Week 16 of frugal living

This week has been a bit bleak for all of us. It seems that Victoria is getting further and further behind in the economy with all the lockdowns. And it seems that Britain is about to have their lockdowns as they have gone over 500,000 coronavirus cases. They, too, will have their pubs shut and overnight stays banned. People complain about how bad it is here; well, wait until you see what’s over there. Portugal is the same thing too, and the London situation is getting worse, not better.

This week we had steak and chips for dinner. The steak was $14 at Woolies for two small pieces, and then we had to buy another packet just to feed the three of us. Then another day, we had homemade hamburgers with the $1 bag of buns from Coles.

We grow broad beans and the like, so we have had some salads. For one of the dinners, we had a pancake with red cabbage on top. We were still hungry after that, so we had mini party pies from the freezer.

It was Cafe SMART’s homelessness week and some of the cafes supported their campaign. I did buy a coffee to show them some support.

On the cool days, I have had some oats. I also enjoyed some black tea to remember a family member who had passed away. We can’t see them due to Coronavirus.

It looks like online shopping for a little while longer as the shops won’t open for a while yet. This week I bought a pair of Skechers shoes for $50 online.

Week 15 of frugal living

This week I found out that all the clothing stores will be hit the hardest due to the many clothing store workers who are laid off. They are mainly based in places like India and China.

The world’s trade has been severely disrupted by the pandemic, yet people still want to party out in St Kilda thinking that the pandemic won’t affect them. Well to those people I have news for you and its not pretty. One day you might not have anything left. One day the vulnerable people might have no food because everyone has taken it all.

This week has been really hard both mentally and moneywise. I am not eligible for Jobkeeper anymore because my industry is back up and running. So I have no idea when I’ll be paid. I still have money in my account, but I worry when the money runs out.

All the small businesses are feeling the pinch and they rely on people to keep them alive. They rely on people to buy online.

A family member has died and we can’t go to their funeral because they are in another state and they haven’t opened their borders to Victoria yet.

This week we had spag bol from the freezer, stir fried noodles, homemade vegetable soup with the canned beans that we had in the pantry. Oh and I had my English muffins with beans and sausages (poor Englishman’s food). The English muffins were from the freezer. We stockpiled on plenty when they were on special.  We’ve been growing our our own broadbeans and snowpeas so we had those for a few meals.

Week 14 of frugal living

Last Sunday the State Government mentioned that fitted face masks will be compulsory. This is fine for me and a small win for businesses who makes these masks. If only the Government would let these businesses trade face to face then people can be properly fitted for masks. You cannot wear a face shield after this week. Some people got really angry about this online. Still I love to wear a mask for fashion and hiding cracked lips when I can’t be bothered with the lipgloss.

Today we ventured to Cheaper Buy Miles. It’s been weeks since we were both allowed out of the house to go shopping and I am really happy. We got these pork sausages and had them for dinner. And we liked them. We got some other things too like the protein bars and the like. They had 4 of these for $2.

Supported a local coffee place called Rose st Foodstore. Its been about 9 weeks since I last supported a new coffee place. I am happy that the exercise restriction is now for two hours. Now I get to support such local places. Before, it was just get the food and go straight home. During the really tough one hour, I don’t even get to chat with the manager about things.

And then on Friday, we both ventured out again to Highpoint. Here we bought a swiss sponge cake from Breadtop for $10.50. It was not great and not worth the money.

This week we had burritos for dinner and the Luv a Duck Red curry for dinner. We bought the packets previously and had to use them.

At Chemist warehouse they sold protein bars 2 for $6. This is not bad seeing as the Musashi Deluxe is normally $4. Yesterday I had a sausage sizzle for $2.50 at the Boathouse. Here they were trying to save hospo by holding these BBQ’s over the weekend. I like what they are doing to help pay the bills, not like some other food businesses who complain that they have no customers and no way to pay the bill.

Red Cross’s go without challenge

I decided to take on this challenge because we take a lot for granted and during the virus people have had to sacrifice a lot especially losing their job. We wanted to test our patience and not live on luxury items if we can. It goes from the 21st to the  27th of September. During this time we decided to give up on social media as this is what causes most people’s mental health problems. A bit of Youtube is ok.

We did well. We managed to stay off Twitter and Facebook and only go on Instagram to share business posts and to participate in the “Its time” campaign. We used that time to do some work on the blog.

It was hard having a cold shower as it was so cold in Melbourne. In Melbourne, one day was only 12C and we needed the heater. I can’t imagine the poor buggers who are homeless and were out on the streets pre COVID being really cold. One day we had to go without lighting and it was ok.

We used up most items in the pantry and had only $200 to spend. This is not enough for a homeless person to live on for the week if they had to pay for their hotel. Luckily the State Government pays for them to be there. I spent the $160 on food, Les Mills subscription, and the phone bill. The Internet was free and had been prepaid.

Guys if you can please donate to the many charities that are helping the homeless. They need your support more than ever. You can donate online. If you have any unwanted food in your pantry please donate them to a free community pantry in your 5km radius.


Week 13 of frugal living

The economy is starting to reopen up again, but Victoria (only Melbourne metro) is in lockdown. We wonder when we’ll be able to do things outside such as going to the movies or the gym. The government keeps on wanting to change the date for gyms and the fitness industry is not happy about this and neither am I.

I keep on supporting the cafes and small businesses because I worry that one day they will go broke and they will close. The economy is in a recession, yet there are all these protests going on. The case numbers are good. They are mainly in double digits.

People are not so pleased when they are fined for not coming home before (ie they accidentally stay out for about 5- 15 over the curfew).

For lunch, we had two-minute noodles. We also had homemade bao with sausages previously bought from Cheaper buy miles. For the other two days, I have been having salad sandwiches for lunch seeing as its Spring. I had salmon patties with the potatoes that were already in the fridge and had to be used up.

We had a hotpot on Sunday with the beef and pork from the freezer and the Korean noodles from the pantry. On Sunday it was announced that fishing, hiking, and boot camps can go ahead and the new mask rule (it must be properly fitted) was announced. This is good news for businesses that sell fabric masks as it will help boost the economy. Also, you have to wear it properly or face a $200 fine. This is good as I am sick of seeing people not covering their nose in public!

Week 12 of frugal living

It is spring here in Melbourne and people are enjoying the extra hour outside. I enjoyed the extra hour outside running and exploring my area and find all the lovely bits that I missed during the tough Stage four lockdown. Regional Victoria is opening up and we hope that they make some money and set a fine example for us Melburnians.

We’re stuck here in lockdown and as of last Sunday I have been participating in a campaign called “Its time”. This is an Instagram campaign that allows us to protest to Daniel Andrews that it is time for all the restaurants, bars and cafes to open up for dining.

Also there have been quite a few protests. Whilst they weren’t in my suburb of Essendon, I felt very scared for the traders at Queen Victoria Market as well as the Shrine of Remembrance.

For lunch I had the leftover hummus with homegrown rocket and the like. I also had leftover cheese. Then for dinner I had wontons in soup. The next night we had the leftover wontons which are fried with fried rice made with the pork mince (we used the same leftover mixture from the wontons). We had so much leftover rice that we used it for fried rice.

And then with the leftover salmon we made a dip and we had it for lunch a few times this week.

And then on Sunday we had homemade bao which is awesome. We tried it with this curry sauce which is way too sweet for my liking.

Coronavirus and debt worries

Now that we are six months into the pandemic and Melbourne is in Stage four lockdown and Regional Victoria is in Stage 3 lockdown people are starting to worry more about being in debt. We get the Jobkeeper/government stimulus but not all people get this.

silver and gold coins
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Businesses are worrying about the debt with the CPR.org stating that many Americans are in limbo about whether or not they can repay that debt. People are constantly stressed about how much debt they owe to the banks due to the lockdowns. As such people will turn to loan sharks to help them repay their debt. I once had that experience of such things and they will never leave you alone.

What would be good is for:

  • All debt companies to leave us alone
  • All phone and internet companies to have reduced rates for usage- now that we are at home more often and using Internet a lot more.
  • All people to get this sort of payment. We know that many more people will join the on dole queue now that more retail businesses will close.

What we could do to help those that are struggling:

  • If its a business support them by buying something that you need. Whilst you’re at it instead of visiting the big supermarket chains why not visit a local grocery store instead?
  • Leave a nice review of them online
  • If its a person that is struggling, offer to help them out if you can. It could be with food or a care package.

Week 10 of frugal living

This week I have been taking it on the low with the Internet and social media and its working in my favour. Here I’ve really tried to be kind to people. Being on social media and venting about things too much just adds to my stress.

Here there was sale at Chemist warehouse where I got a protein bar and twelve sachets of tea (one I had already) for $15.30. Normally it would be $16.50. This was a three day sale.

We had Chicken roulade which was homemade with our homegrown warrigal greens and rocket. We kept on eating all the apples and mandarins. And then we used up the leftover roulade in a sandwich and we still have some left. One day we had stir fry noodles with kimchi cabbage and pork. The kimchi cabbage was made at home by my flatmate.

This week is not looking so good for our economic forecast with more job losses on the way and Melbourne set to be in Stage four for two more weeks after next week. Hence there will be more stress to come so now is a good time to be on holiday.

On Sunday the Premier announced that there would be no opening of retail until sometime in October. This will be hard for smaller businesses in particular who have no one to turn to for finances. The bigger franchises have head office and stores in other states that can help these struggling businesses. In the meantime we plan to do all we can to help them get out of this hell hole.

Week 11 of frugal living

This week really did hit me the hardest as many small businesses now rely on government support! They also cannot be open until 26th of October under Dictator Dan’s rules.

My week was a relatively quiet one as many people were angry at Dictator Dan’s rules. But then I had to look on the other side of this. England is in a worse situation and they cannot control their COVID clusters and now they are forced back into lockdown.

I had small fish from the freezer and my flatmate made biscuits. We also bought two big chickens: one of them we made a fried chicken out of and the other one is in the freezer. We left it in there so that we can use it another day. My housemate made hummus and I enjoyed that with the leftover salmon from Cheaper Buy Miles. She used a can of chickpeas bought from a while back in March

On Saturday night I heard about this new “It’s time” campaign on Instagram. Most of the hospitality venues in Melbourne have decided that its time to petition Dan to let them open early in Stage two for dining in. Its sad when they have to close their doors altogether. This week I read that the Morning star hotel and the Mona castle hotel had to shut their doors forever. Its lucky that I’m in Health blogging and not food blogging. I gave that up years ago when I was putting on weight and spending too much eating out. So I’m lucky in a way that I still have a job.

How can clothing brands and small business earn more money

Melbourne is in a stage four lockdown with many clothing shops being shut for months on end. Many of them had to pivot to click and collect. It got me thinking about ways that clothing brands and small businesses can make more money.

golden cup and basket with books
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Make some fabric masks

Mask wearing will be around for quite some time. Businesses could make some unique masks to wear. Fashionable masks are in. Here is a guide on how to do it.

Its all about the customer experience

Now is a good time to think about what sets you apart from the others. Sales Benchmark Index talks about creating an experience for customers that is enticing. That needs to be online for now. Now that could be an online chat room where customers can ask about the product. Or that could be engaging with customers on Instagram.

Make How to videos on YouTube

This could be how to mend your own clothes. If people watch it then you might get a bit of money. When people subscribe and click on your videos you might get a little bit of money.

But the most important thing is for customers to come once your shop is open.

Make candles

People always want candles and the like. There’s lots of videos on Youtube about making candles.

Sell your stuff at small weekend markets

If you’re allowed to you could have a really small stall (depends on Government regulations). Small stalls can range from $50-$400 depending on which market you sell at. You usually have to apply for a stall and then people would come to it.