Aldi vs woolworths

i normally order my groceries through woolworths home delivery. I buy homebrand or shop from the half price specials. My fortnightly budget is $150. 

This fortnight i decided to try aldi. I have to say i was dissapointed and horrified at the cost because i ended out spending $192 and i didnt even get everything i needed.

Heres how it went down. 

  
Not shown are 2 boxes of nappies and a box of wipes ($41) and a bathmat as we dont have any and our new place has 2 bathrooms ($15) and a drying mat as it also doesnt have a dishwasher ($7). 

If it looks all over the place thats because it was. I knew what i needed but there was also alot that i grabbed when i got there. The makeup wipes, pizza base, yoghurt, sausage rolls, scent diffuser, hotcross buns, english muffins, cerial, were all impulse buys! Thats nearly half my shop! I also then had to go up to woolies because they didnt have cream of chicken soup and the mince looked questionable so i didnt get it at aldi. 

  
I also will have to go back because as i said i didnt get everything i needed. We need alot more fruit and veg. 

Can you see why im horrified. All up i think im nearly $100 over my budget, thats almost double! My verdict is that yes alot of things are cheaper at aldi but if you shop smarter than woolworths is cheaper by far and ordering online means that you can add it up as you go, adding and removing things and clearly see what you have in your basket at the end and make sure you have all you need. 

Ill post again to show you a meal plan for all of this and how many meals i can get out of it. 

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Stock pile

last month was my first month of monthly shopping and stockpiling. I learnt alot and im going to try and apply it to next weeks/months shopping.

Firstly i have basics but there are a few areas im lacking, toiletries mostly shampoo and conditioner. They are normally very expensive so stocking up when they are on sale is a great idea. Condaments and lunches. I realised last month that i didnt get any lunch foods as i just relied on having leftovers which i usually didnt have. Things like stock powder and garlic are big things in my cooking and i ran out of both this month. Herbs and spices are on my list this month. 

Below is my stock pile after one shopping trip and at the end of the month. As you can see you can get ALOT of food if you spend your money wisely. Would you believe i only spent $250 for the month? With this much leftover at the end of the month i could almost go another month without having to shop. 

Also the taco kits are nearly 6months old now as i bought heaps when they were on sale for $2 each and didnt use them. Important tip, only buy things you actually eat often.

 The other thing i never thought of is stockpiling stationary and school supplies. Rue doesnt start school for another 3years but as he will be in school for atleast 14yrs it really makes sense to buy supplies at the back to school sales. There is no urgency to get it before school starts back so wait a few weeks and things get dirt cheap! Note books for 10c each and glue and scissors for 50c. Even for those who have kids in school already why not stock up for next year. Art supplies are also usually on sale around this time. Your kids will loose and break things and you will save a heap of money having those sale items on hand rather than having to buy them at full price later in the year. Plus, stationary! I do love piles of stationary. 

Jobs

so its no secret that i hate my job, alot. In 17months im up for long service leave which means not only have i stuck this out for 10years but i get 3months paid leave.

This means i can finally leave my job and not loose out on all that hard slog. But in order for me to do that i will take a pay cut to where ever i choose to work next. I have started preparing now for what i need to do to make it work:

  1. Pay off any debt i have, this reduces my monthly expenses by about $300.
  2. End lease on car and get modest $5000 car to replace it.
  3. Have enough savings to see me through 3months incase the new job doesnt work out.
  4. Have a house deposit

This may seem simple but they are all high cost items. If i start now im really hoping i wont have to work past my long service leave. It would be soul crushing to have to stay just for the money 😣 

Monthly grocery shopping

i have made the leap to monthly grocery shopping. Why? Because i found at the end of the fortnight i still had plenty of food left and with a bit of extra thought i knew i could stretch each shop further. 

Budget: $250

You might think no way. Family of three on $250 a month?!? No really it is achieveable. This month was my first in the challenge and i came in as follows:

Groceries: $230

Meat: $60

Nappies: $30

The reasons i went over were that we happened to be very low on nappies and i wanted to stock up. Normally this would only cost $11. Secondly i bought more meat than i needed because i didnt have my list on me. One whole tray of chicken turned out to be rancid so it turned out to be lucky i bought two. This budget also allowed for some stockpiling. When an item is on sale i get two or more. So even though i went over i actually saved money on ky next shop because i will have things left over from this one.

Why am i doing this? If you make yourself a budget you can clearly see that for most of us food is a huge money sap. We need it, but we buy way too much of it then eat it all at once. I started by printing off a calender and writing in dinners for each night with a grocery list beside it. At the bottom i included a section for what meals i would make in advance and freeze. 

  
 
It was suprisingly simple and i found that alot of meals could coincide for one cooking. Ie nachos one night and chilli with cornbread the next. Both use the same chilli con carne recipe so i can make one batch and have it for both meals. 

What about stockpiling? For me i look for the items that keep a long time, can be used for a range of meals, you are guaranteed to use, and are on sale. Pasta, sauces, toiletpaper, shampoo, lentals, rice, salt, sugar, flour, breakfast cerial. I also get extra medication like panadol incase im struck with a headache and dont want to leave the house to get painkillers. Very handy if like last weekend you get flooded in and cant leave the house for a few days. 

Think about what you need. Think about what you use often.

No groceries

im considering doing another no grocery fortnight next week. Why? Well consider what is in your home already. I bet you can find ingredients for at least 14 dinners, breakfasts and lunches. Its not as hard as it sounds. If you make one leftover from each dinner thats lunch the next day sorted. Weetbix or toast for breakfast. 

So really its only dinner you need to think about. Have rice, garlic, egg and soysauce? Why not make fried rice? Have vegies and pasta, make a stirfry. I know i have several tins if spaghetti, baked beans and stew in the cupboard, thats another 5 meals. Left over frozen things, we all have them. Chicken nuggets, sausage rolls, what ever that triangle thing is. I have polenta, potatoes, cream, mayonaise, cheese, ham, puff pastry. There are so many meals i can make. Potato salad, eggy noodles, pasta bake, quensaladas (a wrap smeared with tuna and cream cheese toasted both sides), leftover bolognaise toasted sandwich, pancakes, homemade pizza, dahl….get the idea? 

Sit down for 20mins in your pantry and organise ingredients into meals. Use baskets if that helps. Write them all down. You would be shocked at how many you come up with. My sister and i used to play “what can i make” by pulling out edible things from the pantry and just inventing dinner from them. I heard one woman and her husband were saving for a house and had rice with garlic and beans for lunch every day! Worked out at about 4c a meal lol

Ever got home from the shop and had no where to put the groceries because the ’empty’ cupboard was actually still full of food. 

And you know what, i can save $200 – $300 by not buying groceries. Thats a huge boost to savings  even if you still buy milk (and make your own bread its about 40c a loaf). 

Why i get my groceries delivered – and it has nothing to do with being lazy

with the age of deivery upon us i was hesitant to go to home delivery for groceries. Isnt that terribly lazy, i thought. Well along came Rue and still i went to the supermarket, basket draging along begind the pram, only buying enough to last a few days so that i could carry it into the house in one hand with a baby in the other.

The first time i got it delivered i couldnt belive i hadnt done it before. It was so easy, one click and poof groceries in your house. I still went to the shop after that but now i would say i get it delivered once in every 4 trips. And heres why you should too:

  1. If you need to do a big shop of bulky items it saves your back alot of hardship to get it delivered.
  2. You can work off a list, adding things as you need them over the week and not forget anything.
  3. You can see at a glance which is the cheaper option.
  4. You can buy in bulk without the added weight and space in your basket.
  5. You can menu plan from home checking cupboards as you go.
  6. Sales are searchable. I always check the half price sales for any staples before ordering often saving $50 each time i shop.
  7. Delivery of an order over $100 is only $6 which is way less than the extras i would buy if i was at the shop. 
  8. The website reminds you of past purchases and asks you if you want to order them (good for things you forget).
  9. It adds up your order as you go so you can stick to a budget and adjust as needed.
  10. You dont get tempted to throw chips and magazines in the basket!

Getting it delivered has saved me so much time and money, not to mention stress when you get home and realise you forgot what you went for in the first place 😝 and for $6 i think thats alot to be thankful for. 

Generation…

i have been reading alot about our generation latley. You know, im a Y or a millenial depending on who you believe. We are entitled and cant save. Well when you think about it it has little to do with being lazy. Our parents generation saved for a year, bought a house and bobs your uncle. For our generation to buy a house we need a 10% deposit with average house prices at $600,000 to a million thats more than a years wages for me! Actually if i want to buy in sydney im looking at a $80k deposit on a 2bed home which is a full two years wages! If you consider that most economists say to save 20% of your take home pay it will take me just under 9yrs to save a deposit…yep. 

But when you think about it its not even our fault. There are alot of things that changed for our generation. We were essentially kicked out of home between 18-20yrs old. Most of us at this time are still on min wages or at university which we were told we had to do at a $80,000 debt for a job we may or may not get at the end. I had been working for about 3yrs, and was pulling in about $700 a fortnight when i moved out. At what point were we meant to get savings? We went straight from school to the ‘real world’. Our parents generation often stayed at home until they were married or skipped uni and worked their way up the old fashioned way saving themselves years of part time wages while studying and a HECS debt. 

Im not saying it was wrong but i think we need to take a whole new view for our childrens sake. Rue’s generation doesnt have a name yet. But i know that if things dont change soon there is no chance of him owning a house, at all. In my opinion the pholosophy of going to uni straight from school is ridiculious. You have no idea what you want to do with your life at that age so save yourself the time and money and wait to see if you even need to go. Secondly i will not presure him to move out at all. I will encourage and show him how to balance a budget and save money so that he can live within his means. Once im sure he has the hang of it he can move and make is own decisions but at least i will know he has a nest egg and a plan. 

The most important thing we need to instill on this generation is that debt is not normal! You need to live a balanced life and plan ahead to achieve your goals. Teach them how much food costs, how much electricity costs vs usage and ways to reduce costs. Teach them what we had to learn the hard and long way and are still paying for today. 

5 and 10 year plans

i do this alot. It helps me stay motivatedand  helps me see what hardwork can get me. I usually dont stick to it but i have discovered the trick is to make it easily achieveable. Be realistic. Things are going to come up, bills, medical problems, car peoblems. They happen. So here is my 5 and 10year plan. Alot of these are dependant on alot of variables but by breaking it down i at lease have a guide.

  
Then i went back and worked out both the monthly and fortnightly amount i would have to put towards each goal to see if it is achieveable. 

  
Now obviously we would like to have a house before year 8 but it depends on how the rest works out. Will we get a tax return we can put towards it? Will rue need braces in that time? Will a car break down? Will we win the lotto? Will we have another child or a wedding to plan for? You never know! But atleast i have a clear outlook on what is ahead. After the first year i can revisit it and update the goals. 

If you want to go further you can join this with your budget and work out how much expendible income you actually have each month. I think mine worked out to be about $300 which for most of these it should cover but later on i will need more but i will also hopefully have less expenditure. And the wheels keep spinning lol 

Broke

you know those times everything hits you at once and you wonder why you didnt plan ahead for times like these? Thats me this pay. I accidentily missed a phone payment over christmas and now i am overdue as i then got a double bill. Then i was finally approved to attend my course which gave me a week to pay the $430 course fee. Homestly why would they only give you a week?!? Then i realised the interest came off my credit card before i thought it would and is now over drawn, thats another $140 this pay! Deep breaths. Not to mention rue had a fever over the weekend and we realised our third thermometer in one year is broken. Thats another $60 this fortnight i dont have money for. 

Whats my plan? 

  • I paid half the phone bill last pay and the other half (overdue) will be this pay
  • Can afford half the class fees and will have to pay the other half (then overdue) next pay.
  • Creditcard has to be paid this pay.
  • Thermometer has to be purchases too. Babies health comes first.
  • Oh and have three weddings coming up in the next two months. New dress will just have to wait! 

This leaves me with a tight budget of $100 for food. Hello pasta bake. And with a transfer of my last $80 from my savings ill have a contingency of $100 for the rest of the fortnight.

This especially sucks because this weekend is the long awaited lifeline book fair which i budgeted $70 for but will now have to be under $20. Yes im still going, its only on twice a year and to get books at 50c – $2 saves me a fortune over the year. Fingers crossed i can get what i need within my budget.

Next pay wont be as bad, the second half of the course fees and possibly another phone bill then i should be free and clear of the biggies and get back on track topping up my savings and paying off those creditcards!!! 

I also cancelled a $30 monthly payment which i know isnt much but the less i pay in bills the more i can save. 

Deep breaths and tighten those belt buckles ladies! 

Home day

we are having a home day today after getting a call to say rues daycare is closed due to a baby spider infestation. Ew. So we are at spotlight. Its also payday and this fortnight im trialing the budget envelope theory to see if i can save a little money. Im going with a parking one and a groceries one to start me then if i can last a fortnight i might use the shopping one later. Wish me luck!