reduce waste with this kid friendly, clear-the-crisper curry

kid-friendly clear out the crisper curry2

It’s the end of the shopping week or fortnight, and you’ve got a bit of this and a bit of that left over in the crisper.

What do you cook to use up the dribs and drabs and reduce waste?

Here’s just one idea: a vegetable curry that’s delicious, mild and kid friendly.

Add whatever you have in the fridge, the freezer or the pantry to this curry.

Leftover meat? That can go in too.

Or keep it vegetarian if you prefer.

Spice it up with fresh or dried chilli if you prefer a little heat.

Chill it down with a dollop of cooling, natural yoghurt.

While this curry is kid-friendly, it can be very adult as well.

Want an easy, mid week cheat instead of an end of week, gotta-use-up-the-leftovers meal?

Use frozen veg instead.

I bought a bag of frozen mixed veg in Aldi the other day for $1.90. It was of New Zealand origin and included peas, corn, carrot, beans, cauliflower and potato. Half to one bag of veg and you have a very quick and easy, very cheap but healthy and tasty curry.

This is my little lady loving her vegie curry. My son however, is going through a decidedly fussy I’m not eating it! stage, even though he’s loved it in the past.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Kid Friendly Curry

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5 secrets to raising seedlings for better germination

How to raise seedlings for better germination | Frugal and Thriving

Purchased seedlings are easier and quicker to grow but raising plants from seed can be a satisfying way to take your gardening to the next level.

You have more varieties to choose from when raising seeds, you can plant and raise heirloom varieties, it’s cheaper than seedlings or even free if you collect the seeds yourself.

If you start your seeds in containers, you have greater control over water and fertiliser, you can get a head start on the growing season and avoid pests while your seedlings are at their most vulnerable.

Seedlings need extra love and care; they’re like babies, they need a good start and lots of comfort and codling to grow up to be big strong plants.

Starting seeds indoors or in your permaculture zone 1 allows you to easily give those babies the love and attention they need.

The kitchen windowsill is ideal if you get enough warmth and sun – that way they are front and centre, not to be forgotten.

The warmest place in our house at the moment is our bedroom window, so I’ve been seed raising on the bedroom windowsill, carefully hidden from the kids behind the curtain in fear of dirt throughout our bed. Read More

easy slow cooker pumpkin soup

Easy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup

Make an old classic that little bit easier by cooking it in the slow cooker.

Did you know pumpkin (pungkin if you have kids) is a berry! Part of the squash family, it originates from the Americas.

While pumpkin form a regular part of the Australian diet, it is not as common in Europe and the UK, where they are traditionally considered pig food.

And in America, pumpkin is more often than not served in a pureed form, albeit in just about everything.

(Pumpkin latte? Pumpkin doughnuts? Pumpkin ice cream? That’s some serious pumpkin mania).

You can make pumpkin soup in the slow cooker anytime, but I though I would share how we make pumpkin soup as part of our weekly menu plan.

When we’re preparing the vegetables for the Sunday night roast, we chop the pumpkin and onion for the soup.

Got lots of pumpkin? Cut enough for a Meatless Monday pumpkin frittata as well and pre-roast with your Sunday night dinner.

After the chook roast, throw the chicken bones into the slow cooker with water, a little salt and a couple of peppercorns, a small splash of apple cider vinegar and leftover vegetable scraps like onion peels, carrot tops and parsley stalks. Leave to brew on low overnight.

Some time the next day, strain the stock and put aside enough stock for the soup. Freeze the rest in batches.

Throw the onion, pumpkin and stock in the slow cooker and set on low while you’re at work or again, overnight.

Whizz with a stick blender, add cream and seasoning to taste.

Soup done.

The original recipe I use has 1 cup of stock and 1 cup of cream, but I like to use 1 1/2 cups of stock and 1/2 a cup of cream. This reduces the cost and the calories. If you like it more creamy, switch back the extra cream.

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Category: soups, vegetarian · Tags: , ,

47 clever ideas that make running a household easier

47 ideas that make running a household easier

Looking for ways to make your life that little bit easier and the household flow that little bit smoother.

Here are 47 ideas that will help you do just that.

Save time cleaning, cooking, managing paperwork, doing day to day tasks and managing the household finances with the following tips. Read More

fallen on hard times? negotiate your debts and get your life back on track

Get help when you're having trouble paying your debts

Anyone, any time can find themselves in financial hardship, even if you’re a super-star financial manager.

Things can be going along swimmingly and then illness, injury, job loss or a number of other situations can throw you a curve ball.

The debts you were managing easily, like the mortgage or car repayments, can then become difficult or impossible to maintain, either in the short term or the long term.

So what do you do if you find yourself in this situation?

What you might want to do is crawl into bed and ignore the problem, hoping it will go away. Or maybe stress and worry about how you’ll make ends meet.

What you can and should do is talk to your credit providers pronto and negotiate your debts on the grounds of financial hardship.

And you can also get help from a free trained, independent (based in community organisations) financial counsellor to help you through the process. Read More

Category: debt reduction · Tags: ,

easy diy floor cleaner that leaves your floor sparkling, naturally

Best DIY cleaner for sparkling floors

Ah Pinterest, you’ve made my life that little bit better once again.

I came across this recipe for a DIY floor cleaner and had to give it a try.

I’ve been washing my floors with plain old dish wash for years now. And while it does the job well enough, it’s not brilliant.

We have porous non-slip tiles in the kitchen and they collect grime, particularly around the edges, that’s hard to shift. To really get the edges clean, I have to scrub them on my hands and knees with a scrubbing brush.

As you can imagine, that rarely happens.

So I gave this recipe a go and was amazed at the results.

Grime gone!

No more grey, grotty ring around the edge of the kitchen floor!

I honestly didn’t think this recipe would do a better job than the dish wash treatment I always use.

You know that TV ad where the family gaze admiringly at their new roof? Well that’s what I did all day after washing the floor and seeing it so clean. It hasn’t been this clean in years!

This is made from ingredients you already have around the house: dish wash (doesn’t matter which brand), vinegar and washing soda, used for making your own laundry soap.

Here’s the recipe for the best floor cleaner (DIY or commercial) I’ve ever used:

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Category: cleaning · Tags: ,

how to shop the second-hand stores like an expert

how to shop the secondhand stores like an expert

There’s a knack to shopping in second-hand stores successfully.

Unlike big box stores, where you can walk in, get exactly what you want and walk out again, there’s an element of serendipity and creativity when op-shopping.

It can take time to find that perfect bargain.

When op-shopping I like looking for books, household goods, craft items and kids clothes and games. I do not have the knack when it comes to shopping for me, but then again, I don’t like buying clothes for me at the best of times. I’m in awe of those who can come away from op-shops with designer labels and trendy looks.

Op-shopping is a frugal skill to foster. The more you do it, the more likely you will find great bargains.

Improve your bargain hunting prowess with following 15 tips. Read More

Category: shopping · Tags: ,

switching to aldi to save? shop at aldi the right way to save more on the groceries

How to get the most savings from Aldi | Frugal and Thriving

If you want to save money on the groceries, you pop into Aldi to shop, because Aldi is cheaper, isn’t it?

That’s certainly what the ad promises.

The problem with shopping exclusively at Aldi is twofold:

  • they don’t always stock a wide variety of goods, meaning you usually have to finish your shop at one of the Big Two supermarkets anyway
  • they are not always cheaper.

I’ve written before that I’m not a fan of Aldi, but I’ve slowly come around.

The change of heart is because our local Aldi has finally started stocking things that I would buy. It’s no longer just rows and rows of biscuits, cereal and cheap electronics.

And it’s no longer out of our way to get there -  we drive past Aldi on the way home from kindy.

After a few tentative forays, I’ve now made Aldi part of our regular fortnightly shopping routine and we’ve certainly saved more money on our groceries.

But I’ve found that Aldi is not always cheaper. Here’s an example:

Wholemeal pasta is a lot cheaper at Aldi, even when San Remo wholemeal at Woolies is on sale. It’s also organic. On the other hand, regular ol’ plain pasta (which hubby and the kids ask for occasionally) is much cheaper at Woolies (homebrand).

Tinned beans and tomatoes are cheaper at Aldi, but dried beans are cheaper yet, and our local Aldi don’t stock these. I’ve found Woolies homebrand block cheese is cheaper than the Aldi brands.

These are just a couple of examples.

Assuming that you have to shop at both Aldi and one of the Big Two supermarkets to supplement your Aldi shop how do you get the most savings with the least effort? Read More

wake up to a hot breakfast with porridge in the thermal cooker

Wake up to Porridge cooked in your own DIY thermal cooker | Frugal and Thriving

Imagine waking up in the morning to a hot breakfast already prepared for you. All you have to do is stumble out of bed and dish up.

Get the health and money saving benefits of porridge cooked the old fashioned way (not microwave sachets) with the convenience of cereal in a box.

Thermal cooked porridge has changed our kindy days from a mad rush to a more relaxed affair.

I even get to eat breakfast sitting down!

If you’re wondering what on earth a thermal cooker is, it’s like like a slow cooker, but it cooks your food without power (aside from the initial boiling).

Pop on over and check out the post about how to make your own DIY thermal cooker here.

You can throw together a thermal cooker in a matter of minutes with items you have around the house.

Now back to the porridge.

If you don’t like the clag-like consistency of rolled oats, try steel cut oats instead. Add an extra 1/2 cup of water when cooking.

Or mix things up a little by substituting or adding some quinoa, millet, buckwheat, semolina.

Oats, and grains in general, are more easily digestible if they’ve been soaked, so if you like, you can soak the oats in the water during the day or for a few hours when you get home and before cooking.

As a side note, the yogurt pictured is blueberry. To make: mix some Greek yoghurt, frozen or fresh blueberries and honey or molasses to taste in the food processor. You can thicken it with gelatine (I’m still perfecting this part). It makes a great frozen treat.

The porridge is also topped with: blueberries, strawberries, chopped almonds and a drizzle of honey.

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Category: breakfast · Tags: ,

51 easy handmade gift ideas for father’s day that kids can make or help make

51 easy handmade father's day gift ideas that kids can make or help make | A Frugal and Thriving Round Up

Time for another roundup?

It’s Father’s Day in just over a week and if you’re looking for frugal and easy gift ideas to make for dad then look no further.

Below are 51 ideas to choose from or inspire you – some of the best ideas from around the interwebs. There’s something here for every dad.

I’ve picked out a couple myself for hubby – the kids will love helping make them (I won’t tell you which ones in case DH breaks with habit and reads the blog).

Without further adeiu, the Father’s Day gift ideas: Read More