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Live 4 Today, Issue #011 -- Sunshine, Frugal Gifts, Spring Cleaning, Cottage Pie with Butternut Mash
November 05, 2012

Live 4 Today

November 2012 Issue #011

Welcome to this month's issue.

  1. Sunshine
  2. Frugal Gifts
  3. Spring Cleaning
  4. Frugal Tip of the month
  5. Cottage Pie with Butternut Mash


"All sunshine makes a desert" - Anon

We have had a lot of rain this year; in fact it was one of the rainiest seasons in years!

I just have to look around me to see the evidence of this in the beautiful lush, green landscape.

I'm NOT crazy about the rain :-( but I love the benefits it brings afterwards.

We can't just always have sunshine - we need rain.

This also applies to our lives. We need to experience "rainy season"- difficulty, pain and hardships in order to "grow".


Christmas is only 7 weeks away.... eek!

Hopefully during the year you have collected your Christmas gifts off sales tables.

Now is a good time to prepare your "Christmas Budget"- see what you can afford this year and then stick to your "Christmas budget". My Christmas Budget tips:

  • Don't try to keep up with others but stick to what you can afford;
  • Be honest with your family and children and tell them if you can't afford expensive presents - kids are very accommodating ;
  • Make this a " homemade gifts only " Christmas;
  • or instead of gifts this year, exchange "promise" vouchers - things like:

    • I'll wash your car
    • I'll babysit your kids while you go off to the movies
    • I will give you a one hour back massage
    • (for the kids):

    • I'll play Snakes and Ladders / Dominoes / Dress up with you for 2 hours
    • An hour visit to the Park
  • Don't post your Christmas cards this year, instead send an Emailed message or text message.
  • Make your own Christmas decorations;
  • Make your own wrapping paper. The kids and I have loads of fun with this each year. You can use ordinary newspaper or liven it with Christmas tree or Star stamps dipped in paint (cut star or tree stamps from potatoes).

    Or decorate brown paper using the same potato stamps or let the kids decorate it with painted hand and footprints.


In the Southern Hemisphere where I live, it is Spring time and time for Spring Cleaning.

Save money on expensive cleaning materials and in the process help save our planet too, by making your own cleaning materials.


Clean your bath tub with Borax powder (an abrasive cleaner). Use a damp sponge and add a bit of water to the tub if needed.


Make double and freeze one (without the mashed potato) for later.


  • 500g minced beef
  • BBQ Spice
  • 1 Tin tomato and onion mix
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 small sachet of tomato paste (3 Tbsp.)
  • 2 medium sized dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1 Tin mixed vegetables or 4 baby marrows, grated
  • 1 cup meat stock
  • 1 medium sized butternut, cubed and cooked
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sprinkle some BBQ spice over the minced meat and brown it with the garlic in a little bit of oil.
  • Once browned, add the tomato mix, paste, vegetables, bay leaves, oregano and stock.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, mash the potatoes with a little butter and milk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a separate bowl mash the butternut also.
  • Remove the bay leaves and spoon the meat into an ovenproof dish and top it with a layer of grated cheese, butternut and ending with a layer of mashed potato.
  • Bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with a green salad.

""To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven"; “A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away”; “He hath made everything beautiful in His time..." Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1, 6 and 11

Comforted 4 Today

Happy Frugal Living everyone!

Ray xx

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