30 November 2006

Snow globe

Here you go - consider this a present from me - a snow globe.

29 November 2006

Kouta is the dancing king

It was a fun time last night watching four hours of dancing. It is wonderful to see commercial television so strongly supporting the arts.

I believe that Kouta is a footballer of some note and his many fans would have no doubt enjoyed his high leaps and synchronisation to Abba's Dancing Queen.

My only quibble is on the choice of music. When I am out there strutting on the dance floor I love nothing more that getting down to Farnsey belting out Sadie, You're the Voice or his lesser known hit - I Can't Dance to Your Music.

28 November 2006

Some frugal tips

With Christmas fast approaching it is time to make some extra savings.

My top three tips for this week are:
  1. Recycle old fluffy dice from the car and use as a toilet, shower and bath cleaner, or children's toy;
  2. Get your family to join a religious sect that has a weekly fasting day; and
  3. Purchase (or borrow from friends) four-ply toilet paper and split it into four separate rolls.

All great ideas to help you!

27 November 2006

Print your own money

From The Mercury:

Bridgewater police chief Glen Woolley says counterfeit $50 notes have been passed to a number of shops in the Glenorchy area during the past two weeks.
"With the amount of shopping that's going to happen between now and Christmas both customers and storekeepers need to be vigilant about making sure they are being handed real $50 notes," he said.
Looks like I will now have to do my Christmas shopping in a different suburb.

24 November 2006

Frugal Friday - Mashed Potato Fudge

Here's a good one to use up left over mashed potatoes.

Mashed potato fudge


3 tablespoons lard
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa
1/3 cup mashed potatoes
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
500g icing sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (if can be borrowed from next door neighbour)


In a microwave safe bowl, melt lard and butter in the microwave. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Add potatoes, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in icing sugar, mix and add nuts. Dough will be very lumpy. Knead until smooth. Press into a buttered tray. Cool in the refrigerator before cutting. Makes 64 pieces.

If you don't have any mashed potatoes, use peas. It will be disgusting but at least you won't have to spend money on potatoes.

23 November 2006

Big questions

Something to look forward to on WIN TV tonight:
Big Questions (35 mins, Rated: M) Genre: Entertainment
Elton John v Billy Joel. Australia v New Zealand. Batman v Superman. These
and other big questions will be discussed, debated and determined by a guest
panel of celebrities. Hosted by Jules Lund.
It's got to be Elton John every time. Billy Joel has no talent whatsoever and should never have won a Grammy.

I can remember when Elton married his wonderful wife in Australia many years ago. I felt so inspired. What ever happened to her - Renata or Renae???

22 November 2006

Global warming

I am wondering if anyone else received the same phone call that I did last night. I was called by the Department of Global Warming and asked to assist.

The person on the phone asked me to leave my fridge door open for the rest of the year so that Australia could meet its global warming targets. Apparently if everyone in the country leave their fridge doors open the whole world will be one degree cooler.

I did ask if this would increase my power bill and they said they would post me a cheque to cover the difference.

Sounds good to me!

21 November 2006

Looking forward to New Year's resolutions

It's time to start thinking ahead about how I can spend less money next year. With only six weeks to go I have been searching for ideas.

So far I have come up with:
  1. Stop buying fundraising chocolates from the kids' schools.
  2. Stop buying fundraising raffle tickets from work colleagues.
  3. Stop donating money to charity.
  4. Stop sending birthday cards to family.
  5. Stop giving to buskers on the street.
Based on this year's spending, these should save me a total of $2.50.

Any further ideas would be greatly appreciated.

17 November 2006

Frugal friday - ham sandwiches

A great idea to take to work. Make an extra one and sell it to a work colleague for $3.00.

Ham sandwich

  • bread (preferably day old bread that is cheaper)
  • spam (yes, it is still around)
  • use a sharp knife to slice spam as thin as possible
  • put spam between bread
  • put sandwich in recycled plastic bag.
This is even cheaper if you can get home brand spam.

16 November 2006

Christmas frugality

With around six weeks to go to Christmas, it is time to start thinking about saving money.

I will have to revisit my Christmas website and see what ideas I can recycle. With this is mind my first Christmas tip is to be green - reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce the number of presents you give, visit people and take back the present you gave them last Christmas, then give it back this Christmas, and finally, keep the wrapping paper and give the crappy presents you were given last year to someone else.

15 November 2006

How to save money on air conditioning this summer

Turn off the air conditioner.

Works for me every time.

14 November 2006

Never pay full price

I haggled them down to $45.

What a bargain! And now I have a spare Beta VCR in case the good one breaks down.

13 November 2006


Beerfest was a great day on Saturday - a great photo from The Mercury. If you look closely you can see me standing up the back on the right collecting someone's change from the table when they were looking the other way.

It was a great day. Turned out you didn't have to pay for any beer at all. My approach was to walk up to one of the stands, ask if I could have a look at the label on the bottle, wait until they served someone else and then walk away.

Very tasty and the right price!

10 November 2006

Frugal Friday - potato pancakes

Another money saving idea. This feeds a family of five as long as they are not too hungry. Usually one mouthful of this is enough for the kids.

Potato pancakes

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 egg
  • a quarter cup of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • salt and pepper

  • Wash, peel and grate potatoes finely (or mash). Chop onion finely and combine all ingredients together. Mix well, and drain any excess liquid. Keep this to make a delicious soup.
  • Spoon potato mixture into pan with hot oil and squash.
  • Brown lightly on both sides and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm.
Delicious! And cheap!!!

09 November 2006

Council hard rubbish collection

It's that wonderful time of year again when the Hobart City Council gets everyone to load up their footpaths and nature strips with as much rubbish as possible. There is always some great stuff sitting around just waiting to be collected.

The Salvation Army has complained that people are throwing out items that are still useable and they should get them instead. My advice to the Salvos is - get back in line!

Last evening I borrowed an acquaintance's (good on you Hubcap) ute and did the rounds of Lenah Valley and New Town. I managed to pick up a terrific couch, a Cliff Richard CD and a hundred bricks amongst other less useful goods.

To make things even better, I siphoned 20 litres of petrol out of the ute before I returned it.

08 November 2006

Lost and found

The newspaper is always a great source for making money.

The first two found advertisements show no appreciation of their bargaining power.

The third ad gets a pass mark from me.

07 November 2006

Melbourne Cup Sweep

Today is the race that stops the nation.

But don't worry, the public service will continue as usual.

Also as usual, I will be running our office Melbourne Cup Sweep. Entry is $2 per person and first prize is $6, second prize $4 and third prize $2.

I have been advised by the government (and TCC) that I can keep the balance to cover my administration costs.

My Melbourne cup tip was going to be Efficient, in recognition of the great job I do here at the Department. However, as he was scratched this morning, I have changed my tip to Pop Rock in tribute to the great Farnsey.

06 November 2006

Wine and food pairing

... or “What Goes with What and Does it Matter?”

From Wine Expedition:

Pairing wine with food, or putting it more plainly, choosing the “right” wine for your dinner table is a fearsome dilemma for some people and completely ignored by thers. Who is correct? Well, you are. Whether you are on one side of the fence or the other, or not anywhere near a fence but merely sitting down to dinner with a favorite wine, it really is all about you, and what you want to eat and drink.

I find that Queen Adelaide Chardonnay works best with chips and Matthew Lang Chardonnay is a better match for vegemite on toast.

03 November 2006

Frugal Friday - baked bean crock pot casserole

Always a great party recipe. Turn up with this at a friend's place and they will be so impressed they won't know what to say.

Baked Bean Crock Pot Casserole

Two large cans of baked beans.
Half a cup of BBQ sauce
A quarter of a cup of brown sugar

Mix everything in you crock pot and cook on low heat for three hours.

Even better - turn up three hours early at your friends place and use their ingredients (call ahead to make sure they go shopping and get them) and their electricity to cook with. Drink their beer while you are waiting.

02 November 2006

School counsellor

I can see some easy cash coming my way with the Federal Government's decision to hand over $20,000 for each school to employ a part-time religious counsellor.

The main trick will be to minimise the amount of work I am asked to do so that I can get as many of these jobs as possible.

For St Mary's, I will apply as a Muslim. For Friends I will be a Jehovah's Witness and for Hutchins I will be a Scientologist (wait a minute, that might be a bit popular judging by the number of Tom Cruise posters in the dormitories).

For Princess Mary's old haunt at Taroona High I will be a Catholic. Geeveston High is the trickiest school. I can't think what I could do for them.

By my calculations, that should be $100,000 a year for just a first time visit.

01 November 2006

The Arias

Who would have thought that it would take so many years before Human Nature won an Aria Award.

You guys really rock!!!

Especially when singing with Farnsey.