Check out these resources to help you stay thrifty and avoid mortgage fail:


Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie

Save with Jamie‘Inspiration comes from around the world and though some meals miss the authenticity mark (‘okonomiyaki’ with tomato ketchup and yoghurt, wtf?), at least it’s acknowledged (‘kinda Vietnamese salmon salad’ with apples and radishes anyone?)…In some ways, these kinda, sorta recipes allow for a relaxed cooking style where it’s okay to substitute, using the odds and ends rolling around the bottom of the fridge or whatever’s in season.’ (mustbethrifty review, 28 March 2014)

Arabella Forge’s Frugavore

‘Marrying professional opinion with personal experience, Forge channels the authoritative tones of Shannon Lush of Spotless fame and Backyard Self-Sufficiency gardener Jackie French; her notes on fats, grains, and sugars have more in common with a home economics textbook than most cookbook glossaries. There’s also descriptions on how to make the most of one’s ingredients, including peasant-style recipes. In between recipes and ingredient monographs, Forge offers general advice on thrift.’ (mustbethrifty review, 4 June 2012)

Sandra Reynolds’ The $120 Food Challenge

‘As well as making the most of this wide range of local produce, Reynolds also capitalises on Australia’s multicultural influences…Overall, Sandra Reynolds’ The $120 Food Challenge is an adventurous yet practical addition to the clever cook’s shelf.’ (mustbethrifty review, 16 April 2012)

AWW’s Smart Food – 1o1 recipes that won’t break the budget

‘By showing what can be done with a restrictive list of ingredients, Smart Food reduces waste in the kitchen, potentially saving households $1,036 each year. Unfortunately, such a narrow focus makes thrifty cooks feel like they’re on a low-fat, low-sugar, egg-and-dairy-free diet, especially when desserts have been excised from the Smart Food menu.’ (mustbethrifty review, 20 February 2012)

Delia Smith’s Frugal Food

‘…this revised edition is a bit of a curiosity, offering fascinating insight on a bygone era…Recipes are plain and simple: no fancy Masterchef ingredients, no secret culinary handshakes, and very few photos.’ (mustbethrifty review, 22 August 2011)


Emily Chantiri’s The Savvy Girls’ Money Book 

‘Chantiri tackles awkward subjects like credit card debt, income protection, impulse buys, and superannuation in the same way an agony aunt might tackle a philandering husband. The book also focuses on prenupts, weddings, sexually transmitted debt, and buying a secondhand car without getting ripped off, issues that rarely get an airing in a less girl-focused finance book.’ (mustbethrifty review, 20 November 2012)

Martin Hawes’ Save Money on Your Mortgage

‘Complex banking products, such as revolving credit and split loans, are deconstructed in easy-to-understand terms. Large font and small bodies of carefully structured text make the process of understanding mortgages as painless as possible, while simple case studies help flesh out abstract financial concepts…’ (mustbethrifty review, 16 July 2012)


Emily Chalmers, Ali Hanan, & Debi Treloar’s Flea Market Style

‘Like an actual flea market, however, you need to dig around for Flea Market Style’s real treasure–advice that will help you furnish and decorate a house without needing to take out a second mortgage…More importantly, Chalmers, Hanan, and Treloar prove that making do with what you’ve got doesn’t mean being stuck with ugly. Matching minimalistic paragraphs with colourful illustrations, they teach us how to value the mismatched and imperfect, as well as what to do with them.’ (mustbethrifty review, 29 Oct 2012)


Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way

The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way‘The advice, which ranges from setting budget priorities to choosing a dress/seamstress to asking favours from friends and family, is also rudimentary. When discussing venue options, Bare does not consider all questions and or issues that need to be addressed such as access to toilets, hidden costs, alcohol/smoking/noise restrictions, etc. Don’t expect a comprehensive guide. Do, however, mine the book for new ways to DIY and save money.’ (mustbethrifty review, 4 June 2013)

Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides

offbeat bride‘By writing about her own Burning Man/raver-inspired celebratory experience, Stallings offers inspiration, not aspiration, to her offbeat tribe…Since the book is a memoir, there’s a lot of sieving required, but the highly unusual cost-saving tips are worth the effort. Who would have thought that mismatched bed sheets would make such good tablecloths?’ (mustbethrifty review, 19 Feb 2013)


Millie Ross’ The Thrifty Gardener

Millie Ross' The Thrifty Gardener‘There are, of course, books that already look into gardening on the cheap. There’s Dave Hamilton’s Grow Your Food For Free (Well, Almost). There’s even a book with the same title, Alys Fowler’s The Thrifty Gardener. Both are British, however, and lack the local focus that Ross delivers in spades…’ (mustbethrifty review, 13 February 2014)


MoneySmart – Simple guidance you can trust

MoneySmart is a government initiative run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that helps Australians make smart choices about their personal finances.

I op therefore I am

A collaborative blog about op shopping in Melbourne, Australia, I op therefore I am has an extensive list of op shop addresses and their opening hours. is a government website run by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. As well as explaining government surcharges and incentives, it also has tools such as the Lifetime Healthcover calculator and a comprehensive list of health funds and their policies.

offbeatbrideMostly for brides who want to ‘altar their thinking’, is also a safe haven for mustbethrifty brides don’t want to buy into the wedding industry hype. Don’t want to spend $5000 on a wedding dress? No problems. Make it your day without taking out a second mortgage.

apw‘All that stuff wedding media tells you that you have to have? We think you don’t have to have it (unless you actually want it)’ is‘s motto. Like most bridal blogs, there’s a ‘real weddings’ section; unlike most bridal blogs, some of the ‘real weddings’ focus on budgetting. website's screenshotA useful government website with an environmental focus for those who want to build, renovate, or buy a home that’s ‘economical to run, healthier to live in and adaptable to your changing needs’ (via website).

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