I have been making it a project lately to develop some more “straight into the crock pot” type recipes. This one is my take on the 1970’s favourite, “Apricot Chicken”. It was super easy to make, just throw everything in the slow cooker and switch it on! I used a large can of apricots in juice from Aldi, which from memory cost around $2.50. I thought I’d try using those instead of making the trek up to Coles to buy Apricot Nectar. The apricots in juice worked really well, and the bonus was that for less than the cost of…

All those little frugal tasks really do add up to great savings for your family.  The savings you make by being thoughtful on how you spend your time and money, can be used to enjoy a wonderful quality of life which would not be possible otherwise.  Probably the largest area of savings is that of grocery shopping.  The difference between, buying ingredients and cooking from scratch compared to buying processed foods for convenience sake can literally add up to thousands per year for a family.  That may mean the difference between being able to be a stay at home mum…

Do you ever get discouraged and wonder if your effort to be wise with your money is worth it? I would like to encourage you that it is, and that all those little bits of effort really do add up! Since financial stress is the number one cause for marriage breakdown, then being in control of your finances rather than being out of control, is a wonderful gift you can give to yourself and your family. Dave Ramsey has some wonderful suggestions for getting on the road to financial freedom. One of the most basic things you can do in…

Here’s a nice, easy, set and forget (well, almost) dinner idea. As the weather starts to cool down, it is a great time to get out the slow cooker. If you don’t own one, it is worth thinking about investing in one. They are pretty reasonable to buy, and really make cooking hearty, healthy and economical meals a breeze! I particularly like recipes like this one, that you just throw all the ingredients in and switch it on! This particular recipe has a lovely flavour, but is very mild, so it makes a great family meal. Ingredients 500-600 g boneless…

I have been searching for a gluten free chocolate cake recipe which will freeze well, with mixed results. Not having found a recipe I am happy with, I decided to make my own. This very moist gluten free chocolate cake is not only delicious, but freezes very well! Hooray! It is a great one to make when you have some excess eggs which you want to “preserve”. I also find it very handy to keep a few frozen pieces of cake in the freezer for when you have unexpected visitors or for when time is short. Since I use a…

I came across some lovely blogs recently which featured lists of frugal tasks done during the week. These simple lists were a great encouragement to me that every little bit of effort adds up to great savings. So I thought I might sometimes document some of the little frugal tasks I do in list form. Thanks girls for the great idea! You may also like to check out these lovely blogs: debt free, cashed up and laughing and my abundant life07. So … here are a few frugal things I did this past week: propagated some plants from cuttings divided…

This very moist maple cinnamon cake will make a super addition to your recipe repetoire. It is not only delicious, but very easy to make and freezes beautifully. It is actually an adaptation of a banana cake recipe which I tweaked when I didn’t have any bananas on hand. Even if you do not need to eat gluten free, this cake is fantastic, you could replace the gluten free flour with regular flour if you like. Because this cake freezes so nicely, I like to make one up when I have excess eggs on hand, then cut it in half…

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” Luke 16 :10 As the holidays wind to a close and the new school and work year begins I have been reminded about the importance of being diligent in the little things. Maybe you are facing a new season of life this year and you want to know how it is all going to pan out, or maybe you are dissatisfied with your role as a mum and wish you were doing something more exciting and “important”. Rest assured that there is no more important job…

Around this time of year we are bombarded with a million images of the “perfect Christmas”, for the most part these messages are designed to induce us to spend money, often on unnecessary stuff, which may end up becoming tomorrow’s clutter! I have tried to be really deliberate about my spending this year. I have set a budget for gifts and groceries and so far I have stuck with it. I have made some home-made gifts and have made a menu for my Christmas cooking and written shopping lists accordingly. I find that planning is one of my best allies…

Here’s a great recipe for another super easy Christmas treat.  The kids will love to help with this one!  It is quick and easy and all mixes up in the one bowl.  If you would like to make your rocky road gluten free just select gluten free chocolate, marshmallows and lollies.  I used turkish delight in place of jelly lollies.  Once set, you could chop your rocky road up into bite sized pieces and wrap it in cellophane for a lovely simple home-made gift.  Kids will love to be included in some special “cooking” around this time of year.  …