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Huge move to bring down cost of groceries

<p>Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced a series of new measures to help bring down grocery prices  ahead of the release of a wide-ranging review into the Grocery Code of Conduct.</p> <p>According to the treasurer, increasing competition among supermarket giants is key to placing “downward pressure on prices”, while also enforcing multibillion-dollar fines on retailers that fail to comply with the mandatory code of conduct.</p> <p>This code is set to dictate how supermarkets like Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA’s parent company Metcash deals with producers and farmers, which will in turn see a reduction of prices for everyday shoppers. </p> <p>While Dr Chalmers stopped short of saying how far prices could drop, he told <em>Sunrise’s</em> Natalie Barr that a more competitive system would create “better outcomes for consumers,” and reduce grocery prices over time. </p> <p>“If it is more competitive, more transparent and people are getting a fair go, better outcomes will be seen at the supermarket checkout,” he said.</p> <p>The Treasurer said this would deliver a “fair go” for families, consumers and producers. </p> <p>“We recognise that the supply chains need to be better for farmers, growers and producers,” he said. </p> <p>“By doing that and making sure the supermarket sector is more competitive we can get better outcome for consumers.”</p> <p>Although the Albanese government has affirmed its support for the review, conducted by former Labor minister Craig Emerson, the final report rejected calls to expand the reforms to non-supermarkets like Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse, and Dan Murphy’s. </p> <p>“The review considers that the code should not be extended beyond supermarkets to cover other retailers,” the inquiry’s final report said.</p> <p>“This is not to say that these markets are functioning well for all players in those markets.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: MICK TSIKAS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial/Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Kochie reveals the simple way to halve your grocery bill

<p>David Koch has revealed the simple trick to help you save big bucks at the supermarket as the cost of living crisis continues to hit hard. </p> <p>Kochie, who is the Compare the Market's economic director, calculated that Aussies can save up to $100 per trip to the grocery shop by making the switch to home brands. </p> <p>According to research of major Australian supermarkets, the average household can save big bucks by choosing not to buy well-known brands, which can lead to a saving of $5,000 per year. </p> <p>"So, when you're doing your supermarket shop, what's in a brand name? Well, let me tell you - plenty," Kochie said in a video posted to the Compare the Market Instagram account. </p> <p>"You are paying plenty more for that loyalty to a brand that you love."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Compare the Market AU (@comparethemarket_aus)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Compare the Market took to a major supermarket and bought 25 items from big name brands, and another 25 similar items from a challenger supermarket selling cheaper home brands.</p> <p>Based on substituting big-brand products for lesser-known labels, grocery bills would fall from $201.19 a week to $103.51, taking the weekly saving up to $97.68.</p> <p>"Now, multiply that weekly shop over a whole year and that's a saving of over $5,000."</p> <p>"Almost three return economy airfares to London."</p> <p>Everyday Aussies are continuing to struggle with the rising cost of groceries, with the price of bread and cereal increasing by 7.3 per cent in the year to March, an official monthly measure of inflation showed. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Woolies store vandalised over controversial Australia Day decision

<p>A Woolworths Metro store in Brisbane has been vandalised over the supermarket giant's controversial decision to not stock Australia Day merchandise. </p> <p>The Woolies in the north-east suburb of Teneriffe was hit with a flare and graffitied with the message "5 days 26 Jan Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Woolies f*** u” on the side of the building. </p> <p>One local shared on social media that a flare was also set off at the front entrance, setting off the fire alarm about 5am on Monday morning, shortly after staff were seen cleaning the graffiti. </p> <p>Queensland Fire and Emergency Services confirmed three crews “responded to an alarm activation” at the store, where firefighters found smoke at the scene and ventilated the area. </p> <p>They left the vandalised store at 6am, where police took over the scene. </p> <p>“Thankfully no team members or customers were injured as this occurred before the store opened,” a Woolworths spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>“We’re grateful to the police and fire brigade who attended."</p> <p>“There’s no reason for vandalism and we’ll continue to liaise with Queensland Police.”</p> <p>The vandalism comes just days after the supermarket giant <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/woolworths-under-fire-for-dropping-australia-day-merch" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced</a> they would not be stocking any specialised merch ahead of Australia Day. </p> <p>Woolworths shared that the reason for pulling Aussie decorations off the shelves was due to the “gradual decline” in demand for the merchandise over the years and “broader discussion” about the January 26th date and “what it means” to different parts of the community.</p> <p>“While Australian flags are sold within BIG W all year round, we don’t have any additional themed merchandise available to purchase in-store in our Supermarkets or BIG W ahead of Australia Day,” a spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News / Shutterstock</em></p>

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“You look like Nicolas Cage!”: Tiny Busselton store shocked by megastar’s visit

<p>Busselton, Western Australia - It's not every day that you walk into your local neighbourhood store and encounter a Hollywood A-lister browsing the snack aisle. Yet, that's precisely what happened to shop owner Annie Liban in her small Asian grocery store in Busselton, when none other than Nicolas Cage strolled through her doors.</p> <p>Cage, known for his eclectic roles and memorable performances, is rumoured to be filming his latest movie, <em>The Surfer</em>, in the scenic Western Australian region. The film apparently revolves around his character's return to his hometown and his unexpected feud with a local gang of surfers. A picturesque backdrop indeed for a film about beach drama, but it seems even Nic Cage needs to restock the fridge occasionally.</p> <p>The rumour mill had been buzzing with whispers of Cage's impending visit for a while now, but these tidbits of information didn't reach Ms Liban until the actor himself, in all his enigmatic glory, was casually perusing her store shelves one sunny afternoon.</p> <p>"I said, 'oh, he looks like Nicolas Cage,' but I was like, 'what's he doing in this store?'" Ms Liban recalled with astonishment <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-17/nicolas-cage-sighted-in-busselton-filming-the-surfer-movie/102986390" target="_blank" rel="noopener">to the ABC</a>. "Why is he grabbing some eggs and kimchi? We couldn't stop staring."</p> <p>It seems that even Ms Liban's eagle-eyed staff had a hard time recognising the star at first, but eventually, curiosity got the better of them, and they mustered up the courage to ask the million-dollar question: "Who are you?"</p> <p>Ms Liban described the uncanny clues that finally cracked the Cage case. "<span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">There were some clues … he was wearing boots in hot weather and a jacket, wearing some Prada sunglasses and the voice as well,</span>" she said. "<span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">And then when he picked up the oranges in front of the shop we said to him 'we only accept cash' and he said 'I only have US dollars.</span>'" </p> <p>"We said, 'oh you do look like Nicolas Cage' and he said, 'I am.'"</p> <p>It appears that Busselton's small Asian grocery store unexpectedly became a portal to Hollywood for a brief moment.</p> <p><em>The Surfer</em> is expected to feature local surfers from WA's South West and will be shot in the stunning locales of Margaret River and Yallingup. A call-out for the movie even went to high school students a while back, seeking youngsters with the right amount of "attitude" to star in the film.</p> <p>Ms Liban, a fan of Nicolas Cage from her days growing up in the Philippines, is eagerly looking forward to the movie. "We love Nicolas Cage, so I'm excited to see what he's doing here in Australia," she said with a smile.</p> <p>City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley shared his enthusiasm for the unexpected Hollywood cameo in the region. "[These types of productions] have a significant economic impact on the area. Accommodation and costs for a crew of this magnitude, with 100 people here for a month, inject a substantial amount of money into the local economy," he explained.</p> <p>While Busselton has seen its fair share of Australian film productions like <em>Drift</em> with Sam Worthington and the karting-themed <em>Go!</em>, having Hollywood come to town adds a new layer of excitement. "I think this movie clearly has star power to bring someone like Nicolas Cage on board," Mr Henley mused. "It's a higher magnitude than some of the Australian-made films with smaller budgets and distributions. I might just bump into him while he's out exploring the region and having some fun."</p> <p>So if you're in the area, keep your eyes peeled as you stroll the aisles of your local grocery store – you never know when you might bump into a world-famous actor picking up some oranges and kimchi. Cage, with his eclectic filmography, truly knows how to keep us all on the edge of our seats, even when he's just shopping for groceries.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Major twist in store for final season of The Crown

<p>The release date for the sixth and final season of <em>The Crown</em> has finally been announced, with royal fans everywhere marking their calendars for the last instalment of the royal drama. </p> <p>The hit Netflix series will be returning to screens on November 16th, but the final season of the show is set to come in two phases. </p> <p>On November 16th, four episodes of the show will be available to stream, and will follow Princess Diana, played by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, in the last year of her life. </p> <p>Her final days will be explored, including her death in Paris in 1997.</p> <p>Then, the final part of the series will be available to stream from December 14th, and will pick up from the mid-2000s, as her children Prince William and Prince Harry deal with the aftermath of their mother's passing.</p> <p>"Prince William tries to integrate back into life at Eton in the wake of his mother's death as the monarchy has to ride the wave of public opinion," a synopsis for part two says.</p> <p>"As she reaches her Golden Jubilee, the Queen reflects on the future of the monarchy with the marriage of Charles and Camilla and the beginnings of a new royal fairy tale in William and Kate."</p> <p>Royal fans were delighted to wake up to a new teaser trailer for the sixth and final season of <em>The Crown</em> that was posted on social media overnight, with the post already racking up over 90,000 likes.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyLmKalP7dF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyLmKalP7dF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Netflix UK &amp; Ireland (@netflixuk)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 46-second teaser was released showing Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II walking through Buckingham Palace before appearing on the famous balcony.</p> <p>All three actresses to play the late Queen appear in the trailer, including Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.</p> <p>"The crown is a symbol of permeance. It's something you are, not what you do," the voice of Foy says.</p> <p>"Some portion of our natural selves is always lost. We have all made sacrifices. It is not a choice. It is a duty," Colman can be heard saying.</p> <p>Finally, it ends on Staunton who says, "But what about the life, I put aside? The woman I put aside?"</p> <p><em>Image credits: Netflix - Instagram</em></p>

TV

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These 10 smart grocery swaps can help reverse diabetes

<p><strong>Diagnosis diabetes</strong></p> <p>It can feel daunting to be faced with the need to make a major lifestyle change. You enjoy food, and you should. At Reader’s Digest, we like to think nature designed nutrition to taste delicious so it can be a source of pleasure in your day that’s fun to look forward to.</p> <p>If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, this diagnosis doesn’t have to take over your whole identity and all the things that bring you joy. There are ways to adapt some of your favourite foods so you can still have them!</p> <p>Registered dietitian Jackie Newgent lists interesting meal swaps you can make so that classic dishes can be healthier, while still plenty pleasurable.</p> <p>With some wisdom and dedication, it can be possible to turn your condition around and feel great for good.</p> <p><strong>Pair starchy with non-starchy veggies</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one kilo potatoes</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> 500g kilo potatoes plus 500g cauliflower</p> <p>This mashed potato hack keeps your total carbs in check without forgoing flavour. Whip equal parts boiled potatoes together with roasted or boiled cauliflower.</p> <p>The results of this dynamic duo may help you better manage your blood glucose, since they’re carb-friendlier than a huge bowl of mashed potatoes alone: 100 grams of cooked potatoes without skin provides 22 grams of total carbohydrates, versus 13 grams total carbohydrate in the 100 gram combination of cooked potatoes and cauliflower.</p> <p><strong>Pick fruit you can chew</strong></p> <div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one litre apple juice</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one bag of apples</p> <p>Enjoy whole fruit rather than just the juice whenever possible to get all the fibre of the naturally sweet fruit with its edible peel…plus chewing satisfaction. One medium apple contains 4.4 grams of fibre while a 200ml glass or juice box of 100-percent apple juice has 0.4 grams of fibre.</p> <p>The soluble fibre in apples can help slow down absorption of sugars. Polyphenols in apples may have powerful antioxidant properties.</p> <p><strong>Grill a better burger</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> 500g 85% lean ground beef patties</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> 500g ground chicken breast</p> <p>Gram for gram, chicken breast has significantly less saturated fat than the marbly beef of classic burgers. Specifically, an 85g cooked 85% lean ground beef patty has five grams of saturated fat compared to 0.6 grams of saturated fat for a cooked patty made from 85g of chicken breast meat.</p> <p>Keeping saturated fat intake low is especially important when you have diabetes to help keep your heart healthy. Pro-tip: make chicken burgers juicier and tastier by combining ground chicken breast with a little plain yogurt, rolled oats, and herbs and spices before cooking.</p> <p><strong>Look for live cultures in the dairy section</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one container regular cottage cheese</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one container plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese</p> <p>Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. For people with type 2 diabetes, research published in Advances in Nutrition suggested that probiotics may also have glucose-lowering potential. So, pop products with live active cultures (probiotics) into your cart while strolling by the dairy aisle. Choose plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese.</p> <p>Be sure to read the nutrition labels, since probiotics aren’t in all dairy foods. And, for the lower-sodium pick, stick with yogurt.</p> <p><strong>Choose healthier-sized grain portions </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> 1/2 dozen bakery-style plain bagels</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one package of wholegrain English muffins</p> <p>Swapping wholegrain in place of refined grain products helps kick up fibre and other plant nutrients. Studies suggests this is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, opting for healthier-sized varieties, such as wholegrain English muffins rather than big bakery-style plain bagels helps cut kilojoules (and carbs) – not enjoyment – while promoting a healthier weight. In fact, you’ll slash over 1000 kilojoules by enjoying a whole-wheat English muffin instead of that oversized 140g bagel.</p> <p><strong>Get your munchies with benefits </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one bag of potato chips</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one jar or bulk-bin container of roasted peanuts</p> <p>It’s a no-brainer: a small handful of nuts is a better bet than potato chips. Peanuts, for instance, offer a triple whammy of dietary fibre, plant protein and healthy fat, which can boost satiety. Greater satisfaction means a greater chance you’ll keep mealtime portions right-sized.</p> <p>When peanuts or other nuts are eaten along with carb-rich foods, they can help slow down the blood sugar response. Plus, a Mediterranean study found that higher nut consumption may be associated with better metabolic status.</p> <p><strong>Dress a salad smartly </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one bottle of fat-free salad dressing</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one small bottle olive oil plus one small bottle balsamic or red wine vinegar</p> <p>Some bottled salad dressings can trick you. For instance, “fat-free” salad dressing may be loaded with added sugars. (For reference: four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.)</p> <p>So, read salad dressing labels carefully for sneaky ingredients, especially excess salt (over 250 milligrams of sodium per two-tablespoon serving) or added sugars (more than five grams added sugars per two-tablespoon serving). Better yet, keep it simple and make your own vinaigrette using 2-3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.</p> <p><strong>Select less salty soup</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one can/carton of vegetable- or bean-based soup</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one can/carton of low-sodium vegetable- or bean-based soup</p> <p>When compared to people without diabetes, sodium levels were higher in patients with type 2 diabetes, based on a meta-analysis published in European Journal of Nutrition. Curbing sodium intake is beneficial for people with diabetes since too much may increase your risk for high blood pressure.</p> <p>So, slurp up soup that’s low in sodium. And kick up flavour with a splash of cider vinegar, grated citrus zest, herbs, spices, or a dash of hot sauce.</p> <p><strong>Go for "naked" fish</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> Breaded fish sticks</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> Frozen salmon fillets</p> <p>Cut salmon into large cubes, season, and grill on skewers. Or make fish sticks by simply cutting into skinny fillets, season and roast. Why? Research published in Diabetes Care finds that eating oily fish may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Non-oily fish, like the whitefish in fish sticks, didn’t show this link.</p> <p>Salmon is an oily fish and a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-friendly fat. Plus: when you make your own salmon skewers or sticks, you won’t have extra carbs from breading.</p> <p><strong>Do dip with a punch of protein</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one container of sour cream &amp; onion dip</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one container of pulse-based dip, like hummus</p> <p>Wise snacking can be helpful for managing blood glucose. It can also be delicious. Dunk veggies or wholegrain pita wedges into pulse-based dip, like hummus, black bean dip, or lentil dip.</p> <p>Check this out: one-quarter cup (that’s 60 grams) of onion dip has 870 kiljoules, five grams of saturated fat, 1.2 grams of protein, and 0.1 grams of fibre, while one-quarter cup hummus has 590 kilojoules, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 4.7 grams of protein, and 3.3 grams of fibre. Hummus clearly wins!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diabetes/reverse-diabetes-10-smart-grocery-swaps?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; font-style: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </div>

Food & Wine

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Kmart and Target join forces to create mega discount stores

<p dir="ltr">Two of Australia’s favourite retail giants are about to get better in a huge merger creating a $10 billion discount giant.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wesfarmers is set to fold Target into Kmart with hopes that it will improve sales, provide better value for customers, and allow both stores to share backend technology.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ian Bailey the Managing Director of Kmart Group has said that there will be “no impact” to stores, and that the move was an "internal reorganisation".</p> <p dir="ltr">"With customers now demanding value more than ever, this new operating model will unlock a new level of scale and productivity across both brands, so we can deliver even greater value to our customers in the future," he said in a statement.</p> <p dir="ltr">"For store networks and 50,000 store team members – it's business as usual – as we continue to focus on providing the best value products to the thousands of customers in Australia and New Zealand who choose to shop at Kmart or Target every day."</p> <p dir="ltr">The move comes as the cost of living crisis is forcing more and more Aussies to be mindful of their spending habits.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement to the <em>The Australian Financial Review</em>, Bailey said that there would likely be “a handful of redundancies" but more jobs overall by next year.</p> <p dir="ltr">He added that one of the benefits of tighter integration and better technology is the ease in which the prices of products can be reduced.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said that the price drop on 1000 Kmart products this month was assisted by merchandise planning tools and a self-navigating inventory scanning robot.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Kmart and Target are both strong businesses. I don't see us doing this from a position of weakness. It's quite the opposite,” he told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I'd say we're strong, but I think there's an opportunity to really capitalise on this time and find ways to continue to deliver better value for customers."</p> <p dir="ltr">"What we found was that running two businesses it was very, very difficult to get the tech into Target, and to get those benefits. This is really why we decided to push the two businesses into one."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Gorgeous iconic department stores throughout history


<p>Do you remember shops with names like Farmer’s, Boan’s, John Martin’s, Buckley & Nunn, or McWhirter’s? Or maybe you're more familiar with David Jones and Myer? If any of these names ring a bell, a team of historians wants to speak to you.</p> <p>Professor Robert Crawford leads a team of historians at RMIT University and Macquarie University that are researching the history of department stores in Australia since the Second World War.</p> <p>“Department stores have played such an important role in the lives of countless Australia, but their history has hardly been documented,” explains Professor Crawford.</p> <p>Supported by the Australian Research Council, the project aims to collect Australian stories and experiences of their department store.</p> <p>While the project is keen to collect stories from those who worked in these stores, it is equally interested in hearing from shoppers.</p> <p>“Shoppers are an essential part of this story – their custom makes or breaks any retail outlet and department stores are no different,” notes Professor Crawford.</p> <p>“By collecting the stories of shoppers and staff, this project offers a unique perspective of the department store,” he adds.</p> <p>The research team has already interviewed a range of people across the country.</p> <p>“This week I spoke to a lady about shopping with her mother at Grace Brothers in Sydney in 1947 and the next day I spoke to a man about taking his daughter to David Jones in suburban Brisbane in 1995,” recounts Crawford.</p> <p>Participants of the project have recalled a range of familiar and forgotten experiences. <br />“Many have recounted their family’s unique rituals of going into to town and having lunch at the cafeteria, while others remember specific bits like the lift operators or the pneumatic tubes to transfer cash from the tills.”<br />While the project has undertaken many interviews, the research team is eager to speak to more people about their unique memories and experiences, so that they can get a fuller picture of the past.</p> <p>If you’re interested in participating in the project or learning more about it, further details can be found at <a href="https://www.departmentstorehistory.org.au/">https://www.departmentstorehistory.org.au/</a> </p> <p><em>Image credit: WikiMedia</em></p>

International Travel

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Groceries option even cheaper than ALDI

<p>With the cost of living crisis many Aussies are struggling to put dinner on the table, so they’re turning away from big chains like IGA and Coles and heading over to supersize store Costco.</p> <p>Originally an American chain, there are only 15 Costcos across the country, but with inflation rising to seven per cent and interest rates sitting above six per cent, Aussies are rethinking where and how they shop.</p> <p>Costco is being boasted as a lifesaver and worth the drive if you don’t live near one of the stores.</p> <p>Many Aussie parents have turned to Costco to help their families through the tough times, but it’s not your ordinary grocery store.</p> <p>Costco required you pay a $60 annual membership fee to shop there. The fee entitles members to exclusive access to its petrol stations as well.</p> <p>Although an upfront fee may leave shoppers hesitant, plenty of Aussies have shared online that it’s worth the money.</p> <p>Costco differs from other grocery stores because it’s a wholesaler, so you can only buy things in bulk.</p> <p>The idea is that shoppers spend more to begin with, but it ends up costing them less in the long run. It’s very much suited to large households.</p> <p>An Aussie mum posted on Facebook to share that popping her “Costco cherry”, saved her over $500.</p> <p>“I did a bit of maths, if I did the same shop at Woolies/Coles, I would have spent $1160. If I shopped at Aldi, I would have spent $985. If you can afford to buy in bulk, I highly recommend it will save you in the long run,” she wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>She shared exactly what she bought to have that much cash left over, and believes she managed to buy enough snacks to last an entire school term.</p> <p>“School lunch snacks x3 kids, will last the whole of next term (I do a three snack rule and put them in a zip lock bag, to grab and go, chips – vege chips, smith’s or jumpys, tiny teddy’s or panda Bickies and some muesli bar/fruit stick) then I just have to add a sandwich, fruit and popper.”</p> <p>The mum also bought some everyday items like, “Toilet paper, poppers and water,” and stocked up on meat to last a good while.</p> <p>“Mince, pork, beef, all divided up into 1kg lots and frozen,” she explained.</p> <p>She also stocked up on hand wash, cheese and fruit and veg, but shared that some of the most significant savings came from buying pantry basics.</p> <p>“Spices and sauces, Big savings here if you use a lot, like I do, as I cook most things from scratch,” she said.</p> <p>She added she thinks the membership is worth it if shoppers are savvy in their approach.</p> <p>“Everyone says the $60 membership isn’t worth it; well, if you shop smart, it’s well worth it; I’m going to aim to go 4 times a year,” she shared.</p> <p>She’s no outlier when it comes to Aussie mum’s shopping at Costco.</p> <p>One mum shared that with three kids in high school, the savings are worth it.</p> <p>“The snacks are so much cheaper than at supermarkets,” she revealed, adding that she heads over to Costo every few months to stock up.</p> <p>“I spend a few hundred every two or three months, and it saves me on buying expensive snacks every week.”</p> <p>Another mum chimed in, agreeing that it was a lifesaver for snacks and cheap meat options.</p> <p>“It is good for meat products and lunch box items,” the woman said.</p> <p>Another shared that it is worth the investment, particularly to find affordable options for school lunches.</p> <p>“If you have kids at school! 100 per cent I recommend it. I got a month’s worth of school stuff for what I was spending a fortnight,” she shared.</p> <p>While another revealed that Costo has helped keep her budget down during these tough times.</p> <p>“Costco saves us so much money on school snacks and meat alone!”</p> <p>Plenty of shoppers have been referred to ALDI if their regular shop is proving too costly, but Costco can save you the big bucks.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Creative ways to store more in your tiny bathroom

<p dir="ltr">Having a small bathroom doesn’t necessarily have to mean you don’t have enough space, you just have to think outside the box! Getting creative with storage can make the smallest of bathrooms look stylish. </p> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>1. Towel racks</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Using vertical space will help to clear out storage spaces built into your bathroom. Invest in a wall-mounted rack for towels, using bright-coloured towels can add a pop of colour to the room as well. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Basket Shelves</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Mount a set of baskets on your bathroom wall, you can keep cosmetics here or some candles and an indoor plant for decoration.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Adhesive hooks</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Make use of the space behind your bathroom door. Attach adhesive hooks to the inside of the door to store hair dryers, brushes and accessories.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Roll-away cart</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If you’ve got a really cluttered bathroom, use a wheeled cart to store your soaps, lotions, shampoo and conditioner. It saves a cluttered sink and you can roll it in and out for convenience.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Dual purpose mirror</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">A two-in-one mirror can be a lifesaver for small spaces. Store your cosmetics, health care products and toothbrushes behind a stylish mirror. </p> <p dir="ltr">Don't think you can't have it all in a tiny space! With a creative mindset, you can fit all of your goodies into your bathroom. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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“Thank you stranger”: Woolies shopper left stunned

<p dir="ltr">A shopper at Woolworths was left shocked after a cashier’s unexpected act at the checkout.</p> <p dir="ltr">The single mum shared her feel-good story in a post on Facebook.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There was such a beautiful young lady working the checkout register tonight,” she wrote in the post.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had a rough day, and when she asked how my day was, I answered with: ‘Not a great one’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The mum-of-three was paying for her groceries with vouchers she’d been gifted from friends who wanted to “lend a hand” as her family was struggling.</p> <p dir="ltr">After she put her shop through the checkout, the vouchers didn’t cover the entire cost, so she asked the cashier to take a bag of bread rolls off the total.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Woolies worker surprised the mum by covering the cost of the bread rolls herself. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t recall her name, but I feel that she deserves a massive thank you, as she made my day and turned it around with her kindness,” the mum said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So thank you stranger - you made an old tired mum have faith there’s still kindness in the world.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Woolworths responded to the mum’s Facebook post and said they would share her feedback with the store’s management team so the staff member can be acknowledged for her random act of kindness.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Prices to drop for everyday grocery favourites

<p>Aussie households struggling to keep up with the cost of living will be happy to know the low prices they’re paying for some grocery items will continue to drop further this year, with some farmers reporting a bumper crop.</p> <p>Industry experts have said price falls will include meat, poultry and grain, while some fruit and vegetable costs will remain low.</p> <p>The National Farmers Federation said there has been a strong supply of berries, lettuce and avocados to markets, and the prices will not increase further.</p> <p>“It’s great news for consumers,” NFF Horticulture Council executive officer Richard Shannon said.</p> <p>“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen dramatic increases to the cost of production. That’s a result of disrupted supply chains,” Shannon explained, in reference to the Queensland floods as well as increased prices for fertiliser, packaging and farm labour.</p> <p>“Some of those supply chains are starting to open up again,” he continued.</p> <p>Avocados Australia’s weekly supermarket report saw the price of a single avocado being about $1.80 to $3, depending on the variety.</p> <p>CEO John Tyas said customers could expect prices to stay that low, with avocado supply up 10 per cent for the May season.</p> <p>“We’re expecting pretty steady supply through to the end of the year,” he said.</p> <p>Lettuce was four times its usual price mid-2022, being sold at $12 a head.</p> <p>It is now priced at $3.50 at various stores.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the peak body representing vegetable growers, AusVeg, said the cost of winter vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, celebrity, pumpkin and beans would also see a drop in price as they come into season due to a strong supply.</p> <p>Other retail experts predict the price of meat and poultry will come down after having peaked in 2022.</p> <p>QUT Business School Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Gary Mortimer told Sunrise, “With growing conditions improving, we’ll start to see more supply into the market, and accordingly, prices will fall,” "I think we’ll see some price relief in some of the other fresh departments, including meat, particularly poultry and grain.”</p> <p>Mortimer also said as farmers, particularly in central NSW, recovered from two years of drought, there was more grain to feed their livestock.</p> <p>The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ latest forecast for sheep and lamb prices confirmed meat prices would fall because “farmers had rebuilt their flocks” and there were more animals available for slaughter.</p> <p>According to BARES' latest agricultural snapshot, “industry production and export values are forecast to hit record levels in 2022-23, with broadacre and dairy farm cash incomes remaining well above historical benchmarks”.</p> <p>Executive director Dr Jared Greenville said the good performance would likely continue into the foreseeable future, with weather partners expected to return to normal after several years of severe rainfall in some regions.</p> <p>“Despite the deteriorating conditions, strong soil moisture, full water storages and the rebuilding of our herds and flocks will provide a buffer for overall production, giving us another year in the high country,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Year of the Rabbit: What 2023 has in store for you

<p>The last time it was the Year of the Rabbit, astrologer Jen Ingress found a new home. Like a rabbit deciding on the perfect spot to create a burrow, she was faced with a barrage of options. “It was hard for me to decide – there were many pros and cons,” she says. “I’m not saying that the Rabbit is indecisive. It just may not be entirely obvious what is the right decision when making a choice, and you might have to do some thinking like I did.”</p> <p>That was 2011, and it was a year marked by decisions – something that will also characterise 2023’s Year of the Rabbit, which started when the Lunar New Year kicked off on the second new moon after the winter solstice. (This year, it fell on Sunday, January 22.) There will also be a need for grace when it comes to interactions with others. This is quite different than last year’s Tiger year. Think of it this way: “Tigers can take on anything and bring courage, a strong moral code and responsiveness,” says Ingress. “Whereas this year, we can anticipate more diplomacy or more cautious approaches on the world stage and for individuals.”</p> <p> </p> <p>But that’s not all: In Chinese astrology, there aren’t just 12 astrology signs but also five zodiac elements, and this year, that element is Water. It’s the first time there’s been a Water Rabbit in 60 years. So, what will 2023’s Year of the Water Rabbit hold for you? Let’s find out.</p> <h3>Rabbit zodiac personality traits</h3> <p>Rabbits are known for being cute, lovable and high-spirited (not to mention bouncy), but they’re also a bit enigmatic. After all, you can never really tell what they’re thinking because they don’t exhibit a variety of facial expressions. “Rabbits are well-liked, but they’re not that easy to read or transparent,” Ingress notes. “These individuals are socially graceful, charming and diplomatic, but they also need time to themselves.”</p> <p>A potential pitfall for Rabbit people is that like an actual rabbit, they will tend to seek an easy escape when put on the spot or might not want to face the reality of the situation. And that’s definitely something to keep in mind when entering an entire year represented by this animal.</p> <h3>How 2023’s Year of the Rabbit will affect you</h3> <p>In general, Rabbit years abound with creativity and an appreciation for the arts. You might feel yourself being pulled toward exploring museums, music festivals and performances. In social gatherings, the Year of the Rabbit will encourage more cordiality and social niceties. If disputes arise, diplomacy will win out. Chances are, you’ll also face many options, but like the rabbit’s burrow, you should have multiple exit points and not get too attached to specific decisions. “Rabbits always like having a plan B,” Ingress says. “So this is a year to have more than one plan B – and [to have] continued social interactions in order to reach a decision.”</p> <h3>Water Element</h3> <p>Now let’s turn to 2023’s zodiac element, water, which signifies travel and movement. While 2022 was also a water year, it was more of a flood. People were itching to get back out into the world after COVID restrictions were lifted, so there was movement in the form of travel. On another note, the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced people to seek refuge in other countries. The element of water paired with the Tiger sign made the year one that required quick reactions and strong responses in the face of upheaval.</p> <p>In comparison, the Year of the Water Rabbit will feel more like a small stream when it comes to going places and, more generally speaking, the movement in our lives. “This year will bring learning opportunities, an expansion of ambitions, more time reaching for goals and a general sense of curiosity,” says Ingress. However, because of the unpredictable nature of water, the world might still feel precarious in 2023. So it will be important to stay alert – be ready to manage surprises and get comfortable with uncertainty in your life and the world.</p> <h3>Which signs will thrive in the Year of the Rabbit?</h3> <p>The Chinese zodiac signs that will have a great year are those that are compatible with the Rabbit – namely, the Goat, Dog and Pig. Each of these signs will see a wealth of opportunities for growth in their careers, relationships or creative passions. That said, not all opportunities will pan out: Like in the rabbit’s race with the turtle, do not be deceived by appearances when it comes to decision making – what appears to be the best decision might not be so. Specifically, Dogs and Pigs might face difficult decisions in the workplace.</p> <p>For all these signs, it is important to stay calm this year, even when things seem to be going well. Of course, that’s usually easier said than done, though these animal signs are the best equipped to face that challenge – especially when in one another’s company. Pig and Rabbit are a perfect match for each other in terms of temperament and personality. Add Sheep and Dog into the mix and you’ve got yourself a party. “When they’re all together, they balance each other out,” says Ingress. People with these signs tend to have an easygoing way about them and are deeply compassionate, and both of those qualities jibe with the Rabbit. Sheep’s romanticism, Dog’s supportiveness and Pig’s relatability work well with Rabbit, and a gentle yet responsive energy will radiate from groups of friends with these signs.</p> <h3>Which signs will have more difficulty in the Year of the Rabbit?</h3> <p>Sorry, Dragons, Snakes, Roosters and Rats – you will clash with the Rabbit energy this year. Dragons are born leaders and enjoy conquering challenges, but an eagerness to achieve will not pan out in the slower-paced Rabbit year where decisions will have to be deliberated carefully and a person’s choices might have to be revisited.</p> <p>Snake is sometimes considered a small dragon, and similarly, their determination may prove challenging this year. Rooster is also tenacious and high-achieving, as an animal known for greeting the morning sun. Finally, the resourceful and quick-witted Rat may be able to adapt to the surprises the Year of the Rabbit brings, but their lack of courage may cause them to falter when plans change.</p> <p>But don’t worry – all is not lost for these signs in 2023. According to Ingress, a specific Chinese zodiac year won’t predict whether luck comes your way or doesn’t, but rather whether the year will be like a river that is “smooth flowing or one that is more choppy and therefore stressful, with multiple obstacles to face.”</p> <h3>How will the other signs fare in the Year of the Rabbit?</h3> <p>People born in Ox and Horse years generally won’t experience any extreme highs or lows in 2023. Ox’s determination and Horse’s energy should be able to handle what the year throws at them. But Tigers may face some ups and downs. Tiger’s enthusiasm and boldness may or may not work to their advantage when it comes to the surprises a Rabbit year brings.</p> <p>As for people with the Rabbit sign, things are a little less clear-cut. You may have heard that a person’s zodiac birth year (Ben Ming Nian) can be extremely unlucky. So, should Rabbits watch their backs this year? Not necessarily. Ingress notes that this idea comes from another Chinese belief that change will occur every 12 years, in the Jupiter cycle of a person’s life. “That change could be positive or negative,” she shares. “But there is a change.”</p> <h3>Lucky times of the year for each sign</h3> <p>What do the tides of the Water Rabbit hold this year? Scroll down and find your Chinese zodiac sign to learn which months in 2023 will be the most prosperous for you.</p> <h3>Rat</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020</p> <p>People born in the Year of the Rat will likely experience abundance throughout the Year of the Water Rabbit, because like Rabbits, Rats are able to form networks and connections. In May, Rats will feel appreciated by others, and next January, Rats will have an opportunity to grow their wealth.</p> <h3>Ox</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021</p> <p>For those born in the Year of the Ox, December will be a lucky month. Ox people will feel a sense of balance throughout the year, without many highs or lows, though June and April may be trickier for them.</p> <h3>Tiger</h3> <p><strong>Birth years: </strong>1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022</p> <p>March will be the luckiest month for those born in the Year of the Tiger. May, on the other hand, might be more challenging. Overall, Tiger people will find themselves more in the middle of the road in 2023, faring well but not experiencing extraordinary success.</p> <h3>Rabbit</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011</p> <p>Get ready, Rabbits: Your lucky month is right around the corner! You’ll find increased luck in February, as well as in July. You might find yourself making less forward movement in April, June, September and December. Water Rabbits born in 1963 should be careful, as too much water elementally can be difficult to bear and cause stress.</p> <h3>Dragon</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012</p> <p>May and September will be fairly good months for Dragons, but they should be cautious in March, April, October and January. “The Dragon is struggling,” Ingress acknowledges. But, she adds, this should not be a cause for concern, because “in Buddhist tradition and the history of the Asian culture, there is a sobering tendency to acknowledge suffering more than success because successes are typically few and far between.”</p> <h3>Snake</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013</p> <p>Snake people may have a more trying year because their energy clashes with Rabbit energy, and they will have to deal with more conflicts throughout the year. April is their luckiest month of 2023, when they could attract more attention from colleagues or romantic interests.</p> <h3>Horse</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014</p> <p>The outlook for Horses in 2023 is a steady one, but they should proceed with a bit more caution in March and January. In February, there will be opportunities to develop relationships, and November looks to be the month where they will find the most luck. Those born in the Year of the Metal Horse (the last one was in 1990) should be more cautious about impulsive decisions this year.</p> <h3>Goat</h3> <p><strong>Birth years: </strong>1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015</p> <p>Goat will find opportunities throughout the year but especially in March, June and November. Just be warned that October and next January may be less steady. Wood Goats, born in 1955 and 2015, will find this year to be one of growth.</p> <h3>Monkey</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016</p> <p>September will be an optimal month for Monkeys. On the other hand, they should be wary in May, July and November, as surprises from the Water Rabbit might lead them to make rash decisions.</p> <h3>Rooster</h3> <p><strong>Birth years: </strong>1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017</p> <p>Rooster people might experience a turning point during the year when it comes to their health, career or finances. For the Rooster, April and August are shaping up to be months in which they will fare the best. September and December will pose more challenges for them.</p> <h3>Dog</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018</p> <p>While Dogs will experience many opportunities throughout 2023, they won’t all culminate in success. November may change all that, as that’s this sign’s luckiest month this year. September is the one month when they might feel their career trajectory take a downward turn.</p> <h3>Pig</h3> <p><strong>Birth years:</strong> 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019</p> <p>If Pigs focus their energy in March, July, August and October, their concentration should pay off. Born in 1935 or 1995? Those are the years of the Wood Pig, and people born then will be particularly lucky in 2023.</p> <p><em>Written by: Giannina Ong. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/year-of-the-rabbit-what-2023-has-in-store-for-you" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>. </em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p><em>Caring, Horoscope, Zodiac, Year of the Rabbit</em></p>

Caring

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5 foods you shouldn’t store in the fridge

<p>There are some foods that simply cannot stand the cold and if stored in the fridge will lose their flavour, texture and freshness. These five items are best stored in your pantry rather than the refrigerator.</p> <p><strong>1. Cucumbers</strong></p> <p>They’re often stored in the fridge but according to researchers at the University of California, storing the vegetable under 10°C actually causes “chilling injuries” to the cucumber. At low temperatures, the skin shrivels and pits, and the pulp turns mushy.</p> <p>If you like your cucumbers chilled, pop them in the fridge an hour before you want to eat so the cold won’t do damage.</p> <p><strong>2. Garlic</strong></p> <p>Garlic bulbs are prone to developing shoots if stored in the fridge as the cold environment is similar to their growing conditions. It’s best to store garlic in place where it’s cool and with low humidity, like an airy pantry.</p> <p><strong>3. Chocolate</strong></p> <p>The fridge may seem like the obvious place to put a melting bar of chocolate, but unfortunately it’s not. Chocolate is sensitive to sudden temperature changes and can develop a white “bloom” that spoils the smooth texture of chocolate if stored in the fridge. Store well-wrapped chocolate at room-temperature, away from strong-smelling foods. </p> <p><strong>4. Basil</strong></p> <p>Do you store the herb in the fridge to extend in shelf life? As delicate Mediterranean herbs such as basil come from warm, sunny climates, the chilled fridge temperature speeds up oxidisation, turning the leaves black and ruining the herb's scent and flavour. Store fresh basil at room temperature in a jar with water. This will lengthen its shelf life and prevent premature discolouration.</p> <p><strong>5. Bread</strong></p> <p>This may come as a shock to many but refrigerating bread doesn’t actually prolong its shelf life. While it may stop bread going mouldy, the cool, drying environment dehydrates the bread and speeds up the process of staling. Instead, store your bread in the freezer, which does extend the life of bread. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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Banksy encourages stealing from luxury store after unauthorised use of his artwork

<p dir="ltr">Banksy has appeared to encourage shoplifters to target a luxury fashion store in London after they used his artwork without permission. </p> <p dir="ltr">The elusive street artist told his followers on Instagram to go to the Guess store in Regent Street to steal items after they “helped themselves” to one of his most iconic artworks for a recent campaign. </p> <p dir="ltr">Posting a photo of the front window display of the store, he wrote, “Attention all shoplifters. Please go to GUESS on Regent Street.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?” he told his 11.5 million followers. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Guess display, which showcased their capsule collection called Brandalised, features several of Banksy’s works, which he claims were used without his authorisation. </p> <p dir="ltr">The clothing company’s <a href="https://guess-hub.mmbsy.be/guess-in-partnership-with-brandalised-to-create-a-special-capsule-collection-with-graffiti-by-banksy">official announcement</a> for the capsule collection used the word “inspired” and said the items were produced in partnership with Brandalised, an urban graffiti license “whose mission is to offer Banksy fans affordable graffiti collectibles.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“The graffiti of Bansky has had a phenomenal influence that resonates throughout popular culture,” Guess Chief Creative Officer Paul Marciano said in the press release. </p> <p dir="ltr">“This new capsule collection with Brandalised is a way for fashion to show its gratitude.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After Banksy posted the message on Instagram, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63682298">the BBC reported</a> that Guess closed the store, put security outside, and covered the window display.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram / Getty Images</em></p>

Art

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Ground-breaking change coming to grocery stores

<p>While Australians are still copping the effects of supply chain issues in supermarkets, many shoppers are faced with the frustration of empty shelves at their local grocer. </p> <p>But now, a ground-breaking initiative could solve those issues for good.</p> <p>IGA's Local Grocer initiative will allow customers to actually decide what is in stores, in what is the biggest brand rollout in the country. </p> <p>With the use of technology, supermarket data and old school customer interaction, a bespoke offering will be created for locals, with no two Local Grocers will be the same, and each of the 400 stores set to open within months will cater to the specific wants and needs of their community.</p> <p>IGA’s flagship Local Grocer store has just opened in the Sydney northwest suburb of Epping, and the concept is already a hit with local shoppers.</p> <p>Run by brothers Antoine and Richard Rizk under the Mint Fresh banner, the Epping store is the pair’s fifth venture after working in the sector for more than a decade.</p> <p>Antoine told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/massive-changes-coming-to-hundreds-of-australian-supermarkets/news-story/0e07af390f34ed331689ee607ee31d55" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a> it was designed so that “locals can get pretty much everything they need in one place”, and he said they had even chosen not to install self-service checkouts “so that we can truly get to know our local shoppers”.</p> <p>He explained they had used an app and focus group to get feedback about the types of products customers wanted to see in store before the launch.</p> <p>“There’s a lot of customisation for the local Asian community, and we have quite a big range in the grocery, dairy, freezer and fruit and vegetable aisles,” he said.</p> <p>“Being locals within the geographical area, we spoke to a lot of people and looked at a lot of competitors, and we also used an app … to recruit customers for a focus group."</p> <p>“The survey provided us with a bunch of feedback about how frequently they cook and what kinds of products they require."</p> <p>“We’ve had customers come in nearly every day since we opened, and that’s a good sign. Our customisation is a huge point of difference and it gives us a competitive advantage. Having that local knowledge is critical."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Food & Wine

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The correct way to store beauty products

<p>To keep your coveted beauty products working their best for longer, try these beauty storing tips.</p> <p><strong>Face wash –</strong> It may be convenient, but storing your scrubs and cleansers in the shower can damage them. The product will take in moisture which can turn them into a breeding ground for bacteria or mould.</p> <p><strong>Skin creams –</strong> Skin creams should be kept out of the bathroom altogether. The humidity can damage them just as the shower damages your cleansers. Keep them in your bedroom away from the window.</p> <p><strong>Fragrances –</strong> Fragrances should always be stored away from direct sunlight, as heat and sunshine can cause them to go off.</p> <p><strong>Nail Polish –</strong> Storing your nail polish upright in the fridge can help keep your lacquers lasting to their fullest potential.</p> <p><strong>Powder make up –</strong> Try to keep your blushes and powders out of the bathroom as the change in humidity and temperature can negatively affect their make up.</p> <p><strong>Brushes –</strong> Store your make up brushes out of direct sunlight, as sunlight can cause their fibres to wear. The same goes for heat and humidity, which can cause them to become caked. Try rolling them up in a make up brush bag.</p> <p><strong>Lipstick –</strong> Store your lipsticks in the fridge with your nail polishes to help them last longer.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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A guide to storing wine

<p>In years gone past, many wineries would bottle and store wine for several years before selling it at optimal drinking years. Though many wineries still do this, it is becoming less and less of a common practice. At Mount Pleasant, they store many of their wines for longer periods – for instance, the <a href="http://www.mcwilliamswinescellardoor.com.au/products/1361-mount-pleasant-elizabeth-cellar-aged-semillon">Elizabeth Aged Semillon</a> and <a href="http://www.mcwilliamswinescellardoor.com.au/products/1366-mount-pleasant-lovedale-semillon">Lovedale Semillon</a> are both held for a minimum of five years. However the responsibility of cellaring has generally shifted toward the customer, under the increased desire for early drinking styled wines and the financial pressures of the Australian wine industry.</p> <p>With the onus of cellaring now on the customer it has led to a rise in the number of wine storage options available on the market. However, before you start on setting up your own wine cellar, it is important to consider a long-term strategy, primarily establishing which wines will deliver palate satisfaction years down the track and what wine storage system is best suited to your needs and budget.</p> <p><strong>Wine style best for cellaring</strong></p> <p>Aside from vintage, the grape variety is also an important consideration. As a rule of thumb, stick to what a particular wine region does best. For example, Hunter Valley semillon and shiraz; Clare Valley Riesling; Barossa Valley shiraz; Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon; Margaret River chardonnay and SSB are just a few examples. Consider the acid structure in white wines and the tannin profile in red wines. Generally speaking, these two components in wines help them stand up over time.</p> <p>Alternatively, let the experts guide you in the process. There is a huge range of knowledgeable wine commentators on the topic of cellaring and most of them have websites that list the appropriate length of time for cellaring each vintage of each wine. Like Mount Pleasant, most wineries also <a href="http://www.mountpleasantwines.com.au/our-wine/our-range/flagship/maurice-o-shea-shiraz-2010">provide information</a> in regard to cellaring of their wines. Just remember to stick to those people you can trust! Don’t gamble 10 years of cellaring on Wikipedia!</p> <p><strong>Bottle size</strong></p> <p>Cellaring wine for a wedding anniversary or grandchild’s 21st birthday is always a nice way to mark the occasion, provided you think you can resist the temptation. A good tip is to remember that bigger is better. A magnum bottle will not only allow more people to enjoy the wine but it will also age in the bottle at a slower rate. Because producers are releasing more forward drinking style wines, an aged magnum bottle will smell and taste more in tune with the flavour profile our palates are used to.</p> <p><strong>Closure </strong></p> <p>Without weighing into the cork versus screw cap debate, choosing wines for cellaring that have a screw cap closure will negate the possibility of any cork spoilage. Nothing could be more frustrating than waiting patiently on a bottle of wine, only to find the cork has failed! Bottles that have synthetic closures are fine for early drinking wine styles but it is best to avoid them when choosing to cellar wine for extended periods of time.</p> <p><strong>Correct wine storage</strong></p> <p>In order to get the most out of a wine, it is absolutely essential that you store it in the right environment. A constant temperature with little fluctuation between day and night, summer and winter, should be a high priority. A wine that is experiencing marked fluctuations in temperature will age quicker than desired. A cool temperature between 12°C to 15°C is desirable. If you reside in a warm climate, the wine is better off stored at a constant temperature around 16°C or 18°C than a temperature that is cooler, but fluctuates significantly. If bottled with a cork closure the cork will expand and contract in the neck of the bottle, altering its resilient condition, allowing oxygen to seep in and wine to leak out.</p> <p>A dark environment is important, especially if you are cellaring white wines. Prolonged exposure to either natural or artificial light will cause the colour of the wine to bleach in the bottle and cause premature aging of the wine, reducing its aesthetic appeal.</p> <p>Choosing to lie your bottles down or have them standing up is not an issue with screw-cap closures, nor is storing the wine in a slightly humid environment. However if the bottles have cork closures they must be lying down to keep the wine in contact with the cork and therefore expanded in the neck of the bottle. Bottles with a cork should also be kept in a room with 75 per cent room humidity, in order to keep the end of the cork expanded. One without the other could lead to the dreaded oxidation and leakage of wine.</p> <p>Image: Getty</p>

Food & Wine

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Seven ways to save money on your groceries

<p>Buying groceries can take a large chunk out of your budget, so follow these tricks to slash those costs today!</p> <p>Grocery shopping can be expensive. But, as we all have to eat, it becomes a matter of outsmarting the supermarket. Can it be done, helping you save money in the process? Yes! Here’s some ideas.</p> <p><strong>Plan your meals for the week</strong><br />This tip is not only good for your hip pocket, but your waistline. By planning your meals and snacks in advance, you’re being disciplined about the fuel that’s powering your body. Plus, you won’t be tempted to buy baked goodies or other sweets that you see on sale, which is always strategically placed when you first enter the supermarket.</p> <p>Plan out your meals and write down what you need on a shopping list. Take this with you and stick to it! Everyone is guilty of making a shopping list and then adding to it while they’re browsing the aisles. This is a sure-fire way to buy treats or snacks you wouldn’t normally have planned for and to blow out your weekly grocery budget.</p> <p><strong>Make a list and stick to it</strong><br />Once you’ve planned out your meals, write down what you need on a shopping list. Take this with you and stick to it! Everyone is guilty of making a shopping list and then adding to it while they’re browsing the aisles. This is a sure-fire way to buy treats or snacks you wouldn’t normally have planned for and to blow out your weekly grocery budget.</p> <p><strong>Have a weekly clean-out of the fridge and cabinets</strong><br />Have you ever tried to find an ingredient, like the Worchester sauce, only to have to take out half the pantry because it’s at the back and the shelves are packed to the rafters? Over time, non-perishable items, such as sauces, baking goods, cooking oils, pasta, spices and other cooking essentials that don’t expire in the short term, accumulate in the kitchen pantry and surrounding cupboards – just like old crockery you don’t use anymore.</p> <p>By scheduling in a weekly review or clean-out, you can keep on top of what is in the pantry so you’re not doubling up in your grocery shop and ensuring that you’re using everything purchased until it’s completely empty.</p> <p><strong>Sign up for supermarket loyalty programs</strong><br />Free to join and easy to use, supermarket loyalty programs are a good way to save a few bucks here or there. While each differ with what rewards they offer their customers, it’s a good idea to sign up to all of your local supermarkets.</p> <p>Keep them handy and use them whenever you purchase groceries. While some loyalty programs will try to advertise certain products for a special price, if this a product you don’t normally buy, then avoid buying it now. This rule should apply to products purchase in-store that are advertised as “on special”.</p> <p><strong>Know what discounts your local supermarket offers</strong><br />Some supermarkets or local fruit and veg stores will offer their own special discounts for people over-60 for certain days. You may need to hold a Seniors Card to get the discount, so if you’re eligible consider getting a card. This can be done through your state government’s human services department.</p> <p><strong>Buy supermarket brands over established names</strong><br />A few years ago, home brand items in supermarkets carried a certain stigma around them. Now, however, with the competition considerably warmed up between supermarket giants, home brands have a revamped image. Most people today don’t have a problem buying supermarket-branded items, with many of these products taking over from traditional “name” brands.</p> <p>Price has become the biggest motivating factor for buying supermarket brands. If you’re not too fussy or loyal to any of the established brands, why not try a supermarket item? It could save you considerably at the checkout without affecting your tastebuds too much.</p> <p><strong>Don’t shop hungry!</strong><br />Did you know that hungry people are more likely to spend more at the supermarket and have bigger waistlines? While the advice to avoid grocery shopping when your stomach is grumbling for food has been around for a while, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed just how much it can influence what you buy in a supermarket.</p> <p>Researchers gave a group of people a snack before sending them off to shop while another group was given no snack. While both groups bought a similar amount of food, the group of people who hadn’t eaten first bought more food with higher calories. Shopping while you’re hungry will also see your nose turn and your mouth start to salivate towards the whiff of freshly baked bread or roast chicken, perhaps even buying one of these when it wasn’t on the shopping list. If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to succumb to the delicious smells wafting in the air.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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How to store these 11 super perishable foods

<p><strong>Fresh herbs</strong></p> <p>Green, leafy herbs like parsley, coriander and basil tend to go off quickly. To extend their freshness, trim off the bottoms of the stems, place them in a glass of water, and drape a plastic bag or plastic wrap over the tops. With the exception of basil (which should be left on the counter), you can keep fresh herbs this way in the fridge and they’ll stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks!</p> <p><strong>Berries</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #444444; font-family: Raleway, sans-serif, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Berries are also quick to take a turn for the worse. Mould seems to pop up overnight. To keep them fresh longer, make sure they’re completely dry and store them, unwashed, in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in a container lined with paper towels. This will keep the moisture away and keep them tasty for 5 to 7 days.</span></p> <p><strong>Bread</strong></p> <p>Just baked a loaf of homemade bread? You have two good options for keeping bread fresh, depending on the type: store a crusty loaf unwrapped at room temperature, then once it’s sliced, place it in a closed paper bag. For a soft-crust loaf, keep it in an airtight plastic bag and stored at room temperature. Bread is one product that does not thrive in the refrigerator!</p> <p><strong>Bananas </strong></p> <p>Bananas can turn brown and speckled in the blink of an eye, and that’s good news if you’re planning to make a banana cake or banana smoothie. If those aren’t on your to-do list, pull them apart and wrap the stems tightly in plastic wrap. This helps reduce the amount of ethylene gas emitted, which slows the ripening process.</p> <p><strong>Mushrooms </strong></p> <p>Nobody likes slimy mushrooms, so unless they’re pre-packaged (in which case, leave them alone), be sure to store them, unwashed, in a paper bag. The paper allows air to circulate and will also absorb any moisture that forms. This will ultimately slow down their decay and keep them fresh for up to one week.</p> <p><strong>Cheese</strong></p> <p>Though cheese isn’t as quick to spoil as fresh produce, it can still become a hotbed for mould. To keep it free from fungus for as long as possible, wrap it in wax or parchment paper, then put it in a partially sealed plastic bag or container. To keep the outer layer from getting hard and crusty, add a thin layer of butter or oil to the cut side before storing it.</p> <p><strong>Celery</strong></p> <p>Is anything as unappealing as rubbery celery? To keep your stalks crisp, separate, wash and dry them, then wrap them tightly in aluminium foil. Storing them this way will keep the air out but the moisture in, and that pesky ethylene gas will still be able to escape (plastic bags just trap it in).</p> <p><strong>Leafy Greens</strong></p> <p>Leafy greens are notorious for wilting quickly. To combat this and prolong their freshness, line your crisper drawer with paper towels or store the leaves in a ziplock bag with paper towels. Moisture is what causes the leaves to lose their crisp texture, so be sure to replace the towels as needed.</p> <p><strong>Tomatoes</strong></p> <p>There has been a bit of debate about how best to store tomatoes. Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept on the counter away from direct sunlight, not touching one another, with the stem side down. Tomatoes that are super ripe should be stored in the refrigerator (but let them come to room temperature before eating them for the best flavour).</p> <p><strong>Milk </strong></p> <p>Though the shelf-life of milk is fairly lengthy, there is still something you can do to keep it fresh longer. Simply add a pinch of salt to the jug or carton, and this will allow you to enjoy your milk for up to two weeks past its expiration date!</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/how-to-store-these-11-super-perishable-foods" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Food & Wine

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