Monday, 25 August 2014

How Little Can You Spend - Update

This month I set myself a challenge to spend as little as possible over the entire month and I thought I would update you on how the month has progressed.

I have found it easy to make many meals from our veggie garden, pantry and freezer with just a few editions. Breakfasts were not a problem at all and I was able to do enough baking to keep us well stocked in snacks and lunchbox extras, there were plenty of eggs and an endless supply of cherry tomatoes, silverbeet and herbs from the garden. 
Dinners were where I had to add purchased ingredients, which I expected, but what I had not factored in so much was the amount of fruit and carrots we would purchase over a month.  I am happy to eat the citrus from our garden or that I can get from a roadside tree for free but Hubby is not a citrus fan.
Every day at the moment Hubby takes 2 apples, 2 carrots and 3 bananas to work plus some leftovers, dried pawpaw or a birdseed bar and often a couple of boiled eggs.  That might sound like a lot but he works in a very physical job and works from 6 am till 5 pm so he needs a lot of food.  I am also glad he chooses to take such a healthy lunchbox too.  I work from home so I make it up on the day what I am having.

I was hoping to spend less than $50 for the whole month and here I what I have spent so far:
1 Cucumber:   1.20
4 x 1 kg Carrots    5.64
1 Red Cabbage 2.98
6 Free Range Chicken Drumsticks 4.52
3 x 3 lt Milk 9.00 (we used UHT milk from our stockpile for the rest of the month)
3.84 kg Granny Smith Apples 7.64
1.215 kg Brown Onions 1.93
1 Red Onion .44
1/2 Green Cabbage 1.49
Peppercorns 1.10
359 gm Mushrooms 3.15
2.45 kg Bananas 8.56
1.35 kg Potatoes 2.15
Dried Pawpaw 3.79

Total Spent so far: $53.59 and I am pretty confident we can make it to the end of the month with just a few more dollars on fruit for Hubby.
Some of the meals we have eaten during the month for dinners (and for lunches as left overs) are:

Roast Pumpkin, Quinoa, Feta and Bacon Salad
Greek Salad

Home-made Lamb Sausage Rolls

Roast Chicken Drumsticks and Black Bean Salad

Vegetable Curry
We have really used up nearly every package of frozen meat from the freezer over the month and used up the last of our home raised beef which has allowed us to stick to our spending goal for the month.
While the challenge has helped use up some of the pantry staples that have been sitting around for some time (I used up a number of my jars of my preserved tomatoes and some preserved fruit from 2012) there are still quite a few items I have yet to use up including a heap of polenta (not sure why I have so much of it since we do not eat it that often - it must have been on sale), lots of dried beans, and things like my sushi rice and wrappers that need just a few things to make them complete.
So while I will not be repeating the challenge in the same way in September I will be focusing on using up these odds and ends and items I have lots of.

Now I guess I better look into how many ways I can use polenta.  Ideas anyone?


  1. I dont know about the polenta but im pretty impressed with the rest of your menu. When can i move in? Im also really impressed by you hubby's lunchbox. Hardly any carbs at all, not a sign of the dreaded B word (bread). I too have a citrus disliking hubby but he will also eat apples till they are coming out his ears. $50 a month was a pretty strict budget so i think we can forgive the $3 overrun.

  2. That's a great effort......Regards Kathy A, Brisbane


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