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.


18 cheap ideas for you to do at home

Are you bored at home? Are you sick of all the lockdowns that are happening? I am and here are some ideas to help you get the most of your time at home without feeling suicidal. These ideas won’t break the bank either

  1. Bake cakes and other goodies for neighbors and those that are vulnerable
  2. Make face masks and sell them online
  3. DIY movie night with the people that you live with. Nowadays you can rent movies online via Amazon Prime or Netflix.
  4. Make cross stitch and then maybe sell them online or at the markets
  5. If you grow flowers you could do a bouquet.
  6. Do meditation at home
  7. If you live with a few others you can go backyard camping. Its so much fun and you could even do a small fire
  8. You can host a small wine night via zoom- Wine tastings are around $50 per person if you book it via a restaurant.
  9. You can do an online baking thing where you bake something and you show it off to everyone. This will keep people happy. Bake what you want but then you need to post the recipe
  10. Get a good glass of red and read a book
  11. Do a massage at home.
  12. You can start a Spoonville at home or in your closest park
  13. If you live with just females, why not host a Girls Night in? You can enjoy some champagne from your favorite cellar and a yummy meal from your favorite restaurant. 
  14. Do a Les Mills workout at home.
  15. Do a Yoga with Adrienne class at home- they are free on Youtube
  16. If your supermarket or grocery store is holding a collectibles event- why not try and collect all of them and then when you have all you can frame them
  17. Make a card for someone. It can be an e-card via Canva and you email that person.
  18. Draw a chalk message of hope on the pavement outside and when people see it they feel joy.

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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.


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.


Week 9 of frugal living

So I just found out that Victoria will be in a State of Emergency for possibly 12 more months Normally this period lasts for about six months. But due to the nature of this pandemic the Victorian Government wants to extend it but the extension needs to be approved. This will mean that businesses will have to operate under a Covid normal and people will have to wear face masks. Also people will have to work from home. This is devasting news for businesses and local tourism. But this week I backed local businesses and bought a face mask and a few other items from them

.This week we had chicken curry, fish and some of the snacks that a company called Snack Proud sent us. And we tried to ration the the 1 L of milks that is left in the fridge. The chicken schnitzel was from our freezer

This week I received a letter from a debt collections agency in NSW. No matter the amount, the agencies in other parts of Australia forget that we are in a different place to them. They forget that we are experiencing a lot of stress due to the pandemic. About 28% more Victorians experienced this type of stress compared with last year. There was a survey done by Melbourne Uni on this. A lot of businesses are feeling the stress of COVID 19 now.

On Friday and the weekend it was a really sunny day and I enjoyed having my rocket from the garden as well the salmon from the freezer.

Total spent this week: Chemist Warehouse: $20, The Boathouse : $4, Optus: $5, The organically wherehouse: $4, Cafe Istanbul: $6. Altogether it was $39.


Week 8 of frugal living

Today we had the leftover duck in our fridge. It was the Luv a Duck ones from in a packet. I also had some of the leftover rolled oats for breakfast. We have another carton of them waiting to be used up. I had oats and the leftover brioche bread for breakfast.

And we had soy sauce chicken on both the Wednesday and Thursday night. On Tuesday night we had the burrito with the chicken schnitzel from the freezer.

We have been making our own bread at home and am loving it.

So far no announcement on what is happening with Jobkeeper. I wonder what will happen with my debt that I will need to pay off once COVID is finished. Although today it was announced that there would be a further moratorium on rent and evictions which is good for the tenants and the landlords. It would be the same for small business owners who are not earning much even if they have Jobkeeper. This is why we need to keep up our collective fight and not support big businesses like Coles and Woolworths. They take all the money and leave the small businesses in the lurch. And then they would have to shut up shop.

I tried to share as many posts as a business would allow on Instagram and before the curfew so that people would not get int trouble and be fined. We don’t need to have to worry about the fines on top of this. Already we are seeing well over 100 people per day getting fined and that number is not going to go anytime soon. Some of those fines are for curfew breaches.

This week’s expenditures

  • Dingo Ate my Taco- $7
  • *The happy Apple- $12
  • Boundy’s Supa- $5
  • The Friendly Grocer- $5
  • The Boathouse- $4
  • Optus- $10

Total: $43 spent. Yippee! So I have $7 left over