The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 16 August 2015

The Cheapskates Club workshop.

On Saturday I attended the Cheapskate Club workshop in Adelaide. I also presented some tips on how to greatly reduce your beauty budget and some things you can do yourself, for little cost, that are very helpful and pampering.
It was a lot of fun. The best bit though was meeting Cath and Wendy! I feel as if I have known Cath for years but have never met her. And I feel like I have known Wendy for ages but had never met her either.
It is funny how we can truly become good friends without meeting.
Then to top it off I met Tania from  One Contented Homebody. as well. She travelled down from the edge of the outback to come. What's more she brought a huge bag of mandarins from her tree all that way! It was so lovely to meet another friend.

Cath had asked me to talk about pampering and saving money. This is a huge area we can save in. We all like to feel nice and look after ourselves but the whole beauty industry is full of tricks to get us to apart with money on products that really don't work. And then buy things we don't need! At the same time there are treatments we can do at home just as well as a salon for a fraction of the price.
We can spend this money in much better ways. Whether it is building an emergency fund or building up your pantry saving money in this area can be a massive help.

At one time I had a lot to do with a lovely beauty salon here in Adelaide. They did a range of treatments and I got to meet all kinds of specialists including plastic surgeons, therapists, podiatrists, nail technicians, you name it! I was often the voluntary guinea pig and girls training in the industry practised on me! I got to try heaps of things! Consequently I have tried a lot of things! And I asked a lot of questions!
When Chloe and Lucy worked for Lancome, Clinique, Napoleon Perdis, Revlon etc I sure learned a lot too and when Lucy studied makeup artistry and hair styling etc I was also the guinea pig at the academy she studied at. Well, this was all very interesting!
There are some things that work and some good products. But there are a lot of things that are all smoke and mirrors!

I soon learned not to spend my money and learned how to do all kinds of things at home. It was very handy!

The other day Helen was telling me about someone who spends $400 a month on her hair. I told Cath this and she said that is more than their entire food budget! Yes, it is a lot. But I went to two local salons to price the things I do every month and if I went to the hair dressers I honestly would be almost spending that much. But I probably only spend about $30 a month. (I never go to hairdressers ever). So that saving alone is kind of mind boggling. Chloe never goes to a hairdresser and nor does Lucy.

It doesn't look that bad! Chloe actually solved all her hair problems by stopping most of what she was doing and just letting her hair do it's own thing! She used to curl it, straighten it... now she just wears it how it is naturally which is a bit curly! And ta da! People ask her who is her hairdresser? I wish I knew what the three of us collectively saved. However Chloe does cut Lucy's hair. Her style is short and that is a harder thing to do... so she has Chloe cut it.

The thing is you would be surprised what you can do at home! Hair colour is one of the easiest things to do at home, that is so handy and such a big saving.
If you know a hairdresser and go to their home or they come to you then you are probably getting great value hairdressing. But going to a top salon is a very expensive thing. And they are required to sell you products, a lot of products! Some of these add up to the cost of the hair services again. Many like clarifying shampoo can be replaced at home by an Apple Cider Vinegar rise for a few cents. That will get product build up out of your hair and restore shine instead of the $30 shampoo you might be encouraged to buy. And this is just one example!

I have written a few posts on beauty related things... there is an index on the side bar... go to beauty and you will find a few posts. So far I covered...

A very good way to DIY your own microdermabrasion. Ok. it is not really mircodermabrasion but the results are the closest thing I have ever found and are fantastic! Really fantastic! This is a really massive thing for your skin. If it is well exfoliated moisturisers etc go in! Your skin feels soo smooth. Makeup glides on. You look fresher. Truly it is lovely. You save a couple of hundred dollars every time you do this. My post on this is called The Softest Skin.

I also have posted about detox baths and the power of bathing for relaxation.
The use of silk pillowcases for beauty and your hair. And how they can be made very cheaply if you find 100% pure silk scarves or possibly a dressing gown in the op shop!

A simple way to accessorise... use the colour of your eyes and the colour of your hair. You will always look great as your hair and eyes go with you everywhere. So wear those colours or carry a bag one of those colours etc.
Use the colours of nature for colour combo ideas. This gives amazing schemes we would not normally think of. ie brown loves blue.

How to make bath soak and luxurious bubble bath...

So after this workshop I have decided to add some more posts on ways to save lots of money on beauty and pampering. Some things will make beautiful gifts as well. Saving is saving.

One way to work out what areas you could really save in and so would be worth doing yourself (or finding an inexpensive alternative) is to work out your annual spend on each area. Sometimes things sound quite reasonable until you hear it as an annual cost. Then suddenly it seems shocking! THEN you think what else could I do with this amount of money? You can have a huge impact with this!

I have been so passionate about building up the pantry and emergency fund that lately I didn't blog about beauty treatments etc. But here is a way to possibly free up some money and use it to do both of those things in your household or perhaps save for a holiday, pay off debt....

If there are any subjects you would like covered would you please let me know?

This is me, Wendy and Cath.I felt proud to be associated with these ladies. Both have been on TV so many times. On Saturday there were TV cameras again and neither bat an eyelid or get frazzled by that!

 It was lovely to meet so many people wanting to learn how to save, how to stretch their food dollar and how to do better.
Several ladies asked me questions afterwards and I invited them to ask anything here in comments and I will try to help. Hello to those ladies if you are here!

Cath and Wendy are so passionate to help people cope with their budgets. Learning new skills can be the biggest saver of all. Making your own items from condensed milk through to washing powder can save a fortune. All of these recipes are on  The Cheapskares Club website.

Wendy runs a discussion on The Cheapskates Forum  which is a $300 a month challenge. This is based on a family of four. Reading it through from the beginning is fantastic. Each month she covers a new subject. Her blog is My Abundant Life.

I hope you had a great weekend as I did!

And now for a new week! I am heading off to do some shopping and errands so that I can get the week moving well. I hope we all have a wonderful week. We can learn a lot in a week! xxx


  1. Annabel, how lovely you all look in that photo, and I'm not surprised you're proud to be associated with Cath and Wendy. Well done to all concerned! You know that you and I share a love of all things beauty related, and everything you say is true. I confess now that I have a hairdresser niece, that I let her absolve me of all responsibility with hair dye (not that I have that much any more!), and a good home pampering session saves hundreds on similar treatments at a beauty specialty salon. That said, you know my family has a new venture on the horizon in this very area, and our aim will be to cater for ALL budgets, including sharing some DIY ideas. I think the last thing people want, as you've said, is to come for a gorgeous pampering session, only to have product shoved at them at the end. You are your girls are all just stunning and a true testament to how much we can all achieve ourselves. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      How handy yo have a hairdresser in the family. That is the ultimate I think!
      I admire anyone working hard in a business to make ends meet and feed their family and businesses absolutely have to cover their costs and make a profit, of course. I know t the salon I was at, product sales were almost 50% of the business profits and without them they would have gone under. High running costs etc...but I dont blame them for that, they are running a business, employing people etc all important.
      We always say this but you tube is great for tutorials on how to do anything. Lucy does her own gel nails and they are beautiful!
      Have a good week. I hope a quieter week for you! With love,

  2. It was lovely to meet all of you on the weekend. I really enjoyed my time at the workshop, and took home some new skills and knowledge. It was a great day!!

    A busy week for me this week so I may be a bit quiet around here. We are off to Ceduna to do some fishing and catch up with friends. We leave Wednesday, so a huge washing and catch up day for me today.


    1. Dear Tania, You might be in Ceduna by now... I hope having a lovely time. It was beautiful to meet you. You were the first person I saw and I knew you right away!
      Have a nice break and catch big fish! With love

  3. Annabel, thank you for posting about the workshop! After a long hot summer of working outside quite a bit, I needed this reminder to do something for myself. I'm off to read your beauty posts!

  4. There is a lot of time to be saved by doing things at home instead of paying a salon too.

    My parents just moved from their home of 45 years to our town, they moved into a brand new and beautiful retirement home. They want to be close to their 7 great grands, so their move has been occupying me for several weeks and now I am helping them get settled and unpacked.

  5. Lots of great tips, Annabel! I have never head the one about wearing the colors of your hair and eyes, but it makes perfect sense!

    1. Dear Tracy,
      This really works. Also if you study your eyes a bit you see the flecks of colour. Wearing any of those will look amazing on you! Take notice of tone ie bright or muted etc. It is amazing. This was the best tip I was ever given! Yet so obvious and I too didnt know... Love

  6. Annabel, that sounded like so much fun. It was a bit like our monthly simple living group get-togethers and you can learn so much and share ideas. You and your girls look lovely by the way.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      I always love to read about your get togethers and all the things you learn, swap etc. Really wonderful. It is very motivating too.
      Thank you so much! Love

  7. Who was more excited? Wendy? Annabel? Cath? I was like a bee in a bottle for days before we arrived in gorgeous Adelaide, to a sunny sky and lovely warm afternoon. I'm off to have a bubble bath Annabel, the dishes are done and the kitchen is tidy so my work for the day is done, now I'm going to have a little relaxation time a la your tips :)

    1. Dear Cath,
      A bee in a bottle! that is about right for me too. I hope lots of good things continue to flow from the workshop in peoples lives and for The Cheapskates Club.
      With love,

  8. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. What a wonderful time you would have all had at the workshop! It must have been so lovely meeting Wendy and Cath and Tania. Like minded friends. xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      If you ever get a chance to go to one of these go! Even though you know a lot about saving there is still surprising things to learn plus meeting people with the same interests etc is really good. It feels like support.
      Lots of love,

  10. Thank you for sharing Annabel! I think all ladies need to have some pampering and your posts give everyone ways to do it affordably! I wish I could have attended! I know what some ladies spend here I could make my house payment with!

  11. I was hoping you had a post about the workshop. I would have been excited to meet those ladies too and what a great day it would be.
    I have tried some of your beauty tips and I love them, looking forward to more.
    Have a great week Annabel xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      Thank you! This has motivated me to get going on the beauty tips again. I am working on posts! They are fun too but really are good savings and some thing make nice gifts as well.
      Thanks for encouraging me on this! With love,

  12. Dear Annabel,

    You and your daughters are gorgeous!! I am glad you shared some of your wonderful tips for skin and hair care. I did go back and read your beauty posts; they were very informative and helpful.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, Thanks, The whole area of nurturing is very close to health. My baths I think are my number one way to relax, detox etc. They feel very luxurious and help me sleep. This is an easy one!
      With love,

  13. Annabel, I am not a bath person, but we recently had a deep new bathtub put in and after reading this post, I thought I'd try a good soak with Epsom salts. Oh my goodness!! It was wonderful! I lit a lavender candle in th bathroom, very relaxing. I also tried a sugar scrub on my face. I didn't have honey, so I used olive oil. My face was so soft afterwards, and still is today. We start our new homeschool year today, I think this is my new favorite way to prep for school! It was all a perfect way to start my week! Thanks for the tips, Annabel. -Marie

    1. Dear Marie,
      I am so pleased you tried this! It is just so good for you. It is good for your skin but it works to detox you as well plus deeply relax. And the scrub! I am so happy you tried it. Sometime do try the honey as the oil would have worked fine for the scrub and moisturizing effect but also honey has its own properties as a mask that you will find leaves your skin so nice.
      The beauty of a bath is you can do several things at once all while soaking! Thank you for telling me this, I am sorry I was so slow to reply! Love

  14. It was wonderful to meet you too Annabel. Cath and I were so excited we couldn't sleep the night before. So many people have been inspired to live really well on a budget.

    Thanks for your input into the workshop. xoxo


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