Dollar Diet: Week 14, in which I fail to plan

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We had a wonderful surprise this week, one that means most of our future Dollar Diet savings for 2015 can be put towards paying off our new car (we still haven’t sold the old one) instead of paying for D and Sausage’s trip to the Netherlands.  D’s Opa gave him $1000 euros towards the flights (so, so generous)!

Annoyingly, my ninja meal planning skills failed this week, resulting in several trips to get groceries instead of the usual one.  I didn’t get quite enough breakfast and lunch food for myself.  This meant I found it hard to stick to Trim Healthy Mama on the days the supermarkets were shut.  Ah well, I’ll do better next time.  We came in under budget, even with splashing out on a leg of lamb for Easter Sunday.  That leg of lamb went the distance as I eked out generous portions of roast lamb for our special dinner, lamb sandwiches, a gorgeous lamb curry (I even used leftover veges from the Easter dinner – I am so Dollar Diet), and I made stock from the bones.  Leftover kumara (sweet potato) was pureed into yummy solids for Chip.

A big savings this week is D tightening his handyman belt and getting stuck into making fences himself.  We need a couple of fences at the sides of our house so the children can play in the backyard and be safe from cars coming and going in our front yard.  We could have paid someone to do it, and D did look at getting prefabricated panels, but it was much cheaper (of course) for him to do it all.

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D reports that he’s really enjoying the process of fence building so far, and is delighted his high school classes of technical drawing and woodworking have come in useful after all.  There is a great deal of pleasure to be had in making something yourself, and this creativity can get squashed out of us due to the demands of daily life.  Who has the time or the mental energy to devote to hobbies when you are working 40+ hours a week at a job you don’t like just to scrape by?  I’m sure this is why many people waste their evenings blobbed out in front of the TV.

Our Easter break activities were very frugal (barring the roast lamb!).  We spent most of it either at home, church or with family and friends.  A friend held a wonderful Easter egg hunt/pizza night at her place, thereby introducing Sausage to the joys of chocolate eggs.  I was a bit sick over the weekend so D and I kept our evenings really low-key.  We downloaded a couple of movies (we thought How to Train Your Dragon was great; Guardians of the Galaxy not so much), and I did something I rarely do – I watched a TV show.  I loved, loved, loved the Carrie Underwood version of The Sound of Music (who knew Stephen Moyer could sing?!).  I read several books.  We took the kids to a nature reserve so we could enjoy a walk in the ‘bush’, as we call it.  It did not disappoint.  The reserve was small, but the birdsong was lusty and sonorous.  It was a great end to the week.

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