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There are many sneaky ways to save money which will put a grin on your chin, a smile in your step and more cash in your stash. Sometimes ways to save money are logical. Follow a path and you will get there over time. Then there are the small fun ways you can save money that all add up. These ways make your money saving experience more like the thrill of drinking Champagne in economy, than suffering a sad, lonely trip on a smelly old bus. There are a number of ways to look at junk mail and I’ve done them all.

Stay focused on your money goals

The first way is to run inside from the mailbox waving the latest Priceline brochure in your hand and with your heart palpitating with the joy of a prospective trip to the local mall. Once inside grab a marker and circle the best bargains. What a gorgeous amazing girly deal. I just had no idea I liked perfume that much or even Victoria Beckham until that happy pink brochure arrived.

Although this is the mood-enhancing phenomena women call ‘shopping’ this is logically not the path to a happier bank balance and long term financial security in terms of saving money. But do not mistake my excitement for stupidity. These marketing gurus are amazing. This brochure is saying: ‘Stuff financial security. Now live for today woman. Life is short. When was the last time you pampered yourself, you…tired mother of two you.” Good point, marketing people at Priceline. Well said. You are right: I am tired. I do need pampering. I am no lesser person than Victoria Beckham. I deserve perfume like her and I know I’ve had a harder day than her. In fact, she doesn’t even need her own perfume, the way us mothers need it. She’s got hired help.”

Learn to love your recycle bin

The second way to look at junk mail is purposeful and deliberate denial. I’ve done this too. Grab the whole roll of mail, strut straight up to the recycle bin and throw all the paper in without taking one look at the latest 30% sale on Manchester at Target or the pre-Christmas sale they are having at the Reject shop. Just close the lid girlfriend. Close that stench in. Now go inside and get dinner started or something.

No. Stuff dinner for the moment and huddle in. Pssst… I’m here to tell you about a secret third way to really make your junk mail sing and to actually turn it into cash. Yes. Cash! The kind of cash that makes you want to call all your friends and have them over this Saturday night for a wild party! So how is it humanly possible to take a whole roll of junk mail (created by a highly educated marketing force) and turn those beautiful little colored sheets of paper into something opposite than their intended purpose? Here is the scenario: They want you to buy. They want your cash. You don’t want to buy. You want their cash. With a little creativity you are about to discover how you can win this little junk mail game that plays out between you and your mailbox daily.


How to turn your junk mail into cash

Between the bright and beautiful graphically designed brochures selling toys, clothes,and Victoria Beckham perfume at 30% off you will find the following: Equally beautiful flyers and pamphlets but ones dedicated to less interesting topics such as: Gas, electricity, utilities, lower credit card rates, landline, internet, phone and insurance services. Sit down now for a little time in the garden. Sit close to the recycle bin but not too close. Grab yourself a cup of tea and pull out every brochure related to utilities, phones and the like. That’s right. The ones make you want to find a spot in the garden and nod off to sleep. The more boring the pamphlet topic, the more money this pamphlet is probably going to save you.

Get calling vendors

Spend time over the next few weeks ringing your current suppliers. Tell them that you are holding in your savvy money-saving-expert hand, a brochure which is offering you a better deal. Now here’s the part where that little brochure in your hand magically turns into cash. Because the cash that is in their pocket is about to be redirected to into your happy, wanting-for-cash-bad-ass pocket. Now confidently, like it is your divine right on this planet, ask the customer service agent for a better deal. And guess what? It is your divine right to have water, electricity and a damn good deal on the next Iphone 5 bundled with Voip internet. If cave people had a similar divine right, so do you. Great! You say. “Got a better deal!”

Ask for a better deal

But don’t stop there. Go harder. Whatever deal they offer, ask for a better one. Winging and moaning definitely wears these customer service people down. Be nice of course. But no-one likes a winger. They will want to get you off the phone at any cost, sometime before their tea break, smoko and their lunch break. They definitely want you off the phone before the early train home leaves. Tell them you have been with them, as a loyal customer for many years, and that it would be great to discuss an even better deal with their manager. Go for the hold music. Spend the time. Woo the manager with funny stories about your dog, travels or life as a Karaoke singer. Do whatever it takes, to get your rates heavily reduced.

Time well spent

This may take up to 20 minutes out of your life for each company called. Stories about how Fido had 11 puppies last year can take some time. But I guarantee that at the end of the exercise, all those brochures have turned into a nice big wad of cash and a massive wad of cash over the course of one year. Now finish that cuppa. Pick your gorgeous, amazing money-saving butt up off your garden chair, throw the rest of your junk mail in the bin and go inside and fix dinner. Oh, unless you have Table Tucker and you don’t have to cook tonight. But that’s another amazing save money story. For now. I commend you on a job well done!

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Roast chicken is a great way to save. Picture this: It is 5.30pm, and if you are not using a menu planning system to organise dinner, you are probably fighting for a park at the supermarket. Perhaps you are on your way to ponder life in front of a convenient and warm roast chicken stand? Meanwhile, two-year-old Missy, who just lost her dummy under the banana stand, is randomly pulling packets of crackers off the shelves. And, Master seven-year-old is hanging off the end of the trolley pleading for a pre-dinner lollipop.
If you do grab the chicken while at the supermarket, I’ve got some great ideas to help you do something great with your purchase. Read on to discover quick tips for dealing with your warm chook.

Roast chicken: What should you do with the bird?

What should you do with this highly convenient bird now that you have it happily in your grasp? Surely, the family will notice if you deliver it to the dinner table again with peas, gravy and mash?
I prefer not to be plagued with these dinner dilemmas after a tiring day. I just want to make it home to the loving arms of a couch.

Here are my top five cheap, quick and wicked ways with a roast chicken

These will get you out of the supermarket and back on the couch before you can say ‘Glass of wine anyone? ”

  • Butter chicken curry: Add shredded chicken to a jar of butter chicken curry. Serve on rice.
  • Chicken pitas: Create a delicious warm chicken wrap using salad ingredients from the fridge and your favourite sauce or dressing.
  • Pizzas: Grab a packet of pita bread, add shredded chicken and your favourite toppings. Add BBQ sauce as a base.
  • Chicken stir-fry: Fry some veggies, add soy sauce, shredded chicken and serve on Hokkien noodles.
  • Creamy chicken crepes: Add chicken and veggies to a thick chicken soup. Serve in homemade crepes. Pour a little extra soup over the top of the crepes and add some grated cheese.

Done! Dinner is sorted!

If you want more ways to save by cooking recipes using a supermarket roast chicken be sure to check out FREEZER MEALS. which includes two cooked chooks in its planner. Save up to $400 each month on groceries.
Got great ideas for using up your bird? Leave them in comments below.

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If you love cooking in bulk, discover some great food shopping tips for cooking in bulk this weekend. Saving money on groceries and saving valuable time is easy if you plan ahead, purchase groceries in bulk and batch cook.

Bulk food shopping tips for this weekend

Meat & poultry

Buy meat in bulk and find wholesale suppliers in your area. Money saving meat purchases include budget mince, sausages and stewing meats. Purchase chicken fresh or frozen and try to get your chook for under $5.00. It is cheaper to buy a chicken, roast it and shred it for meals than it is to cook up fillets. Roast chicken is also delicious in a pasta or a soup! If you have to buy fillets buy them in a big pack at a wholesale poulterer.

Vegetables

Buy onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger and fresh herbs (for freezing) in bulk.

Kitchen Gear

Buy a big community size cling wrap and aluminum foil that will last you months! It is much cheaper to
buy products like this in bulk. I sit my cling wrap at the top end of a large bread board so it is easy to access when making the kids’ lunches.

Grocery Items

Items on your grocery list should include oils, oil sprays, sauces such as tomato sauce and soy sauce.

Herbs & Spices

Fill your spice rack and keep it well stocked with all the spices you require for the coming season and year. Also include beef, chicken and vegetable stock powder.

Milk & Bread

Buy long life milk and bread for the freezer. This will reduce unnecessary trips to the shops where you will likely spend $30 or more on items you were not planning to buy.

Canned Goods

Stock up on diced tomatoes, soups, chick peas, lentils and the like.

Freezer Items

Stock up on pastry, frozen peas, mixed vegetables, frozen corn and spinach.

Staples

Stock up on rice and pasta. If you keep your pantry well stocked you can save much time avoiding extra trips to the supermarket for groceries and more time in the kitchen cooking up beautiful bulk cooked meals for the family!
Hope you liked my bulk food shopping tips! Good luck with your next cooking adventure!


Can’t be bothered working it all out?

If you want a great resource for cooking in bulk and stocking your pantry check out Table Tucker or FREEZER MEALS cookbook. Table Tucker delivers annual, seasonal and monthly pantries for 52 weeks of budget dinners for the entire year! You will never have to write a pantry list ever again. Freezer Meals is a savvy bulk cooking system, which will save you up to $400 on your monthly grocery spend.


Got some great food shopping tips to share? Add them to comments below!

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Buy in bulk

by Penina

Buy Groceries In Bulk

Your time (which is money) and the petrol savings are what really make bulk buying worth it.

When you buy in bulk every month and season, Table Tucker reminds you to buy other non-food needs that might run out when you prefer they wouldn’t. 

Buying these items in bulk avoids extra trips to the shops where chocolate biscuits, bags of chips and other rash buys are there to tempt you. 

The list includes such items as toilet paper, laundry powder, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, razors and soap for example. 

While bulk-buy savings are great, your time (which is money) and the petrol savings are what really make bulk buying worth it. Petrol costs from all those extra trips amount to a large sum over the course of a year. See our Money Crunch pages in TT’s seasonal apps. 

There is nothing worse than having to go and buy toilet paper in the middle of watching your favourite show, is there? Or running out of toothpaste before an important morning meeting, causing you to spend more money on fresh mints on your way to work! The spending can just go on and on. 

Shop monthly at stores that specialise in bulk-buy items. 

Because the ingredients in Table Tucker are so basic, these bulk-buy stores should stock all that you need.
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Enjoy This Simple Pleasure

Excerpt: Table Tucker Cookbook: And take your time. There’s no rush. It’s Sunday…

Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to enjoy a cook-up. See Cooking & Kitchen Tips for some preparation ideas that save you time during the week. The Sunday cook-up is a great tradition. You’ve had a relaxing weekend and you can enjoy the pure pleasure of cooking. 

Scan the week ahead and suss out all the little jobs you can do ahead of time. 

Listen to some great music while you have your Sunday cook-up. Go on. Put on that apron. Pull out your mixing bowls and your time-worn wooden spoons. Swan about that kitchen of yours basking in the pleasure of cooking that previous generations have always had the time to enjoy.

Dream a little out that kitchen window. 

If you have a child, involve him or her. Give your child a job to do. My toddler loves to get up on a chair and wash the dishes for me. Yeah. Great! Train them young I say! I’m not complaining. He usually ends with dishes in the bath, but that’s fine. 

Have fun. Enjoy a glass of wine. 

Fancy a little Michael Bublé with that wine perhaps?

Most of all, enjoy the sheer pleasure of an afternoon in the kitchen.
An excerpt from Table Tucker coobkook
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Time is a trick. It can run away from you as fast as a wayward supermarket trolley. I admit that as a writer I am easily distracted. For example, the simple task of paying my bills online can land me on weird and wonderful websites and at interesting blogspots like this one http:// soulofabreadmachine.blogspot.
A simple trip past the television to pick up my child’s socks can result in watching a fascinating study of Meer Kats in the Wild. (I admit Saxon does do a great impression of a Meer Kat.) This week I am reading a fabulous book called Goddess. Be the Woman you Want to Be by Elizabeth Wilson.

Elizabeth discusses the Rotation Method of managing time

The idea is that you set four tasks and then work on them alternately for 10, 20 and 30 minutes each. Repeat this method until the cycle is over. This method forces you to understand where your time goes and how easy it is to lose time in the day. I have gained so much from this method of working my newsletter is out a half day early this week and I am taking the afternoon off! Good for you and me!
 

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