Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Recommitting to Thrift

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I've always been a massive fan of Thrift. Back in the day I was all about Frugal February and op shop buys, but recently we've become a little estranged. I still love op shops, but I also love outsourcing chores and personal grooming activities, and have developed a bit of a fondness for getting a taxi home after a night out. And sometimes getting a taxi there too. Even though I live six minutes from a train station with frequent services and limited dodgy characters.

My twenty two year old self would be sick at the very thought.

After reflecting on how much of our house we own vs how much interest we have forked over to the bank, I have decided to recommit to thrift. 

James and I have been eating sensible homemade meals instead of buying dinner five times a week.

In a dazzling display of adult responsibility, we often cook these on a weekend and keep them in the fridge for quick weeknight meals. I know.

Lately I've been spending a lot on entertainment, but now I am getting into community theatre.

This was Legally Blonde The Musical by Engadine Musical Society. Actually it was very good (and hello to my talented telekinetic friend if you are reading). I had seen it once before: James took me to see Lucy Durack and Rob Mills at Star City once. But those days are OVER.

So are the days of cafe brunches on weekends. Now I go to the Kim Le Bakery on the highway for Vietnamese rolls (banh mi for the cultured people) and mock-cream-based desserts.

They also sell those awesome Lipton sparkling iced teas in miniature cans, even the diet one which I can not find ANYWHERE else. (If anyone's seen it in a supermarket please let me know!)

I've been getting back into baking too. Here is a boring old chocolate cake I made for my mum's birthday, jazzed up with a Nutella buttercream icing. It was pretty hectic, if I do say so myself.

It's just 226 grams of butter (that's two sticks in the USA), 2 cups of icing sugar and 2/3 cup of Nutella. That would be enough for one layer cake, or two regular cakes. Or you could just do one regular cake then invite a friend over to eat the remaining icing from the bowl while you get your drink on. Either way.

Baking is super thrifty, because it's not only a really cheap hobby but also a great source of affordable snack foods.

That's a maple bacon cupcake. I thought it might be a sort of Emperor's New Clothes thing that only a dumb hipster would make or buy, but surprise it's actually super tasty. The wrappers were $2 for a pack of 24 at The Reject Shop.

What did everyone do for their long weekend? Take a little trip away, host a family lunch, maybe go to the movies? Good for you, Rockerfeller. James and I went for a drive down the coast. In a borrowed car with free fuel. 

We went over the Sea Cliff Bridge and stopped for lunch in Coledale. Terrible food but a pretty glorious day. I haaaaate the cold so it's lucky I live in a place where Winter days can look like this:

Annoyingly, I was pretty sick for most of the long weekend so apart from the tiny road trip I just stayed home and practised Thrift. I did my own nails instead of going to the salon and ironed practically all my clothes instead of sending them out.

I also let James drag me to Bay Vista where he had a giant sundae and I, having just eaten an ice cream at home in an attempt at thrift, chose a savoury crepe instead. 

Big mistake. Big. HUGE.

Last night's dinner was much better - a picnic of roast chicken rolls, cheese and crackers and red wine.

The wine might seem like a bit of an indulgence, but James made a thrifty casserole for our weeknight dinners and the recipe called for a splash of red wine. He had to open a new bottle, so we were just being sensible in finishing it off. Waste not want not.

I'm off to combine slivers of old soap bars into one big new bar now.