Oh hi sweetie, I'm glad you stopped in!
I've been up since early, stoking the fire, getting washing done, and sewing lace trim on some pillowcases. Wasn't it nippy this morning!
What else did I do? Let's see...a healthy lunch was packed for Miss Diva, (alas not a hot one!), and as soon as I'd dropped her, I took my car to the carwash, and spent $5 washing it myself. The wild winds here took care of drying her off....yes, funny that I call the car a 'her'....giggle.
Next stop Coles, because you might remember my haul using Flybuys points. So, I shopped there today, as they're offering 10,000 Flybuy points for a certain spend over 4 weeks. The first time it was offered, the spend was only $140, now it's $190, so they're onto me, trying to get me to creep my spending up!
Well because we'd been away, I had no trouble spending the $190 this time, and I'll have to see if Mr A or you and I can combine our shopping for the next three weeks, as I certainly won't hit that high again! I managed some treats in that, including some eye fillet which I'll cook for dinner tonight with mushrooms pan fried in a little butter (yummy...want to stay for dinner Hon?), and some hot smoked salmon, and individual Greek Yoghurts on special. That's enough to make us feel special this week, and for a spend of just $20 for those three. That's the thing about frugal shopping. It's worthwhile factoring in some for treats as you just go a bit silly on takeaway or something instead...do you find that? I've always believed if factoring a bit of fun food into the budget. It's a good strategy, don't you think?
Do you know that yoghurt actually lasts for weeks if not months beyond it's 'use by' date? I had a friend that worked for Danone (Pauls Milk here), and she said that they'd regularly sell off entire pallets of yoghurt close to use by date, and she'd buy it up, refrigerate it, and use it for up to 6 weeks past that date. Of course, you'd do the common sense 'taste-smell-view' before consuming, but I've found the same. I buy The Musician Husband his favourite Mango yoghurt in the half dozens when it's on special which it was this week....SCORE, right? Hahaha! I need a life! Anyway, I keep the spares in our little garage fridge and they'll be as good in six weeks or even longer, as they are today. Needless to say, if the container expands, explodes on opening, or smells wrong or 'off', then you wouldn't eat it. You know that, of course?
Those lovely little seedless mandarins, big leafy bunches of celery, the sweet potato and Granny Smith apples were all inexpensive too, so I'm in heaven, because that's soups, crumbles, and lunchbox snacks done and dusted. And I snaffled some other specials like chicken breast, lamb mince and a lamb leg roast for bargain prices, so we're eating well this week!
I have my special things that I won't budge on though. Do you? The non negotiables for us, are always gluten free bread, good orange juice, and nice multi purpose cheeses. We like Colby for eating and Parmesan for meal toppings the best, but will lower ourselves to Tasty instead of both of those, if there's a budget squeeze on here!
So that's another thing....and I know I'm preaching to the converted here, but I know you and I always have some new friends quietly eavesdropping, so yes I'm talking to those friends now....to really save money on the grocery budget, you need to be flexible. I bought broccoli for just $1.90kg two days ago. Today it was $6.98kg. Wow. What happened to the broccoli world in the last 48 hours, eh? So no broccoli for us. Instead I saw these little cutie-patootie drumhead cabbages for $2, so it's braised cabbage with the roast, and yummy coleslaw...I'll even make it with that wasabi mayo you love so much. Snow peas we love as you know, but they're just too expensive just now, and ditto to peaches that I admired but wasn't buying at $13kg! Especially after just eating that totally IN season peach in Toulon just a fortnight ago. Humongous thing that I had to hold with two hands it was, and still warm from the sun. Now THATS a peach...hahahaha! You do get that eating seasonal always yields the most sensible results for wallet and waistline, don't you :)
There's a good guide here....
I love Winter strawberries the best don't you? Even though they really are available all year round nowadays. The strawberry season as far as I'm concerned, is June till October, so before they were available all year round, that is of course when Nanna and Grandpa used to harvest. They had that strawberry farm, remember, and we loved sneaking out to the rows of strawberry runners when they weren't looking, to sneak a few straight from earth to waiting mouth. Those and mulberries from the enormous mulberry tree that grew against the house, were our fast food...no cheeseburgers back in the sixties in Australia!
Hey do you know what else I do when I write out the grocery list? Not only do I have an overall budget total, I have a budget for each item. So the budget today for the broccoli was $2. I could have chosen to buy 300gms of broccoli today for my $2 spend, or I could choose something else. What would you do? Right... I chose the cabbage as I thought it'd yield not only cabbage leaves for cabbage rolls (yes, I must give you that recipe!), but also coleslaw and cabbage and sesame stir fry, instead of that stir fried broccoli with sesame seeds that I'd planned. By comparison, $2 worth of broccoli wouldn't have gone far, right?
Of course, you know me, the fridge was given a cleanout when I got home, and everything packed neatly away. If we see the apples, we eat the apples. If the celery is already cut up, and the Tzatziki made, then a snack is easy-peasy. If the crisper is cleaned of any fruit or veg past it's best, then stewed fruit for crumble is put on the stove immediately and ready by the time I've unpacked the groceries. It works well and we waste nothing.
Speaking of crumble, that apple and banana one's ready. Would you like some with your cuppa? Oh and you want that recipe too? I'll write it out and have it for you tomorrow, okay?