Thursday, March 3, 2011

Clever Shopping and Cyber Bullies

I am so clever ~ if I can say so myself.
Of course I can - its my blog, my meanderings about my Mission! Plus I just filled the freezer and fridge with fresh meat, bakery, diary and vegetables for $39! Six stuffed full bags of groceries. And not crappy cruddy stuff either. We've got steak (marinade, porterhouse and scotch fillet), chorizo, chicken pieces, ham, sausages (pork/veal, sage; turkey; spicy), lamb, corn, yoghurt, hommus, avocado dip, cream, celery, spinach, stirfry veg mix, lettuce mix, milk, fresh oregano, mushrooms, icypoles and pastry. Plus there was a roast chicken marked down to $4.59 - SmallBoy took a drumstick for lunch today and the rest has been divided into four bags for pie, sauce, a chicken ceasar salad with the cos and small pieces for toasted sandwiches over the weekend or a lazy dinner in turkish rolls! 

The total of the docket was $59.21 - but $20 of that was mystery shop money and adding the original prices up the value is just over $130 of groceries!! The actually spending from my pocket was $39.20.

So we ate some of the kanga sangas the other night and tonight we had the stirfry mix ($1.49) with a peanut sauce I made using - Peanut butter, Soy sauce, Sweet chilli sauce, Coriander and a little hot water. SmallBoy was not impressed he had to eat a whole meal which contained no meat, had capsicum and the carrot was cooked. Still, aside from the capsicum, he ate the lot so another meal for under $1 per head! 
And we were stuffed full at the end ~ it was delicious! 

It's been a long time since the fridge has had such a variety of fresh foods and the freezer is jammed packed with meat of different types so its not going to be boring at all. All the spinach has been briefly blanched and frozen, one of the yoghurt is now a frozen berry dessert (using some frozen raspberries I've not known what to do with!) I've put everything into Tupperware FridgeSmarts because I know it makes food last longer. Back when I was a demonstrator I proved carrots could be stored for 11 weeks without going mouldy or 'off' and I know lettuce leaves last almost a fortnight when kept in a properly set FridgeSmart. 

There are so many meal options for March and I plan to share all the meals we can make this '$40' shop create over the following weeks. I do plan to have $5 each week for milk and fruit. Plus I hope to do some dumpster diving for fruit and veg ~ especially know most produce comes wrapped in plastic and cant really be contaminated by rotted or dirty things in the bins. 

I'm creating a recipe with spinach, eggs, pastry, zucchini, spicy sausage and hoping it works out. The yoghurt berry dessert did, so that made me confident. Plus I have sorted out the freezer and know there are four pieces of pie from different pies had over the past few months and we are going to have leftover surprise pies with the ability to swap with another if so wanted (or needed should SmallBoy find his piece too spicy). I'm also going to make something with tortillas because there was a packet in the freezer, same as a packet of spring roll wrappers - but I have no idea what to do with them - yet. *grins*

What's the world coming to?
There has been some terrible responses to a baby competition - one run almost every year by Bonds Australia. This year, parents are the ones doing the cyber attacking and bullying. More about it here via MamaMia's website. And we wonder (and condemn) younger people for being rude, uncouth, violent and being a 'me me me' or 'I want it' generation. I think people in general have just forgotten how to share, care and respect others. I don't think people care enough to look after their extended families, their neighbours, their community or their world.

Yes - a bit statement - and in my late teens I knew more than my parent, but this is not a case of learning independence or understanding limits. Look at what the drought taught us about how people waste/abuse water and took to 'sneaking' after dark to water gardens - instilling into their children it was ok for them to do it if it was discrete or only a few times, even as the kids reminded their parents there was supposed to be no watering. I know some children were cussed and cursed, told to mind their own business in their own homes when saying to mum, nana or the neighbour it was not the right watering day. It was against the law and subsequently water costs are up almost 150% in Victoria this year. Our water bill has gone from $40 a quarter to $50 a month. Seriously - I've been trying to work out how to budget for our water these past few weeks.

One thing which is surprising is that washing seems to be a chore undertaken daily, often several times a day, and I can only surmise clothes worn once or for a short period of time are no longer rehung in the wardrobe or aired outside prior to going back in the drawer but put in the washing basket with the dirty clothes to be washed unnecessarily. I might be 'doing' it wrong but I was always one to wash linen one day a week, school and work uniform another and then a white wash when there were sufficient dirty whites, a light coloured wash when there were sufficient dirty light coloured clothes and darks in the same manner. It could be a month before there were enough white items and, if something was wanted desperately it could be washed with the white bed sheets or towels. 

And running the washing machine ~ why all day and not one load at night when electricity is at its cheapest allowing for washing to be put on the line first thing in the morning to dry? If the sun is out, is the dryer needed? A full load of washing takes under 10mins to hang out - its not rocket science...
Boy that sounded like a whinge - but I am sick of hearing machines going throughout the day in an area which is semi-rural. If it was a tractor, I could understand and honestly enjoy that sound - but the dryer? After the third washing machine load? And a call out from the fire brigade because a short caused a fire in the laundry?? No - not my home - next door. And they didn't realise it was happening because the dryer was just left running on a timer... grrr!!

OK ~ another day ~ thanks to Sue for another $1. It was cool to see another coin in our Spare Change Jar up at the top of the page. I'm looking for one of those widgets so we can be transparent with the donations received. All go onto debt and just the debt - nothing donated goes on food, petrol or the mortgage. Any food vouchers received allow us to put the same dollar value onto our debt - and I can make a $10 voucher cover a week! As you can see :D

Chat tomorrow...


  1. Hey there!
    Love your blog and am now following it on Google Friend Connect so I don't miss a thing, will definitely be back!
    Following you from AMB :-)

    PS - You've inspired me to start my own mission!

  2. Thanks Kimmie ~ you know you are my hero and one of the best cooks I know. Sometimes I potter in the kitchen and pretend Im being you with the foodie creations.

    It's great to have you following Romina ~ let me know if any hints help or work for you. Cant wait until this debt goes, income increases and I can do a handstand...

  3. Oh Mands such a lovely compliment thank you!
    Just letting you know that I am a big fan of yours also. I always get excited when I see you have a new post up. I adore everything about you and love the style in which you write/communicate. I am always nodding, smiling, laughing and on some days crying along with you.

    One day soon my friend we shall meet. A soft squishy hug followed by me shouting you a frothy latte. I will bring a bottle of Baileys and a jumbo block of delish choccie for "Ron" (as in later-on hehehe) ;]

    Much love


  4. Look at all of those reduced stickers!!! LOL, well done.

    How did you get involved in mystery shopping.

    Re; your eggs. I love cage free eggs, and am a teacher at a primary school. Our local high school (right next door) has a small ag section with some chickens - they sell dozen eggs for $3. Such a bargain, there's a few of us that have a regular order.

  5. Here's a hint for you, regarding your comments about water restrictions. When I'm doing the dishes, I have a bucket close by and fill it up with water left over and I use it to water my plants and trees. I've managed to keep a lot of my garden alive as a result of using this as well as bath water. Didn't worry about the lawns too much but with the amount of rain, we've had in the last few months, even that's come back to life.