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Your Cheapskates Club Newsletter: 32:11 Bright ideas to save you money
     In This Newsletter

1. Cath's Corner
2. In the Tip Store - Knitting Frenzy, Unique and Frugal Designer Prints, Save Money Before You go to the Dentist
3. Cheapskate's Winning Tip - A Book Buying Ban
4. Submit Your Tip
5. On the Menu - $2 Dinner Delights
6.Cheapskates Buzz - The best of Cheapskates member forum and Cath's blog this week
7. Last Weeks Question - I need a substitute cleaner!
8. This Weeks Question -  1. How to de-scale a coffee machine  and 2. How can I get solar film off my windows?
9. Subscription Information
10. Frequently Asked Questions
11. Contact Details

   Cath's Corner

Hello Cheapskaters,

Firstly, a big thank-you to everyone who has sent birthday wishes to us, we really appreciate them and we certainly didn't expect them. They have all been a lovely surprise. It's really nice to know that Cheapskates has touched so many lives and made such a difference.  

I had no idea all those  years ago that the choices and decisions I made on a daily basis would one day help other families live a happy, contented life while spending less.   One of the many ways to spend less is to gracefully accept the hand-me-downs passed your way.

But this can lead to other problems.  Often new Cheapskates find it hard to say no.  It easy to accept children's clothes if you have young children. All mums swap kids' clothes amongst their friends.  But what if you are offered more than you can use? Do you take them any way, because you feel if you don't you might not get any more offers?  

A lot of the "can't say no to free/cheap/used" whatever is that fear of not being offered or finding the particular whatever again IF we ever need or want it.  And this is when stockpiling becomes hoarding.

For a lot of older people it's a case of taking it when it's available because it may not be for long. I think this stems from the Great Depression/WWII when so many families had nothing, not the nothing we know today but really nothing: if they had the clothes on their backs and a roof over their heads then they were rich.

I have come to the point where I can safely say no to many of the things that are offered to me because:

a. my kids are older now and believe it or not just don't need as much stuff. They are at the point where they are looking at quality over quantity and learning quickly just how much quality costs.

b. we are also in the position now to be able to buy most things new if necessary. That would be when I can't find something we already have that will do the job, make something to do the job, find it on Freecycle or buy it second-hand.

As I get older I want less "stuff" around. I have been reading about the Amish recently and while I have no desire to live without electricity or my conveniences (there is no way I could live without at least the fridge, freezer and washing machine, oh and maybe the vacuum cleaner, oh and my computer) I do occasionally long for less clutter, especially as I'm dusting and trying to put things away.

I love the premise "if it doesn't make me smile it shouldn't be in my home" and I am slowly, slowly (the other four members of my household aren't quite there yet, but almost) getting rid of things I don't like, want or need.

Getting to this point has been a journey, my journey. We are all at different stages of the journey, with different perspectives on how we want to live our lives.

As long as we are content and happy with what we have and confident in the decisions we make then it is right for us at this time.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

PS: As it's our birthday month we are having a birthday special. New Platinum memberships are just $22! Click here to order yours.

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

2    From the Tip Store

Knitting Frenzy
Approximate $ Savings: $32   

I have fourteen grandchildren and mostly crochet / sometimes knit for them. This can prove expensive and we are only just retiring and therefore on a restricted, much tighter budget. On our journey back from a NSW holiday we called in to the Wangaratta Country Yarns Factory and I purchased pure wool (including Patons brand) for $27.50 per kilo. A huge range including bamboo yarns and cottons. Best of all you can order online and only pay $7 delivery for whatever quantity and wherever delivery point. is the web address.
Contributed by Margaret Mawson


Unique and Frugal Designer Prints
Approximate $ Savings: $50+
When looking for unique designer prints to finish off our budget renovation, I found that even the smallest prints were beyond what we were willing to spend. However, during my web browsing I found that designer tea towels are a fraction of the prices of the same design on a print. When I see one I like, I order it online and either frame it or stretch it over a frame that we make from timber off cut using a hand saw and mitre box. An easy weekend DIY job that results in designer art for tea towel prices! You can make your frame any shape or size to fit your design.
Contributed by Amelai Glazebrook

Save Money Before You Go To The Dentist
Approximate $ Savings: $320 for a Family of 4
When you make your annual dentist appointment, ask for an X-Ray referral and get your whole mouth X-Rayed before your appointment. Your dentist can view it before you get there, saving time and money. They can also compare to the previous years X-Rays. The cost is partly or fully covered by Medicare depending on you radiographer, ours bulk bills. An X-Ray in the surgery is $80-$100 per tooth, with NO Medicare rebate.
Contributed by Amanda P.

There are 9,809 other great money, time and energy saving tips in the Tip Store. Take a sneak peek at what's on offer here.

3    Cheapskates Tip of the Week

This week's winning tip is from Amanda Tulloch-Hoskins. Amanda is already a Platinum Cheapskates Club members so her membership has been extended by one year for submitting her winning tip.

A Book Buying Ban
I have an Amazon kindle. I love to download books for my kindle from the Amazon site - many of them are free, or only a few dollars. At the moment I have about 60 books on the kindle, and have read about 20 of them. I have paid for about 40 of them, some a couple of dollars, some up to $10. Even figuring conservatively, I have probably spent at least $300 on kindle books. I also have recently spend quite a bit on eBay - not a lot in individual bids, just a little here and a little there. Recently I decided that it was crazy to have all these books on my kindle that I had not read yet, and I also started to wonder just how much my little habit was costing me. So I instituted a ban for a month. No Amazon, no eBay. Not even $1 for earrings from Korea, or a $2 kindle book. Zip, nada. Two weeks in and I have not spend a cent. So I decided to check my credit card balance - we have a Visa Debit as a part of my salary packaging for work, so the money that is on there is all mine. Imagine my surprise to find that I have saved over $200 in two weeks just by not spending on those two websites. *gasp**cough**choke* Just by changing a habit that I thought was 'little' I have saved $200 this fortnight. Note to self - think before I spend from now on. And continue my spending ban.

Congratulations Amanda, 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

$2 Dinners
It's getting harder and harder to feed the family and keep the grocery budget under control. The Bare Bones Grocery Challenge helps with that, and so do these yummy $2 dinner ideas.  Each of these dinners costs just $2 (or under!) to feed four! That's just 50c a serve, a real budget winner.

Baked Eggs and Ham
4 Eggs
8 tablespoons diced ham
60g butter/marg
4 tablespoons cream
salt and pepper
Heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Place 15g butter in each of four ramekins and melt in a bain marie in oven. Add 2 tablespoons ham to each ramekin and season with salt and pepper. Break eggs into the individual dishes. Cover and return to oven for a few minutes. When eggs begin to set add one tablespoon of cream to each ramekin. Cover and cook a few minutes more until whites are set and yolks remain soft. Serve immediately with a slice of bread for dipping and a cherry tomato and a couple of slices of cucumber for garnish (optional). I have used milk instead of cream and it works just as well but not quite as rich and creamy. This is a great dish I make when I want something quick and easy and I am tempted to go and buy take away!

Contributed by Deb Siney

Scotch Sausages
3/4 cup plain flour
herbs for seasoning
1/2 onion, grated
500g roll of sausage mince

Make a batter out of the flour, herbs, onion and milk. Using a fork, add the sausage mince. The batter will be quite lumpy. Pour some vegetable oil into a fry pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot drop tablespoonfuls into the frypan. Cook until bubbles form in the top, flip and cook a further two minutes or until the sausages are golden brown on both sides and the batter has cooked through. Serve with veggies and gravy.

Contributed by Catherine Allan

Curried Chickpeas and Rice
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
3 - 4 tomatoes chopped (or 400g can chopped tomatoes)
1/2 red capsicum, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup vegetable stock made with stock cube
salt and pepper
1 cup rice

Spray frypan with cooking spray. Sauté onion, fresh tomatoes and capsicum until soft. Add curry powder, cook 1 minute. If using canned tomatoes add here. Add chickpeas, 1/2 cup vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile cook rice. Serve with fresh coriander if desired. 

Contributed by Michelle

There are more $2 dinner ideas in the Recipe File. We've had a Bare Bones Grocery Challenge since February 2003, saving Cheapskaters thousands of dollars over the years. The Bare Bones Grocery Challenge e-book also has some simple, tasty recipes and a shopping list that will feed a family of four three meals a day for a week for under $30! You can get your copy here.

Do you have a $2 dinner recipe? Share it with us here, we can't wait to try it. 

 6  Cheapskates Buzz

This week's hot forum topics:

The Gardening Challenge

Mid Year Savings revolution update

The What's for dinner recipe challenge


Most popular blog posts this week

You've got it Margaret, by George you've got it!

Three dinners from one roast

Can you feed a family on a budget with just a few ingredients? Yes you can!

  Last Weeks Question

Last week's question was from Tania, asking for a Cheapskates style replacement for the ArmorAll she uses to clean her car.  We have a lot of car-proud Cheapskates, here are some of the suggestions we received for Tania.

Vickie Roedel answered
A substitute for ArmorAll is home made, simple and cheap. Mix one cup of baby oil, a drop or two of dishwashing liquid and a 1/3 cup of water. You can mess with the amounts just put them all together.

Elaine Chapman answered
WD40 works wonders on dashboards and vinyl bumpers just spray onto a cloth then rub into dashboard , works a treat on leather too. and is a lot cheaper than ArmorAll.

Karen Brown answered
I have used Vaseline instead of ArmorAll for years now. Just rub a small amount onto the surface then buff with a soft cloth. You'd think it would be sticky but it's not. I was given this hint by a motor dealer  

Eve Lymnidis answered
If you are using the ArmorAll for the trims only (e.g. dashboard, steering wheel, inside of door etc.) I would suggest Aldi unscented 80 pack baby wipes, they cost $2.99 . I use them on my car and everything is clean and shiny. I only use about 10 each time. If they can be used on babies bottom with no problems why not the car? 

Julie Hawkins answered
Baby oil, it's cheaper, lasts longer and works well. We stopped using ArmorAll years ago because when it wasn't used regularly the vinyl or leather actually dried out very badly in a very short period of time. On advice from professional detailers we switched to baby oil and it does wonders for the car's interior. If you haven't used any type of interior cleaner/conditioner the oil will soak in on the first use but the more it's used the better the trim. A small amount on a soft cloth goes a long way. Also the better the quality of the oil the better the result. Note that baby oil doesn't work on plastic dashboards and on some cars it can produce an oily residue on the windscreen if left in the sun for long periods. This does come off easily with window cleaner or a vinegar spray.  

Jennie Deasey answered
I use a microfibre cloth with eucalyptus oil and warm soapy water, you can dry off with another microfibre cloth it too wet (but shouldn't be). ArmorAll gives off a haze in the heat and makes the windows dirty and hard to clean. 

Brydie Maro answered
Hi Tania - my first (and cheapest!) answer will be: stop using ArmorAll! This product actually tends to dry out vinyl surfaces in the car resulting in cracking in the long run! And it leaves a "fog" on the inside of the windows which means more cleaning! The best thing to clean the inside of the car is a damp cloth (like your chamois) to remove dust and marks (you can use a slightly soapy mix if there are stubborn marks) and then dry off with a clean dry terry cloth (old cloth nappies are the best). If you really want to "protect" the vinyl you can get silicone spray from SuperCheap or Autobarn (it is cheaper than ArmorAll). Spray this into your cloth until dampened and wipe over surfaces for a nice sheen and protection without "drying" and fogging - you'll find you only have to do it every few months. We live in the tropics and we do all the outside parts of our cars with this as well - it protects against fading/cracking on rubber and vinyl and gives it a nice waterproofing coat for the wet season. Hope this helps! 

Do you have a question that needs an answer?
Send us your question and receive the combined knowledge of your fellow Cheapskates to solve your problem!

Ask a question

 This Weeks Question

We have two questions this week. If you have an answer for one or both, please send them to us, then look for your answer in next weeks newsletter.

Anthony asks
"Could someone help me with frugal, easy solutions for de-scaling an automatic coffee machine?"

Click here if you have a solution for Anthony.

Ann asks
"Does anyone know how to remove the tinted solar film applied to windows to reduce heat transfer? They were applied 30 years ago. I have tried scraping off the solar film but a metallic residue is left on the window which I can't remove. Any help is much appreciated."

If you have an answer for Ann, click here.

If you have a solution for Anthony, click here.

If you have an idea for Ann click here.

You may see your answer in next weeks newsletter. You will automatically entered into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize.

  Join the Cheapskates Club

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Join the Cheapskates Club today

  Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my email address?
This one is easy. If you area Platinum member login and click on the Edit Profile button, then on Change Password. If you are a Silver member use the Change Your Address form (under Customer Service in the menu) and fill it out. Once you've filled it in click the send button and we'll do the rest. Please remember to include your old email address so we can find it in the list as well as the new one.

How do I know when my membership should be renewed?
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11  Contact Details

 The Cheapskates Club -
Showing you how to live life debt free,
cashed up and laughing!

Cheapskates Club
PO Box 4232
Ringwood Vic 3134

Join the Cheapskates Club... and take control of your money.....


PO Box 5077, Studfield, Vic, 3152 Australia

Our office is open: Tue, Wed, Fri from 10am - 2pm.


It's in the Recipe File, under Mixes.

Cath Armstrong (Cheapskates Staff)