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Your Cheapskates Club Newsletter: 06:10 Bright ideas to save you money
     In This Newsletter

1. Cath's Corner
2.In the Tip Store -  A Valentine's Posy,  Mini Valentine's Cakes, Love Coupons
3. Cheapskate's Winning Tip -  A Switch to Once-a-Month Shopping Saves $11,000
4. Submit Your Tip
5.On the Menu - Pancake Tuesday
6. Last Weeks Question - How to clean an 'egged' car
7. This Weeks Question - Ideas for a fete fundraiser
8. Subscription Information
9. Frequently Asked Questions
10.Contact Details

   Cath's Corner

Hello Cheapskaters,

Hello and welcome to all our new newsletter subscribers and Platinum members. It's been a particularly busy week here at Cheapskates Central, getting all our new members set up and of course keeping up on track with Spending Freeze month.  Even the best laid plans can go awry, read about how mine have on my blog.

It's been a very exciting week too. This week my very first Cheapskates column has been published in Woman's Day (page 73, dated February 15, the mag with Danii and Kylie on the cover). Can you tell I'm excited about it?  Each fortnight I'll share some fun and frugal ideas for living the Cheapskates way, this week I've shared some secret weapons I use to keep our home clean, fresh and happy.

I love once-a-month shopping! I used to shop every fourth Thursday night, Wayne and kids in tow. He would push the grocery trolley and I would have the baby in another trolley, with a toddler on either side.

Way back then  I had only two shopping lists (still do), one summer list, the other winter.  We had fresh milk delivered (the kids were all small at the time and we used a lot of milk) and I would top up the fruit and veg once a fortnight if needed. Once something was gone that was it until next shopping night. Shopping like this kept our total grocery bill for the four weeks down to $200, including cleaning supplies, toiletries and chemist. The only thing that has changed over the years is the amount I spend. The kids have grown and so have their appetites! Last year our average grocery bill was $109.87 a week, with five adults (the kids are all adult size now) in the house. 

I still shop once a month, although these days I'm usually on my own, no littlies in tow, so when our judges told me they had picked a tip about once a month shopping as this week's winning tip you can be sure I was excited.  Helen is a Champion Cheapskate, shaving $300 a month off her grocery bill. And best of all she shares how she does it in her tip "A Switch to Once-a-Month Shopping Saves $11,000".

From our email:
"Hi Cath, I love your book (Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing) and newsletter. I'm a full custody sole parent with a 3 year old daughter and no support from government so your tips really help me!  Thanks again for your great newsletter, Cath!"  MP

And from our Member Forum:
"This website has been an amazing resource on so many different levels, I just wanted to say well done to Cath and her staff for all their hard work and for creating this concept. I have implemented many of the suggestions made and honestly can't believe what a difference it has made to my day to day life, it has given me peace of mind, I wish I had discovered Cheapskates sooner." Marianthi

Our Spending Freeze sale ends tonight at 8pm. If you haven't already taken advantage of the great discount for Platinum membership (just $25 for the first year), then time is running out. Click here to join or upgrade your membership now.  I can't wait to meet you in the Member's Centre.

PS: Love our site? We love referrals! Send a note to your favourite newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, friends and relatives, and tell them about us!

PPS: You can read this newsletter and past copies on the website in the Newsletter Archive.

2    From the Tip Store

A Valentine's Posy
Make the flowers from tissues. Use white tissues and concertina fold them, then fold in half lengthways and tie off at the fold (use a bread tag or a twist tie). Carefully spread the layers of tissue out to resemble carnations. Take a red felt pen and very carefully draw around the edge of the tissue, letting
the felt pen bleed into the tissue. Gather them together into a bunch and use a piece of string or florists wire to tie them together. Cut a slit in the centre of a doyley and slip the stems through to form a posy.
Contributed by Natalie, Carnegie

Mini Valentine's Cakes
Make mini Valentines cakes. Use a butter cake mix and make them in muffin tins. Put a marble in the centre of each indentation, pour some cake mix into patty cases and pop on top of the marble. Bake in the usual way. When you turn the cakes out, carefully take the patty case off and when you turn them over you will mini heart shaped cakes. Ice with white icing and quickly dip in red jelly crystals
before the icing sets.
From the Tip Store: Special Occasions: Valentines Day

Love Coupons
What about "love coupons"? You can print them yourself and each coupon can be redeemed for something special the vouchers that can be redeemed throughout the year. They might include:
One back rub
Breakfast in bed
One get out of the dishes
A child-free shopping spree
A car wash and polish
Lunches for a week
One neck massage
One scented bath
One free lawn mowing session
One free car wash
One foot massage
One weekend of videos of your choice
One picnic in the park
A weekend rendezvous for two
From the Tip Store: Special Occasions: Valentines Day

There are 8,060 other great money, time and energy saving tips in the Tip Store.

3    Cheapskates Tip of the Week

This week's winning tip is from Helen Nicholson.  Helen is already a Platinum member of the Cheapskates Club so her membership has been extended by  one year membership for submitting a winning tip.

A Switch to Once-a-Month Shopping Saves $11,000
Approximate $ Savings:    Over $300/month
I know it may sound insane to say we only go grocery shopping once a month, but when our third child was born nearly 3 years ago, it just got too painful to lug everyone to the supermarket every week or even fortnight. We decided to set ourselves the challenge (or relief!) of only shopping every 4 weeks and have been surprised to have consistently shaved our grocery bill from over $1200 per month to around $900 each month (for nearly 3 years - nearly $11,000! Wohoo!) We are still allowed to buy milk, as I just don't like powdered milk, but that's a short walk to the corner shop, so doesn't add to our fuel bill. We're also allowed to buy salad when the chickens have raided the garden, but I find it's easy to buy fruit for 4 weeks in advance. We usually eat most of the bananas the first week, then the rockmelon usually needs focussing on 2nd week, the watermelon usually makes it to the 3rd week, and by the fourth week, everyone is keen for the apples and other 'stayers' in the bottom of the crisper. (We get other fruit, too, I'm just trying to give you an idea of how to make things last.) We make sure we include rations of junk food for the month, but overall eat less junk than we used to (the kids have learned that once those 4 packets of scotch fingers are gone, there's no more until next shop!) and apart from having to push two trolleys instead of one, it really doesn't take us much longer (and that's before you factor in how many times you'd have to drive back and forth normally!) Admittedly, the checkout line can get a bit painful, but it's always painful with kids and one of us usually sets off with the first trolley (so we still get two petrol vouchers) and the kids while the other finishes up. When we have fallen off the bandwagon, e.g. when Christmas sneaks up on us, surprise, surprise - the bill gets out of hand again. The only other advice I can think of for the uninitiated is that you need to make sure you have enough space in the car to take everything home or be prepared to leave the kids at the shops :-) (I can't believe we've saved nearly $11,000!!! Worth it!) Good luck! 

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

The Cheapskate's Club 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!

4    Submit a Tip

Share your favourite hint or tip that saves money, time and energy and be in the running to win a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club valued at $29.20.

Remember, you have to be in it to win it!

Enter your tip here

5    Money Saving Meals

Pancake Tuesday

Next Tuesday, 16th February is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  Over the years it has become known as Pancake Tuesday because of the tradition of making pancakes to use up all the goodies in the house before Lent.  Shrove Tuesday is celebrated throughout the world in so many different ways, but I really like pancakes so Pancake Tuesday it is for me.

You can make pancakes for breakfast or add them to lunchboxes for a treat. They are a great afternoon tea and you could even serve them for dinner, rolled around chicken, beef, seafood or vegetables and baked in a sauce.

However you like them, this is a very simple recipe for light and fluffy pancakes. The batter can be made the night before and cooked in the morning for a special breakfast.

Simple Pancakes
1 cup plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1¼ cups milk
125g butter, melted
Strained juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup sugar
Lemon slices, for garnish

 Sift the ?our into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat in the egg and a little of the milk until smooth, then gradually beat in the remaining milk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter.  Use a balloon whisk to make this job easier if you have one. Cover the bowl and leave to stand for at least one hour.  Heat about 1 teaspoon of butter in a non-stick pan until melted. Stir the batter and pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan to form the pancakes. Cook over a medium heat until bubbles form on the top and the bottom is nicely browned. Flip the pancake and cook a further minute or until the top is golden brown.  Put the cooked pancakes onto serving plate. Sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice to serve.  

Instead of lemon juice and sugar, the pancakes can be served with ice cream topped with homemade pancake syrup or raspberry or chocolate sauce.  They can also be topped with stewed apple or plums and topped with a dollop of sour cream. Or spread them with raspberry jam and top with whipped cream.

Savoury Pancakes
1 cup SR flour
1 cup milk
1 egg, separated
Pinch salt

Beat egg white until stiff.  Place flour into a bowl, making a well in the centre. Beat the egg yolk, milk and salt together. Whisk into the flour, beating until mixture is smooth. Using a metal spoon gently  fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.  Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in the bottom of the pan. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into fry pan. Cook pancake until bubbles form on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Turn and cook top until golden brown. Remove pancake to a warm plate and place in oven on low heat to keep warm.  When all the pancakes are cooked, remove from oven and add 1/4 cup of filling to each one. Roll up and lay in a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with a little grated cheese. Return to oven to heat through.

Suggested Fillings

Saucy Chicken
1 cup  frozen peas
150g frozen broccoli florets
25g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup plain flour
300 ml milk
250g skinless roast chicken meat, cut into thin strips
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 tbsp grated cheese

Cook the peas and broccoli until tender. Drain, then roughly chop the broccoli. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 3–4 minutes until softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil, still stirring, then simmer for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, broccoli and tarragon. Spoon some filling onto the centre of each pancake, spreading it out a little, then roll up to enclose the filling. Arrange the filled pancakes in a single layer in a lightly greased shallow ovenproof dish.  Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Veggie Delights
1 large potato, peeled and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 large onion, peeled and grated
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup grated cheese

Heat oil in a large non stick fry pan. Add veggies and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until capsicum is soft and other veggies are cooked.  Place spoonfuls of mixture onto pancakes and roll up. Place pancakes in a greased ovenproof dish. Spread pasta sauce over pancakes, sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes in a moderate oven until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted.

Corn & Polenta Pancakes
¾ cup SR Wholemeal flour
¾ cup fine polenta
250ml milk
310g can corn kernels
Olive oil for frying

Mix all ingredients (except olive oil). Fry tablespoonfuls in hot oil until golden on both sides.

Contributed by Zara

There are over 700 other great money saving meal ideas in the Recipe File

  Last Weeks Question

Last week's question was from  Malcolm, asking for a way to clean the duco of his "egged" car.

Donna  Gillham answered
Being a sticky substance that has dried, I suggest you try eucalyptus oil to remove the egg. I have found it very good at removing old, dry, sticky mess from all sorts of surfaces. You should always test it on an inconspicuous area first though. Just tip a small amount of oil on a clean, dry cloth and gently rub the egg away, good luck. 

Megan Hall answered
What ever the answer you receive I would then go to the school and get the students to wash the car. If they are unable to remove the egg I would then get the school to pay for a professional car detail. I'm all for end of school fun but not at the expense or cost to other people. Some people in this world need to accept responsibility for their actions and it needs to start with schools and parents teaching this to kids. 

Margaret  Colley answered
Living in the bush I have lots of problems with bugs and grasshoppers getting stuck to the car. To remove them I mix 4 tablespoons of bi carb soda with enough water to make a paste, spread this over the bugs with paper towel and leave for about 1/2 hour. Then I wash it off with soapy water. I also use a good quality dust pan brush to wash car with as it removes more than a sponge but is non abrasive to the paint 

Anne Seccombe answered
When a car is 'egged' it actually causes lots of little scratches in the paint, from the eggshell. For future reference if a car is egged, wash it off immediately, then apply a towel soaked in a mixture of white vinegar and hot water in equal parts to the area for 15 minutes then wash properly. This prevents the white etching that can occur from the egg white. There are a few methods to help you fix this damage: 1. An easy way to remove very minor egg marks is by rubbing Vaseline intensive care lotion (or possibly some other cheaper brand, not sure) on to the stain, but this will only work for very minor damage.

2. Using the highest grit sandpaper you can find, soak it in water overnight (and make sure you keep it wet whilst using it) gently sand away the damage using a circular motion. When you think you've sanded the damage away (keeping in mind that the finer grit sandpaper will only remove a very small amount) you need to polish away any sanding marks with a high speed rotary polisher (an attachment for a drill). Finally use some pure polish to finish the process off and remove any swirl marks from using the rotary polisher. This method will work for minor damage.

3. If the damage is more severe: Using a high quality, extra strength paper towel (such as Viva) folded into a small square, spray it with brake cleaner fluid and very gently wipe over the defect. This will remove a small amount of paint so be very careful. If the paint is badly chipped you may still need to sand using high grit, wet paper. Now that you have prepared the surface you can repaint it - go to a panel beater with the car so it can be colour matched (there's a code on each car) and buy a small bottle of touch up paint. Last time I did this it only cost $5 and it's much better paint than what you might buy from Bunnings. The panel beater can give you advice about the best way to apply the paint, but it will probably involve a fine artists brush and a square of foam to blot the edges so you don't get an obvious line. There's also an interesting discussion with diagrams on the subject here: Good luck!


Do you have a question that needs an answer?
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Ask a question

 This Weeks Question

Lisa asks
"I've taken on the role as co-ordinator for the school fete at my son's school and am after ideas for stalls and activities that are popular and a good fund raiser.  Also any suppliers (especially for things to put in lucky dips etc). Thank you."

Do you have the answer?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Lisa let us know, and your answer could be published 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.

Click here to send your answer

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10  Contact Details

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Old microfibre bedsocks (most bedsocks are now made from microfibre) are great for cleaning smears from doors and architraves that are otherwise clean. Use them clean & dry; just slip one on your ha