Friday 16 May 2014

Frugal Measures Indeed

Hallo Folks...this is my 400th post and it's back to the very basics after a tough federal budget was announced this week.
I'm taking time to reflect on all I've learned at the forum and through my life and jot a few things down that may help you as well as me.

A good place to start is in the kitchen.
 Cooking from scratch is usually cheaper and has the added benefit of you knowing just what you are eating to a large extent.
Reduce the amount of meat we eat, it is costly and un-necessary to eat the huge amounts of meat we do in the Western world.
Less meat...what then?
More beans, lentils and legumes in general. Cooked from scratch they are a very thrifty alternative to meat.
Here is a great chart for pressure cooker users.
Eggs are great main meal staple too.
Eat more soup! We love our soup and it's a great way to use up little bits of left-overs and what-ever is in season and becoming 'boring'. It takes 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes of pressure cooking to have a hearty vegetable soup ready. For variety use different vegs each time, vary the size of the pieces and puree it occasionally. Rose's soup with a cup of chick peas added...

Nothing is wasted in our house, small amounts of left-overs are added to the next days' meals or frozen until needed.
Next step is to shop as seasonally as possible...that means buying what is being grown in your area as it will be fresher and hopefully cheaper. Here is a link to what's in season in Australia, I'm sure your country will have a similar site...

Perhaps you can keep some chickens or ducks?
Even the smallest gardens can produce some vegetables or fruit. I planted Rainbow Chard, chillies and sage in the front garden here as well as my lemon tree. A neighbour has 7 paw-paw trees heavy with fruit that she has grown from seed...we both grow a wide variety of herbs to add taste and nourishment to our meals.

Let it be known that you would love to receive any-one's glut of zucchinis, tomatoes or what-ever they have and use them up! Juice citrus fruits and freeze the juice in Winter when they are at their peak and fully ripe.
Join 'Ripe Near Me' and share the bounty!

Around the house you can save money by making your own green cleaning products, gifts and toiletries, clothing, soft furnishings...there are so many links out there that I won't bother sharing any; come and join the forum if you are stuck for ideas. Leave the car at home when you can or do as many errands as you can when you go out. Use the op-shops and libraries, have friends over for coffee or a meal instead of going out to restaurants. Can you put on a jumper and socks instead of turning on the heater? Check with Centrelink to see if you are entitled to any extra payments or a health care card. Before you re-new any insurance policies etc phone around and get can save $100s at times.

Do remember to have some treats now and then though!

I know we don't have children at home now and that many families will be worse off if the budget gets through the Senate but let's start by making changes at home, let's be pro-active as Becci says.

Let's keep our chins up, our grand-parents and parents went through far harder times, we are still very fortunate to have so much here in Australia.
Love from Sue

there is light at the end of the tunnel...


  1. Join a veggie/food swap. When i didn't have anything growing to swap, i went to my local cafe's and asked for their used coffee grinds. I bagged them up and they were the first thing that everyone grabbed. Worm Tea also is much appreciated. I then was guilt free to grab my share of everyone's fresh veggies and some lovely preserves.

    Another idea is to contact your local gardening club or food swap organiser and ask them to put you in touch with someone with a large garden. Often older people (some left on their own when their spouses have passed) are no longer able to work or their gardens and need the help. Im sure they would be more than willing to share produce for labour and a nice chat with a cup of tea and the end of it. Look around your neighborhood for an older house with a garden in need of work. Be Brave and you might not just gain some free produce bu rescue a lonely person as well.

    1. Fantastic ideas, Lynda and thank you for sharing them. Nung(the paw-paw lady) has planted 4 of them in behind the car-ports here in this complex, being Thai she knows the value of using every inch of ground and she's very generous with her produce too.

  2. We are facing higher food prices here in the States as well, the weather is a factor in much of it but, inflation is sort of rearing it's ugly head. I like Lynda's idea of finding an older person who may need help with a garden and be willing to share. I think there are going to be many who are tightening belts in the very near future and yours is a very timely post!

  3. Good ideas, Sue. Yes, our grandparents and parents went through much harder times as you say and they survived as we all will. We are so well off here in Australia.

  4. We are tightening up in this household too. The budget is going to make things harder for us stay at home's. I have been watching tightwads on youtube and any frugal type clips. Found some great things on pinterest and the web. I have been going over Budget 101, some great tips there. There are some great helpful sites out there. So it is back to menu planning for me using my cheapskates cookbook for recipes :)