Am starting to feel more and more like a local in my new home town! One distinct advantage of living here compared to where we were living is having the choice of more places to shop around. There is a lovely little butcher here called 'Meat at the Beach' which sells the free range chickens Ali insists on much cheaper than anywhere else and yesterday I spotted the local Supa Fresh greengrocer was selling broccoli more than a dollar cheaper per head than the supermarket. When you eat as much broccoli as our family does, this adds up to quite a saving!
There are lots of potential wee Hidden Gems I haven't been game enough to set my foot in yet - only because I'm worried I won't be able to resist buying something. There's a market held in town every weekend starting this week, which is always something I really wished we had in Te Kauwhata. There are also some fabulous second hand traders and a busy op shop that I would love to browse in but I have to use restraint. The fact is, we don't NEED anything but not only that, we don't have ROOM for anything else in our new house! Which is actually quite liberating. There's no place for any new stuff, which means you can't buy anything so there's no point going shopping! One less thing to do!
As hoped, I'm discovering there are countless ways to save here. The funny thing is, I had totally forgotten that several years ago, Whangamata was the complete opposite of a savings haven for me. It was only during a chance conversation with someone recently that I remembered the effect the place used to have on me, as documented in the 2006 blog 'Honesty is the best policy' here http://new.simplesavings.com.au/blog/Pennywise/p/Honesty-is-the-best-policy
I still have the giant seashell and the red vase I wrote of back then, purely to remind me of my old bad habits and that I should still never let down my guard! I still have the artwork I bought then too, but these days it makes me smile, as they are all images of the place I love most in the world - the place we are lucky enough to now live!
These days I'm far more interested in walking along the beach than trawling the high street, paying top dollar for more meaningless stuff to fill my house with. Those places pose no threat to me any more. I've got countless better ways of spending my time without spending a cent!
Such as this afternoon's project - setting up my stock cupboard in the garage! Well, it's more a few stock shelves at the moment but it's a start to owning my dream bulk pantry. One like Fiona's! And just in time too. Even though we have been saving heaps on food, already we were falling into the trap of popping into the supermarket for a couple of things and coming out with half a dozen. The reason for this was we just didn't have the room in our new pantry for very much food and we were running out of bits and pieces every five minutes. Not good!
Then my mum reminded me of what she used to do years ago when we were living in England. Back then I thought it was a bit weird that we had a shed full of tinned food at the end of the garden when none of my other friends did. What I didn't realise of course was that my parents were Simple Savers! In actual fact, my dad originally built that shed as a place to do all his home wine making! However, it ended up with a huge chest freezer and shelves full of non-perishable food instead. So my dad did the only thing he could do - build ANOTHER shed to make his wine in!
Ever since mum jogged my memory about her shed pantry I've been chomping at the bit to start my own. 'Can I use some of the money I made on Trade Me before we moved to buy a galvanised cupboard or shelf unit for our non-perishables?' I asked Noel. 'You could - but why don't you just use the shelf unit I rescued from the dump because you wanted to throw it away and I said I thought it might come in useful?' he said drily. Ah, yes! In fact, even better there's a big wall unit sitting in the garage which was too big to get down the hallway of our new home! I can't wait to get started this afternoon, I'm so excited! There's just one small problem. The shelf unit and the wall unit aren't the only things sitting in the garage. There's also a single bed, a coffee table, a microwave, a threadbare lounge suite, several clothes horses and goodness knows what else that we also couldn't fit in the new house. I just hope there's going to be enough room for me to get in the door!