MAKE packages – recipes, books and samples – are now available in Australia.
Amanda Critchley (firstname.lastname@example.org) is also encouraging franchises to get off the ground in Australia to spread the word that life does not begin and end at the supermarket. So if you are into more sustainable living, saving money, being healthy and reducing waste, check out MAKE Australia.
Learn more about MAKE Australia
Feeling the pinch in Canterbury?
Lesandré Paris can help you out with MAKE cleaning products and cosmetics classes available. Check out her fantastic website, aparisaffair.co.nz, where you can buy ready made products and/or arrange a class to learn how to save heaps of money in the new year. Get together with a group of friends and Lesandre will even come to your place.
I enjoy doing inspirational talks about our new fun and frugal lifestyle and have spoken to groups large and small all over the country. Recently Pauanui Probus group gave me a warm and positive reception. Interesting to see yourself through some one else’s eyes,so here is a summary of my presentation…. thank you Jill.
‘Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce’ – The first heading Lyn Webster thought of when she was asked to write about her journey from single mother to Farm Manager and consequently TV and radio celebrity eulogising the benefits of using good old baking soda, washing crystals, yellow washing soap and white vinegar to save buying all those home cleaning products we keep under our sink. It was an entertaining romp through her life over the past five years and full of laughter and positivity. Her rise to fame started when Country Calendar asked her to do an episode showing her life as the first solo mother (of two lovely daughters) as a Farm Manager of 130 cows in the Taranaki.
As the economic downturn hit her and her family she decided to keep her food bill to $100 a week – including buying meat from the supermarket, then reducing to $75 a week with meat off the farm. She started a column in the local paper, did some classes to the locals and then was asked on to Campbell Live. It all exploded from there and she now has an excellent website, pamphlets, recipes and is starting to write a book.
Everyone was very impressed and are having a go at her recipes. However, our President Alan was not impressed with the taste of the toothpaste he reports but the washing recipe is said to be a success. I have to say I was not looking forward to her talk as it has taken me 20 years to convince my husband that I need more than $100 a week for food but I have explained to Rex that wine is not food.
We are doing OK so far, but I predict this may get tougher as the weeks go by and the supplies get used up… here’s what we got in week 1/2 spent just under $70. Then week 3 where loopaper and batteries gobbled up a huge chunk of the funds, but we stuck to the$35 limit…. don’t forget I get free milk and meat from the farm… so that is a big help.
This is just under $70 worth for groceries mostly from New World.
Ten bucks worth of loo paper put the pressure on week 3 (and I bought some batteries which didn’t help).
So we only had $20 left for food and this is what we got….
Off grocery shopping today… with $70 to spend, hoping we will get most things on our wish list. Ham, bread, cucumber,butter,pasta, potatoes, wraps, raisins, salami, carrots, oil, cheese, eggs, fruit, creamed corn, and canned tomatoes. Some of those things in garden but not ready yet. I will let you know how we go.
The chickens were laying too many eggs so I let two of them sit on the eggs.Now the others have either stopped laying or are hiding them better than I can find, so I am buying eggs Grrrrrrr. Hopefully there will be some babies out of it????
We are trying to stick to spending $35 or less a week on groceries for two people. here are some examples of meals we had in week one. Day Four, hot chips and avocado dip for tea Day Five, snapper (yay) we were given a huge plate of freshly caught snapper. So we had it crumbed on day fiveand then fish pie on day six. The I finished it off for lunch on day seven.
One major rule of the low grocery budget is: never look a gift horse in the mouth (i.e. turn nothing down). Stevie made the banana cake so she had something for lunch using bananas that were looking a bit jaded (see Free Recipes). Day seven: steak and veges.
Opening Balance $35. Groceries purchased: nil. Closing balance: $35. We easily survived week one using groceries/food we had on hand.
Day One – Breakfast, toast and cup of tea, snacks during day,home made bread bananas,Stevies lunch ham sandwich and fruit. Tea, pizza on home made bread (see free recipes above).
Day Two – Breakfast, chocolate self saucing pudding (see free recipes above), snacks during day, oranges from tree. Tea, macaroni cheese.
Day Three: here is a typical breakfast and we had left over macaroni cheese for lunch. We usually snack on fruit or nut and sultanas.
How low can we go?
It is just Stevie and me at home now so I have set a new low weekly grocery budget of $35. This will include all food and pharmaceuticals (hopefully not need much). Here is the plan. Starting today I will deposit the $35 into my EFT POS account and use that money of we need to get anything. I will post what we spend and what on and also have a go at putting up what we consume and what is it costing. I will also post any money saving tips and recipes. We have heaps of food in the house from previously so I don’t think we need to go grocery shopping just yet. I will try to hold off as long as possible and maybe even let the balance in the account build up… or maybe that is wishful thinking.
Anyway here goes on the $35 a week grocery budget….
I am pleased and excited to announce I have a master franchisee launching MAKE Cleaning Products and Cosmetics, books by Vicki Lansky and Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce in Australia real soon. Franchises will be available for sale on Australia and we expect to see classes popping up all over the place soon, helping Australian families discover there are easy ways to beat the recession. We are in the process of personalising the ‘whole package’ – books, recipes and motivational budgeting summary – for the Australian market and planning to have the whole thing on-line and available for purchase before Christmas. Watch this space.
Every household should have a Baking Soda book. E-mail email@example.com to buy 500 Uses for Baking Soda for only $20 + p&p. 400 Uses for Vinegar book is also a big-money saver so you should probably get that too. Click READ MORE for a photo and direct link to e-mail for ordering.
These books save you mega-$$$$$$$$ every time you go shopping.
Don’t be ripped off. We use baking soda for just about everything cleaning around the house and for personal hygiene. Baking soda has replaced toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and soap in our bathroom as well as being used as an all surface cleaner and odour eater. Bulk stores like Bin Inn are a good option for smaller amounts of Baking soda, fill your own container for around $2-20 a kg. However if like us you want to enjoy the huge savings using heaps of baking soda brings, get it from a Rural Supplies store. I just got a 25kg bag of bi-Carbonate soda (baking Soda) from RD1 Waihi for $24-00. Less than $1 a kilo. That will last us for a year and we will not be buying soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant to name just a few. It is good for our skin, chemical free and cheap. What a winner. It’s empowering how much saving can be achieved with a little bit of knowledge. I sell Baking Soda books on this website for only $20 which will give you the knowledge you needs to learn how to save heaps using baking soda. And by the way it is also kinder to the planet. Go figure!!!!!
After missing the 6am flight to Wellington by about 30 seconds… I finally made it to Avalon to appear on TV One Good Morning. Talking about toothpaste,flowing soap,cloth nappies and the general benefits of making your own stuff. Checkout the link below right to see the video.
Many people have requested more detail on what we actually buy week to week to fulfil our $75 a week grocery budget. Of course we get whatever we want or need – providing the amount spent doesn’t exceed our self imposed limit. I an earlier column I listed a typical week and was amused to see it was very similar to a food bank parcel which had been published in a story on the front page of the local paper that week.
Since then we have stopped buying tuna on ethical grounds and replaced that with chick peas in recipes. Also remember we spend almost all of our budget on food items as most of our cleaning and cosmetic needs are catered for with Baking soda and the few simple recipes I make (see above to purchase recipes pamphlets if interested…. it will be $10 well spent.)
In our cupboard we aim to have the following and we top this up with the $75 a week budget when necessary. Toilet paper (40 rolls $9-99 from the Warehouse). We don’t buy pads and tampons as we have purchased the re-useable and environmentally friendly Diva cup. Ditto nappies – be use re-usable environmentally friendly cloth nappies. Cans of creamed corn, cans of tomatoes, pasta, rice, flour, raw sugar, baking soda, white vinegar, butter, cheese, milk (is free a bonus of being a dairy farmer as is fresh meat), chicken, fresh seasonal fruit and veges, (also we try and grow veges ourselves and pick fruit off trees whenever we get a chance), spuds, eggs (we have chickens but they are pretty useless), cooking oil, seasonings, pulses (lentils and barleys etc), chickpeas, canned fruit (ie: peaches and or pineapple), bread ($1-65 a loaf)…..
This is about it…. we are buying meat at the moment as we have just moved farms and haven’t got a beast organised yet… that is a bit of a shock,but we are using smaller portions and filling up with rice or pasta with the sauce/ gravy, so it is mince and sausages all round. Yum.
Maree Wrack is a Kiwi living in Australia and she has published this great book about living it up with abundance on less! Check out her website www.champagnelifebeerbudget.com (see link below right). Chapter 6 is all about how my family gets by on a low, low grocery budget!
Here’s what Maree has to say about her book … “It’s the easy way to gain control of your money and still LIVE IT UP! Full of simple, quick and easy steps on living a CHAMPAGNE LIFE on a BEER BUDGET™, this book is guaranteed to save you thousands! It shows you how you can have it all and have it now at a fraction of the price, and it’s not just about the money. It’s about your life!”
Here’s what people are saying about Champagne Life on a Beer Budget™:
– “It opened my eyes up to how I manage money and what I can do to manage it better.” – Jayne
– “I am in absolute AWE of what you have collected, collated, created… and produced!!! You deserve a Gold Medal.” – Janette
– “I’m now saving $100 a week on my groceries.” – Cherie
– “I’ve planned my bucket list for the next 10 years.” – Ian (aged 75)
– “A very good read … I’m saving $90 a week on my groceries.” – Steve
– “I loved the case studies.” – Cheryl
– “I’ve saved $2,000 in the first three weeks!” – Renee (new mother-to-be)
– “We’re off to Portugal for six months next year! The plan is now in place and I am currently going through every cupboard in the house using ‘The 5 Second Fling’.”- Di
– “I’m saving $175,000 per year! Pretty good for a $25 investment!” – Paul CEO
Champagne Life on a Beer Budget™ is for:
– Busy people working hard to get ahead.
– Baby boomers and retirees who want their retirement savings to go further
– People wanting to reduce their debt, save more money and simplify their lives.
– Gen. Y … looking for a simple way to manage their money.
– People who want to live it up but don’t have money to burn.
– ANYONE who thinks they should be spending less and wants to get more bang for their buck!
Maree has made a special deal available to international purchasers. Only AUD$24.99 plus AUD$6.95 postage and handling. (Buy on-line by clicking Champagne Life on a Beer Budget link on your immediate right.)
This is well worth a read – and not just because my website gets a mention.
The US has the worst record in the industrialized world for regulating toxic chemicals thanks to the stranglehold powerful corporate lobbies have on Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is concerning that millions of Americans may be systematically poisoning themselves with common household products, toiletries and cosmetics. In this article, the most dangerous products are listed, as well as providing links to databases that suggest safer alternative. It’s also essential for all American consumers to support the 2010 Safe Cosmetics Act presently in Congress which would greatly strengthen FDA oversight for a virtually unregulated industry (see http://www.safecosmetics.org/section.php?id=74 ).
At present, Americans are at a high risk from endocrine disruptors found in most commercial cleaning and beauty products. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen and other hormones in their effect on the human body. Many epidemiologists believe they are linked to the current epidemic of breast cancer, premature puberty, and both male and female infertility. However there are concerns about evidence linking other synthetic chemical to the big increase in cancer prevalence that occurred with the “better living through chemistry” revolution that occurred after World War II. What many people forget is that cancer was an extremely rare condition prior to the industrial revolution. The current epidemic of asthma in children – and its apparent link to the use of commercial household cleaners during pregnancy, is also extremely alarming.
Why is There a Frog Disruptor in My Toothpaste?
(from www.tree.hugger.com/files/2009/1/why-is-there-a-frog-disrupter-toothpaste.php ). The phthalates and bisphenyl-A found in plastic water bottles, pacifiers, and baby toys has been pretty well publicized. Many Americans consumers seem well aware that these compounds function as synthetic estrogens and that they cause feminization of frogs and fish, and possibly breast cancer, premature puberty, and low sperm counts in men.
There is much less public awareness that nearly all commercial shampoos, hand and body lotions, deodorants, toothpaste, and sunscreen contain preservatives that function as estrogen-like endocrine disruptors. The US bans only eight of these compounds. In contrast the EU bans more than 1,000.
The problem with widespread use of these products is that the harm they cause they cause to individuals who use them for years on end (and their children and pets) is compounded when they are flushed down the drain and accumulate in our waterways. Studies of indigenous populations in both the third world and the Arctic reveal they have a hundred or so of these toxic chemicals in their blood stream and breast milk even though most of them have never even heard of Right Guard or Colgate toothpaste.
One of the worst offenders is the paraben class of compounds (mostly found as methyparaben or PABA ), which is used as a preservative in nearly all commercial toiletries. The second most common is triclosan , found in numerous so-called antibacterial products, including the following:
Neutrogena Deep Clean Body Scrub Bar Lever 2000 Special Moisture Response Bar Soap, Antibacterial CVS Antibacterial Hand Soap Dial Liquid Soap, Antibacterial Bar Soap Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap Cetaphil Gentle Antibacterial Cleansing Bar Clearasil Daily Face Wash Clean & Clear Oil Free Foaming Facial Cleanser Dawn Complete Antibacterial Dish Liquid Ajax Antibacterial Dish Liquid Colgate Total Toothpaste Right Guard Sport Deodorant Old Spice Red Zone, High Endurance and Classic Deodorants Vaseline Intensive Care Antibacterial Hand Lotion
Other Toxic Skin Products
Even less well publicized are potentially toxic “nanosized” particles present in many popular sunscreens and so called “natural” mineral foundations. (See 2010 Friends of the Earth study http://www.aolnews.com/nanotech/article/more-bad-news-about-sunscreen-safety-nanoparticles/195001
Nanoparticle containing skin products are strictly regulated in France , Germany the UK and the European Union as a whole -” with laws requiring safety testing and mandatory product labeling as a minimum -” and an outright ban in some places. Nevertheless, the FDA, which has known for nearly a decade that many common sunscreens contain ingredients that accelerate the growth of skin cancer cells, refuses to act on this information.
Nanoparticles are absorbed into the blood stream through skin damaged through eczema or psoriasis, a major health concern as mineral foundations are specifically marketed to women to conceal unsightly dermatitis. In addition, mineral foundation powders are often accidentally inhaled into the lungs during application. Moreover preliminary evidence suggests that nanoparticles can even penetrate healthy skin to some extent.
The potentially hazardous nanoparticles in sunscreen are nanosized zinc oxide and nanosized titanium dioxide. Because there is no scientific data whatsoever regarding “safe” levels of exposure, any absorption is worrying. Zinc oxide nanoparticles have been shown (in very small concentrations) to kill brain stem cells in mice; damage colon cells; and play some role in the development of autism, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s – as well as crossing the placenta and potentially harming the developing fetus. Nano-titanium has been show to cause cell and DNA damage (both directly and indirectly by increasing circulating free radicals). Not only are these substances totally unregulated in the US , but due to lax labelling laws, 80 percent of sunscreens that claim to contain no nanoparticles are found to contain them. Women seeking truly “natural” mineral foundations should consult one of the websites below for safe brands:
Over fifty million American women, as well as an increasing number of men, dye their hair on a regular basis. Many start in early adolescence, resulting in cumulative, lifelong exposure to some extremely toxic substances:
Phenylenediamine (PPD) – present in over two-third of chemical hair dyes and by far the most toxic. Linked (in animals) to damage of the immune and nervous system, skin, liver and kidneys. Banned in France , Germany , and Sweden and use “restricted” in Canada . Resorcinal – classified by the European Union as a harmful skin and eye irritant and dangerous to the environment. Ammonia – irritant to skin, eyes, and respiratory system (can cause asthma). Peroxide – potential toxic effects on eyes, nervous and respiratory (can cause asthma) system. Can cause DNA damage, possibly leading to cancer. Banned in cosmetic use in Japan and use “restricted” in Canada. 4-ABP – linked to cancer
Many so-called “natural” hair dyes also contain some PPD, but in lower concentrations. As with other toiletries and beauty products described above, checking labels is essential, or better still doing a little Internet research to find a safer alternative.
Dangerous Chemicals in Household Cleaners
AIR FRESHENERS – usually contain methoxychlor, a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells, as well as formaldehyde, a highly toxic, known carcinogen, and phenol, a common culprit in contact allergies.
CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO – commonly contain perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen, and ammonium hydroxide, a corrosive, extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.
DISHWASHER DETERGENTS (number one cause of household poisoning) – commonly contain highly concentrated dry form of chlorine, which leaves a residue on dishes that accumulates with each washing and is absorbed into hot food.
FURNITURE POLISH – contain petroleum distillates, which can cause skin and lung cancer and nitrobenzene, linked with low sperm counts, anemia and liver, kidney, lung and eye damage.
LAUNDRY detergents contain the following chemicals (which remain as residue in clothes, as well as being released into waterways):
Petroleum distillates (aka napthas) – linked to cancer, lung damage and inflammation (can cause asthma) and damage to mucous membranes. Phenols – linked with damage to nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs (can cause asthma) and kidneys. Nonyl phenol ethoxylate – endocrine disruptor banded in Europe, owing to link to breast cancer, premature puberty and low sperm counts. Optical brighteners (convert UV light wavelengths into visible light, making clothes appear whiter without making them cleaner) – toxic to fish and can cause allergic reactions when exposed skin is later exposed to sunlight. Phosphates (banned in many states) – contribute to water “dead zones” by stimulating algae growth that depletes oxygen needed for fish and other animal life. Sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) – highly toxic chemical which reacts with organic materials in the environment to form carcinogenic and toxic compounds that can cause reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders. EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate) – chelating agent that biodegrades poorly and can re-dissolve toxic heavy metals in the environment, allowing them to enter the food chain.
OVEN CLEANERS – contain highly toxic and corrosive lye and ammonia with fumes that can damage the respiratory system (especially of small children and pets) and which leave residue that is vaporized when the oven is turned on.
TOILET BOWL CLEANERS – contain hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive irritant which can damage skin, eyes, kidneys and liver; and hypochlorite bleach, a corrosive irritant that can damage eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
Finding (and Making) Safer Alternatives
The best database for commercially produced “natural” cleaning products is http://www.mamashealth.com/doc/cleanprod.asp . Unfortunately, however, the majority of “natural” household cleaners are far too expensive for many families in the current economic downturn. An even better alternative is to make your own cleaning products and toiletries at home, using the same safe, inexpensive ingredients our grandmothers and great-grandmothers used (baking soda, vinegar, bar soap and washing soda). A family of four can save more than $5,000 a year with a food processor and a dozen or so fantastically fast and simple recipes. For more information go to http://pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz/