Up for discussion

Posted April 6th, 2006 by Penny Wise

I am ashamed to admit that in my quest to keep constantly updated on new hints, I am often guilty of neglecting one of the Savings Vault's most interesting resources - the Discussion Forum. I am going to have to write myself a note to check up on it at least several times a week as it is such a fascinating read! This is the place where you can get fast and reliable answers about any Vault hints you may not be sure how to go about or are a little wary of trying out for the first time. Other members do their best to answer your questions or dilemmas and they are so helpful! It's great to see so many familiar names helping people on a regular basis too - these guys deserve a pat on the back!

For example, in today's visit I enjoyed reading some helpful (not to mention frank!) advice for a woman who was having issues with her daughter's fan heater chewing into the power bill. I found some awesome budgeting tips on cutting costs for a family of four, an informal review of Grass Roots magazine and someone mentioned a great hint about how they saved heaps on making winter sheets from polar fleece instead of buying new flannelette sheets for their children. Perfect timing too, as the chillier weather is definitely on its way in this neck of the woods and Liam helpfully pointed out a blooming great rip in the middle of his well-worn flannelette sheet this morning. So a new sheet was going to be the next item on the shopping list, but now I am going to shop around for some polar fleece instead! Further reading showed a new member looking for advice on planning a first mortgage, the best supermarket buys for the week and I am definitely going to try the Marshmallow Muesli Slice in the Cooking -> Children's Snacks section after reading all the great feedback! The Forum is another brilliant and extensive resource to compliment the Vault, there is always something new to read and I will definitely make more of an effort to visit it often from now on!

Another subject which is frequently discussed in Simple Savings is that of homeopathy. I know for some it is a controversial subject and I admit it is not something I was particularly aware of or had considered using until I was introduced to Fran's articles in the Simple Savings newsletters. However I am extremely grateful for the ways that homeopathic medicine has helped and continues to help my family. I have already mentioned in blogs gone by how homeopathic consultations with Fran helped Liam enormously after suffering severe trauma in our car accident. Ali was constantly ill with hugely enlarged tonsils and was on the 'urgent' list to have them removed. Months later his tonsils have reduced in size, he has enjoyed long periods of good health and has not suffered with tonsillitis once. He is no longer on the waiting list for an operation. More recently, Liam was referred to Fran again after having dreadful problems with nasal congestion. I first visited our GP who prescribed him an antihistamine nasal spray and told us to use it for a month. If there was no improvement after a month, he would make an appointment for Liam to have his adenoids out.

Upon hearing this news, Liam 'flipped his lid' and asked if he could try one of Fran's remedies instead. Why hadn't I thought of that before? A quick phone call to Fran and after a single dose of his prescribed remedy, Liam's weeks of nasal congestion had completely disappeared in a matter of hours. 'Phew, now I won't need that operation!' said a very relieved Liam. When we were all struck down with the flu a couple of weeks ago, this problem was to rear its head again. While the rest of us bounced back relatively quickly, Liam continued to suffer from dreadful nasal problems for almost two weeks, although the rest of his illness had passed. Every day he would come home from school in tears, the difficulty he had in breathing was making his life miserable and really affecting his schoolwork as he just couldn't concentrate. Apologies for the graphic description, but his nose was absolutely full of thick green 'glue'. No amount of blowing would shift it and every time we did try to blow his nose, it would bleed, causing even more distress.

So, off we went to the doctor again, to a different one, but I wasn't confident that he would be able to do anything and I was right. Luckily he didn't believe in doling out antibiotics if he didn't believe they were appropriate, but he told us that there really was nothing he could give us to treat it. This upset Liam even more to think he was going to be stuck with a green gluey nose indefinitely and once again asked me to contact Fran. 'Her remedies taste nice Mum - and they actually WORK', he told me pointedly. Lucky one of us remembered! So, I called Fran again, she recommended a dose of the same remedy as last time and literally within a few hours Liam was breathing easily and the 'glue' was completely gone - honestly, you had to see it to believe it! When the sniffles started again three days later, I just gave him another dose and that cleared it up for good. Liam was one very happy chappy! The remedy was one I already had in the house that had been successfully used on Ali months before (homeopathic remedies have a shelf life of 12 months) so all it cost me in the end to get Liam sorted was a phone call. Shame I had already spent $68 on doctor's visits and $28 on nasal sprays before we found the solution.

Amazed by the results she had seen in Liam, my Mum decided to have a consultation of her own with Fran before the winter. In her sixties she is 'young' for her age and loves to be active and independent, but with a weak immune system and debilitating osteoporosis she is often laid flat for weeks. Even with her annual flu vaccination, poor Mum somehow manages to get every germ going. Determined to try and 'sort her out' before the winter months, I made her an appointment. Unfortunately as the day of her consultation arrived she already found herself 'crook as a dog' with the flu I had successfully passed on. I had been dreading her getting this, as it was a particularly nasty one which had the potential to knock Mum out for weeks. Fran advised Mum to take her remedy anyway and report back to her in a few days. In just three days, Mum had made a remarkable recovery - in fact she recovered faster than the rest of us had with the same illness! Bearing in mind I am 33 years old, this was the first time that either of us could remember in as many years that an illness of Mum's did not result in her having a chest infection, days off work and at least one course of antibiotics. Mum was delighted and looks better than she has in a long time - an added bonus is that she is also finding herself with less back pain than she has had for almost two years. And believe me, she was pretty skeptical to start with!

After seeing first hand just how fast homeopathic remedies can work, I decided to treat myself to a homeopathic first aid kit. It comes 24 basic remedies with full instructions on dosage and how to find the most suitable remedy according to your symptoms. It had arrived several weeks ago but I had put it away and forgotten all about it until last weekend. I woke up on Sunday with a horrendous sore throat, I was hoarse and could barely talk. My ears were ringing and by lunchtime I had developed a migraine so bad that I had to go to bed for a few hours. Panadol had proved ineffective and Nurofen had also made no difference. By five o'clock it was time to think about putting my roast in the oven for dinner, but I could barely function and Noel was all set to go and get takeaway. Suddenly I remembered by new first aid kit! I studied the little book, chose the remedy I thought matched my symptoms most closely and took a dose. By the time my Mum arrived 10 minutes later, I was chatting as normal and standing at the sink peeling potatoes while I made her a coffee. Half an hour later I had no trace of a headache or sore throat at all and our roast dinner was on the table at the usual time. Even Noel couldn't believe it - especially when I told him how much it had cost for my remedy to put me to rights - six cents. Not to mention the money we had saved on buying takeaway! If you think of homeopathic treatments in these monetary terms, it is easy to see why Fiona includes them in the Simple Savings newsletter - and our family is very glad she does!

PS: If anyone would like to know more about homeopathic 'first aid kits' and where they can be obtained, feel free to hide('penny')email me

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