"Secrets to Saving Money" Free Newsletter - February 2015

This issue includes:-

  1. Sad Sally, Happy Hanna: How Nude Are You?
  2. February: Nudity Quiz
  3. Best of the Vault: Fresh is Best
  4. Best of the Forum: Back to Nature!
  5. Best Members' Blog: Being Organised Saves Thousands
  6. Mimi: Roasted Vegetable Salad With Spicy Sausage and Honey Mustard Dressing
  7. Rob Bob's Gardening Blog: Crook Plants and a Wander Through the Patch
  8. Penny Wise: Going it Alone
  9. From Last Month: Recipes Using Non-Perishable Ingredients
  10. This Month's Help Request: Secret Linen Business!

Hello!

We hope you had a fantastic January sourcing great local deals. Matt and I worked out we were still very happy with our local grocer and butcher but it was good to see what others had to offer. This month we're asking a very personal question about how 'nude' you are - you'll have to read on to find out more! We also say goodbye to Penny Wise/Jackie Gower in this newsletter and we wish her all the best. Thank you, Jackie!

I always love hearing your savings ideas and stories and tips! Here are some of my favourites this month:

"I joined Simple Savings not quite sure what to expect - I'd never been on a forum before! I was so surprised to see how friendly everyone was, and how helpful. I've already saved money on my bills and am about to do my first $21 Challenge. Thank you, Simple Savings - I'm glad I took the plunge and joined." (Lynette)

"Hi Fiona and Matt. I just wanted to thank you for your fantastic website - my daughter may have Facebook, but I have Simple Savings!" (Trudy)

Have a great month!
All the best,
Fiona Lippey

P.S. We have a new public Facebook Group. Check it out!


1. Sad Sally, Happy Hanna: How Nude Are You?

Hanna sipped her coffee at her desk while she scrolled through her emails. She yelped and put her coffee down quickly. "Sally? Did you just send me an email?" she asked over the desk.

Sally fought to keep a straight face. "Yep. It was from me." Hanna looked at her and whispered worriedly, "It has the word 'nudity' in the subject line. Are you sure it's safe to open?" Sally rolled her eyes - she loved getting one up on Hanna and this time she had her! "Of course it's safe. And, you're going to like it!"

Hanna gulped... she knew she wasn't going to like it! Sally was sitting right next to her now and she couldn't get out of this one. She clicked the link and sighed, "It's about food?!"


2. February: Nudity Quiz

The Nudity Test!

Have you ever wondered how nude you are? And I don't mean whether or not you have clothes on. I mean how nude your diet is. Well, it is time to find out.

From looking at people's different, shopping, spending and eating habits we have observed there are four levels of food nudity. We based these levels on the types of clothes the food is wearing. To help people evaluate their own habits and have a bit of fun, we have put together a little Nudity Quiz.

But first let's start by looking at the four levels of nudity. They are:

Tarted Up

You've heard the expression, 'mutton dressed up as lamb'? That pretty much sums up Tarted Up food. It's a subterfuge. Tarted Up food is so artificial and over-packaged that the original ingredients are no longer recognisable and you can't really tell what's on the inside. The Tarted Up diet consists of very little or no nude food. Food is often tinned, frozen or packet products. Takeaway food and drink also feature strongly.

Well Dressed

Well Dressed food is higher quality - but it still comes at a hefty cost to your pocket and the planet. Well dressed food often poses as nude food, but it isn't due to the resources that have gone into presenting the food. This category covers items such as gourmet paninis, posh salads and barista coffee. A good portion of this diet is still heavily packaged and disposable.

Comfortably Nude

Who wouldn't like to be Comfortably Nude?! Comfortable nudists have the balance right. Sure, the odd packet might make its way into their trolley and they may succumb to the occasional takeaway but on the whole this diet ticks all the right boxes. Comfortable Nudists know that real food is not only the best food but also the cheapest. They cook from scratch wherever possible and enjoy both the health and financial benefits of their chosen lifestyle.

Totally Starkers

This diet is as close as you can get to being completely and utterly nude in this day and age! Those who are 'Totally Starkers' are pretty much self-sufficient and grow as much of their own food as possible. Everything they need comes from the yard and they keep their own chickens and livestock. Supermarket visits are a rare occurrence and takeaway is non-existent. This diet - while being the most labour intensive - is by far the cheapest, healthiest and most eco-friendly way to eat.

Now you have read the levels. It is time to take the test...

Here is a link to the test. I hope you have fun doing it!

P.S. Don't forget to join in the fun in the Forum!


3. Best of the Vault: Fresh is Best!

Your challenge this month is to get nude! Take a look at your menu plan, shopping list and shopping habits to see how you can get more fresh ingredients into your fridge and cupboards.

Four easy-to-grow herbs

Herbs are very expensive to buy, so it's well worth growing your own. Here are four of the easiest herbs to grow:

  • Parsley grows very easily as a border along paths and can be chopped and frozen.
  • Mint grows well in pots near a tap. Lots of recipes require fresh mint so it's a good herb to have on hand.
  • Basil can be grown in pots or in a sunny spot in the garden. A good trick is to freeze basil in ice cubes for later use.
  • Rosemary thrives almost anywhere and even makes a small hedge!

Many other herbs grow with a minimum of fuss, but the four I have listed above will make a great start to your garden as they are used in cooking nearly every day.

Contributed by: Julie Chissell

Fruity ice adds flavour

My family has never been water drinkers as we don't like the bland taste. To keep our water intake up, we resorted to buying expensive bottles of flavoured water. Not anymore!

We recently had a baby, which means my water intake is very important, plus we must pay extra attention to our budget. So, I've come up with a way to still enjoy flavoured drinking water without the cost. We bought a few cheap ice trays from The $2 Shop and now use cheap fruit and vegetables to make flavoured ice cubes.

For example, strawberries were on special the other day. I cut them into quarters, placed a couple into each section of the ice tray and added water. The end result is pretty little ice cubes that clink delightfully in my glass of water - and the strawberry flavour is lovely.

We experiment with different flavours, like cucumber, lemon juice or blueberries. Sometimes we even use two different fruits in each ice cube. I love serving cool drinks to guests as I often receive positive comments!

Contributed by: Kallie

Start a buying club

We have started a friends' buying club and are saving hundreds of dollars on groceries!

Each week one person goes to the wholesale market and buys fruit and vegetables in bulk. They then separate the produce into boxes and distribute the boxes to the other club members. Every month, we also buy household products in bulk lots, such as shampoo, soap and washing powder. We then repack these products into our recycled bottles and containers!

We save over $200 per month on these simple purchases and we don't impulse buy as we hardly go to the supermarket anymore. It's so easy to do. Just get five neighbours or friends together, work out a roster and a few simple rules and start saving money.

Contributed by: Danielle

YouTube video shares secret to 'free' chicken

A simple YouTube video has helped me get a fantastic saving on buying chicken! We eat free range chicken, but my daughter loves it so much it has started to do our budget in. Just two chicken breast fillets at a total of 600g at $17.99 per kilo costs $10.79. Ouch!

In contrast, a 1.5kg whole free range chicken at $6.99/kg costs $0.28c less at $10.51. By using the techniques in this video, 'How to bone a chicken' I can get the two breast fillets I need, with the rest of the chicken thrown in for free! I'm sure this works equally well with ordinary or organic chickens. These days I buy four chickens at a time - and I'll never buy fillets again!

Contributed by: Silly Mummy


4. Best of the Forum: Back to Nature

For many of us, life is hectic and busy and cooking a fresh, nutritious meal is just another chore at the end of the day. Here are some ideas to kick-start your own nude food revolution!

The ho-hum of eating the same vegetables every day

It's just not Deliberate Creator who has a severe case of 'vegie boredom', but there are some great ideas in this thread to put some crunch back into your cooking repertoire.
read more...

The cost of convenience

Jenelle W's 'fritata experiment' shows us just why nude food is less expensive than 'convenience' shopping - great read, thanks Jenelle.
read more...

Using the whole bunch of celery

This thread takes a different look at 'waste' - definitely food for thought!
read more...

Spiced carrot salad

This quick, easy and delicious summer salad is a perfect example of nude food!
read more...


5. Best Members' Blog: Being Organised Saves Thousands

One of the many benefits of being a Vault member is that you can win $100 cash each month for your Simple Savings blog! Starting your own blog on the site is easy. All you have to do is log into the Vault, click on 'My Desk' at the top left, then 'Your Blog'. Then get writing! We love reading all your money saving trials and tribulations and really appreciate the effort that goes into each one.

This month's winner is Lil ol me for sharing her 'Once a Month Shopping' adventure!

"My BF and I took our first big step into Once a Month Shopping. I don't mind saying it was both exciting and a little scary. But when we saw the money saved at the bottom of the receipt, we were thrilled.

I scanned all the catalogues for specials, especially lunchbox specials, and wrote a list of all the items that were 40% savings or better or available in a reduced bulk pack. I then worked out how much we'd need for four to eight weeks, depending on the item. Some of the quantities were scary. Buying five of anything that is already a 20 pack is A LOT! But then a family of seven does eat a lot too! In total I planned to visit four stores, luckily all within close proximity of each other. I didn't bother with the 'what do we need this week question', it was all about what is super cheap that we use all the time.

Knowing we only wanted specials actually helped prevent any impulse buys, and having my BF possibly helped as well. ;-) All up it was actually quite a fast adventure; no wandering through the aisles as at most shops we only needed four to five items, just a lot of them. We did spend our entire weekly food budget, but we confidently know we don't need any lunchbox fillers, beverages, toiletries, cleaning supplies, washing supplies, meat and frozen vegies for at least a month. What this should mean is now we have the next three to four weeks to save what we normally would have spent.

In the end, we may have spent $322, but we saved $187, in just one shop. Whilst this isn't our entire monthly shop as we did have a lot of meat already in the freezer, even if we only save this much each month, that's an extra $2244 in our pocket each year, just by buying the same regular items on special.

I did get to enjoy another delicious saving today, just by knowing my consumer rights! A couple of days ago I went to put an item on layby for my son's birthday in February. I had done my research online and headed to the store that had the best price. When I got there, I discovered they had the better model advertised on a sign at the lesser model price. I asked for the better model at the advertised price, and was told it was a typo. I didn't bother arguing instore but took a photo on my phone to email their customer service when I got home. They were incredibly fast at responding and within 30 minutes I was given an apology and was able to return to the store to get the better model at the reduced price. I saved $30, plus the added bonus of a loyalty card giving me an extra 5% discount, so overall it was a saving of $40. I had my SS hat on, and instead of using the credit card, I put the item on layby, giving me five weeks to pay it off with no interest.

I always knew being organised saved you money, but never really embraced the concept until now. I'm sure if I wasn't so organised, I would have bought the same item two days before his birthday, paid full price, and used the credit card. Being so close after Christmas, I was also able to find clearance covers for the device reduced from $17 down to $2! Even more money saved, just by being organised."

Well done Lil Ol Me on getting organised and making some huge savings!

You can read more of our members' blogs here.


6. Mimi: Roasted Vegetable Salad With Spicy Sausage and Honey Mustard Dressing

Yummy, easy, colourful, healthy... what more could you want?

You'll need:

  • An assortment of vegetables to roast... I chose potato, pumpkin and carrot, cut into similarly sized chunks, tossed with oil and seasoning and roasted at 180-200C until tender.
  • Red capsicum, torn into large chunks, tossed with oil and seasoning, and roasted at the same time, until the skin blackens and bubbles.
  • Baby spinach or salad leaves
  • Fresh herbs, any kind
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Spicy sausage, for example, kabana, cabanossi, chorizo, black pepper and beef or Thai chicken, pan fried and sliced thinly

Then just:

Skin the capsicum, discard the skin and slice into strips.

Heat the honey for just a few seconds in the microwave to liquefy it, and add the vinegar and mustard, whisking well.

Set out your plates and add a layer of greens as a 'bed' for the vegies.

Toss the roasted vegetables and cooked and sliced sausage and divide equally between your plates.

Top with the roasted capsicum strips and drizzle with the dressing.

Enjoy!

You can get updates on Mimi's new blogs on the Simple Savings Facebook page

or in our Members' Blog section.


7. Rob Bob's Gardening Blog: Crook Plants and a Wander Through the Patch

A virus in the patch :-/

Plant diseases can be a persistent problem in the vegie patch if you don't get on top of them quickly. Luckily enough for us the most common diseases we have to face in the patch are powdery and downy mildew. Both of these can easily be treated and controlled with a simple spray made of bi-carb soda (baking powder) and water. Plant viruses are unfortunately a little bit harder to deal with as there are no effective treatments once the plant is infected. They first became an issue in our garden a year or so ago when we started to notice that the leaves of some heirloom tomatoes were not developing correctly. The same deformation of the leaves started to quickly appear on two lots of potatoes and a few eggplants.

The infected plants all had a noticeable symptom of a fern-like curling of the leaves. This severely stunted all growth and stopped any flowers forming on the fruiting plants. I was lucky that at the time I had a visit from a knowledgeable mate (cheers Sir Dave) who identified the cause of the weird leaf curling as a plant virus, possibly cucumber mosaic virus, although we never had an official diagnosis made.

Plant viruses are normally spread by sap-sucking insects like aphids, whitefly and thrips, as well as some leaf-eating insects, so it does pay to stay on top of them if you see them around the patch. I have read that it isn't a good idea to spray the plants for pest insects once a viral infection has been identified, the reason being that this will quite often make the insects carrying the infections flee to other plants, in turn infecting them.

There is no treatment for a plant once it's infected other than to remove the plant material and dispose of it outside the garden. I have included a link to a webpage/PDF download that has more information to help identify different plant viruses you might encounter in your patch, the plants they can infect and the means by which they are transmitted. This summer we've seen infections pop up in a few spots in the garden. The 'giant tree' tomato was the first casualty; from there it spread to a few nearby capsicum seedlings. We have also seen the symptoms show up in a few other plants like the celery and some potatoes down the back, again all located within a few metres of each other. Most of the plants have already been removed so I hope we have stopped or at least slowed down its spread.

After chatting to some gardening friends online recently (cheers Nathan & folks), I narrowed down the weird cupping of the leaves on the yacon to be most possibly caused by a plant virus as well. I think it may be the cucumber mosaic virus as it is known to affect many different types of plants but, as I said above, I haven't had any samples tested. On the upside, I got to do an early harvest and ended up with a few sweet yacon roots to juice and munch on.

I hope that helps a few folks that have come across similar issues with their plants but were unsure of what they were.

A wander around the patch

I thought I'd give you a bit of a walk through the yard in this blog, we have a few new plants on the go as well as a few upcoming changes we want to implement around the patch.

Bits out the front

I have let some of the beds out the front have a bit of a rest over the past few months so there isn't a lot going on out there. Most beds were given a bit of a feed with some stable scrapings with a few then going on to provide us mini harvests from volunteer plants which has been great. The asparagus bed slowed down its spear production for a while but has bounced back nicely after a few doses of compost tea (funny that). The spear size we are now getting is a lot smaller and would normally be let go to turn to fern by most folks. One way you can continue to get a small harvest from your plants once the spear size is too small for harvesting is to 'tip' the thin young spears once they reach a certain length.

I like to let them grow to about 600-800mm (2-2½') and then pinch off the tender growing tip. This way we can extend the harvest while also allowing the plant enough greenery to provide energy for the crown to grow and thrive. It also keeps the plant ferns from exploding onto the lawn. While the small tips look a tad scraggly they taste just as nice as the large juvenile spears.

The perpetual spinach in the bed next to it were knocked around by the recent hot weather.

We have been using the spinach as chook fodder mainly and will be sowing a few more to replace these plants. I am looking at turning this bed into a corn bed in a month or so after the other corn matures a bit.

The next bed has had the yellow cherry tomatoes removed as it was starting to look a bit scrappy and the production slowed down. Half a dozen field peas were sown out in there along with a couple of tromboncino (trombone) zucchini.

To get the bed ready for the zucchini it was top dressed with some commercial compost, then a 100mm/4" layer of aged horse manure and topped it all off with some mulch. The manure will not only feed the soil but will also keep the compost worms in the bed well fed. A mesh wire trellis will be added so the zucchini has something to climb on once they put on a bit of size.

Kira's bed is booming at the moment.

It's looking rather jam-packed with two volunteer Thai basil and LOADS of French marigolds. The Thai basil is covered in flowers and it won't be long before the same can be said of the marigolds. It has been great watching all the hoverflies and the different bees come in to feast on the basil flowers.

The next bed was planted out with some sweet corn a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the high temperatures we had last weekend knocked a lot of the new shoots off, so I decided buy some seedlings to fill the gaps.

With Sunday's temperature said to be reaching 38°C/100°F I decided to pop some small sections of shade cloth up over both the corn and zucchini beds. That way I won't have to replant then both again. ;-)

The next bed has a volunteer rockmelon pop up in the corner while the corn was in there. Since the corn was removed it has decided to take over the front corner of the yard including the bed next to it.

So far we've had two fruit ripen on the vine, the first one was unfortunately split and infested with bugs but the second was perfect. :-) I have a feeling that these are the offspring of a store-bought fruit as they are nowhere near as sweet as any of the varieties we have grown before. They do have a very strong rockmelon flavour though and taste great in the morning juice.

Bits out the back

Things out the back have been going a bit slow lately as a few of the beds are being allowed to rest for a few months like some out the front.

A first for us this year is using green pawpaw/papaya in salads.

It has a mild flavour and went really well in an Asian-style salad we made up the other night. It was definitely a lot better received by the girls than the ripe fruit we picked. ;-) I will be making up a green mango and pawpaw salad tonight to try out a Thai-style dressing. Far too hot for an Australia day lamb roast/BBQ methinks. ;-)

Bianca and I have also decided to remove the longest wicking bed in the patch as we are 99% certain that the reservoir membrane has been compromised and is allowing water to escape.

At this stage we will be replacing it with a series of smaller wicking beds that will all be connected to an auto top up reservoir which will make them easier to fill. I'm thinking they will be built along the lines of our Auto Top Up Wicking Barrels. I am contemplating plumbing them up slightly differently though so they might also be suitable to add into the aquaponic system at some point in the future. Before that happens we will need to harvest the potatoes and transplant the chilli bush from the bed.

One lot of plants I'm very pleased with so far this summer has been the spice plants. We have five stands of turmeric in various wicking gardens and barrels with all of them putting on some great growth. One barrel in particular has even managed to dazzle us again with some very beautiful flowers.

The flower on the left with the pink tinge to the petals is a newly emerged Madras turmeric flower and the one on the right shows how it fades into a green tinge after a week or so. We also have four types of culinary ginger around the patch as well.

The Kencur ginger is a low-growing ginger that has a rather stunning little flower. We haven't cooked with this or the Chinese keys ginger, as we are trying to grow enough rhizome to get larger yields next season. I am sure that a small amount will be set aside once the plants die back at the end of the season this year to go into a meal or two. ;-)

A fishy update

I have finally set the fish farm up the way it was meant to run a few weeks ago when the silver perch were removed and added into the aquaponic system. That left 59 Jade perch to split between the two fish tanks of this system. Between the fish farm and aquaponics we should be having a few meals of fish a week once they put on a bit more size, something that we are looking forward to. Might even pop a few in the smoker. ;-)

I did a bit of a clip showing how the fish were moved and also covered how much feed the fish are getting for folks that might be interested.

That's about it for this month. Hope you enjoyed the quick walk around the patch and that summer is treating you and your patch well. It is crazy to think sitting here in 36°C heat that we are only six or so weeks away from starting off some of our cool weather crops.

Cheers folks & have a great one.

You can get updates on Rob Bob's new gardening adventure blogs on the Simple Savings Facebook page

or in our Members' Blog section.


8. Penny Wise: Going it Alone

I didn't know what to call this post - 'Going on holiday?' 'Putting Penny to sleep?' I'm still not sure! Still, we'll go with this one. You may have noticed that my blogs on Simple Savings have been getting fewer and farther between. This is largely due to the fact I have been working so many jobs but (and this probably sounds a bit weird) on the rare occasions I had time to sit and put 'pen to paper', I just couldn't tune into being Penny any more. My own head was so full of stuff that I just couldn't think of a thing to say! It took a while to realise what the problem was but I can see now that this was the real me trying to get out. As soon as I realised what I had to do, the urge to write immediately came back again! And, what I need to do is give Penny a rest and let Jackie take over. I need to put my head down, bum up and get both Penny and me out of the financial mess we're in. And, not being one to do things by halves I am also saying goodbye to the budgeting ladies. They have been wonderful and I have been so lucky but I want to stand on my own two feet now and be 100% focused without - well, without anyone telling me what to do I guess. It's time to step up, do things my way and see how fast I can reach my goal.

So this will be my last blog as Penny, at least for now. The thing is, the real me still has a lot going on in her head! And, I'm a writer. I have to write stuff, I can't help it. I'm never happier than when I'm writing heaps, even if nobody else reads it. So the real me has started a new blog and you are very welcome to pop in any time. It's called Riches Have Wings and it feels like a breath of fresh air to me right now. I shall miss Penny, she was a bit of a sweetie lol but I like to think the new, more focussed me will have more to offer, both as a writer and a money saver. I guess time will tell! I'm sure I will still pop my head into the Forum now and again so it's not goodbye. I still know where to find you and now you know where to find me. :) If you would like to stay in touch with me or keep posted on how I'm doing in my mission, the best way is to 'like' my official Jackie Gower, Writer page on Facebook. I wouldn't have made it this far over the last couple of years without the help and support of all of you so please don't be strangers and I'll try not to be too!

See you all around. :) xxx


9. From Last Month: Recipes Using Non-Perishable Ingredients

Last month Cherie emailed us about ideas for non-perishable recipes:

"A group from our church wants simple recipes for meals made from non-perishable ingredients to give to families who find it a struggle after Christmas. Some ideas we had were pasta bake and tuna casserole but we'd love some more."

Thank you for your wonderful ideas for Cherie; here are some of our favourites:

Cream corn and corned beef make easy 'cupboard' casserole

Tinned cream corn and tinned corned beef make a nice casserole mixed together. You can also mix coconut milk and corned beef, add chopped onion and lots of spinach or any other greens. I base this dish on a Samoan one called Pulisami. Another good combination is a tin of green curry tuna and a packet of rice risotto.

Contributed by: Honora

Don't overlook meals from tins!

If you're looking for non-perishable meals, don't overlook tins! You can get non-perishable 'luncheon meat' in the form of tinned sausages, chicken and corned beef. You can have tinned mushrooms with rice, noodles or potatoes, as well as baked beans and creamed corn. Don't forget hard boiled eggs! You can stretch these meals with tinned soup, pasta/noodles and a dash of imagination to make casseroles, bakes and risottos. (From 'Cooking with Soup'.)

Contributed by: Doreen

Make a bake for goodness sake!

'Bakes' are a fantastic way to make non-perishable meals for camping or hampers for those in need. Think of pasta/tuna/cheese bakes!

Use macaroni (elbow pasta) for the best results and cook it as usual. Meanwhile make a cheese sauce with (powdered) milk, (processed) cheese and cornflour. Grate some extra cheese. Drain the pasta and put into a casserole dish. Open, drain and break up the tuna and mix into the pasta. Gently stir the cheese sauce through the pasta and tuna, and top with the extra grated cheese. Bake in moderate oven until casserole is hot and cheese topping is golden and melted. This is also nice with curry powder stirred through. No exact measurements, as you use what you have, but it goes a surprisingly long way!

Contributed by: Brenda

Delicious vegetarian meal - just look in the cupboard!

I have a vegetarian recipe that can use tinned/fresh sausages/hot dogs to replace the vegetarian ones. It's really quick to make, hearty and freezes well. The only real cooking is for the rice but packets of pre-cooked rice could be used (doesn't taste as good).

  • 1 packet of Sanitarium hot dogs OR 6 cooked sausages OR one can or jar of hot dogs
  • 1 tin corn kernels
  • 1 tin 5-bean (or 3-bean, etc) mix - the ones with no vinegar
  • 1 tin crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (more if you want)
  • 3 tbsp Ayam brand sweet and sour sauce (more if you want)
  • 1 and a half cups cooked rice
  • 1 beef stock cube (or more)

Method:

Slice hot dogs into 1cm lengths and toss in frying pan on low to medium setting.

Open and drain the corn and beans and add to pan, stirring lightly.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and sweet and sour sauce. Then crumble the stock cube over this and stir well to mix the flavours evenly.

Add cooked rice and stir through, allowing to simmer for a few minutes. If you prefer, you can leave the rice out of the pan and serve it as a side dish.

Serves 4

Contributed by: Xymonau

One minute meals from next to nothing

You can make a very quick and easy macaroni cheese using pasta, cream cheese spread and garlic salt. Just as easily you can make a tomato-based pasta sauce. You can cook a 'baked bean stew' with baked beans, dried onions, tins of tomatoes, peas and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve over rice. Yummo!

Contributed by: Sinders


10. This Month's Help Request: Secret Linen Business!

Siobhan has emailed asking for some help! She writes:

"I need some help with linen! I cleaned out my linen cupboard recently and sadly realised everything was mis-matched, poor quality and bought without much thought. For example, the fluffy white towels for our family of mechanics was probably a bit silly, as were the brightly coloured (cheap!) sheet sets that feel awful and don't wear well. It's time to do some shopping to buy replacements that will last, look and feel good and, well, spoil us just a bit! So I need your BEST ideas for linen - what brands to buy, what to look for, tips, storage, washing and so on. Please let me know your 'secret linen business'!"

If you have any pearls of wisdom you'd like to share with Siobhan, please send them in to us here.


11. Goodbye for Now

Well, that's your Simple Savings Newsletter for February and we hope you get a chance to do the Nude Food Quiz and see if you can make any changes!

Our members are hugely important to us and we love hearing from you all! So next time you're on the website, why don't you get in touch and say 'G'day'! Let us know what you would like to see more of in our newsletter or any suggestions you have for something new to try. We love receiving your clever ideas!

Don't forget to spread the love around to your family and friends too by forwarding them our newsletter or letting them know about our website. Help make their lives easier and save them money too! Or tell them about us on Facebook by clicking the like button on our Simple Savings Facebook page.

Remember: We also have a new public Facebook Group for you to check out!

Till next time...

All the best,
Fiona