Dating for Undertendollars

Somebody close to me is going on a date tonight.  I still remember the excitement of ‘dating’, especially when it’s working out and you have found someone you can enjoy spending time with.

One of the hardest things about dating if you’re on a budget, is the cost involved in firstly making yourself look beautiful and having a different outfit to wear for the first few dates, and then the cost of meeting outside the home and paying for drinks and dinners.

Budgets and costs should not hinder your fun however.  Here are a list of some fun and romantic Dating Ideas to ensure a successful outing without running up your credit card bill.

Dates don’t always have to be at night time, so you should search the internet for some activities held during the day, like a free concert in the botanical gardens or a festival where you can get some free entertainment, like the upcoming Redcliffe Kite Festival.  Subscribe to some local websites that offer entertainment discounts or ideas so you can be emailed whenever there are upcoming events.

A stroll through the local markets can incite some good talking points and then sit on a blanket with a cup of coffee and enjoy some people watching.  Walking is free and there are plenty of walking tracks in scenic locations where you can enjoy fresh air and good conversation.

A picnic under the stars is very romantic, particularly near a beach or overlooking the city whilst the sun is setting.  Once you get to know the person well, you can take turns having dinner at each other’s homes.

The local pub or RSL offer regular trivia or bingo nights where you have free entertainment at the cost of a drink.  It also helps to break the ice if you’re just starting out and is a great way to introduce friends without feeling intimidated as well.

Find out their favourite movie star and organise a surprise movie night at home (featuring their star, of course) with homemade popcorn, lots of comfy cushions and candles.

Those were just some of our ideas to get you started.  Good luck if you’re dating and even if you’re with a longtime partner you can try some of these ideas for Undertendollars (and feel free to share with us some of your own).

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Breaking Habits

My focus this week is learning how to Break Habits.  Since becoming ‘of age’ and ‘maturing’, I’ve always thought of myself as being “a good girl”.  I am still in my 30’s for those of you who think I sound like an old granny!  But if you had asked me if there were any habits I’d like to break, I would normally say no.  Because only ‘bad girls’ need to break habits.

The thought of become “middle aged” crossed my mind recently and I decided to write a Bucket List.  My bucket list then turned into a Lifestyle List.  There weren’t so many things that I’d like to do … rather, they were things I’d like to achieve.  For example, one of the items on my Lifestyle List is that I would like to have a fit and muscular body, and enjoy a healthy diet and not desire junk food.  Pretty vain, I know.  I haven’t got to the one about world peace blah blah.  That’s for another day.

In order to achieve this particular item, I need to break some habits.

So I started a diet a week ago.  A new diet.  I’ve been trying to diet for over a year now, but this is officially a new diet to go with my new list.  For those who know me, they will say I’m not fat, and this is true … but doesn’t everyone have a dream, ideal body?  Well that body ain’t going to come if I don’t do something about it!

So I broke my first habit today.  After my monthly work meeting, I drove home and did not stop at KFC!  Saved me ten dollars too (I knew you were wondering how this fit into Undertendollars!!).  Mind you, it was after I stuffed myself at the work meeting with M&M’s, Maltesers, Cinnamon and Apple Bun Loaf, Crackers and Parmesan Pumpkin Dip, Rockmelon, Grapes and Watermelon, Cup of Tea and a Flat White.  I had every intention of staying on track by starting with the fruit … but the temptation was too great and the other foods jumped on my plate too.

But I broke my habit!!!  Right?

Are you trying to break a habit?


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No Bake, Super Fast and Healthy Entertaining Platter for Undertendollars

One of my tasks for this month is to come up with a series of foodie ideas to entertain our friends with for Undertendollars!

This was a lot harder than I anticipated! I have been pouring through books and blogs for recipes using similar ingredients for under ten dollars, and it is no easy feat! Now I’m not talking about one cake here … I was hoping to do a collection of 4 – 5 sweet or savoury treats, and I found the task quite difficult!

Would you like to take on the challenge!?

I am not defeated however. I plan on putting together another little blog in the near future on Entertaining with Pantry Basics … so watch this space!

But for today’s little adventure, I have come up with a No Bake, No Cook, Easy to Prepare, Super Fast and Healthy Entertaining Platter for my 5 Best Friends for Under Ten Dollars. Pretty impressive huh!?

So next time you’re thinking it’s too hard, or too expensive to have some friends around for nibbles, think Undertendollars!

Undertendollars Platter
(please note, this is not a paid post by Coles … I just happen to have easy access to their online price list. Am sure you will find similar prices at other supermarkets)

1 x Pears William Bartlett loose approx. 140g each = $0.42
1 x Coles Cheese Brie Wrapped 125g = $3.00
1 x Coles Crackers Water Cracked Pepper 125g = $1.00
1 x Always Fresh Olives Green with Herbs 70g = $2.16
1 x Coles Brand Dip French Onion 200g = $2.30
2 x Carrots loose approx. 170g each = $0.68
1 x Celery Pieces approx. 75g each = $0.35

Total Price $9.90



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Save On Your Groceries

This week, we managed groceries for under $100.  Considering our grocery bill is usually around $200 per week, this was a massive saving for us.

A great way to save on your groceries is to take advantage of your current supplies and see how many meals you can get out of them.  I was lucky enough to have a stash of meat in the freezer, which inspired me to use it up, along with a bunch of stuff in the cupboard.   See how we did it … and perhaps get some ideas for you to do it too!

BREAKFAST is usually cereal, fruit and toast.  I bought some baked beans to have on toast and a box of cereal which was on sale.  Total price $5.00


MON: Simple salad with tuna
TUE: Sandwich with meat (meat is leftover sliced roast meat found in the freezer);
WED: Curried egg sandwich;
THU: Crackers with tuna, tomato, cheese, cucumber;
FRI: Leftover Salmon balls and garden salad
SAT: BLT’s (bacon found in freezer)
SUN: BBQ Sausages and bread (again, sausages in freezer)

SNACKS: we have a supply of dried fruit and biscuits already in the cupboard.  Needed to buy fruit for morning tea (not included in this price, see list below), a bag of carrots and dip, yoghurts, cheese block (drats, had to buy this week), and a bag of chips for Sunday arvo.  Total cost: $17.88


Jacket Potatoes with Chilli Con Carne Topping: I had a tiny bit of taco mince leftover from a previous meal.  I’m going to make it go a bit further by adding a tin of tomatoes and a small tin of kidney beans (which I already have in the cupboard).  I also include a bit of a salsa salad with these.
Total cost $9.41

Sausage, egg and vegetable pie with frozen chips: I had sausages and frozen pastry in the freezer.  I needed to buy the fresh ingredients.  Eggs and milk included in staples below.  This is a Friday night dinner where I’m going out and the kids and hubby are left to their own devices, hence the chips!
Total cost $4.80

Salmon Footballs (like salmon cakes, but made into balls) and Italian Garden Salad:  I had tinned salmon, juice, sauces and breadcrumbs in the cupboard, and chopped up shallots stored in the freezer.  Egg and Garden Salad included in staples below. Just needed to buy a potato!
Total cost $0.72

Spaghetti Boscaiola: I had spaghetti and olive oil in the cupboard.  Leftover ham from Christmas and garlic bread  in the freezer.  Needed to buy mushrooms and cream.  Parsley from the garden.
Total cost: $3.41

Steak with Tasty Ham & Macaroni Gratin and Garden Salad:  I had steak, shredded cheese and leftover Christmas ham in the freezer.  Macaroni, cornflour, breadcrumbs, olive oil in the cupboard.  Needed to buy a brown onion and  evaporated milk for macaroni.  Garden Salad included in staples below.
Total cost: $4.62

Chicken with Thyme Butter Sauce and Vegetarian Risotto: This was a real cheats meal.  I had leftover risotto in the freezer, but it was vegetarian so nobody wanted it.  Hubby accepts it as a side dish however!  I had all the ingredients for the Chicken dish, so needed to buy nothing here!  Recipe for Chicken and Thyme Butter Sauce here.
Total cost: $0.00

Chicken Stroganoff: I had rice, chives from the garden, and a jar of Chicken Tonight Stroganoff which I had purchased on special ages ago.  I just needed to buy mushrooms and a brown onion.
Total cost: $2.54

STAPLES:  Eggs, milk, bread.
Total cost: $9.80

GARDEN SALAD:  This was enough for 2 x dinners and 2 x lunches.  Tomatoes x 7, Lettuce, Cucumber x 2 (already had a jar of olives in fridge, and crumbled feta in freezer).
Total cost: $8.34

FRUIT:  Apples, oranges, rockmelon, pears and watermelon
Total cost: $15.15

EXTRAS:  I did have to buy other supplies including capers, gravox, canola oil, plain flour, vinegar, tissues.
Total cost: $16.02



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Eating Out


Do you ever spend the afternoon cursing the thought of preparing dinner?

Most of us would spend $20 – $30 on takeaway, or more if going to a restaurant.

Once a week, that adds up to $1560 a year!

Would you prefer your weekly takeaways, or would you prefer something else?  Comments please! …