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Get a bonus Red Nose Aussie Animal plush toy with every AUSTRALIAN BABY CARD purchased from Shop Red Nose this January!

Get a bonus Red Nose Aussie Animal plush toy with every AUSTRALIAN BABY CARD purchased from Shop Red Nose this January!


How cute are these Aussie Animal Plush toys? You can receive one for FREE for the month of January when you purchase an ABC Card through the Shop Red Nose site!

Pop on over and grab your ABC Card today, not only will you save money for your family throughout the year but you will also help save little lives, as every dollar spent at Shop Red Nose goes back to helping little ones.

ABC Baby Discount Card – save money and little lives!

http://www.shoprednose.com.au/australian-baby-card.html

 

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Is it really possible to feed a family of 4 on $50 a week?

Is it really possible to feed a family of 4 on $50 a week?

 

 

Is it really possible to feed a family of on 4 for $50 a week?

 

Feeding a family can be expensive, I must admit I am one of those people who takes a list with me to the shops but still ends up adding things to the trolley that I didn't intend to purchase < damn those m&ms. > With the average Australian family spending $204 a week on groceries and $35 on takeaways, it certainly all adds up (very quickly!)

My family spends about $280 a week including cleaning products, toiletries etc for 2 adults and 2 children. I was curious and sceptical to see if we could survive on $50 a week so I decided to set myself the challenge.

I discussed it with hubby and we decided the challenge for us had to include the following:

  • Each day had to include fruit and veggies, can be in baked goods or added to meals etc.

  • We had to feel full and satisfied after each meal

  • Food had to be tasty < husband’s request – haha! >

  • We still had to feel like we had takeaway on Friday night

  • Plenty of snack foods

 

I had my task set out for me!

I sat down and worked out a detailed plan of what each main meal would consist of as this would use up most of our budget.

I came up with the following meals. Please remember they are not gourmet but they are still tasty.

  • Sausages and Roast Veggies  

  • Budget Curry Sausage Pasta

  • Budget Tuna Bake with Hidden Veggies  

  • Budget Shephard’s Pie

  • 5 Veggie Pasties (Friday Takeaway)

  • Budget Spaghetti

  • Pumpkin Soup and Cheese Toasties

 

I then worked out our lunchbox, morning tea and afternoon items.  

  • Budget Banana muffins

  • Veggie slice

  • Pizza scrolls

  • Pear and Apple Muffins

  • Weet-Bix Slice

  • Pikelets

 

Breakfast consisted of either Weet-Bix or toast and leftover Weetbix were used to make slices. Weekend breakfasts we had pikelets/pancakes one morning.

Lunches were leftovers or sandwiches, basic fruit, apples bananas pears and baked snacks.

Afternoon and morning tea either baked goods, veggie slice or pikelets.

I purchased cheese, mince and sausages on sale and at the end of the week we had 1/4 block cheese left, 8 sausages and some bread and milk left, mainly because the tuna bake made for a couple of meals.

It can be done. You can survive on the food and while it’s definitely not gourmet, it takes planning and organising but it can be done.

We get that this won't be for everyone, no one wants to live on sausages and mince (although plenty of struggling families do). We also understand that not every family is the same and some families consist of teenage boys that will eat you out of house and home. Whatever your situation, you can save money.  

This is perfect for a family if you are in a tight spot perhaps your car has broken down, you are struggling to get your credit card debt down or you really want to go on that overseas holiday then this is a sure way to save some quick money.

A few things I learnt along the way or would do differently:

  • Meat generally gets marked down on Sunday nights.

  • A lot of know name brands are fine and still taste great, although I would invest the extra dollar or two in frozen veggies as I found the home brand veggies mainly full of onion and ice water.

  • If something is rotten or not right when you cut it take it back Woolies have a great refund policy, and on this challenge every bit of food counts.

  • Use leftover food to create baking goods, for example if you have left over carrots make a carrot cake slice

  • I would add yoghurt to the list. Although my kids got some calcium through milk, I still like them to have a yoghurt. You can also buy the large tubs of Greek yogurt and use in cooking as well, like this 2 ingredient Pizza base!

  • You can save more by buying in bulk, and planning your meals a fortnight in advance.

  • Plan your following week’s shop by anything you have left over in fridge so nothing gets wasted.

  • Buy tin goods or pasta sauces when on sale.

  • Look at anything you throw out with a $$$ value to it. For example, if you throw out 3 rotten apples think that is $1, you will soon stop wasting food and thinking of ways to use it up.

  • Use the odd bunch or mark down section in your local supermarket.

  • You can save even more by going to fruit and veggie market.

  • Kids don't have to miss out. A movie night with a 99 cent bag of popcorn is still a great treat.

  • ALDI have great cake mixes for 79c, perfect to make if you have to take a plate of food somewhere.

  • You can save more money by getting together with a couple other families and buying meat and other goods in bulk. Costco is great for this.

 

My Verdict:

I will definitely be using the occasional $50 weekly shop in future. I worked out that for us even if we did one week on one week off that our yearly grocery bill would go from $14,560 to$9880 with a saving of $4680 not bad really!

 

Hubby’s Verdict:

Hubby said he found the food tasty but noticed it was less basic then normal. He also missed his weekly roast. Once I told him how much we would save by incorporating the $50 challenge into our lives for only 2 weeks of the month, a roast  suddenly didn't seem so important anymore :)

We would love to hear how you budget to feed your family. It can be a big or small family, basic or bulk cooking. If you have something that works for you, why not let us know so we can share with all the mums out there.

We love a bargain and we love saving you money, after all  Australian baby Card was founded by a mum who simply wanted to find a way to provide discounts for other families, and after 12 years that's just what ABC does!

ABC can save families thousands a year, sign up here and start saving today!

 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping kids Healthy On A Budget

Keeping kids Healthy On A Budget

 

Let’s be honest, areas with a high amount of ‘child traffic’ are usually breeding grounds for common illnesses. Schools, preschools, public pools, and parks, are all full of germs that children pick up easily. All it takes is one common cold to wipe out an entire cohort.

As a parent it can be tough trying to keep your children away from these risky environments, and medical care can be expensive. So here are 6 top tips for keeping kids healthy on a budget:

1. Draw up an allowance

Creating a budget or an allowance to put towards child expenses is always a good idea. There can be many costly items that crop up unexpectedly so it’s important that you closely monitor your expenses each month. In terms of budgeting for your child’s health, set aside a certain amount of money regularly for fees such as doctors’ appointments or prescription medications. This will save you the stress of dipping into your savings when an emergency arises.

2. Watch their diet

Fruit and vegetables can be expensive but they are a very important part of keeping your children’s diets nutritionally balanced. Feeding them nutrient-rich meals packed with antioxidants will help their immune systems fight off whatever bugs come their way. But there are smart ways to do this, for example, buying seasonal produce. Fruit, such as raspberries and blueberries, can be extremely expensive when it’s not the peak time of year. You’ll notice that around spring and summer the prices tend to drop on certain fruits because that’s when they’re more abundant. The same goes for most products that are grown in the ground. Buy the veggies that are in season, and you’ll save yourself stacks of money in the long run.

3. Map out meals

Planning meals ahead of time is one way to keep across what your kids eat. If you map out your meals on a weekend for the week ahead, you’ll be able to tally up costs and see where you can make sacrifices or switch products for alternatives that cost less. Taking your budget into account, you should be able to recognise which products you can buy in bulk. A lot of healthy meals don’t tend to be very expensive (such as a stir fry or casserole) when you cook in large batches.

4. Vaccinations

This is definitely something that is down to parental preference but you can prevent many diseases for free by getting your kids immunised against them and most vaccinations are government funded for kids under a certain age. The immune system of a child is usually a bit weaker than an adult’s so it’s a good idea to look into this because a) it’s usually free and b) can prevent a huge range of nasty illnesses such as whooping cough or influenza.

5. Cover your kids

Investing in health insurance can be a money saver in the long run, especially if your children happen to be prone to illnesses or accidents. Health insurance policies for families tend to be the best option when you have kids, as you can cover everyone under the same policy and receive the most benefits at once. It also means that if you all happen to get sick and are wiped out by the same illness, you should be covered for many of the treatments available. Even the simpler things such as physiotherapy or dental cover can help you later on.

6. Get them out and about!

Exercise is one of the best possible ways to not only keep children healthy and maintain their weight, but also to boost and regulate their metabolisms and endorphins. If kids have been kept inside for too long, they can get a little manic so the endorphins help them to be calmer and happier, as well as getting their blood pumping. Worth it!

Budgeting and keeping kids healthy at the same time doesn’t have to be scary. With just a few simple lifestyle changes, you can ensure your kids get a healthy upbringing, without breaking the bank. Enjoy!

 

 

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CleverPatch - free freight offer - don't miss out!!!

CleverPatch - free freight offer - don't miss out!!!
Over 4000 craft products to choose from!
 
Simply order over $29.95 (inc GST) and quote the promo code ABCFREE12 to receive standard freight free*! 
 
ONLINE ORDERS ONLY! 
 
*Additional freight charges may apply to certain remote areas depending on size, weight and final destination of your order.   
 
Ends Monday 28th of November 2016
 

 

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Easy Chicken And Sweet Potato Pie!

Easy Chicken And Sweet Potato Pie!

Who doesn’t love a pie? I made this by accident one day when in the mood for some pie (pretty much I wake up in this mood most mornings) I was scrounging around the pantry and kind of threw it together and it was AMAZING. Try it, and then you will make it again and again and again I promise! This also freezes really well, so double the ingredients and make two.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of chicken thighs (diced)
  • 200g bacon (diced)
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 1 sliced onion,
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chicken gravox.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sage
  • 1 can if cream corn

Method:

  1. Brown onion and bacon
  2. Add chicken and cook until brown
  3. Add can of creamed corn
  4. Add diced sweet potato
  5. Add sage tablespoons of gravox
  6. Stir until combined
  7. Cook on low heat for 1 hour with the lid on
  8. Once mixture has cooled
  9. Spoon mixture into a pie dish and cover with one sheet of puff pastry
  10. Brush with some beaten egg and cook on 180 for 25 minutes.

Makes 2 pies 

 

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How To Tell When Your Spices Have Gone Stale!

How To Tell When Your Spices Have Gone Stale!

You probably have a section in your kitchen pantry dedicated to dried herbs and spices, but did you know that those spices can go stale?

Spices are something we use often, but without putting much thought into just how long those spices have been sitting in the cupboard for, they could be years old without you even realising. While old spices won’t pose a health hazard, they won’t taste anywhere near as good as they should, which means your cooking will be lacking in flavour. When spices start to get old they begin to lose their flavour, but how do you know if spices have gone stale? It’s not worth keeping old spices, even if it feels as though you are being wasteful throwing them away. The purpose of adding spices to food is to add flavour to the end meal, so there is little point using spices that have lost their flavour and fragrance. You will end up with a dish that tastes much the same as it would have if you didn’t add the spices. Whole spices, including cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, cardamom and nutmeg will stay fresh for 5 years if they are kept in an airtight container. These are the types of spices you grind as you need them, and they offer the best value for money given they have a longer lifespan than the pre-ground varieties. Dried herbs can keep for 3 years in a dry, airtight container.  Ground spices on the other hand will last up to 4 years provided they have been stored properly. Don’t be tempted to keep herbs and spices in the freezer as a way to keep them fresh for longer. The condensation will spoil them quickly, no matter how quickly you remove them and return them to the freezer after every use. Even steam from the oven or stovetop can cause condensation to form in the container, so definitely don’t store your herbs and spices near the stove. Also, rather than shaking the container directly over your cooking to add spices, use a spoon. This will prevent steam entering the container.

The quickest way to test if herbs and spices are still fresh is to take small amount out of the packet or container and rub it in the palm of your hands, as the spice warms up you will be able to test its freshness. If the herb or spice still smells fragrant then it’s still good to use, however if it doesn’t smell like much it’s time to replace it.

how to tell if your spices are stale post

Another way to tell if spices have gone stale is to take a look at the colour and texture of the spices. Vibrant colour generally means that the spices still taste good. Likewise, if the colour is bland then it’s likely the spices will taste bland also. Spices that started out green will usually turn yellow or brown as they go stale, and spices the began as a bright red will turn maroon as they age. Regularly organising your spice rack will help to make sure you always have still fresh herbs and spices ready to go at all times. All packets should have a best before date on them, but these can fade of plastic containers and glass jars easily. When you bring spices home, take a permanent texta and write either that date or the date you purchased the spices (no matter how long they will sit unopened) on the packaging. That way you can easily see at a glance just how old the spices are. Because herbs and spices don’t have an indefinite shelf life, there is not much point buying a gigantic bulk packet if there is no way you could possible use that much even over the next few years. Stick to packaging sizes that suit your usage patterns and cooking style. It might seem cheaper in unit pricing terms to buy the large pack, but it’s going to cost you more in the long run if you only use a quarter of the packet. So next time you are cleaning out your pantry do a spice check as well, that way you can be sure when ever you add them to a dish they will add the flavour they are suppose to. Do you check your spices often? What would be the number one spice you use the most of? 

    

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Here's your protein snacks for the week. - Boil 12 Eggs At Once In Your Thermomix!

Here's your protein snacks for the week. - Boil 12 Eggs At Once In Your Thermomix!

Did you know you can hard boil a dozen eggs at the one time in the Thermomix simmering basket?  <Amazing!

Eggs are high in protein and a boiled egg is a great snack to have throughout the day. We love hard boiled eggs as they fill us up more then say a piece of fruit does.

Boiling 12 eggs is as easy as this:

  • Add 500grams of water to  your Thermomix bowl.
  • Add eggs to your serving basket.
  • 18 Minutes / varoma temp / speed 2
  • And Wallah Here's your protein snacks for the week!

  What easy tips do you know using a Thermomix?

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22 Grocery Items You Can Freeze - Number 5 Surprised us!

22 Grocery Items You Can Freeze - Number 5 Surprised us!

Don’t let food go to waste, store it in the freezer instead! While not everything can be frozen, there are so many grocery items you can freeze that will come out of the freezer just as good as the day they went in. Stock up on freezer bags and ice cube trays, keep an eye out for bargains that freeze well at the supermarket and start filling up that freezer!

1. Cheese Cheese freezes extremely well. Grate the cheese and place in a zip lock bag to freeze. Add a little cornflour and shake before freezing to stop the cheese clumping together, which will help if you will be taking only a little of the frozen cheese out of the bag at a time.

2. Grapes Not only do grapes freeze well due to their high water content, but frozen grapes also taste great. Buy grapes at their cheapest in summer and freeze ready for the winter months when grapes are harder to find. grapes

3. Rice To freeze rice, just cook as normal and let cool. Then portion into zip lock bags, flatten inside the bag and lay flat the freezer. This is great for those nights you need dinner in a hurry, and is perfect for brown rice which can ordinarily take a while to cook.

4. Pasta Next time you are making pasta, cook extra and freeze for another day. Just let cool and portion into freezer bags. Perfect for serving with a quick sauce or adding to soups.

5. Potato chips and crackers Freezing chips and crackers is a great way to keep them fresh, and they can then be eaten straight from the freezer. potato chips

6. Milk If you have more milk than you know what to do with, it can be frozen in the bottle it comes in. When you are ready to use the milk, just let it defrost then give it a good shake before using, as the milk will separate on thawing.

7. Tomato paste Don’t let that big jar of tomato paste go mouldy in the fridge. Freeze your leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays then put into a zip lock bag once frozen. Measure the tomato paste and put approximately 1 tablespoon into each ice cube compartment, and you can just grab as many as you need at a time from the freezer. tomato paste

8. Juice Fruit juice freezes extremely well due to its high water content. If you are freezing in the bottle be sure to take out a little before freezing to allow room for the juice to expand as it freezes.

9. Bread Do you find your family only uses half a loaf of bread before the rest starts to go stale? Freeze loaves of bread as soon as you get home from the supermarket and pull out individual slices and defrost as needed. Other bakery items such as bread rolls, loaf cakes, cookies and muffins also freeze well.

10. BBQ Those hot BBQ rotisserie chickens you get from the deli department of your local supermarket are great for freezing. Take all of the meat off the bone, then divide up into portions and freeze in freezer bags.

11. Lemon and lime juice If you only need half a lemon or lime and don’t know what to do with the other half, try freezing it. First squeeze out the juice, then pour into ice cube trays to freeze. Store in a zip lock bag once frozen for perfect juice portion sizes. The same can be done with oranges.

12. Fresh herbs Fresh herbs can be very expensive so you don’t want to waste any extras that you don’t need. Chop up the herbs and divide between ice cube trays, then cover with olive oil and freeze. To use, just add the frozen cubes as you are cooking and let them defrost. Perfect for soups and pasta sauces. fresh herbs

13. Bananas Don’t throw out your bananas just because they are turning a little black. Chop then up and freeze in zip lock bags to be used for cakes and smoothies. You can even freeze bananas in their skins, then pop in the microwave, chop off the top of the banana and squeeze the insides out of the skin.

14. Ginger If you don’t need a whole piece of ginger, pop the rest in the freezer. You can then grate as much ginger as you need while it is still frozen. Just peel the ginger before freezing so that it is to grate.

15. Yoghurt Yoghurt can be frozen and defrosted again to eat as is, or frozen in ice block mould as a frozen treat for the kids.

16. Nuts Nuts are cheaper bought in big bags rather than smaller packets, so buy in bulk and put whatever you won’t be eating right now into the freezer, which will keep the nuts nice and fresh. nuts

17. Stock Store you leftover chicken or beef stock in the freezer, either in a zip lock bag or ice cube trays, depending on the portion sizes you are most likely to use. 18. Onions Chop up onions in bulk and freeze in a zip lock bag. Then, just take out a handful of chopped onions as needed and cook as usual.

19. Eggs Just whisk the egg whites and yolks together and freeze in ice cube trays, transferring to a zip lock bag and freezing for up to 6 months. Approximately 3 tablespoons of frozen egg is the equivalent of 1 whole egg.

20. Peanut butter Peanut butter freezes well due to the high fat content. Freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a clip lock bag once frozen. Other nut butters can also be frozen in this way.

21. Wine Do you have leftover wine after cooking? Since wine can be expensive and lose its flavour pretty quickly in the fridge, just freeze it for a later date. When you need it again, let it thaw out then freeze as usual. wine

22. Butter Butter freezes very well! Next time it is on sale, stock up and keep it in the freezer. Pull it out of the freezer when you need it, let it defrost and use as usual.

Do you have any other foods to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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8 Free Colouring In Printables, Kids Will Love!

8 Free Colouring In Printables, Kids Will Love!

Why buy your kids colouring in books when there are amazing free colouring in printables available online?

Never buy a colouring in book again, just print off these gorgeous free colouring in printables as you need them, and the kids will be busy for hours. These colouring printables also make great artwork to hang in kid’s bedrooms, that they will be proud to say they made themselves. If your children get bored with using pencils, try using other materials such as textas, crayons, paint, as well as sticking on sequins, colourful pom poms, googly eyes and anything else you have handy.

Ocean and seas animals colouring pages from Easy Peasy and Fun

These 10 sea animal colouring printables are adorable, including a turtle, an octopus, a jellyfish, a shark, a dolphin, a starfish, a clownfish, a tropical fish, a whale and a seahorse. Each printable also features the name of the ocean animal, perfect for younger kids learning letter recognition. kids colouring pages

Colour by letters from Kids Activities Blog

These fun printables are just like a colour by numbers activity, but instead kids use the colours that correspond with each letter to complete the picture. This is a great way to make learning letters fun. There are 5 printables, using the letters A, B, C, D and E. kids coluring pages 2

Christmas colouring pages from Crazy Little Projects

These 4 free Christmas colouring printables are perfect for helping kids get in the Christmas spirit. There are penguins, Santa, Christmas trees and snowmen to colour in. These will look perfect displayed by the Christmas tree. kids colouring pages 3  

Colouring in calendar printable from Itsy Bitsy Fun

This free printable includes a different colouring in page for each month of the year. Once kids have coloured the pages, these calendars would make the perfect gift for relatives. There are calendars to suit both the northern and southern hemispheres. colouring pages 4

 Owl colouring printables from 1Plus1Plus1Equals1

This free owl themed printable pack is full of owls to colour in, as well as a few owl colouring in based activities, including coulour to match and colour by number. This great set will appeal to slightly older kids. colouring pages 5

 Bugs and butterflies colouring page from Dabbles and Babbles

This bugs and butterflies colouring printable will keep any bug mad child busy. The bugs and butterflies look amazing when coloured with bright colours. colouring pages 6

 Dinosaur colouring pages from Learning 2 Walk

These 6 simple free dinosaur colouring pages are perfect for younger kids, and look great when coloured with pencils or paints. colouring pages 7

 Free Eric Carle printabels from Gymboree

What kid doesn’t love The Very Hungry Caterpillar? It’s a favourite in most houses, and kids will love these Eric Carl themed colouring in printables and activities. Printables include The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear colouring sheets, as well as connect the dots, mazes, memory games and create a world cut outs. colouring in page 8

Simply print out the pages and watch the kids be entertained for hours < in an ideal world haha.

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Help Save the enviroment with Hippybottomus Cloth Nappies!

Help Save the enviroment with Hippybottomus Cloth Nappies!

 

To be honest when I had my children I didn't even consider cloth nappies, the thought of using pins to secure a nappy sort of frightened me as a first time mum. I was one of those mums who was scared at first to hold my baby in fear of dropping them so I definitly didnt want t go anywhere near them with a pin. I talked myself into it being ok to use disposable nappies as I was also a busy working mum and would need the convenience of disposable nappies, and the time I saved washing would give me more time with my little one. Up until this point I only thought there were 2 options with nappies, disposable and cloth with pins.

 Then I  came across a business called Hippybottomus that designed cloth nappies that weren't only easy to use < button clips not pins, but they are also great for the environment.

 We tried the nappies and loved them instantly. My little one was a lot more comfortable in them then the  disposables. I had noticed that from time to time my baby would get a little red around the sides of hips where the sticky tabs where on the disposable nappy but using Hippybottomus nappies stopped this.

I thought that using cloth nappies would be a lot more work, but honestly it isn't and the money you save on buying disposables is so worth it. We were spending at least $30 a week on nappies. Now the money we save on disposable nappies we can use on other things for our little one.

I love that the Hippybottomus nappies comes in a load of gorgeous colours and are super soft and absorbent, but what I love even more is for every nappy you buy Hippybottomus also donates a nappy to a child in need around the world < how awesome is that! You can read more about their "YOU DONATE WE DONATE" initiative here.

Some of the awesome features of Hippybottomus are:

Natural fabric – against the skin is a layer of white bamboo fleece, which is anti-bacterial (& mildew resistant), has great ventilation, helps reduce odours, and is really soft. It is also anti-pilling and anti-fuzzing, so it washes really well. This fabric is far superior to the synthetic fabrics generally used in stay-dry nappies. It is also known to generate anions, which are very beneficial to bub’s health (they activate the bodies cells, purify the blood, help tiredness, calm the nervous system & improve allergies)

Stays dry against the skin – Bamboo micro-polar fleece has the ability to draw moisture away from the skin, keeping your baby dry and helping prevent nappy rash. All moisture is drawn into the insert.

Pocket design – a removable insert is placed inside the shell which allows you to separate the two parts for thorough washing and to speed up drying. It also allows you to add an extra insert or two of a nighttime to increase absorbency (meaning no midnight nappy changes).

Highly absorbent – each nappy comes with one insert which is made up of 2 layers of bamboo fleece and 3 layers of microfibre, which are both highly absorbent fabrics.

Waterproof – the combination of the layer of PUL (polyurethane laminate) and the polyester outer makes this nappy as waterproof as they come, so no cover is required.  From our previous nappies we have concluded that this is the best outer fabric in terms of containing moisture and preventing wicking.

Fast drying – the fabrics that make up the nappy allow it to dry extremely fast (1-2 hours with wind and sun and within a day if not).

One size fits most – each nappy can be adjusted to fit from birth (3kg) through to toilet training (17 kg) so there is no need to buy a whole new set of nappies as your baby grows. There are also two rows of snaps for a snug fit around the thighs and the waist as your  baby grows. The snaps are also nice and sturdy so won’t catch in the wash or wear over time like velcro can.

Easy – no folding or pins and no soaking is required (see how to use for more info) which make our modern cloth nappies just as easy to pop on as a disposable and really simple to wash (especially if you use a flushable bamboo nappy liner to collect the solids).

 Great price – one of our main objectives at Hippybottomus is to provide an affordable price whilst maintaining the quality. We do this by keeping things simple, doing all of our web design and marketing ourselves and by only taking a very small profit margin. As an Australian company we also offer quick and friendly customer service and advice.

We highly recommend if you have little ones in nappies to give Hippybottomus a go, you wont be disappointed!

Australian Baby Card Holders also get 10% off their order, view here for more details: ABC

Not An ABC member? Don't worry you can sign up here and start saving today! Sign me up please!

 

 

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Hidden Veggie Tuna Bake even the kids will eat!

Hidden Veggie Tuna Bake even the kids will eat!

This veggie Tuna Bake is a regular on the menu in our house, it is a dish that I know even the fussiest of eaters will consume.

I love that I can use whatever veggies I have in the house, I have made this with peas and spinach, pumpkin and sweet potato you name it I have used it. the trick is to make sure the veggies are blended or diced very finely so they are well hidden from little ones eyes haha.

Ingredients:

1 Pack cooked as per instructions Spiral or Penne Pasta

1 grated zucchini

1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin or sweet potato

1 grated carrot

1 Large Tin Tuna

500ml Milk

300g grated Cheese

2 Tablespoons White Flour

1 Tablespoon Butter

 

Instructions:

In a saucepan stir butter and flour together to make a paste.  Add milk quickly and keep stirring until sauce thickens up, similar to a white sauce.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Once thickened, add 200 grams of grated cheese, setting aside the other 100grams for the topping.

Add the tuna, zucchini, pumpkin and carrot

Add the cooked pasta and stir though well

Add mixture to a greased baking dish

Defrost the spinach in the microwave and pop on the top of the pasta.

Add left over grated cheese across the top

 

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes mins until the top is golden and crispy

 

Serve and enjoy!

 

Serves 6

 

Tip: Substitute the tuna for chicken if you are not a fan of tuna.

 

 

 

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Skinless Trifle Custard - Perfect For Christmas!

Skinless Trifle Custard - Perfect For Christmas!

If you are a bit iffy when it comes to the skins that form on dairy products then this recipe is for you. This Custard is perfect for Christmas pudding.

I found this recipe in an older guides baking book and it really works. You can pop the custard in the fridge and no skin will form on the top, pretty cool I think!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. corn flour
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Heat milk to warm temperature in saucepan, do not boil it just needs to be warm.
  2. Place the sugar, cornflour, plain flour and golden syrup into a bowl and blend with the egg.
  3. Add the egg mixture into saucepan with milk and reheat but do not boil. Stir until well combined with no lumps. The custard should be warm to touch but not piping hot.
  4. Set aside to cook then add to your trifle or refrigerate until ready to use.

Serves: 4

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This creamy cucumber salad is a lovely refreshing side dish especially in summer months.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers sliced 2

  • Sour cream 1/2 cup

  • Onion sliced in rings 1

  • 1/4 cup dill

  • White vinegar 1 tablespoon

  • Salt good pinch

  • Pepper pinch

Instructions

  1. Mix sour cream, white vinegar, salt and pepper together.

  2. Place Cucumber and onion on a plate or bowl.

  3. Pour dressing over the top.

  4. Serve as a side and enjoy!

  5. Sprinkle with your favourite spices for different flavours.

Serves 6

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Save Money With Our Top 10 Picks From Aldi!

Save Money With Our Top 10 Picks From Aldi!

Aldi is the perfect money saving alternative to the major supermarkets. With Aldi expanding in the very near future including stores opening in Adelaide and Perth, its a great time to discover just how much money Aldi can shave from your weekly grocery bill.

We have done the research for you, and listed our top 10 buys from Aldi that are guaranteed to save you money.

1. Farmdale Fresh Thickened Cream

A 600ml container of this fridge staple usually retails for at least $2.20 for generic brands, and $4.18 for brand names from the major supermarkets. At Aldi, its only $1.99 which is a significant saving even compared to the generic brands, let alone the brand names.

2. Mamia Supafit Nappies

Nappies add up quickly in cost no matter which brand you buy, but some are much cheaper than others. Aldis Mamia brand offers a great saving on other supermarket brands, with toddler sized nappies coming in at only 22c per nappy.

3. Remano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is a staple in most kitchens, so its makes sense to buy it in bulk. While other supermarkets charge up to $26 for a 4 litre container of extra virgin olive oil, the Aldi version comes in at only $19.99.

4. Lodge Farm Free Range Eggs

Eggs are a key ingredient in so many recipes, and its something that most of us buy. Free range eggs can vary hugely in price, but Aldis are by far the cheapest. Other supermarkets start at around $4.60 for a 700g dozen carton, but the Logan Farm brand are only $4.39.

5. Chicken Mince

Meat can make up among the biggest section of your grocery budget depending on the cuts you buy. While mince is one of the most economical meats you can buy, the prices still vary depending on where you purchase it from. If chicken mince is something you use often, you can save money by buying it from Aldi rather than the other major supermarkets, coming in at $8.98kg as Aldi, and at least $11.80kg elsewhere.

6. Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables are great to keep in the freezer for those times you dont have much fresh produce in the house. Stock up on frozen vegetables at Aldi, for example frozen corn kernels are only $2.49 for a kg bag, while other supermarkets offer the same product starting at $2.70 per kg for generic brands, and $5.50 per kg for brand names.

7. Wraps

Wraps from the bakery department can be a little pricey from most supermarkets, but Aldi sell Bakers Life White Wraps in an 8 pack for only $1.99. A similar product elsewhere would start at $3.00 for generic brands, and $4.99 for brand names.

8. Bakers Life Bakehouse Bread

Another great buy from the bakery department would have to be the Baker Life Bakehouse Bread range, in varieties like mixed grain, wholemeal, soy linseed, white and traditional light rye. These retail at only $2.49 per loaf, while elsewhere a similar loaf of the same size is at least $3.50

9. Goldenvale breakfast cereals

Most of us tend to eat the same sort of thing everyday for breakfast, so its worth shopping around when it comes to breakfast cereals. The Goldenvale range is significantly cheaper than name brand alternatives. Take their Honey Nut Cornflakes for example, a 750g box costs $4.49 at Aldi, or $0.60 per 100g, while Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes are $8.24 for a 670g box, or $1.23 per 100g. That makes Aldis price more than 50% off alternative brands. Which is a huge saving if its something you eat regularly. Similar savings can also be made on other Goldenvale varieties.

10. Remano Passata

Passata is a staple in many tomato based sauces, and its one of those products where all brands tend to taste much the same, after all its just pureed tomatoes. A 700ml bottle from Aldi sells for $1.59, whereas the same sized bottle from other supermarkets starts at $1.70 for generic brands and ranges up to $3.84 for some brand names

 

So there you have it our top 10 buys that are sure to save you money. Do you have any other Aldi items to add to the list? 

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Homemade Coffee Face Scrub

Homemade Coffee Face Scrub

This homemade coffee face scrub in my opinion is just as good as any store bought exfoliaters I have used.

The caffeine in the coffee will help reduce redness, the sugar helps remove dead skin cells and the cinnamon is a great plumping agent. If you have sensitive skin don’t add the cinnamon as it can bring out some redness due to the cinnamon drawing blood cells to the surface, it doesn’t normally last long but we recommend that you always do a patch test before using any product on your skin weather it is homemade or store bought.

Ingredients

3/4 Coffee granules

1/2 cup Epson salts

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Melted coconut oil

 

Method

Add salt and coffee to a food processor and blitz for 15 seconds until combined.

Add the coffee mix to a bowl a long with sugar, coconut oil and cinnamon ad stir through until it looks like it has a wet sand consistency.

The scrub will darken up as the oil mixes with the coffee.

Pop mixture into an air tight jar.

Store in a cool dry place

To use:

Scoop out 1- 2 tablespoons and gently rub into your face in circular motions ( don’t forget your neck ).

Rinse off with warm water to remove any excess oil.

Follow with a cold rinse, this will help seal any open pores.

Use once a week.

 

Do you have any homemade beauty treatments you like to use?

 

 

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20 Ways To Avoid Food Wastage

20 Ways To Avoid Food Wastage

The food an average household wastes is huge, and that food wastage is money down the drain. Making a few simple changes and creating new habits when it comes to using your food will turn all of this around, and have you using every item of food that enters your house.

Here are 20 ways to avoid food wastage that will have you wasting less food, and saving more money in the process.

1. Shop your pantry

Before writing a shopping list always check what you already have at home. You might already have the ingredients you need lurking in the back of the pantry or freezer.

2. Get meal planning

Meal planning is popular for a reason; because it works! Planning your meals means you spend less time at the supermarket wondering what you need to buy, and less money.

3. Write a specific list

Writing a list is important, after all how are you supposed to remember everything you need? If you head to the supermarket without a list, you can almost guarantee there will be things you will forget. Make the list a specific list, which includes the exact amount of each item you need. Rather than just tinned tomatoes write 2 x tinned tomatoes.

4. Buy only as much as you need

Rather than loading up the trolley without a second thought, stop and think about how much of each item you really need. If you only eat 7 apples per week, there is not much point buying 10 during your weekly shop.

5. Buy in bulk, but only if you need it

Buying in bulk is a fantastic way to save money when compared with smaller pack sizes, but only if you are going to use it all. For example, a 5kg bag of potatoes per kg than a 2kg pack, but it's going to cost you more if you only end up using 2kg of the large pack.

6. Stick to your list

There is not much point making a list if you are not going to stick to it at the grocery store. Buying only what is on the list will stop you from making impulse buys, meaning no food sitting in the pantry that you didn't need in the first place.

7. Organise your fridge and pantry

Keeping your fridge and pantry organised will make it a whole lot easier to see exactly what you have, making it more likely that you will use it rather than the food going to waste.

8. Move expiring items to the front

This is especially important when it comes to your fridge. Every week make a point of having a quick look in the fridge and moving any items close to expiry toward the front of the fridge. That way you see those items every time you open the fridge, and are more likely to use them before the expiry date.

9. Gift extra food items

If you have more canned and packaged food in your pantry than you know what to do with, and it's still within the expiry date, gift it to those in need.

10. Cook only what you will eat

Rather than cooking an entire packet of pasta for only 2 people and having half go in the bin, cook the exact amount that you need.

11. Eat leftovers

If you do have leftovers, be sure to use them. Leftovers make an easy lunch for the next day, can be used as the base of a meal for the next night, or if you have enough left, and entire meal for the next night. If you know you won't have the opportunity to eat the leftovers, pop them straight in the freezer for a later date when you don't feel like cooking.

12. Have a creative meal night once per week

When creating your weekly meal, leave one day a week free, then use that night to get creative in the kitchen and make something using ingredients you already have on hand. It's always fun to see what you can come up with.

13. Store food according to the label

Always read the label of everything to see if it needs refrigeration or not. Some items will keep for much longer in the fridge, while others are better kept at room temperature.

14. Know where to store food in your fridge

Certain parts of your fridge are colder than others, so knowing exactly where to store things in the fridge could keep them fresher for much longer. Temperatures in the fridge door can fluctuate greatly as the door is open and closed, so it's best not to store items such as milk and eggs there.

15. Use your freezer

Freezers are great for both leftovers and any foods you have to much of. Get into the habit of freezing any fruits or vegetables that are getting too ripe. Vegetables can then be used to make soups or stocks, and fruits, especially bananas and strawberries and other berries, are great for smoothies straight out of the freezer.

16. Buy loose rather than pre-packaged

It might be cheaper to buy food in larger pre-packaged amounts, but it's just going to be a waste of money if you don't use it all up. Instead, buy food loose from the bulk bins, such as baby spinach, mixed lettuce leaves and nuts, that way you can buy exactly what you need.

17. Know the difference between use by and best before

Every food item has either a use by or best before date, but do you know the difference between the two? Anything with a use by date should be consumed by that date or thrown out, but items with a best before date can be eaten after that date, it just means that the taste or texture may start to change.

18. Shop more often

If you are great at avoiding impulse purchases and only buying what you need, shopping more often is a good way to only buy what you need in smaller amounts.

19. Learn to love frozen fruit and vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh equivalents, but save so much money as you can simple take out what you need, and put the rest back in the freezer for another day.

20. Freeze bakery items

Do you find yourself only using half a loaf of bread before it goes stale? Freeze your bakery items as soon as you bring them home from the supermarket, and take it out of the freezer bit by bit as you need it. For example, store your loaves of bread in the freezer, and simply take out as many slices as you need at that time, putting the rest back in the freezer.

 

Do you know any other ways to save on food wastage? We would love to hear from you!

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Shopping For Groceries Online Versus The Supermarket – Pros And Cons

Shopping For Groceries Online Versus The Supermarket – Pros And Cons

We have so much choice when it comes to grocery shopping these days. There are more supermarkets around, like Aldi and Costco, increasing our choice of where to shop, plus we can choose to shop either in store or online. But which is better? While it depends what suits your lifestyle better, there are pros and cons to both shopping in store and shopping online.

The pros:  

Convenience of shopping at home Nothing beats being able to shop at home at any time of the day or night, without having to even get dressed.  

Easier to keep under budget It can be hard to keep under budget in the supermarket unless you carry a calculator around the store with you. When shopping online you can see exactly how much you have spent at all times, and can easily remove items from your cart to bring your shopping back under budget.  

Eliminates impulse purchases Supermarkets are cleverly designed by marketing experts to encourage us to spend as much as possible, by placing products the supermarkets want to push at the ends of isles, and placing magazines and chocolate bars at the checkouts to encourage last minute impulse buys while you wait. None of these distractions exist when shopping online, which is perfect if you find it hard to say no to temptation.  

Save money on petrol Shopping online saves you money on the petrol you would have otherwise used to drive to and from the supermarket.  

Easier to compare brands The supermarkets online stores feature great sorting function to help you choose the lowest priced item. Just search for the item you are after, and sort the result by lowest unit price.  

Saves time You don't have to spend time driving to the grocery store, finding a park, actually doing the shopping, waiting at the checkout, loading up the car and then driving home. Once you get the hang of shopping online you will find it extremely quick and easy, saving your precious time for those things you would much rather be spending it on.  

No store opening time restrictions This can be great for people that struggle to make it to the supermarket during opening hours. Online shopping can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Easier with kids If you have young kids, you will understand just how difficult trips to the supermarket can be. Shopping online means you completely avoid those supermarket tantrums, and you can even shop while they are asleep.  

Now for the cons:  

Can cost more than in store The prices on some products are higher online than in store. While advertised specials are the same both in store and online, Coles charge a higher price on some products, which is intended to be a staff picking fee.  

Mark downs aren't available online You can find some great bargains on meat, fresh produce and bakery items if you are in stores at the right time, but these markdowns don't happen online. If you like to hunt for heavily reduced items online shopping may not suit you.  

Delivery fees There are delivery fees involved, which can be avoided during certain delivery times and when spending over a usually high threshold. Click and collect is also available if you really want to avoid delivery fees.  

Delivery times You will need to keep a few hours of your day free, as delivery times are given in windows of 2 to 3 hours, depending on the supermarket.  

Delivery windows need to be chosen in advance The popular delivery times will generally book out quickly, so you might need to place your order two or more days in advance, which means there is some forward planning involved.

 Products can be missed from orders Every so often there will be products missing from your order, and while its easy to get a refund or store credit, it still means that you have to make a trip to the grocery store to pick up that item, when the whole point of ordering online was to avoid the supermarket.  

Product substitutions wont always be what you wanted  If one of the items you ordered is out of stock the person packing your order will pick an alternative product for you as a substitute, but it may not be a product you like.

 You cant pick your own fresh produce If you are picky about finding the best quality fruit and vegetables, you might struggle with online shopping. You will be stuck with whatever fresh produce is picked for you.  

You need to be home Generally, you will need to be home to receive your online order, you cant just have it left by your front door. This can be a little restrictive if you live a busy lifestyle.

Do you shop inline or in store?

 

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15 Princess crafts kids will love!

15 Princess crafts kids will love!

Kids love princesses, and who can blame them. There is something magical about dressing up and all that sparkle and glitter. These 15 princess craft ideas are perfect for all princess fans, both boys and girls.

Princess lace crowns by Catch My Party

These lace crowns are so pretty. Any little princess fan would have so much fun making and wearing them. lace crown

DIY Magic Wand by Heartmade Blog

Not only do these sequin covered magic wands look very cute, but they also have a small pocket for a secret hidden message. princess wands

Glitter vinyl tube bracelets by A Pumpkin and a Princess

Fill PVC vinyl tubing with glitter and you have these very princess like glitter tube bracelets. You could make one in every colour. bracelets

DIY Princess hair brush by By Dawn Nicole

Turn an ordinary hair brush into a brush fit for a princess by adding rhinestones. hair brush

Pipe Cleaner Tiara by education.com

Turn a few pipe cleaners into this sparkly tiara that’s easy enough for kids to make with a small amount of adult help. princess crown

Princess playdough by No Time For Flash Cards

Add some glitter to playdough and you have princess playdough! Team the playdough with a crown shaped cookie cutter and some beads and you have a great princess themed activity. princess play dough

Glitter heart recycled crayons by No Time For Flash Cards

These frozen inspired glitter heart crayons are so much fun to make. Find some broken frozen coloured crayons and melt them with some glitter. Let cool and you have glitter crayons. frozen

Princess putty by The Gunny Sack

This glittery slime is made from glitter glue and borax. Somehow slime feels so much more fun when glitter is added. princess putty

Paper plate crown by Meaningful Mama

Turn a paper plate into this paper plate crown fit for royalty. Let kids get creative with decorating the crowns; they could use crayons, textas, paint, glitter and sequins. princess paper plate hat

Cinderella Butterfly Pumpkin by A Pumpkin and a Princess

Kids will need a fair bit of help with this princess craft, but its too pretty no to include and would make a great activity to make together. The finished product will be well worth it. princess pumpkin

Sparkly Princess Castle Craft by Toddler Approved

Depending on the age of your child, cut out shapes for them or let them do it themselves, then let them stick the shapes onto paper to make a princess castle, and decorate it with all things sparkly. castle

Princess Bags by A Girl and a Glue Gun

Turn ordinary plain coloured dollar store bags into these princess inspired bags with some tulle and embellishments. You could have fun coming up with colour combinations to match each of the Disney Princesses. princess bags

Glitter Party Cups by Nest of Posies

Whether you are holding a princess themed birthday party or just because, little princesses will love drinking out of these sparkly glitter coated cups.

glitter cups

Popsicle Stick Princess Craft by Toddler Approved

Little princesses will have a great time creating their very own possible stick princesses. paddle pop princess

Glitter Star Wand by Confetti Pop

These glitter start wands are extremely easy to make, and you can get creative by using all sorts or ribbons and trims.

star wands

Do you have any princess crafts you would like to share? We would love to hear from you, send us an email or leave a comment. x

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Easy Hazelnut & Chocolate Truffles

Easy Hazelnut & Chocolate Truffles

These truffles are one of life's little pleasures, make them and share with friends or keep them for yourself haha!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 100 grm chocolate wafer biscuits crushed
  • ¾ cup of Nutella
  • 200 grm dark cocoa chocolate melted and cooled

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c (160c fan forced).
  2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 10 mins. Remove them from the oven to let them cool slightly.
  3. The skin of the hazelnut will need to be removed. The best method to do this is using a tea towel to rub the surface of the hazelnut until all skin is removed.
  4. Finely chop the hazelnuts and place them into a bowl.
  5. Add Nutella and wafer biscuits to the chopped nuts and mix well. You may need to chill the mixture for 20 – 30 mins or until firm enough to roll.
  6. Roll 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture into a ball. Repeat until remaining mix is used.
  7. Place hazelnut balls onto a lined baking tray and chill for 45 mins or until firm.
  8. When the balls are firm dip them into the cooled melted chocolate one at a time ensuring they are coated evenly. Shake off the excess chocolate.
  9. Place into fridge until chocolate has set.

Makes 20

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Easy French Onion Dip - Only 2 ingredients!

Easy French Onion Dip - Only 2 ingredients!

This easy French onion dip is my go to dip recipe when I am time poor. Only 2 ingredients and super tasty with crackers.

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese 250 grams
  • French onion soup mix 1 packet

  Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients until the soup mix is well combined.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and pop in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
  3. Serve with crackers or celery and carrot sticks.

Do you have a recipe you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you!

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