This one’s more a timely tip and possibly doesn’t apply in all areas.
My electricity energy contract is due for renewal later this month. I currently get combined discounts of 17% and have just received another random offer from another provider offering 20% discount for business customers.
To cut a long story short, I decided to approach my existing provider to see what they were currently doing and much to my surprise the current offer is 25% off with no change in the rates, and I can have it from today.
I’m based in the Central West of NSW and I don’t know whether this offer extends to other areas but at 25% discount, I just thought I’d pass it on. That’s the best offer I’ve ever seen, 22% discount was the best I’d heard previously and that only when my previous provider was desperate to get me back after I’d switched providers.
The 25% discount is being offered by Origin Energy so if you can switch providers without penalty, could be worth thinking about.
We all come across products at one time or another that we find very good. Of course, we come across a lot that aren’t so good too. When we do discover a good one, it’s worth sharing with friends so here’s a few from me that you might like to consider –
McDonald’s McCafe coffee
McDonalds may not be everyone’s first choice when it comes to food or coffee but my wife and I have found that there are some things on the McDonald’s menu that we really like. One of these is the coffee from their McCafe section. In recent times we’ve found McDonald’s coffee to be very nice, very well priced and they often have deals where you can get a raisin toast, scone or muffin or something else for just a few cents more. And if that’s not good enough, grab one of their coffee loyalty cards and every 5th coffee is free.
If you’re looking for atmosphere and environment, McDonald’s probably is the place, but if you’re looking for good coffee, nice raisin toast etc. and exceptional value, Maccas is definitely the place to go.
Redwin Body Wash
For several years now my wife and I have been using a product called Redwin Sorbolene Body Wash as an alternative to soap. It comes in a pump container and we leave it in the shower all the time. It’s soft on the skin, very pleasant to use, goes an extra long way and at $9.99 for 1 litre, we feel it’s cheaper than soap. We buy ours from Chemist Warehouse where it’s always $9.99 but it’s more expensive elsewhere.
Too Good To Be True Cookbooks
My wife has been using a series of cookbooks called Too Good to Be True for several years now and she finds them to have oodles of delicious and practical recipes. There’s about 6 or more in the series now and they’re sold through newsagents. They really do have a lot of great recipes with many that we use over and over again. Here’s one for, would you believe it, “rissoles”. Try it then tell me these rissoles are not super nice.
1/2 cup raw brown rice
3/4 cup carrots grated
3/4 cup zucchini grated
1 small onion finely diced
500g very lean beef mince
1 teaspoon beef stock powder
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 sachet spring vegetable cup-a-soup (Continental)
1 egg white
pepper to taste
Follow cooking instructions on rice packet. Rinse and drain well. Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients including cooked rice to bowl and combine well. Use your hands to achieve a good consistency with rissoles. Shape into 12 patties. If time permits refrigerate rissoles for a few hours before cooking. Generously coat a large non tick frypan with cooking spray, fry rissoles 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and browned on both sides.
Variations: Replace beef mince with either lean chicken mince, lean lamb mince or lean pork mince.
Further 8 out of 10 tip: We prefer to make bigger rissoles, say 8 to 9 and then bake them in the oven on baking paper. Roughly 160-180 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until they’re cooked.
Chemtech CT-18 Superwash
This is a product we discovered years ago and still use it today. It’s basically a harmless all purpose cleaning gel and does a super job on washing the car, washing household tile floors and helps with spills etc. on driveways. Car accessory shops like Autobarn, Repco and Supercheap is where we pick it up and it’s worth shopping around a bit, the price can vary quite a few dollars between stores and although 1 litre will keep you going for a while, you may get the chance to buy a 5 litre container for the price of around 2 single litre containers.
Earth Choice products
These products, as the name suggests, are environmentally friendly. They’re available from supermarkets and there’s several different products in the range. We use a few of them but the one we use most is their dishwashing liquid. 1 litre costs under $2 and, by our standards, it’s as good as the best dishwashing liquids which can cost considerable more. It’s excellent!
The cost of energy is very much an issue for most people these days and although there are often discount deals on offer from the various companies, you still have to almost be an actuary to work them all out.
The NRMA Open Road magazine this month tells of a deal where 20% discount is available to members through a company called Simply Energy. My wife and I checked it out and found overall, we’d save 120-$150 a year on our home electricity costs. We had been getting a 14% discount from our current provider.
Of course this deal is only for a short time and it may not apply to your particular area but I’ll pass in on anyway.
The site you need to check out is –
The Coalition presented another budget this week and much of the emphasis was on helping small business. The catch cry they used was “have a go”.
Problem is, the way I read it, several of the measures put forward, if taken up, will just see small business owners spending more money, money many haven’t got in the first place. For me, the main measures they put forward will simply help those small businesses who can afford to take on more staff, buy more equipment or who currently pay company tax. For those others who are screaming out for relief with their expenses or overheads such as staff wages, the budget will do little.
That’s the down side.
The upside is that the budget is already being hailed as a good one by the broader community and that’s a good thing. Over recent months, overall spending has been down and it’s had a lot to do with the way people feel. With all the shenanigans going on at the Federal Government level I think it’s pretty obvious that many people are fed up, there’s not a lot of confidence around and the outworking of all this is people tend to spend less.
I’m pretty disappointed that the budget didn’t do more to help those small business owners that need it most but at the same time, I’m happy that it at least has prospects for getting a bit more confidence back into the marketplace and that should result in people spending a bit more freely.
If I had it my way…..
Instead of offering employers small incentives to employ additional staff that they can’t afford in the first place, I’d like to have seen the government reward small business owners who employ say up to 20 people with say a one off $1000 grant for each full time staff member and $500 for a part time staff member who remained employed for 12 months.
Of course that’s out of dreamland but in my view that would do a lot more to help and encourage small business owners to put on or increase their staff and spend money on additional equipment than what they’ve suggested in the budget. As it stands, to get $10 out of the budget offerings, you’ve got to spend more like up to $100, or so it seems.
Sadly, the only small businesses that I can see gaining a benefit out of this latest budget are those who don’t need the help anyway but will gladly take anything that’s offer, simply because it’s there to be had. I can’t see too many businesses spending money that they don’t have to spend in the first place. If they do have to replace staff or equipment in the normal course of their business, of course they’ll take any handouts on offer.
Just recently I was contacted by the Australian Small Business Commissioner’s office about an editorial comment I wrote for our newspaper a few months earlier. They liked the article and wanted to invite me to contribute to their blog occasionally.
I never knew it existed and still don’t know much about what they do. The feeling I get however, is that they are genuinely interested in helping small business owners and to help them do this, they want to hear firsthand about the issues that small business owners have to contend with on a daily basis. My item is yet to appear on their blog and it seems that most of the current contributions have been provided by industry people who work with small business owners.
I believe they’d like to receive some more candid feedback from genuine business owners but either way, you might like to have a look at their sites and decide for yourself whether there’s any value in what they do for you personally. I’m going to watch their progress for a bit to see if anything worthwhile comes out of it.
The sites you need to check out are –
For Christmas 2013, my son included a pair of simple innersoles as a stocking stuffer among my Christmas gifts. He said, although unusual, he had a pair and found them very comfortable. I thought to myself “oh well, whatever?”
I put them in my workday shoes, which are pretty comfortable and good quality to start with, and boy I could really notice a pleasing difference, very soft and comfortable underfoot. When they finally wore out, I decided to see if I could buy the same ones again. I shopped around and finally found them in a Mather’s Shoe store. They are called Waproo Freshfoot odour destroying foam insole and much to my delight, they cost just $5 a pair. Not earth shattering marketing advice by any means but if you like comfortable shoes, for just $5 you may like to give them a try.