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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:

How to pay off your mortgage faster

5 website that will make or save you money

How much your credit card debt is really costing you

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

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

Is Costco Membership Worth It?

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

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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Winter Family Meals on budget

As most people know, I am no Martha Stewart, not in the kitchen and particularly not the insider trading bit!!!  So this week on Money Mummy, I have decided to do something a little different and have challenged four of my most favourite bloggers to join me and come up with two winter recipes each that will fill your family’s belly but won’t break the bank.

So ‘Ta Da’ welcome to “Winter warming recipes that will keep both your belly and budget smiling”

So let me introduce the fab five:

  • The wonderful and very talented Bel from Mums Take Five
  • Our resident Nanny expert – the amazing Hope from Nanny Shecando
  • The scrapbooker extraordinaire – the lovely Sheridan from Sheridan Anne
  • The foodie genius – Jodie from the Fresh Home Cook
  • Me, Shelley from Money Mummy and the one recipe I know how to make 🙂  Out to prove that anyone, yes ANYONE, can cook!

Rest assured, that not only will your bank account love these winter recipes, your kids are certain to love them too!  Between the 5 of us we have 13 children, so these are all recipes have been well and truly tried and tested on the kids and are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!!!

Ok so here are our amazing winter family meals on a budget so far:

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

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

If you liked this post you might also like:

How To Make A Household Budget

5 Websites That Will Help You Make Or Save Money

How I Saved On My Electricity Bill

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi?

27/07/2014 31 comments
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Save Health Insurance

Last week I spent some time trying to figure out whether we had the best deal on our private health insurance.  You see, we have been with the same insurer for 10 or so years and they have been great, but recently I have begun to wonder whether our health insurance might be a place where we could save some cash.  The truth is this process wasn’t easy.  In fact I can safely say that a couple of hours in and the whole ‘health insurance’ scene was doing my head in!!!  However, in amongst the talk of excesses, hospital choices, government rebates, blah blah  I did figure out quite a few things.  So here they are to help you make your health insurance journey far more pleasant than mine J

(1)   Figure Out What Cover You Have Now And How Much You Pay For It

This is the best place to start, you can’t compare something unless you know what you have already.  So I looked at what type of hospital cover we have, noting what was covered and what is not.  I looked closely at our extras cover and what was included.  Then I found out how much our excess was.  This is how much we would have to pay if we had a hospital stay.  Once you have had a hospital stay and paid the excess you don’t have to pay it for subsequent visits in that calendar year (for my health company).   The last thing you need to know is how much you are paying, and whether that includes the government rebate.  (To figure out whether you qualify for the rebate and how you can have it paid click here).

(2)   Figure Out What Features Are Important To You

On the hospital cover ask yourself a stack of questions about what you need.  For example are you thinking of having a child/more children/IVF?  What family history do you have that might need to be covered for?  Do you need extras?  In our case when we decided our family was done we downgraded from what I call ‘baby coverage’ and this saved us a stack of dosh.  If you only take one thing from this post make sure you check your level of cover is appropriate, as it can give you big savings.  In term of extras the most important features I decided for us were optical and dental.  Yes, both the hubby and I are ‘four eyes’ and let’s just say the hubster spends a fair bit of time at the dentist.  The rest we use marginally so if one has better physio than another I decided that it shouldn’t really sway me.  Choosing two services to focus on really helped as it narrowed my focus down.

(3)   How Much Excess Can You Afford To Pay

The way it works is the higher your excess the lower the cost of health insurance.  However, having a high excess is useless if you can’t afford to pay it when you need to access the services.  So choose an excess that is manageable for you.  We went for a high excess as we have the cash in an emergency fund to pay for it if we needed it.

(4)   Find Out If You Have A Loading Under Life Time Health Cover

If you take out hospital cover as part of your health insurance after your 30th birthday you will you will pay a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year you are aged over 30.  The loading lasts for 10 years.  My husband didn’t start cover until he was 32 so he has a 4% loading until he is 42.  To find out more about the loading click here.

(5)   Start Comparing Health Insurance Policies

Ok, this is the tricky bit as it is hard to know what is out there.  Remember to keep the focus on the features that are most important to you.  I started by using a government site (click here) and seeing what policies they suggested.  Next I used a commercial comparison site.  These are good for finding out what is out there, but a word of warning be prepared to be harassed!!  I put in my details and an hour later they were calling.  When I ignored it they called again and again.  When I finally spoke to the guy he was helpful but I did feel pressured to make a decision so I cracked out the old “I will have to talk to my husband” so I could have time to think.  At the end of the daykeep in mind that they are trying to sell you something, so don’t be rushed into a decision.  Also each comparison site does not have access to every health fund so it might not necessarily give you the best deal.  That said, my guy was really helpful and even told me that my current provider gave me the best optical extras.  So comparison sites can certainly be helpful and definitely helped me on my journey to figure this out.

So what happened in the end?  After much contemplation and hair pulling-out we have decided to stick to our current health fund.  However, if you ever choose to change it is pretty easy and you don’t have to re-serve waiting periods as long as you are moving to the same level of cover or lower.  So it is always worth checking if you can get a better deal!  🙂

If you liked this post you might also like:

Home & Contents Insurance: How Do You Know If You Have Enough?

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

5 Websites That Will Help You Make Or Save Money

Does Shopping At Aldi Save You Money?

How To Create A Budget

 

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.

 

24/07/2014 18 comments
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credit card cost

Us Aussies have a love affair with the ‘plastic fantastic’.  According to The Money Smart website Australians in total have about $34 billion in credit card debt or an average of $4,400 per credit card holder.  But how much is that credit card debt really costing us?

Assuming you have the average credit card debt of $4,400 and decide to buy nothing else on the card and your interest rate is 18% (most cards range between 17%-19% depending)… here are the numbers:

Repayment Made Total Cost Time Taken to Pay Off
Minimum (2%) $14,883 over 31 years
$100 $7,056 5 years & 11 months
$150 $5,725 3 years & 3 months

 

Yes, you read it right!!!  If you only make the minimum repayment it will take you over 31 years to pay off the $4,400 debt and cost you a total of $14,883!!!!!  What a rip-off!!!!  This is why only making the minimum repayment on your credit card is a big financial mistake!!!  If you decided to increase the repayment to $100 per month it means that you will pay off the same debt in 5 years and 11 months and it will cost you $7,056.  This is a whopping saving of $7,827 and around 25 years off your debt compared to only making the minimum repayment!!!!  If you choose to increase the repayment again to $150 per month – this will mean you will repay the debt in 3 years and 3 months and it will cost you $5,725.  Increasing the repayment by this $50 will save you $1,331 and it will cut 2 years 10 months off your repayment time.  It is amazing how small increases in repayments can make a big difference in how much your debt actually costs you.

If you are interested in the numbers for your debt, make sure you check out your credit card statement as your bank now have to disclose how much your debt costing you if you only make the minimum repayment.  Last time I checked mine it would take me 49 years and 2 months to pay off my monthly debt at the minimum repayment and cost me many multiples of the current debt!!!!!  Ouch!!!!!  (Needless to say I pay off my credit card every single month J) Or you could click here to head over to the MoneySmart credit card calculator and do the numbers for your own debt.  You might be surprised how much your debt is really costing you, but also what great savings you can make by making even small increases in your repayments.

Credit cards can be great tools if used wisely, however beware, if you don’t pay them off every month they can cost you a fortune!!!

If you liked this you might also like:

Top Tips For Getting Rid Of Your Credit Card Debt

How To Create A Budget

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

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.

16/07/2014 24 comments
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websites that make or save you money

The best ways to save or make extra money are the easy ones.  So here are 5 of my favourite websites that I have used to save and/or make me a little extra money.

(1) The Centrelink Payment Finder

Dealing with Centrelink is hard and quite often it is really difficult and time consuming to figure out what you are entitled to.  The Centrelink Payment Finder makes it really simple and quickly allows you to figure out what you could receive.  It is one of my absolute faves and has alerted me to potential payments that I had no idea I could receive.  Click here to check it out.

(2) Unclaimed Money

I love to do an Unclaimed Money search.  It takes all of 20 seconds and is completely free.  Potentially it could find you any lost bank accounts, shares or life insurance policies that you might have forgotten about.  I always just search on my last name to make the search as broad as possible.  Don’t forget to search your partner’s name and any relatives to see if they have anything owing to them.  Doing the search is quick, easy and potentially could find you an extra bit of spending money :-).  Click here to do your own unclaimed money search.

(3) Energy Made Easy

This is a government site that helps you to find the best electricity deal for you.  When my electricity bill was hurtling out of control this is where I went to find a better deal for my family.  Click here to read post about how much I saved by changing electricity providers and here to visit the Energy Made Easy site.

(4) ATO’s SuperSeeker 

Apparently for every worker employed in Australia there are 3 superannuation accounts.  That means there are stacks of us out there with multiple superannuation accounts.  The main problem with this is that it is costing us all a fortune in fees.  The best way to stop wasting money on fees is to consolidate you superannuation into one account.  Most people think you have to fill in a tonne of forms to do this but you don’t, you can simply use the Taxation Departments SuperSeeker site.  The site also helps you to find your lost superannuation, so you can make sure you keep what is rightfully yours for your retirement.  The process is surprisingly easy.  In fact so easy even my husband could do it.  Read about how he found and consolidated his superannuation using SuperSeeker here and click here to access the SuperSeeker website.

(5) Money Smart’s Budget Planner

Many websites would have you believe that you need to pay to have a good household budget planner to help you to save money.  That is certainly not true.  I used the free budget planner from the MoneySmart website and it worked a treat for me.  Click here to read how I used it to make a budget for my family and click here to download your own free budget planner from MoneySmart.  It is easy to use and will help you on your way to saving more money.

If you liked this post you might also like:

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi

How To Save Money On Your Health Insurance

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

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.

 

25/06/2014 45 comments
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Federal Budget 2014

Ok if the 2014 Federal Budget was all a bunch of gobbledy gook to you then do not worry you are certainly not the only one!!!!  Here is my take on what you really need to know about what was announced in the Budget and how it will impact you and your family!

  • If you get the Family Tax Benefit part B the rules have changed.  Only Families on a income of less $100,000 with children under six qualify.  Though existing recipients of Part B with children six or older will continue to receive payments for two years.
  • Planning to have a baby?  The new paid maternity scheme to start in July 2015 will have scheme payments capped at a payment of $50,000, as opposed the originally promised $75,000.
  • Going to the Doctor will cost you more:  Anyone who sees a doctor and gets bulk billed will pay $7 every time they go.  Non-bulk-billed patients will pay an extra $5 per visit.  Children under the age of 16 and concession card holders will have the payment capped at 10 visits.
  • You will pay more for medicines:  Medication covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will increase by $5 and PBS safety net thresholds will kick in only after increased out-of-pocket expenses.  Concession card holders will pay 80c more for PBS medicine, and spend an extra $61.80 before the safety net kicks in.
  • Petrol Prices will rise:  The government will raise the petrol tax (fuel excise) twice per year in line with inflation.
  • Compulsory employer super contributions to pause at 9.5% for three years.  They are currently at 9.25%, so will go up once more in July 2014.  The previous plan was to increase them to 12% by 2019.
  • Pension age has increased to 70 for anyone currently under 50.
  • First Home Saver Accounts (FHSA) have been axed.  No more new accounts can be opened and as of July 1 the government will end its 17 per cent co-contribution.  In July 2015 the tax and social security concessions associated with the scheme will be withdrawn and the restrictions on withdrawals will be removed.
  • If you work for the public service, there are plans to cut 16,500 public service jobs.
  • Those earning over $180,000 will pay an extra 2% per annum tax for the next three years, this is the “Budget Repair Levy”.
  • For those with kids at university or thinking of going:  Our children will have more debt and start paying it back sooner.  Universities will have the ability to set their own fees, so prices will most likely rise. Scholarships will be available to disadvantaged students.  From July 2016, students will have to pay their loans back sooner, starting once they earn over $50,638 a year.
  • For the unemployed:  Those aged under 25 will need to “earn or learn”. People under 30 will need to wait six months to be eligible for Newstart and once on payments will be subject to a work for the dole scheme.

So there it is and it was a tough one!!!!  Of course there was lots more bits and pieces, but these are the essentials that I think could have the greatest impact on your family.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi?

How To Create A Budget

3 Things You Should Know When Saving And Investing For Your Children

 

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.

16/05/2014 15 comments
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Aldi

When you speak to people about Aldi there are pretty much two camps.  There are those that love shopping at Aldi and those that don’t.   The truth be told I am in neither camp.  We live a five minute walk from a large name supermarket so that tends to be where we shop, more out of convenience and a bit of exercise, than anything else.   However, after hearing stories from my friends about how much they think they save from shopping at Aldi, combined with figuring out how much we spend on groceries every month(click here to find out more), I decided to see for myself how much we could save by shopping at Aldi.

In putting the Aldi’s to the test,  I chose 18 items at Aldi that would appear reasonably regularly on our shopping list and compared the prices to my local big name supermarket.  The list is spread across a range of areas including fresh produce, meat, personal goods and packaged foods and drink.  I tried to compare similar sized packages and looked at the cost per unit.

The result was a 28% saving by shopping Aldi rather than my local supermarket!!! (Click here to see the full spreadsheet with the list and my calculations).   Interestingly there were only 3 items out of 18 where Aldi was more expensive than my local supermarket.  That was in minced meat, tissues and milk.  So regardless, wherever you shop, it always pays to know your prices!  However, that said, across pretty much all the other areas there were reasonably decent savings to be made.

Of course, this comparison is not completely fair as the brands I am comparing are not exactly the same and so there may be quality or taste differences between the products which have not been captured in this pure price comparison.  Also, I only looked at a random selection of items, not every single one that I would normally buy.  So, it always pays to do your own homework and see if Aldi works for you.

Aldi deliver on their cheaper prices by having a reduced product range.  This means that many of my friends do two shops , to fill in any brands or products that might be missing from their initial Aldi shop.  This does add a bit to the inconvenience to the whole shopping experience.  However, I guess though  at the end of the day, 28% is a pretty reasonable price difference, so I might be rolling down to our local Aldi a lot more often!!!

How do you find shopping at Aldi?

p.s  This is not a sponsored post – just something I did because I wanted to know and I thought you might be interested too 🙂

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30/04/2014 25 comments
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