Following a few requests I’m keen to start sharing some of our regular recipes that help keep our grocery bill as low as possible. You will find them all tagged here ‘Frugal Recipes‘.
This is a super simple recipe we make regularly in this house. I usually do 1kg at a time (and freeze the patties) so feel free to double, triple or adapt the recipe below to your needs.
500gm Beef Mince
1 tbsp Mixed Herbs
1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
Salt to Taste
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and use your fingers to mix together. Its ready when it comes together and can be moulded into balls (Be careful not to overwork the mixture).
Form into patties. I recommend using a Hamburger Press (Link here to the one I use – under $10). Using a Hamburger Press will help you get the right shape, and they will end up looking just like the real deal.
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Our family is pretty frugal, and during the last year I believe we’ve cut our expenses significantly in response to the global uncertainty. That said I always believe there is room for improvement so I audited our household against 70 tips to cut expenses, save money and live a thrifty life.
✔ We’ve compared ours and its one of the cheapest out there
Know your refund rights
Get help from a financial counsellor if you need it
Table – 70 tips to reduce your expenses
So we have successfully implemented 60 out of 70 of the Frugal Tips recommended by Canstar. In the next few weeks I’m going to work on some of our improvement areas and:
Start a coin jar
Check to see if we have any missing money
Consistently use petrol apps and discounts
Trial Secret Santa this year
Be a little more organised with gift giving
Calculate the ‘real’ cost of splurge items in relation to work hours
Take advantage of price matching more
Put more effort into drying clothes naturally
Find out about free study options
Overall this audit has been a really great way to check in and find a few areas to improve upon (and it didn’t take long at all). I highly recommend doing the same and the link to free printable is below:
A couple of days ago I posted an Instagram reel on utilising TAFE or student provided services as part of my frugal tips. I had a lot of comments from those who also knew about these services (and loved them), and I had a few comments from those who didn’t know about these services. So today I’m writing this article to list some of the student provided services that can save you money, and where to find them.
For this article I’ve completed a quite a bit of research on where you can access these services and have listed them below by category and state.
Hair and Beauty (Massage section further down below)
If like me you don’t want to sacrifice your hair and beauty on the way to building wealth then consider getting a student to cut your hair or do your treatment. TAFE and vocational education providers are always looking for customers for the students to train on. All students are typically supervised so don’t worry you will still end up with a good quality cut / treatment at an amazing price.
Information / Links
TAFE SA – Location – Multiple see link – Hair and Beauty (Link Here) – They do hair, nail, tanning, waxing, massage and facial services. They offer 25% off of their prices to pensioners and students. Colour Cosmetica Academy – Adelaide – Link Here
Charles Darwin University – Palmerston and Alice Springs – Hair and Beauty (Link Here) – They do hair, nail, tanning, waxing, massage and facial services. They offer an extra 25% off of prices to pensioners.
Many years ago I completed a short course at my local TAFE and discovered that they have student restaurants that offer high quality restaurant or café meals at a fraction of the price. After doing a bit of research it turns out there are numerous TAFE and Vocational institutes that do this across Australia.
Who doesn’t love a massage. The prices in the below range start from as low as $25 an hour depending on your location and treatment. Most of the links below contain additional information on supervision, what you need to bring and hygiene regulations to ease your mind.
During my research on student led clinics I found several dental clinics that offer services to the public. Some of these services do require you to be on a health card so make sure you check before you book.
During my research on student led clinics I found a several dermal and cosmetic procedure clinics that offer services to the public. Feel free to contact me if you find others and I would be happy to add the links.
Table – Student Dermal and Cosmetic Procedure Locations
Please note this isn’t a comprehensive list of all student related services in Australia. There are likely many more out there and I would be keen to add more services to this article if you find any more. Feel free to contact me or add to the comments below.
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This is my second article in my side hustle series posts, and it’s a side hustle I’m quite passionate about….. recycling.
I’m a millennial so from birth its been hammered into my brain that we need to recycle and reuse as much as possible to minimise our impact on mother earth. So for me making a little cash whilst doing something that I love like recycling makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.
How do I make money from recycling?
The ability to apply this side hustle to your own situation will depend on where you are located.
In Australia at the time of posting the following states offer $0.10 per bottle recycling.
Additionally metal and other paid recycling will again depend on your rules and regulations in your state. Check them out online or head on down to your local recycling plant to get the full story for yourself.
How does the bottle refund / recycling scheme work and what are the benefits?
The bottle refund / recycling scheme works by adding a small extra deposit on top of the price of a beverage. This extra deposit is then refunded when the purchaser returns the empty drink container for recycling.
The benefits of the recycling scheme for bottles are:
Reduce bottle / container related litter by encouraging litter to be picked up with the reward being the $0.10 per bottle/container.
Improved Recycling through more effective capture and sorting with reduced risk of contamination.
So how do I know what bottles or containers are part of the bottle refund / recycling scheme?
Bottles in your state or territory are marked with a stamp which indicates their ability to be recycled as part of the bottle refund / recycling scheme. Some bottle types are not able to be recycled and will not result in a refund being paid. More information on the types of bottles and containers that are recyclable under the scheme is available in the links provided above.
How much money do I make from recycling? and is it worth it?
We make about $50 bi-monthly on returning our bottles. Its not huge dollars, but it’s money for jam. Additionally due to the set up of the scheme you might as well do it as you are paying for the scheme through increased drink prices.
We additionally make money from recycling metal that my husband picks up from his side hustle business. This is infrequent but our last visit nabbed us $80 for recycling a heavy metal frame (it pays to know your recycling rates).
I separate my paid recycling items from my normal recyclables by placing these in a separate bin (similar to my garbage bin). I bought an additional bin for this purpose off of Gumtree for $10 many years ago. Having an additional bin is really handy as you can just load it in the car when it’s full, which makes dropping off and collecting the cash at the deposit centre a breeze.
Not everyone around you is going to want to take part in this scheme, and that’s okay. If those close to you don’t participate I recommend taking the opportunity to ask them if they would collect them for you, provide them a bin, and pick them up when full.
Also don’t be afraid to pick up a can / bottle off the side of the road. It’s helping yourself, and helping the environment.
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I’ve just booked my first market research gig for 2021, and it’s prompted me to start a new blog series here on Side Hustles. The first of which will be outlining the in’s and out’s of doing Market Research as a side hustle.
My experience doing Market Research?
I’ve been doing Market Research as a side hustle for many years now. I think its likely over 5 years (way before Frank on FIRE). On average I do a large market research opportunity every other month, and I’ve averaged about $500 a year (likely more). I also do a tonne of little market research jobs which I don’t really keep track of.
What does ‘Market Research’ as a side hustle entail?
Every single session of Market Research I’ve done has been completely different. I’ve completed group market research eg: in a large room with a group of people providing feedback on products to the researcher (often these are also filmed and / or there are mirrored windows with people watching you). I’ve completed 2 minute video tasks answering a question. Since Covid-19 there has been more emphasis on online tasks, and these have been via zoom usually (my last opportunity was testing a new website).
How much money can you make doing ‘Market Research’ as a side hustle?
The amount really varies. I’ve completed 2 minute filmed videos to answer one question for $5 (taking under 5 minutes work). I’ve also been paid $150 to do a 2 hour in-person group session that also provided free food and drink (pizza/sandwiches). More frequently I’m paid between $60-80 for between 30 minutes to a 1 hour session. The latest gig I’m doing next week is a 1 hour online session for $80.
I’m paid by the companies I’ve signed up to in two ways either gift cards or via bank deposit (once I was given cash in an envelope which felt a little odd).
I also declare my side income at tax time so make sure you talk to your tax agent about your own requirements.
What is the time commitment?
One thing I love about doing Market Research over doing surveys for example is that I don’t spend a lot of time on it. You do have to typically apply for an opportunity, however this process usually takes under a minute (especially if you use pre-fill). The majority of time on this side hustle comes from when you are actually participating in the research itself, and this time you are remunerated for.
Is this a reliable source of side income?
No, unfortunately Market Research isn’t typically a reliable source of income. That said I seem to pick up a gig fairly frequently.
How do I sign up?
The best way to get started in Market Research is to register with companies to get on their mailing list for opportunities. You will be asked to complete a profile initially, which the company will use to line you up with appropriate opportunities. Below is the list of Market Research companies in Australia in recommended order (if you are from outside Australia I would recommend doing a search for some reputable ones in your local area):
School costs can always be counted on for increasing each year so I’m sharing my top back to school savings hacks. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
Don’t automatically use the recommended school book list retailer
As I discovered this year it doesn’t always pay to go with the school recommended book retailer. I found this out by accident when I missed the ordering deadline, and had to seek an alternative. I ended up finding out that Officeworks allow you to upload your school book list online so you don’t even need to come into the store. They then pack the items and these can be delivered to your door (or you click and collect). By selecting the alternative option we saved $60 which was then diverted to paying for a new laptop bag. It’s worth doing the sums.
Buy the basic school uniform first
It’s tempting to buy everything in one go at the Uniform Shop to save time, but I have found that by buying everything up front I often ended up overbuying items. Eg buying too many long pants when my son’s only wanted to wear shorts and so on. So now I only buy a basic set of uniform items to get them started for the year, and add to it throughout the year as needed. This hack also helps me spread the cost of uniforms throughout the year.
Work out what you can purchase outside of the uniform shop
Now I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but its worth investigating and seeing what items don’t have to be purchased from the uniform shop. For us we have found that pants, shorts, socks, bags, and hats don’t need to be purchased from the uniform shop. We instead purchase these items from Kmart, Big W or Target. This has saved us a significant amount of money over the years given that the price difference between Uniform Pants and Kmart Pants is about $20-25 a pair.
Buy good quality shoes, but make sure you don’t forget your cashback.
I’m a big believer in buying good quality footwear, and spending a little extra to get something that will go the distance. Something I’ve recently started doing is ordering my kids shoes online. In previous years this wasn’t something I would consider doing as I was concerned with sizing issues / and returns. These days I’ve found more and more shoe retailers are offering free and easy returns to allow people to shop for shoes in the comfort of their own homes. An added bonus of online shopping for shoes is being able to take advantage of cashback offers available at Shopback and Cash Rewards . I make sure to keen an eye on deals in the lead up to Christmas, and have received 10-20% back on my shoe purchases.
Check out your local government entitlements.
It took me a couple of years to find out about the sports vouchers for kids program in my state, however now that we do know about it we make sure to use up our entitlements yearly.
All states except Victoria and the ACT offer rebates to Australian parents who enrol their children in recreational events outside of school. Information on these programs are available below.