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Week 37

September 17th, 2019 at 01:13 am

Grocery = $49.45
Eating Out = We went out for lunch on Saturday, $33.50

Week 36

September 10th, 2019 at 04:42 pm

Grocery = $32.80 – a lot better.


September 10th, 2019 at 04:41 pm

Total = $2,382.27

This is really late because I hurt my arm and I’m trying to rest it. I initially hurt it almost a month ago now, it was just a little sore but I kept doing gardening and other stuff that it just kept getting sore again. And then last week when I was working out I think I really made it worst. I didn’t feel it though until that night when I was trying to sleep and it was really throbbing.

Grocery = $343.62 – It seems a lot harder for us these days to stay under $300 per month. I think the main reasons are:
1. Prices have gone up especially with the staple items.
2. We are eating a lot less these days and cooking a lot more at home.
3. We have been trying out few new recipes lately and some require ingredients that we don’t normally buy.
4. We have also been introducing more variety into our diet. I’ve been trying to eat at least 5 cups of vegetables a day. At least the garden is starting to help reduce in this category.
I’m okay with these but at the same time I’ve started to really look at ways to cut costs. On the weekend I found milk that was 60% off because it was due in 2 days’ time, instead of $3 for the 1.5 litre milk it was only $1.20. This milk was with extra cream so I bought 2 bottles and made yogurt (500g) and cheese (about 300g) and the rest DH made kefir for our breakfast for half a week’s worth. Just for the yogurt and cheese it would have cost $10 or so and I only spent not even half an hour making both of them the rest of the time was just leaving it do its thing. And then last night I made fresh tortellini with some of the cheese, with just butter and sage from the garden as sauce. Few months ago we went and got some Chinese dumplings the price has gone up from $10 for 10 to $13, so last month when I got the craving for some dumplings I decided to buy the ingredients, I think it cost me around $8, including making the chilli oil and made 3 dozens of it. So, I got to freeze some of them. Right now I have been enjoying making stuff so I will continue until I get sick of it.


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
I’m hoping this will be done in 2 months’ time.

*Save $3K for Holiday money.

*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
Had 11 NSD so $33
DH made some money trading but I haven’t asked him if it was enough to put some money into this, I don’t think he really calculated how much he made. Maybe I’ll add it next month.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
98 An Imaginary Life - David Malouf (8 Aug)
99 The Girl on the Page - John Purcell (10 Aug) - Audio
100 The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton (13 Aug)
101 The Informant - Susan Wilkins (17 Aug) - Audio
102 The Mourner - Susan Wilkins (20 Aug) - Audio
103 Steppenwolf - Hermann Hesse (21 Aug)
104 The Killer - Susan Wilkins (23 Aug) - Audio
105 Don't Let her Go - Harlan Coben (25 Aug) - Audio
106 Home - Harlan Coben (27 Aug) - Audio
107 Fool me Once - Harlan Coben (28 Aug) - Audio
108 Hunting Shadows - Sheila Bugler (31 Aug) - Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
Doing a little bit, losing my groove.

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
I was doing good and then I hurt my arm.

*Blogging once per week.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
I actually did a bit at the front yard but now I really need to rest my arm for a while

*Continue Decluttering.
I’m looking forward to doing some spring cleaning later this month

*Learn to Draw
This has been forgotten.

Week 35

September 1st, 2019 at 06:40 pm

Grocery = $66.33, reasonable.

Trash and Treasure Market = Yesterday we went to the market and end up spending $120 plus $2 for entry fee. We got some birds netting , weed mat, cumquat tree, butcher’s knives (2) and a toy for my niece.

The weather has been nice the last few day although it rained a lot late yesterday afternoon, I guess spring is here.

Week 34

August 28th, 2019 at 12:46 am

Grocery = $78.30

Garden = Bought some fruit trees and other plants = $117.02

Gifts = Bought gifts for my little niece 2nd birthday, $47.90

Fixing the Fridge – part 2 = I think it was couple of months ago that we had problem with the fridge. DH cleaned it and it work fine for a month but after a while it accumulated some ice again. DH did some research and found what could be the cause of the problem. He replaced the part for only $8. It was fairly easy task replacing it. Hopefully, that has fixed the problem. He had at least eliminated one potential cause of the problem, there are 2 others that might be the issue but apparently this is the number one issue people experienced. Time will tell.

Week 33

August 19th, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Didn’t do much spending on the weekend, only had time to go grocery shopping worth $64.75.

Week 32

August 14th, 2019 at 08:55 pm

Grocery = $81.84, a bit over than what I wanted it to be. Everything is going up in prices.

Birthday Present = I finally bought myself a birthday gift – 4 months later ($145).

Shopping = ($111.00) I had to throw away my old stock pot and had been looking to get a small frying pan. I also had to get rid of my old pasta marker, it broke late last year.

Gardening and Cooking = I did a little bit of gardening but the weather has been not that great but I’ve been doing a little bit every day. We made a big batch of dumplings (almost 100).

Til debt do us part = I been watching this old Canadian show online. It's amazing how people end up in debt. Interestingly it seems that majority of the people that participated in that show are mainly middle class. Most of them have a very decent income, which made it easier for them to get loans and credit cards and ultimately into consumer debts.

Week 31 – Got a New Dishwasher

August 5th, 2019 at 11:32 pm

Grocery = $52.40 – a lot more reasonable.

Dishwasher = so we went ahead and got the new dishwasher from Aldi. The price actually went down $20 from the week before. And DH spent another $29.90 to get some plumbing items to be able to hook it up. So in total it was $308.90, with a 3-year warranty.
I looked up our last dishwasher purchase and it was 9 years ago (I blogged about back in Aug 2010). That one cost us $595, we got it on sale with a great discount and the original price was $1,200. That one cost us $66.44 per year. An equivalent of 4.6 years for this new one but also there are some benefits because it uses cold water, it is more efficient in both water and electric usage and it has a delayed timer which means we can set it to wash the dishes during off-peak time.

Lunch out = we went out for lunch for a friend’s birthday. We spent $100 for gift and $52 for food.

Stovetop espresso maker = got one on sale down from $45 to $18. This was an item we have in our “to get for the right price” list.

July 2019

August 5th, 2019 at 12:10 am

Total = $1,298.89

Grocery = $296.17, this is right on our monthly budget but we were meant to spend a lot less because we have gone over in the last few months.


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
Low spend month means more money into savings 
*Save $3K for Holiday money. N/A
*Save $5K for "The Challenge"

Entertainment = this is under budget so I’m putting $10 into the challenge.
NSD = in July we had 14 NSDs, so another $42 into the challenge.
Also DH made some money trading so $200 into this challenge.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
87. The Secret Runners of New York - Matthew Reilly (2 Jul) - Audio
88. Digital Minimalism - Cal Newport (3 Jul)
89. Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty (7 Jul) - Audio
90. Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty (15 Jul) - Audio
91. Lab Rats - Dan Lyons (19 Jul)
92. The Last Summer of Ada Bloom - Martine Murray (21 Jul) - Audio
93. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - T. Harv Eker (23 Jul)
94. A Year with Less - Cait Flanders (25 Jul)
95. Hearthbreak Hotel - Deborah Moggach (27 Jul) - Audio
96. The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur (29 Jul)
97. Bridge of Clay - Markus Zusak (31 Jul) - Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
I’ve lost motivation 

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Waking up early, no problem but working out and meditating big problem.

*Blogging once per week.
Still going

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Have been doing some little projects outside

*Continue Decluttering.
We took a bag to the charity place.

*Learn to Draw
Not really into this at the moment.

Week 30 – Broken Dishwasher

July 30th, 2019 at 06:53 pm

Grocery = ($91.78) our grocery was higher than what I wanted it to be, it was because we bought things that was on sale, eg chicken that was 75% off. Just couldn’t say no to it. DH also decided to get a big bag of coffee beans even though we have a lot of instant coffee, to be fair it is so much nicer. Luckily, we are still just under our monthly budget but I still need to claw back those high grocery bills last month and the month before. Maybe we will do better in August. The pantry and freezer are fairly full now.

Dishwasher = so now the dishwasher is not working. So we are currently doing dishes by hand. We looked at couple of stores on the weekend and also saw that Aldi have them on sale at the moment. So far we are leaning towards the Aldi brand, the price is unbeatable. Currently the so called brand-named appliances have been pretty disappointing. The Aldi is $300 with 3-years warranty. It might be worth taking a “risk” on it.

Garden = DH and I made 2 benches for our potted orchids and also half-way to making a bench for sitting. We already had materials (mainly cut-offs) at hand so no new cost so far.

Week 29

July 23rd, 2019 at 12:31 am

Grocery = $126.65
Bought two weeks’ worth of groceries on Saturday, they were mainly fresh produced because last weekend we didn’t get much that the fridge was almost empty of vegetables. We only had half a head of broccoli, half a fennel and few carrots. We found some great deals so we bought a lot.
23 bananas – 10 are still greenish so we can have them next week.
3 avocados
1 small papaya
13 bokchoy
4 massive Portobello mushrooms
3 heads of broccoli
4 capsicums (3 green, 1 red)
2 coconuts
3 cucumbers
1 bunch of kale
1 celery
1 whole cauliflower
1 bag of carrots
1 kg of potatoes
3 sweet potatoes
1 big bag of beans (over a kilo)

Also got –
A block of parmesan
Black tea (it was half price and I was due to get some next couple of weeks)
French baguette
2 doz eggs
2 lt milk
Bottle of rice wine
Can of water chestnuts
1 bag of fresh noodles
Pork that was on sale
½ kilo of chicken liver
5 Canned ham (50% off, good to take camping and to keep some in the pantry)
A couple of frozen pizza that was on sale and we want to try out.
To add into our breakfast - chia seeds, dried mango, dried cranberry, nuts and other seeds.

I’ve done some pre-cooking in the last two days to make sure these food don’t get wasted, already few meals in the fridge and freezer.

Repairs – DH had to replace the exhaust fan in our toilet room. It was an easy fix and it only cost $19.98.

Last night’s dinner

July 18th, 2019 at 05:30 pm

Last night I made pork chops, fried rice with lots of vegies (couple of cups), also made roasted sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions (3 cups), and 2 cups of greens salad all from the garden.

I got more greens leaves (kale, spinach, swede chards, land crest, parsley and beet leaves) and made a simple salad of olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. We got a lot of lemons from our tree at the moment.

My breakfast was leftover pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and sliced bananas. DH is doing fasting today.

Dinner and Breakfast

July 17th, 2019 at 04:57 pm

Last night we made salmon with sweet potato and pumpkin fries (about a cup) and we also steamed some vegetables- a cup of pumpkin, a cup of carrots, a cup of peas, a cup of broccoli and a handful of greens from the garden. Also we had a small salad of mainly lettuce because it needed to be eaten. Also had about half a cup of steamed rice each.

For breakfast DH made pumpkin pancakes using the buttermilk from yesterday. I steamed the leftover pumpkin last night. There wasn’t much left and since the streamer was already it was just convenient.

The weather is warmer today, great for my plants.


July 16th, 2019 at 07:21 pm

Kitchen - We got half a bottle of cream in the fridge that will most likely go off in a couple of days, I've got no use for cream at the moment so I made butter. I just used a glass bottle with lid and got a good arm workout. It took me about 15 minutes. I think I will make some pancakes out of the buttermilk for breakfast tomorrow.

Garden - Just planted some seed of dill, coriander, Asian greens and wild rockets. I'm not sure how they will go but they are in my mini greenhouse. Everything are growing very slow at the moment which is to be expected in winter, not as much sun but we are getting a lot of rain which is great. They are mainly surviving though, no problem with frost. The only thing that died because of frost were my sweet potatoes, just the wrong time of the year for them. I'm trying to grow some slips again but no luck yet.