16 August, 2016

Home Energy Study in Adelaide

A new energy study is looking for particpants from Adelaide and surrounds to trial some 'smart' devices which allow households to control home appliances and lighting. The purpose of the study is to understand how these devices affect electricity use in the home.

No building work or change to your electrical service is needed and you can keep the devices after the trial, FREE.

No special knowledge is required but participants need to own a smart phone and have a WiFi network.

The project examines:

· Routines and energy use in your home

· Ways to help households manage electricity bills

· What you think about new ‘smart’ devices for homes

What does participation involve?

· An informal interview at your home (about 1 hour) and a follow up

discussion a few months later

· During our visit we will give you some devices free of charge to try

which you can keep after the study is finished

· Participation is entirely voluntary and details remain confidential

Go to www.homeenergystudy.com to submit your application.

5 August, 2016

Making the most of our Census

If you have been looking for something surrounded by more entertaining controversy than the senate ticket in the last election, then on Tuesday evening you can participate in the 2016 census. It’s five year fact finding mission will attempt to capture a wealth of information by asking you to log on with your own special 12 digit number. The length of the census questionnaire is possibly only a whisker longer than the senate ballot sheet but the heated debate around it is just as fierce. On one hand it is good that the country is finally talking about such issues as privacy and public trust (something not many people consider when they use a loyalty card) but there is also great concern that if people express their viewpoint by boycotting or not providing their true details we may be in danger of losing the ability to capture accurate information to help meet the needs of many groups such as the 6000 homeless in South Australia.

The information gathered about people experiencing homelessness is key to forming policy and the associated funding decisions that provide the services and assistance for this community. Many people slip in and out of the homeless category as their circumstances change but without help from community groups many will experience even greater hardship or possibly suffer tragic outcomes.

You might ask how does the Government plan to match such groups with a 12-digit barcode and separate them from the people just wondering around the streets looking for Pokemon. This is where the controversy and plethora of Pokemon humour ends, as there has been a lot of work done over the years by many organisations and welfare groups to identify and measure these groups so that an accurate picture can be made of the homeless. In fact just classifying these groups can be problematic. The ABS definition of homelessness includes rough sleepers, couch surfers, persons in supported accommodation and persons in severely overcrowded dwellings - different procedures are in place to capture the information for each category.

This year the ABS has enlisted special field officers predominantly made up of the ranks of the homeless service provider networks, their staff and volunteers as well people who are or have experienced homelessness in the past. Now that’s more progressive thinking. These activities, which may involve a short interview, could take up to a week to complete and already training for these groups and reference material has been provided or well underway. The community organisations know how important this task is and are keen to give the homeless a proper voice and attention.

It follows that with this much controversy the public debate will continue long after Tuesday. Perhaps well into the next five years when the ABS will need to address public concerns fully or once again be the target of some very funny sarcastic anti-ads and online videos. Still, on Tuesday evening Pokemon hunters may not stay at home to fill out the census but at least some provision has been made to count the many homeless and perhaps not leave them totally out in the cold.

4 August, 2016

Walk a Mile in My Boots

Tomorrow morning (Friday 5th August) at 7.30 an army of people will experience what it is like to walk along the streets early in the morning seeking a shower, meal, cup of tea and a warm, welcoming place. This is a fundraiser for the Hutt Street Centre that provides care and assistance to those experiencing homelessness.

The walk starts on Wakefield Road, then onto Hutt Street, past Hutt St Centre and finishing in the South Park Lands for a ‘traditional’ Hutt St Centre BBQ breakfast kindly provided by Badge. It will only take just over an hour of your time.

Because no person who is homeless should feel like they’re walking alone

3 August, 2016

Homelessness Gateway

1800 003 308 - The homelessness gateway is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week telephone service which can help with support and access to emergency accommodation.

Everyone who contacts the service is assessed and referred to the best and most appropriate service. Any person experiencing homelessness or at the risk of Homelessness is eligible for this service.

There are many services across the state that provide help for the homeless of South Australia. From Ceduna to the Riverland these services provide assistance for families, adults, young people, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and domestic or family violence situations that leave people without shelter, food and care. The Homelessness Gateway Service is provided by United Communities

A full list of homelessness services across the state is available on the SA government website:


Ring the Homelessness Gateway 1800 003 308 or use the Affordable SA App as a pocket reference to find the right service required.

2 August, 2016

Homelessness Week - Today is washing day

As part of Homelessness Week we are highlighting some of the services that are available in Adelaide.

Orange Sky Laundry is a mobile laundry service for the homeless in Adelaide.

"Peggy" began servicing Adelaide on the 30th of March, operating 6 days a week. Every single night, over 6,000 people find themselves homeless in South Australia. Peggy will provide lots of washing and conversations for this community.

Orange Sky Laundry is a catalyst for conversation. In the one hour time it takes to wash and dry someone's clothes there is absolutely nothing to do but sit down on one of our 6 orange chairs and have a positive and genuine conversation between our everyday volunteers and everyday friends on the street.


1 August, 2016

Homelessness Awareness

The extreme weather conditions in Adelaide and South Australia has been creating havoc this winter. Imagine the wet and cold for those without the security of four walls and who sleep rough. This week 1-7 August is Homelessness Week, an annual themed week coordinated by Homelessness Australia (HA). It is used to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues these people face.

Homelessness is not a choice. The majority of people are homeless due to financial and emotional hardship. The biggest cause of homelessness is family and domestic violence, followed by financial difficulties. Currently there are 105,000 people experiencing homelessness every night in Australia, and many more living in insecure housing, one step away from being homeless.

The largest proportion of Australia's homeless population is out of sight and out of mind, moving from one place to the next. These are our 'hidden homeless'.

See the Affordable App under Accommodation Services for services available to assist the homeless in South Australia and visit www.facebook.com/HomelessnessWeek or join the conversation at #homelessnesscounts to show everyone that ‘Homelessness Counts’ in Australia.

15 July, 2016

Top Tax Tips for lodging your tax return

It's tax time again. Get a head start by using Money Smart's Top Tips to get yourself ready for lodging your return. Understand what you need regarding your statements, reciepts and what you can claim regarding work related expenses. Use the online income tax calculator and view changes to the Medicare levy and private health insurance rebates that may effect you.

Tax guidance for lodging your first Tax Return as well as special information for the under 25s. Watch video content to help set you on the right path and download the ATO App to help prepare for next year.

Be Money Smart this year.

20 June, 2016

The Market Place comes to Mount Barker

The Mount Barker Salvos are excited to bring the Market Place to the Adelaide Hills community from 12pm – 1.30pm every 3rd Tuesday of the month starting Tuesday 21st June 2016. Offering people in need from the Adelaide Hills community access to fresh produce and baked goods free of charge.

Stalls of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods will be available for the community with a 'help yourself' approach, shoppers are en-couraged to make healthy selections in a dignified and supportive environment.

The Market Place is located at The Salvation Army Church, 17 Fletcher Road, Mount Barker

24 May, 2016

Tips for cost effective grocery shopping

The cost of food and feeding your family is one of the most expensive aspects to your budget.

For those looking for tips to save money at the grocery store and stretch your food budget further, you can save lots of money grocery shopping if you follow any or all of these tips…

Make a grocery shopping list.

Buy only what’s on the list. If you go grocery shopping without a list, you’ll buy things you don’t need and forget some of the items that you do need. This will result in paying more money at the register. Keep the list handy at home, and add to it throughout the week.

Plan your meals.

Planning your week of meals ahead of time will help you focus on the items that you will need when you make up your grocery list. This will help eliminate buying extra food as a result of not being sure of what you’ll be eating through the week.

Check sales flyers and look for coupons.

Take advantage of sales (and coupons) and plan some of your meals around them. Sales flyers are often found in the newspaper, and online.

Don’t stop and look at other things.

Only shop for the things on your list. This can be tough to do, but sticking to your list will save you money.

Don’t go when you’re hungry.

It is definitely true that when you’re hungry, you will end up spending a lot more. Eat a meal first, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your list.

Buy in bulk when it makes sense.

Although more up front cost, if you are truly going to use it before it spoils, it will be cheaper to buy in bulk. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will use it up though. Be realistic.

Avoid name brands.

Store brands or brands other than well-known names are often less expensive and tastes nearly as good. Be willing to experiment. You may have a favorite brand of diced tomatoes, for example, but does it really matter?

Cut back on your “one-item” trips.

The cost of gasoline is a factor, and each trip may cost you lots more than you realize when you factor it it.

Avoid watery items.

Things like broth, pre-mixed drinks, and all other items that are laden with mostly water are relatively expensive. Much of this you can make yourself from scratch for less money.

Buy produce in season.

Fresh produce is always cheaper in-season. This gives you the opportunity to buy lots, and to preserve (dehydrate, jams, canning, etc.)

Rain check.

If an item is on sale but the store has run out of stock, ask for a rain check.

Drink water.

Not bottled water, but water from home. Buy a filter if your water tastes bad. If you regularly drink iced tea, sodas or other types of drinks, cut those out completely and just drink water. It’s much better for you, and much cheaper.

Stick to basic spices.

When you buy pre-mixed spices, they are simply blends of basic ingredients which you are paying a premium for. Learn to combine your own spices from the basics. Check online for spice recipes.

Avoid “pre”.

While pre-cubed, pre-diced, pre-sliced, pre-pounded, pre-seasoned, (pre-anything), processed, packaged foods, etc., may be more convenient, it costs LOTS less to make these things yourself, and is often healthier. Learn how. Make it from scratch.

Don’t give in to the kids.

If you allow them, kids will eat the most expensive and worst least-healthy foods possible. Be disciplined. Don’t let them steer you to buy sugary sweets, and all those marketed foods that they see on TV. Be strong. Just because they really like this one thing or another, does not mean that they will starve to death if you buy healthy balanced meals for them. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat it. Who’s running the family… you or them?

Shop on the edge.

Health-conscious shoppers know that the perimeter of the store is where the good stuff is. The baked goods, dairy products, fresh meats, and fruits and vegetables are generally placed along the outside edge of the supermarket, while the processed stuff can be found up and down the aisles. But shopping the edges isn’t just healthier — it’s cheaper too.

Check your receipt.

Make sure your prices are scanned correctly. Make sure your coupons are scanned correctly. Sale items, especially, have a tendency to be in the computer wrong.