Category: Money Management

A word of wisdom from my kitchen pantry – part 2

As promised, part 2 of the topic “wisdom from my kitchen pantry”.

Previously we discussed the principle of buying in bulk, online and direct from the farmer. This really helps not only your wallet, but it also supports the local farmers who work so hard to make a living. So, now that we have stocked our pantry, what do I do with all this food????

Here is a list of kitchen equipment i use for food preparation, I simply can’t live without them:

I have had my slow cooker for many years now. I bought it when we had our first child. It made life so much easier. You simply throw a whole bunch of ingredients in there, let it cook for 8 or so hours and away you go. BRILLIANT invention. It makes so much, that you can freeze half for the following weeks menu. AWESOME!

My Thermomix entered our family about 18 months ago. This machine is capable of anything. If you don’t believe me google it. In my Thermomix I make yoghurt, for example,  or ice cream. I knead all my bread dough in it too. Every morning we make smoothies in it. And at night I cook a meal in it. If you don’t have a Thermomix, don’t worry, you can get a lot of use out of a blender or food processor. I do believe that 1 of those items is a must in a healthy kitchen.

Of course we all have an oven! I hope…..I almost use it daily for baking. Or to keep my culturing yoghurt warm.

So, if you have access to those 3 items, than you have a very well equipped kitchen.

In the last part of this topic I will share with you a few meals we like to enjoy with our pantry items. Stay tuned!

 

 

A word of wisdom from my kitchen pantry – part 1

I promised you in my last post a word of wisdom from my kitchen pantry. I hope that all you ladies have enjoyed my previous post in regards to the laundry room and that you have been able to implement some of those ideas into your own laundry-life.

Today I will share with you, in part 1 of this topic,  how I manage my kitchen, my food supply and how this might lower your household budget.

I really need to stress the point, that in our house we have decided a long time ago to live healthy by making healthy food choices. This can look very different in your life as there are so many different ways in which a healthy lifestyle can be defined.

A healthy lifestyle for us pretty much looks like this:

  • No processed foods
  • No refined sugar
  • No additives

For me that makes buying food real easy, because everything I buy will be a basic ingredient or fresh produce. I cook everything from scratch with the advantage of knowing what is in the food that I feed my family.

Alright, having said that, here is how I shop:

  • I shop once a month for all my non-perishables, such as canned tomatoes, coconut milk, dried beans etc.
  • I buy in bulk,  all flours, oats, seeds and spices
  • I am part of a fruit and vegetable co-op
  • I buy fresh milk once a week from the farm
  • I buy meat every 3 months from a cattle farmer
  • And, once my chicken starts laying (aaargh) I will have access to free eggs

Have you noticed how I have not set foot in Coles or Woollies? Most of my ingredients I buy come from online independent stores. Some of them even offer free postage. By not shopping at the supermarket, you will never be tempted by their clever marketing ploys to influence you into buy more than you need and buying foods you don’t need. You will also be voting with your wallet and showing support to the little guys by shopping elsewhere.

There are several online spice stores, here is a list:

For meat I go to:

With our grocery budget we have to feed 5 people. I try to stay under $160 a week. If you don’t care about organic grass fed meat or healthy alternative natural sweeteners, than you can even do it for less. $115 is allocated to meat, fruit and vegetables. The rest is spent on flour, dairy, beans, natural sweeteners etc.

Now that you know my shopping habit, I hope I have inspired you into looking at grocery shopping from a different perspective. I know, not all of you will be able to employ this way of buying, simply because you are on your own, perhaps you have only a small family and buying bulk is not an option. Can I just suggest to you, the idea of buying bulk with friends?

In part 2 I will explain a few things about the appliances I have a love relationship with and help me be an effective cook.

 

 

 

 

 

A word of wisdom from my wardrobe and laundry room.

Being a mother of 3 little kids,  I have been challenging myself for years to lower my expenditure when it comes to our household budget. It is always a challenge, but I love to be creative with it. Creativity is an important key, however, I believe organisation is even more important in this area.

When there is organisation in a household,  you will have systems in place that work like a well oiled machine. Good systems will save you money. For example, in the laundry room, there needs to be a system in place that prevents the over-accumulation of dirty laundry. If after a week there is a pile of laundry the size of Mount Everest, than you simply said, own to many clothes, or you only wear your clothes once, which also means you have too many clothes. So, really, the organising part starts in your wardrobe!

 

Rule 1:

In my house,  you wear your clothes more than once before chucking it on the laundry pile. Unless there is dirty stain, of course 😉

Rule 2:

Sort out your wardrobe at least twice a year and donate unwanted items to a local charity. No, you really don’t need 36 jumpers and 38 pairs of jeans……sorry.

Rule 3:

In your wardrobe you should always invest in a few GOOD quality basic items, such as a few nice jackets a lovely pair of pants or skirts, perhaps some tops to go underneath other items. Other than that, I shop at less inexpensive shops to acquire the majority of my clothes and accessories.

Rule 4:

I sort out my wardrobe in summer and winter. In winter I will bag all my good-to-keep summer clothes and store them in the top of my wardrobe. I do the same in summer, with my winter clothes. I am able to oversee what I own with a clearer view.

Rule 5:

Make sure you wash when the basket is full! I know, not rocket science, but some of us might need to be reminded of this concept once in a while. (pointing the finger at myself). Basket full=washing machine on. This is so much easier when it comes to managing all these clean clothes that now need to be hung on the line. Yes…..dryer=$$.

Rule 6:

If you have kids, involve them!! They are very handy around the house, you know…..If you teach them how to put away their clean clothes and where to put there dirty clothes, it will be a much easier job to manage.

All these rules!! How does that save me money, you might ask?

Simple, when we are organised and  know what we have in our wardrobes, we  don’t go out buying clothes we already own, that are hiding in our dirty laundry pile. Trust me, been there and done that, until I saw the solution and changed my ways. It really is so simple, yet so effective. This principle, btw, also works in your kitchen. I will share with you in my next blog how I manage my pantry and food supply.

xxx