Thursday, 31 January 2008

Frugal, miserly or just plain canny?

The Husband and I have always been very careful with our pennies. It was born out of necessity when we were first married and on Austudy with two children to support. I had the huge sum of $50 per week to feed our family of (then) four. We also ate meat at that time so it was interesting making the dollars stretch.

Now with me being a SAHM and our family of four kids sprouting like weeds (The Son doesn't live at home anymore) it has become even more important for me to be creative with the budget than ever. I want The Husband to be able to choose what he wants to do in the future. I don't want him to be yoked to his job. If he wants time off to study the mating habits of gnats then I want him to have that financial freedom.

So I have spent the last few weeks going through our finances with a fine tooth comb (God, I use a few cliches don't I!)

In any given week we spend between $70-100 Aus. That is to buy everything for our family of six. I make our own bread, yoghourt, yoghourt cheese and baked goods including tortillas. Most of our foods are cooked from scratch and are always based on real and whole foods.

I also try to buy local as much as possible; the exceptions to this are The Husband's asian groceries. Please if anyone knows where to source Australian soy sauce, pickled turnips, fermented jars of smelly stuff (can you tell I won't eat these?) let me know!

So what sort of things do we eat? Vegetarian foods obviously. Fruit and vegetables which are in season and locally grown.

We bought this house last year and the first thing I did was start planting my fruit trees and organising my vegie garden. My trees are;

2 lemons, 1 orange, 1 mandarin, 1 lime, 2 apples,1 pinkybelle apple, 1 chocolate sapote, 2 macadamias, 1 avocado, 1 fig, 1 mango, 1 white mulberry, 1 guava, 1 dragon fruit,2 bananas,2 cape gooseberries,1 passionfruit,raspberries

My vegetables include the usual onions, garlic, spinach, silverbeet, beetroot, carrots, strawberries, cabbages (asian and regular), tomatoes, lettuces, kale and herbs. I lost all of my pumpkins, rockmelons and watermelons last week to the intense sun. My herbs are all doing very well at the moment and I have been seed saving and scattering.

The purpose of all this garden activity is to be able to shop at home in the future and further reduce our dependance on outside factors. It is also so much healthier for us to eat alive foods. I hope that one day I will only have to buy rice and wheat.

The peanuts are still alive and well and in a few months I will be experimenting growing my own chickpeas.

What's Cooking:

Large pot of pasta sauce ($4 for a huge box of tomatoes at the greengrocers today)
Banana Bread (I have a fridge full of bananas from stocking up last week when they were $0.99 a kilo!)

Tonight's dinner: Pesto Genovese with green beans and potatoes; fusilli pasta, green beans, potatoes and stirred through with fresh basil pesto.

4 comments:

karenmc said...

You are such an inspiration! I'm good at researching and talking about all this stuff, but you actually get in and DO it! Although I don't think peanuts would be very impressed with Canberra's weather...

rye said...

Man, you're an inspirational lady!! I often tell DH about your excellent budgeting.... I might be able to follow in your footsteps, if only he'd give up some meat....bloody butchers son!!

rye said...

Man, you're an inspirational lady!! I often tell DH about your excellent budgeting.... I might be able to follow in your footsteps, if only he'd give up some meat....bloody butchers son!!

whint said...

You are a beautiful soul....I wish I was that good at budgeting and being self sufficient! Not even close! lol