Recent Hints

Lose weight, save money and reduce waste with friends

Our group of friends have learned there are many more benefits to being health conscious than just losing weight! We first started getting together to try and lose weight after Christmas. My friends went with the keto diet and I chose intermittent fasting. Of course, everyone needs to make sure they are medically safe and that whatever you choose suits you, as well as being mindful that children have different needs.

Having company certainly helps with motivation as we meet for coffee most mornings and compare notes. A bonus from this however, aside from losing weight and feeling much better, is that our grocery bills are a fraction of the usual. I am so pleased to see money left in my account on pay day! One friend reported that for her and her husband the usual spend at Harris Farm was over $200. Now it is under $40. I am single so used to spend around $100 a week on groceries and another $100 plus going out. Now I am down to $60 a week all up!

The other issue for me was waste. I would regularly buy whatever took my eye and it would go off in the fridge. Now I make a list (amazing how that works) and only buy enough for my meals. For example, I buy one zucchini instead of a bag full. I find grating some colourful veggies such as carrot, zucchini, yellow squash and red capsicum makes the meal interesting and seems bigger somehow. I get the ALDI salmon OR the chicken thighs - not both like before! - and either of these will last me for over a week.

Buying fresh produce is much cheaper and better than packets. The diet has reduced my appetite, so I can afford to buy smaller pieces of meat of higher quality. It takes some organisation but is so worth it. Training yourself to eat less certainly helps the budget. There are some good resources on intermittent fasting on the Internet and Dr Michael Mosley's book. My friends are using The Power of Protein. I also found a guy who appeared on The Doctors, who has created the Snake Diet, although that's a little extreme for me!

By: Pauline Nolan

Sock it to draughts with cheap 'door snakes'

With every winter, it's important to make our heating systems as efficient as possible. Draughts under doors (both to outside and to rooms not currently being used) let heat escape, driving heating costs up. Door snakes are often advertised at around $10 each. This means for a whole house you may be looking close to $100. Instead, you can use a pair of men's long, knee-high socks! These can be filled with rice (or sand if you have easy access to it). Either tie a knot or see the top to seal. You can purchase ind the socks at cheap shops or ok shops, use the cheapest rice you can buy and you can make a house-full for less than the price of one commercially produced door snake.

By: QLD Girl 4 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

Baby oil keeps showers clean for months

Keep glass showers sparkling clean for months at a time by using baby oil. First, clean the glass on the inside of the shower well, then dry off. Next, take a soft cloth and smear a small amount of baby oil. I stress a SMALL amount to ensure no oil runs down to the base of the shower, creating a potential hazard. Pay extra attention to wiping the edges and bottom of the glass. Once you have done this, the glass will look smeary and quite awful really - until you have the next shower! The hot water heats the oil and smooths it out on the glass. I have never had the problem of any oil running down onto the floor, even after heating it. You'll find a very small amount goes a very long way. Basically, the soap scum cannot attach itself to the glass, which stays clean and clear for at least three months at a time. By needing to re-apply the baby oil only every few months, this adds up to a huge saving in expensive bathroom cleaners!

By: Nat 29 responses in the members' forum

Home mixed household cleaner

My mother is chronically ill and disabled. She suffers from a rare type of auto-immune disease, called lupus, and is therefore allergic to most chemicals. This made cleaning difficult because she was allergic to most cleaning products, or those she wasn't allergic to were too expensive to buy on my carer's pension. Because Mum's disease is an auto-immune disease, I have to keep our house hospital-grade clean.

So I have come up with a fantastic recipe, and my house is spotless, smells great and is fresh and clean. The solution cleans and polishes everything, including windows. I have never seen glass and stainless steel taps look so clean.

This solution also lasts forever. Household cleaner used to cost me $80 per month, but now I buy detergent every three months, vinegar once a year at $1.50, washing soda every 18 months at $0.98c and eucalyptus oil once every eight months at $3.50 - a saving of $880 a year minus $20 for the few items I do buy. In total I've saved around $2640 over three years.

Household Cleaner

1 litre water
200ml vinegar
40ml detergent
40ml eucalyptus oil
2 dessertspoons of washing soda

Mix all ingredients together, and it's ready to use. Use 60ml of solution in warm water to wash your floors. Fill a spray bottle and use it to clean your table, benches and bathroom.

By: Becky-lee Taylor 433 responses in the members' forum