18 Feb 2018

This weeks Grocery Shopping

This weeks offer from Coles was $50 worth of points if I spend $60 a week for four weeks - finally a good offer! So heres a roundup of this weeks shopping:

Bakers Delight: $9.70 6 cheese & bacon rolls, 6 bread rolls + 1 free loaf of bread

Butcher: $22.03 - 12 thin sausages, 10 rissoles - both $10/kg

Coles: $111.09  savings $35.46 + $10 off -total shop value was $156.55

18 rolls toilet paper  $8
1.5kg sweet potato  $3.09
750 ml vegetable oil $3
1kg carrots $1.50
1.7kg Kent pumpkin  $3.09
1kg baby potatos  $2.62
1 avocado $3.90
1kg block cheese $11
250g parmesan cheese  $6.10
250 mls rice wine vinegar  $2.35
400g tomato paste  $4.80
1 BBQ chicken $8
6 pack cat food $4.80
3 punnets perino tomatos $9
6 bananas 4.03
4 gala apples $2.05
100 Green teabags $5.49
80 Camomile teabags $5.49
80 Peppermint teabags $5.49
150g rice cakes
1.68kg pears $1.68
1 pkt scotch finger biscuits $2
1 pkt orange cream biscuits $2
500g capsicums $3.35
4 x 250g punnets strawberries $10
125g raspberries $4

Good buys this week were pears $1/kg and teabags half price - I refuse to pay $11 for 80 herbal teabags, so when its half price I stock up.  The 1kg block of cheese on special cost the same price as a 500g block.

We had less trips to the corner shop this week. Once to get milk, bread, bacon, capsicum, tomatos & cheese to make pizzas and a second time to buy some junk food after a very stressful day at work - a habit I need to break!

Corner shop spending: $50.47

Total spend this week:$193.29

We ate a 1kg minced meat, an apple pie and two packets of frozen veggies from the freezer this week and two packets of soup from the pantry.

I cooked the apples from last week into applesauce and froze them and we also froze 6 meals of Bolognese sauce after making spag bol with the mince.

This weeks plan - eat more out of the freezer & pantry & reduce food waste.

15 Feb 2018

Rates time!

Its that time of the year when council rates and strata fees bills arrive. So I've just paid them for each of our investment properties:

IP #1 rates- $377  strata- $491
IP #2 rates -$283  strata - $523

We have separate offset bank accounts for each property so that any money in that account helps to reduce the amount of interest we pay on the loans. All the rent is paid into the specific account and all the deductions for that property come out of it. It makes it very easy at tax time.

The rates for our house are paid automatically each week. I pay $60 and that will get us a bit ahead in payments. I'd like to start next year with a nice buffer of savings on all my bills. The annual bill for our rates is $1532 paid quarterly ($383 per quarter). We also pay for water here and I noticed our water bill has gone up - so I'll have to look into that more closely on the weekend.

We've had a few days now to try out the outdoor blinds in really hot weather. They have definitely made a difference to the heat inside. Most days we've only put the air conditioning on for a few hours in the late afternoon and just used a fan during the day. We've still got the big awning to go up out the back this weekend and a few more windows I need to buy blinds for.

Its a bit cooler here today which is good and the fire in the town half an hour away that has been going since the weekend is back under control but theres still smoke in the air.

I'm interested to know how much council rates are in other countries, how much are your rates?

12 Feb 2018

Grocery shopping

I did this weeks shopping at Coles to get my bonus points. Best bargain was granny smiths apples for $1 a kg. I'll stew them up and freeze them, might even go back and get a few more. Heres this weeks breakdown:

Coles: $66.71
Meat:  $31.30  - sausages, rissoles & steak
Corner shop $48.21 - BBQ chooks, dishwashing liquid (3 x $1.20) milk, bread and snacks - still spending too much here, but improving.
Total: $146.22

Coles shopping:
2 litres milk $2.60
3 pkts wonton wrappers $ 9.75
2 pkts chips $5
2 kit kats $2
4 gluten free wraps $5
1 pkt rice cakes $1.65
200g salad leaves  $3
3 bunches coriander $7.50
480g red capsicum $4.81
150g garlic $2.50
3x 200g shredded carrot $5.25
700g broccoli $3.41
1 avocado $3.90
380g sweet potato $1.52
6 bananas $2.21
17 granny smiths apples $1.07
1 red cabbage $2.50
1 green cabbage $2.50

Total spend: $66.71
Savings: $9.65

I also bought two pots of herbs - mint & coriander - for $5. If we can grow our own it will save a lot, just have to keep them alive!

In the fridge I still have some veggies from last week to use up and there is some fruit left that is going a bit soft so I'll juice that up later today. We've been eating lots of salads this week, had a lovely one with red & green cabbage, capsicum, red onion, coriander and shredded chicken. I have mine with a few papadums for crunch and DD has crispy wontons on hers. The goal this week is to cut out the sugar completely.

11 Feb 2018

Sunday musings & walking pics

I am feeling much more positive today.  Had a lovely day pottering about the house and got a lot done.

Yesterday I found this post - "Do You Hate Your Job But Have to Stick to it? by BusyMom, who is also on a five year journey to retirement. It was a really good summary of how I was feeling and helped me get focused again - I need to just show up and stick to my plan.

Frugal in Instanbul is also planning to retire at the same time as me. I'm really pleased to have bloggers with a similar goal and time frame - that will make the next few years a bit easier - a shared journey!

Some photos from this mornings walk.

We have bushfires in the local area, in fact as I've been writing this evacuation warnings came over the TV for an area about half and hour away, so there is a lot of smoke about. We are fine here but as we walked past the fire station there were three engines there and lots of firemen arriving. Its dark when we leave and the sky this morning was like something out of a movie - you can see the moon up there on the left and the whole sky was just black with clouds.

Our walk takes us through the cemetery I took this about an hour after the first pic - a lovely pink sunrise and a cloud filled sky.

... and I had to snap the wisteria,  its tumbles over a very long fence and smells divine when we walk past it,  probably won't be flowering for much longer though.

Today we were going to take a load of garden rubbish to the dump and move our piano back from a friends house but its just started rain so thats not going to happen. Good news for the bushfires though. So I might get some sewing done today and a bit more work decluttering the lounge room.

10 Feb 2018

Bargains, work & weekend plans

I used a $20 voucher from my surveys this week to pick up some specials:
Oral B toothpaste usually $5 each  x 5 = $25
Bic pk 4 razors usually $5 each x 2 = $10
$35 worth of products for free.

Yesterday afternoon I was getting milk at the corner shop and they had BBQ chickens marked down to $6, so I bought two. They are usually $12.99 each and this will do us for meals and sandwiches for the next few days.  I need to spend $50 at Coles tomorrow to collect my bonus points -other than that I'm trying to stay away from the shops!

My week at work ended on a low note. Theres an issue coming up that I can't avoid, its one I've argued in the past and thought was settled as I was backed up by the legal branch of our company. Well apparently the 'new' management has a different view now. I felt very down yesterday - its not an issue I can compromise on and it will put me in conflict with people. I'm already stressed thinking about it and didn't sleep much last night. I'd love to just walk away but I can't.

I've been reading blogs for the last few hours as it really helps me to keep on track with my goal. I'm about to head out for my early morning walk which always helps! After that I'm going to get stuck into the last of the decluttering in my front lounge room, more of the paper shredding and we have a few more outdoor blinds to put up this weekend.

just gotta focus on getting through one day at a time.
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