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2 minute noodles.
Home brand lasagna
Homebrand frozen pizza
A $5 cake from Coles $1 candle from Kmart the whole day can be under $20 and take her to a park
Maybe have a chocolate hunt buy a bag of chocolates from Kmart (no more that $4 for a bag of you like
Go shopping later at night when things have been marked down. Sometimes you can get real bargains (I once got 4 eye fillets for $8, they weren't a bad size and did us for 2 nights). Soups are great, put some veggies in. Make pumpkin soup, I was very fortunate one day to find everything on special at my local fruit and veg store and make 4l of soup for $9. Stews are great, I will make a big batch for about $14 with some cheap meat and lots of veggies with rice as a side, I will do enough to give some to my parents and will do easily 2 nights. Curried sausages, sausage casserole, ect. Veggie curries. I love winter because everything I make is really cheap and all done in the slow cooker with enough for the freezer for another night. Really look around for specials.
As for your daughters birthday, depending on her age go to Kmart and big w. You can sometimes pick up puzzles, bubbles and toys for a few $$$ each. I find it cheaper to get the "clearance" ready to make cupcakes that woollies will have. I don't know if they do this everywhere. If you are having a party, do a movie party or one at a park where you take a plate of watermelon, some other fruit that isn't expensive and make it for morning tea time. If you want to do something special for the day look at libraries, museums, art galleries. I'm in QLD and we are on holidays so they all often have heaps of holiday activities and all free, although depending where you are these might not be available. If that isn't an option look for parks that you wouldn't normally go to.
Hopefully your husband finds another job really quickly and you only have to worry about this for a little bit. If you get really stuck both the Red Cross and Vinnies will help out with food vouchers. Please don't be scared to ask because you are someone who genuinely needs it.
Have a potluck party. Instead of gifts, people bring a food item. Bake cupcakes, they are easy to make fun amd cute with sprinkles or candy. If you have a popcorn popper, popcorn bar and movie party is another way to go. I have parties at between meal times to save on food.
Adding a piece of bread as a side to a meal is a good way to buying less meat but keeping the meal filling.
Go to the op shop and let her choose how many toys she wants, try a more affluent area. Our op shop has the most amazing games in great order for $2. My kids love saving up money and buying stuff there own toys there.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions!!
Fingers crossed it won't be long before he gets another job.
Buy something gently used. For the price of a doll, I got a whole doll house with a family amd furnishings! My daughter had no idea ot wasn't brand new. She loves it so much, I don't think she would care anyway
Call your creditors (mortgage, utilities, credit cards, etc). Some offer a payment holiday for financial hardships of 30-90 days without penalties, but interest will continue to acrue. You just go back to making your regular payments when the window ends. It might give you a little extra to squeak by on. My landlord gave us a break on rent when hubby provided free labor helping him fix our house and other properties, mowing vacant properties, etc. If you rent it's an option. We sold our un-needed stuff on swaps. Do a big clean out and turn clutter into grocery money. People sell vouchers at discount. I got $75 to Kmart for $50 on a fb voucher swap page.