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Frugal Living: You Need A Budget

The budgeting software that we use is YNAB (You Need A Budget) and it is so so great, I literally cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s the best thing that we’ve done for our finances, and our marriage. So here is a little introduction to this fantastic piece of software.

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Frugal Living: Apples

Apples are a great source of vitamins, and can be turned into so many things. Generally, if they are less than $3/kg they are a good price – so when I saw them in Countdown for $1/kg I knew it was a deal I had to take advantage of!

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Frugal Breakfasts: What’s the best option?

We’ve gone through a few breakfast options in our household, but after a lot of experimentation have settled on a few staples. The obvious choice, if you’re aiming to cut down on groceries, is to not buy Fruit Loops, Nutrigrain, or expensive mueslis – but how do you figure out the cheapest option (that’s still healthy of course!!).

Weet-Bix was our first step (a common NZ staple) and at 50cents per 100g isn’t BAD, per say – but when you have a 6’1″ husband, they can go through a litre of milk with it ($1.60 from my last bill) and the cost can expand really quickly! At that cost, the hubby is cut off, and we only buy this for the Little One’s breakfast (and maybe the OCCASIONAL adult snack).

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Hot Cross Buns!

I got this recipe from a church event a couple years back, and have no idea where it originates, but it’s a great little recipe that I make every year for Easter. I’ve made a few alterations to it, but for the most part it’s a pretty good recipe – if you’ve got several hours to spare to make them!

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Frugal Fish Pie <$1.80 per serve!

This amazing little recipe is adapted from the Edmonds Cook Book – it’s a great little recipe that you can incorporate as many or as few vegetables as you like, depending on how much bulk you want it to have. Best of all, it’s that wonderful combination of cheap and delicious that makes it a great recipe for the frugal household.

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Frugal Pasta: Spaghetti Aglio E Olio <$1 per serve

This is a nice little spicy dish that is very simple, but delicious and a staple in our household. I originally got it from the TearFund “One Helping” cookbook which is part of their “Live Below the Line” challenge – available here or at Countdown. I do put my own little twists on it, but as a basic recipe it’s very easy, very filling, and very very cheap!

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Frugal Lunch Ideas: Tortilla Snacks

I had never thought of using tortillas like this until I got served them at my mother-in-law’s house. They are easy to make, use up leftovers and/or things that are generally in stock in the pantry/fridge, and are surprisingly filling!

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Frugal Apple Crumble!

Even when living frugally you still need some treats – but rather than buying or making extravagant meals, sometimes the humble apple crumble is enough to satisfy your cravings.

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Frugal Soup! Less than $1 per serve!!

In theme with my frugal meal plan I have created an example of a frugal soup. Much like in my stew recipe (link here), the main concept is putting in cheap ingredients that add BULK. By cooking in bulk and freezing serves for later, you can not only save yourself some precious time later on, but make the most of whatever cheap digs you find at your local veggie store.

Here is my ingredient outline:

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