Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frugal Thought #1

Do not take your husband to the supermarket for a"just a couple of snacks"!! Are you reading this? Yes, Suzanne I am talking to you! Do Not do it!

Last night we picked up a few DVD's and then hubby asked what snacks did we have? I told him about the fruit & nut mix, the eclairs left from last week, and the portello drink. We ended up going to the supermarket and $32.45 later we have mini donuts, pepsi, a cheesecake, salt & vinegar chips, jersey caramels and hot dogs for dinner - because it's now to late to do a nachos from scratch (his words not mine). The only thing we bought that I actually needed were large zip lock bags.

I have a headache just thinking about it! Was I there? Could I have put a stop to some of it? Yes. But I am weak - throw me in the creek.

I really need to plan Friday nights better.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meal Planning and other disasters...

I did most of the meal plan yesterday and finished it off this morning after checking one of the supermarkets online catelogue that is only posted on Thursday mornings.

But I really didn't feel like it... am feeling a little "who cares" in the food department. But knowing I was going to post this kicked me into gear and helped keep me accountable - which is one of the main reason I started blogging about all of this in the first place.

So here are the fortnights meals:

Thursday: Noodles (kids choice - as in 2 min - I'm glad hubby & I won't be here!)
Friday: Sizzle Steak Burgers with chips
Saturday: Nacho's
Sunday: Chicken & vege soup with rolls (held over from last week due to the winter heatwave)
Monday: Corned Beef, mash potato & vege with parsley sauce
Tuesday: Bacon Tortellini
Wednesday: Sheperd's Pie with sweet potato mash topping

Thursday: Macaroni Cheese (kids only)
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Fish & Chips
Sunday: Chicken drumsticks, poato bake & vege
Monday: Lamb Curry with couscous
Tuesday: Beef & mushroom casserole
Wednesday: Chicken satay with rice

This fortnight I am going to keep a list of what we actually end up eating. Last fortnight we did a bit of changing around, but I can't remember exactly what and when. I want to know if I am feeling lazy on certain nights - should I plan an easier menu? Should I spend some time doing a mini OAMC for meat & sauce for spaghetti etc...

Will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sick Days

The last few days have been busy as I have been caring for my 9yr old daughter - she has had a fever and exhaustion since Sunday night. There have been lots of cuddles, panadol and napping draped over Mum. I was told "you are the best Mum in the world for me" - I feel so loved and blessed - even during sickness special memories are made.

I hope to do a more frugal post later - my fortnightly planning on Wednesday to prepare for shopping on Thursday.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Financial Friday

Every Friday morning I sit at my computer and do our bills, bpaying & saving for the week. The pays come in over night and I like to get our money organised straight away.
I have a green folder that holds our budget on the first page, and has seperate sections for keeping track of a variety of budget categories within a few bank accounts. I keep a paper record of all our transactions. I tried Excel in the past, but for me paper works best.
I have just finished doing our finances for this week and we are closer to a few of our goal amounts. Our emergency fund has $339.11 - I am pretty happy with it's growth since we only started it a few weeks ago.
We have a bit of our tax refund left and my husband and I will be discussing tomorrow a few of the purchases we would like to make with it - mainly camping equipment to finish off our preparations for our family camping trip to Fraser Island in 6 weeks.
Only 6 weeks to go!! I thought it was a little further off then that! I really need to get organised with our meal plan for the trip. I am so looking forward to relaxing and vegging out. And there aren't that many places to shop either - probably a good thing. ;-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Opshop Donations

I forgot to charge up my camera battery so I don't have a picture of all I decluttered from the house and donated yesterday to a local opshop. But - one of the volunteers brought a shopping trolley to my car when she realised how many bags I had. I filled one just like the picture! The lady had to hold her arms over the top to hold it from falling out.
I am happy to give so much away and move it on from here. A lot of it was clothes that my children have out grown, some hand-me-downs that didn't fit and wasn't needed by others that I know and a gift basket that I had no use for.
I was happy that none it was things I had bought and then not used. It used to happen with me in the past - buying something cheap is not a bargain if it's not needed. I am getting better - not perfect! I did go into the shop after I had emptied the car - and didn't find anything we needed or anything I wanted either.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bargain Buys

My husband and I rarely shop spontaneously anymore. We do lists. Lots of lists. A common phrase in our home, before buying something is: "is it on a list?" He has a list for what he needs/wants. I have a list for what I need/want. We have a list for things we need/want for the house. There are lists for each child - clothing, christmas ideas etc.. But just because it's on a list doesn't mean we end up buying it. The things we really need get priority and then we look at the wants. Here are a few purchases we made this week:

Dining Setting - I really only needed eight dining chairs but chairs alone are approx. $90-125 each. The prices could have ranged from 8 x $90 = $720 or 8 x $125 = $1000! Way more than I would have been comfortable spending.
This is my budget friendly option - an ebay complete dining setting 8 chairs and a table for $560! I liked the new table so much we have decided to use it instead of our original table and re-purpose our old table. By the way - new chairs have been on the list for nearly 7 years.
Bunk Beds - We decided recently that we wanted to have two of our children share a room, but to make the space work we needed a set of bunks. These were another ebay buy for $120. I had bid and been unsuccessful 3 times before getting these ones. But I am happy with the price and the condition of them. And so far they are sharing the space well!

Portable Fridge - We have been setting ourselves up with quality camp gear over the last few years and this is one of the purchases that will make our camping trips so much easier. We won't need to have to pay extra for powered sites anymore. I will also be able to take it grocery shopping with each fortnight, and now I won't need to rush traight home with all the cold stuff. I source it through ebay - brand new, still in box and with a cover - for approx. $300 less than in any of the stores we had looked at. It still gave me palpatations to hand over the cash - but I know that the value for us is there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Feeding the Pig

This is my piggy bank. I was given him as a gift for my 18th birthday from a friend. He is now 20 years old - I am not :-(

Every time I shop with cash and get change back ie. 5c, 10c, 20c, & 50c I keep it aside to save in my piggy bank when I get home. I find it's such an effortless way to save. From January 1st to mid April '09 I saved $85.95. I only empty him when I can't fit anything else in, and I am getting close to full again.

This weeks total for "feeding the pig" is $4.55.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grocery Shop Tally

I left early this morning, dropped the little one at Kindy and headed straight for the petrol station. I made my goal of lasting til Thursday to fill up - although the light was flashing red!

I filled the tank for $89.05. Last week I had $9 left of my budget and there is another $10 remaining from this week - so $19 in my fuel cash.

Last fortnight I had $2 remaining in the grocery cash. I did buy quite alot of meat last week reduced, so that has helped this weeks shopping.I shop the specials as much as I can, which normally involves me shop at 3 different supermarkets. I now drive to a shopping area a little further from my house to take advantage of the fact that all 3 supermarkets are next door to each other. I've found that this makes my time more efficient and helps keep my petrol usage lower.

So here is this fortnights round up:

Total: $52.50
Breakfast cereal - $5.00
White sugar 2x2kg - $3.30
Pasta Sauce - $1.44
Tissue - $1.79
Laundry Liquid - $2.09
Chocolate - $1.89
Chocolate eclairs - $1.19
Tomatoe Paste 3x - $3.87
Borlotti Beans 2x - $2.38
Butterscotch pudding 2x - $2.18
Wipes - .99c
Diced Tomatoes - .75c
Beef Mince x3pkts - $10.13
Burgers - $3.30
Cheese Sauce 2x - $1.42
Olive Oil - $5.06
Pepsi Max - $2
Tomatoes - $1.05
Red Capsicum - .70c
Broccoli - $1.98
Total: $ 63.15
Rice 2kg - $3.49
2 min noodles 4x - $4.36
Eggs 2x -$4.78
Margarine 4x - $4.36
Diced bacon 2x - $4.98
Tasty Cheese 1kg - $7.49
Sweet Potato - $1.45
Oranges - $1.25
Creamed Corn - .99c
Diced Tomatoes 2x - $1.50
Tinned Peaches - $1.49
Tinned Spaghetti/Beans 3x - $2.07
Strawberry Jam - $1.39
Devon 1kg - $2.29
Longlife Skim Milk 1ltr 3x - $3.24
Lemonade - .69c
Fruit Cordial 2l - $2.19
Toilet Tissue - $3.99
WeetBix 2x - $5.18
Muesli Bars 2x - $3.98
Cheese Crackers - $1.99
Total: $41.30
Milk 2x3l - $6.32
Olives - $1.99
Kidney Beans - .99c
Sour Cream - $1.29
Frozen Chips 2x - $3.98
Frozen Meat Pies 2x - $6.38
Tiny Teddies Biscuits 2x - $1.98
Parsley Flakes - $2.52
Pegs - $3.15
Onions - $ 1.45
Zucchini - $1.16
Taco Seasoning 2x- $1.60
Tortilla's - $3.69
Portello 2x - $1.98
Meal Mixes 2x - $1.50
Chocolate Custard - $1.34 (reduced - my treat!)
Combined Total: $ 156.95
Budget Remaining: $138.05

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meal Planning

On one Wednesday I do a fortnightly meal plan. So, here is this fortnights meals:

Thursday: Macaroni Cheese (kids - we're out)
Friday: Meat Pies & Chips
Saturday: Homemade Burgers
Sunday: Roast Chicken, mash & veges with gravy
Monday: Beef Thai Green Curry with rice
Tuesday: Chow Mein
Wednesday: Chicken, barley & vege soup with rolls

Thursday: Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Friday: Homemade Pizza's
Saturday: Spaghetti Bolagnaise
Sunday: Pea & Ham Soup with pizza scrolls/rolls
Monday: Silverside, mash & veges with parsley sauce
Tuesday: Mex Tortilla Stack with salad
Wednesday: Leftover Soup & BLT foccacia

I have a budget of $295 per fortnight for food. This Wednesday I plan and shop for the breakfasts, lunches & main meals for two weeks. I will do a cupboard review next week and see what we may be needing, and also do a top up on fresh fruit & vege's and milk.

I will post tomorrow on how the shopping goes and how the budget stands!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is a new blog for me to express how I am being "mindful with my money". It will be a little of menu planning, opshopping/thrifting, and how our family budgets to achieve our goals.

I am married and currently a sahm to 4 children - aged 14, 13, 9 & 4. I live in rural Queensland, Australia.

I look forward to seeing how I can improve my stewardship of our financial resources by being more accountable.