Hi there! I’m Penina Petersen and I’m mostly known in Australia, New Zealand and abroad for my book Table Tucker, a revolutionary cooking system which helps consumers save thousands on groceries every year, while only cooking three nights each week.
It’s been quite a journey!
I’ve been on quite a journey since I published Table Tucker, which helped me to achieve my dream of becoming a published Author. It was fantastic to get that ticked off my bucket list!
The Table Tucker adventure saw me through some great experiences in the media including features of Today Tonight, Canvas Magazine (NZ) as ‘The Great Foodini’ and I spent some time in ‘the tardis’ at ABC radio conducting radio interviews across the country – especially for the ABC’s Life Matters Show. Time in ‘The Tardis’ was a fabulous experience. The man at ABC reception told me that my life would never be the same again – and really, he was right!
I love your letters & helping myself and my readers
I’ve received some beautiful letters over the years regarding Table Tucker and have actually shed tears at the post box reading how my book helped a widowed man and his family, a pensioner who was trying to buy groceries for his disabled wife and a student who found my book really handy. Just to name a few.
These letters made me realise how much I love helping people. I loved that I could help people while also helping myself! I never realised I could get so much joy from doing something I love – which has always been writing (and helping myself!)
I’ve also had the opportunity to do motivational speeches to writing students in Melbourne, which has also been a highlight of this journey. Passing on my publishing experience to eager writers is always satisfying.
Meeting journalists and producers has been fun too. I enjoyed reading my story in magazines like Greenpages, That’s Life Magazine and seeing it featured on global websites like Trendhunter.
I’m into learning new stuff
After self-publishing and being published Table Tucker went on to sell over 20,000 copies, which I am very proud of. I learned how to make mobile apps and turned the book into a suite of apps after that. I had to learn web design, graphic design and all facets of publishing to get the project finished. This journey has led me into an entirely new career in IT & Design – quite another story!
The backstory to the Savings Room
But the journey to The Savings Room blog hasn’t been all roses. What a lot of people didn’t know about Table Tucker was my motivation behind the book. Firstly I wanted to capture my family’s and my own wisdom in the book for my kids to keep in the long term. I wanted them to have a ‘mum in their back pocket’ after I was gone. I wanted my grandkids to know me through my book – after I was gone.
As I was nearing finishing the book I had the sad news that my father’s heart condition had worsened.
I was on a race against time to finish it. I wanted my Dad to hold the book in his hands before he passed away. He knew that publishing a book was a dream I had held from a very young age. Eventually, my mother told me ‘to wrap it up’ and that’s when I finally got the book to print!
After 5,000 books arrived at our house in Stawell on a sweltering hot day in November, my hubby and I appeared on Today Tonight.
That night our lives changed forever!
My hubby and I quit our jobs and became overnight book distributors and eCommerce novices!
In the midst of this amazing excitement we decided to move house, while my hubby stayed on to finish off a renovation project! After moving to the Mornington Peninsula alone with my son, I had the sad news that my father had passed away.
It was a difficult time for me. I was happy that my father got to hold Table Tucker in his hands. There is so much wisdom in Table Tucker that came from the lessons learned through my father’s life and my upbringing in Sydney and Auckland. But it was sad feeling so happy to achieve this dream while also mourning my father.
In the year’s that followed my father’s death I had my second child and got busy on some projects while being a stay-at-home mum. I taught myself web design, communications, PR, Marketing, IT, SEO and mobile app development.
I started researching and writing savings tips
During this time I also started writing savings tips and building the Savings Room, which is an idea I pitched to my husband late one night! He thought the idea was a winner – so I got to work on my new project! Well. He’s supportive of all my ideas. He’s a great guy like that!
What is the point to this story you may ask?
The point to this story and the evolution of the Savings Room has been the result of this:
Everything I have ever done – I’ve done on a shoestring!
I’ve never had the money to fund any of my projects, many of which I’ve achieved while working part-time or full-time. All of my projects have been funded through the hard labour of my beautiful hubby and myself working day jobs!
And it’s all this penny-pinching that has led me to become so obsessed with saving money! Hence, the 300+ articles and 6000+ savings tips you can now read in the Savings Room!
Some other ideas have fallen through the cracks – like My Wall App for Ipad. This was so well-received that Apple made it New and Noteworthy when it was released. But I lacked the resources (money, time and technical knowledge) to see it through to its final stages. Other ideas are still in their nurturing phase – but I have notebooks full of them and look forward to producing more great products, resources and innovative adventures!
The Savings Room is a natural progression from the money-saving goals I first started with in Table Tucker.
The Savings Room started off with massive goals.
How do I say this?
In true ‘Penina’ style I built Dubai – when I should’ve started out in a country shack and added the bling from there!
I have a tendency to think too big at first and also work backwards. This works for me sometimes – but other times this mindset just doesn’t. Most days I have to think about the mistakes of entrepreneurs the world-over to keep myself true to the project.
Many trials and errors!
The other result?
My blog! The Savings Room! Which I am very proud of now! For those of you who saw me through my early days here – you will understand! (Though you did get to see Dubai – lucky you!)
To go back even further this whole story actually started earlier than Table Tucker.
It started in the Australian outback. (Actually I am writing the book – you can read chapter one here!). Would you like to read more of my true story? If so, drop me a line at [email protected] if the story interests you.
The back back story in short!
I was born in New Zealand and brought up in Sydney and Auckland. After school I graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. To gain life experience for writing I embarked on several world trips and lived in Japan for four years, where I worked as an English teacher. After returning to NZ, I met my soulmate Richard at a friend’s house in Melbourne after venturing to Australia for a ‘short trip’ in 2000 to see in the millenium New Year.
When my life changed forever
My life changed in the summer of 2004 when I moved to the mines in Western Australia with my equally adventurous new husband
We spent over a year paying of $50,0o0 in accumulated debt from a business we’d closed down in Melbourne.
That’s where the real penny-pinching began!
The side-effect of having to leave Melbourne, was that the silence of remote living propelled me to follow my creative dreams. There was a silver lining to all that debt and hard living!
I was terrified out there in the Aussie bush with the massive roaches and snakes! My family was far away and I felt naked (metaphorically!) without all the distractions of city living.
While pregnant out there (and working full-time on a mine myself) I needed to stay sane. So I decided to challenge myself and see if I could write a novel in 10 days. I only had evenings after my work day ended.
I completed the novel! It was called ‘The Corporation’ and I’ve never read it and will never publish it. This was simply an exercise / or practise I should say, in writing and keeping sane! The book still sits on my shelf to this day.
Table Tucker was my serious and first attempt to write a real book and get it published.
Bucket list ticked off! Yey!
What am I doing now?
I now run the Savings Room in my spare-time while freelancing in Marketing, SEO, Web & Graphic Design in Melbourne & surrounds. I’m still obsessed with saving enough time, money and sanity so I can get my own dreams and those of my family members off the ground.
Our combined bucket list is massive! There’s so many more adventures to be had.
In summary, I would say that The Savings Room is derived from my insatiable thirst for learning new stuff, a love for executing a great concept, and a passion for helping myself and others!
I am also completely obsessed with living stylishly on the cheap! I am a firm believer that penny-pinchers need not be daggy!
I hope you enjoy my blog!
If you’d like to get in touch you can email me via my contact page.