What a great feeling! Friday already and for once I don't think that I have wasted any money this week. Another nine days passed between having to fill my car up with petrol and I honestly don't feel that I have bought anything that I didn't need. I stopped buying magazines a long time ago - ever since the time that I rolled up to the Post Office counter with my four regular favourite mags and was asked to hand over $17! I almost fainted on the spot! Seventeen bucks for something that at worst I was going to throw away and at best pass on to someone else so they can read it for free. The only one I buy now is That's Life - for two reasons. Firstly so I can enter all the competitions and secondly, it was where I first heard about Simple Savings, so I figure I have a lot to thank them for. I haven't actually won any of the That's Life competitions, but I love entering anything like that. Radio phone-ins are great too! I never buy lottery tickets though - I know you've got to be in to win but as far as I'm concerned, I save $6.00 every week I don't buy a ticket.
I never buy books any more either. I keep a list of books and new releases I want to read and then order them from the library for just $1.00. I would never dream of paying retail for a book now! One of my better ideas was to start a book club just over a year ago. I got 12 people together who I thought would get along and we have been meeting once a month ever since. We have a group of lovely people who really enjoy each other's company and we meet at a different member's home each month. We all pay $40 once a year and this is our 'book pool' money. (If you think most new hardbacks are over $30 for just one, our membership fee is not much for reading 12 new books a year in comparison). We collect four of the same book each month to share around, both by buying copies or borrowing as many as we can from the library. Because we have been so smart at shopping around for our books and buying copies on special, at the end of the year, we had still enough money in the kitty to buy all 12 of us a movie ticket and enjoy a night out! The best thing about the club has been introducing people to each other who would probably have never met otherwise, and people who had not read for years, or who thought they never enjoyed reading, are now reading voraciously! Noel swears that our book club is based very loosely on reading and more on drinking wine and consuming cake. He's probably right, but we do read the books too!
Other savings this week? Liam's birthday is coming up in a few days and I wanted to get him a new Playstation game. By chance I went into Dick Smith's and was so glad I did! I never realized that their computer and video games were so cheap - and their prices are like that all the time! The brand new release game I almost coughed up $109 for in The Warehouse was $50 at Dick Smith's! Just goes to show your 'cheap' shops aren't always the cheapest. Better still, the helpful shop assistant also told me about their VIP membership card, which now entitles me to 10% off everything in store!
Poor Noel has a filthy cold this week and I was feeling really sorry for him. I wanted to make him some soup, but didn't have many ingredients on hand, however I still managed to develop a bona fide cold killing soup that was cheap, easy and quick. It knocked his socks off!
Penny's Cold-Killing Soup
2-3 medium potatoes (scrubbed, not peeled)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Sprinkle mixed herbs
1 litre water
2 tsp chicken stock
tsp chilli powder
Melt butter in saucepan and fry onion until soft. Dice unpeeled potatoes and add these and all the other ingredients to the onions. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Mash them in the saucepan, then push through a sieve or use a blender. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you have it. It may look a bit pale and uninteresting, but believe me, it doesn't taste that way!