Archives for September 2011

Your Questions About How To Save Money On Food

Helen asks…

How can I save money on food in Melbourne? Are there any food outlet stores that sell cheap, good quality food

I need to save money on food. I feed a family of five and it’s just SO expensive to feed them now that prices have risen. Any hints on cheap meals to prepare would be good too. Thanks

richmama answers:

Hi. You should shop at Aldi, it’s cheaper than Coles or Safeway. Google saying “home-made easy meals”. I hope everything works out okay.

Sorry this isn’t very helpful….

Jenny asks…

What is a good way, to save money when food shopping?

I am 18 years old, and sometimes I do go food shopping for myself. I want to see, if anyone can give me ideas on how to save money, when food shopping.

richmama answers:


Here are tips on how you can save money for your groceries:

Make sure you aren’t hungry before you go to the Grocery Store – studies have shown that shoppers tend to buy more in the grocery stores when they are hungry. This is the reason why some grocery shops have their bakery along the entrance of the store.

The smell of the freshly baked breads and cakes could really make you hungry. And this could make you shop and spend more than what you intended.

The best way to handle this is to make sure your stomach is not empty, if no food can be taken; drink at least a glass or two of water. Shopping when you’re full will surely help you combat the temptations of the mouth-watering smells inside the grocery store.

Try to look up and down on the shelves – make sure that you search the higher and lower shelves. The more expensive brands are normally located on the shelves on your chest level. The cheaper or generic brands are either located below or higher than your average sight.

Shop alone – try to find time to go to the grocery store by yourself. When you ask for helpers, they tend to increase your bill.

Go to the store at the early time of the day – when you go to the grocery store early in the morning, you tend to finish with your list a little faster, thus avoiding the need to roam around and get attracted to unnecessary expenses.

Shop when you are in a good mood – when you shop and you feel tired, you tend to buy more sweets, chocolates and high-carbohydrates. And when you are mad, you tend to buy more junk food.

Don’t buy non-grocery items – grocery shops normally sell some non-grocery items like contact lens and painkillers. These products normally cost more at the grocery stores.

Always bring your calculator – make sure to shop with your calculator. In this way, you can easily compute how much you save when buying in-packs or individually wrapped items.

Check your receipts every after shopping, mistakes can happen no matter how much you avoid them. Remember that every cent counts.

Buy foods that are fresh, cheap and seasoned food. With fewer dealers involved, the cheaper, fresher and better quality of food that you can get for your family.

Make sure to double check the weighs of the pre-packed goodies that you buy. Sometimes they lack a little pound or weigh less than what they normally should. Make it a point that you get all your hard-earned money’s worth.

When you specifically went to your favorite grocery shop for a definite item on sale and suddenly knowing that it’s no longer available. Make sure that you make a rain check and ask for the next stocks to arrive. So that you’ll be early the next time the stocks reach the store.

Check the ends and edges of the grocery store. More often than not, the healthy and fresher which are less processed foods are located at the ends of the grocery shops. Fruits, vegetables, Dairy products and meats are examples of these.

Avoid walking thru the main areas, since these regions are normally where the products are very expensive and cost more.

It’s important to focus on the price of the item. Make sure to check the other brands to be certain of getting the best deal. Also, buy only what you need. Sometimes, you get deceived when you get to buy things that are on sale even if you don’t need them. If this happens, you didn’t get the bargain no matter how cheap it seemed.

Don’t be mislead with the brilliant colored packaging of the grocery shops. They normally pack certain items simply to attract. Focus on your list and buy things that you need.

Good luck and hope that helps!

Take care


Thomas asks…

How can I save money with food?

would like to eat more healthy and spend less on food…college student on a very tight budget here and I have my last credit card payment to pay off, about $500.00, not too bad but its a lot of money when you’re going to college and aren’t a professional with a salary…

anyway how can I save money with food?
thanks a bunch =)

richmama answers:

I am at college and i used to spend too much money on food. The trick is to make a meal plan of what you are going to eat through out the week or until you next go food shopping.
If you have a meal plan you can buy things in bulk, like eg.onions. Which are used in almost every recipe. Also mince meat is a cheap meat and can be used for loads of different meals and it fills you up.
Dont buy ready meals they are usually quite expensive and small portions. Buy seasonal vegetables as they will be cheaper to buy eg. Apples, pears and strawberrys are in season now.

Buy big packs or pasta and rice to boil, they are cheaper than small packs.
Stick to shops own brands rather than big expensive brands.
Look out for offers such as buy one get one free or 2 for 1. And freeze the other one if u are not going to use it right away.

If you think you made too many portions and Rather than throwing left overs away, freeze it ! This way you dont get bored of eating the same everday and uve got food portioned in your freezer for another day.

Examples of cheap meals:
spaghetti bolognese
cottage pie
chick stir fry. With noodles or rice.
Chicken curry with rice.
Jello and fruit
backet potatoe and tuna mayo, or cheese, or mince
chilli con carne
natural joghurt and fruit

Robert asks…

How do I save money on food?

How do i save money on food?My house is really poor and i decided i should save money by cooking my own food.Help for how to cook cheap food?

richmama answers:

Eat for a few days, and fast for another few days ….

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Your Questions About How To Live On A Tight Budget Uk

Chris asks…

how much does one person need to live in uk?

i mean all basic and min as pos as im on a tight budget till i get a job,i dont need to pay rent as im staying with friends so all i need to do is give her some money for water and electric? so food?,travel? maybe go out with mate 1 a week…..any help would be great,thanx
at the moment im living in spain i am moving to milton keynes x

richmama answers:

Double your expenditures here…thats how much you need.

I grew up in London…not a cheap place to live

Helen asks…

What are the current 2011 UK entitlements when having a baby?

I am currently 28 weeks pregnant with my first child, due in July and I will be beginning my statutory maternity leave in 8 weeks. My partner works full time earning 17K. I usually earn 13K and am worried that with SMP we are going to be living on a very tight budget! I have not been told what we are actually entitled to or how to go about applying for anything, so any advice would be appreciated!

richmama answers:

You will be entitled to child benefit, which is around £20 per week, and you can claim this as soon as you have your babies birth certificate. In addition you may be entitles to some sort of family tax credit, this is calculated on an individual basis.

This is a great website to visit for information on what you are entitled to and how to claim

Alternatively a visit to a Job Centre or Citizens Advise Bureau to speak to an advisor will give you more accurate information.

Betty asks…

Survivng 1 month in Japan on a very tight budget?

Hi everybody!!

I’m currently on my gap year and am going to Japan with my boyfriend on the 25th of January for a month..

Luckily for me my parents are paying for my air fare and I will have rented accomodation in Osaka (although trips to other cities and islands will incur additional accomodation costs). I will also buy my Japan Rail ticket before I leave the UK.

However, I only have a limited amount of money to play with (aprox £2000) while I’m over there…
How can I make the most of my visit with limited funds??

If you live in Japan, have travelled in Japan or just generally have some idea on how to budget while travelling please help!!!

Thank you in advance to all you kind people who have helped 🙂


richmama answers:

The rail pass will help you out for JR lines while you’re there, especially for the long distance trips by bullet train. However, when traveling around the city (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe), JR doesn’t have a huge presence so you will have to take private train lines and subways that you’ll have to pay yourself. That’s no problem…just avoid taking taxis if at all possible.

Other words of advice to stay cheap:

Stay at youth hostels when traveling.
Visit your local 100 yen shop (Daiso, 99Shop,etc.)…you can find a lot of stuff there you would never think of.
Eat lunch at cheap fast food places (Matsuya, Yoshinoya, Sukiya, even McDonald’s).
Buying groceries and cooking yourself to save money is a bit of a myth if you compare it to eating cheap meals at places like those.

Hope you have a good trip!

Sandra asks…

Budget for backpacking North America?

am backpacking the States for 6-8 months, and I am couch surfing most of it. This means I will be spending very little on accommodation which reduces my costs considerably, but how much will I need per month for extras? My main stops are Boston, New York, Fl, Texas and Cali.

I will probably only be taking one train journey a month, and will be going by Amtrak. I am used to living on a tight budget so don’t mind that but would like to splash out occasionally.

I have already bought my flights from the UK. I was told $1000 a month should be okay, but this doesn’t seem very much to me.

Thanks in advance!

richmama answers:

Rachel Ray would tell you that $40 a day US could cover everything except lodging.

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Your Questions About Eating Healthy To Lose Weight

Maria asks…

Can i lose weight eating healthy without exercises?

Due to arthritis in my legs i can’t exercise much, even walking too long is painful. I am trying to eat healthily and i wanted to know if it’s possible to lose weight just by following a healthy diet but no exercises.

richmama answers:

Any combination of eating less and/or exercising more will work as long as your fuel intake (food/fuel/calories) is less than what you need to power your day. So the answer is yes.

FWIW, swimming and/or cycling could work for you without causing too much pain, and might even improve the arthritis.

Helen asks…

Brisk walking 2 miles a day + eating healthy = Lose weight fast?

I need to lose A LOT of weight. Will I if I Brisk walk 2 miles a day and eat healthy portion sizes? How much do you think I’d lose a week or a month?

richmama answers:

You would probably lose at least one pound a week.

Paul asks…

What are tips I can use to lose weight besides eating healthy and exercising?

I’ve been exercising and eating healthy but I can’t lose weight.
I’m not afraid to use drugs or any other ways to do it. Any tips or tricks will be greatly appreciated, even appetite suppressant tips I will take.
Thanks <3

I'm 5'7 and 131 lbs =[

richmama answers:

Hi Olivia,

It sounds as though you have a great diet and exercise enough each week. The one thing you did not mention was getting enough sleep. With your busy lifestyle, are you getting enough sleep each night? The more sleep, the better. In order for your metabolism to be consistent, a steady amount of sleep is required. I hope this helps!

Read about Rachel’s Weight Loss Story

George asks…

Tips for eating healthy to lose weight?

Does anyone have any good advice or maybe a website to obtain good advice for losing weight and just eating healthy in general?

richmama answers:

Here’s a few tips that work for me:
I spend a long time in front of a computer screen. Often I just stare at the monitor for up to 15 seconds while a page load or a document gets printed or whatever it is that the computer is doing.
When this is happening I lift my hands up over my head and then bring them down. I keep on doing this until the computer has finished whatever it is doing and it requires some input.,. From me.
I do similar exercises like getting up from the chair and sitting down again. I sometimes might be standing up and might type a few sentences while standing.
Combine this with drinking only water and I am doing something to lose weight. It is not much but doing it all the time it does help in losing weight.
I might swap this sometimes. I might decide that I will not do the arm exercise for a week but that week I will get off the lift two floor below and walk up the last two floors.
So long as when I go to bed at night I can say that that day I have done something extra to burn some weight, I am happy.

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Your Questions About Reading Books On Itunes

Steven asks…

How to read iTunes books on the computer?

I just bought a book on iTunes, thinking I would be able to read it on the computer – and when I click on it, nothing happens. Is there any way I can read it on the computer? Any programs I could open the file with to read it in Adobe, wordpad, etc?

It’s not a PDF file, it’s an .epub file.
Thanks, LostZilla! I hadn’t thought of that. I downloaded Adobe Digital Editions and it works great! 🙂

richmama answers:


I believe that is only possible through the iPad or iPhone using the iBooks.

Anyway, you can to search on the internet any program that it is possible to read file in format Epub.

Thanks you

Chris asks…

How do you read books on iTunes?

I’ve got an ipod chromatic so i know I wont be able to read it on that, so how do i just read it on itunes on the computer?

Please help, thanks

richmama answers:

You cant

Carol asks…

How do you read books bought on iTunes?

Hi there, How do you read books bought on iTunes? I bought one thinking I may be able to read it on Adobe Digital Editions software as it is an epub file. But it shows as blank

richmama answers:

Try this:

Sandy asks…

How to read books on Itunes?

I purchased a book and i can’t read it how do i open or read it?

richmama answers:

Ok judging by the fact that you mentioned read on itunes, I already know you are an old person who is clearly not very up to date, to say the least. Not that matters, so anyway, back to your question.

Yes, you can purchase books, but not on itunes…. On i books, and no, you cannot read the books on your pc or mac, when using ibooks, but rather on ipad or ipod. However, if using kindle books, yes, you can read books on both computer and handheld device (ipad, ipod, galaxy tab, kindle nook etc.)

Hope I helped, hope i inquired correctly when implying you were old. :p

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Your Questions About Internet Safety Tips For Everyone

Maria asks…

Where to report a web site?

Where can I report a website? There is a site that’s for people 13 – up to join. But the site allows PORNO to be posted, and they even have a section where EVERYONE can talk about sex… The “internet police” won’t do anything about it… Why? Because they are one of the many who are “sponcering” the site.

The porno people post, anyone can view it. Doesn’t matter their age. Yet, the site acts like they are so responsible with the “safety tips” and crap like that everywhere. If they are that responsible, why do they allow porno? Why do they have a section where people of any age can talk about sex? And some may say “report the videos”… People have… The video will remain there for days – weeks – even months before they do anything about it.

So, do any of you know where I can report this site to people who actually WILL do something about it?

richmama answers:

You report it to the FBI Cyber unit, here is the link. They will take it from there.

Robert asks…

Hi Has any one else gotten this message? Call the cops if you think anyon?

State police warning for online: Please read this “very carefully”..then send it out to all the people online that you know. Something like this is nothing to be taken casually; this is something you DO want to pay attention to. If a person with the screen-name of DreamWeaverGrey contacts you, do not reply. DO not talk to this person; do not answer any of whispers or requests for private chat in Pogo. Whoever this person may be, he/she is a suspect for murder in the death of 56 women (so far) contacted through the Internet.
Please send this to all the women on your buddy list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name has also been seen on Yahoo, AOL, AIM, and Excite so far. This is not a joke! Please send this to men too…just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies, this is serious. Jennifer S. Faulkner Education/Information Specialist Roanoke Fire-EMS 541 Luck Avenue, Suite 120 Roanoke, VA 24016 540) 853-2257 (phone) 540) 853-1172 (fax) IF WE CAN PASS ON JOKES, SURELY WE CAN PASS ON A WARNING THAT MAY SAVE A LIFE! Safety Tip #5 Report nudity, harassment, hate speech, and other inappropriate content.
It wasnt an email it was an Instant message
I didnt ask if it was real or fake I asked if anyone else got this message???

richmama answers:

The police can track your IP address even if you give fack names and addresses. Besides, 56 killings would have been all over the news in every city and state by now..Dont believe everything you hear or read!!!!!!!

Steven asks…

UK question! What do you think about 18yr old HGV Drivers- YES or NO?

HGV DRIVERS- AT 18yrs old?
I dont believe I grew up and acted responsibly for quite some time when I left school but at 18 there was completely no chance- Girls, Booze and pecking order certainly went through my brain.
Even at 21- I don’t believe I was completely responsible.
Do you think that 18yr olds should be given 53 feet long trucks weighing 45 tons or more to drive up motorways packed with family cars etc?
After the first family dies- I think they ought to hang the buggers that have pushed this through parliament.
To make matters worse we have men between 40 and 60 that only know this living.
The 18yr olds can be taught to build helicopters and ships etc- but NO our government want to pay other countries through the nose for them so that bliar and the ginger t*ss pot can live like kings in europe.
Why are we getting rid of age barriers on this of all things- clearly it has nothing to do with safety but more to do with an inadequate government that has no fore sight at all- LET’S have a CIVIL WAR via the internet and everyone e-mail downing street and tell him he’s incompetent and drive him out of office.
C’mon have YOUR say- AM I A FOOL or is there a point to my question?
Please realise that you may have an 18yr old driving explosive cargo’s up and down the A1 with a cigarette in his teeth as he’s not learnt to accept authority yet!
1 hour ago – 4 days left to answer.
Additional Details
I believe it’s another cure for the dole queue that will go dreadfully wrong.
I’ve had 12yrs of driving hazardous and dangerous and have had an artic tip over on me in high winds at 40mph If I’d have been doing the full 56 I might not be here.
There are an awful lot of things to learn and age does allow experience to grow on you.
WHAT will happen to the 40 to 60 yr olds – they’ll just replace the 18yr olds in the dole queue.

UK question- C’mon what would you say if YOU were in parliament and this issue came up?
As for Mr Johnston- I don’t know ANY 18yr olds that aren’t under military rules that does respond well to authority- even Police officers in training!

Mr ‘one shot’ – that is the difference with civvy street and the millitary!
In Colchester I got 3 words out of my mouth and wished I’d never as I was now unable to move my fingers or toes for about 20 minutes and then only painfully (the rest of my body felt like I’d fallen down a cliff.
In civvy street you can normally bleat as much as you like as long as you don’t use profanity or menaces!
I’ve worked with soldiers and found them immature at 25, i.e. smoke disks on my back rails as I departed proteus with cargo on for catterick and Leeming- not exactly funny when you get out with the extinguisher and a heart rate thats nearly doubled! Not funny when some of the lads transfer rifles YOU’VE signed for into their vehicle and your trying to explain at the guard house- SOME SOLDIERS NEVER GROW UP!

richmama answers:

I hadn’t realised that this had been passed and the age for HGV was now reduced to 18. It does sound very stupid….. However, I can’t see many truck owning firms allowing 18 year old kids to drive their trucks. I mean, look at the economics of it. I don’t know how much those donkeys cost, in the region of 100 grand maybe? The operation licence will be revoked if they have just one bad incident, and the insurance costs alone to insure an 18 year old must be prohibitive. So,, even though the govt might want it, the operators wont fall for it. I wouldn’t worry too much, it costs an 18 year old about 3 grand to insure a VW Golf!!!

But I understand you concerns, it’s an accident that’s bound to happen, even if they let the most ‘mature’ 18 year olds behind the wheel of one of those things.

Thomas asks…

Is anyone able to help me? Why did my answer get “rejected”? Which rule have I broken?

Is it ‘dangerous’ for countries to protect their own economies? Should government seek to protect their own economies and workers at this time? Or will this just worsen the downturn?

COMMENT: I am in favour of “protectionism”. We need to protect our own economies; it’s not going to be done by anyone else.

The sham that is “globalisation” is unravelling faster than a 2nd-hand jumper, and we need to protect our own interests.

Some may argue that this could be unfair on other people, but how many other countries would risk their own economy in an effort to save ours? “Not many” is the truth.

I would like to urge people to buy British, except we don’t make anything any more.


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richmama answers:

Violation notices are computer generate. Think nothing of them and move on. If you get suspended just start another account. This site is a joke

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