Recent Hints

Eat your way to lovely, strong nails with blancmange!

If biting your nails is a problem, start growing them from the inside out, with this easy coffee blancmange recipe! All you need is:

One x 400g can coconut milk or cream. 2 tbsp gelatin 2 tsp coffee 1/4 cup hot water Sweetener of your choice, e.g. sugar, stevia or artificial sweetener

Stir the gelatin into the hot water and mix well.
In a separate bowl, put in the coffee and sweetener of your choice and stir, then tip in the can of coconut milk or cream. Pour in the hot gelatin mixture and stir all together well. Refrigerate for one hour.

The result? Delicious, smooth coffee blancmange, with the health benefits of coconut, and gelatin for nail growth!

By: Tony Ransom

No more shopping lists with free app

We have eliminated paper shopping lists by using a free app called Our Groceries. You can link the app via entering one email address, so everyone who does the shopping at your house has the up to date grocery list at any time. The best thing is, you can customise the list to be very specific about what you want. There is a paid version of the app but we have been successfully using the free version and love it. No more wasted paper and no more forgetting things as the list is always with us!

By: Sam 3 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

Wasteful teenagers get a dose of reality!

I have two daughters who live at home with me who are both university students. They both work part-time and pay me $50 a week each for everything. (And I mean absolutely everything!) I had begun to get sick and tired of their wasteful habits! I would find half eaten muesli bars lying around, week-old uneaten fruit, discarded shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes with enough in the base for three or four more uses, soap in the bin which still had plenty of use left in it and the list goes on! Quite frankly, I'd had enough! I told them to keep their $50 a week and instead they could buy everything for themselves (snacks, lunches, toiletries and so on). I would provide their one evening meal and that was it. I even made them buy their own toilet paper. Well after two weeks they have decided to mend their ways! They just did not realise the costs involved in running a household and admitted they had taken things for granted. I only wish I had done it much sooner, for their benefit and also mine! One daughter can only afford to give me $50 still and her older sister has increased her amount to $70. However, I think things around here are going to be very different from now on as my Sad Sallys strive to become more like Happy Hanna!

By: Anne Collins 10 responses in the members' forum

From lows come great highs

Our story is a great example of how thinking outside the square has enabled us to get ahead, even through the toughest of trials. My husband is on a disability pension receiving $450 per fortnight and I work 20 hours per fortnight earning $397. I have chosen not to apply for Centrelink benefits due to the numerous requirements. Our uninsured home burnt down 10 years ago leaving us homeless (I went into premature labour and spent six weeks in hospital with complications so I had somewhere to stay but my partner lived in our car with our two dogs for this time). We were at the lowest point ever and could not imagine how we were going to survive. We were advised to go bankrupt, which we did but we were now unable to get finance (in hindsight an absolute blessing) to get another house.

We did what most people do and rented a house in the suburbs thinking this was it for us. After three years of this we decided to look elsewhere and found a house in 'woop woop' which was $6000 (pre-real estate boom). Using my first home owner grant we purchased our house and although it was two hours from anywhere good, it was ours outright. This in itself is a handy hint to look outside of the box - our 'woop woop' town had a doctor, a supermarket and a school so it was fine and we lived there happily for another three years. At this point the real estate boom happened and we sold our house for $48,000 and decided to look outside the box once again. We ended up 2000km away from home in a place two hours from Adelaide. We still live here happily and after four years the value of our property has gone from $35,000 to $95,000 (I swear getting our first home owner grant was like winning the lottery).

But we still couldn't save any money so two years ago I cancelled my fortnightly family tax benefit from Centrelink (approx $200 per fortnight). It was hard - very, very hard for the first eight months but then it was tax time and I was very surprised when I received a tax return of more than $7000 with my lump sum FTB part A and B. We paid our bills and bought a second hand car. This year I paid a little extra tax each week ($10) and was pleasantly surprised by an $8000 tax return. With this we bought a block of land 30 minutes down the road (in a bigger town closer to Adelaide). The value of this block is double what we actually paid! Some people say we were lucky but luck had nothing to do with it - we were just prepared to live in very yucky houses in areas no one wants to live. Three months ago a house in our town sold for $21,000 which is around the same as the first home owner grant now and there are still others which would be around the same price. We don't have sewerage or town water but we have a school and a pub so it was certainly a change in lifestyle.

Other people have asked how we are doing so well now and I just laugh! We are earning $845 per fortnight and I have chosen not to work extra hours so I can still be a stay at home mum to our diabetic 10-year-old. We have private health cover, Internet, insurance, power, phone, petrol expenses ($100 fortnight), rates, medical expenses and even private school fees to pay but we still have enough to go around and often support other people with food, even though they are making much more than us. This year we plan on buying a second hand relocatable house for our block with our tax return. It may be a form of forced savings by not getting a fortnightly benefit but when it comes in it is amazing. Thanks to careful budgeting and Simple Savings we easily survive!

By: Lee 44 responses in the members' forum