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.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pay Cut = More Gardening

I'm on recreational leave from work (3 weeks to go), then I return for 2 weeks at my regular hours and then... finishing each day at 2:00pm. This will cut back my pay by $233 a week. That is a lot of money!

So I am tightening my belt and keeping my purse closed so that we can keep paying off our mortgage, keep saving for travel and save for the future too. This also means I need to garden more so I can cut back on my grocery shopping, declutter to put things on Ebay and have more organisation at home.

Everyday this week Dolly and I have attended to our plot for 1 hour, pruning, weeding and preparing our beds for more plants. We started growing food less then a year ago and learning as we go. It's been a great deal of fun and I'm becoming more confident with each day.

This is what we have growing at present:

Jerusalem Artichoke - tubers growing under the ground.

Rosella for the flowers - but also the leaves which are tangy (Dolly LOVES the leaves)

2 types of eggplants - this is my favourite.

Lemongrass - makes nice cold herbal drinks and used for fragrant cooking flavours.

A small ginger root I planted 6 months ago popping up :-)

1 very sad capsicum - I've had no luck so far.

Red Pawpaw - I planted these 8 months ago. one each of female and male - Male now fruiting.

Peanuts - These will be ready for harvesting in 4 months - can't wait!

Basil and new long lebanese eggplants.

Brazilian Spinach - A happy grower all year round.

Prolific Snake Beans - I don't like them as much as the other ones I had. Will plant seeds of others this week.

This is not the best season for growing as everything suffers in the tropical monsoonal heat. However people in Bali (same weather) certainly don't stop growing and eating at this time of year, so I am interested in knowing what my ex-couchsurfing hosts are growing so I can try and replicate their successes.

What are you growing or cutting back on this year?


  1. hi miss frugal! happy new year. lovely to see all the goodies you are growing, i was just having a conversation with my husband about our vege garden for this year, it's exciting thinking about the planning and planting etc. can't wait to get my hands dirty.


  2. Shame about your job. Lucky you have all that extra time to garden now! Your garden looks great. My capsicum dragged on for ages & then suddenly the seasons changed & they where in full sun - Bam! Growing like no ones business. I'm about to pull all of the volunteer zucchini that never do anything, & replant some tomatoes. We had a lemongrass that grew super large & I ended up pulling it out completely. It was over 2 meters high, I never thought it would grow that large.

  3. i love it you actually live in a rain forest xxxxx froogs x

  4. I plan on basil, tomato, zucchini, and cayenne pepper. However, it depends on lots of things as to whether I get to do so--mainly my physical condition and help I may or may not have.

  5. Oh wow! It looks like a rainforest down under! :) Those pawpaws are fantastic!

    I'm working out what to plant now in my garden in Spring. I'm currently undertaking a food-type experiment. I'll be posting in the next couple of days about it!

  6. Your garden looks fantastic for a first timer! I would move your capsicum to a full sun position - they love the heat. Was interested in your eggplant too as I am a first time grower of these this year & I got the seedlings for $0.80 each - they are so expensive to buy in the NZ supermarkets.
    Don't worry about the money - it will all work out. I downsized my "corporate" (= manic) position to part time several years ago after having severe health problems & ending up in hospital several times. I didn't think we'd make it financially, but you know what - you slow down, you do other things & we've never been happier! In fact, our lifestyle got better since I had more time to garden, research things, cook from scratch, bake our own bread etc etc. Good luck!

  7. looks amazing ..... I can't wait until we have more space to move around and have a veggie garden.


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