Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Category: Nourish (page 1 of 3)

Camp

Take me back to last weekend, the long weekend, the first weekend in a very long while our little family got to escape the city and go bush! As we were packing on autopilot and as we relaxed into a simpler rhythm of camping I reflected how things have changed for the better…

  • Camp meal planning no longer involves packet rice and packet pasta but a whole heap more vegetables and knowing your butcher
  • The night before camp now includes meal prep like this amazing roasted spicy capscium dip

Happy hour around the camp fire

  • Husband did the last minute camp shopping and was horrified when he reached for the some of the foods we used to pack only to turn it over to read the gazillion numbers and non-food ingredients. Safe to say they went back on the shelf.
  • Husband was so proud when he got home from shopping with the water pack being fluoride and additive free. Next time we will double the water as we all drink it in greater quantities than last camp trip.

Fresh water

  • Making quick green smoothies for breakfast on the go rather than drive through Maccas (I use banana instead of mango)
  • Pit stops for a toilet break at Maccas confuses Master 4 ‘Isn’t this yucky food?’
  • Snacks for the road trip are no longer bags of lollies but a box of bliss balls and some mixed nuts & seeds.
  • Energy for the long road trip is fuelled by the car diffuser wafting Energy and Vitality
  • I had massively over-catered as we no longer eat many snacks and our meal sizes are smaller as they are so much more nutrient-dense
  • Setting up the campsite Master 4 remarked ‘Where is the TV?’. We were only one of two groups camping on the unpowered sites, everyone else was connected to power either camping or in caravans.
  • I discovered not 1 but 4 packs of pain-killer tablets in our camping gear, I used to have a pack or two everywhere I went. Now I rarely need them and if I do get a headache or tummy ache I reach for my peppermint oil.
  • Everyone is happy with bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday
  • I found a jar of Vegemite and a pack of gravox in our camp cooler bag and husband and I both laughed as we no longer eat these! In the bin they went!!
  • Sharing amenities with other people is an assault on the senses with the toxic personal care products people use. Waiting for shower with a row of teenage girls washing I felt myself holding my breath.
  • Preparing much of our food at home cut down on the waste we threw away, with only a shopping bag of rubbish over the long weekend and a few plastic items to recycle (any cardboard got incinerated on the campfire!)
  • Master 4 got some nasty insect bites on his hand that turned into welts and I was able to soothe the sting with lavender oil. One night I tucked him into his sleeping bag and zipped up the tent to then hear a wail of ‘Mum, I NEED my lavender!’
  • How convenient we have set our lives to be and how little we move our bodies. Walking to the amenities or the camp kitchen or the kids activities multiple times a day you certainly feel exhausted at the end of the day. Go-karting takes the exhaustion to a whole new level!
  • Being outside all day and all night exposed to the sunlight and moonlight as well as the fluctuations in temperature is a great way to reset your circadian rhythms and recharge your mitochondria. I made a conscious effort not to wear my sunglasses all weekend!
  • Total disconnect from social media and reconnecting with family was the ultimate recharge I needed
  • The realisation how light saturated we have become when you go bush and gaze up into the clear night sky to see a spectacular sight of stars.

Starry, starry night!

Already planning the next camping trip…Do you have any tips for camping while keeping in tune with a healthy lifestyle?

 

Sunflower juice

Look mummy, sunflower juice! Ahh, not quite Master 4.

When we as a family first started to transition to a healthier way of life and as I became more aware of ingredients I made sure the foods we were eating did not contain vegetable or canola oil. Just think, how do you get oil from a vegetable? Same goes for rice bran oil!

Vegetable oils, including canola and sunflower oil, are highly processed, toxic & inflammatory to our body, and are found in almost every processed, packaged food.

I use good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee and lard. For products containing vegetable oil I either found alternative products or now make them myself.

Wondering what ingredients may be lurking in your kitchen pantry or bathroom cabinet? As a Health and Lifestyle Mentor I can assist you to reset your kitchen and bathroom starting with checking the ingredients. I also share with you some of the food and skincare with no nasty ingredients that you will find in my kitchen and bathroom on my Shopping List.

Further Information

Egg Hunt

Easter has been and gone but I’m still on a egg hunt. Searching for free range eggs that are actually free range on the Choice Australia boycott bad eggs. I thought I was making a good choice buying these Aldi free range eggs. Think again!

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Aldi free range eggs

Recently the consumer affairs ministers have voted about the misleading free-range egg labels. ‘Free-range’ can mean eggs produced by hens stocked at up to 10,000 birds per hectare and there’s no requirement for to chickens to actually go outside.

CHOICE as well myself believe we as consumers have the right to know if the eggs we buy are actual free range of 1,500 bird per hectare as per CSIRO standard.

Most major producers of eggs labelled ‘free-range’ stock at 10,000 hens per hectare. Brands with this stocking density include:

  • Aldi (Lodge Farm Free Range Eggs)
  • Coles Free Range
  • Ecoeggs
  • Farm Pride Free Range
  • Pace Farm Free Range
  • Woolworths Free Range

See here for a full list or download the app CluckAR.

Searching from store to store with the list in hand I shopped around finding mostly bad eggs. Until I found these Southern Highland Organics eggs at Mrs Watson’s Cronulla for $8.95 a dozen. Not only are they Australian Organic, they are 800 chickens per hectare. I have heard these eggs can also be found at Woolworths.

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Southern Highland Organics

Not putting all my eggs in one basket, I got in contact with Farmer Luke from Tathra Place in Gymea Bay. It was such a a nice surprise picking up our first monthly order to find chicks in the garage. Love that the chickens are ethically raised pasture fed with no chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics and no gmos. Tathra Place have a regular egg order list so no chance of missing out on the golden eggs. You can also pick up a carton at Pryde Meats Miranda. Support locals raising and supplying food the way it should be!

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Little Tathra Place chicks!

My friend Stuart also let us know that there is a local farmer at Illawong selling free range eggs at their road stall. I must check this out as $5 a dozen it is a bargain!

Show your support for a boycott of the big producers who sell free range eggs from chickens kept in conditions that don’t meet the CSIRO’s Model Code. Do you give a cluck? Which free range eggs do you buy? Where to do buy your eggs from?

 

Changing Habits

Green shampoo

My girlfriend Katie (@John and Kate’s Plate) and I were recently chatting all things shampoo and it reminded me of my greenwash shampoo experience last year.

I have always had oily hair as long as I can remember. Every time I went to the hairdresser they would comment that my hair is oily, that I am using the wrong shampoo and that I should try this *insert sales pitch*. Personally I thought that my hair has improved since changing my lifestyle but still on the oily side.

Last year I went to the hairdresser and an older lady cut my hair (usually I get a one of the young ones). She looked at my hair and could tell how long it had been since I had hair cut just by the length, so I figured she knows what is talking about. I got the usual your hair is oily response and said that I washed my hair this morning (I don’t like getting my hair shampooed at the hairdresser with all those nasty products). Hairdresser wasn’t impressed.

Any way, she insisted on a complimentary shampoo to show me what my hair would be like with the right shampoo, that my hair would be ‘free-er’; in my head I kept thinking sales pitch. She was talking about a mint shampoo and that the mint stimulates the scalp to increase circulation and help with the production of oil, which I could understand from my understanding the properties of peppermint essential oil. Not knowing what the shampoo was until it was all finished I checked the shampoo. DNA Organics mintiscalp shampoo; I was totally green-washed.

Despite the organic ingredients and essential oils it contained top nasties like PEG and EDTA. On top of this she blow dried my hair which I dislike too (because of how it makes my hair feel dry) but I really didn’t want wet hair whilst shopping.

So how do I know what nasties are lurking in my shampoo? I refer to my Twenty8 Ingredients Card I keep in my wallet (Contact me if you would you like one for your wallet!). Other great resources are Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group SKIN DEEP online database allow us to search ingredients and products and make our home a safer place. This is one of the best places I trust to find out about the products you put on to your body and is designed to help fill the safety gaps left by the unregulated cosmetics industry. You can also listen to this The Wellness Guys podcast with Twenty8’s very own Kim Morrison talking about what is in our personal care products.

Shampoo RedList

From Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

After my greenwash my hair went whispy, felt less oily like squeaky clean, and I was not convinced that I liked the change in my hair. Husband came home and noticed my hair straight away and laughed at the difference at first then wasn’t happy, so definitely a difference that isn’t just in my head. So was my hair feeling like this because of the

a) using a more appropriate shampoo that I am not used to

b) using a shampoo with nasties that have stripped the natural oils from my hair

c) drying out my hair from the heat of the blow drier

or

d) need to investigate further?

I chose d) investigate further, so I asked the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educators brains trust. Questions swirled around – how often do you wash your hair, how hot is the water, to do tie your hair up and have you tried ‘no-poo‘? Fellow HLE Sparkler Alix suggested:

The less you wash your hair, the better for its natural oils. Warm water, rather than hot, is much better for natural oil production. Under the water, before you shampoo it, comb your hair really slowly to help disperse the oils from your scalp to nourish the rest of the length of you hair. If you try and wash your hair once a week, shampoo twice and then only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Obviously the more products you use in your hair, or ‘generic’ shampoo/conditioner, the more it strips your naturals oils so your scalp over produces.

– Track2Health

I tend to wash every 3 days or so and not overly hot showers. I only use shampoo and conditioner (which were not the greatest low-tox options at the time) and am not one for haircare styling products. I loved this tip from Alix of combing my hair before shampooing to disperse the oils, which worked for the next hair cut I had as no comments were made on how oily my hair was.  I don’t think I am ready for no-poo yet.

Many of the HLE Brains Trust recommended trying Everescents, so I made the switch. With the Everescents Organic Rose shampoo my hair has never looked so good, I have never used a shampoo that smells so divine, I get ringlets without even trying and many people make lovely comments about my hair. I love the philosophy behind Everescents:

  • Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels!).
  • Plant based ingredients.
  • Transparent about the ingredients they choose and avoid
  • Contains pure Certified Organic ingredients.
  • Contains no Palm oil.
  • No animal testing.
  • 100% Renewable Energy.
  • Supports Camp Quality

What shampoo do you use? Do you know what is in your shampoo? Found a no nasties shampoo that works for you?

 

April No-Fool

It’s that time of the month, that time of the year where we feel like we are haemorrhaging money. It’s a joke, particularly has it always occurs on 1 April. April Fools! I am not laughing. Strata, Internet, swimming lessons, shopping day and to top it off the car service: all in the one day. However, unlike last year where things were tight, too tight, this time it is manageable. Now who is laughing?

So how did we go from $0.05 to manageable?

  • Track spending

Though I was monitoring our bank accounts daily I struggled to keep track of exactly how much I could spend. I had a budget and I knew what amounts corresponded to which category however working out how much I had left that I can spend versus what needed to stay untouched was a challenge. I had listened to Michelle House on a few podcasts of Carrens Couch and knew that she was a budgeting expert. After reading her blog on how to track your spending I downloaded ‘PocketBook’ app and have not looked back. This app has been a fantastic tool with its safety spend feature and bill tracker. It gives you notifications of when you have upcoming bills, warning when you are getting close to reaching your safety spend and summaries each week of how much you have spent and it is more/less than the previous week. It is great how I have an app that adds up ALL my spending and I can’t hide or overlook anything! The best thing is that this app is free, simple to use and syncs to your bank account so manual entering.

  • Christmas Un-hangover

Working through the 52 week money challenge in the last 6 months of 2015 was certainly a challenge as the amount increased each week. Sticking through the money burn rewarded us with a credit card free Christmas with all our spending, including hosting Christmas at our place, paid by our Gifts savings account. It was a fantastic feeling in January to not have to worry about a Christmas spending hangover. This year we are putting aside a regular amount of money each week into our Gifts savings account. The bonus is that we have money put aside for gifts throughout the year for birthdays and other special occasions as well as Christmas which makes for a stress-free gift giving experience.

  • Credit card paid off

A side effect of tracking our spending was working out extra repayments to put towards the credit card. With the goal of paying off the card before the annual card fee kicked in in March, we paid off every little bit of spare cash we had. As the balance came down I reduced the card limit as a way to stop any chance of temptation or budget blow out. We made out final repayment on 26 February 2016, just in the nick of time!

  • Debt repayment

While we still have some other debt hanging over our heads, moving towards a simple lifestyle and a slow home has given us the opportunity to reduce our spending and consumption. I make the majority of our food from scratch, I buy food and supplies in bulk where possible, I make home-made cleaners, I am working towards becoming self-reliant.  I have also found a great way to track how much I have paid off our debt thanks to @beingdebtfree_1dollaratatime on Instagram (4 Jan 2016) . Draw up a table with 3 columns, column 1 is date, column 2 is percentages i.e. 5%, 10% etc and column 3 is the corresponding percentage amount of your total debt. The bottom row is starting debt (I flipped it around so starting debt is a the top). We are at 5% and this is not including paying off the credit card, onwards and upwards from here!

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Buying from bulk from Honest to Goodness

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Bargain buys from the supermarket

  • Emergency fund

While paying off the credit card we were able to have $1000 put aside in our emergency savings account. I follow a few Aussie people on Instagram who work towards Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and this motivated me to get stuck into step 1 and 2. This week the tyres on the car needed to be replaced so we dipped into this account where in the past we would have used the credit card. It was a huge relief knowing that we had the money for such a big and unexpected expense. Our goal is to save up 3 months for joint expenses after we smash our debt repayments.

Do you use apps to track your spending or are you a pen and paper kind of person? Are you working towards paying off debt? Share what is working (or not) for you.

 

Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax. The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99 washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use. Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients: Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap: Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Tips

  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s book from my 1990s school days which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing! Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

What’s on my plate? July to September 2015

We started to get carried away taking photos of most of meals to the point where my son started to remark before dinner ‘Stop, wait…click’ as he pretended to take a photo of his meal. This was an aha moment for me to slow down and enjoy the company of my family at the dining table rather than attempt to share the moment with the world.

As we slowed down here is a taste of what we have been enjoying the past few months.

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Cooking dinner and a quiche for tomorrow’s lunch

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Changing Habits Slow Cooked Tomato Lamb Shanks

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Museli made up in bulk

1435642158940 Bananas

5kg Springhaven Meadows Queensland bananas delivered from Farm House Direct

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Banana Smoothies with added goodness of Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend, Probiotics and Colloidal Minerals.

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Changing Habits Creamy Cashew, Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

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Our take on Pete Evan’s Raw Slaw

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Home made mustard

Poached salmon

Poached salmon

meat loaf

Pete Evan’s meatloaf with purple carrots and mixed of dutch cream and midnight potato mash

Hummus

Sprouted hummus

Pumpkin bread

Changing Habits Pumpkin Bread

Recipe Changing Habits Pumpkin Emmer Wheat Bread

 

Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend

What’s on my plate? May to June 2015

Wow, time has flown by and I have had a lot on plate outside of the kitchen, but this has not stopped me cooking some delicious, healthy meals for my family. I am certainly not the foodie in our home, most of the credit goes to my husband (You can follow on Instagram @ChrisRewired).

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Brothy Pumpkin Soup

Recipe Changing Habits Brothy Pumpkin Soup

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Mini hamburgers

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Early morning cook up for a day at MINDD

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Chia pudding at MINDD (left) and inspired by MINDD (right)

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Fish and quinoa salad

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Changing Habits Slow Cooked Lamb Stew

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Changing Habits Coconut and Inca Inchi Protein Pancakes

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Changing Habits Seafood Laksa

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IQS Vegan Chocolate Mousse

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Changing Habits Baked Walnut and Apricot Oatmeal Cake as breakfast

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Spag Bol with Changing Habits Most Nutritious Spaghetti Sauce

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Changing Habits custard with fruit

Recipe Changing Habits custard

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Changing Habits 3 Ingredients Pancakes

The Changing Habits Recipe book has got a real work out! So many great ideas for nutritious family meals.

 

Changing Habits Inca Inchi Protein Powder

Sarah’s Lemon Cake

I baked a scrumptious lemon cake to share for afternoon tea with my Great Uncle. Can you guess the secret ingredient? Twenty8 Lemon Essential Oil.

Essential oils in cooking are a great way to add flavour. It was part of my weekly rituals on the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program to create a food recipe unique to you using an essential oil. I am going to share my recipe with you.

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan-forced. Grease deep 19cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper
  2. Beat butter, lemon essential oil and rapadura sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. If you add to quickly you end up with a sloppy, eggy cake.
  4. Stir in milk and flour, don’t over-mix. Pour into cake pan
  5. Bake cake for about 1 hour
  6. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes; Serve warm

Enjoy!

Money Tree

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but in tight times I so wish it did. Times are tight financially for my family at present with last Friday being the tightest we have been with $0.05 remaining the joint account (until the following Tuesday!). The fridge was bare, we were down to our last reheat meal and we were due to visit the farmers market on Saturday to restock on fresh produce and meat. How were we going to manage to live for the next fortnight?

Not having money is a huge stress for me and having a mere 5 cents in our joint account made me pause and reflect on our situation. Finances have been exceptionally tight for the past 3 years after I was made redundant at work when I was 30 weeks pregnant. This was a huge challenge for us during the most exciting time of bringing our first child into the world and was further compounded when I developed Postpartum Psychosis. Like the average Australian we carried a credit card debt and we tended to spend more than we earned. We are living pay check to pay check, and at times I am checking the account balances daily to monitor the ever occurring whirlwinds of money comes in and money goes out.

I reassessed our financial predicament:

  • Pay yourself first

In working out a budget system that works for my family I came across Melissa at Frugal and Thriving. I love her concept of paying yourself first. Each week I allocate money aside for different expenses and whatever is left (usually not much) is what we have to spend. The beauty of paying yourself first is that you set up automatic payments so it’s money you can’t see and therefore can’t spend on everyday expenses. Each week we allocate money for things like upcoming bill expenses (transferred into a savings account), health insurance, transport and savings for my son for future expenses.

Last week I had paid our selves first, then had some unexpected but necessary expenses and therefore was left with nothing left to spend for the rest of the week.

  • Earning tips

My husband works in an industry where he earns tips. Tips have given us the space to breath during these tight times. The luxury of getting take away or a meal out. Or buying a lush bottle of wine (or two). Or simply adding some extra cash to our coin jar to stretch the budget. Recently I was reading Cait’s story at Blonde on a Budget, and I got an aha moment. You should not be reliant on tips to pay your fixed expenses. We are not reliant on these tips, particularly as we never know when and how much tips will be.  Something to work on though is to put some tips towards our debt repayments.

Last week husband was paid tips and it went towards fixed expenses rather than stretching the budget.

  • Debt Repayment

I got the shock of my life a while back when I looked at the credit card statement; if we were paying the minimum repayments each month it would take up 112 years to pay it off. While we always paid more than the minimums anyway, this hustled me in banning the use of the credit card. I worked through No Spend January and Frugal February with the help of the group from Slow your Home, even got through most of March even with large car expenses. However by April the wheels fell off with a budget blow out and the use of the credit card crept back into our lives.  Melissa at Frugal and Thriving has some great tips on debt busting and  I have used many different ways of paying off debt by choosing what works best for me. Whilst paying off debt we are also building up a small savings at the same time. I can’t get on top of the credit card debt if I continue to keep swiping it any chance I get.

I declared July a no spend credit card month.

  • Christmas crunch

Each year Christmas rolls around and the credit card gets a work out. By January we suffer with the credit card hangover. Each year we kept saying we should save up for next year’s Christmas but never do. This year I decided to do things differently. I came across this brilliant 52 week money challenge from Jan at A Gluttonous Wife and thought it was something I would challenge myself with in the lead up to this year’s Christmas.

Starting with $1 in Week 1, each week I add a dollar more than the previous week, so Week 2 is $2, Week 3 is $3 and so forth.  The first 6 months have sailed by without any challenge and have allowed me the extra cash to put towards debt repayments. Week 30 is $30 and will only continue to increase, plus I still am working on paying off debt. I am hanging in there as the $1300 incentive by Christmas will be a nice present to myself of a stress free Christmas period.

Now I am in July, 30 weeks into the challenge, I am starting to feel the burn.

  • Cash versus (debit) card

Part of paying ourselves first is allocating how much we can spend on groceries each week. I find I am better able to track expenses when we use our debit card, particularly as we have a joint account and we both do the shopping at different times during the week. The exception to using our debit card is each week I withdraw a set amount of cash to spend at the farmers markets. Having cash only to spend at the markets makes us take note of what we are spending and what our priorities are.

While there was only $0.05 in our joint account, we had $100 cash for the farmers market.

So we changed our plan of attack. Instead of going to the farmers market with a supermarket top up we opted for the local fruit store and Aldi for our entire shop. I had to slacken my priority of health buying organic, or spray free fruit and vegetables where possible for everything conventional. I chose price over packaging and selected vegetables that were pre-wrapped in the foam trays and plastic wrap or bundles together in plastic mesh bags, trying not to think about Plastic Free July. I was still supporting small local business by shopping at the local fruit store plus I was able to pick up some great bargains though in the reduced section. To stretch the grocery budget further we bought our meat from Aldi rather than the local butchers, but was still able to get grass-fed meat or free-range chicken which are on my list of priorities for health. I was proud of myself of putting food on our plate for less this fortnight. Husband and I did a huge cook up on Saturday night to start us off with a bang for our buck!

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Our cook up

Do you live week to week? Have you got debt to repay? What are some of the tricks and tips you do to manage your finances?

 

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