Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce

Slash your grocery bill by living sustainably

$100 Budget 20/6

Instead of being frittered away on  unnecessary grocery items, my  hard-earned cash is staying in  my pocket. Here’s an example of how to trim your grocery bill  down without missing out on  much. Imagine it’s one of those  expensive weeks where  everything you need has run out  at once. Here are some actual  prices of middle-of-the-range  items randomly selected in my  local supermarket: Ordinary shopping list:

Loo paper 12 rolls, $7.99

Dishwashing liquid 1litre, $3.79

Laundry powder 1kg, $7.99

Spray cleaner, 1 litre $5.29

Toothpaste Max White, $5.59

Deodorant, $5.69

Mouthwash, $11.89

Shampoo, $7.99

Conditioner, $7.99

Moisturiser, $12.26

Bread – 10 @ $3.70, $37

Pet food rolls 3 @ $7 $21

Total: $134.47

Save money shopping list:

Loo paper 12 rolls Homebrand, $4.58

Dishwashing liquid 1 litre, home-made, $0.43

Laundry powder 1kg, home- made, $2.66

Spray cleaner 1 litre, home- made, $0.06

Toothpaste Yuk White, home- made, $0.68

Deodorant, home-made, $0.06

Mouthwash, home-made, $0.10

Shampoo, home-made, $0.45

Conditioner, home-made, $0.15

Moisturiser, home-made, $2.50

Bread – 10 Homebrand @ $1.49, $14.90

Pet food rolls at Matador Fresh (best deal in town) 5 for $10 $10

Total $36.57

I hear you shriek: I haven’t got time to make all those things myself. How gross, washing hair with baking soda. I haven’t got time to go to Matador Fresh to get cheap pet food and that Homebrand bread tastes terrible.

Well, it only took about five minutes to make all that stuff, my hair looks and feels better with baking soda than ever before, I get some great deals at Matador Fresh, not just on pet food, I like Homebrand bread and I’ve still got $60 left to spend on food.

Classes on making your own cleaning products at home are now running every Tuesday at 7pm or I will come demonstrate to groups of 10 or more people at your venue.

Just look at the money you can save.

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$100 Budget 6/6

The kids brushing their teeth

The kids brushing their teeth

The kids are revolting! Actually,  they’re rebelling and it’s the the taste of  the home-made toothpaste that is  revolting. I made the toothpaste myself,  for a few cents, using my new pal  baking soda, and must admit it needs a  bit of fine-tuning in the taste department. However, it does a good  job of cleaning teeth and after the  initial shock has worn off, even Danni  and Stevie will admit, your teeth feel  clean and white and your breath stays  fresh. And that is the main aim of  toothpaste.

Baking soda alters the pH in the mouth, making it less desirable for bacteria to hang out in there. So I’m sticking to my refusal to buy toothpaste anymore and I’m hoping we will soon get used to the home-made stuff. After all, you aren’t supposed to eat it.

Baking soda is also useful as a personal deodorant/talcum powder and body spray. Pre-budget, I bought some lovely talc ($20) and body mist ($15) from The Body Shop. I had a good think about what was really in these products for the price and I can’t really justify the amount I spent. It was really all about the fragrance. A teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil in 200ml of water produces a fragrant body spray for only a few cents. The deodorising effect of baking soda means most of us could also get away with this as deodorant – and ladies, a real advantage is that it doesn’t sting when you apply it immediately after armpit shaving.

Add a few drops of the same fragrance to a small shaker and there you have a deodorising powder that is also great to put into smelly shoes. Baking soda can also be used to wash your hair – and although it’s not what I’d call conventional, it works well and doesn’t strip the natural oils from your hair, which actually gives a better result.

All these quick and easy-to-make products are either naked or use recycled packaging and cost next to nothing. The hardest part is getting your head around the fact that you don’t have to spend much money at all when the marketing gurus have been brainwashing us for years and successfully convinced us that we need the expensive bought stuff.

Enrol for my lessons – they’re starting soon.

Hair Washing

Wet hair, sprinkle with baking soda, massage in, rinse out.

Optional: Rinse out with small amount of white vinegar before final rinse. Leaves hair looking and feeling beautiful and surprisingly, leaves no smell.


1 egg, beaten

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/ Mix together with warm water.

2/ Apply to hair and leave as long as desired.

3/ If this leaves a residue, rinse off with white vinegar, then water.


1 Tbsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

A few drops of glycerine

Peppermint Essential Oil to taste. (experiment with the amounts to get a taste you like. You can add a tiny amount of artificial sugar if you really can’t stand the taste)

1/ Mix to a paste in a small container and dip brushes in it. Should last one person about 10 days.


1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

500ml water

1/ Store in recycled Listerine container, because you won’t be spending money on that again. There is now one less plastic container in the landfill.

2/ Rinse out mouth as you would with commercial mouthwash, but at a fraction of the cost.

Smelly Feet Remedy

4 Tbsp baking soda

Enough hot water to cover feet in a container.

1/ Soak feet to dissipate odour, and bring comfort to your tender toes. Baking soda may also help with athlete’s foot.

Next week: How much could you save a week on groceries?

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$100 Budget 23/3

Slapped cents-less by the global recession, we’re counting on a strict weekly food budget to bring us back to our economic senses. In the holidays, our $100 worth of groceries easily lasted a week, making our goal of buying a rental investment property next year look possible. Then something happened: it was back to school.

“What can we take for lunch, Mum?” was the question of the week.

Staple lunchbox favourites of biscuits, chippies and yoghurts are now an expensive luxury. A pow-wow decided that a can of fruit is a healthy, easy and economic food item to plan lunch around. Just don’t forget the can opener. I thought the girls might get mocked at school for their tin of peaches, but apparently, it’s catching on.

But food wasn’t the only problem. Can you relate to the horror of the extensive, expensive school stationery list, an expense multiplied by the number of students you are buying for? Even before the budget, I dreaded both the boring hunt around the stationery shop to locate the 3B1 notebook or the 1E8 (7mm) maths book and the ensuing large bill. Strictly speaking, the back-to- school stationery items are not officially included in the grocery budget, but every penny counts.

I was intrigued when Danni, 16, and Stevie, 11, announced they had reduced the stationery lists to mere shadows of their former selves by recycling items barely used from previous years. They sifted through the art cupboard’s pens, pencils, half-used books and drawing supplies. The remaining stationery requirements became so minimal that I was able to throw them in the supermarket trolley and still remain well under budget for the week. Who knew an exercise book could be purchased for 29 cents? The grand total expenditure for a year 7 and a year 12 student was $5.11. It’s amazing what you can do if you try.

Next week: How our pets are faring on $100 a week.

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