Week 6 of frugal living

This week is looking a little bit bleak as Stage four of the lockdowns are introduced. More and more businesses will shut and it will be harder to get things. The abattoirs will have only two thirds of their workforce working there with the rest possibly stood down and they have to wear PPE.

Many people have lost their jobs and the future of job keeper is extended until sometime next year. But the rate in which people earn in a fortnight will be cut somehow after September. The Government predicts that they will spend $15 billion on it. But not everyone’s accepted into Jobkeeper as businesses have to have been established for 12 months. So I wonder about the newer businesses and their future during this pandemic. This week I have been showing some love to my favorite stores by buying things or online. By buying things I mean staying within my limits and the restrictions

The share market has crashed this week as Victoria’s future looks uncertain.

What we can do under Stage 4

  1. We have a curfew of 8pm each day unless we are going to work at night or caregiving
  2. We can only exercise for an hour
  3. Only one person of the household is allowed to shop for food once a day
  4. We can’t travel outside of 5km from our home (both exercise and errands)
  5. We must wear a face mask outside the house unless you have a valid reason
  6. We can go out of the house for medical care and emergencies
  7. All non essential shops must close (online retail is ok).

Total for this week: $20 at Chemist Warehouse,$20 on a book from Amazon.com and $5 on Optus credit. Most of the food I ate at home. Hence its only $45.


Week 5 of frugal living

This week I spent $9.50 on a vegetarian wrap in order to support the small businesses. Small businesses are feeling the pinch ever since the share market was down.

Then I spent $16 on buying supplements and the pack of 12 teas was $10. I don’t feel bad about spending a little bit of the Jobkeeper money to keep these businesses a float.

Dinner on Monday night was spaghetti bolognese which is poor people’s food when they are in isolation. I found out that most of Brazil and some of the third world countries cannot afford fresh food. We need a better way to deal with the obesity rates.

I read this article in Men’s health where someone lived on $4400 a year. I wonder how they did it. This year we might eventually be all reduced to that amount due to COVID.

Then I bought an amazing protein ball from The Organic Wherehouse. It was $3.50 and it was yum. It was on the second day of the highest COVID19 cases.

That week I had a free taco card at Dingoate my taco so I used that and bought another one for $5. It was on the highest day of COVID cases so I wanted to support a small business.

On Sunday there was another high number of COVID cases and that was 671. By then Stage four of restrictions were in place. It is getting harder and harder to buy things.

Money I spent that week totals to: $39 with just one $1 left over.


You don’t need material things to keep you happy

As the Coronavirus pandemic goes on and finances dries up we should stop and think about the material goods that we buy. Everytime we buy something and we only wear it (or use it) once, it either goes to the op shop or dumped when you move house.

fan of money on blooming meadow
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Therefore it is money wasted.

As soon as the lockdown restrictions eased last time in Melbourne people went crazy at Chadstone and went on a huge shopping spree. Not only did they waste money on items they also put the worker’s lives at risk.

So I ask the question, do you need material things to keep you happy? The answer is no. You need money for some part of your happiness but most of it is free. We did do the 31 day of Buddha challenge and Tiny Buddha shows that if we do a little thing or two to brighten someone’s day that is much better. It could be complimenting someone on their mask or outfit or helping a charity. We rely too much on material goods and not on emotional needs. A compliment to someone doesn’t go astray. Nor does patting other people’s dogs outside. If you pat someone’s dogs outside it shows them you care about them and it would brighten their day. Their dogs would be happy and so would you. Seeing dogs is therapeutic for some people

Next time you go to the shops, think about this: do I really need that item? If not just walk out. That item can wait.


Week 4 of frugal living

This week I had leftover noodles and toast and tuna. I only had $20 this week due to overspending in the last week. For dinner one day I had Choko, pork and rice. Choko is a poor person’s food and so is pork and rice.

I had mapo tofu one night. Tofu is also regarded as poor people’s food.

It’s harder than its ever been now that the Government is expected to deliver the budget on Jobkeeper and Jobseeker on Thursday. Millions around the world are in poverty. When the Government did they say that Jobkeeper will be extended until end of March next year, which is good news for some but bad news for business as it is said that without it business cannot survive. The Government said that some businesses would not qualify.

This week the Government mandated the new rules on masks. Whilst I have been fortunate to receive some made by a friend, other people are not so lucky. The masks costs about $10-$15 per pack. I think the government is handing out free masks to charities but we’re not so sure. The Salvos had a visit from St Vincents and they got some free clothes, which that’s good for those out on the streets.

It also leads to another point: I wonder when the hotel housing for the homeless will end? There has been some uncertainty around that.

Bought $13 worth of stuff at Chemist Warehouse. A box of those teas were priced at $10 (normally it is $14) and a protein bar. Bought another snack bar at an organic place in North Essendon. On Wednesday I decided to support a local coffee place and paid $6 for my iced coffee

All up I spent: $29 (including the mobile phone credit allowance). I had $9 from a previous week


Going on a bank account detox

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the economy took a big hit and almost everybody needed Government support. People were working from home and the stress of bills and buying food and paying with their bank account took its toll.

abundance bank banking banknotes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I decided to do a bank account detox. That means no spending from there. We spend way too much money on material things. And I was getting into some debt. I got into more than $3000 debt pre Covid. During the first part of the lockdown I managed to pay almost all of it back. Pre Covid I had a lot of late and unpaid fees

I have been going on this Bank account detox for about 30 days now. At first I was really anxious about how I would fare and how much that I would spend the $200 I had in there. During that time there was another $119 added in there from something which I did not use and they charged me for it. My gym membership was frozen and everything else I canceled. But I had to pay the account keeping fees.

I just used cash and the free gift cards that I earnt whilst doing surveys to buy the things that I needed.

I was at home a lot so I saved on transport and outside food. I spend waaay too much money on outside food and coffee in the past. Now that I’m home a lot I drink more coffee at home and eat more home-cooked foods


Could the coronavirus cause more people to go hungry?

As more and more people lose their jobs due to the pandemic, we wondered if the pandemic could cause people to go hungry!

abundance agriculture bananas batch
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We read this report by the UN nations saying that global hunger has increased this year. They predict that 132 million people would go hungry this year and rely on Foodbank. Food Politics also writes about the food insecurity issue.

The Government gives us money but is it enough for the poor people? This pandemic brings out the inequalities in people. We have seen in the housing towers situation.

We see many charities that are at the brink as many people go to them for food. The Big Umbrella on their Instagram says that many people turn up on Wednesday and Thursday nights and the demand is quite high. The Government allows for these charities to run as an essential service for the homeless and they should. In a Facebook group that I’m in called “Free food Pantry only” there have been quite a few requests for food.

The food banks are quite low on food and donations. We have seen the Ascot Vale Little free pantry always busy. Its the same for the Kensington side.

How to help those in need?

  • There are some charity groups such as Free food Melbourne and other groups on Facebook
  • You can donate money online to your favourite charities
  • You can run for your favourite charities at their events in 2021 and get people to donate money to your charity
  • If you can (and Government allows it) do donate your local free pantry or foodbank
  • If you are a business you could set up some free food days to help those that are struggling

Week 3 of living frugally

I have $40 for the week

I bought Optus credit for $40. But with the free money I got on Sosure it was $20 and it goes for four weeks. Each week cost me $5. Therefore I have $35 to spend.

I so far spent $2.50 on snacks at the IGA. This week thanks to MSN Surveys I got a $5 Coles Gift card which means that I got some of my snacks free. I also got another $20 gift card for more free snacks thanks to Empowered surveys

I spent $13 that week at Coles on various snacks and the new Kombucha Cola drink. That drink was really nice and it had things to help the live gut bacteria.

I spent $21.60 at Chemist Warehouse. But $7 of that tea powder is for next week. Hence I only spent $14.60 at Chemist Warehouse.

Bought a $5 iced coffee to support the local hospitality industry who are supporting the homeless. All week they are doing this Cafe Smart program where $1 from each coffee sold at certain cafes goes towards feeding the homeless. Right now there are more homeless people needing a free feed and its important to support stuff like this.

One lunchtime I had Zhong which is Chinese sticky rice. And then another time I had risotto. I had poor people’s food most of the week.

I read many other frugal living blogs and they lived on $100 per month. Its hard learning to live frugally when I have not done so pre pandemic.


$120 food challenge

Can you live off $120 food challenge in a month? I know that many people are struggling to put food on the table in this Coronavirus environment as they have lost jobs. Many people are relying on foodbanks to help them get by.

In Melbourne we recevie about $600-$900 in Centrelink payments. Most people rent houses for about $400 per fortnight and on top of that we have to pay the bills. Per day our income works out to be about $40 a day. So that does not leave us with much for food.

So the $120 food challenge inspired me! Here we cannot buy many meals outside. They must be home cooked. Here we ate at home and most of the meals and things are on my Instagram.

We enjoyed lots of leftovers and making use of the stuff that’s in the pantry such as Sam’s Museli that we bought a few months ago. We also bought chips from IGA and the meats from there when they are marked down. Same as with Coles meats.

One day the cans of tuna were $1 a can, so we got three of them. Then last Sunday I got 4 snacks for $5 at one of the IGA stores near where I live. Another time there was 2 for $5 bargain for the Harvest snaps.

One day we had SPAM ham with noodles. The SPAM was in the pantry and was bought a few months ago.

Another time we had Zhong which is Chinese sticky rice. The bundles were in the freezer from a month ago.

One day we had lasagna for dinner from the freezer. That was awesome.

So it is possible to live on $120 per month provided that you know what’s in your pantry and fridge and use it all up. Oh and buy things when they are on special. Buy fruits and vegetables from the market as it is cheaper. If you grow your own fruit and veg it would probably free up some of your spend. I know we all have to get by for the next few months, but you can at least give this challenge a go.


Week 2 of living frugally

We only have $40 to spend each week. We can’t even get our phone bill as that’s $10. Yesterday I spent $2 on a protein bar that was marked down on special. Yesterday we had hainan chicken and leftover chicken curry for lunch and dinner.

Today I had leftover Sam’s pantry museli and bread. I ate poor people’s food for lunch which is peanut butter, bread and a banana. Poor people cannot afford the heating in winter. I try to rug up as much as I can but still feel cold. I spent $5 on a brownie and $4.60 on two protein bars at Coles. Coles should try and help out the poor during the COVID19 seeing as we’re about to go into lockdown a second time.

This week I had my period and imagine if I had to buy pads, they would be worth $21. Its lucky I have some at home and a friend who works in a pharmacy who gives it to me for free. I feel for the women that can’t afford pads. I also have enough ibuprofen for a little while.

I spent $7 at Happy Apple buying juice, banana and something for the Little pantry. I spent my usual $14 at Chemist Warehouse.

Then I spent $7 on tea and protein bars at Coles on Friday. I usually go for the ones that are $2 each there to maximise spending.

We had Oxtail stew at home. It was really nice. But I wonder if Oxtail stew is poor people’s food. Yesterday my flatmate bought a pie from Too Good Bakers for me.

Then I spent $2.50 on a protein bar and chocolate. It was in the clearance bin at a place that I live nearby

All up I spent: $42.10.


Week 1 of living frugally

We are in Coronavirus times and it would be a year before we return to normal again. A lot of people are in struggle street at the moment

So I wanted to write about living frugally during these times for a whole year. I enjoyed some homemade almond bread as a snack and lots of soups at home.

Last week I researched the topic of living frugally and found that you don’t need a lot to live frugally.

This week I started crosstitching the tablecloth. I hope to get it finished in time for Christmas so that I can give it to somebody as a gift.

At Chemist Warehouse they had the 12 sachets of BSC tea for $10 (normally its $15) and protein bars for $2.

At Coles the day before I spent $12 just on snacks and shampoo.

At 7/11 I spent $7.30 on buying two snack bars. Geez, how expensive are they there! Normally they have $1 Wednesdays but the snack bars are not featured on there.

Over the weekend I bought one muffin for $6. On Sunday I got a Nippy’s and a protein bar for $4.60 at the local IGA. They were marked down to just $2 each.

Total spent: $31.90. Out of $40 allowed I have $8.10 left. I can use it next week or leave it for another week!