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Cutting back on food spending

September 4th, 2012 at 08:11 am

Itís early days yet but so far I havenít spent much in past few days. I have been looking at my stockpile and making inventory of what I have got.

Will be making new menus from what I do fine there.

I plan use up what cooked meals that I fine first then cook some more meals up later on! Until I get my dental work done I can only have soft foods. So far I had a roasted chicken meal with roasted vegetables that was in the freezer. Spaghetti Bolognese is for tonight meal. I did fine a tripe and onion sauce and devilled sausage meals so they will on the menu soon. There are still a few sausages in the freezer so will be planning to use those along eggs like Scramble eggs, boiled and omelettes are a good choice too! There is a least 6-8 serves of seafood on the freezer as well dried and canned beans and number of meals of chicken both raw and cooked. When the seafood runs out I will be making fish cakes and Tuna Mornay dishes instead of buy more fresh fish.

I am allowing about $60 for fresh food and one meal out per month for now!

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." - Boyd K. Packer

Local supermarket closing down

June 16th, 2012 at 09:18 am

Our local supermarket closing this weekend for a year and they are building a new one on the site. So no more daily walks to the local supermarket for my neighbour, she will have to plan better in the future. This is the supermarket that has some wonderful bargains in the past. Which I will miss but then I have such a large stockpile of things that need using up. I will need now to plan so that I shop for needs only to fill any gaps but no longer stockpiling.

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

So itís into a saving mode from now on!

I am saving up for new flooring and kitchen as the painting outside will cost about $8000 all up. I will try and get more quotes next week but almost likely will go with the one I have got now!

Focusing on my food

January 26th, 2012 at 08:52 am

I need to review habits when it comes to food, I think I am getting a bit lazy at times.

Groceries ----$1755-------$1601.08-------under target by $160.42

I have allowed $33.75 per week for grocery but I should with want I have in stockpile this should be able come down to below $27.00 per week or under $1404 for this year.

I have nearly used up want is in my downstairs storage area in food. Only very bulky things will be store there in the future.

I do need to do a stock take of what I actually got in the way of food. I do have some gaps but I should I be able to last for few months without worrying about them. Just use something else instead in meantime.

The strategies for this challenge are to list and menu plan my way through until I use a lot of stuff I have already have bought. While I still have protein in my freezers and beans and lentils in fridge with over 5 kilos of rice and a number of packets of pasta still to get through.

I have a lot of flavouring and sauces that I have bought or got in sample bags that I should be able to come up some different and interesting meals.

I will trying to limit my food spending to a very small list of basic items and any food for my diabetics that I need. Some of those items are fruit and vegetables in season, eggs, bread, milk, cheese, margarine, and yoghurt including some fresh fish and chicken, with some red meat when my freezer stocks are lower. I should be able to go about seven weeks without buying too much other than fruit and vegetables in season, eggs, bread, and milk.

I think will need to go back to writing my menus on here.

Menu for this week

Monday - Fresh Fish with Salad and Cob of Corn
Tuesday - lunch out - Dinner Fruit and Milk Only
Wednesday - lunch out - Dinner - Noodles Chicken with Vegetables
Thursday - Satay Chicken with Salad
Friday Ė Fresh Fish with Vegetables and Fruit
Saturday - Curry Mince with Rice and Fruit
Sunday Ė Pasta with Lentil Sauce

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

Stuffed freezer

October 29th, 2011 at 08:40 am

With all this work on my computer, getting my freezer down a bit is a major problem I am still not getting to the bottom of it. I need to defrost some of the bottom of chest freezer meat so that is what I will be doing as itís time do so. I have 2 turkeysí leg & roasts there so I am cooking the oldest this weekend. Plus about 3 Chicken Maryland so will using these up and I have a lot of chicken legs packs so will putting these into my menu over few weeks two for the cats and two for me as there are 4 legs in each pack. I got them cheap enough to use them for the cats as well! Most of the red meat is in the small fridge freezer there isnít very much. But I do have a lot of white fish frozen pieces and some crumb fish so that enough for next two to three monthsí worth as I buy in bulk at 5 kg at the time about 32 pieces in all I have used some of it.

As for frozen vegetables I do have enough for a month or so, I will just buy fresh for now!

Just went looking for the roasts and what was in the chest freezer as I was just buying meat & chicken when I saw a good buy Itís time to stop this pattern and use up some of protein that I have already bought.

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

I better follow that strategy for now!

Shopping for one, summing up

September 15th, 2011 at 09:17 am

I have done a lot of thinking about how I shop over the past few days, along with a lot of reading and writing and viewing different downloads and links. This task has given me some food for thought and I hope it's given you some ideas on shopping over the number of areas I have covered.

One area I didn't cover is eating and drinking way from home so try limiting the amount of food and drinks you have away from home. This area is the biggest waster of your food budget and I didn't even touch on it. Try writing down every cent you spend for a month and see how much you are spending here. You may find the money for that overseas holiday you only dreamed about.

One of the major points we all need to do at this point in time. Is to review what we have in own homes and use this before go out and buy more stuff.

Some of the other points to think about are:
- Check what we have bought and use it!
- Make a menu using what in the house first then what on special that week.
- Make a price book so you know what the cheapest price is.
- Don't be loyal to just one supermarket
- Learn to cook if you can't!


While researching for this series I came across a number of interesting links some are for small families or singles and other ones can be used by everyone. I don't know how much anyone of you reading this series has explored your government resources in the way I have done here. There a number of free downloads or online reading that I can open on this side of the Pacific Ocean. I have included some I found from Australian websites also!

Some are from US government websites and others are from umaine extension and Mayo Clinic. If you can explore these websites a lot more as there are plenty more to out there to be found. I could give you the links to a lot of downloads but exploring them yourselves will make it more interesting.

The ones that I have given you here that are marked PDF will need a reader to open them.

Text is Mayo Clinic and Link is
Mayo Clinic
explore this link for interesting articles

Text is Thrifty Meals for Small Families and Link is
Thrifty Meals for Small Families
At the bottom of this one you will find links to the other parts of this series 5 parts in all.
If you search for Thrifty Meals for Small Families, you will come up with other downloads versions.
Text is Keep the Beat Healthy Heart Recipes and Link is
Keep the Beat Healthy Heart Recipes PDF

Text is
healthier you and Link is

healthier you
links to recipes

Text is School meals and Link is
School meals

Text is U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Link is
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services There are two PDF files on this link that one 130 pages & the other one 160 pages PDF.

Text is Vegetarian and Link is
Vegetarian Learn about different types of vegetarianism, nutrients of concern, how to plan a healthy diet, and find recipes.

Text is Nutrition index and Link is
Nutrition index Shopping, Cooking & Meal Planning

Australian Links

Text is Recipes & shopping - What's there to eat? and Link is
Recipes & shopping - What's there to eat? PDF

Text is The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and Link is$File/fd-cons.pdf
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating PDF

Text is Victorian Better Health and Link is
Victorian Better Health

Text is Victorian Better Health - Recipes Here and Link is
Victorian Better Health - Recipes Here

The last of Shopping for one series

Shopping for one, my way on Personal & Cleaning Items

September 11th, 2011 at 08:02 am

This is the sixth in this series

I am lucky enough to have an oversupply of beauty products. I was selling Avon a six years ago so I have a lot of leftovers that are now out of date that I am using up myself. I now only buying one item that I have finish my supply of and still using most other items more slowly as no longer wear make up that much these days. That's what you get when you are your own best customer.

As for hair care, I buy

Text is hair dye and Link is
hair dye and shampoos and conditioners, as I stockpile these when I find a good buys on them I have enough of these items for the next few years too!

So would suggest look at your discount stores for these items whether it a discount chemist or discount store always check size & price for the best price. At times Avon can beat both when they have some of their deals in their catalogue at times. Toothpaste, shower gels, soaps etc. you need to know your prices on these then buy when you find a good deal. I multiple buy if I find it at the best price I had found so far.

So my strategy here is to buy when I found at good price and buy enough to last 3 months or longer.
At a pinch you could use some homemade beauty products but will leave search for those on Google
Try using -- good homemade beauty recipes

Paper goods in the way Hand towels & toilet paper I only buy only on special or TP at 50c per roll or less. I only buy one brand in toilet paper which now here which sold at 50c per roll in 20 or 24 packs.

As for laundry and kitchen cleaning items, I have a bit of stockpile I need to use up first.
I buy dish detergent at the chemist when they have it marked down. As for laundry detergent I use 50% of homemade one and using up some bought packs that were bought on special. Again do a price check before you buy these lines buy at the price and size.

Here some links
Text is The Benefits of Organic and Natural Cleansers and Link is
The Benefits of Organic and Natural Cleansers

Text is Homemade Household Cleansers and Link is
Homemade Household Cleansers

Text is Alternative Cleaners and Recipes and Link is
Alternative Cleaners and Recipes

Text is vinegar and baking soda cleaning recipes and Link is
vinegar and baking soda cleaning recipes

Shopping for one, my way on canned or package goods

September 9th, 2011 at 09:05 pm

This is the fifth in this series

I eat very basic plain food so I can get away without having all these artificial additives in my food more about that later. I do buy canned food and packaged goods but only the one I want and are good for my health. If I donít understand what in the product from reading ingredient list, I am likely to leave it on the shelf.

On occasions I will find a very good buy in the marked down bin of item that I could make from a recipe found in cookbook or on the internet, I then may buy it to try out then find a way in making that item myself, I do keep the packaging or label for a reference then set out to find similar recipes or methods to make that item. You have to remember that we in Australia do not have any coupons like you have in America so the price you see on the supermarket shelf is the price are going to pay unless itís marked down or on special in some way.

Single household shopper may not need 10 cans or packets of the same to get these specials deals so we will need to look for other ways or places that sell in singles a can or packet at that price. The other day I saw an offer of Mars candy bars 18 share packs in store the shelf price $2.79, near it was a table with these same Mars candy bar share packs with $4.00 on it didnít make sense so I asked the staff about it, it was buy 2 packets @ $4.00 or single pack @ $2.79. They are doing this quite a lot lately with other lines.

Only you can workout what food you like and get in your local area you live in.

Here in Australia we can get most things but if they are imported name brand as listed in American or British recipes they can be far too expensive on limit food budget. The answer is in substitution of local or cheaper items from your own area. So look at whatís cheaper in your area and learn to like and cook with these kinds of foods.

I do buy canned tomatoes as I have worked out that when fresh are expensive then I can use the cans for cooking. I try to grow some cherry tomatoes to use in fresh salad and use canned tomatoes for cooking. Only buy when on special at the cheapest price you can find. For a single household just buy 6 - 10 at a time unless you are making soup out of them. I bought 50 cans of tomatoes a few years ago now I still have 7 cans left to use. Far too many!

As for frozen goods I only buy the basic vegetables single packets of spinach, peas, beans & corn and a store brand mixed a vegetable that is diced for quick use, if money is real tight then mixed vegetables and peas and use whatís cheapest in fresh only and make do with these. As for the others frozen good on if the special is 50% off or bigger packet for the same price and then on special I may buy some at times.

I do buy jams buying only the ones I will use in a can and decant it into jars. As for honey I buy 3kg containers of my favorite when I can then decant this overtime the last lot took 3 years to use up but then honey will keep for 7000 years if sealed well.

Bottle sauces, spices & herbs, vinegars these will brighten up your dishes. Look into buying one or two seasonings starting with salt & pepper in each shopping trip so budgeting for these over time will build a good supply up.

Bottle Sauces over time buying a few that match your foods that you eat and in your recipes that you are using. There are some recipes around that will give list of what you need for this. Look into make your own sauces too! I will buy some fancy sauces for some dishes so that I know how they taste like but then look for a more basic version or these if they are in the bargain bins then will buy them again if cheap enough.

With spices & herbs I will buy a little bigger size than the supermarket size and give some of it away to friends if they use it! I have found that buying it in Asian or ethnic specialty grocery store I can buy it for around same price but almost 3 times a much. So check your supermarket out in their normal spice & herb area then ethnic specialty area for a price check & sizes then out outside for other specialty grocery store or deli.

See what you like in the way of pasta, rice, grains that you use to bulk out your meals. Just buy the variety you will use not every variety named in cookbooks. I use basmati rice and buy this on special in 2 to 5 kg bags. Forget buying in small bags unless you are just trying out to see whether you like it or not. Keep rice & pasta in the refrigerator if you have room there. But well sealed, I keep them there but the open container is out on the bench to use. Rice has a bay leaf in it.

Vinegars are a must have in the kitchen but only buy what will use in your kitchen use and in small amounts unless you are making chutney and pickles. Check your recipes for what ones you need and then buy them over time.

Cereals can be handy but expensive so I stick to just one, rolled oats or oatmeal and in the summer I may make up a

Text is muesli and Link is

I use powdered skim milk (nonfat milk) for all my dairy needs. I will buy if I find some UHT milk on special then I will buy 2 cartons to have on hand for visitors and use up myself when it come nears the use by date.

Over the years I have been able to make a stockpile of extra foods mainly when GFC was on and now working my way though this, to reduce it down to a more normal level to buy when Iím are opening the one to use or 4-6 spare. I will not be affected if there is another recession any time soon.

My main aim now where possible use & buy on basic items that you can make food from scratch, thatís most food lines sold in supermarkets today. Somewhere on the internet you will find that recipe you will need or just look at the ingredient list on the can or package for clues of what should be in it.

Forget all the humbo jumbo of flavor enhancers, preservatives, emulsifiers, vegetables gums etc, do you want things to last that long. If they are natural and can be bought easily you could use them at a pinch.

This is a short run down of somethingís I am doing to shop without coupons.

Some other ideas can be found in this ebook Save on Grocery Shopping on this
Text is link and Link is

Text is Eating Well on $1 A Day and Link is
Eating Well on $1 A Day

Text is
$120 food challenge for family per fortnight and Link is

$120 food challenge for family per fortnight

Text is 50 tips for grocery shopping and Link is
50 tips for grocery shopping