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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Supermarket Shelves & Food Security.

As most of you know we had a cyclone heading our way over Christmas. It didn't hit our city/town however it did go inland to the Kakadu region.

The cyclone/storm caused flooding and damage to roads and rail tracks, preventing road trains (very large trucks) and freight trains from driving into our city. We live far from the other side of Australia where everything tends to come from. Even our local food goes to the other side for sorting before coming back to our supermarket shelves - CRAZY!

People shopped a lot for Christmas meals. Then people shopped a lot for cyclone preparation. And then with the roads being blocked nothing was coming through. Coles Supermarket fruit and veg section had limited produce on offer when I went in at 7:45am. By 5pm I heard the was not a tomato or single lettuce leaf in sight. I heard there was hardly anything available in the fresh produce aisles.

Pears and Other Softer Fruits Such As Stone Fruit All Gone Except For A Few Tough Grapes.

These Last 4 Bags of Sad Rocket Were Quickly Snapped Up.

Shelves Becoming Bare.

Lots of Long Lasting Apples in the Background, All These Soft and Bruised Tomatos Were Gone By Afternoon.

I travelled extensively in Russia in 1978 and spent a few days in Moscow in 1984. I have seen the queues to purchase an ice cream cone as I stood a good hour in line too. I have seen long quiet queues in the freezing cold to purchase minimal items. A loaf of bread here and a warm hat there. Eye opening for a kid from a country with abundance and waste.

The shelves at Coles made me think a lot about food security, the future and the need to grow more of our own produce. Everyone can grow a little of their own food, even if it's just one small plant to start off with. A year ago I knew absolutely nothing about gardening or plants. Now as I have my small garden plot I am learning from books, blogs, other gardeners and best of all from my own experiences of trial and error. I am growing some of my own food and if the supermarket shelves have nothing to offer I can pick nutrient rich foods from my plot.

Are you growing in your garden, pot plant, styfoam box? If yes, what are your food for table successes?


  1. Yes, we have some land to grow our own (not much) and we are learning gradually.

    Leeks and potatoes have been successful.

    Sft x

  2. Yes its a bit scary how reliant we are on our food and i love being able to grow our own. Not much variety this time of year in the vege garden , but am growing eggplants which i use to make a yummy grilled eggplant salad and ive got kang kong coming on which we eat by the bucket load! Hope your vege plot is growing well.

    Happy 2012 !


  3. Ah...and you will have time to garden more now!

  4. Thank's for sharing your photo's,i grow in pot's lot's of Silverbeet,tomato's,Spinage,and lot's of herb's,oh and i have a pumpkin at the moment,it's just starting to get little babies,happy New Year!

  5. Wow, I bet that really hit home to everyone. Come March, I'll be digging holes all over the place to fill with various garden goodies! Yum! :D

  6. that's what our local shops looked like last winter when a month of snow gridlocked the country

  7. Wow, those shelves look scary. I'm so glad the Cyclone din't hit, & hope everything is getting back to normal for you guys. We've been growing some of our own produce for about 12 months, & so far the winners are corn, rocket, silverbeet, beans & tomatoes, although the tomatoes need more attention than anything else.
    What are you growing?

  8. Wow thats amazing. I've never seen an empty shelf at Coles ever. We have a small house (less than 300m) but grow all our own fresh herbs (year round), chilli's, and limes (as they are so costly down in SA). What do you grow?

  9. I don't know if this is much help as I garden in England but perpetual spinach is my favourite as I can keep picking the leaves and it keeps growing even in the winter. Same with salad leaves and its so lovely to have fresh salad every day although they only grow in the summer. Tomatoes are another favourite and also courgettes which can both be frozen for cooking. I have a small garden with one raised vegetable bed but am planning to build another two before spring. I also have new apple trees and lots of soft fruit. Its good to grow stuff thats expensive to buy and its so lovely fresh. I enjoy your blog as I too live frugally so I could retire and do the important things. I wish you well with your growing.

  10. Thanks everyone for you interesting comments. This was a popular post :-)

    I will do another post of items I'm growing at present as I have been gardening every morning at 8:30am for 3 days and will continue during my holiday at home.

    It's so hot at this time of year it makes it really hard to cope with sweat dripping in my eyes.

  11. I thought of you with the Cyclone approaching, and so happy that it did hit Darwin directly. Your photographs show how reliant we are on supermarket's to supply our food.


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