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Frugal Living Tips, Issue #007
June 01, 2009

Welcome to June's Frugal Living Tips newsletter.

Hope the credit crunch is not pinching too much where you are. Dare I say I can feel a change and hope that things are on the the up.

Anyway I hope that you have been able to drop by the website this month to pick up some more money saving tips.

Well I will stop waffling and let you read the rest of this months frugal living ezine. Enjoy.

Visit us soon at Frugal-Living-Tips.Com

Best Wishes Kate

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CONTENTS

1. Recipe

2. Tip of The Month - Liquid Soap

3. Competition - Recipe Competition

4. Coupons. - Money Off Coupons

5 Article - Maintaining the One-Income Lifestyle

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1. Recipe

Picture by kochtopf on flickr.com

Lemon Curd

This recipe is not only very versatile but is also a great little gift item too.

The curd can be used as a sandwich filler, spread in pastry tart shells as a dessert, Spread on toast as an evening snack or used as the filler for your sponge cake mix.

To make Approx 700g

115g butter or margarine
400g sugar
Strained juice from 4 lemons
Grated rind of 2 Lemons
6 eggs lightly beaten
pinch salt

Melt the butter in a double saucepan over a low heat.

Remove from the heat and add the sugar, lemon rind and juice, eggs and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens (about 8 minutes) Do not boil.

Strain the mixture through sieve and spoon into clean warm jars and leave to cool.

Once cooled, cover and store. Can be kept for 1 month if refrigerated.

If I make a large batch of this myself I tend to use it in some baked goods, such as sponge cake and tartlet's, which I then freeze and juice later.

 

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2. Tip Of the Month - Liquid Soap

Use those left over bits of soap to make a versatile liquid hand soap or for use around the home.

To make 4 litres

450g of soap bits or soap flakes

3.7 litres water

2 tablespoons glycerin

Mix the ingredients to gather in a large pot and place over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

Once the soap has dissolved, leave to cool slightly and then transfer to storage containers such as ice tubs.

Tightly cover and label for further use.

You could transfer some of the liquid to a fancy bottle which can sit next to your wash basin for daily use.

If you prefer the soap to be a little thick and more gelatinous, simply use half of the water suggested in the ingredients.

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3. Competition - Your Recipes

Every Month we hold a competition to find a family favorite recipe where you can win a variety of prizes. All you have to do is submit one of your favorite recipes to be in with a chance to win. It can be easy or complicated, simple or unusual, be imaginative. Enter and be in with a chance of a prize as well as possibly giving another family their own favorite meal of the week.

The prize is a delightful gift box of natural fragrance for the home.

This month Wildflower Scent
The box contains a ceramic cone holder, 12 Wildflower Incense cones and 6 wildflower Incense coils. Great for revitalizing your home

.incense prize

Simply Submit your recipe to me here and I will choose a winner every month. All the recipes will feature on the website.

Click here to submit Your Recipe

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4. Free Downloadable Coupons

These are just some of the coupons you can download for free this month. Click on the image to see the full range available. Please use Internet explorer to view coupons.

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5. Maintaining the One-Income Lifestyle Upromise.com
by Lucynda Koesters Dollar Stretcher

Many people have asked my husband and me how we have managed to maintain a one-income lifestyle for the past nine years. Our family includes mom, dad, a teen, a preteen, a preschooler and a dog with serious health issues. Dad is a commercial photographer. Mom is a home-based parent. We make a "middle" middle-class income. Keeping a parent at home for the family has been a priority as our family has grown. How have we done it?

It has not always been easy. Many times, Mom has felt that the path of least resistance would have been going back to work. However, each time the issue has come up, we have simply buckled down and gone back to the basics of frugal living instead.

We did a few things right in our early married life. These things have greatly enhanced our ability to maintain our lifestyle. We decided early on not to go into debt if we could possibly avoid it. Our philosophy has been to pay cash, not use credit. This has been our method of purchase for furniture, electronics, camping equipment, travel and even cars. We buy new or nearly new vehicles, but keep them 8 to 12 years. We also maintained a high rate of savings in our early years before children. We lived on approximately 70% of our income and saved 30%. We built up a large savings account, which eventually was invested for our future needs. When we built our home, we planned to have a mortgage payment that would require only one income. This is arguably the single largest factor allowing us to maintain one parent at home.

As our children have grown and their needs have increased, it has become more difficult, but not impossible, to manage on one income. We are not perfect in our financial management. Our savings rate has dropped to about 13% of income. Occasionally, we use up our emergency savings, overdraw our checking account, and go into debt with a credit card. This really bothers us. We don't let it go; we simply pay off the balance and get back on the frugal track as soon as possible.

In this age of high gas and home fuel prices, we really have to buckle down and go back to the basics of a frugal lifestyle. This means shopping the deep discount grocery stores, using price comparisons and coupons when appropriate, and always shopping with a grocery list that reflects a planned menu for the coming week. We brown bag lunches and even suppers on soccer nights. The kids do not get designer clothes or shoes unless they come from the second hand store. We stick to a weekly budget for household spending. It's really just a lot of small frugal actions that add up each month, allowing us to live on one income. We do not feel deprived most of the time. Every now and then, a family member might complain about not having cable TV or high speed Internet, but we can insure each member that his basic needs will always be met. And everyone agrees that having a parent available at home each day is more than worth the trade offs. Having a parent at home helps keep our family life balanced and calm, providing an oasis from the daily stress and strain that is modern life.

The bottom line is that it not easy, but it is possible for a family to live on one income even in today's "everybody works" two-income world. If you are just starting out in your adult life and think that someday you might want to have a family with the "luxury" of a stay-at-home parent, plan for it now. Save as much as you possibly can from your income. Build up your savings and then learn to invest that money for your future. Don't borrow. Don't use credit cards for day-to-day purchases. If you plan to buy a house, plan it with a reasonably easy-to-make mortgage payment as you proceed through life. These things done early on will go a long way toward building choices into your future.

Lucynda Koesters is the author of Finding Your Way Home, How to Become a Successful Stay-at-Home Parent. Get more information on the benefits of a one-income lifestyle and read a free preview of her book at HomewardHearts.com.

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