10 years ago Rhonda Hetzel made a snap decision to retire early with her husband Hanno... giving up a high-paying mining job... to live the simple life at their hinterland home on Queensland's Sunshine Coast....

She's now released a book - "Down to Earth" - which contains all her secrets to living frugally. The lifestyle change has saved them thousands... they've slashed their power bills by a third and cut down on their groceries - managing to live on less than 20 thousand dollars a year.

But everyday, is a busy day living the frugal life for the couple... Hanno looks after the fruit and vege crop... while Rhonda bakes bread... makes her own laundry liquid and even soap.

"Anyone can do this... It's not just for retired people." Said Rhonda

So how simple is it? Well I've read the recipe, I've got it in front of me. I've got all the ingredients here. I've got olive oil, copha and some caustic soda and water... So let us make soap.

Obviously time isn't of essence when you live frugally... But there's a lot more to it than just making your own soap, It's about changing the way you live.

Nutritionist Gina Saler says a small change has saved her and 9 other families hundreds on their food bills. They formed their own fruit and vegetable cooperative, going straight to the wholesaler, cutting out the middle man

Rhonda says it's simple thinking that makes a big difference and has five tips. The first - change your attitude - slow down and enjoy life. The second is with the money you save, try and reduce your debt. The third is grow your own, fourth is stockpile and the fifth is make do with what you've got!