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Grocery bills

78 posts in this topic

dp1, yes, cars can be monstrously expensive, especially if you've bought a new one. The depreciation is by far the biggest expense in the first couple of years, it can easily be a couple of hundred a week or more, and when you add on fuel, maintenance, rego & insurance, it can really add up.

I just did the sums for my car last year, a crappy worthless old 85 toyota which I only ever put TPP insurance on, and between that the rego & green slip, it added up to $907 pa or $17pw minimum just to have it sitting there.

Now this car was stolen about 4 months ago, and rather than get another one, I'm having a go at getting around without one as I was only doing 3-4 thousand km a year, and don't needit to get to work or most other things I do. Admittedly because my mileage was so low, I'm probably only saving around $30pw, but I used to be a mechanic so I can run an inexpensive old car very cheaply by being able to do all repairs and maintenance myself, so I think most others would be able to save more if they are able to give up their car.

Tom, a pack a day habit adds up to something like $3500+ a year, I think it's worth giving up for that alone, glad I've never smoked. :)

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Admittedly because my mileage was so low, I'm probably only saving around $30pw

Don't forget you are saving the initial cost of the car plus any compounding interest of this amount sitting in your savings account.

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Don't forget you are saving the initial cost of the car plus any compounding interest of this amount sitting in your savings account.

True, I'd probably spend about $3-4k on a replacement (I'm a tightarse, but you can get quite a reasonable, if unfashionable, car for that much), so I could add maybe another $10pw for depreciation and lost interest on that :)

But that really is about as cheap as anybody could run a car, most owners must be spending $100pw plus for each car, and I hadn't even factored in the interest on the loan if they borrowed to pay for it. A car really can be an incredible money pit.

Thinking about it more, given that there are over 15million registered vehicles in australia, motor vehicles must represent quite a significant expense for the average household, especially if they own 2 or more. It's one of those things that make me think there's not too much spare money left for bigger mortgages.

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Tom, a pack a day habit adds up to something like $3500+ a year, I think it's worth giving up for that alone, glad I've never smoked. :)

My habit was 18 cigs per day, or about $7.50 per day or $50.00 per week if I was buying them by the carton. From the petrol station one at a time yeh, $10.00 per day would be close to right even for 18per day, now that they cost $14.00 per pack! I am on the champix to assist in quitting this time and so far so good, 3 weeks on the drug and 2 weeks off the smokes, but as I said way too early to call it yet! Did patches last time but once I got back on a work site environment I was back into them the moment I felt a bit of pressure and someone asked if I wanted a smoke...

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And that's a perfect example why I'm glad I never took the habit up, quitting seems to be incredibly difficult. I see it with friends, even if they were light smokers, they really seem to struggle to stay away from them, particularly when having a few drinks.

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And that's a perfect example why I'm glad I never took the habit up, quitting seems to be incredibly difficult. I see it with friends, even if they were light smokers, they really seem to struggle to stay away from them, particularly when having a few drinks.

'They' reckon that cigarettes are harder to give up than heroin. More social contexts for their use, and a tricker (more addictive) drug as well.

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They are a struggle but with the Champix it does seem to make it easier. I gave the internet support program away after the first few days but the drug itself certainly works.

Apparently most who don't quit while on the Champix, blame side affects of the drug so go off the drug then can smoke again and actually feel like they are having a cigerette. For me when I was still smoking the best way to describe it toward the end of the first week on Champix is like having a very low mg smoke, like a 1mg or so. You have half of it and just say whats the point and throw it away, I am still going to feel like one when I finish anyway!

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Going back to talking about groceries, I think one good way to save money on food is to actually try to eat all of what you buy. Any food that ends up spoiled and in the bin is pure waste.

Think about all that you waste when you chuck that food out, you've wasted your money that you spent on it, you've wasted all that time and energy that was used to transport, store (refrigerate) and display it, and you've wasted all that time, energy, water fertilizer etc that the farmer put into growing it in the first place. I'm as guilty as anyone of buying food and letting it rot in my fridge or cupboard because I've been too lazy to get around to preparing and eating it, but I've made an effort over the last couple of years to try and reduce that, and I think I'm getting a bit better at it, mostly in not overbuying when I'm shopping.

It's a work in progress, but not only do you save money, you can feel like you are contributing in some small way, to making the whole agricultural process a little more sustainable.

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Going back to talking about groceries, I think one good way to save money on food is to actually try to eat all of what you buy. Any food that ends up spoiled and in the bin is pure waste.

Think about all that you waste when you chuck that food out, you've wasted your money that you spent on it, you've wasted all that time and energy that was used to transport, store (refrigerate) and display it, and you've wasted all that time, energy, water fertilizer etc that the farmer put into growing it in the first place. I'm as guilty as anyone of buying food and letting it rot in my fridge or cupboard because I've been too lazy to get around to preparing and eating it, but I've made an effort over the last couple of years to try and reduce that, and I think I'm getting a bit better at it, mostly in not overbuying when I'm shopping.

It's a work in progress, but not only do you save money, you can feel like you are contributing in some small way, to making the whole agricultural process a little more sustainable.

I have a lot of recipes which are geared towards this kind of thinking. So I buy one piece of meat and various additional components, that way wastage becomes minimal. The trick is to move along growing flavour profiles:

rare roast beef -> spaghetti sauce -> tex mex -> fiery african beef for example.

It allows the left over from the spaghetti sauce to be dumped into the tex mex beef dinner because the flavour profile is weaker and vaguely complimentary. Tex mex goes into african beef the same way.

About the only thing I have big problems with is basil. The dried stuff is a waste of time, growing it is not an option if I want to eat any and the fresh stuff only really lasts a day or two in the fridge.

This is part of the driver behind my recipe and stock take database though, having somethign flash on your phone on the way home telling you what you have that needs to be used and what recipes you like that stuff can be used for followed by a list of what you have to pick up on the way to cover the rest of the ingredients would be, I think, a big food saver. It might also convince people like myself that can cook if they know what they are making but often can't be bothered working it out to cook more often by making the "waste less" decisions readily available.

The hard thing is getting the information, I am not going to type in all the stuff I buy every time, too much work.

RFID might solve the problem if it ever comes along.

I might have hooked up with a guy that has contacts with the people that apparently do all the eftpos terminals for woolies and so on. So if I can convince them to beam your shopping items to your phone with expiry dates and all and then have your phone upload that to your server at home I get at least the first half of the problem done. Then I have to work out what has been used, again RFID would be easy solution but I guess removal based on food cooked and expiry dates hit would do it okay ish.

Food wastage I reckon is mostly an information problem. If you knew it was there going to waste you'd eat it in most cases.

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It was an article I read a couple of years ago on cutting waste by using leftovers that inspired me to make a bit more of an effort. Whilst I do a few similar things to what you mention, ie. that last little bit of curry goes well in the toasted sandwich maker sort of thing, I really need to improve my cooking skills to take full advantage of leftover bits & pieces. Knowing how to combine seemingly random elements into a tasty meal would be a really handy skill, and I think it was something older generations were much better at than us, they had to be I guess, lacking late opening shops, the huge range of convenience foods we have now, not to mention all the takeaway options also available these days.

In terms of shopping for extra ingredients, I think that's just a matter of being organised enough to make a list, or set a reminder for yourself the night before. This of course can all fall apart if you end up at the pub instead of the supermarket after work :) , and I'd have to say that is one of the main reasons I end up wasting food, get home late and a bit pissy a few nights in a week, and all sorts of stuff in the fridge gets forgotten or not turned into tomorrows lunch.

Might have found a solution for saving fresh herbs, freeze them into ice cubes.

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I have a lot of recipes which are geared towards this kind of thinking. So I buy one piece of meat and various additional components, that way wastage becomes minimal. The trick is to move along growing flavour profiles:

rare roast beef -> spaghetti sauce -> tex mex -> fiery african beef for example.

It allows the left over from the spaghetti sauce to be dumped into the tex mex beef dinner because the flavour profile is weaker and vaguely complimentary. Tex mex goes into african beef the same way.

About the only thing I have big problems with is basil. The dried stuff is a waste of time, growing it is not an option if I want to eat any and the fresh stuff only really lasts a day or two in the fridge.

This is part of the driver behind my recipe and stock take database though, having somethign flash on your phone on the way home telling you what you have that needs to be used and what recipes you like that stuff can be used for followed by a list of what you have to pick up on the way to cover the rest of the ingredients would be, I think, a big food saver. It might also convince people like myself that can cook if they know what they are making but often can't be bothered working it out to cook more often by making the "waste less" decisions readily available.

The hard thing is getting the information, I am not going to type in all the stuff I buy every time, too much work.

RFID might solve the problem if it ever comes along.

I might have hooked up with a guy that has contacts with the people that apparently do all the eftpos terminals for woolies and so on. So if I can convince them to beam your shopping items to your phone with expiry dates and all and then have your phone upload that to your server at home I get at least the first half of the problem done. Then I have to work out what has been used, again RFID would be easy solution but I guess removal based on food cooked and expiry dates hit would do it okay ish.

Food wastage I reckon is mostly an information problem. If you knew it was there going to waste you'd eat it in most cases.

10 years ago I rememeber seeing that fridges were being developed with internet access so that the goods could be ordered off the barcode of the goods running out in the fridge. It would not take mush to have an additional function that also scanned goods in and then had a lisf on the front of the fridge that could be called up and showed things that had to be eaten within a week in green, 2 days in yellow and one day in red. Perhaps expired in black.

Thats would be the go I reckon, but your idea is even better in that once scanned in at the supermarket the info is automatically sent to your phone, or fridge and assumed it is placed in so no scanner is required at home, and lets face it most people shop at the supermarket. It would be a ripper thing for woolworths or coles, think of the grocers and butchers they would be taking business from as the techies would want to buy everything from wollworths (I would) so that the fridge keeps stock of it all, no hidden surprises.

I wonder if their would be a liability issue, for best before dates, have you taken appropriate care to ensure they are not getting food poisoning etc from off food, this goes for woolworths as much as your add on?

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It was an article I read a couple of years ago on cutting waste by using leftovers that inspired me to make a bit more of an effort. Whilst I do a few similar things to what you mention, ie. that last little bit of curry goes well in the toasted sandwich maker sort of thing, I really need to improve my cooking skills to take full advantage of leftover bits & pieces. Knowing how to combine seemingly random elements into a tasty meal would be a really handy skill, and I think it was something older generations were much better at than us, they had to be I guess, lacking late opening shops, the huge range of convenience foods we have now, not to mention all the takeaway options also available these days.

Yeah making something great from crap can be tricky. I will jump over into the recipes thread and post one of my favourite recipes (which incidentally I cannot cook, the girlfriend can but I always screw it up even though it is apparently very very simple). Done: http://www.simplesustainable.com/topic/264-the-mandatory-recipe-thread/page__st__40__gopid__6391entry6391

I would say that good left over food recipes tend to actually be easier to make than the original meal was. Learning to combine left overs only really takes two things I think:

1. Acceptance of failure

2. Honest review of the food

The hardest is the acceptance of failure, especially if you are cooking for others. Very embarrassing when you make something awful, negative feedback becomes a loop and you don't try anymore.

Once you start doing the second thing which is a few moment when you start eating where you really try and taste the food and see what you can taste out of the stuff you know went into to it you start getting a feel for flavours. I know this became really sueful for my normal cooking as it requires so much more thinking and you start to get this awareness for your cooking so you can cook like a grandma where everything is vague and unmeasured.

That to me is the coolest cooking, make something decent by feel rather than measure.

In terms of shopping for extra ingredients, I think that's just a matter of being organised enough to make a list, or set a reminder for yourself the night before. This of course can all fall apart if you end up at the pub instead of the supermarket after work :) , and I'd have to say that is one of the main reasons I end up wasting food, get home late and a bit pissy a few nights in a week, and all sorts of stuff in the fridge gets forgotten or not turned into tomorrows lunch.

Hence my idea which tells you what you should do. Makes life easier when you can tell yourself to do stuff without much work.

Might have found a solution for saving fresh herbs, freeze them into ice cubes.

Freezing works insanely well for ginger and chillis, Ice cubing herbs I have found it to be a bit mehhh, I will generally just go get some fresh ones.

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It hurts me to read some of your words. Growing up in the GDR if I even attempted to leave a crumb on my plate I would have gotten to feel the hand of my father on my cheek and still been obligated to finish the meal. You simply didn't get allowed to step away from the table until the plate was licked clean. The ramification was that you had to learn how much food you could eat before you served yourself.

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It hurts me to read some of your words. Growing up in the GDR if I even attempted to leave a crumb on my plate I would have gotten to feel the hand of my father on my cheek and still been obligated to finish the meal. You simply didn't get allowed to step away from the table until the plate was licked clean. The ramification was that you had to learn how much food you could eat before you served yourself.

We all got that too, what we are talking about is cook wastage.

Everyone beats their children for not eating food (or should).

I remember once doing "bob a job" for my "uncle" (nana's long time boyfriend) and he asked if we ate tripe. I said YES, so did my brother and sister, we all thought he meant trifle.. we ate it anyway.

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Freezing works insanely well for ginger and chillis, Ice cubing herbs I have found it to be a bit mehhh, I will generally just go get some fresh ones.

The trick to freezing basil is to chop it and freeze it in oil rather than in water. Use as low a ratio of oil to herb as possible, while still keeping the green shreds covered. This adds a bit of oil to the recipe but mostly it is not a problem. I do this plain and in flavour combos (like basil/garlic/coriander, which works for both thai and mex type flavours if you think about it) for later use. Make them in ice cube trays and then turn them out into labeled ziplock bags. The labeling is important, in July you won't remember which greenish blob is which.

BTW has anyone seen this site, it has some interesting culinary ideas-

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

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BTW has anyone seen this site, it has some interesting culinary ideas-

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

Love it, when you just can't work out which chilli to use look it up on a scale:

Becoming popular 1970's, HPLC is a method of separating compounds within a solution under high pressure. Once the solution has been separated, the parts can be identified and quantified. Applying HPLC can be used on ground peppers, chemists can determine the capsaicinoid concentration in parts per million. The capsaicin concentrating in parts per million is directly proportional to the Scoville rating system - by a factor of approximately 16. Thus, a capsaicinoid level of 200 parts per million results in a Scoville rating of 3200. Pure capsaicin would then have a Scoville rating of 16 million. The downside of HPLC is that it is quite expensive compared to having a bunch of people tasting chile flavored Frutopia...

One of the problems with scoville ratings is that no two sources seem to agree just how hot a chile is. Here's some of the examples that I've managed to collect to provide an idea of how the varieties stack up against each other.

And this in teh comments:

Interesting piece of trivia for you...

Here in Australia, 'bell peppers' are called Capsicums. Until reading your article I never knew the reason - I am assuming now it has something to do with the name of this chemical Capsaicin.

It led to a lot of confusion and intrigue when I visited Subway in the States. ("You want *what* on your sandwich?!")

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We used to shop once a week,

the amount of vegetables and food we would throw out unused would be terrible.

we now shop 2-3 times a week, planning all meals for the next 2 days,

By planning we are eating alot healthier, great breakfasts lunches and dinners.

We throw out hardly anything, save alot of money as we don't waste tonnes of food and are not tempted to buy rubbish food out side

of the plan, something we used to do alot impulse buying and shopping once a week.

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As a someone living alone and therefore cooking smaller servings, I've also found shopping more frequently but smaller amounts has helped cut down on wastage. Doing a 'big shop' once a week might be more time efficient, but some stuff would just go off before I had a chance to get to it.

Another thing I do is mostly buy frozen veges in preference to fresh ones. What doesn't go into the pot goes straight back into the freezer, rather than turn into a science project in the back of the fridge. Even if fresh veges are a bit cheaper in the shop, the frozen ones are cheaper for me as it all gets used. More convenient as well being precut, which encourages me to cook more often.

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I'm currently buying groceries for me and my cat. My typical grocery bill is around $50 per week. I check over the receipt each week and circle items purchased for the cat. I hand the receipt to the cat but he always fails to pay for items that I don't get any use out of. Should I turn to Today Tonight or ACA for help?

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I'm currently buying groceries for me and my cat. My typical grocery bill is around $50 per week. I check over the receipt each week and circle items purchased for the cat. I hand the receipt to the cat but he always fails to pay for items that I don't get any use out of. Should I turn to Today Tonight or ACA for help?

i suggest getting a big dog to intimidate the cat into paying. of course you will need a croc or something to intimidate the dog into pay for its groceries in turn, but you can get away with feeding the croc the neighbour's kids, so it all works out in the end.

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i suggest getting a big dog to intimidate the cat into paying. of course you will need a croc or something to intimidate the dog into pay for its groceries in turn, but you can get away with feeding the croc the neighbour's kids, so it all works out in the end.

Good grief, I hope you're not marking exam papers at the moment!

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Its occurred to me I haven't actually bought anything since before Christmas. I even stopped paying the mortgage since my contribution just happened to be $2 bigger than the rent I've been getting for the last few weeks and it seemed kind of pointless. This is making my bank account look exceptionally healthy. I suppose I should enjoy it before I get the bill for what looks like complete carnage wreaked by heavy machinery in my backyard yesterday while I was gone.

I'm eating breakfast and am not quite brave enough to don gumboots and go out and find out exactly what they've done out there :fear:

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I'm bumping this thread, because it has been three months and I want to know if I'm the only one who feels that the new '!!!!!everyday prices down!!!!!' advertising strategy of the big two supermarkets is a trifle disingenuous.

Seems to me the grocery bill keeps going up, despite their bloody shelf tags proclaiming prices going down. Especially for fresh fruit and veg, bread, and meat.

Comments anyone?

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I'm bumping this thread, because it has been three months and I want to know if I'm the only one who feels that the new '!!!!!everyday prices down!!!!!' advertising strategy of the big two supermarkets is a trifle disingenuous.

Seems to me the grocery bill keeps going up, despite their bloody shelf tags proclaiming prices going down. Especially for fresh fruit and veg, bread, and meat.

Comments anyone?

yeah meat is definitely up. chicken is probably the cheapest kind o meat to buy now. dunno what is going on - just more gouging i suppose. i guess i need to get a big ole' chest freezer and buy in bulk. a lot cheaper per kilo that way... but yeah making the fresh foods more expensive will certainly go far in rectifying the national obesity epidemic we are experiencing. i can still get fizzy drinks and chips for the same price i paid 3 years ago (on sale). but the basics? forget about it.

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I'm bumping this thread, because it has been three months and I want to know if I'm the only one who feels that the new '!!!!!everyday prices down!!!!!' advertising strategy of the big two supermarkets is a trifle disingenuous.

Seems to me the grocery bill keeps going up, despite their bloody shelf tags proclaiming prices going down. Especially for fresh fruit and veg, bread, and meat.

Comments anyone?

I'm feeling the pain at the checkout and I know for a fact that I'm not alone as the guys at work all bitch about the price of groceries. The land line's days are numbered, not sure there is anything else I can realistically save on.

I shudder to think what will happen when petrol prices go back up.

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