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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.

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.

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