Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Working Mum Eats Lunch

My decluttering post received a few comments - it seems to be a popular topic and something a lot of us struggle with. When we are successful in decluttering (even a little) we all enjoy the fruits of our labour and have a wonderful moral boosting sense of achievement.

For all of you out there in other countries not understanding some of my lingo or Australian terms let me know. Op Shops are thrift stores / charity shops. The "Op" stands for Opportunity, as in Opportunity Shops, but no one really calls them that anymore. The are just Op Shops or even Oppies.

Last night I had a visit from friends who are very careful with their money and do everything they can to maximise it and live frugally. I make my lunch with left overs or purchase something inexpensive in my break, from the supermarket such as salad ingredients or bread and sandwich feelings. Well Gary who also works full time goes to the supermarket on Mondays and buys his food for the weeks 5 lunches including drink and makes them up each day at work. His spends roughly $11. And I think this as a inexpensive option that also frees up time and I want to give it a go.

My lunch break is 1 hour long if our phones are not running off the hook. I really want to use that 1 "child free" hour I have more wisely, either with sanity time for myself or getting bills paid and educational books read to grow my mind. I also want it to be nourishing, filling and healthy food wise. Anyway... today I descended to the supermarket and bought a weeks worth of food to replicate Gary's example and see if it works for me.

I spent $11.27 and this is what I purchased to make myself 5 office lunches (minus drinks as I mainly drink water).
  • 1 loaf of quality bread $3.00 (on special)
  • 10 fruits $2.61 (I selected fruits on special which usually means the fruits are in season - therefor more ecologically sustainable, unfortunately they are not local produce)
  • 5 slices of honey ham from the Service Deli section $1.99 (on special)
  • 1 jar of marinated feta $1.00 (on special)
  • 2 tomato's $1.86 (normal price)
  • 1 cucumber .81 cents (normal price)
Weeks Worth of Lunch
I think this is a great idea however it's a bit bread heavy and not enough salad for me - but maybe on some Mondays I could purchase salad fillings only. For now I'm experimenting and will see how I go. This is what I made today and will have for the remaining 4 work days.
Quick filling (notice without butter as I try to be healthier)
My $2.26 Lunch! Bon Appetit!!!
You will notice I had to accept a plastic bag for my shopping as I had forgotten my shopping bag at my desk. This is something I need to change as I have been finding difficult to remember my bags much too often lately. Hangs head in shame :-(

What is your lunch like? Do you take your bags to the shops with you?


  1. I think your lunch idea is really good for people who have a kitchen at work. Would be good if your work place had a freezer then you could freeze the bread and just take out what you needed each day. This would stop you having to eat bread that's a bit stale by the end of the week. Our work base has a freezer and if people go shopping in their lunch break they can keep their stuff frozen until they go home.

  2. My Mom had a friend who would make the families sandwiches for the forthcoming MONTH then freeze them and take them out day by day. It sounds a good idea in principle but I can't get my head round ( and perhaps this is me ) eating the cooked meats cold from the freezer. We always make ours the night before. Tonight we were low on bread so I heated some pasta, mixed it with pesto and threw in leftover salad and cheese. Makes a nice change from a sandwich.

  3. Hi Karen, There are freezers built into the 3 fridges but they are often really full. My bread sits in the fridge and I find it okay for my tastes.
    Does your workplace have a big freezer or one built into the fridge?
    Hey Miss Piggy Bank,
    I used to freeze sandwiches - the meats and cheese are fine - they defrost within 5 to 10 minutes. However I dislike thawed lettuce, tomato and cucumber.


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.