The photos in this post are to show you some of the supermarket prices around here as I have had a lot of comments on that! I find it very interesting how much food costs vary in different countries. Of course it is still relative to earnings and other factors. But you will see a lot of our prices are pretty high.
There are 2.2 pounds in a kilo, for the overseas ladies...
Jane sent me this one from QLD. The price on the right is higher than I have seen but $30 to in the $40s is pretty much usual.
I am really pleased to be able to turn the blog over to Laine. She wrote this just a week ago especially for us! For anyone who doesn't know Laine there is a whole Laine subject in my index on the right. She was writing back when the girls were little and I loved her letters so much! But they mysteriously stopped one day! A couple of years ago I set about finding her!
To introduce, first of all she said that it is wonderful we are all trying to save money. She said that she is still constantly learning how to save as Art is hoping to retire in about six years time. Even though they live in a hot climate they don't have air-conditioning as that helps keep costs down.
I asked what did she do now days to manage increased food prices and she said she would love to help and this was what she wrote:
1~ I pray that the LORD will help me save and to develop good habits, because you bring your habits with you wherever you go. I pray while I am shopping for eyes to see the deals.
2~ I try to use meat as a condiment, unless it is a special occasion. I like learning recipes from other countries that already practice this in their cuisine.
3~ I shop at the Farmer's market and many other stores to stay in my food budget. I shopped four stores this week, but sometimes six stores. I shop the stores that are near each other to save gas, or if I am in that part of town. I shop only with cash and keep a record of what I spend on a small notebook.
4~ I don't buy much packaged goods, rather make most everything from scratch. I make my own spray cleanser from 1 part rubbing alcohol to 1 part water.
5~ I am already Christmas shopping, a little here, a little there. I have my 8
grandchildren's presents bought, a well as their birthdays. I love being ahead as I can save money that way.
6~ I love to shop at garage sales, the deals are really great. (The next best place is thrift shops.) I was looking for a waffle iron and found one last week at an estate sale, just the one I was looking for! But I did search for months. If I find something really inexpensive and I already have one, but I use that item a lot, I will buy it as a back up. I actually had a back up for a waffle iron, but I like this "new" one better as my back up didn't get as crispy as I would like.
7~ I make three pots of tea from one tea bag. I buy Yorkshire tea and fill the pot dunking the tea bag twice, pull out and do the same with the next pot of tea. The last pot leave the tea bag in.
8~ Fast food for me is buying a cooked roast chicken and using it for 3 meals, the final meal being a nice soup.
9~ Cheapest protein is an egg, so I love adding eggs to a dish to stretch the protein. I like to make Cloud Bread out of eggs. Also mayonnaise too.
10~ Flour tortillas are a quick bread that can be filled with so many things, and it's very frugal. Even just celery, onion and bits of meat leftover sautéed together with some leftover beans in so delicious in a hot fresh tortilla.
11~ I hang dry my clothes to save on electricity.
12~ We don't use air conditioning, rather solar screens and solar curtains, a good fan, a $7 kiddie pool ( great to get wet in and put your feet in while the kids have fun), and Frogg Toggs for keeping you body cool, especially at night.
13~ I use 1/2 of the detergent suggested in my wash, unless it is a really dirty item. If so, I will soak it a bit and use 3/4's the suggested amount that comes with my detergent. One box of detergent lasts me months, and I find our clothes are very clean.
14~ I love to learn from other women, and one of my favorites is on YouTube called The Fundamental Home. She feeds her family of five on $30 a week! I really enjoy watching her. She also runs a page on Facebook called Frugal Family Food.
15~ I love making fun things with my daughter Lucy who is 7 years old. We make Popsicles, cookies, cake, waffles, pancakes, gummies, and other fun things together. We are making a birthday cake today. Everything we make is very healthy, which really helps us to keep from being ill, which saves us money at the doctor.
16~ We love going to the library and go there twice a week. There is just so much free there!
17~ I shop with cash, this helps to curb any unnecessary spending.
18~ When I bake, I try to fill the oven. Today I made chicken, baked potatoes, and broccoli all in the oven at the same time. Filled the rack! I cooked extra potatoes today that I will use in breakfast tomorrow.
19~ I save stalks of kale, celery, etc and use them in soups and stir fries.
20~ I try new recipes often to increase my skills and repertoire. I am always checking out new cookbooks from our library. I love to try new recipes off the Internet as well.
21~ I stay out of the stores unless I need something and have my list in hand.
22~ I try to buy in the summer for winter, and vice versa when I thrift shop.
23~ If I want to spruce up my decorating, I will move my own items around. It's those little things that give a room a lift.
24~ I try to make it a game in saving and have my own fiscal year for our budget, which is from May to May. This past fiscal year I was able to save an extra thousand for our upcoming new roof. I love seeing those results.
25~ I do my best to help keep us debt free by continuing to learn how to save. My husband wants to retire in 6 years, so saving toward that is now my goal. I remember when my goal was paying off our vehicle, then paying off our house, then saving to adopt our little girl from China, and now saving for retirement. There is always savings going on!
I hope this is helpful Annabel. I kept writing things down as I either did them or remembered them. It was fun, just like the old days when I used to write In My Home. Enjoy your lovely grandchildren! It was so, so good to hear from you!
Lots of love,
I was so excited to get this! Life is amazing sometimes! Thank you so much Laine!
Laine mentions "keeping a back up" and we had a discussion about this. With minimalism being a big thing this can be the opposite of keeping back ups. This is another subject that is coming up and I am happy Laine shared a bit more about this! But we can only cover so much in one day!
I took this photo for my Vicky Challenge. My fruit loaf has bits of apricot in it as I was trying to copy this delicious loaf. But my loaves are about twice the size!
What can you do to stay ahead on the food bills? The last fortnight has shown me that trying some wildly different ideas can produce big results. I turned my usual shop on its head! This week will be more of the same I hope! It resulted in success all round... plenty of beautiful fruit and veggies, savings overall and extras that I could add to the pantry. This means getting ahead!
Lets all have a very good week! xxx