Link love (Powered by date night and candlelight)

So, week one of the grocery challenge! Keeping to $500 this month means $125 a week. The boy did half the shopping himself this week – eek! – but we came in at $119.

Here’s our supermarket receipt (included TP and two tupperware-type containers).

We have no problem buying a lot of generic brands – Pams, Budget – but if deals are better on brand names, we get those (and for some products like rice wine vinegar, you simply don’t get a no-name variety, at least not at our no-frills supermarket). And there are some things, like ketchup, I never cheap out on.

$33 at the butchery apparently bought a big garlic steak, pork tenderloins, a pack of two pork medallions, a pack of two small pepper steaks and a package of bacon. (Sigh. SO. MUCH. PORK. If I had been there…)

And $8 bought some apples, an eggplant, some onions and spring onions. We already had corn, mushrooms and capsicums at home, along with some root veggies, so didn’t need too much produce.

* * *

I’m a big fan of making things yourself. Pizza dough. Baking. Coconut curries. Stirfry sauces. All of which will feature on this week’s menu.

But some things aren’t worth it.

One thing I hardly ever make from scratch is pasta sauce. Quite frankly when I can pick up ready made jars on special for $3 (or even less, like this week), why would I spend the same amount on two cans of tomatoes (that’s assuming I already have the additional spices/herbs needed), and add in the time and energy spent standing over the stove? (As for the price of fresh tomatoes, don’t even go there…)

Are there some things you find it makes more sense to buy ready made?

* * *

LIFE

Marian has a new blog, This New Town. Always fun seeing your city through foreign eyes!

One of Stratejoy’s new bloggers is Katharine, whose inspiring story to date includes climbing the legal ladder, starting a non profit, and having it all come crashing down on her. Now she’s off to chase her culinary dreams.

Nicole brings us the best review of a sex toy ever. Seriously.

Vote for Donna at Surviving and Thriving in the Bloggers’ Choice Awards!

Stephanie Klein navigates tricky water with some houseguests.

Molly on Money sheds light on ageing and forgetting the names of nouns.

The first Love Drop has been carried out! Watch Nate and J’s video here.

Leslie explains how to go about finding a good therapist.

Geek in Heels is doing a guide to designing your own WordPress theme! Here’s part one.

MONEY/WORK

Life Without Pants offers a new way to handle money – whiteboard accounting.

My Money, My Life on the reality in between money and passion.

Alexis Grant knows how to land an awesome job after a career break…and now, so do you.

Ask A Manager tackles a toughie: How to weed out jobs that expect crazy hours from you?

Dr Aletta shares seven ways to survive an abusive boss.

Part time work, full time BS: Shiftless and Lazy’s take on working a second job.

Ginger Won’t Snap needs some career guidance – she’s looking to transition out of marketing/advertising, but to what?

Oh, a topic near and dear to me. At Get Rich Slowly: How to motivate a partner to save? (My answer: a) job loss b) car dramas and most importantly c) good role models. He does like his toys and shiny new things, and realising he COULD have them if he saved was a revelation. I smile when I think back to the day he bought his Xbox 360.)

Well Heeled wonders if she’s giving enough…something deeply personal that seems to stir up a lot of opinion.

FOOD

I didn’t really come across anything exciting this week, but I haven’t been looking too hard – they were just piling up! After last month though, I think I may have caught up on my recipe backlog. Meanwhile, I have dumplings on the brain…so I bring you Closet Cooking and Fabulously Frugirl’s guides to homemade dumplings.

12 thoughts on “Link love (Powered by date night and candlelight)

  1. I can’t stand most canned tomato pasta sauces, so i make a version with canned (or fresh in summers) whole tomatoes. It’s pretty unsophisticated, I just cook garlic, then add the tomatoes and smash them up a little and add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar or whatever other spices. Then olive oil and the tomato mixture on the top. So it is less of a sauce… but that’s just a personal preference.

    I like to buy pre-made pizza dough, particularly because Trader Joe’s here sells it for $1.29 or something. It is $3+ at the regular store.

    Thanks for all the interesting links to read!

  2. Yep, PnS. That’s on dirt cheap clearance though (normal prices are still well $3 plus) and it’s a small tub too – won’t last past a couple of spreads.

  3. Is that the only supermarket around you? Maybe you can see if another supermarket has better deals on food? Do you have a club card to get those extra deals? Or maybe I don’t know how much food should cost because I don’t buy food at all.

    1. No, dear. this is what food costs :) That’s meat and produce from separate butcher and veggie shops – fresher, cheaper, more variety – and the most budget supermarket chain there is.

  4. Heh, that amount of pork is awesome. Also, I must say that I completely agree with trying to make your own stuff when possible. I’ve tried doing it with pasta sauce, but it just takes so damn long to make. It’s far easier to buy a few jars when they go on sale. The taste isnt bad, either.

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