Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back to Baking

Firstly an update on my "Mindfulness" for 2011. I think I am going ok. I did our groceries for a fortnight and it cost $150.00 - with meat. I didnt buy anything I didnt need, no specials for a raining day, no back to school stuff that I can buy cheaper elsewhere or any one off speciality items, you know that ones where you buy it for a recipe that only needs one teaspoon and then it sits at the back of your cupboard until it expires and you throw out the $5 worth of unused stuff? That stuff.

I have been reading and thinking a lot about 'stuff' lately. How much of it I buy that I don't need. Or I buy because I think I should. For example, its back to school time and that means uiniforms and shoes.

Both of the kids cannot get away with last years uniforms, unless Amelia is happy with everyone seeing her undies and Wes embraces testicle separation. Shoes are our big ticket item. Last year Wes went through 3 pairs of joggers and 2 school shoes, Amelia went through two of each. Thankfully instead of just buying new school shoes I got them to try on the ones I had bought at the beginning of term 3 and they still fit! Bonus!

The joggers were another story. Wesley's had worn out and Amelia's had gotten too small. I told Wes that I was not going to be buying $100 shoes. I wasn't putting him in Dunlop Volleys but I had taken notice of the shoes his friends wear and the majority wear generic brands. With that in mind we firstly went to Target to see what they had, they were having a massive sale on shoes. Amelia was easy, as long as they have some pink on them she don't care, so hers came to the princely sum of $6.90 and Dave found a new pair of work shoes down to $9.80. Wes wasn't that keen to start with but then we found a pair of Spalding joggers (that looked just the same as a pair of New Balance we had seen previously) reduced from $40 to $11 and we had a winner, though we were going to have to buy a pair of inner soles for them as the ones that come with the joggers were a bit thin. Went to the chemist and got two pairs of innersoles for $5.50. I put the second pair in his black school shoes. So all up for the school shoes I paid $23.40!

Then in a frenzy I came home and cleaned out Wesley's room. It took 2 hours. Every shelf, cupboard and drawer got the treatment and we ended up with 3 bags of rubbish and 1 bag to Vinnie. We found so many pens, pencils and notebooks I doubt we will have to buy any anytime soon and his room looks pretty good.

Mindfullness came into this dinner. Nearly all the vegies are home grown, though not necessarily our home. We are trying tofu for the first time. I am hopeful. It makes economic sense to replace just one meal a week with tofu. It's roughly $3 for 600g for tofu so at least half the cost of the cheaper meats. It is probably better for you too as we humans eat too much meat! I know we rarely eat a dinner without it.

And referencing the title of this post I have made a committment to go bake to baking. I have been slipping back into old habits. I have no excuse. However Dave and I are going to get back into baking bread and baking our crackers, biscuits etc rather than buying. The above is Banana bread.

This is me blanching zucchini. I read on a website you can blanch it so I am going for it. It is such a shame to have to give so much away when I could be storing it for later on. Don't get me wrong, I am more than happy to share the zucchini love but it is good to keep some for yourself too!

Chocolate and Sultana Muffins
Now back to stuff. I think when it comes to budgeting I suck. I really try and I usually do a good job but my downfall is stuff. Or you could unkindly say shit. So I have been trying to focus on not bringing anymore stuff home from the shops. This doesn't include necessary items but just that extra stuff that jumps into your hand. For example, you go into the supermarket for ONE thing and that one thing ends up costing $20 because of all the other one things you have picked up. Turns into a very expensive loaf of bread. So this week we are focussing on the extras. I have my fingers crossed!

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