Back to school

you might be wondering why im talking about back to school when my son is 2? Because even littles like colored pencils, glue and textas and these items can be costly later in the year. For example. My haul today would have regularly cost me $43. The price on the shelf was even wrong i realised when i got to the register. In the end i spent just $17! Which is a $26 saving. 

I am actually considering going back for more because i am getting into family daycare next year and all of these things will be in high demand im sure. Those rulers were priced at $2 and at the register they came in at 50c. The glue was half price at $1.26 a stick. Scissors were my biggest bargain. Rrp $3.50, price on shelf was $1.50 and at the register they came in at 60c! The textas arw normally $9 and i got them for $4. 

Even if you dont have kids at these prices go and get some for your local charity who can always give them to a kid in need. 



rue seems to be often hyper. Like not normal 2yr old energy, but seriously jacked up on sugar hyper. Only i know its not sugar because he gets it even if he hasnt had any. So i looked up other foods that might be the culprit. Tomato sauce jumped right to the top of the list, totally didnt know that, also pasta sauce and white bread, all of which rue eats daily. Crud. So new plan, switch to wholegrain bread (sourdough this weekend hopefully). No sauce, and i will can my own pasta sauce as tomatoes are in season. I will report back on how it goes. 

This is him collecting eggs with nan over the weekend.


Grab bag

with a fire looming and parts of my mums area being quickly evacuated she has been putting bags in the car along with her neighbours. Thankfully they have warning and time to pack up. But what if you are woken in the night by a smoke alarm? Or a bushfire strikes and you only have moments to get out? Would you be able to grab what you need? I watched footage from the 2009 canberra bushfire (which i was in) and the emergency services said that a number of people grabbed dressing gowns but forgot phones and proper shoes in their rush to leave. 

I have an emergency backpack by the door but thought i should double check what i had in it, and im glad i did because i had a shirt for each of us but no pants…can you imaging wearing a nightie out of the house and not having anything to change into even to go to the shop and buy new clothes? I also had not packed nappies or wipes. Essential if you have a baby. So i spent 10mins repacking it and also packed a second bag for Rue to carry, it has some more toys and a small book, more nappies, a sippy cup and some longlife milk and a small towel that he can use as a blanket also.

  • When considering what you should pack think about the things you use everyday. 
  • Make a list one day if its helpful. 
  • Rue wont sleep without a bottle of milk. 
  • A change of clothes,
  •  water, 
  • i packed 2 new toothbrushes, 
  • sanitary items, 
  • socks. 
  • If you are in an evacuation center bring something to read (that doesnt use power), toys for the kids or coloring pencils.
  •  A small photo album can store favourite photos. 

Some people carry photocopies of important documents but i find it easier to take pictures and email them. That way they are safe from floods also. 

Take a photo of your insurance companys phone number and your details so that you can call them straight away and start getting a claim through. Also take photos of large ticket items in your home that you would like replaced, like the tv or game systems, or my sewing machine 😁 this way you can show the insurance company and save some red tape. I lost the contents of my laundry to a fire once and it was very hard to remember and list each item.

If you are in a bushfire or flood prone area make a harddrive backup with these documents and photos also and give it to a friend or family member in another area. Ask friends and family if you do have to leave home can you stay at their house. Best to know if they have room before you come knocking on their door.

Think of pets also. Bring a zip lock bag of dry food for each pet and keep leashes by the door. Most shelters wont alow pets but often people will post on facebook that they will house them until you find somewhere to stay. 

If there is a fire in your area make sure you have enough fuel to get out! Power can go out which means pumps wont work, nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of a danger zone. 

And remember everyone, help each other. Pull your hose over the fence so others can reach it if they need too. Offer time on a generator to charge neighbours phones to call loved ones. Hot showers for those in shelters can raise hopes. 


after reading the large family finance facebook page i decided to check at my local woolies to see what time they mark down their meat and produce. The lady i spoke too said there was no particular time for the meat but they generally did the page of produce for $3 deal around 3-4pm depending on how much produce they had to clear. Considering you can get meat for around half price in markdowns it is defonatley worth stalking around to work out their schedule. 

I know from working at woolies many years ago that roast chickens go for just $2 right before closing time. I did the overnight packing shift so always grabbed 2-3 if there were enough to go around. 

The trick with the discount meat i have heard is to ensure you freeze it straight away and use it the same day you defrost. This is because the use by is generally only a day away to be marked down but freezing stops the agong process. Just make sure you label it to say it is imediate use in the freezer so you dont get it mixed up. 


i just read a story about a woman who didnt spend any money for a year and saved $37,000. Im not saying i could do that because i have a family but the idea has intregued me enough to start a mini challenge. Can i go a year without spending money on things i dont NEED? I made a quick list of things i buy that i dont need and how much they are costing me a month:

  1. Coke zero. One bottle a day 4 days a week = $44 a month
  2. Breakfast 4 days a week = $76 a month
  3. Lotto ticket once a week = $24
  4. Extra groceries about = $400 
  5. Movie channel = $20
  6. Excess data on my phone = $50

If i saved just this i would have $614 a month or $7368 a year extra! Then there are the things i buy rueben that he doesnt need, new gadgets and magazines. I think i could save atleast $20,000 this year by not buying things that arent absolutley essential. 

Anyone up for a challenge?? 

Felted playscape

i tought myself a new skill today. Felting! I got a kit with needles, roving and a foam board for $10 on ebay. The. Watched a few youtubes.

Heres a brief turorial on it.

Gently pull off lengths of roving ( roving is combed wool) and lay out onto a piece of bubble wrap (or you can needle felt it first like i did just to hold it all together). Build up layers, about three, of your chosen colors and design. I went for a field with a lake.

Then you can wet felt it! Squirt some dish liquid over the top. Then pour a little boiling or very hot water to cover it. (Not too wet). Then cover with more bubble wrap (or plastic like me). 

Gently press and work circles over the surface. You dont need much agitation to felt it especially at first as you might seporate your design.

Then cover with a towel and gently roll squeezing out excess water. Roll it between your hands back and forward a few times to continue felting. 

If you are using bubble wrap make sure he bubbles are on the felt this helps agitate it. Then remove your feted mat and rinse carefully in cold water pressing any excess water out. Then, put it in the dryer. This might seem odd but the heat and motion finishes the felting. 

This is it out of the dryer. Dont forget it will shrink. 

You can add more if you like, mine was a little thin in places i should have used more roving. I needle felted extra to cover the gaps.

Then needle felt your embelishments. I used small balls as rocks, needle felting them first on the foam block to get the shape then onto the playscape. Then felted some flowers. The cave is made by needle felting a flat brown piece with some green at the bottom on the foam block then felting it onto to the mat in my desired shape. 

All up i spent about $2 on materials (i only used up the dark green roving from the kit). And it took me about an hour for the mat and another 30mins for the embelishments. 

Technical note:

The process of felting is basically that wool has tiny barbs that cling to each other. So if you rub it together they bind kinda like velcro. Wet felting is helped by the hot water and soap which expand and shrink the fibers making them cling, needle felting is achieved because the needle has tiny barbs on it which pull through the other fibers to felt (a great reason not to stab yourself with one). 

We are moving!

no idea where to yet but we have started packing and commited to moving soon. This is the time to declutter. Im usually quite ruthless with this as the less i have the less i have to move. My issue is that i often throw things out that i later have to rebuy…cant be helped, it happens. So without further adu here is my go to guide for decluttering:

Get rid of it if:

  • You forgot you owned it
  • It doesnt fit
  • Its faded or torn
  • Its missing parts
  • You have another one (we had 4 sandwich presses)
  • You havent used it in 2yrs
  • You have never used it
  • You can sell it for atleast half of what you paid
  • It doesnt work properly
  • You arent quite sure why you kept it in the first place

(I havent swum in 10yrs)

Give this a go. Another good idea is to think, if the house burnt down would i mourn this? 

(Like it, but never used in 5yrs since i got it)

Make sure you start this process early as you will fill your bin several times and it can be quite emotional so do it gradually. 

(Owned for about 15yrs, never used)

Have fun!