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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.

The price of rice

February 26th, 2015 at 09:17 pm

The cheapest rice I have found sells at $5.99 for 5 kg. White rice. I buy brown rice at $1.69 for 1 kg, but the price has just increased by .30 cents. The 5 kg bags of brown work out more expensive, besides brown rice doesn't keep as long as white. Strict budgeting suggests i should buy the cheapest white, but brown is more nutritious and my health is more important than saving money. So I will carry on buying the same brand until i find a better bargain.

Fruit and veges

February 25th, 2015 at 04:34 pm

Someone told me today about a fruit & vege coop that runs out of one of our nearby churches. Apparently it is only $3 a week for a single person. I must look into it. I'm curious to know how much you get for that amount of money.

Soup it up

January 27th, 2015 at 08:06 pm

I had some cauliflower that had a few brown spots and some milk that was getting old, so I made a curry cream sauce, added a can of creamed corn and some peanut butter with the cooked cauli. Tasted good, I shall make it again.

3 more days to the end of the month, and I have paid all my bills, stocked my pantry and fridge, and have money on my bus card. Shouldn't need to spend any more money for a week.

Cheap and healthy

January 13th, 2015 at 06:04 pm

The supermarket down the road from me quite often sells its less than perfect produce at reduced prices. Today I bought a bag of precut stir fry veges for $2. I would never pay full price for that, but it's a good way for me to get a variety of veges, since if I bought all the carrots, broccoli, cauli, onions, mushrooms and zucchini there is a chance they would spoil before I used it all.

Also today I found .10 cents.


December 21st, 2014 at 08:58 pm

One loaf of bread ($1), one avocado (.90), one apple (.60), one tomato (.50) and cheese ($3) = one full tummy


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I bought bread rolls, apples, cabbage, bell peppers, chard, celery and lunchmeat for $13.50. I won't be eating out this week.

Nice rice

September 29th, 2012 at 06:04 pm

I took this week's $20 grocery money and bought 10 kg rice, 2 packets pasta and 2 cans fruit, all on special for $19.70. And I have left several cans beans and sardines, potatoes, carrot and 1 egg to help spread next weeks $20 out.

I now have enough rice to see me thru the New Year - good job I like it.

$20 a week

September 19th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I read about a Kiwi woman who claims to spend $20 a week on groceries and teaches people on welfare to do it. I don't know the details so don't know if she has a veggie garden, lives with other people thus gaining economies of scale etc. I am interested in knowing if it is possible for a single person buying normal food at the local supermarket. I am not interested in driving across town to get the lowest price on 50lb sacks of oat groats, nor do I want to drink homemade dandelion coffee. But I am going to try it unless my health starts to suffer. No point winding up back on disability.

Flat bread

September 10th, 2011 at 09:58 pm

Today I ran out of bread but didn't want to go to the shop just for a loaf, so I made flatbread. Add generous tablespoonful of nonfat milk powder to one breakfast cup flour. Stir in pinch of salt and one teaspoonful baking powder. Add enough liquid to make a firm dough. You could use plain water or left over stock. I used the left over cooking liquid from a packet of chicken instant noodles. It had some fat in it which is probably why it tasted so good. Flatten out the dough with your hand to about 1/4 inch thick. Fry until brown on both sides. Eat while still warm. I spread avocado on mine - and ate the lot.

More in store

September 3rd, 2011 at 11:54 pm

More bad weather is forecast to arrive. I have been filling up my pantry to survive another snow. I now have:

10 kg rice
4.5 kg oats
2 kg flour
8 cans fish
9 cans meat
19 cans beans (but no jelly beans...
8 cans spaghetti
8 cans corn
8 cans tomatoes
8 cans veges
8 cans fruit
4 cans soup
1 kg milk powder
2 liter oil
3 kg sugar
5 kg onions
2 kg potatoes

I think that will keep me going for a month if the roads get blocked

Countdown begins

August 22nd, 2011 at 12:14 am

It is officially 10 days till spring. Today was a beautiful sunny day with warmth in the breeze., but there will be a frost tonite.

I checked this week's specials in Countdown - canned corn for $nz1.05 so I got 6 cans. Also baked beans and spaghetti for .69 cents, so will go back for those later. (Only $5.70 in the wallet until Wednesday, but I don't think I'll need to buy anything.)


August 20th, 2011 at 09:40 pm

New World had a special on rolled oats this week - 60 cents off a 1.5 kg bag, so I bought 4. Should keep me going for a couple months. Marmite was also on special for $nz4.99 so I bought 2. I'll be bursting with energy after breakfast.

Granny's gotta go granola

August 15th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Here is a breakfast that requires no cooking

One cup rolled oats
handful raisins
tablespoonful sunflower seeds

mix together, pour milk over and leave to soak overnight. In the morning add sliced banana and apple. Guaranteed to keep you regular.

Food glorious food

August 13th, 2011 at 12:10 am

I was looking for info on building up an emergency food supply and I came across this.


I feel bloated at even the thought of that much food. I hadn't looked much beyond an earthquake or severe snow storm cutting off supplies for a week - friends in the Christchurch quake were without water and power for 10 days, but the worst affected areas were evacuated. Still I think the most likely time I will use it is when I lose one of my pt jobs at the end of the year. At the moment I have in my pantry

10 cans beans
2 cans fish
6 cans veg
2 cans fruit
1 can beef stew
1 can chicken soup
1 can coconut cream
1 can tomato paste
400g sultanas
1 kg oats
4 kg potatoes
2 kg flour
1 kg dried milk powder
4 pkts instant noodles
2 ltr cooking oil
small amounts pasta, rice and dried lentils
herbs and spices

When I get paid next week I shall buy 10 kg rice for $nz19 and some mung beans for sprouting. And a big jar of peanut butter.

Pop goes the weasel

August 10th, 2011 at 05:27 pm

I am currently using up some of the older supplies in the pantry. There was some popping corn which has been there so long I didn't think it would cook, but it did so I had popcorn for breakfast.

World's cheapest recipe

October 9th, 2010 at 09:13 pm

No money out apart from envelope at church. I put on a sweater to keep warm instead of turning on the heating and made potato patties. Coarsely grate 2 medium sized murphies and gently squeeze out excess water. Stir in half a finely grated onion, 2 tablespoons of flour, and salt to taste (I like lots).Drop spoonsful into hot oil and fry till nicely browned on both sides.

If ever I get down to my last $10 I will buy a big sack of flour and one of potatoes and live on this for a month.

Winter is the time for

August 7th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

kiwifruit. I bought 8 zespri or golden kiwi for nz$1.60, and sliced up a couple with some chopped pear (also cheap this time of year) and soaked raisins. I feel I am doing my part to ward off the winter blues.

I'm weird

August 1st, 2010 at 12:20 am

They say never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. i was looking for dinner ingredients today and I had nz$4 to spend. I wound up with sardines, rice crackers, five bananas and .30 cents change. I justify it by saying I saved on electricity by not cooking.

Cornmeal curse

January 23rd, 2010 at 07:21 pm

I have some cornmeal which has been sitting in my pantry for a while so decided to use it. Yesterday I made polenta but when I tried to then fry it I hadn't made it thick enough and it turned into a big mess in the skillet.

So this mornign I tried making cornmeal pancakes but discovered I had run out of baking powder so my pancakes were flat and stodgy instead of light and fluffy.

Never mind persevere. I'll try tortillas next, with vege chilli as it's a cool damp day.

Lettuce consider

August 13th, 2009 at 01:20 pm

It's official, food prices are up 8% since last July, fruit and veg up 12 %. Oh the pain. TG I'm not feeding a family anymore, it must be so hard.

But I was surprised at the interview on the radio about it this morning. The reporter opted to quiz the spokesperson about the price of lettuce and tomatoes, complaing about how expensive they were. Doh! If you're hard up you don't buy lettuce, which has few calories. And you certainly don't buy them in winter - you buy the veges which are cheap then.

So here is a basic beating-the-winter-depression dish. Throw a generous spoonful of caraway seeds into oil. Add plenty of thinly sliced cabbage and carrot and cook until wilted. Add as much as you can afford of cooked black eyed beans and lots of tomato sauce. Pop the lid on and simmer until veges are cooked.

Playing ketchup

August 11th, 2009 at 04:34 pm

OMG canned tomatoes up to nz$1.09 (store brand - the name brands are %1.59) What do I do? They're one of my staples.

Guess I will use less tomato and more onions.


July 30th, 2009 at 12:41 am

The Asian greengrocer was selling soup bags of old vegetables for nz$1. I got carrots, parsnip and tomato, and added some pasta, parsley and a touch of chili. Very comforting on a frosty nite.


July 28th, 2009 at 12:28 am

Life is hard sometimes. Especially when I'm coming home from my evening cleaning job and I'm hungry and I have to go past all the fast food joints in our area. The thought of going home and waiting while I cook up a meal makes me want to give in and buy some pizza or a burger more often than I should.

So I'm taking action. Before I leave for work I put a banana or some raisins or some other snack in my bag and nibble on it as I walk past the Chinese takeaways. On a cold night it's not as comforting as fries would be, but it works.

Maybe next winter I could get a thermos and fill it with really thick soup? At least I didn't spend tonite and I found 10 cents outside the Indian restaurant so I came home richer than I went.

The cookie trap

July 6th, 2009 at 01:23 am

I did morning teas for church yesterday and bought some chocolate sandwich cookies. Today I am eating the remaining cookies. I used to be satisfied with one, now the manufacturers are making them much smaller, so I eat 2 or 3. Ruinous on both the pocket book and the waistline.

Onion for breakfast

June 10th, 2009 at 01:18 am

I'm not sure what to call this - maybe sweet and sour pilaf. It's what you cook when the pantry's almost empty. Fry sliced onions until golden, throw in some rice and cook till the grains turn white. Add your preferred amount of salt, vinegar and sugar. Toss in a handful of raisins and pour in boiling water. cover and simmer until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed.

Sorry for no precise measurements. I'm a pinch of this and dash of that cook - I don't even own a scale.

Flour power

June 2nd, 2009 at 06:06 pm

I think the supermarket bakery is getting a wee bit greedy with their prices in the day old bread bin. A bag of scones used to cost nz1.50, now it has gone up to 2.99. Too much - I'll go back to baking my own.

Planning for Christmas

March 29th, 2009 at 12:10 am

No, it's not too early. Today I bought some vouchers from New World supermarket. You get 5% discount in December.

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