Dollar Diet: Week 8

I’m really starting to get the hang of this Dollar Diet thing.

We hosted yet another BBQ this week – this time for a group that D belongs to.  I ended up being too sick to attend, but before I gave up the fight and retired to bed, I’d resisted the urge to dash to the supermarket to make sure we had ‘enough’ food.  Take that, enough!

Instead I took a deep breath and told myself that as it was a bring-and-share, of course there would be enough food to go around.  I made three dishes from ingredients we had to hand and that was plenty.  We ended up with so much food left over we ate BBQ sausages for several days.

We attended a combined birthday party for two brothers – one was turning 3 and the other was turning 11.  D is a geek mentor to the 11 year old so he gave him a whole bunch of electronics that the two of them plan to make into an iPod-esque device.  The 3 year old is really, really into dressing up.  We had some ghastly yellow crushed velvet curtains left in our house when we bought it.  Although they were taken down almost immediately, I kept them because I figured they would make awesome robes one day.  And they sure do.  I made a king’s robe out of the curtains, a nightshirt I purchased in week 5, and a tassel I scrounged from a Christmas bag.  A $2 crown, and one bubble-wand ‘sceptre’ later, and this is the gift I gave my 3 year old friend:



Not too bad.

I made a plate of food for the party and for a special church event, and harvested lots of Black Doris Plums and Granny Smith apples from trees in our wonderful backyard.  We are currently feasting on the plums (and I gave some away), and I plan to make apple chutney tomorrow.  D also used some to make more applesauce, which he has discovered is an excellent, free addition to his breakfast.  My Frugalista Auntie swapped us a bottle of her homemade tomato sauce for more of our plums.  I’ve continued to underspend on groceries, even though this week included buying several kilos of ground beef which was being sold at a great price.  Having a surplus each week has meant our food budget can easily absorb a bit of bulk buying now.

I scored a pair of shoes off my mother.  All the women in my family are blessed with enormous feet – we’re all size 10s, so at least we can swap shoes with each other!  I struggle to find shoes that fit me well as I have long toes, a high bridge and very narrow ankles, which means most shoes pinch or swim on me at various points on my feet  and are uncomfortable for me to wear.  I have been loath in the past to spend much money on shoes and often opt for cheap brands, but recently vowed to stop this as it is a false economy.  My cheap shoes rarely last more than two seasons, whereas quality shoes if properly looked after can last for several years.  Anyway, my cheap sandals that I purchased in October last year are already trashed, which left me with one pair of summer shoes.  I was telling my mother about my shoe dilemma when she said she had a pair she never wore because they just didn’t look right with her outfits.  They fit me perfectly, are stylish and they are a quality brand.  Thanks Mum!

Instead of hitting the shops when I really, really felt the urge to – I gardened.  For some reason I desperately wanted to go op-shopping, you know, just to see what bargains might be had.  I stopped myself and said ‘But Angela, you don’t need anything’.  I was simply bored.  Shopping (even though I never spent stupid money) has been one of my favourite ways to spend time for so long, it’s no wonder it is a difficult habit to break.  I would shop to reward myself, to cheer myself up, to buy a gift to show my love for someone, to experience the thrill of bargain hard sought and won.  This year, I need to fill up my shopping-sized hole with more productive, home-based hobbies.  Like gardening.  So instead of searching for my next fix of Crown Lynn, I weeded my vege patch and finally got round to clearing an overgrown path.

As month two draws to an end, we have saved around $470 this month which goes into our Goodbudget ‘envelopes’ where we have deficits (like holidays to Australia, can’t wait!).  That’s a fantastic result.