Clever Cooks, Footnote Frivolity***

Saving money with weekly grocery boxes from your local

There’s been a discussion on mustbethrifty about the virtues of fruit and veg market shopping; unfortunately, I rarely go to markets but end up at Coles instead due to a combination of Flybys incentives, a weird work schedule and possibly laziness. The problem with Coles is that I believe its fresh produce is overpriced and doesn’t have staying power. I really need to stop buying fresh food from Coles.

Meanwhile, a new grocer has opened near my work. I thought I’d take advantage of their weekly home (and work) deliveries.

Organising a weekly fruit and veg drop off ticks all the right boxes Continue reading

Clever Cooks, Footnote Frivolity***, Thrifty Asian

Okonomiyaki: as you like it pancakes

Since it’s Lunar New Year Eve, I think a Thrifty Asian post is in order.

A few months ago, Cheap Geek and I honeymooned in Japan. Most of the trip was spent eating our way through Tokyo and Kyoto. We had the usual: sushi and sashimi at Tsukiji (the world’s largest fish market) and fancy s&*% overlooking the Shirakawa Canal in Gion. However, my favourite dish came from more humble establishments Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Money Matters

Gratefully thrifty

work and sleep design by Sean MacEntee
Being thrifty allows you to do things other than work and sleep. (Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee under the Creative Commons licence. Note: Sean MacEntee does not endorse the author or the contents of

Some of my former coworkers are negotiating salaries with their new bosses. Their lifestyles are unsustainable at the currently offered pay rate, which means they’ll either have to accept the work and deal with the financial consequences or find employment elsewhere.

Looking at their situation has made me grateful in regards to my own. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

The mustbethrifty wedding expenses breakdown

Back in January, I challenged myself into organising a wedding under $15K, about half of the national average spend.

Over the next 10 months, Cheap Geek and I tried to keep to budget. Sometimes we were good. I bought my white wedding dress for $69 at the Forest Hill Salvos. Cheap Geek took advantage of the half-yearly sales and bought a discounted suit. We made our own wedding favours/bonbonniere. Sometimes we were very bad. On a last minute impulse, I ditched my DIY blinged up heels for some $269 Alannah Hill peep-toes. I also went nuts on eBay and Etsy and sourced a whole bunch of doily buntings after my wedding planner professed her love for the things. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Gen DIY-er, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

Mustbethrifty challenge for 2013: plan a wedding under $15K

Last year I posted about Josephine and Patrick’s thrifster wedding. Theirs was an incredible effort of beg, borrow, or buy secondhand and they ended up spending just over $7K, less than a fifth of the average Aussie wedding budget.

Cheap Geek and I are now organising our big(ish) day and we’ve set our budget at $15K. It’s an amount that we can save in the upcoming months, preventing us from starting our marriage with communal debt*.

With my copy of Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding – Celebrate Your Day Your Way and Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride – Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, I will tackle the big ticket wedding expenses such as venue, catering, flowers, attire, and photography in the typical mustbethrifty fashion, i.e. by blogging about it. Continue reading

Clever Cooks, Footnote Frivolity***, Thrifty Asian

Mother’s eggplant and pork mince stew

Mince is cheap, especially pork mince. However, it’s still meat and is more pricey than pulses or in-season vegetables.

A clever cook knows how to bulk out their mince with other ingredients. The meat in a spaghetti bolognese, for instance, can be stretched out with vegetables like onions, tomatoes and carrots.

Sichuan cuisine takes it one step further, turning meat into a side act in favourites like mapo tofu, green beans with pork mince, and ‘fish-fragrant’ eggplant. Making green beans or eggplant the main attraction makes sense, especially when they can cost as little as $2 per kilo.

Unfortunately, I don’t hail from Sichuan and I can’t handle chillies. So instead of Sichuan-style vegetables with pork mince, I’m going to recreate my mother’s mild-mannered eggplant and pork mince stew Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Going Green, Thrifty Asian

Old-school cool

The average Aussie home uses 9-29% of their energy on cooling each year (via Origin) and air conditioners are mainly responsible for this power suck–‘[t]he energy an average air conditioner uses in 3 hours is enough to power a fridge for a week’ (via Green Times)–so it makes sense to go air-con-less in order to minimise the power bill.

You might want to consider some old-school alternatives of staying cool, however, before the temperature inside your home creeps over thirty-five degrees and your resolve melts into mush.

  • Summer wardrobes –  In Ancient Egypt, men wore wrap-around skirts or went about naked while women wore loose-fitting dresses. Garments were made out of linen, a lightweight, natural fabric that breathed. I’m not advocating nudity or skimpy/see-through dresses but we can all certainly opt for the modern equivalent of ancient Egyptian linen without causing too much of a scandal. Continue reading