account and we all know superannuation companies like to charge fees.  Over time these fees can eat away at your retirement savings.  Consolidating your accounts can help reduce the amount of fees you are paying and make your superannuation easier to keep on top of.  The SuperSeeker site from the ATO can also consolidate your accounts for you.  It is quick, easy and free.  Even better you do not have to fill out any paper forms!  Yay!!  Alternatively you can contact your fund and they might have a service where they can do it for you.

Spring is a time of renewal.  So lavish some of your spring cleaning attention on your superannuation.  You won’t regret it as it could save or make you thousands of dollars in extra retirement savings.  Which is a much bigger payoff than spring cleaning the hall cupboard or sorting out your wardrobe! Oh, which I must get on to! 🙂

Which area of your finances do you think deserves a spring clean?

This week I am linking up with the lovely Hope from Nanny Shecando for “Step Into Spring!” post series!!

Click here to pop over and see my other fab spring post on her blog called “5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances!”

If you liked this post, you might also like:

The Superannuation Co-Contribution – How To Get An Extra $500 Superannuation For Free

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

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Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

08/09/2014 18 comments
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Budget Pumpkin soup

So here is our 5th winter family meal on a budget recipe and oh shock horror it is from me!!!!  As most of you know I am no Martha Stewart in the kitchen, well particularly not the insider trading bit!!!  But this post is proof that anyone can cook, and even better they can write a recipe too!!!  This is one of my faves.  Not only is it budget, but it is super-dooper easy! So give it a go! Here it is!

This is my version of Pumpkin soup and it is a huge hit in our household, even with the particularly fussy nearly four year old.  I use it as an opportunity to hide in there all things orange so particularly things like sweet potato and oddly enough pumpkin which she will not touch under normal circumstances!  Yes, strangely enough she will eat pumpkin soup but will not eat pumpkin in any other form…. go figure 🙂  Anyway here is how I do it….

Ingredients:

1.5 kgs of pumpkin (they are super cheap at the moment as they are in season)

1 large sweet potato

3 or 4 carrots

1/2 a medium onion or a whole one if you really like onion

1 litre of vegetable stock (if you want to make the meal cheaper you can use water)

Budget Pumpkin Soup

The ingredients chopped and ready to boil

Method:

Peel and chop all the vegetables and put them into a large pot.

Pour in the vegetable stock but make sure that you don’t cover all the vegetables.  Pour the stock so the level of the liquid is about 3cm shy of where you would cover the vegetables.  This is because the veges let off water so you don’t want to add too much liquid to start as it will be too watery when you have finished cooking it. Yes I did learn this bit the hard way 🙂

Boil for 30 minutes or until mushy (my technical term of course)

Whizz it up.  I use a hand blender

Serve!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

This recipe serves my family of three for two nights.  Sometimes on the second night we add some rice to bulk it out or chicken for a different flavour.  My hubby loves to add meatballs from Ikea, so you can pretty much add what you like.

So there it is, proof positive that anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can cook!!!  I even put the pictures in to prove it!!! 

To see more of our fantastic winter meals on a budget please:

Click here to see our Roasted sausages and vegetables with Bel from Mums Take Five

Click here to see our Veggie Super Food Bowl with  Hope from Nanny Shecando

Click here to see our Chicken Noodle Soup with Jodie from Fresh Home Cook

Click here to see our Chicken Pot Pie with Sheridan from Sheridan Anne

If you liked this post, try:

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31/07/2014 11 comments
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Chicken pot pie

 Our fourth winter family meal on a budget is from the fantastic Sheridan  from Sheridan Anne and it is one of my faves!   Over to you Sheridan!

Thanks for having me for Money Mummy’s Winter Family Meals on a Budget series. I love to create hearty, nutritious meals that don’t break the bank, as I’m pretty sure many of us do!

Chicken Pot Pie

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

Yields: 4 serves

Ingredients:

1 brown onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely

2 tablespoons of cornflour (may need additional to thicken)

1/2 cup shredded cheese

400g of thickened cream

500g of chicken breast, diced

3 shortcut bacon pieces, diced

1 cup mushrooms, diced

1 cup peas and corn

1 carrot, diced

1 sheet of puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a casserole dish with spray oil or butter

2. Sauté onion and garlic on the stovetop

3. Coat onion and garlic in cornflour, and add cheese. Gradually add cream. Whisk continually to avoid lumps until thickened

4. Pour sauce into casserole dish

5. Return pan to heat and add oil. Add chicken to brown and fry bacon.

6. Add mushrooms, peas, corn and carrot and gently stir fry for two minutes. Add to the casserole dish and mix thoroughly

7. Top dish with puff pastry, brushed with egg

8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown

Notes:

I buy chicken breast from Aldi, because it is always great quality from my local store and it is only $8.99/kg when you bulk buy (roughly 1.5kg in a bulk package). I also buy the pastry from there, because it has a more attractive price tag and the same great taste.

This is a great pie for left overs – even though I have given you a list of ingredients, you can ultimately add any left overs from the fridge to the sauce base.

It is a great veggie smuggler too!

Serve with a side of steamed veggies or homemade chips if your family are big eaters (on its’ own, my boys chow this down with barely any left for me!)

Thanks Sheridan for a great recipe!!  If you want to see Sheridan’s second budget winter meal click here for chicken and mushroom risotto!  Yum!!  Or to visit her awesome website click here.

To see more of our amazing winter family meals on a budget:

Click here to see our Roasted sausages and vegetables with Bel from Mums Take Five

Click here to see our Veggie Super Food Bowl with  Hope from Nanny Shecando

Click here to see our Chicken Noodle Soup with Jodie from Fresh Home Cook

Click here to see our Pumpkin Soup with me!!!

If you liked this post you might also like:

How To Save On Your Health Insurance

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

How I Saved On My Electricity Bill

30/07/2014 8 comments
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Chicken Noodle Soup on a budget

For our next winter family meal on a budget it is over to my wonderfully talented foodie friend Jodie from the Fresh Home Cook for her amazing version of one of my faves Chicken Noodle Soup….  Take it away Jodie!

Prep Time:30 Min Cook Time:1 Hr 30 Min Total Time:2 Hr

Serves 8

Ingredients

POACHED CHICKEN

  • 1 whole chicken (free range if you can get it)
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 – 2 celery stalks, roughly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 parsley stalks
  • 2 tablespoons of dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water

SOUP

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels sliced off
  • 1 carrot, evenly diced
  • 1 stalk celery, evenly diced
  • 2 cups silverbeet, roughly chopped
  • 1 packet vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 red chilli, seeded & finely chopped to garnish – (optional)

Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients

Instructions

FIRST – POACHING THE CHICKEN;

In a large, thick bottom pot, add the whole chicken, carrot, celery, bay leaves and parsley stalks.

Cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-high / medium heat and slow boil the chicken until meat starts to pull away from the bone – about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the liquid & set aside to cool.

Using a small holed sieve, or cheesecloth, strain off the chicken water into a large bowl & set aside.

THEN, MAKING THE SOUP;

Once chicken has cooled to a touchable temperature, remove skin & shred the meat. Dispose of skin & bones.

In a large pot, over medium high heat, add oil, then saute garlic until slightly softened.

Reduce heat to medium, add carrot, celery and corn & saute gently until slightly softened.

Add shredded chicken and left over chicken liquid back to the pot & bring back to the boil.

Gently add the noodles, allowing them to soften & mix into the soup – (about 5 minutes maximum).

Serve with freshly chopped chill – (optional)

 

Chicken Noodle Soup on a budget

Notes

  • This soup freezes well for up to about 3 months.
  • You could make this soup with a store bought barbecue chicken if you are short on time, but making it from scratch like this enhances the flavour incredibly & the chicken meat just melts in your mouth.

Thanks Jodie!  Make sure you pop by her site Fresh Home Cook, for more amazing recipe ideas!  Or click here to see her second winter family meal on a budget, a delicious ‘Sneaky Vegetable Pasta Sauce’ – yum!!!!

To see our other amazing winter family meals on a budget:

Click here to see our Roasted sausages and vegetables with Bel from Mums Take Five

Click here to see our Veggie Super Food Bowl with  Hope from Nanny Shecando

Click here to see our Chicken Pot Pie with Sheridan from Sheridan Anne

Click here to see our Pumpkin Soup with me!!!

If you liked this post you might also like:

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29/07/2014 0 comment
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Budget Meals - Veggie Super Food Bowl

Our second winter family meal on a budget is from the lovely  Hope from Nanny Shecando!  Hope is a professional Nanny who looks after four children, so she really knows how to put a family meal together.  Over to you Hope!

Hi, Hope here from Nanny SheCanDo. When Shelley put forth this big week of recipe ideas, I was dead keen but also stuck for inspiration. What should I share? Something I usually cook for my nanny kids? In that case, you could expect plain pasta and cheese. I don’t know about you, but that’s just a bit boring! Something from the parents’ dinners, and it’d be “throw anything you can find onto a pizza base and call it dinner.” And if the boyfriend had a say, it’d be a mushroom risotto in the thermomix. But the lovely Sheridan Anne has already taken care of an Italian risotto this week.

So instead I’ve whipped up my quick and easy Veggie Super Food Bowl. This is one of my mid-week “throw together” meals. They’re meals I turn to when I’m not in the mood to spend any longer than absolutely necessary in the kitchen. Considering that I often find myself making three different meals of an evening at work before coming home to see to my own dinner, an easy and nutritious meal is usually the best I can do. The Jamie Oliver banquets wait until the weekend!

Plus, given that I often find myself snacking on peanut butter sandwich crusts at work instead of stopping to make a decent lunch, the Veggie Super Food Bowl is a great way to maximise the nutrient goodness at dinnertime. I most often use Freekah or Quinoa, however brown rice, normal white rice and couscous also work well.

Note: I do add grilled chicken to the Veggie Super Food Bowl if I’m cooking for the kids at work (not that they do more than screw their noses up at it) and when at home with the boyfriend.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Budget Meals - Veggie Super Food Bowl

Budget Meals – Veggie Super Food Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken breast
  • 2 cups Freekah, pre-rinsed
  • 900ml water
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian herbs
  • 400g of veggies of your choice, cut into small bite sized pieces

^I use beans, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, zucchini and eggplant

  • 1 bunch of kale, leaves shredded off the stem

^you could also use baby spinach, silverbeet, rocket, or English spinach

  • 1 can of chick peas (you could also use lentils, butter beans or black beans)
  • 2 tblsp of a flavoured dip or pesto of your choice (e.g. sun-dried tomato, basil pesto, roast capsicum etc.)
  • 2 tblsp soft goats cheese (you could also use ricotta cheese or feta cheese)

Method:

  1. Cut and prepare your chosen veggies and set aside ready to go.
  2. Cook your freekah (or grain of your choice). I normally make mine in the thermomix by placing the freekah in the basket with 900ml of water and cook on varoma, speed 4 for 25 minutes. However a regular pot on the stove works just as well!
  3. Whilst the freekah is cooking, heat a large heavy bottomed fry pan with a drizzle of oil and cook your chicken. Given that the chicken will be sliced into thin strips to go into the veggie bowl, I usually slice the chicken breast in half lengthways to ensure it cooks both evenly and quickly. Season with Italian herbs and salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Once the chicken is lightly browned on both sides, toss in the beans and any other “heavier” vegetables that will take longer to cook and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add your lighter vegetables such as snow peas, zucchini and cherry tomatoes and toss quickly on high heat.
  6. Using tongs, remove the sliced chicken breasts from the pan and leave to rest of a separate chopping board for a few minutes. Then slice into thin strips and set aside in a large bowl. Add the dip and goats cheese to the chicken and stir to coat through.
  7. Brings the remaining veggies in the pan down to a low heat and toss through the kale and chickpeas to combine. Cook until the kale just starts to wilt down and then add the veggies to the chicken mix.
  8. By this time your freekah should be cooked through. Drain and mix into the bowl with the chicken and veggies.
  9. Taste and season accordingly and serve with fresh crusty bread for an added hearty winter warmer.

 

Veggie Super Food Bowl

Ready to eat!

 

This Veggie Super Food Bowl is a great mid-week meal that’s quick and healthy and won’t break the bank. Alternate the ingredients to suit whatever you’ve got leftover in the fridge and enjoy this “winter warming recipe that will keep both your belly and your budget smiling!”

To check out Hope’s amazing website click here or her second budget recipe Italian Chicken here.

To see our other amazing winter family meals on a budget:

Click here to see our Roasted sausages and vegetables with Bel from Mums Take Five

Click here to see our Chicken Noodle Soup with Jodie from Fresh Home Cook

Click here to see our Chicken Pot Pie with Sheridan from Sheridan Anne

Click here to see our Pumpkin Soup with me!!!

If you liked this post you might also like:

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

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28/07/2014 13 comments
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Roasted Sausages and Vegetables

 Our first winter family meal on a budget is from the brilliant Bel from Mums Take Five and it is a great one!  I can’t wait to try it!  Over to you Bel!

A cheap and cheerful meal only works for me if it is cheap, cheerful, uses whatever we already have and takes no time to prepare. This dish does exactly that. Perfect for a mid week meal when my time is better spent on homework  or fun with my children.

There really isn’t a recipe as such just a preparation guide the rest is up to you.

You’ll need

  • A large oven roasting tray
  • Sausages. I’ve used a variety of types of sausages, I have even mixed it up and tried a couple a types at once.
  • Vegetables. Any vegetables you have that can be roasted. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, beetroot, cauliflower, zucchini, capsicums.  Anything you like.  This is a great way to get rid everything you have sitting around.
  • Seasoning and Oil. I tend to use Rosemary as it grows in my garden, crushed garlic and some oil drizzled on top.  You can use whatever seasoning you prefer. You can use just salt and pepper if you wish but you will need a little oil so the Vegetables don’t dry out.  Depending on your sausages most of them ooze oils whilst they cook.
Sausages and Vegetables

Delicious and easy!

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Really simply, just chop up all your vegetables to similar sized pieces then toss in a little oil and your seasoning.
  3. Tip out into your roasting pan and then add in your sausages. I like to lay mine on top and then toss them through with the vegetables halfway through the cooking.
  4. Cook for approximately one hour. Until everything is cooked through.
  5. Then it is just a matter of plating it up.  Too easy.
Vegetables and Sausages

All ready to feed a hungry family!

Thank you Shelley for having us over on Money Mummy, Lovely to visit you again xx Bel

To check out Bel’s second winter family meal on a budget, Beef Stroganoff please click here or visit her amazing website here.

To see our other amazing winter family meals on a budget:

Click here to see our Veggie Super Food Bowl with  Hope from Nanny Shecando

Click here to see our Chicken Noodle Soup with Jodie from Fresh Home Cook

Click here to see our Chicken Pot Pie with Sheridan from Sheridan Anne

Click here to see our Pumpkin Soup with me!!!

If you liked this post you might also like:

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi?

How To Make A Household Budget

5 Websites That Will Help You Make Or Save Money

How I Saved On My Electricity Bill

 

 

 

27/07/2014 10 comments
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