I was sick all week last week and still at the tail of this annoying cold. So in the last month I’ve had a head cold and was better for about a week then last week was even worst cold (I got it from DH) and it has taken a while to recover from it, almost 3 boxes of tissues later I can finally think again. The last couple of days has been a lot better but still have been coughing but hopefully it won’t come back again.
Groceries – First week spent $60.91 and on the weekend we spent $50.97, so we are doing well so far this month.
Zoo – Last Sunday (before I got sick, although I was starting to feel awful then) we took a friend for lunch and then to one of the zoo here in Melbourne, she is from overseas and only here for couple of months. We spent all up $115.12, we used our annual zoo passes but we paid for our friend.
Flat Tyre – Last Friday night DH was about to get pizza for dinner when he notice the car felt funny when he drive it out of the driveway, luckily he noticed it right away as was able to get back in the garage. Friday night pizza got cancelled. DH changed the flat into the spare the next morning and then took it to the nearest tyre place. Luckily the one that got a nail on it was one of the old tyres at the back that would have needed replacing soon. On March (was on my March 28th 2017 blog) when we got the car serviced they replaced the 2 front tyres and suggested that the back ones will be done in the next service. DH asked them about the other back tyre and they feel like it could last a bit longer still. So the one tyre replacement was $110.
Roadside Assistance – On the topic of our car, last night DH just paid our annual roadside service assistance it was for $99.75
Groupon – On Sunday even though I still wasn’t fine we went out for dinner for couple of hours, it was good to be out of the house though. We booked this thing a month or so ago so we didn’t want to cancel it. We had tapas and it was okay it was lacking something though it was a bit bland for my taste. Luckily, we got Groupon because if I had to pay full price it would have been very disappointing. $45 for dinner and drinks and also paid $10.08 for parking (8 cents for card processing, and there was no cash option).
I think that's all I got for now.
Viewing the 'Groceries' Category
I was sick all week last week and still at the tail of this annoying cold. So in the last month I’ve had a head cold and was better for about a week then last week was even worst cold (I got it from DH) and it has taken a while to recover from it, almost 3 boxes of tissues later I can finally think again. The last couple of days has been a lot better but still have been coughing but hopefully it won’t come back again.
Overall expense for September was $1,665.60. That was not a bad month I was expecting it to a lot worse than that so I’m really happy about it.
Groceries – This was really the only thing that was bad but it was mainly that spending we made on the last two days of the month for the party on the 30th. The total on grocery spending for the month was $370.82, so we were over by $70.82, the biggest so far this year.
BBQ – We had people over for the barbeque. We watched the AFL grand final after our bbq lunch. We had 6 people over, we had a little bet ($1 per person), DH and I lost so we are $2 poorer, lol. Went overboard with food and because we have been eating out a bit the last few days we are still have some leftovers. After the game we played ‘Cards against Humanity’ that was fun and everyone stayed to have some leftovers for dinner.
Anniversary – The next day was our anniversary. We had lunch at Nobu and afterwards we went to the city library, DH wanted me to get a library card there. I only tend to go to the city few times a year these days but they have a bigger collections of books and especially e-books than our local library so I’m looking forward to be able to access that at least. I borrowed some books then we walked back to the casino where Nobu is and where we parked our car. We had time to kill before we need to go to the movies so we decided to play the Roulette, we played for about half an hour and in the end we walked away with $30 more than we started. At the movies, even though our movie tickets were free we still end up spending $18.10 on popcorn and drinks.
Overall Anniversary Spending:
Lunch - $104.55
Parking - $6.00
We shared coffee while gambling - $4.90
Snacks at the movies - $18.10
(minus) Winnings - $30.00
TOTAL = $103.55
Probably one of the cheapest anniversary celebrations we’ve had in recent years.
DH B’day – Last night we went out for dinner for DH’s birthday, it cost us $52.
41 The Pearl - John Steinbeck (4 Sep)
42 The Moon is Down - John Steinbeck (13 Sep)
43 Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman (15 Sep)
44 The Daily Stoic - Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman (20 Sep)
45 The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (22 Sep)
46 The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday (25 Sep)
My other goals have kind of got neglected in Sept, I will try to do better in Oct. I did however eliminated more clothes from my wardrobe, I'll need to go through DH too soon then will need to take them to the Salvos. Workout has been slow getting back to my routine since I was sick.
Grocery – Total for the week was $99.10, spent a total of $45.56 on meat. We would have enough food for the rest of the month except we have people coming over on Saturday for the grand final Australian Football game at our house. We decided to have a barbeque and we will be having sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers and maybe some lamb and chicken. We only got less than $20 in the grocery budget left for the month so that will not be enough. I think I will need around $50 for the party. We got plenty of alcohol and I’ve asked people to BYO softdrinks if they want any since I’m still on my ‘no buying softdrink’ this year goal. Anyway, lets hope I can keep thinks around $50. I do have two $30 gift cards that I got given last Christmas maybe I’ll use one of those and I’m thinking of keeping the other for Christmas.
Movie Voucher – Speaking of Christmas gift, DH just found a $100 movie voucher that his parents gave us last Christmas. It was emailed to DH and he found it on the weekend when he finally decided to clean his email. I really need to remember this stuff because DH is hopeless at remembering this sort of stuff. He printed it out and I got it up on the fridge. The movie voucher is expiring this December so we really need to use it soon. We can probably go twice maybe even 3 times to use it up. This Sunday is our 11th year anniversary so we might go to the movies and dinner to celebrate.
Internet Disconnection – As mentioned in my last post we changed Internet provider. DH tried out the old connection and found out that they haven’t disconnected it yet, when they were meant to on the day DH called them. DH called them again on Monday to remind them to disconnect it. DH was again told that he will need to pay $45 disconnection fee (don’t even know why the disconnection fee is now $45 when last week it was $165 – lol- bunch of comedians, they are). Luckily, last week when DH finally got to talked to someone at the end they talked on those instant chat thing and DH actually took screen shoots of their conversations. So they tried again to make DH pay for disconnection fee and it still didn’t work.
Grocery (the Good) – Spent $31.92 this week.
Eating Out (the Bad) – We spent a bit on eating out and getting some soup. We went to a restaurant that is near our place it has been there for years but it is only now that we finally decided to try it out. We had lunch there on Saturday. It’s a nice place and food was really good and prices were very reasonable as well, will definitely be going there again. We also decided to go to the park on Sunday for a picnic lunch; we didn’t bring any food from home we got take away instead. And to top it off DH has not been feeling well so we got some soup. All up the eating out and buying food we spent $73.20.
Free Dinner – Not only did DH got few free lunches last week and the other week, he also got free dinner and drinks on Friday night. His whole team got invited out for dinner to celebrate a job they did two months ago. He and others did had to spend few hours for that weekend two months ago to do some work for it, DH only had to do his part at home, so yeah well deserved for them.
Internet – Few months ago and then another last month we got mails from our (now previous) internet provider letting us know that by early November they will be disconnecting our internet and home phone services unless we switch into their NBN service. NBN is the National Broadband Network, which is essentially fibre optic cable rolled out across the country. Originally it was proposed to roll out fibre right up into each home, but this was later changed to just use whatever connection already exists at the home for the final part. In our case since we had Telstra cable installed in our house by the previous owner, that is what we are getting. This is similar to what is used for cable TV in the US, and in fact can also be used for cable TV here. The NBN is a government owned company which provides the infrastructure, and then you go to a retailer to buy the actual services. That way all retailers use the same infrastructure and have to compete on price, customer service, and quality of service provided (some retailers don’t provide sufficient bandwidth so get major slowdowns during peak periods). The company we signed up for seems to be quite cheap and also doesn’t seem to have the slowdown problems.
When DH signed up, he found a promotional code that got him the first month free, and they double our data allowance for the first 6 months! Also there is no lock-in contract, whereas some of the bigger providers lock you into a 2 year contract. The price will be $65 per month the same as our previous internet cost but since we don’t have to have the home phone anymore it will be saving us $15 per month. It will be less than the unlimited data we have been using for the last year but a lot more than what we used to have prior to that which was 120GB, now it will be 500GB but for the next 6 months it will be 1000GB.
When DH called the previous provider, Optus which we have been with since 2001, they tried to make him pay a $160 early termination fee as they told him he was on a 2 year contract. This was rubbish for 2 reasons: 1. they told him last year when he changed plans that he wouldn’t be put on a contract; 2. they’re the ones telling us we need to change service or we’ll be disconnected. DH spoke to a different person and they have now agreed to not charge the disconnection fee.
My brother’s girlfriend had a little girl yesterday, I’m an aunty again. We will be visiting them in Tasmania in November.
Onto financial matters –
Groceries – All up it amounted to $72.45 just a tad under budget for the week. $18 of it were on cleaning and laundry products, I tend to only get these once or twice a year.
Free Lunch (Is there such a thing?) – DH has been attending workshop at work and they have been providing lunch. Last week he had 4 of them and he got another 3 and a half days of it this week.
Property Rates – We got a new bill statement for the 2017-18 and it is increasing to $1913.89 – last year it was $1873.70 – we will be paying it monthly ($191.34) for the next 10 months.
Been sick and not been in the mood for cooking this week.
The weather here have been wet, so not much to do but read and watch the Australian stock market go up and down. Here are some of our personal finance highlight for the week.
Groceries – Total spend for the week was $83.91, a little bit over than our weekly budget for this month but will pull it back next weekend.
Water Bill – Great news we got $100 government rebate off our current water bill. I’m not sure what this rebate is about (most likely to do with the desalination plant), anyway whatever it is for I will gladly take it! Normally, this 3rd quarter bill is a lot more than usual because of some annual fees that we have to pay but the government decided to give us a break. So the bill amount was going to be $292.31 but now it is reduced down to $192.31. Unfortunately though this bill came with new rate prices that we will have to pay next bill. It doesn’t look too bad, in line with inflation rate I guess.
Gas Bill – Also got the gas bill due this month and that is for $101.72. I think this might be the first time ever since we stopped using gas for heating that we have a bill that is over $100. I don’t think our actual usage have change it is most likely increases in rate prices.
Health Insurance – We decided to change health insurance to one that is known as “Member’s Own”. On the 1st of April our health insurance went up again and DH and I have been thinking that it is time to evaluate our current health cover. DH have been looking into it for few months now and have finally decided to drop the EXTRAS (i.e. dental, optical and some hospital covers), so for now we will just have the Basic Cover and we will just cash flow the usual dental and optical visits. We weren’t even in the comprehensive cover we were under intermediate. The optical is just mainly for me anyway, last time DH got his eyes check which was earlier this year he still got 20/20 visions apparently plus normal eye checks are covered by Medicare anyway. The only thing we seems to get out of it is free cheap prescription glasses, and the fancier ones we have to pay extra even though we spend so much extra already for the so called “EXTRAS”. Anyway, after some calculations we might be able to save around $500-$700 per year. Our monthly payments will go down to $163.23 from $280.78. Before 1st of April it was $262.75, there was $18 per month increase, which is about $216 for a year enough for one dental check-up and clean visit. So we believe it is worth trying it out at least for the next year or so.
DH got notice that he will be getting a pay raise, it is only for 2.5% so just in line with CPI. He has given up getting a pay raise this year so I guess this was unexpected. Not much really but every bit helps.
Grocery - This week we spent $74.02. One more week left for the month and we’ve only spent $185, which left us $115. I have plan to stock up some things this coming weekend.
Fitness Tracker – Someone at DH work gave him 2 brand new fitness trackers. The guy bought that it for himself and his wife but it never showed up so he decided to cancel it and bought it somewhere else and now long after he got his money refunded they showed up in the mail. It seems like everyone at his team already have them except for DH so he offered it to him for a beer or something small of value just to cover the credit card fee that he incured for international purchased. DH was happy to do it. He bought him some chocolates since he loves them, not even $5 worth. And next time they go out for drinks DH will shout him a beer or two.
Our Saturday was filled with shopping which means spending money.
Grocery Shopping – This weekend we spend a total of $48.86 on our weekly food shopping. Spent $9.17 on meat, another whole chicken they are still on sale at Aldi and some pork with bones great for making soup which I kind of have a craving for at the moment. The weather was beautiful on Sunday so we actually barbequed the chicken. I butterfly the chicken and I made some peri-peri sauce to marinate it. It was yum and had enough for Monday lunch and dinner.
Manchester and Clothes Shopping – I wanted to get another quilt cover of our king size donna. For this sort of stuff I go to this store about 15 minutes away from our house. Not many people know or really care to shop at this place so I love shopping here. It is a shop were big shops, like Target and other department stores (Myer, Big W, etc.) dump their old stocks or when factories get too much in stock and the department stores don’t want them then they sale it at this store. A lot of the products are of good quality and heavily discounted. Most people tend to snob this place but I love it.
I got the quilt cover for $39.99, the initial price for it at the original store was $150. It’s good quality and has two patterns/designs that are reversible.
While there we found that they were having sales on suits. They originally have them for sale at $79.99 (at other department stores these would have been sold for around $200+) but had them further discounted down to $49.99. Just could not passed up on those. DH mainly wear suits for work so they get used a lot. We then took it to seamstress to get the pants shorten, and that was $12.
Also got a couple of other clothing items while there, we haven’t bought anything for 3 months. All up we spent $132 at the shop. I budgeted $720 for clothing this year we’ve spent $445 so far.
Lunch out – We had Vietnamese for $26 for couple of dishes. We just wanted try out this new restaurant, it was okay but probably won’t be back.
Wine – Bought some more wine, 13 bottles all up for $89.30 (just under $6.90 a bottle). That should last us for the rest of the year. I think we roughly spend around $150 to $200 a year on alcohol so this is about par to what we always been spending in previous years.
New Library Card – My old library card (in our local library) was issued about 15 years ago and I haven’t used it for probably 7-8 years? So basically the new fancy computer systems they have these days don’t recoginsed it. Last weekend when DH went to the library and shown the librarian his old card they kind of laugh at him because none of them recognised it. The guy that was serving him showed it to the other people there because they were really fascinated by it. Anyway, I don’t know how much I will used the library because I already got so many books to read as it is. I will probably mainly borrow non-fiction books because most of my books are fictions.
*Currently listening to Trouble is a Friend by Lenka, she’s an Australian singer and song writer.
Grocery – We bought mainly staples, fruits and vegetables this weekend. All up it totaled $61.45. We actually end up buying a couple of whole chickens because they were really cheap at Aldi, it was only $3 a kilo, for two chickens we paid $9.76. We also got a big block of cheese (1kg) for $6.
Weekend – We occupied the rest of the weekend mostly reading, listening to music (mainly myself) and podcasts. DH is currently obsessed with podcasts, personal finance in particular. Since we paid off the house and most of our money is now put into investments/savings he has really taken interests. It is more fun than paying off debt. It has now become a new hobby for him, he is reading a lot of personal finance books too. He even went to the library on Sunday afternoon to borrow PF books, it really is amazing.
New Headphone – DH bought a new headphone on ebay for $25.30. His current one is broken from listening to too much podcasts, he is currently using an old crappy one in the main time.
Electric Blanket – We bought an electric blanket. I was on sale at ALDI from $65 down to $45. DH and I never had an electric blanket before but I used to have one when I was younger. We have been using it for few days now and it has been great. We put it on for about half an hour just before going to bed, we turn it off going to sleep.
Grocery – We did very well with our lastest couple of grocery shopping trips, on the weekend for example we achieved to spend under $20. We got $40 left for the last weekend of July to spend. I think that might be enough to buy what we need for the week. The main thing we will need is coffee, milk and eggs. There are still a bit of meat and chicken in the freezer. I actually want to get through those stuff that has been hiding at the bottom/back, some of stuff in their might have been there for months. I just want to used and clear those before restocking again.
Pizza – We have been loving getting Domino’s Pizza lately on Friday nights. We been having them with a bottle of wine while watching Friday night footy or if the game is not that exciting we watch a movie on Netflix. They are only $5 each. We tend to get a couple which each enough for dinner and some leftover for the next day.
Nothing much else is happening here.
Total spending was $1,744.98, it’s always very good when it is under 2 grand. Although for the first time this year we went over our grocery budget of $300, end up spending $316.43. It would have been under but we saw chicken breasts on sale and got over 2 kilos of it. Nothing major really happened last month that why spending was relatively low. Everything was fairly normal except for the gifts category because of Mother’s day. Only thing that we got that would be under sundry category would be the garment streamer for $49 our old one died. They are a lot cheaper and better quality these days and cheaper than always get clothes dry cleaned.
Books - Still doing a bit of reading.
22. Glimpse of Death - Leslie Wolfe (7 May)
23. Untouched, The Girl in the Box - Robert J. Crane (15 May)
24. A Time to Kill - John Grisham (29 May)- I thought I've read this before but I don't think I have because I can't remember the story at all. It must be the only early of his books that I've missed.
25. The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason (31 May)- This one was definite a re-read, I try to it once a year.
Also doing really well in all of my goals I have even been waking up around quarter to 7 in the morning although, I probably need to clean my email in box again. I’m very happy with decluttering this month we got rid of a bit of stuff.
Again it has been a quite weekend I guess we are still recovering from our trip.
Grocery - $49.38
Mother’s Day – All up we spend $122.39 on gifts
Lunch Date – We went out for lunch on Saturday for Chinese and coffee and cake afterwards, all up $36.40
Wines – 6 bottles of one of my favourite wines $44.70, bought bulked because normally they cost $10 a bottle.
Only spent money on grocery ($100.65), Gas ($84.74), Health Insurance ($280.78) and other spending were for $59.50 (we got invited to a friend’s place and bought some stuff for it).Grocery was a bit higher but we bought more meat.
Overall spending in April was $4609.95 – big month
Grocery – $239.57 way under budget mainly because we were away for about 40% of the month
Health Insurance – This year our Health Insurance went up from $262.75 to $280.78 per month ($18.03 extra p/m). Hate it but can’t do much about, DH already check other provider this is still the most reasonable for us for now.
Books read this month -
16 The Watson Girl - Leslie Wolfe (8 Apr)
17 A Long Way Home - Saroo Brierley (10 Apr)
18 Dawn Girl - Leslie Wolfe (14 Apr) – I read the second book first for some reason I didn’t know but I think it’s necessary to read the first. I’m currently reading the 3rd, it just came out on kindle 2 weeks ago.
19 Silent Child - Sarah Den (19 Apr)
20 The Broker - John Grisham (23 Apr)
21 Alone, The Girl in the Box - Robert J. Crane (30 Apr)
Workout – it got interrupted because of our holiday but I did a lot of walking and also ran once on the beach which took me 3 days for my legs to recover. I’ve at least started Stage 2 of my workout this week.
We are away at the moment and I got limited internet connection. I will finalise holiday spending when we get home.
Last weekend we didn't really do much, grocery shopping was under $50 (can't remember exact amount).
Found really cheap work shoes for DH so we could pass up on that, one is for suit and the other boat shoes that he can wear with jeans for Friday casual days. Total $30.
After shopping we splurged and got some Vietnamese, $26.50. I used my allowance money, I hardly use my allowance money these days the only thing I use it for is on books and I haven't spend much.
On Sat 1st of April we went to a winery about 1 ½ hours away. I got a gift voucher for this place last year for my birthday and it was about to expire later this month. We went there with 4 other friends and in the end we only had to spend $10 extra.
Grocery – On Sunday we got groceries, total $80.68
Palm Tree Removal - Also on Sunday afternoon we got a knock on the door, it was a guy asking us if we want to remove our palm tree at the front. This is actually one of things that we have in our ‘to do lists’ for the outside landscaping (or should I say re-landscaping). This palm tree (almost 20 years old) has now grown too big and it is now touching some of the wires above. They were in the area trying to get some business; there were an army of them. To start with we weren’t very sure about it they seemed a bit dodgy but since they won’t really need to go inside the house and I kind of like that DH is home while we are getting it done so we said why not. Plus the price was really good, we thought removing this would have cost around $1,500 to $2,000, we eventually agreed on $800 but in the end we decided to give them $850. This tree was about 7 metres tall and about 1+ metre in diameter so it was hard work and the chainsaws kept getting clogged up which they had to stopped few times to cleaned it. They also grind the stumped and got rid of the rubbish, a truck load of it. I think we got a bargain.
Electric Bill – DH paid electricity bill for the 1st quarter of the year, $26.49.
Car (more car expenses) – Couple of weeks ago when DH took the car for service they end up turning off the radio which needed a code to turn it on again. So on Thursday DH had to take it to the Ford service mechanics to get the code, which cost $40. While there he decided to get the other (spare) key fixed that was not working properly and to also get the ABS looked at. In the end everything costs $370.
Lunch Date – Today we had our first lunch date for the year. This was kind of a reward for finishing Stage 1 of my workout. We went to some fancy restaurant. It was good but I expected more than good for the price so I doubt we will be going there again. Also, I had my first coke this year. I found the duck confit a bit too salty and wanted something to wash it down so I asked DH to get me a glass of coke while I went to the bathroom. I wished I just stuck to water and I wished DH asked how much it was before getting, it didn’t taste like it used to be and the worst part is it cost $6 for the 330ml glass of coke. Oh yeah I forgot, lunch cost $86.
Car Service/Repairs – Total cost was a whopping $836! We got 2 new tyres for $198, they suggested that the front tyres can last until the next service. They had to replace the front brake pads that cost $203.50, again the rear one can be done next time. They suggested to just re-gas the A/C, because our car is quite old now it would be better to just re-gas it every year or so it would cost a lot more to repair it. The re-gassing was $110. They had to replace 4 wheel nuts for $88. The rest was then for the all other car services that needed to be done.
Grocery – I got DH to do the grocery shopping again and told him we only got $16 left in the budget this month. He went to Aldi and only spent $15.70. With that he got a whole chicken, 3 litre milk, 4 bananas, 1 punnet of strawberries and 1 dozen eggs. We will probably need to get more milk later this week or we could use the long-life milk we have for emergency, we probably will I'm sure the expiry date on it is probably close.
Scanner App – We have started some of our paper work that we wanted to digitalised. We have an old scanner printer but it a pain to use, it take about 2 mins to just scan a page and then you have take out the SD card to save it into the computer. We thought about getting a new one and we almost did but then DH wanted to think about it some more. Last week DH took our old Electric bill and Gas bill to work to get it scanned, they’ve got great industrial scanner at work it only took him minutes to scan 7 years worth of bills. Now that we don’t get paper bills for these 2 we wanted to get the old scan them and throw them out (I actually shredded them and put it in the compost). We still got hundreds of paper work to scan which will not be possible for DH to take to work. He then looked into Scanner Apps, just using his phone camera he tried it a couple different Apps he preferred the second one he found. After using for a while he decided to buy it for $2.60 (was on sale from $5), worth paying to get rid of the watermark of their company logo. Anyway, it is so much more efficient than our old scanner. DH love using it. He was just sitting in front of the TV while watching a cricket game scanning away. This one it saves it automatically into a PDF and then DH can easily just email it to or save it google drive.
Other Spending – Got more soil for the garden, $11.85. Gas for the car was $42. I also gave my mum $300.
Grocery – We spent $61.94 on food this weekend. We only got $16 left in the budget for the rest of the month so we most likely won’t be able to stay on budget this month. We will try not to go over too much. We have been under budget in the last 2 months so there a little bit of a wiggle room, about $20.
House Repair - Fixed our bedroom door that wasn’t closing properly, the hinges was coming loose – easily fixed.
Mum - We went to my mum’s place for lunch on Sunday. She had an eye surgery on Friday for cataract so we thought we visit her to see how she was going. DH was actually the one that picked her up after her surgery. The hospital was near the city so DH drove to work on Friday, parking cost was $16. He left work an hour early to pick her up and the parking at the hospital was $10.20. DH also went to the pharmacy to get her prescription meds which he paid for just under $17.
Shopping – After lunch we left our dog at my mum to go shopping. My mum actually used to own this dog, long story short we feel in-love with her and kind of stole her. Spent an hour shopping for DH’s running shoes ($110), also got myself a wallet (my current one is all scuffed up) it was 40% off for $35, and we got a cup of latte to share for $4.70.
That’s pretty much our spending for the weekend. Tomorrow DH is taking the car for service including getting new tyres and I think maybe also getting the air con looked at. I have a feeling it is going to cost a bit.
Camping – We went camping last weekend, finally! DH was very happy about. The weather was just perfect for camping. We took the dog for the first time camping, she did well but didn’t get much nap so she was very tired when we got home. The cost for the site was $25 and we got food for $22.70, so less than $50 for a weekend away. Pretty good. The area where we went to is known for mineral spring water most people that go here go to mineral spas. And since it is only about an hour away from Melbourne it is very popular place. The camping site actually have a pump set up so people would just go there to get fresh mineral spring water. You have to go on a short hike to get there but it is pretty easy walk and along the way there were wild blackberries everywhere which were very sweet.
Hot air balloon- We got woken up Sunday morning by a hot air balloon being set up only about 100 metres away from our camp. Some people were not happy about it because it was pretty loud but really it was already 7am so it wasn’t really that early. I thought it was really cool seeing it up close and it only lasted about 15 minutes and they were off. But someone woman got very upset about it.
Groceries – Last weekend on the way home we stopped by at Aldi and spent $86.95. This weekend we spent $135.11. A bit more than I was hoping to spend but I found porterhouse steaks at 40% off, so I ended up getting 2 trays for just over $20. Just have to grab them when they are that cheap because they never seemed to be on sale when I actually want to get some. I also bought a 20kilo bag of rice which should last for months.
Fish Tank – The filter in the fish tank died and also it started leaking. DH bought a new filter for $44.82 and he also got a tube of silicone to fix the tank.
Other Expenses – I bought some clothes $33. DH got train ticket and filled up the car. Also the water bill for just under $230.
Ended up to be a quiet weekend. During the week we talked about going camping but we weren’t too sure about the weather. We should have gone the weather was wonderful especially on Sunday. Oh well.
Groceries –On Saturday DH did the shopping alone, since we didn’t need much and also don’t have much left in the grocery budget it was a very short shopping list. DH did really well, I told him that we only got $30 left in the budget and that all we really need are a couple dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, few bananas, a red capsicum and a 2litre milk to top up the milk we already bought on Thursday. The rest of the money, if there are any left, he can get some more fruits and vegetables. He ended up spending $21.90, on top of the items above he also got a punnet of strawberries, a punnet of blackberries, a bag of carrots, Japanese pumpkin and a massive bag of zucchini which he found on sale. DH was very proud of going way under the budget, he took it very serious.
BBQ – On Sunday we took the doggy to the park and also shop to get DH a new exercise band for $28. Seeing that the weather was so nice DH suggested we should have a bbq, I guess if we did went camping we would have had a bbq there. So on our way home we decided to get some meat to bbq. I ended up getting some chicken drumsticks it was on sale for only $3 a kilo even cheaper than the wings that were $4 a kilo, got 6 pieces for $2.80. DH also barbequed some of the vegetables (zucchini, pumpkin and carrots) to go with the chicken, we just put a bit of salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil.
Groceries - We did our usual Saturday morning shopping for food. Spent $82.33, it would have been about $20 less but I found a Porterhouse steaks that was 50% off (normal price was $32 a kilo) and also got some pork chops that were 20% off (can’t remember the original price). Total for the month so far is $269.42 (budget $300), so just over $30 for the rest of the month. It’s tight but I think we can do it. I’ve done a rough meal plan for this week which should help. Also the pantry is still really full we still got a lot of stuff in there to get through. I think we will just need milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables next shopping trip.
Other Spending – I bought myself a new running shoes, it was on sale for $90. I’m overdue for a new one. DH will also need a new one soon too. His is actually worse than mine but we couldn’t find one that he likes at the shop that we went to and we didn’t have time to shop around.
Cooking – I did a bit of cooking on Sunday. I made spring rolls and meatballs to put in the freezer. Also made butter chicken in the slow cooker, which feed us for 4 meals. And I used up some frozen banana that I had to make a banana cake.
Decluttering – I went through our pots and pans and decided to throw out 2 old pans and 1 wok. I’ve also been going through a box full of papers/notes that I wanted to type out or scan, it will take me a while to get through the box but at least it is good to get it started since I’ve wanted to do this for years now.
Passports – We need to re-new our passports, it expired last year. We are thinking of going overseas this winter so we need to get new ones soon. I don’t know how much they are now these days it has been ten years since we got the last one.
Not much is happening here.
Grocery – Spent just under $100 ($98.26) bought some special stuff for Valentine ’s Day dinner; steaks, fancy cheeses, oysters, and some other yummy stuff that we don’t normally get. We prefer to have nice dinner at home instead of going out to restaurant for Valentine’s Day.
Takeaway – At the market where we did our grocery shopping this weekend we got a couple of dim sims and croissants to take to the nearby park where we walked the dog. There’s a café at the park where we bought a cup of coffee to share to go with the croissants.
Fuel – got some fuel, it was for $55.80.
Other - we got some fabrics to use to cover the couch, $44.00. Also spent some money for the garden just under $40.
Garden – I planted a bird-eye chilli last summer. Got a couple handfuls of chillies last summer, it wasn’t looking good during winter and I thought it was going to die. I trimmed it and hoped for the best and it is doing well again. So far it has produces more than double that we got last summer.
Decluttering – I emptied DH’s clothes drawers. I put all the clothes that I thought don’t belong in the drawers anymore in a laundry basket and then DH went through each one, some he tried on to see if still fits. Most of it got thrown away, about 5 went back into drawers and a few he wanted to keep (souvenirs items) that we put into a plastic container to store away.
Weekend – We did the grocery shopping Saturday morning and spent $75.33, right on our weekly budget. Saturday night we went out for dinner to celebrate paying off the mortgage. We went to a Croatian restaurant it was very yummy but pricey. It cost $106 for 4 entrée size dishes (we wanted to try variety of dishes) and a glass of wine for me and Croatian beer for DH. We used a $50 gift card and I received last year for my birthday (expiring in couple of months so it was good time to use it), so was out of pocket for $56, still a tad costly. Lately I’ve been rather anti going out to restaurants, I mean I still like eating out but I don’t like spending all that money and then sometimes you go out you get disappointed with either the meal or the service and end up feeling that it was such a waste of money. A $100 is more than a week worth of food for us or for that amount of money we could invite a bunch of friends and have a pretty good dinner party. We also spent $6 for 2 hour parking, we should have really parked further for free but they are hard to find. We spent most of our Sunday building a vegetable garden using old bricks from the old brick fence that we used to have. That brick fence collapsed last year when we had a really strong wind, it was already in bad shape to start with.
Mortgage – Our very last interest payment was $14.62. They actually now owe us some money, just under $300 because they just took out the usual monthly payment. I’m sure it will get all sorted out soon. And depending on how much the closing cost is we might still owe them some.
Gardening – I have not done much with the veggie garden this summer. I just did not have much time but I did make sure to plant some tomatoes and basils, I've got a bit of tomatoes already.
Dinner party – Saturday night we had few friends over for dinner, card games and a Netflix movie. It was a lot of fun. It increased our grocery bill this month but it would have been a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant.
Long weekend – DH is taking Friday off and since Thursday is a public holiday (Australia Day) then he will have 4-day weekend. We are thinking of going for a day trip somewhere maybe fishing, we have not done that for couple of years.
Grocery – Our grocery budget for this year is $300 per month. So far this month we are at $260.45, half of it was spent on the weekend when we did a big shop and bought some extra stuff for the dinner party. Even though we only got $40 left for this weekend it should be plenty, I’m hoping we might not even have to spend all of it. Right now we got a lot of leftovers in the freezer and the pantry is full.
Saturday we went to shopping for food, we didn't get (nor do we needed much), spent $37.41.
Went and watch my brother play footy again, it was his 50th game, they won again 202 to 26, I think it was. Only spent $1 for a cup of coffee there, we actually took some sandwiches and some fruit that we got shopping that day to have for lunch.
That night we got invited to someone's 65th birthday. Bought a card for $1 and gave $50 cash gift.
On Sunday the only thing that got charged was my mobile phone, it get automatically get topped up when my credit gets below $2. That was for $10.
Total spending for the weekend was $99.41 - it's good to see it under $100.
We had a relatively quiet weekend. Our car was making some weird noises so we didn't wantto drive it too much. We just went grocery shopping and dropped off some stuff to the Salvo, which was just a crossed the street of the Aldi that we went to. Spending for the weekend was less than $100.
DH already booked the car for service on Wednesday. Its next service is not until next month but since it is making that noise and we are going camping this weekend we need to get it check before driving it 3-4 hours drive to the country.
DH spent some of his weekend applying for jobs. The rest of the weekend I spent tinkering in the garden, DH helped a bit too. He loves being outside, it was great to see him a lot more relaxed on the weekend. He was a bit stressed out again on Wed and Thurs night, he keep wondering whether he has done the right thing quitting. I assured him that he did and that we will be alright. From what he has been telling me about his work I am 100% sure that he is doing the right thing. So far this year DH counted 15 people that has left (that's about 1 a week). He has seen 3 people this year that cried because of work issues.
The other developer is now also considering of leaving earlier than end of June, she doesn't want to take on DH's job. She knows how much ha was to do and deal with, not only dealing with the customer that they support but also dealing with the boss (DB). She's also thinking of travelling in mid-June. Not sure if she will actually do it but she has told few people about already.
DH got a couple of lead today about some work so hopefully something will pan out soon.
We finally got the tree stump and roots out. It has taken us over 2 weeks working on it a bit every day. It is a very heavy bugger so we just left it in the front yard. We are not sure what to do with it, we talked about making a feature out of it or just put it in the rubbish. I think we might have our annual green rubbish collection in May, I'm pretty sure it was in May that they collected it last year. I won’t be surprise if we get the notification for in next month. If we throw it out DH will have to cut it smaller they will not accept it at this size, too heavy. DH should be able to use the chain saw on it now.
Most of soil that we dug out we used to build a couple of raised garden beds. We just added some chicken manure and mushroom compost. So far I have planted snow peas and kale from seeds in our usual veggie garden patch. In the new garden beds I got some seedling for it, so far I planted lemon grass, coriander and cabbage.
We will be building couple more garden beds, just need to clean more of the bricks. It takes a bit of effort to do I'm not in a hurry so just doing a bit every day.
We did some food shopping this weekend. We went to the market to stock up the freezer. Then we went to Aldi to get the usual food items we need for the week. And then lastly, we went to another store to mainly get toilet rolls and other things that we couldn't get at Aldi.
At the shopping centre car park, we ended up waiting for this lady to get out so we could get her car park space. When she finished putting her shopping in the car I offered to put her trolley away, just to hurry things along it was easier for both of us (and I gave her a dollar to swap for the dollar she had in the trolley). She could get out quicker while DH could get in to the space while I put the trolley away. Anyway, she left her receipt in the trolley and there was a discount of $10 off for the store we were about to go and there were other discounts for their liquor store as well. I didn’t even knew that they do those discounts in this store but I think you have to spend over $200 to get those, which obviously she did. I knew about the liquor store discount but hose normally involves buying 1 and you get another 1 free type of discount. So the $15 plus shopping only cost us $5 or so. It paid for the toilet rolls. I find that a lot of people tend to just leave their shopping receipts in the trolley and I tend to just pick them up and put them in the bin. I will be checking them a closer from now on.
We only spent $8.90 on mainly vegetables and $3 for milk. I don't think we will need anything else for the rest of the month. So, all up this month grocery bill came to $211.33. A lot better than what it was in the last quarter. Now we just need to keep it up.
This week's menu:
Saturday night we had a get together with friends. Spent $66 including parking.
Sunday, we spent most of the day cleaning up the garage and afterwards I decided that I really wanted burgers so we got Hungry Jack's (Burger King). I paid for it out of my allowance, $23.
Monday: Yesterday I made Thai fried rice with pork.
Tues: Today we are going to have tuna and salad.
Wed: Ribs - DH wants more ribs.
Thu: Leftover and chickpea/beans salad.
Fri: Either we will get pizza (Domino's pizza are now selling for $5) or we might be going out.
This week's grocery spending wasn't too bad, ended up spending $66.96.
Hardly did any cooking this week. We went to a party on the weekend and got to take home some food. and also DH got free lunch and snacks from work yesterday. I'm going to try have even less grocery spending this weekend. We got a lot of stuff that we can use next week.
DH got the car repaired the other day, they installed a brand new exhaust and did a lot of other services to it. All up it cost $462. Less than what I expected.
Paid the normal monthly mortgage repayment on Friday. The usual $1218, $219.89 went to the interest and $998.11 to the principal (so close to $1K)
Saturday we went to an antique market (1hr away), a short day trip. We bought some stuff, one of the random stuff I got was Life magazines from the 1947 and 1948, interesting read. I love the old advertisements in it too. DH got an old shaving razor, he collects them.
On the way home we stopped by this small town where they had a small farmer's market. Got $13.30 dollars worth of vegetables, fresh from the market near by.
In the late afternoon we went to Aldi and other stores to do more grocery shopping. All up we spent a total of $63.30.
I'm working hard on trying to get our grocery budget back to a reasonable state. So back to doing a weekly menu. Most of the time I just have a rough idea of what I'm going to make for the week, and we normally do alright to stay close to the budget until this few months. Making a weekly menu and just grocery shopping based on that should help cut down on grocery expenses. And I'm even going further by estimating the cost of each meal (I think I need a hobby lol). This was the menu for this week:
Sat: Paella - this costs roughly $6.40
Sun (lunch): Pumpkin and Lentil Stew - costs roughly $1.10
Sun (dinner): Chicken Drumettes marinated in homemade Nando's style sauce - costs around $4.00
Mon: Chilli Con Carne - costs roughly $11.20 (made a lot, put some in the freezer). The red wine cost a bit but we got to enjoy the rest of it with the meal.
Tue: Pasta carbonara sauce - ~$2.00
Wed: Beef ribs (currently cooking in the slow cooker) - cost roughly $6.00
Thu: We will have leftovers tomorrow. My brother won't be eating with us. We will most likely have ribs leftover.
Fri: Spanish Omelette - around $2.00? Potatoes are in season right now, very cheap.
Okay, I'm gonna have to work on next week's menu.
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