Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Frugal February Day 29

I wore my 'ghost' dress again today. I don't think I said before, but it was $5.86 at Target! Mum was with me when I bought it so she got one too. I didn't see her this morning so we got a fun surprise when we saw each other after work:

James and I went to Indian Aroma at Cronulla tonight. I got a shop-a-docket (did you know they are an Australian invention?) on my Target receipt the other day (gosh I love that shop) - buy one main, get one free. Not bad when a main costs twice as much as what I bought from Target!

When we arrived at the restaurant we were seated outside, in this horrid weather. We asked to move inside and James told them we had a reservation, but for some reason the waiter insisted he would have to set up the "corner table" for us. There were several other tables for two that were already ready to go (and nobody sat there all night) so this was kind of weird.

They had a lot of jazzy decor:

The panpipe covers of retro hits weren't great though. If you didn't already know, Candle In The Wind works best on piano.

We ordered a lamb korma and some kind of lime & coriander prawn curry, plus rice and naans. The meat was not great and both curries were, well, bland - they were kind of spicy, but in such a way that I could only really taste "hot", not the rich flavours you get at Murraya. The rice & naan servings were stingy; there wasn't nearly enough for all the curry sauce. The prawn one was a bit tasty though, I'd definitely order a similar dish at Murraya.

I get that not every chef will be able to create the super amazing flavours I'm after, and I also get that in The Shire a lot of people do appear to like the kind of curries you get at Indian Aroma (perhaps the sea air affects the olfactory senses?). But if they want to be competitve - and judging from the number of empty tables, they should - Indian Aroma really need to up their serving sizes. Meals can't always be delicious and generous, but they should at least be one or the other.

Also, if everything has to be premade and microwaved, they should at least wait a while before they do it. If your entire meal is served within five minutes of ordering, you are going to cotton on. We were done in about half an hour, so I guess this could be a plus if you're in a hurry?
Matching, or at least coordinating, crockery would be nice too.

For the price ($35) it was an okay meal, but I wouldn't go back if I didn't have a coupon. Even with a coupon, I could still get a nice Thai or pasta for the same price.

After dinner we went to see One For The Money using vouchers that my Nana had given us (hi Nana if you're reading! Thanks for the vouchers!). I love the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich - very light but much more interesting and original than the same old chick lit.

The movie wasn't as good as the books but I still liked it very much. It's a fun movie and a nice change from formulaic romcoms, and it was quite true to the book too. I hope they'll make more movies in the series.

Since it's Frugal Feb I made this popcorn at home. James bought a six dollar Coke. He could learn a lot from me (are you reading James?).

I was going to do a summary of Frugal Feb but I'm too tired and I have rambled enough I think. I will do it tomorrow instead.

Spent today: $20 (not bad for dinner, movie, snacks plus the emergency Coke I had for breakfast)
Spent this week: $20
Spent this month: $411.45

How was your Frugal February?

Frugal February Day 28

Not much happened today. It was a million degrees so I stayed at home with the aircon.

My Mum made the most delicious pork for dinner. It was marinated in soy sauce, garlic, Ginger, chilli and shallots which is all pretty easy, but it tasted better than anything in the world.

For dessert I finished off the piece of cake I bought at the markets. It was pretty yummy, but obviously the oven was too hot because it was too gooey in the middle but had a dark crust at the edge.

I've noticed that the majority of people, even supposedly good cooks, make their cakes like this time and time again - does anyone know why? Do most people actually like them this way and I'm just weird? Or do people just struggle with fan forced ovens (still)?

In other news, I bought a LivingSocial voucher for $55 to spend at La Senza for only $24. Pretty good timing, I have my eye on something I saw there last week. Since some of my friends bought it too, my voucher will actually be free! But because I'm kind I'll split the saving with the girls.

And tonight I finally watched Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which I really liked. I'm a big fan of the books by Kerry Greenwood, you should check them out if you haven't already.

And I have a second thrifty tip for you all, courtesy of a show called Genius: instead of stamping a letter, put a fake address on the front and the intended recipient's address as the sender on the back. The letter will be returned to the 'sender', who is actually the person you were writing to all along, and you'll save sixty cents!

Spent today: $18
Spent this week: $78.50 (yesss)
Spent this month: $391.45 (yessssss)

I've managed four weeks of Frugal Feb now and stuck to my $100/week budget (on average). Tomorrow I'll be celebrating in frugal style and doing a round-up of my spending this month and the tips I've picked up.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Frugal February Day 27

Most thrift experts say you shouldn't shop for the wrong reasons - like when you're bored or depressed. These people don't know anything. Shopping for things you need is ideal, but shopping to cheer yourself up is still cheaper than therapy and less harmful than getting drunk.

I was meant to go to uni today but I missed my class because of the stupid bus. So I organised to meet James for lunch, then later he called me back and said he actually couldn't. I was exhausted and hot and my bag was ridiculously heavy. My mood was as black as my outfit.

The only solution was self-gifting. The trick is to set a small spending limit and aim to buy things that are either sensible or small (so that at least they won't waste much space).

At Target I bought a bra (desperately needed), a glittery mini cocktail shaker and a box of Smarties. All were seriously reduced - I got change from $10.

I also bought a $1 cookbook from the newsagency for James, a sushi roll and a few bus tickets.

After shopping I went to James's house where we had a soothing drink. There was a mini champagne in his fridge that I had been saving for just this sort of day.

And that is how you turn a bad day into a good one!

Spent today: $17

Monday, 27 February 2012

Frugal February Day 26

This morning I went to the markets to see whether it would be worth having a stall of my own. I bought a piece of cake and a Murder Mystery game! Get ready for some awesome fun at my place!

I wore a white sundress but I didn't really like it. Out it goes!

Then I went to book club! Yet again I wore a costume.

A black wrap dress from 2006.

Pink Havaianas.

Earrings from Diva circa 2005.

And Rimmel Jelly Gloss on my lips. Can you guess who I was?

My teenage self!

Our book this month was Matilda. I'd read it as a child but it was so much fun to read it again; I really enjoyed it.

We had loads of food.

I brought pancakes.

The Impostor made a Bruce Bogtrotter chocolate cake.

I ate two pieces - maybe I should've come dressed as Bruce!

It was such a fun night. Thanks Emma for hosting and Meg for driving!

Spent today: $6.50
Spent this week: $43.50
Spent this month: $356.45

Frugal February Day 25

James and I had a coupon to use at the Kanji sushi train at Sylvania, but the train was broken so we had lunch at The Crest instead. My calamari and chips was really yummy but I felt s bit sick after all the fried food. I think James won with his chicken souvlaki.

For dinner, I wore another costume - the Meg sandals with a white dress. Can you guess who I was?

A Roman who had to come up with a costume at very short notice and didn't have any white sheets!

I went to an Ancient Roman murder mystery dinner party! I thought I was the killer but turns out I wasn't.

We had authentic food and everything.

I'd never been to a murder mystery before; it was pretty cool. I'd definitely do it again.

Spent today: $10
Spent this week: $37
Spent this month: $349.95

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Frugal February Day 24: Love It!

I had a pretty good day at work. We had a morning tea for my coworker's birthday, which meant delicious cake and an hour and a half of not doing any work. And I went to the Sushi Go Round for lunch! I know buying lunch is against the rules of Frugal Feb, but I had nothing at home and it only cost $6! Though I also bought a Coke Zero for breakfast...

After work I went to a birthday party! It wasn't a costume party, but I decided to dress up anyway.

I wore a short floral dress:


Bow earrings, a silver "bead" bracelet and a big flower ring:

And glasses:

Can you tell who I was dressed as?


I was Meg!

To enhance the effect I also kept using Meg's catchphrases, including "what a bitch you turned out to be", "ouch", "I'm not posh" and (my favourite) "love it!". It was like we were the same person.

Meg, I had so much fun pretending to be you! What a delight!

It was a really fun party with delicious food and drinks.

And a lovely house.

The Two Megs brought these flowers:

The birthday girl (hello Emma if you're reading!) looked like a babe.

So did the other girls (hello!).

Thanks Emma for having us!! And Meg for driving. I hope you weren't offended when I said your car was too small to safely seat six people (ouch!).

Spent today: $8
Spent this week: $27
Spent this month: $339.95

Friday, 24 February 2012

Frugal February Day 23

I met a snappily dressed man for iced drinks this afternoon at the Pavement Cafe in Sylvania. It's a really nice cafe, if slightly pedestrian (LOL geddit).

I browsed the retro kitchenware at Vincenzo's of Hurstville before tutoring, but I didn't buy a thing!

Isn't this pink teacup so pretty?

This bunny mug had a signature on the bottom - it was hand painted, probably by an old lady for a grandchild or something like that. It seemed like such a special thing, I felt sad to leave it sitting on the shelf.

Then I went to Trivia Night! Yet again we didn't win. Something fishy is going on.

I had already eaten dinner at home, in the interest of thrift, but I regretted it when Emily ordered this delicious chicken. She ate it while wearing a really cute dirndl-esque dress.

I was stingy and didn't buy any drinks. I did buy a $2 scoop of ice cream but I didn't take a picture. If anyone besides my friends who were at the pub reads my blog, you'll just have to use your imagination.

In case you wondered what I looked like while I was doing all this, I have helpfully included a snap. My dress is from an upmarket boutique known to the French as Grand Doublé-Vay.

Spent today: $9
Spent this week: $19
Spent this month: $312.95