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Free Newsletter August 26, 2008
If you want to win the Battle of the Bills (and who doesn't?) then the Cheapskates Club is the place to find the resources you need to plan your money saving strategies and attack the bill monster.

Each week we publish a free newsletter giving you the opportunity to sample what is included with a Cheapskates Club membership before you make the decision to join us and win that battle. Click here to subscribe to our free newsletter.

 Your Cheapskates Club Newsletter August 26th, 2008
1. Cath's Corner
Hello Cheapskaters,

Congratulations to all our Cheapskating Olympic Champions! We had 113 competitors over five events, with many brave and enthusiastic competitors entering more than one event, in true Olympic spirit. The successes have been amazing and I am so proud of each and every one. Well done, you are all gold medal winners as far as we are concerned. Keep and eye on your letterbox too, there's a surprise on it's way for all our Cheapskating Champions.
I knew we were a happy bunch! Thank you to everyone who emailed or called to let me know just how cheerful they were living the Cheapskates way, I really appreciate you taking the time. It put such a big smile on my face that it's still there. I think Noelle sums it up beautifully too.

"Keep doing what you're doing. I AM NOT AN UNHAPPY CHEAPSKATE, I love being able to save money where I can so we can spend it on the good stuff!  Best wishes to you and yours," Noelle

And a message from another very happy Cheapskates Club member
"A big thank-you to Sharon, Beaudesert who submitted a tip on earth friendly gardening pots in July.  I had just begun to plan my herb and veggie garden (I am the most amateur of gardeners) and was seriously considering buying heaps of jiffy pots.  The same week Sharon submitted her tip saving me lots of money which allowed me to buy more seeds and have money left over.  Thanks so much!  Look forward to my herbs and veggies now more than ever.  Cheers!," Bernadette

In case you missed it, here's Sharon's great tip again:
"I have begun growing my vegetable seedlings again (due to some spare weekend time and the growing price of vegetables). I used to spend approximately $45.00 on jiffy pots, $25.00 on peat pots, $50.00 on seed raising mix, and between $30-40.00 on different seeds (these amounts are usually spent every 6 months or so). Well not anymore! I'm now collecting newspapers and toilet rolls for use as seed pots. I get about 10 sheets of newspaper (one on top of the other) and cut them into A5 size pieces. I then roll them up around a toilet roll and whack a couple of rubber bands around it to secure it. Take the toilet roll out as well and it can be used the same way! Then I put these 'pots' into some polystyrene boxes, fill them with my own seed raising mix (made with 1/4 part commercial seed raising mix; 1/4 peat; 1/4 part sand; 1/4 part sheep poo because its less potent than the other poos) and put my seeds into these. When the seedlings are big enough, then the whole thing gets planted into the garden bed and decomposes. Not only does this save the seedling from shock but it saves me approximately $240.00 a year just on the pots and seed raising mix alone! Not to mention the savings on my own home grown cabbages, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, celery etc etc. So the savings are even more. This season I'm even going to master the art of seed collection and save myself more dollars by harvesting my own seeds ready for the next season."

There are 5,951 other great tips just like this in the Tip Store

Well it has been an exciting and busy week and it looks like this next week will be just the same, so I'd better get going.

Have a great week everyone and happy Cheapskating,


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PPS: You can read this newsletter and past copies on the website in the Newsletter Archive.
In this newsletter
1. Cath's Corner
2. In the Tip Store
3. Cheapskate's Winning Tip
4. Submit Your Tip
5. Last Weeks Question
6. This Weeks Question
7. Subscription Information
8. Frequently Asked Questions

2. From The Tip Store
Cut Out the Pre-prepared Foods and Slash Your Grocery Bill
Approximate $ Savings: $100

I have managed to save $100/fortnight on my shopping bill by cutting out buying packet foods and pre-prepared foods. I only buy fresh fruit and vegetables now with the exception of frozen peas! I also go shopping with my children! I have read a lot of people saying that you shouldn't go shopping with your children because they want everything etc. Well I find that if I have my children with me that it makes me shop faster and I only get what's written on the list. My daughter (she is 2.5) likes to "help" push the trolley whilst my son (he is 13 months) sits in the seat. We make it a little bit of a race and see how quickly we can get around the supermarket. I also have started buying a monthly "food" magazine from Woolworths called "Good Taste". I sit down once a fortnight with my little pile of magazines and plan my menu around recipes from there and basically only put on the list things that I need to add to the recipes. We are eating much healthier meals that are always different and are so easy and cheap to cook. They even have in the magazine the approximate cost per serve so you can work out roughly how much it will cost.
Contributed by Emma, Waverley

De-clutter and Cash Up!

Why have something sitting around for the 'rainy day' that may never arrive or keep things because they 'might be useful one day'? Why not de-clutter your life and make some cash? Go through all of your possessions and make a list of everything that you either no longer like or have not used in the last two years. Work through the list selling all of those things. Use garage sales and markets to liquidate small items and ebay or the trading post for larger or more expensive goods. After everything is sold you will have enough money to buy something that you like or need right now. My husband and I got rid of about a cubic metre of junk (I can't even recall what those items were!) and bought ourselves a killer barbeque that we use every day in summer.
Contributed by Helen, Blackwood

A Different Type of Birthday Money Round Robin

If you receive money in a birthday / Christmas card use some of that money to buy the present giver a birthday / Christmas present, that way you don't have to rush around looking for last minute gifts or scrapping together enough money for a present. Eg- last week my Grandmother gave me a birthday card with $25 enclosed, I then spent $10.95 of that money to buy her a birthday present & still have $14.05 left to spend / save for myself. By doing this I give myself plenty of time to find the perfect present & don't end up impulse shopping and spending more than I have budgeted for or want to.
Contributed by Katherine, North Nowra
There are more great tips in the Tip Store
3. Cheapskate's Winning Tip
This week's winning tip is from Denise Bergles. Denise has won a one-year Cheapskates Club membership for submitting a winning tip.

Homestyle Holiday Care for Kids
Approximate $ Savings:     $6,000 per year.
"I save over $ 6,000 a year on childcare. We are a group of 6 families with 10 school age children between us, with both parents working full time. Each holiday break including Christmas, we run a childcare roster. How it works is that each parent takes one day off work, could be annual leave or time in lieu in a 2 week holiday break or three days per family at Christmas. When it is my turn all 10 children come to my place. The next day it is another parent's turn, so all the children go to their place. Each parent packs a lunch box including morning and afternoon tea, so the host parent supplies only the house and minding. We first started doing this when we had our 6 children in Prep. Two years later we added another 4 (second children.) This is our seventh year running the program. As the children have got older, some parents have incorporated excursions i.e. one mum always takes the children to the cinema. On that day it costs bus fare of $2.50 plus cheap cinema tickets of $ 7.50. Once again each parent provides lunch and snacks from home for their children. Other excursions we have had include bowling, roller skating and indoor play centres. We also do free stuff as well, like doggy day care, craft activities, and cooking. At $300 a week per child for a full holiday program, I estimate I have saved over $28,000 in the last 7 years. The house rules of each house apply. And the parent in charge is the disciplinarian. Best of all, all the parents know and trust each other, so I know my children are being well looked after whilst I am at work."

Congratulations Denise, I hope you enjoy your Cheapskates Club membership.

The Cheapskate's Cub website is over 2,000 pages of money saving hints, tips and ideas. Let's get together and make the Cheapskates Club Australia's largest online hint, tip and idea library. Share your favourite money saving, time saving or energy saving hint and be in the running to win a one-year membership to The Cheapskate Club. We publish a Winning Tip each Tuesday, so enter your great money, time or energy saving idea now!
Enter your tip here
4. Submit your tip
Share your favourite hint or tip that saves money, time and energy and be in the running to win a one-year subscription to The Cheapskate Journal.

Remember, you have to be in it to win it!
Submit your tip
5. Last Week's Question
Last week's question was from  Bianca was looking for suggestions to eliminate condensation on windows during the winter months.

Rebecca from Goulbourn answered
When the condensation is bad at my house I wipe my windows over with paper towel each morning and try to let the windows dry out in the day time by letting the sun in. I also open the windows for a short while each day to let the moist air out. If you have a gas heater (which seem to be the worst offenders), leaving a window slightly ajar away from the heater can help. Make sure you always use the fan in the bathroom when showering and leave it running after you leave the room if it is still steamy in there, or open the window to let the steam out. If you're cooking in the kitchen use the range hood to vent the air or again open a window slightly to let the humid air out. Other than that, a company called Magnetite may be able to help - they basically fix an acrylic window over your existing windows by way of magnets, which then acts as double glazing, and can be made to fit any size or shape window. Their website is Good luck!

Su from Montrose answered
Check out the page from the TV series Carbon Cops for some ides - "There are several ways of retrofitting glazing, including cutting and permanently installing a second layer of new glass, making removable glass panels that can be lifted in and out of the window frame, sealing a new top surface across the window with heatshrink plastic or even taping on a layer of bubble wrap." Try:,, We have used the plastic film on our celestery windows with success. Good Luck.

Heather from Eglinton answered
Years ago we lived for a year in a rented house in England. The kitchen (obviously an afterthought) was a lean-to with an almost flat roof, no insulation anywhere, and cold as ice. I ran lengths of plastic film wrap from frame to frame across each window (not touching the glass), slightly overlapping each length, a little sticky tape holding it in position, and thus created temporary double glazing. The effect was amazing, the room was so much warmer and we didn't have any more condensation problems. When spring came and we wanted to open the windows, the plastic wrap simply pulled away.  When we returned from England we made more permanent versions of the cling wrap double glazing by making lightweight timber frames to fit each of the windows and stapling thicker clear plastic (Spotlight stores) across.

Megan from Moss Vale answered
We had the same problems with condensation as we live in the Southern Highlands, NSW. I have found the best way to stop the mould is to wipe the windows with vinegar as this helps to retard the growth and we bought a Delonghi dehumidifier. It cost about $300 but it has worked. It has a cut off valve when the tank is full so it won't overflow like some of the cheaper ones do. It's not cheap but we have found it is the only was to control the mould when you live in very cold conditions. I guess you have to ask how much is your health worth as living in mould can make you very ill and then you have bad health and lots of doctors bills. The water that is collected in the tank can be tipped on your garden.

Julie from Heathcote answered
We used to have this problem in Melbourne with very large floor to ceiling windows. We found the only solution was air flow. You will have to leave your windows just partially open during the night when condensation builds up whilst you are asleep. You will still get a little, but it will not be enough to cause any problems. Having your heating on during the day will be enough to dry the air, or if there is any sunshine around it will help also. Let nature take care of it and it won't cost you anything.

Michelle from Nowra answered
I had the same problem - wet windows and loads of mildew!!! I found that our family of 4 generated so much water vapour inside the house via cooking, showering (yes, exhaust fan on), breathing! In fact, every activity that uses water like dishwashing, mopping floors and doing laundry adds moisture to the air. So the challenge is to reduce water vapour inside the house. I started by opening the windows a couple of millimetres just during the day even with the heating on, this helps dry out the air (Tassie is freezing, but this really works). Then I bought a couple of 2kg bags of kitty litter!! I've never owned a cat, but kitty litter (from Woolies or Coles) is now made with "silica gel" like you find in shoe boxes. Silica gel is the secret ingredient - it absorbs loads of moisture, cheap and enviro friendly. I half fill ice cream & margarine containers and put them in all the wardrobes, I fill old socks and put them in drawers & hang them up with the clothes, I even fill small organza bags and hang them on the back of all my picture frames on the walls. Every morning I go around with a supersoaker cloth and dry up the bedroom windows, but some mornings they are dry!! I've stopped the mildew from growing back and feel much healthier - mildew is known to cause depression. I found a great site that explains in "laymans terms" all about condensation. Also a dehumidifier can help a dampness problem, very cheap to run apparently. Good Luck Bianca.

Sandra from Goolwa answered
To keep down condensation off windows, wipe with a little neat shampoo and wipe off with a soft cloth until dry.  This works wonders on the inside of car and coach windows so there is no reason why it won't work on the inside of house windows.  Give it a try.  Just a cheap shampoo is fine.

There are more answers in the Tip Store
6. This Week's Question
Maryellen asks
"I have a problem. My bathroom tiles are a shocking mess, they are badly stained because our town water has been very dirty. How can I remove the stains from the tiles without spending too much money on cleaning products."

Do you have the answer?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Maryellen let us know, and we'll publish your answers in our next newsletter. You'll also be automatically entered into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize.
Send your answer
7. Join the Cheapskates Club
For just 8 cents a day you can join the Cheapskates Club and get exclusive access to the Cheapskate Journal, the monthly e-journal that shows you how to cut the costs of everyday living and still have fun.

Joining the Cheapskates Club gives you 24/7 access to the Members Centre with 1000's of money saving tips and articles.
Click here to join the Cheapskates Club today!
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The Cheapskates Club -
Showing you how to live life debt free,
cashed up and laughing!

Cheapskates Club
PO Box 4232
Ringwood Vic 3134


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The tip listed on the 12th of November 2005, concerning a very effective cockroach bait also works extremely well with small black ants. Far better than Ded-Ant.