Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts



If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping and are looking for books, DVD, music, toys etc try Fishpond ( for Aussies). I have been using them and find the service to be excellent.

There is free postage for order over $49 plus I seem to get a $5 voucher each time I purchase.

As one of my affiliates, by supporting this Australian online business you are also supporting A Vision Splendid and I sincerely THANK YOU


Birthday Presents

This is a photo of the birthday presents I received this year.

My birthday was quite a few weeks ago now, but I have been recently looking at the photos.

I bought the shoes with some money that my in-laws gave me.

I love these shoes because they are Tsonga brand.

They are hand made in South Africa by zulu women who have an organisation called Thread of Hope.

There are 160 women employed by the company and they pay above minimum wages.

They have started a creche and they also grow fruit and vegetables to contribute significantly to their area.
It makes a nice change from the label that I usually see on everything I pick up.


Slash Your Grocery Bill Immediately

The easiest way to drastically reduce your grocery bill is to avoid the cleaning and non- food aisles. When I think about the layout of my local supermarket I could easily spend one third of my budget on cleaning and 'lifestyle' products before I even get to the food section. As I stroll down the aisles I first come across the pet food then toilet papers and glad wrap, foil , plastic bags etc. When I think of alternatives I can use my plastic containers instead of plastic wrap and foil and also use them to replace those sealable bags. I am not ready for the 'cloth wipe' era that seems to be sweeping the green bloggers in the US, so yes I will put toilet paper in my trolley.
In the next aisle I see batteries, fly sprays, cockroach baits, toilet cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, carpet cleaners, stain removers, washing powders, ironing spray and cleaning cloths . Hmmmmm I think to myself - if I use rechargeable batteries, keep the doors closed and use a fly swatter, use my Grandmother's recipe for getting rid of cockroaches, clean the bathroom with bi carb and vinegar, use my Enjo and home made cleaning cloth, and spray my ironing with a fine mist of water - I will never have to go down that aisle again.
I think to myself, if it wasn't for advertising, I wouldn't even realise that I NEEDED these products.
My point is this, a lot of what you buy at the grocery store you don't really NEED. You could spend $40 or more without having a thing to eat in your trolley. If you are trying to reduce expenditure, then prioritise your list and shop in order of importance. Start with essential food items like your staples and fruit and veg and forget the non food items (except the TP of course!)
I saw an ironing aide spray for $4.67 this week. Considering that I made a lasagne yesterday from scratch that fed us last night and tonight plus enough for lunches as well for about this price, I can't really justify the cost of the product for that cost.
I went through my master grocery list and wrote an alternative to most things on the list. It was really quite easy once I put my 1940s hat on. There are now so many aisles in the supermarket that you don't need to venture down.
The choice is always yours of course to spend what you like, but if you are having trouble coping with increasing prices, try the concept of shopping in order of importance or going without the cleaning and lifestyle products and see if it makes much difference to your bill. It has really changed ours! Let me know how you go!


STOP FOOD WASTE...... If you remember.

Imagine the scene.

I am at my supermarket. I unpack my groceries from the trolley. The young girl scans them and places them lovingly into my 'green bags'. I pay. I smile. I push my trolley out to the car park and load four of the five bags into the boot of my car. I take the fifth bag out of the trolley and walk over to the nearest bin and pour the contents in. Unopened cereal, a carton of milk, half a pumpkin, three oranges and a beautiful bunch of shallots!

....... what a crime ! I hear you say. What a complete and total waste! ..........

The fact is that Australians waste $6 billion each year by throwing away food. A 2007 study found that on average we throw away 4.2 kilograms a week! According to Planet Ark founder and environmentalist John Dee, the reason we throw away so much is because we are forgetful.

In our house in the past we have been extremely guilty of this. Treasures of archaeological significance have been found lurking in that space at the back of the rarely used for anything important middle shelf.

There seems to be some sort of weird mentality when it comes to the fridge. Last week the shallots took up residence in the front row, top shelf, - proudly sitting there ready for that Jamie Oliver cooking adventure. The cooking adventure gets postponed, or worse still we only need three snippets for a garnish and the shallots are put back into the fridge with the best of intentions I am sure ready for ....... not really sure of that ...... but will think of something good.......

Next week we bring home the avocado, half a rockmelon and the freshly seasoned, organic, free range chicken for the dinner party.After the party we clean up and put all the leftovers into plastic containers, because we can't let good food go to waste. In three weeks time when we are making way for the giant fruit platter that Aunt Marion has made for the family get together, we HAVE to throw out the left over chicken AND the plastic container because it has taken on a life of it's own and after all it's too unhygienic to use that container ever again.

Although we have the best of intentions, the truth is, if we can't SEE IT, we don't remember it.

Saving money on food has been a very important part of this new frugal lifestyle we are adopting. Here are some tips relating to leftovers.

1. MENU PLAN - work out what you are eating and shop accordingly. Plan your menus around your schedule. Easy meals on busy nights and adventurous meals when there is more time. Write your plan on a whiteboard on the fridge as a visual reminder for every one in the house. There is great peace knowing at 7am what you are eating that night and being able to defrost the meat in the fridge through the day.

2. PROGRAMME LEFTOVERS INTO THE MENU PLAN: - Make a meal one night and deliberately make extra for the next night. We often do this when I make lasagne. If there are leftovers after the second night I cut it into single portions and freeze it for lunches.

3. MAKE VISUAL REMINDERS: - I write a list on the whiteboard of things that have to be eaten or used up. If I use some chicken stock, for example, and pour the remainder into ice cube trays to freeze, I put it on my 'must use' list.

4. MAKE SMALLER MEALS: - My Grandmother always said "your eyes are bigger than your belly" meaning, you think you want to eat a certain amount but when it comes to it, you can only eat half of it. We often discuss the old fashioned idea of having much smaller meals and if you're still hungry then have a slice of bread and butter.

5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS AND USE LESS: I really noticed when I made my cereal yesterday that after eating all the 'bits' I had a lot of milk left over in the bowl. After measuring it I found it to be 1/3 of a cup. Multiply that by seven days and I am pouring out half a litre of milk a week! This morning I overcame my phobia of having cereal pieces that weren't 'wet enough' by stirring thoroughly in less milk before eating. Simple!!

6. COMPOST: When you do have food scraps put them in your compost bin. This will turn back into soil which can then be used to grow vegies or herbs. This is the best form of recycling as studies have shown that about 40% of household rubbish is compostable food scraps. There are now bench top composters available if you live in an apartment.

You wouldn't throw away one in five bags of your groceries each week. You wouldn't cut up a twenty dollar note with a pair of scissors and throw it in the bin, so think about how much food you are wasting and how much rubbish you are producing as a result.

Making these small changes has not only helped our budget, it has also made a huge difference to how much rubbish we put in our bin each week.

If you would like more information on the Stop Food Waste Campaign you can visit the article from NOTEBOOK magazine


Time Out

This week I have been in Sydney for a couple of nights. ( wait for it.......) WITHOUT CHILDREN.

Hubbie went down to the Boat Show held in Darling Harbour and instead of going to the show I spent the time wandering aimlessly around the city. It was sooooooooo indulgent. I hardly spent a cent, but I indulged my greatest passion by spending hours in book stores. ( okay - I did make one purchase)

I love the ABC book shop in the Queen Victoria Building. Being a total fan of the ABC I have a wonderful sense of familiarity when I see all my favourite shows on DVD and see the books of many authors that I have listened to on Radio National.

The hotel we always stay in when we go to Sydney is the Citigate ( formerly the Charlton Crest) and it is right behind the ABC studios and across the road from Central Station. Being close to the ABC studios, we have seen a few of our favourite celebs hanging out. Last time we visited we sat across from "David" from the movie show discussing a film he had seen. I am such a groupie - I had to really stop myself from rubbing his arm and telling him how much I love him and asking whether he and Margaret get on in real life. Another time we saw Geraldine Dougue ( love Gerry) and .... the most exciting thing was when we opened our curtains and saw across into the ABC offices and a Banana in Pyjama suit was hanging up without any Banana inside it !!! Oh, the thrill of it all! ..... Was it B1 or B2 LOL !!!
Is it Kerry O'Brien in the suit ?
We dined in the restaurant which was having a Christmas in July special buffet and certainly ate our fair share of King prawns. The second night we realised that it was 9 o'clock and we were still sipping wine and eating slowly. At home it is such a contrast - early dinner, showers for the boys and all cleaned up and washed up before 7pm. It was so lovely having the time to actually talk to each other without filling the gaps with ' eat your vegetables' or 'use your fork'.
I went to Paddy's markets and was happy to get:
bulk sesame seeds
bulk poppy seeds
wasabi peas
a kilo of ginger roots
half a kilo of dried ginger
So, I will start saving now for next year's trip to the boat show, even thought I probably won't go to the actual show, I will wander the city without a care in the world.
For now it's back to reality. There is no lovely lady to come in and straighten up the house while I am out. I am thinking of hanging a sign on the door that says " please make up my room" and just see what happens.


Soaring diesel costs push truckies to the edge

Picture from Food Magazine

Did you see the 7.30 report on the ABC last night ? If not you can see it here: or read the transcript here: You can also google 'trucking industry strike' for the latest in news articles.

It seems that fuel prices are crippling many of the truckies. We have heard drivers saying that every time they go to fuel up it adds $100 to the bill. The difficulty for us as consumers is that EVERYTHING comes by truck. Most things you find on the supermarket shelf have travelled many hundreds of kilometres to get to the store. Eating Local suddenly becomes extremely important.

In all the articles I have read and watched the drivers are talking about a strike, 'go slow' or blockade on the 28th of July. There has already been one ' go slow' on a Sydney Freeway. The Transport Worker's Union say they are not in support of a strike, however other industry groups have formulated a list of demands to present to government.

Online forums are buzzing with people talking about their husbands, brothers, sons and cousins who are truckies that are going to strike. Diesel prices have risen 50c a litre since October and their runs are now unsustainable.

This has a major impact on us as householders. I do not blame the truckies, as there are numerous issues which must be addressed for them. Regardless of how those issues are resolved or played out, the matter of importance for me is the impact on households. Ask yourself this question..... How long can you sustain your household without going to a shop ?


" Truck drivers are planning a nationwide two-week strike that could limit the supply of food and fuel. Requesting better pay and conditions, the organisers, led by the Australian Long Distance Owners’ and Drivers’ Association, are asking truck drivers to strike for two weeks from July 28.
The planned strike could have serious consequences on food industry supplies.One of the transport company owners said that the stoppage would highlight the impact the economy would be subjected to if the industry was to collapse. “On day three of the stoppage shops will run out of food, on day four service stations will run out of petrol, on day five we will run out of [drinkable] water … and on day 10 industry will shut down because there will be no power,” Hervey Bay’s Peter Schuback said. "

SOURCE: Food Magazine: Food and Beverage Industry News

Be wise. Apply the 6P principle. Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Always make sure that you have sufficient supplies on hand to lessen the impact of any events which prevent you from obtaining food. You never know what these events may be: power shortages, floods, storm damage, sickness in the family, trucking strikes, petrol shortages. Having a good supply in your cupboards is a great insurance policy.



Never under estimate that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Because of all the rain, I started having another clean out and listed some items on Ebay. I listed the DVD of "All The Rivers Run" an ABC series.

I listed it for $11 thinking that was a reasonable price for the whole series. It currently sits at $81 dollars!!!!! Holy Dooley !!! That is absolutely incredible.

Is there something that someone isn't telling me ? Why is it such an incredible price ?


My Kermit Moment.

Who’d a thought a Muppet character from the 80s would be espousing such wisdom for generations to come.

Today, I had to agree with Kermit, it’s not easy being green!

We have had atrocious weather, as I said yesterday. My grand plan of having a week to ‘get ahead’ has been somewhat wasted. Today I ventured to town with two kids in tow to go to the second hand shop to get three things – a clothes horse, a torch and ( funnily enough) an umbrella. Previously I had watched ‘THE STORY OF STUFF’. You MUST go to the website and view this short film. I cannot begin to describe the impact it will have on you.

Anyway, at the second hand shop, after the children wanting everything from golf clubs to food vending machines ( so they have to pay for snacks, he tells me ! ) I ask the lady if they have any torches or umbrellas. I wanted an old sturdy torch that was unfashionable but solid. Something that will last another forty years because it’s already been around for 35years. The lady said “ no, we don’t have any. The best place to get them from is THE WAREHOUSE. They’re really cheap”. I said to her, “yes, but I want something old and sturdy because I am sick of buying $2 rubbish” She said “ no sorry and Big W is the best place for umbrellas – they’ve got heaps and they’re really cheap too” – “thank you” I smiled and walked out sighing.

Then I venture to the shops and am very proud of myself for picking up just two apples and putting them in my envirobag, and two carrots and two potatoes – all without plastic bags. I need worstershire sauce and I am happy that the bottle is glass. I buy butter and it’s wrapped in paper and I have a green halo glowing. Then I gt around into the next aisle and rice crackers are on a really good special and I stock up ! bummer – 3 plastics packages ! So I think ‘what the hell’ and grab a packet of salt n vinegar chips on the way out! LOL – MUST TRY HARDER !


The Stockpile

After a successful shopping trip on Monday the stockpile is up and running again. If you haven't heard of this concept before, my aim is to have enough 'stores' built up in my cupboard that I only purchase things when they are on special.

I have been doing this for so long now that I have a sense of the rotation of the specials, that is, that Vegemite may come on sale every five weeks and during that time my family will use 3 jars so when it comes on special I will buy 4 jars to cover it.

If you're just starting out, take a percentage of your grocery money and use it to build up your stockpile. Each week you can devote more money to the specials and then you are left with a base line of weekly things that need to be purchased. If there are no specials to be purchased in a particular week the money just goes in the jar for next week.

I have found that I save so much money shopping this way and can 'eat out of my cupboard or freezer' any time I need to which is great in emergencies or when you want to save all your grocery money one week or if you are so busy you can't go and do a 'proper shop'. It prevents you from doing 4 runs to the grocery store a week to get ' just a couple of things' which over the week adds up to more than your usual budgeted amount.


Monday Monday ....

Today I am off to do the shopping. Not just any shopping, but my 'extreme shopping'. Frequent readers will know that I take my grocery shopping pretty seriously! LOL

The good thing about shopping today is that I won't have the children with me, so there's a dramatic saving straight away ! I will also go to ALDI which is about 40 minutes away. I go with a friend and we share the petrol cost. It's also a nice day out to go to a place that has shops that we don't normally see.

I am looking forward to getting my menu planning sorted out, my budget money up to date and re-stocking my stockpile. We let it run down over the summer because we were going to be away so much and I wasn't working, so we used up much of our stores.
I am almost finished updating the sections in my planner For those of you that asked about it, I will update you on the inside workings of it once I have completed it.


Savings or " Not Spendings"

We hear all the time about how much money we can save. We see it in shops - save $15, save 30% or we read about people cutting $25 a week off their groceries.

But are these really savings ? and if they are where does the money go ? I am quickly realising that most so called ' savings' should really be called ' not spending', in that unless you were actually intending to spend, for example, $100 on an item and you only had to spend $80 and invested the $20 - then that is a true 'saving'.

Lets look at it this way.

When doing our budgets we go through and 'reduce' our outgoings - $5 a month here, $2 a month there etc etc. - adding up to $400 saving a month and a whopping $5000 saving a year. But do we actually invest that saving and earn interest off it and add to it and make it grow ? Or is it simply money that we could have spent but didn't!

I am going to make sure that I 'scoop off' all the little 'savings' I find. For example, when I budget $150 for the weekly groceries but only spend $125 I will put some aside for weeks when I need to spend more to stock up and I will scoop off some and put in my 'never to be touched' savings account. I think in this category a 50/50 split with the leftovers will be good.

Are you frugal, do you work hard to save money .... do you channel that money into savings or into debt reduction ? Post your ideas here.


Silly Silly Mistake

I have taken a week's holiday but instead of going away I have been at home catching up and relaxing.

We spent a couple of days picnicking at the river and swimming and skiing.

We had been teaching my nephew how to water ski when hubby suggested that I jump in and ski back to our base, which I did.

When I arrived back at the shore and went to dry myself off I suddenly realised that deep in my pocket ( I happened to be wearing hubby's board shorts) was my mobile phone.... and it was dead!

We pulled it apart to dry it, but......... it's dead.

It was a very old phone, did nothing special but it did the job.

So ..... now I am left with a dilemma. The SIM card works fine so I have been hunting around for an old phone. I went to the dealer and asked if I could buy an old phone that someone has traded but the woman said they go to charity. I would have paid for it and then she could give the money to charity !

So... herein lies the problem.

My options are:
- go without a mobile phone - could be problematic with work, emergencies etc ( although how did I manage prior to 1999 ?)
- buy a new one - don't want to change the deal I have because it gives me great broadband and can't justify hundreds of $$ for features that I won't even use.
- find a hand-me-down and insert my SIM card. Originally someone gave me an old phone but it was 'locked' to another provider.

My first instinct was to just buy a new phone and then I thought, NO. I will apply my frugal principles. I will STOP/THINK/DO. I will put the word out there into the universe and see what happens. Let's just hope the law of attraction works !!!

I will keep you posted.


Stock Up

Today I went to ALDI ( about a 40 minute drive from home) and did my stock up with a friend of mine who is also looking at saving money through smart buying.

Sometimes it is good to pair up because you can go halves in larger quantities so that you get the bulk discount without the storage problems, or having the product go off before you use it all.

So far we have shared rice and peeled garlic cloves ( we got a big bag when we were at the Sydney markets together). Soon we plan on sharing potatoes and a large quantity of meat.

It's nice to have like minded friends. I had to laugh tonight because I got a text message from her which said " cat food a hit", meaning that her previously fussy cat had taken to the cheaper ALDI cat food. It's great having someone who enjoys extreme shopping as much as I do !


Extreme Shopping

You've heard of extreme sports, well I am into Extreme Shopping. Now don't misunderstand me, I don't spend hours clothes shopping and wandering the malls. In fact I hate that sort of shopping. I am into extreme shopping for things I have to buy - and let me tell you I LOVE it!

It started quite a few years ago when I was expecting number one son. I spent a lot of time obsessing over our budget working out how I could afford to not go back to work once the baby was born. I soon worked out that saving 20 cents here or there could really make a difference and I have been totally obsessed with the concept ever since.

Now I am sure many of you are thinking that you can't be bothered shopping around, or that the extra time involved is not worth it, but take a look at this little equation.

Lemonade: I usually buy two bottles for a week. It comes on sale and I can save $1.25. Multiply this by two and then by 52 weeks for the year and the saving is $130. Not much you reckon ? Do this across your grocery list and you 'make' enough savings to take your family to a resort for 10 days every Christmas. (well that's what I choose to do - you may choose something else like pay your credit card off or use it for birthdays etc )

So.... the question remains. Is it worth the time and hassle ? Only you can answer that question. The actual question is.... how much time are you willing to invest to have a holiday/ pay off credit card etc ? ... one hour..... three hours ......5 hours......

Here's how I do it.

Firstly I went to the supermarket I usually frequent. As I did my normal round I took a calculator and worked out the best buy by using the unit price method. I divide the price grams/ litres etc and multiply by a common unit to get the price into a usable quantity. Clear as Mud ? Let's do an example. In the supermarket you see two bags of sugar.

The first is 2kg for 2.49 and the second is 3kg for 3.79. Here are the steps

2.49 divide by 2 = 1.245 per kg
3.79 divide by 3 = 1.263 per kg

so the 2kg is the better buy. Don't be fooled though, the answer is not always the biggest quantity and this example doesn't really show a clear saving.

Here's another: Toothpaste 110g for 1.29 or 175g for 1.89

1.29 divide by 110 X 1000 = 11.72 per kg
1.89 divide by 175g x 1000 = 10.80 per kg

I convert the smaller numbers to kilos or litres to make it easier.

It tool me about an extra 40 minutes to do the shopping that day and I recorded the prices in my price book. The next week I shopped at the other supermarket and did the same. Then when I came home I compared it with a docket I had from a trip to ALDI.

I then made a master list of what to buy from which shop. All up I think it would have taken me about 3 hours to do the whole thing over a number of days. Now when it comes to shopping day I don't run around to every shop and waste my time. Because I used the stockpiling principle, that is I buy enough of something when it is on sale to not buy it again until it comes on sale again , that I simply buy what I need depending on which shop I go to.

The extreme shopping starts (oh I crack myself up - this is so sad ! ) when I see catalogues and can do a quick calculation as to whether or not the shampoo is a good buy and how much I will save.

Every time I laugh at myself and think I have REALLY become obsessive compulsive about my grocery shopping I just think of that holiday.

We have been going there for 9 years now. Who'd a thought it ! Most people can't be bothered. But I'm sure if you stood on the street corner and handed out $2000 they'd jump at the opportunity.

Well, people, your opportunity is already under your nose. You just have to ask yourself whether you are willing to invest the time. After all, in this world we either spend money or we spend time.

Are you an extreme shopper ? I'd love to hear your story !


Warning: Soap Box Moment

Tomorrow is number one son's 9th birthday and tonight I dropped by our locally owned independent toy store 'Mal's'.

 Mal showed me the Lego catalogue and told me that anything with a star next to it means that he is unable to order it in because they only supply it to the two large department stores in my area.

Well............. I was horrified.

Those Goliaths are going to put my little  David out of business if they keep going this way.

 All I can say and I shout it from the roof tops, is SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES.

 I have seen it in a town I used to live in where the only fuel is distributed by those companies who are associated with a food store.

Once the independents are gone, the market is owned by the Goliaths and there is no competition and they set the prices.

Fuel in this town was 12 c a litre more expensive than the nearest town.

So... I am even more passionate now about keeping local people in business, whether you buy your eggs off the lady down the road, or attend your local farmers market or barter with friends.



Eating Local - Farmers Market.

I finally made it to the local Farmer's Market. It is not on every weekend yet as it is a relatively new idea for the town.

It was terrific to see local producers and growers selling their own wares. There was everything from eggs to moisturising creams.

I was really impressed by a local group who are doing whiting fillets in the form of rissoles and sausages.

They had some cooking to try and they were beautiful!

What a brilliant idea to help families eat more fish. The fish are caught locally and they even handle the manufacturing about 30 minutes from my home.

Considering the aversion my husband has to imported seafoods, I think he will be impressed not only by the taste but by the fact that it is all local.

So, looks like there are more local foods that what I first thought. It's just a matter of doing your homework.


The 6P Principle

6Ps = Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

I have written before about my Grandmother's ' one up' principle, that is, you have a spare of everything in the cupboard and as you finish one off you get another one to replace the spare so that you never run out of anything. 

This week I have made a list to fully prepare my stores cupboard.

I have worked out my usage, for example, I know that at all times I want a container ( 3kg) full of flour as well as 4 1kg bags in the cupboard.
This will take me some time to finish because I will only stock up when the products are on sale. The overall aim is to never pay full price for anything again.
If you watch the sales you will see, for example, that Vegemite may come on sale every 6 weeks and you may know that you go through 3 jars in that time, so I would buy 3 when they are on special.

If you let your items run out or run low, you will have to buy them when you need them rather than when they are on sale.

If you use the store cupboard idea of stockpiling, you will eventually get to the position where you only buy sale items each week.

This will cut your grocery bill dramatically. If anything unforeseen happens you always have your insurance policy.
 We all think that a ' disaster' will not happen to us, but sometimes it is the simplest thing that can cause problems, like blackouts from storms or floods.

 If there is no power, the doors of Coles can't open ! I wonder how many people were caught by the flooding around Newcastle - not caught by flood waters but caught by the shut down of services.

 The moral of the story always comes back to the 6P's.

The 6 P principles is the answer to how can you get ahead and work towards never paying full price for anything ?


Food (glorious) Food ???

 As you know, we too have been to a Sue Dengate seminar and that is the basis for my non-preservative approach to things.

When I first read Sue's book and checked out her website it really struck me. I explained to hubby  that all we had to do was eat like it was the 1950's. I shop with her little wallet reminder of which additives to avoid and when you do, you end up cooking things from scratch and the few packaged things you have in your trolley are the products that have been around for some time and have remained unchanged.

If you have young children I really suggest you download her material from the website and have a look. I have two boys aged 6 and 8 and I would certainly not class them as naughty or hyperactive in any way.
 I just know how different they are when they have an accumulation of junk food. Son no. 1 is very placid and gets dark under the eyes and lethargic and sad when he has overdosed and son no. 2 gets really emotional - crying, angry and ends up wetting the bed when he has overdosed. When they eat the pure way ( only avoiding numbers not salicilaytes and amines) they are calm, even tempered boys.

Tonight on ABC Radio National I was listening to a broadcast about imported food.

 The USA and Japan have recently formed committees to investigate the safety of imported food. Recently Chinese seafood, toothpaste and toy trains ( of all things) have been deemed toxic by US standards. I find it really interesting to look at Seafood in the supermarkets since the legislative changes now mean that the country of origin must be displayed.

 What better reason to eat locally !!!

Hubby was talking to a fisherman today from a fishing town near our home and he said they are now feeling the pinch because of the imported seafood. Do you know that it is OUR fault ?

We always want things cheaper. What price are we willing to pay to save a few cents ? Are we willing to put our local businesses out of work so we can save a few cents ?

 Are we willing to ingest unknown toxins to save money.

 I challenge you to THINK before you BUY.

Read the label. What list of additives is in your food and where is it from ?


Christmas in July

No I am definitely not talking about those functions and parties everyone seems to be going to. 

Perhaps I should call this post THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS IN JULY. 

Most people ( me included) start complaining when Christmas decorations and 'gift idea' catalogues start appearing around late September. But the strange thing is that many people leave their gift shopping until the last minute and have to battle the crowds and are left with the age old dilemma of what to buy people in your family. You even hear them talking about what you buy the person who has everything !!!! ( Isn't the answer obvious ??)

I want to start thinking about Christmas so that there is no rush. Without prior preparation and planning we end up buying complete rubbish and maxing out credit cards buying STUFF for people that already have enough STUFF.


So, remember the phrase Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance (The Six P Principle).

Think about these things: 

1. Who do you want to give a gift to. Make a list

2. Will you make a gift or buy a gift.

3. If you start now there is plenty of time to make thoughtful gifts

4. If you don't want to give STUFF then do what I have done for the past two years - buy a goat in a village in Bangladesh in the recipients name. Last year we purchased school books, a water well for a village and a toilet. Visit Tear Australia and get a copy of their "World's most useful gift catalogue".

Anyway, the challenge I put to you all is .... be prepared. Refuse to be sucked in to the marketing concept that people will know you love them by what you buy them. 

Think carefully. Start your purchases now. Mail order from small Australian business houses. Make thoughtful ethical purchases or make it yourself ! Nothing says I love you like the investment of your time !!!!

Let me know your ideas for gift giving or home made gifts.


The Local Fruit Shop Dilemma

A funny thing happened in the fruit shop on Monday.

 I have been trying to avoid plastic bags as you know. I walked through the shop selecting my produce and putting things loose into the trolley.

 It was awkward but I could cope.

There were loose potatoes, oranges etc. With the smaller items like mini squash and snow peas I cheated and put them in the paper mushroom bag. ( must sew those small calico bags to take with me).

 At the checkout I fumbled with the loose products ( as did the older lady trying to weigh them).

 She then attempted to put them into a plastic bag and I said very proudly " I've brought my own bags, thank you" and she placed the items into them.

I was then momentarily distracted by the 6 yr old son and then paid the lady.

When I went to leave she handed me my bags and said " I've put your potatoes into a plastic bag because they were too dirty and you wouldn't want them in there( pointing to my bags) ".

 She then started to serve the next person. I stopped, thought, thought some more. Do I interrupt her and say " I DON'T want your bag" or try and give it back albeit somewhat dirty and unusable.

Do I explain my whole philosophy and give her the address of my website to get a full understanding of my reasoning ? Would she even have the Internet ? Oh, the guilt of my first REAL TEST that I failed !!! So, after staring at her whilst all this thinking took place I decided the most appropriate thing for me to do was...................................

..............................go back to the car and whinge to hubby about it.

NEXT TIME I WILL BE READY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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