Budget · Cooking · Food · Kids

I’m backkkkkkk

So after a little time away I’m back!

It’s been a crazy few months in this house recently but we’ve said goodbye to a cast from a fractured leg and hopefully won’t be saying hello to any colds or flus now that winter is here.

I’ve been baking and making some new recipes recently so I thought I’d share a few this week. I’m also going to start bulk cooking meals again so I’ll be sharing some of my budget ones that freeze well and don’t cost a heap to make!

I bought a big bag of oranges recently for a birthday party and thought Id get creative with ways to use then. We’ve still got a large family of easter bunny’s hiding in the bottom of our fridge so I thought Id try incorporate the 2 ingredients… And here are the “Jaffa Muffins”. They’re refinded sugar free apart from in the chocolate but you could always swap the easter bunny chocolate to one you prefer ie dark. They’re also great for lunch boxes!


“Jaffa Muffins”

• 1.5c self raising flour • 1 egg • 1/4c coconut sugar • 1/4c melted butter (can switch to oil if wanting dairy free) • 1/4c finely chopped chocolate • zest & juice of 1 Orange • 1 tsp vanilla essence • 1/3c milk of choice •

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, spoon in to muffin cases and bake at 180* for 12-15 mins

Super easy and tasty!!

erin 🙂

Budget · Cooking · Food · Kids · Money Saving

$1 muffins

It’s no secret to those who know me I LOVE baking! Cooking I can be hit & miss according to hubby, but baking is definitley my thing (ok well also according to the husband – apart from sponge cake… I don’t know how but every sponge cake I try to make is a serious fail haha).

Anyway back on track, I love baking! And these muffins are some of my fav! They’re so easy to make and taste great! They’re also perfect for kids to get involved in and they’re perfect to use up leftover fruit that the kids half eat lol.

All you need is the 75c homebrand cake mixes from Coles & Woolies etc and a few standard ingredients already in most households.

Make up the cake mix as per the instructions (it says to use 2 eggs but I find making them for muffins I only need to use the 1). Then add in any variety of ingredients you like!

A batch of freshly made banana/cinnamon muffins

Some popular ones here are:

• Banana/cinnamon – add 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder & 1-2 soft mashed bananas to the mix

• Apple/cinnamon – as above however with 1-2 grated or diced apples

• Bounty – add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon coconut

• Choc chip – add 1/2 a cup of Choc chips of choice

• Oat & Honey – add 1/2 cup oats & 3 tablespoons of honey

• Carrot Cake – add 1 grated carrot, 1 teaspoon cinnamon & 1 teaspoon of nutmeg (or just 2 teaspoons of allspice or similar)

• Berry – add 1 cup of frozen or fresh berries of choice. Mixed berries, blueberries and raspberries are always popular.

These are just some suggestions for flavour combos but as you can see these cake mixes are so versatile!

And with school holidays coming up shortly they’ll be perfect for keeping the kids occupied… Well for 1/2 hour Atleast haha.

Erin 🙂

Cooking · Food · Sanity Saving · Time Saving

De stashing the food magazines

If you’re anything like me you collect food magazines… A LOT!

the only problem is that I flip through them once when I get home, put them in the bookshelf and don’t read them again.

I’m in a crazy clean out kinda mood lately (I thought this nesting feeling was ment to end 5.5 months ago when I had bub #3?!? Haha). And I’ve been undecided what to do with these magazines.

Let’s just say this is a small pile of different food magazines I’ve collected but not used…

So this afternoon I’ve sat down and flipped through them all, taken pictures of the recipes I WILL cook and I’ve uploaded them to my relevant pinterest boards (if you don’t know me, I’m pinterest CRAZYYY!). I didn’t want to just cut them out and make up another recipe book that I’ll probably not use for ages either.

This way im still decluttering and minimalising things, getting to keep the recipes I will use without taking up more space and recycling as well.

Another good idea for magazines like this would be to donate them to your local daycare, kindy, school or doctors surgery. These places are always after things like this so they’re not just being wasted.

Kids · Money Saving

MCN hints & tips

So after being in a high of last fortnight a shop coming in at $201, I was a bit dissapointed at this fortnights being $255 plus we still have to get dog food.

that being said I did have to get Nappies ($11 from Woolies), detergent ($3.50 on sale at coles) and laundry liquid ($12 – not on sale however, I like the dissolvable capsules as I find them the most cost effective as they’re “portion controlled” and there’s no chance of over using them. Normally I get them on sale however there were none today, but I got the most for the least amount of money and im trying out a new brand so we’ll see how they turn out). And these are things that do add up when it comes to groceries.

For Nappies I do normally use MCNs (modern cloth Nappies) when at home. I use disposables for going out and bed time. Going full cloth is a tricky option for some so I go half/half. I totally get also why though cloth can be off putting but once you get into a routine with it, it’s so much easier!

Generic MCN picture from Google. These are AIO (all in one) size adjustable style to fit from newborn to around 2 years old depending on your child’s size


Once they’re clean and washed, when I am putting all the Nappies away I put liners inside them all, fold them over and stack them all up so they’re ready to go. I use 2 liners in each at a time too so you can get longer than 30 mins out of each one (probably 2 hours) which saves having to wash so many. When washing I wash wet ones in our normal wash and dirty ones seperate.

With washing try not to tumble dry them, especially those with a waterproof lining as this can ruin it and they won’t work as well.  I peg the shells (the fabric part you see) inside out in the sun. The liners I also peg out the sun too. The sun is actually a natural bleach and if you can peg them out in the morning and leave them there the whole day they’ll get a good dose of that germ killing sunlight on them!

I probably have about 25 MCNs but I also do washing every day. I would say I only use about 6-8 of them a day.

I don’t have any particular favourite or brand I really like. The “China cheapies” are good for starters caz you can get them cheap for around $6-$8 each on ebay and their lining generally has a PUL or similar kinda fabric so I find they don’t leak all that much.

I’ve also got some itti bittis which are good caz they’re sized so they fit bub a bit better and there’s no clipping and unclipping snaps to adjust sizes. They’re so nice and soft too with a velvet/minky feel to them.

I’ve  also got a few baby bee-hinds and homemade ones which I’ve collected over the years.

If you can get into the hang of them and get the chance to wash reguarly then MCNs really are a great money saver and they’re a lot better for the environment too!

Budget · Cooking · Food

Lime, Coconut & Sour Cream Cakes

i looooooove baking! The only problem with baking & being a SAHM is the eating of the baking… Often! Lol.

So I try to make healthier alternatives of my Favourites.

For days I’ve been craving a lemon & sourcream cake but didn’t have any lemons. I do however have some fresh limes I was given last week to use up. I’ve also got some sour cream which we used for beef stroganoff & tacos for dinner this week but I didn’t want to waste the rest of the tub so it was perfect to use in this recipe.


💚lime & coconut sour cream muffins💚

1/2 tub light sour cream (150 grams)

50gms melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon grated lime plus a good squeeze of fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon desicated coconut

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1.5 cups wholemeal self raising flour (if you don’t have wholemeal use 1 cup of normal SR flour and blitz up 1/2 cup rolled oats to use as well)

Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute with beaters.

Bake at 160* for 12-15 minutes

Makes 12 at 127 calories

💚sour cream & honey frosting💚

1/4 tub (75 grams) sour cream

2 tablespoons honey

mix together and dollop on top of cakes once fully cooled

29 calories per dollop

💚could also be made as a cake but I would use 1 extra egg

Such a yummy little treat for only 156 calories!!! Plus they’re budget friendly as most of these ingredients are in the fridge or pantry. And they’re a great way to use up leftover sour cream which we never seem to go through.

erin 😊

Budget · Food · Money Saving

Saving money on groceries

When I first started trying to find ways to save money on our groceries I was blown away by suggestions that people had.

Some were great and some wouldn’t work for us, and that’s totally ok because every family & household are soooo different!

But I started to take notes of and save some so that Id be able to remember them in future. The pictures above (sorry I cant work out how to copy & paste the hints in here yet so I have to take screen shots instead) are just some of the things I do and refer to, to help save money on our fortnightly groceries.

i think if I had to choose 1 thing to share, it would be. Make sure you have always used up the meat in your freezer and the staples like eggs & beans before buying more.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years we’ve done a “bulk shop” for meat only to go out again a few weeks later and buy more. We haven’t used up what is already there and as such you accumulate food and it just sits there. Now yes it may be frozen, but do you really know how long that bag has been sitting there in the freezer for? Or how long that tin was sitting on the shelves for at the shops before you purchased it?

it may take getting creative with your meals, coming up with new ideas. But it’ll feel much better knowing you’ve got fresh food in the fridge and freezer for meals. Unless the bulk meat i’m buying I really would use reguarly, I just wouldn’t buy.

Also things like eggs are so versatile for brekky, lunch & dinner! So I always make sure we have heaps of eggs here. Brekky you can have things like the obvious eggs on toast, lunch you could have a BLT sandwich or wrap with egg on it for added protein to fill you, dinner you can have quiche or frittata (which is fantastic for throwing random veggies in that you need to use up and it bulks it up too which is great for leftovers).  And ofcourse they’re essential for baking. I love getting the homebrand 75c cake mixes and adding diced up fruit, oats, choc chips, coconut etc to them. They’re such a cheap snack and you can make so many different flavours to suit your family! Plus you can make them dairy free by using soy/almond milk and olive or coconut oil instead of butter.

Now I know there’s  always a debate about caged eggs and free range. I do try buy free range as often as possible if they’re on special, but unfortunately they are so much more expensive. Which sucks caz yes they are from chooks with better homes and as such they’re better for us too. So in regards to eggs that’s a personal choice for you and your family to choose what kind you like to purchase.

These are just a few suggestions to help lower your grocery bill. I’ll add more as I think of them.

erin 🙂

Budget · Food · Kids · Money Saving

$201 shop!!

The groceries you’ll see in my profile picture were all up… $201!

after becoming a Stay At Home Mum after baby number 2 (apart from working for 6 months for the bank to be happy and us to be able to buy a house – that’s a blog post I’ll do another day), I decided I wanted to help us to save as much as I could and to show our kids the happiest life we could, with them appreciating the small things and knowing that everything in life does come at a cost.

after baby number 3 came, I decided to really knuckle down and work on our budget. For most people, the easiest way to save money is to reduce the cost of their groceries. Which is what I did.

back when my husband and I were both working full time we could EASILY spend $300 a week plus extra trips to the shops for stuff we forgot. It was insane how much we used to spend when I think about it now! We ate well, really well. As in a lot of take away, coffee, treats and meals out… But not a lot to show for it. When we did groceries we’d come home and throw away fruit & veg we had forgotten about and left overs hiding (and growing… ewww!) in the back of the fridge.  We wasted sooo much money. And that was with only 1 child!

So when I got our groceries in at $201 this fortnight I was literally exploding at the seams with excitement over it!!

Now I will admit this shop was a treat shop. I’ve been stricter lately but there was some great specials that I got for the kids and hubby. Ie 90c packets of chips and $2 packets of special cookies we love. Normally I try make all the sweet things but I decided at that price why not get a few bargain treats.

This shop didn’t include baby nappies as I didn’t need any (I use cloth during the day unless im going out or going to school) or toilet paper. I also had to get $15 of fruit & veg on the weekend. But we still came in under budget!

So in my next post I’ll share a list of ideas, hints & tips I use to help reduce our grocery shop and save time at home when cooking and hopefully help you all out too.

erin 😊