Thursday, October 28, 2010

An awesome Halloween costume for just $6.50!

Ok, so I may have already had some items and borrowed some more, but all I managed to spend on Jasper's Halloween costume this year was just $6.50

This is how we created the cutest Captain Jack Sparrow since Johnny Depp.

We borrowed Jasper's cousin's official "Pirates of the Caribbean" costume, but it was a size 3 and the pants were too long, but who doesn't have a pair of black shorts to replace it with.  And just like the shorts, we already had black boots to wear too (which I may add were only $3 at the markets).

So clothing complete (at no cost) now just the accessories.  The important part.

Captain Jack Sparrow has long dark dreadlocks.  So off to Spotlight we go, and good timing too because they were having a sale and I picked up a roll of acrylic yarn for just $2 (sorry, I can't recall the name of it).  Then off to the cheap shop (Stakks) for a small bag of beads for $2.50, and I picked up a $2 foam pirate hat while I was there, for good measure.

My creative cousin has a sewing machine and some spare material that was the perfect colour and helped us sew up the bandanna and hair.  I threaded some beads on the hair and voilá!

So what do you think?  Does he look like the real deal?  
Captain Jack-sper Sparrow

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

I personally think he's a much cuter Captain Jack Sparrow than Johnny Depp, and I'm a big fan of his, but I may be a little bit bias too, lol!

So next time you have a fancy dress event, remember that making costumes doesn't have to be expensive.  It's amazing what you can come up with by looking around your house and asking friends.  You just need a little imagination and initiative.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vita Wheat Rice Crackers only $1

I can't be sure if these are on sale all over the country, but I was at Coles, Worongary yesterday picking up some supplies and found Vita Wheat Rice Crackers for just $1!!!  That's a saving of over 50%!!  I grabbed one of each flavour and might go back today and see if I can stock up for summer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A day at the V8’s for under $30

I love the V8’s.  This may have a little bit to do with my Dad being a petrol head and me being his little tomboy when I was growing up, or maybe just because I’m a proud Aussie chick.  Either way, I love them.  This year I really, really, really wanted to take Jasper to see them but, as usual for October, finances are super tight, so the possibility of going was unlikely.  So I put it out there.  I listened to the radio to try to win tickets, I checked out the website to try for free tickets, and I let everybody know I wanted to go but couldn’t.  I sent out positive vibes to get there, and they didn’t let me down.  Sunday morning, Jasper’s dad was offered 2 free tickets to the V8’s and knowing how much I wanted to take our son he offered them to us.  So off to the V8’s we went.  For free!!! (That’s a saving of  $175!!  Jasper was free of course).

We parked at Pacific Fair and took the free shuttle bus into the circuit to make travel and parking easier which also saved us money, as parking in Surfers Paradise is rarely free these days, especially with a big event on like the Gold Coast 600.

It was a fantastic family day.  There is so much to do there and not just car racing.  There was a kids area with a playground, jumping castles, Roary the Racing Car tent (with activities and face painting) and activities like skipping ropes, balls, hoops and even little rugby circuits to play with the Titans players.  And all this included with your entry, no extra charge.

There’s also so much free stuff to get.  Stickers, inflatable tubes, stubby holders and posters.  I’m sure there was more.  This is just what we stumbled across - all little things to keep a little one occupied.

Because of the last minute ticket offer, we didn’t end up getting to the event until 1pm.  That worked for us anyway because then the boy got a little nap in beforehand.   We also ate before we went in.  We didn’t get to eat at home, but got lunch for the three of us for just $12.  From what I could see of the prices of food at the venue, I’m guessing we saved probably around $20 by eating outside.  We also took in a lunch box of snacks for Jasper to nibble on and our own water bottles that also saved us plenty, I think it was around $4 per drink.  The only food item we did buy was a Callippo icy-pole for Jasper to suck on as it was a hot day and we wanted to give him a special treat.  Highway robbery there!  $4 for one little icy-pole!!  Based on my calculations, we saved around $40 on food and drink.

I did, however, spend $10 on a stubby holder.  But that’s my thing.  If I go to an event or concert or something similar, I always purchase a commemorative stubby holder.  I have an awesome collection building up.

Our afternoon was mixed up a little.  We played in the kids section for a bit, then watched some of the race, then chilled on the hill and had something to eat, then the kids section again, then more of the race.  We were there for 3 hours (felt like a full day though) and decided to leave 15 minutes before the race ended to avoid the heavy traffic. 

For a day that would normally cost a family of three around $200-250, we did it for just $26, and we all had a great time.

So next time there is something you really want to do, or really want to see, or really want to have but can’t afford, put it out there.  Think positively about it.  Let everybody know how much you want it.  Because if you want to go (lets just say for examples sake) to the Powderfinger concert but it’s sold out, if you let everyone know, then if someone gets a spare ticket, they will think of you, because you made it clear how much you want to be there.

But don’t hound, nag, or annoy people, just let it be known.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don’t be too quick to dismiss a Doorknocker

I can get as frustrated as the next person when a stranger comes knocking at my door, because usually they want to transfer my service to another provider for no good reason at all, or to sell me something I don’t want or need and can hang around like flies at a summer bbq.  They come to my house at least once a month and some can be quite rude and don’t like to hear the word “no”. 

Last week however, I was pleasantly surprised with the sweet old man that knocked on my door.  He was here on behalf of the Queensland Government and the “Travel Smart” initiative.  His main focus was to get some feedback on some literature and a survey that was posted out the previous week.  I happily helped where I could (after all, if I want change or improvement, I have to give my opinion). We discussed it for about 5 minutes and he finished up by asking if I would like a free “Travel Smart” Pack.  I rarely say no to freebies, so agreed to the pack, gave him my details and he wished me a good day and thanked me for my time.

Late last week, the same kind man came knocking again, and he came with gifts - my “Travel Smart” Pack, lovely manners and a kind smile to boot.  The pack is fantastic.  I now have a backpack with all the necessary gadgets that I’ve been wanting for over a year but have been too cheap to pay for, and with it came a plastic drink bottle, a discount voucher to purchase a bicycle, a Travel Map of the Gold Coast and various pieces of information on safe and cost effective ways to get around the Gold Coast.  

Apart from some of the leaflets that I have already read and discarded, this little pack is going to be very handy for me.  I’m making more of an effort to exercise these days, and now I’m privy to the best areas to walk/cycle/play and I have the tools to take with me.  

This week, I have a free Home Sustainability Assessment that was booked through a Doorknocker I greeted yesterday.  (I will fill you in with the details after the report is received).
So as frustrating and as daunting as it can be to open your door to these Doorknockers, sometimes it can really be worth the little time you give to listen to what it is they are offering.  Of course, if after hearing the spiel and deciding it’s not something you are interested in, you can always give a polite smile and a “thank you for your time but this isn’t for me”.  You just never know what could come from it.

Check out the website for further information

I want to start with a big Thank You!

Before posting my first ‘thrifty’ blog, I want to take a short moment to thank some special people in my life that helped me make this happen.

Firstly I need to thank my friend Narelle, for suggesting I make the blog to begin with.  Without your suggestion I wouldn’t have thought to become a blogger, and now here I am very excited about my new little project. 

Following that I also need to thank all my fellow mummy friends for all your support and encouragement to get it started, and for all your suggestions with finding a name.

To my friend Beck, who has the computer programs and artistic flair to create my cute little header, I couldn’t have done it without you.  I love it, thanks heaps.

And last, but not least, to everybody who chooses to follow my blog, thank you for opening your minds to my thrifty way of living.  I hope reading this can help you live the thrifty, yet fulfilling life that I lead.