Dollar Diet: Week 5

It’s the unplanned-for events in life that are budget killers.  And threaten to squash my spending fast mojo.  My dentist bill was over $200.  $200!  Daylight robbery.  Although I must say my new dentist is the nicest one I’ve ever had.

D worked out that our low expenditure is probably saving us more than $100 a week (on top of what we’ve normally tried to save) which softens the blow somewhat.  One way we are saving a considerable sum is to share internet with some of our neighbours.  This is perfectly legal by the way!  D and our neighbour R are Comp. Sci. mates from university, and the two of them sorted that out quite quickly.

Other than the pain I experienced whilst paying for the dentist, it’s been a pretty good week.  I bought some tablecloths and pillowcases (some vintage) at an op-shop which I plan to re-fashion into gifts. DSCN9563

Having not sewn since the millennium I decided I’d better get some practice, so I turned an old tablecloth into this:

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All up the bag cost me $3 to make.  Just don’t look too closely at that stitching…

I made pie using leftover chicken and some pastry that had been sitting in the freezer for a long, long time:

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Our plums are proving to be real relationship-builders.  We swapped some plums for red cabbage (total score, those things are selling for $4.98 at our cheapest supermarket), and were given a load of green beans from an elderly neighbour who we’d also given a bag of plums to.  Food definitely = goodwill between neighbours.  I attempted to make plum chutney yesterday and dutifully spent an hour getting the stones out, only to get distracted while it was bubbling and it burnt!!!  Argh!  Oh well, at least we have loads and loads of them for me to try again tomorrow.

We came in under budget for groceries this week – hurrah!  This is despite making meals for two other families this week (a friend just had a baby and the other was a family get-together) so I am delighted.

Another way we are cutting costs is to stop our childcare.  I had terrible pregnancy fatigue with Chip and had to have Sausage in care every afternoon for several months.  Not being able to look after your child sucks soooo bad.  I was eventually able to scale that back to two afternoons, and decided to keep that routine up for a while after the baby arrived.  Which was just as well as Chip was a very unhappy reflux baby for weeks and weeks!  I’ve been at a point where I can manage without the two afternoons of care for a while, but it was really convenient for Sausage to have that social contact over the holidays, so I waited until our playgroups started back up.  Sausage’s carer was a total lifesaver and it was very sad to say goodbye to her and to her family, but I am grateful to be able to put that horrible fatigue chapter behind me.

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