Wednesday, 12 November 2014

No Spend November - Shopping Tip

Today is usually my supermarket shopping day. It's the one day my kids are in day care and I can shop in peace HOWEVER today, I'm not going. Why am I telling you this you're wondering? Well it's because I have something to share with you. You see, I have been doing "No Spend November" for over a week now and lots of you have been sharing your tips to save me money. One of those cracker tips was from a woman called Lori.

She told me that instead of shopping on a 7 day cycle, I should try to stretch my shopping trip by a day (and not spend any more than I usually would). Then in theory, every 7 weeks, I will have skipped equivalent to a week of shopping. Thats a handy $150 in my pocket. What a ripper tip!

So today I'm going to spend some time in the veggie garden instead of doing my usual shopping trip. That sounds much more fun to me any way! Thanks for the tip Lori. X

To "stretch" your ingredients that one extra day without spending more than your usual budget, crafty cooking is going to need to be required. Here are some suggestions of home made meals that are inexpensive and can be made with left overs from the pantry and fridge:


Fried rice (great for using up the last of the veg in the fridge)
Home made chips and sauce
Pea or carrot frittas
Veggie soup (also good for using the last of the ingredients in the fridge. You can also add pasta, rice or legumes to give it a bit of extra "bulk)
Egg on toast/omelette
Risotto (cos it's basically just rice, stock and a few veggies)
Baked bean toasties (otherwise known as jaffles?)


Popcorn (a bag costs less than $2 and makes bucket loads of the stuff. Sooo easy to make too)
Use that last brown banana to make muffins
Cheese and crackers
Frittas (carrot, pea and corn are cheap to make and most of us have these things in fridge/freezer)
Boiled egg
Rice cake with vegemite or honey

Anyhoo, you get the picture. I personally think it's about getting creative. We all have staples in our pantry and a few left overs in the fridge/freezer at the end of each week/fortnight. I know that I (and you) could find a way to stretch out your shopping by a day each week. It's worth a try anyway!


  1. That's an awesome tip! What I want to know is how you keep your grocery shop to $150/week! My shop is usually closer to $250. What am I doing wrong?! Great job on the no-spend month. I might give it a go in January (think December will be impossible with Christmas). Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Sarah, great to hear from you!

      In regards to my budget, hmmm the best way for me to explain why it’s low is simply that I make a lot of my own stuff/food from scratch and we don’t buy a lot of luxuries. It’s hard work though and if I didn’t do it, my supermarket bill would be a lot more expensive. Don’t forget either, you have an extra mouth to feed than me so you need to factor that in.

      An example of a few things I do to keep costs down:

      I make bread, I make yoghurt, I make salad dressings and dips. I buy generic branded products all the time (nappies, milk, cheese etc). I rarely buy chocolate, biscuits, chips etc. Instead I make things like muffins, biscuits, savory slice, etc for snacks. In regards to fruit and veg, I buy seasonal/what is on special and meal plan around that. I also keep chickens/ducks for eggs and have a veggie garden which has started to supply me with lettuce, radishes, rocket, strawberries etc. We don’t eat much meat and when we do, it’s often cheap options that I can stretch a long way ie. bacon, sausages and beef mince. That said, although I buy cheaper meats, I always buy good quality free range/local. I’ve started making my own cleaning products which works out a lot cheaper and after a good tip from a lovely Canadian woman (LOL) I’ve been buying flour and yeast in bulk from a local mill. We drink water and coffee/tea.

      Phew, lots of info there but the moral is, the more you can do yourself, the cheaper that bill gets. That doesn’t mean that you should go baking your own bread UNLESS you want to. I enjoy these tasks but if I didn’t then I’d be happy to pay extra to have someone else do it!

      SO, maybe look at what you’re buying and see whether there is some room to move. You can put it into practice in January when you decide to do “No Spend January”! Hahaha


  2. Hi Alex

    Thanks for the tips. I think you are right - making from scratch saves heaps. We make all our own bread/bread-like things (muffins, slices, pizza dough etc) and sauces/dressings as well. I do buy yogurt though - maybe I should look in your archives for tips on yogurt-making! We too have a big veg garden and my husband just yesterday finished the chook coop! Now we just have to find some girls to call it home!

    I think the biggest thing is I am never careful to buy the home/generic brands. That's probably my downfall. I also meal-plan before shopping, and maybe I should meal-plan at the store once I see what's on special? Once I'm there with my list, I rarely stray from it unless something is just outrageous (for instance, cucumbers have been $4/ea for ages so I've been skipping those). It could also be my Lindt choc bar habit, haha. Or my QLDer taste for mangoes and avocados - not cheap! In regard to cleaning products - your recent posts inspired me to do the same! Just cleaned the bathroom with my vinegar and soda this morning! That should see some savings in the pocketbook too :)

    Love your posts, always so full of helpful info and inspiration! I better put those ideas into practice and start planning my No Spend January!!


  3. I'm thinking that you should give yourself a good old pat on the back. Imagine how huge your bill would be if you didn't do those things (and I'm mega excited for you that you will soon have hens, they're soooo awesome!) I'm starting to realise that we've almost outgrown our $150 per week budget. I'm finding that I have zero room to move. Oh well, I'll stick to it for November but in December I'm buying chocolate again, no matter how much it costs!!!

    Anyhoo, have a good night.