A cheap meal

can chick peas

frozen sweet potato (I had this on hand)

potatoes diced

carrots diced

can coconut milk

curry powder

i cooked for about two hours in the slow cooker until veg cooked.

served 5 with some homemade naan (yoghurt and flour mix)


I am totally amazed, when I look at my previous blogs, to realise how long it's been since I last wrote - I suppose life gets in the way, disillusionment rears its head, and of course general comings and goings - but that's no excuse, I enjoyed writing on this blog (the only one I have) and sometimes I look back on things I've written over the years and re-live some of my past. Sad, isn't it, but I find it comforting.

I started writing on here way back in 2010 when there was a theme going on the forum about the 1950's and it sort of blossomed from there. How things have changed along the way during those years.

To bring you up to date (if you're interested, a lot have left the forum now) - things haven't changed as to our daughter and family - it's been eleven years since she shunned us, so we more or less realised we must concentrate on our own lives and that of our other family members.

Our remaining granddaughter will be married to her fiancé in October and that will be a lovely event in our family - the wedding will be catered for by her mum and myself with other family members adding to the contributions, and it will be held at home where she wants it to be. Our other daughter and family have been invited but I doubt they would deign to attend. That is one highlight in our lives, this lovely girl is inheriting a ready-made family which will make her heart sing as she cannot have children herself. I thank the universe every single day that we have been blessed with this other side of our family.

Meanwhile the man of the house and I have been moving on - floods did some damage this year due to our neighbour who has neglected his house for many years, but we managed to fix everything to our satisfaction doing it by ourselves with no outside help.

Covid has made inroads in to everybody's lives and that's another thing we have to learn to live with - we're very careful, and so far have managed to avoid it, but no doubt there will be a time when we can no longer do so. Meanwhile we just try to not be in situations where there is a distinct possibly that we will succumb to it. We're fully vaccinated, having had our fourth injection back in April - but I do wonder if our immunity is waning and we need another one - must talk to our doctor about this.

We are grey nomads no more - with covid, it was almost impossible to get a site in a caravan park anywhere closer to home, and we are getting older now and don't want or need to travel great distances towing a van, so we made the decision to sell it last October - it sold quickly as restrictions on travel were still enforced - we feel we did the right thing as it was snapped up quickly and we sold it for a very good price, not much less than we paid for it brand-new off the production line way back in 2012.

Earlier this year we decided we didn't need such a big car anymore seeing we weren't towing a van so we decided to trade it in and buy a smaller SUV - we did so, and the money we got for the van more or less covered the cost of a new car so we were happy with that. We have since done quite a few trips in the new car, travelling to and from my home town of Mackay, various trips here and there around the south east of the state and three or four trips up to the citrus growing areas to stock up on oranges and mandarins, plus any other fruit and veg on offer from the farm gate.

We will again go up to Mackay in September, as long as covid has settled a bit, so I can once again go to the big get-together with my primary school friends from way back in 1952 when we all started school together. It's a fun way of spending time and we all catch up with recent doings as well as old times. There is always a new face arriving to share our time and it's wonderful to see so many of our era wanting to catch up with old friends and school mates. As well, I have family up there and old neighbours with whom I love to catch up.

That about sums up the last few years, we plod along, getting older by the year but we still feel we're youngsters just starting out with a few hiccups along the way - some bad, some good.


It's not that I'm lazy - no truly, I'm not! It's just that I get all these ideas of craft I want to do, and then get sidetracked. Put it down to my neurodivergent brain, or perfectionism - whatever. I have piles and bags of fabric, yarn and pretty papers just waiting for me to take the plunge and get started.

It's a common theme among crafters. We see our favourite brands or products on sale, and need to buy more because we love them (or don't want to miss out). Or we see other people's creations, and we think "I could do that", and we accumulate items to make those things happen. Or people who love us give us gift vouchers, or clear out their cupboards - and so on it goes.

I'm not lazy, as I said, but I do have trouble getting started. When I've bought something new - usually fabric - I'm afraid of making a mistake when cutting, and ruining or wasting what I've bought. I'm afraid that the style of dress I thought I'd make won't suit me, or I'm afraid I've adjusted the pattern all wrong. In short, I would rather clean my toilet, the light fittings and my windows, than cut into a new piece of fabric. And so there it sits. No mistakes made, but in the meantime my "good" clothes are starting to look faded, and my "house" clothes are getting more holes.

In a bid to encourage myself to do something - anything! - in the way of creating I am designing some "100 Days of ..." challenges for myself. I have items to make for a craft stall (16 July) dresses, pants and tops to make (deadline when I go away 1st November) and cards I want to send. I also have mending and repurposing that sits in a basket, week after week, too good to throw out, but not in a condition to give away. I have dishcloths to knit, a beret to sew up, and a nightdress yoke to crochet. How much of this might I do if I put my mind to it?

It's unlikely that I will do craft all day, every day. I think if I can do one small job, or put in an hour on something larger, I will count that as a day done. I don't expect I will do 100 days straight, so this challenge is likely to take me 110 or 120 or 130 days (130 seems a bit much!) and that is just fine. I think I can keep the impetus going that long, and hopefully as I get back into the swing of making I will stop procrastinating and really enjoy it (I usually do once I start).

You are welcome to join me in this 100 day challenge, in whatever way would work for you. I could do with the encouragement to be honest, and I would love to encourage and share ideas with others too.

Now, I am off to alter the shoulders on a night dress I bought but haven't yet worn. See you soon, I hope!


Ordered the groceries via click and collect today through countdown. Our budget which we are trying to stick to is $75 per week.

Groceries consisted of:

Tip top sandwich white bread x2 $6.40
Countdown natural peanuts 750g $4.50
Countdown white sugar 1.5kg $2.70
mixed dozen eggs $3.50
flora spread light $2.80
mackenzie soup mix $1.99
countdown streaky bacon 400g $6.66
tegel chicken whole fresh $6.68
tegel chicken kebabs (8) $6.66
300g shaved ham $3.60
nescafe coffee 180g $7.00
1/2 kg banana's $1.50
fresh broccoli head $1.00
Greggs tomato sauce $2.90
beef oxo cubes $2.50
chicken oxo cubes $2.50
vege oxo cubes $2.50
3 pkts plain chips $4.50
2Ltr icecream essentials $4.00
packaging fee $1.00

Total: $74.89

The 3 meats highlighted were part of the 3 for $20 package. Sugar, and oxo cubes in Italics is part of the food storage challenge I am doing to keep a little stock pile of things in the back of the cupboard also. This is the $10 per week challenge on SS.

Our usual vice for junk food is 3 packets of potato chips and maybe a block of chocolate each week :) No chocolate this week as DH has some still in the fridge so told him he will have to make that last as no more room in the budget for this week LOL

I have taken the chicken off the kebabs and put 2 kebabs worth of chicken into its own container so this gives us 4 meals of marinated chicken (1.67 per meal)

Menu Plan:

W: chicken and vege fried rice (using marinated chicken kebabs x2)
T: pork sausages & veges (pork sausages are left over from the fishing trip the boys went on in the weekend and need to be used)
F: nachos with frozen cooked mince & using baked wraps as nacho chips
S: Roast chicken & veges
S: Roast chicken heated up in gravy with veges
M: beef sausages and veges
T: One pot chicken with pasta

I have cooked the pork sausages today so they are ready to be reheated tomorrow for dinner.


Mimi (Guardian of the Home & Budget) - 13 Aug 2012

Do you ever play Reversee with your meals? No, that doesn't mean having your dessert as your dinner, so don't get your hopes up! It means reversing the proportions of the ingredients to allow the vegetables to be the star for a change.

Husband and Diva are not always, it must be said, enamoured with this idea. Husband always checks under the veg, just in case the rest of the meat is hiding there, and Diva eyes it suspiciously and says 'what is it' with that vague sneer that suggests that I may be attempting to poison her to alleviate the pain in my hip from my constantly assaulted wallet.

Just a little while ago, I served rounds of baked sweet potato with diced chicken as the garnish rather than the other way around. Husband asked where the chicken was, but only after he'd eaten every mouthful and licked the plate clean. Diva picked her way through it, after first feeding some to our whippet who acts as her unofficial Food Taster. Having ascertained that the dog was still living, she then deigned to consume her meal and pronounced it "Delishimondo".

Last week I looked at the small end piece of some fillet steak I'd bought whole at one of the cheapo butchers, and wondered how I could make it into a meal for the three of us, when most times, it would barely touch the sides as Husband would wolf it down in three quick mouthfuls. But applying the Reversee principle, I came up with a plan.

Taking the still mostly frozen piece of meat and slicing it paper thin, gave me eight pieces of steak. So thin, in fact that I wondered how difficult it would be to convince the Fam that this was a meal and not a joke.

But here's the good bit. Wrapped around little bundles of whole beans and carrot sticks and marinated in teriyaki sauce, this suddenly becomes something spesh. Wait and see. You could even use your surplus of home grown beans. You may have one if you're cleverer than I. But given my experience with growing berries...I don't think that's going to be me in a hurry...see here...


You'll need a really sharp knife, a non-stick frypan, and a large flat dish in which to marinate your Beefy Bundles.

To serve this one, you might like to consider steamed rice and your favourite salad on the side. You'll have time to get these prepared and ready to go while marinating your Beefy Bundles. These take mere minutes once in a sizzling hot pan.

Your ingredients are:

  • 2-3 smallish paper thin slices of steak per person. I prefer to buy a hunk of beef (I'm referring to the meat for dinner, not the butcher himself), partially freeze it, and slice it myself with a really sharp knife. Even my favourite hunky butcher can't seem to get this one right. He imagines schnitzel, I imagine shavings.
  • Four whole green beans, topped and tailed, per piece of steak. You can also use carrot sticks, capsicum slivers or whatever else you have on hand.
  • Teriyaki sauce (soy or tamari will do as well).
  • Some kitchen string to tie up the bundles neatly. I cut my string into just the right number of lengths before starting.
  • Your favourite oil for pan frying, I use rice bran oil. Peanut oil gives the bundles a yummy flavour, but it doesn't matter too much.

Take a slice of steak, and lay it flat on your bench. Gather your veg sticks into a neat bundle and place on the edge of the steak nearest you. Wrapping the steak firmly around the vegies, roll up firmly, and secure with string. Place each on to a flat platter as you complete them.

When they're all done and lined up like little posh hors d`oeuvres, drench them in the teriyaki sauce. Roll them around in it and really give them a good soak, then allow them to rest in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the rice and salad. Have your plates at the ready and the table set because the next bit is really quick.

Get your pan onto the hotplate and splash in some oil. When the oil is nice and hot, drop in the bundles of beef, three at a time. No more than three in the pan at a time though, and you risk steaming them rather than sizzling them. Quickly turn them around so they get all glossy and brown on all sides, and remove them to a serving platter. Don't stress, they won't have time to go cold as the other bundles will be ready in a tick. Continue to panfry the bundles until they're all done and at the last minute, drop them all back in to quickly warm them up.

That's it. Enjoy! The flavour of the steak wrapped around the crisp and crunchy vegetables, with the piquancy of the teriyaki sauce is to die for.

Just please don't tell the butcher that I said to go and buy a hunk. He might not get the joke!

(post has been edited)