# 45 Meal Plan Monday 2017

This week we are starting something new in our house. Porkchop has asked if he can be start cooking dinner one night a week. I’m all for delegating dinner duties, so we’re going to try him being in charge of dinner on Monday nights.
This week he has chosen sausages, and I can’t wait to see how he goes. I am sure he will do fine with the actual cooking, but I can see it becoming a chore sooner rather than later. If that’s the case, we may have to cut back to once a fortnight, or even once a month. At the moment he loves cooking and helps me with dinner most nights, but as he’s only 10 I don’t expect him to be cooking dinner for the family regularly, so I’m okay with it if he doesn’t want to keep up with it.  I will keep you updated. Do your kids cook dinner?

To view all my previous Meal Plan Monday posts click here.

Monday – Sausages
Tuesday – Chicken Enchiladas
Wednesday – Spaghetti
Thursday – Satay Chicken
Friday – Pizza Party Friday Night
Saturday – Fish and Chips
Sunday – Chicken Kiev

What’s on your menu this week? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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5 Ways to Save on your Wedding

Weddings can be expensive. Ridiculously expensive.  This weekend my husband and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary, so I thought it would be a great time to share some suggestions for how to save money on your big day.

  1. Wedding Dress 5 Ways to Save on your Wedding (2)We all know the biggest choice to make when it comes to a wedding is the dress (well maybe your partner, but the dress is a close second!). My advice is don’t feel you have to wear a proper wedding dress. Instead of a dress, I actually wore a beautiful tutu and lace top on my wedding day. I felt like a Princess, no-one knew I wasn’t wearing a “wedding dress” and it actually cost less than my husbands suit!
  2. Groom’s suit  –  Shop around and buy on sale if you can. My husband wanted to wear a simple black suit so we looked online at all his options (I say we but I really mean me, he only saw my top choices), until he found one he liked. Then we (again mostly me) weighed up renting versus buying. Renting seemed like the more affordable option, until the suit came on sale for 40% off. In the end, we purchased it for about the same price hiring it would have cost, and  my husband now has a black suit for any future formal occasionsHow to save money on your weddinging.
  3. Flowers  – Buy fake and DIY. We actually saved on our wedding flowers in two ways. The first was I bought beautiful fake roses online for mine and my bridesmaids bouquets which saved as quite a bit.  Secondly, we grew and decorated our centre pieces ourselves, well with some help from my Pop. The few days I was left in charge of them I actually almost killed them. But thankfully on the day, we had beautiful pots of white and purple flowers everywhere. Thanks Pop.
  4. Transport  Is it something you need? We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue so transport was something we decided to skip. I had my Dad drive me to the Church in his car which was lovely, as it gave us some time alone before he walked me down the aisle. Then at the end of the day, my husband and I drove away in our car. It seemed fitting really.
  5. ReceptionSaving on your wedding Think outside the box. I knew pretty early on in our wedding planning I didn’t want a traditional sit down dinner for our reception, although my husband did take some convincing. In the end, we decided to have afternoon tea in the Church Hall, which worked out a lot cheaper and was much more our style. Instead of just going with what you think a wedding reception should be, think about what you and your partner would enjoy. Maybe a buffet, or a pig on a spit. Perhaps just simple canapes, or a picnic. The ideas are endless, so choose something that will make you happy.

I know weddings are an exciting time but I think it’s important to keep in mind that it’s just one day. So long as by the end of it you and your partner are married, the day is a success, no matter what else happens.

Are you engaged at the moment and have any more suggestions? Or if you are already married, how did you save money on your big day? I’d love to hear about your plans and weddings in the comments below.

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5 Tips for Living on a Single Income

At the moment my family are living on one income while I’m studying at University. While we are definitely not rolling in it, (There’s a reason I write about how to live a great life on a budget!) we make do, and never really feel like we are going without. I thought this week I would share some of my suggestions for making life on one income a little easier.

  1. Needs versus Wants – It’s so easy to get caught up in all things you think you have to have these days. But how many of them are really necessary? Sit down with your partner and figure out what things are needs and what are simply wants, and then make cuts to your budget where you can. Figure out what your family can live without and go with it.
  2. Set yourself limits – If there’s something you know you can’t all go without absolutely, but that is definitely more of a want than a need, try just cutting back. Set yourself limits on frivolous spending and stick to them. You can still have your cake and eat it too, just be sensible about it.
  3. Make sure everyone knows your budget – Sometimes when I think I have all the numbers figured out, my husband throws a spanner in the works by telling me he needs money for soccer or something I didn’t know about. After a few (maybe several), conversations about how I can’t just make money appear, he now knows to give me advance warning for such things so I can include them in our budget. I also try and make sure he knows what bills and things we have coming up, so it isn’t a complete surprise to him when I tell him there’s no spare money for something one week. Living on one income is much easier when we’re both on the same page as to where we are up to with our budget.5 Tips for Living on a Single Income 1
  4. Track your money – It’s easier for money to be frittered away when you don’t know exactly where it’s going. Keeping track of what you’re spending your money on will allow you to identify any problems as they arise, so you can work out a solution. The upside of living on one income is there is less money to keep tabs on.
  5. Remember why you’re doing it – When the bills are flying in and it all seems like too much, remember why you are doing this. Maybe like me you’re studying to better yourself and further your career. Or maybe it’s important to you for you to be at home with your babies. Whatever the reason, focus on that, and I am sure you will figure it out. If you need more  hints for living on a budget, take a look at my posts with ways to save, or some of my budget-friendly ideas.

What’s your best advice for living on a single income? I’d love to hear it in the comments.

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#39 Meal Plan Monday 2017

First week of NSW school holidays! We are heading away for a few days at the end of this week so I only had to plan a couple of meals.

To view all my previous Meal Plan Monday posts click here.

Monday – Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti
Tuesday – Sausages
Wednesday – Chicken Curry
Thursday – Away
Friday – Away
Saturday – Away
Sunday – Eggs on toast

What’s on your menu this week? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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White Chocolate Coconut Truffles

These are a lovely little treat I love to give as a gift. They’re simple to make but super delicious. I’m not generally a fan of white chocolate but love the combination of it with the coconut. You could however use milk or dark chocolate if that’s your preference.

You will need:
200g white chocolate
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/3 cup desicated coconut

  1. Place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave. I put mine in for 60 seconds, give it a good stir, then pop it back in for another 60 seconds.
  2. Add coconut cream and mix well until combined.
  3. Stir in coconut.
  4. Refrigerate until firm.
  5. Roll into balls.
  6. Refrigerate again, just to harden them back up.

That’s it! Like I said they are very simple to make, the most time consuming part being waiting for the mixture to firm up. This usually takes about an hour but I have made the mix before bed and then rolled it into balls in the morning. You could also coat them in extra melted chocolate if you wanted to but that’s a bit too fiddly for my liking. If you give them a go I’d love to hear what you think!

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