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Day 80

August 15th, 2018 at 02:22 am

Payday. I have decided to make Thursday my shopping day (in case there is a delay in my benefit going into the bank) so will withdraw money and hit the stores tomorrow.

I did give a koha of $1 at the Knit Squad today. We meet at the community rooms and today the community gardens had put a box of leeks there for people to help themselves. I didn't want to be greedy so only took one and made leek and potato soup for dinner which will last me 3 days.

I have been occupying myself with finding out how many cups of tea I can get from one teabag. I take it without milk and sugar so don't like it too strong. I can get 3 cups by putting the teabag in the cold water then heating it for 3 minutes in the microwave.

Day 76

August 11th, 2018 at 02:08 am

Bought peanut butter $2.29 and pasta 79 cents. Neither was on sale but I needed them. Otherwise a quiet day at home knitting a scarf with some of the fun fur I got given. I'm not enjoying the yarn and think I'll on donate the rest to the thrift store. Someone will like it.

Day 75

August 10th, 2018 at 02:13 am

Although I have only the weekly $20 in my wallet for some reason I was feeling flush today. So I spent $3 on frosted fruit buns and $2 on fries. I will regret it when I step on the scale, but for the moment I have a comfortably full tummy. I also bought for Sunday
hummus $2.69
milk $2.39
bananas $1.21
I have tried bringing various plant milks to morning tea. The younger people accept them but the older ones insist on their cow juice.

Day 66

August 1st, 2018 at 02:12 am

Payday. There are 5 paydays this month. I went to Veggie Boys and bought over 2 kilos of carrots for $2.49 and just under a kilo of kiwifruit for $1.87. I also went to New World and bought 2 liters of canola oil for $5. That's all I need for the rest of the week.

I transferred $300 from my check account to my emergency fund. Now up to $2,383.38

Day 64

July 30th, 2018 at 02:16 am

I got given some rhubarb today, but I'm running short of sugar. I bought a kilo of brown sugar for $1.99, and also a loaf of bread for $1, which I've half eaten already. 30 cents left in my change dish to last me till Wednesday.

The dentist sent me an appointment for a checkup, but I don't have quite enough in my medical envelope, so I cancelled it. I should be able to go in September.

Day 62

July 28th, 2018 at 02:14 am

I have finished one of the cabbages. I lasted 2 weeks. For a change I dug in the back of the cupboard and found a can of asparagus, which I had with macaroni.

Day 61 - 10 months to go

July 27th, 2018 at 02:07 am

Today I took some money from my change dish and bought
sultanas 1.79
lentils 2.15
tomato paste .79
I knew saving change would come in handy.

I also bought a Film Festival ticket for $12.50. There are several movies I'd like to see, but I narrowed it down to one: an Australian documentary about an aboriginal choir.

And I weighed myself. I am down to 79 kilos. I'd like to lose weight a little faster, but they say if you lose slowly it's more likely to stay off.

Day 60

July 26th, 2018 at 02:06 am

I wanted somethng dfferent from apples so bought 4 bananas for $1.36. I also bought some oats for $1.69 and peanut butter for $1.99.

I have received some free yarn. 4 balls of crochet cotton and 12 balls of fun fur. Not the sort of yarn I usually knit with, but at least it's vegan.

Day 58

July 24th, 2018 at 02:22 am

Another big box of apples for the taking at Artsenta today. It's a good thng I like them.

Day 55

July 21st, 2018 at 02:05 am

Meals today the same as the last 3 days:
breakfast: porridge, apples
lunch: tortilla with chutney
dinner: rice, lentils, cabbage, potatoes

The sugar and oil are getting low but I think they'll last till Friday.

Day 53

July 19th, 2018 at 02:05 am

Icouldn't sleep last night so watched YouTube videos on how to make perfect tortillas. Mine always turn out too thick.

And I'm out of peanut butter. Never mind, I can do without it for the next 6 days.

Day 52

July 18th, 2018 at 01:51 am

Payday. One seventh through my year challenge. Also DS's birthday. I offered to take him out to lunch but he spent most of the day snoozng. Hard to believe 35 years ago I pushed out a 9 pound pumpkin. The memory of the pain fades; the joy remains.

My goal for this week is to have 7 NSDs. That's right, a complete no spend week. I passed a couple of op shops today: one was advertising a dollar of everything, the other offered 2 tops for $2. I didn't go in. I already have 65 tops - ok, some of them don't fit but I'll lose weight I promise.


I still have lots of oats, rice, canned beans, cabbage and potatoes. Looks like I'll be eating the same thing everyday but that's ok.

Day 48

July 14th, 2018 at 02:02 am

Today is Bastille Day so DS invited me to share his baguette. He had his grilled with chicken and cheese, and I had mine with marmite and a cup of cocoa.

Day 46

July 12th, 2018 at 02:21 am

I have been looking at this website https://www.thriftylesley.com/meal-plans/, which is meal plans to live on one pound sterling a day. Not sure how the British prices will translate to New Zealand but the recipes are simple and quick, right up my alley. Needs more greens, tho, and less onions.

Day 44

July 10th, 2018 at 01:28 am

New World had whole cabbages at $1.99 which is the cheapest I've seen in years. I bought one and I think I'll get another one, as it lasts for ages.

Day 42 - 46 weeks to go

July 8th, 2018 at 01:54 am

Today was the monthly vegan pot luck, but as we were having a combined church service I thought I should go to that. It turned out there was nothing for me to eat, but they were giving away - yes! more apples.


So at the end of week 6 the financial situation is $16.70 spent on food and in my cash envelopes:
food $12
misc $90
medical $120
change dish $8.40
mta vouchers $80

Day 41

July 7th, 2018 at 01:54 am

My name is Tina and I am a breadaholic. I bought 2 loaves on Wed and finished them in 3 days, bought another one today and it is already 3/4 gone. I love pbj sandwiches, no wonder I have difficulty losing weight.

Day 40

July 6th, 2018 at 01:39 am

I was born on this day 60 years ago, but owing to the number of birthdays I have missed celebrating I am really only 39. Artsenta put on a morning tea for me. The cake probably had some eggs and milk in it, but since they'd gone to so much trouble I had a small piece. Sometimes not hurting people's feelings is more important than an ostentatious display of principle.

I bought some carrots at Veggie Boys for 70 cents.

Day 38

July 4th, 2018 at 02:17 am

For the months of July, August and September I am recieving an extra $20.45 a week to cover increased heating costs. I have the heat pump on pretty much permanently in winter, it is bad for me to be cold.

I went to the Caltex gas station today and bought bread and pasta for $8.60. I paid with one of my vouchers and got $1.40 in change. I will buy carrots with some of my cash on Sat, apart from that I don't need anything.

And I found 50 cents on the way home. I now have $5.20 towards travelling the Trans Siberian.

For lunch I made a batter with peaflour and curry powder and added the struggling bean sprouts to make vege pancakes.

Day 33

June 29th, 2018 at 01:59 am

Today I found 30 cents. At one stage I was saving all my found money for a trip on the Trans Siberian. I think I'll do that again.

I made some sprout scones from the recipe by Jack Monroe except I used kale. They were good; I'll definitely make more of her recipes.

Day 32

June 28th, 2018 at 02:04 am

In my quest for budget recipes I came across this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrYeYduqoGo and decided to try out the lentil patties. I used pumpkin as it's cheaper than sweet potato. I added too much water when cooking the lentils and rather than boil them dry I just tipped the oats and pumpkin in and called it a stew. Tasted pretty good.

Day 30

June 26th, 2018 at 01:59 am

Today I baked oat squares. I worked out the cost:
125 g oats 28 cents
80 g flour 9 cents
50 g sugar 11 cents
100 ml oil 25 cents
Call it 50 cents for the electricity and it comes to $1.23. Cheaper than buying and they will last me 3 breakfasts.

Day 29

June 25th, 2018 at 01:41 am

For breakfast I had peanut butter and banana rice porridge. Next time I will try adding some cocoa powder to it. For lunch potato and cabbage soup with the last of the cabbage. It has lasted for almost a month, good job it keeps well. For dinner macaroni and beans with the last of the silverbeet and a can of tomatoes.

Day 28 - 48 weeks to go

June 24th, 2018 at 02:08 am

At the end of the fourth week I spent $18 on food, 50 cents on misc and have in my cash envelopes:
food $8
misc $52 and $4.61 on my bus card
medical $80
change dish $5

I am putting more thought and effort into my food than I have in a while. I am actually enjoying experimenting with different recipes. Normally I don't care all that much about cooking. Of course it might be different if I was forced to live on $20 a week, at the moment I am stiil enjoying the challenge and regarding it as an exercise in gratitude in preparation for my next trip to India. But if it all gets too stressful or my health starts to suffer I will give it up.

Day 26

June 22nd, 2018 at 01:38 am

At PaknSave I bought
can tomatoes 69 cents
can green beans 99 cents
macaroni 75 cents
600 gram cut pumpkin 50 cents. All the other pieces were 99 cents, maybe this one was a mistake but I grabbed it
saved $1.20

For breakfast I had applesauce cake with peanut butter; for lunch potato pancakes and for dinner the rest of the rice and soy meal. This time I put in a chili and it tasted quite spicy.

I'm trying to sprout some adzuki beans but they're reluctant to poke their little heads out this time of year.

Day 25

June 21st, 2018 at 01:58 am

I had trouble sleeping last night so got up at 1 am and baked an applesauce cake from this recipe https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2016/01/29/applesauce-bread-.... I like Jack Monroe as she was once a single mom struggling on a tiny budget and aims her recipes at poor people. Most of them are vegan too.


Gardens New World had a one day sale today. I had a good look for bargains but only wound up buying peanut butter at $1.99 (saved 30 cents) and strawberry jam at $2.29 (saved 20 cents).


I increased the weekly amount going into my bill paying a/c by $10 to cover winter power bills. The latest one I received is for $100.35. Pretty good, but the real frosts are still ahead of us.

And I transferred $300 from my checking account to my FFEF. I should be able to save over $200 a month.

Day 24

June 20th, 2018 at 01:33 am

Payday. Today I went to Veggie Boys and bought 10 kilos of brushed potatoes for $8. Getting it home was a bit troublesome. It kept overbalancing my wheelie basket as I trundled along but I managed it. Saved $6 over buying the washed potatoes in the closest supermarket.
Potatoes have a bad reputation among the low carbers but they're actually quite nutritious. This Aussie guy https://spudfit.com/ lived for a year on nothing but spuds and was quite healthy. Good to know if I'm really struggling. He lost weight too, despite potatoes rep as fattening.

Day 22

June 18th, 2018 at 12:12 am

Onto the fourth week of my $20 a week challenge - 49 weeks to go. I blogged the first 19 days at https://veganonabenefit.simplesite.com/ before running into difficulties and then remembering I already have this blog.
Today I bought cinnamon and ground coriander at the Indian Mart for $4. And from my misc I bought a book at the thrift store for 50 cents. It is called Financially Free: think rich to be rich by Anne Hartley.
For breakfast I had toasted homemade fruitbread with peanut butter; for lunch I made oaty pancakes; and for dinner I cooked up a big barley and split pea stew with the rest of the chard. Enough to last the next 2 days.

Hello Everybody

June 17th, 2018 at 05:38 am

Tena koutou katoa. I hadn't realised how much time has passed since I last blogged. Some changes: I am now on disability and my 60th birthday is coming up, so it doesn't look as if I'll ever work again. It depresses me, but at least I am getting more money now: $269.15 a week. Ds is currently living with me and gives me some money for his share of the power and internet. So things are manageable, but I still Iike to save money tho reallistically I'm not going to get to FI. In fact I'm looking forward to turning 65 when I will get more money from the govt!
With one thing and another my FFEF has taken a hammering and is now down to $1382.86. I want to work on getting it up to $10,000. And both the kitchen and bathroom need work so have to save more into the House a/c, currently at $2,345. I do have $5,000 in the Travel a/c and was hoping to make another trip to India this year, but we shall see.
To facilitate my savings efforts I have set myself the challenge of spending just $20 a week on food and $20 a week on misc spending for a year. I don't know if it's possible to get that low, but I'm giving it my best shot. Today is my third completed week on this challenge and at the moment I have in my envelopes:
food $11
misc $33
change dish $3.50
I also have $6.53 on my bus card and I started with a fairly full pantry so have plenty of food left. I also hope the lesser amount spent on food will result in weight loss. I've become vegan since last writing so that should help.

Not my day

April 29th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

I burned the rice and despite much work with the baking soda the pot looks past salvaging. Also I tried my hand at sourdough breadmaking but it turnd out damp inside and not much risen. Si I gave in and bought more yeast.


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