Posts Tagged ‘money saving tips’

I really can’t complain about our living costs.   Since we started along this path of  “quasi-sustainability”, our food expenses have dropped dramatically.  Paradoxically, we’re eating better than ever before, with very little  pre-prepared or heavily processed food in our daily diet.

It’s tough economic times though, so we’ve again reassessed to see where we can save a bit of money without feeling like we’re depriving ourselves.  We’ve already made lots of big changes, but there’s still room for a bit of tinkering.  These things won’t save us a fortune, but it’s surprising how quickly it all adds up!

Homemade pasta

As I mentioned in a previous post, we used to struggle with homemade pasta.  So much so that until recently, we’ve always purchased it from our mate Joe at Peppe’s Pasta, at $7.50 per 500g.  Now that we have our trusty Ottolenghi recipe down pat, we’ll be making this at home. And since our girls are reliably laying five eggs a day at the moment, the pasta will only cost us $1.20 per 500g!

Homegrown lettuce

Everyone talks about how wonderful it is to have homegrown herbs, but I’ve only just realised how fabulous it is to grow lettuce!  It’s ready to harvest within a matter of weeks, and I go out every morning and pull a few leaves off for the boys’ lunches.  If you have room for a small herb garden, even if it’s in pots, I’d recommend you plant a little lettuce as well.  If nothing else, it might convince the kids to eat their greens!

No more pinenuts

I  love pinenuts, but they’ve recently become prohibitively expensive – good quality ones from Lebanon or Spain are between $60-$100/kg.  I now happily substitute slivered almonds, which are a tiny $12/kg from Harkola. There’s always a bag hidden in the fridge somewhere.

No more packaged dips

Not that we were buying many, but it’s so easy to make dips at home that we really don’t need to spend money on them anymore.  In addition, the commercial versions tend to have a lot more oil and salt than our homemade ones.  We make our own hommus, taramasalata, roasted beetroot dip and nasturtium pesto – more than enough variety to fill a nibbles tray.


Friends, if you’re not buying at least some of your groceries from Aldi, then you’re probably spending more money than you need to.  I know we certainly were.  I think the notion that Aldi products are inferior is a misconception – they may not always be better than what you can buy at Woolies or Coles (although sometimes they are), but they’re usually comparable in quality.  And they’re almost always cheaper!  Aldi also have a great organic range, with items you won’t find in other supermarkets.

Emergency meals = no more takeaway

I once read somewhere – I think it was in Shirley Conran’s Superwoman – that one of the best ways to reduce stress in the kitchen is to have a list of emergency meals written down.  These need to be easy to prep and preferably quick to cook, with minimal washing up.  It was suggested that the list be taped to the inside of a cupboard, where it could be referred to whenever exhaustion might otherwise drive you to pick up the telephone and order $60 worth of takeaway.  Our list includes dishes like baked bean toasted sandwiches, risotto and survival soup. Our boys adore them all!

If you have any money saving tips, please share them with us.  Every little bit helps!

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