28 June restocking session

Fresh stuff.

Well, I’ve been to the shops and I have food. Which is always a nice outcome for anyone, I think.

I’m rather annoyed, because I’ve just realised that I don’t have a receipt from the greengrocer’s. So I won’t be able to break it all down for you. However, the vegetables cost me $12.50.

Here they are:

Fresh stuff.

Fresh stuff.

There is:

  • a bag of onions,
  • half a bunch of celery,
  • some bok choy,
  • a few Brussels sprouts (The Boy loves them),
  • 3 zucchini,
  • a corn on the cob,
  • an eggplant,
  • half a cabbage,
  • 4 small red capsicum, and
  • a handful of button mushrooms.

Total = $12.50

There’s also a few leaves of Cavolo Nero or Tuscan Kale, given to me by someone at the Community Garden, and a few lemons given to me by a complete stranger at the laundromat. As they do…

In Aldi, I bought:

  • 1 x 3 litre tin Extra Virgin Olive Oil                    $17.99
  • 1 pkt wholemeal tortilla wraps                            $1.99
  • 2 x 500g blocks unsalted butter                           $5.18
  • 500g shredded Mozzarella Cheese                     $4.49
  • 700g shredded Tasty Cheese                                 $5.49
  • 500g frozen stir fry mix                                            $2.19
  • 500g streaky bacon                                                   $5.99
  • 1kg Pork Mince                                                           $9.98
  • 1 kg Plain Flour                                                           $0.75
  • 1 kg SR Flour                                                                $0.75
  • 3 x 1l UHT Full Cream Milk @$0.95                     $2.85
  • 1 kg Jasmine Rice                                                      $2.29
  • 2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes @$0.99               $1.98
  • 2 x 400g tins kidney beans @$0.75                    $1.50
  • 1 x 800g tin apple pie filling                                  $2.99

Total – $66.41

Some of the groceries.

Some of the groceries.

At Woolworths, I bought:

  • 1 x pkt Gow Gee Pastry (Won Ton wrappers) $2.60
  • 1kg Arborio rice                                                           $3.20
  • 500g desiccated coconut                                        $2.99
  • 2 x 250g choc chips 2 for                                          $5.00
  • 1 Dozen free range eggs                                           $6.49

Total -$20.28

Which makes a Grand Total of $99.19.

I have no idea what possessed me to buy the rice and coconut at Woolworths. I can only think it was because I was there for the eggs and remembered I needed more. ‘Mistakes were made,’ as The Boy would say.

Now don’t imagine for a minute that I expect to use all that oil in the next few weeks.

Hot chilli oil.

Hot chilli oil.

That will last us 6 months or more. I decided to restock as I had just finished our last tin of it by refilling our smaller bottle on the counter and making that litre of Chilli oil for my Step-father.

I had decided it was going to be a “stock up” type of shop. I don’t need more flours, but I got them anyway. They are now filling containers in the pantry, along with the chocolate chips (which I only ever buy if there is a ‘twofer’).

The multiple cartons of milk will happily sit in the pantry until I have a visitor who takes milk in their coffee, or I want to cook something that needs it.

The bacon will be divided into 2 rasher parcels and frozen that way. I use it to add a punch of flavour to anything I think might need it.



We buy shredded/grated cheeses as a rule. It prevents grated knuckles, saves washing up and reduces waste. Cheese in this household is considered a condiment or garnish, not a major player.

There are three containers in the refrigerator, two labelled “Pizza” and “Tasty,” and one that obviously holds parmesan cheese and doesn’t need a label. About a cup’s worth of cheese goes into each of these containers and the rest goes in the freezer until the containers are empty. This amount of cheese will last us several months. (Unless I go on a major pizza-making binge.)

The butter will last quite a long time if refrigerated correctly. I like to use butter in my baking and had none at all to hand.

The Gow Gee wrappers are because I want to try making some gyoza for snacks and to freeze for later (snacks). This is the destination of half the pork mince.

The other half of the mince will be used for some meatballs that I will also freeze for a dinner shortcut in the future – although I’m quite tempted to explore other options.

I have a piece of Pork Belly and a Marinated Beef Roast currently in the freezer – along with the rest of last shop’s frozen beef mince and chicken pieces. So, one of those will form a major meal at some stage this fortnight and appear in different guises following that.

The cans of tomatoes and kidney beans are currently being used, along with one package of the frozen beef mince, to make a crockpot full of the most delicious-smelling Chilli con Carne.

Chilli con carne to be

Chilli con carne to be

This is what it looked like when I walked away from it a few hours ago. The kidney beans will be added about 30 mins before serving just to heat them through.

Leftovers may form calzone fillings, quesadilla fillings, pasta sauce or I might turn it into a cobbler. Then again, they might just be frozen until inspiration strikes.

I’ll post the recipe some time later this week.

I’m thinking the next time I go shopping it will be mostly for meat to restock the freezer. There’s only so many times in a row that one can eat beef mince, quite frankly.

But for now…I’m hungry!





Stocking the larder…

The fresh stuff.


Okay. I promised I’d document the $25 each a week thing, which means I have to start with the hunting and gathering part of it all.

(Check out the Paleo reference! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! I’ll stop now…)

Before I talk about what I’ve bought though, there’s something you need to understand. This is my pantry.

2015-06-09 17.01.142015-06-09 17.01.322015-06-10 15.04.54





It’s quite well-stocked and I like to keep it that way. I didn’t buy all of these things in one week, but I have bought things as I needed or wanted them. If I run out of something, then I replace it.

To a lot of people, there would seem to be very little actual food in here. Instead, they would just consider it to be a collection of ingredients. Okay, then.  I don’t buy processed food as a rule. There are no packet mixes in my kitchen, there are also no snack foods, no breakfast cereals or the like. I make things from scratch. This helps to control consumption – if it’s not there, we can’t eat it – to keep additives and preservatives out of our systems, and to keep costs down.

The exceptions are things like curry pastes and that jar of Nutella (for The Boy) and Vegemite for me. I also stock sachets of microwaveable rice for last minute meals.

My refrigerator and freezer are also full – of ingredients. I’ve not photographed them, but the same principles apply. The only ready meals in my freezer are ones that I’ve made up and put there.

When you look at my grocery purchases you’ll see a lot more of the same. I tend to buy the same things and use them in different ways. However, I also treat myself to something new whenever I shop (as long as it isn’t hideously expensive) and that means I get both to have a play and to try new flavours.

Some of this week's  shop...

Dry goods for the pantry

At this time of year, my kitchen is the coldest part of the house and I like to spend as little time in there as possible. Casseroles and slow cooker meals make a frequent appearance, because I can put them onto cook with very little fuss and leave them to their own devices until I want to serve them.

Meat for the next 2 weeks

Meat for the next 2 weeks

I’m also using a lot of frozen vegetables for our main meals. I don’t have a problem with this. In many cases frozen (and canned)  vegetables are fresher than the “fresh” items available in the green grocery or supermarkets, as they are frozen not long after they are picked. Contrast this with long road transport and cold storage times for their supposedly “Fresh” brethren. If they are produced in Australia or New Zealand, then I know they’re clean and grown in healthy conditions.

The fact that the frozen vegetables are pre-prepared means that I’m less likely to hurt myself preparing them if I’m a bit wobbly that day too. Bonus. Mixed frozen vegetables means that I can pour a cup of the medley into a microwave container and have all we need heated in a trice.

Frozen goods

Frozen goods

But I do buy fresh as well. I always try to have onions, carrots and celery to hand, along with potatoes and sweet potatoes.

The fresh stuff.

The fresh stuff.

So, without further ado – the shopping!

In Aldi, I bought:

  • 2 Kg Beef mince                    $13.60 (I’ll divide this up into 4 x 500g bags and freeze)
  • 600g chicken tenderloins $ 7.65 (I’ll crumb, bake and snap freeze these for future meals)
  • 1.6 kg corned beef               $12.42

Total – $33.67

  • 1 kg frozen peas                                    $1.99
  • 1 kg frozen peas,carrots and corn $2.79
  • 1 kg frozen mixed winter veg           $1.59
  • 500g frozen stirfry mix                        $2.19
  • 1 kg beer battered fries                      $2.69 (see my recipe for loaded fries)

Total – $11.25

  • corn snack pack (4 sml cans of kernels)             $2.29
  • 1 x can creamed corn                                                 $0.89
  • 2 x 400g cans cannelini beans                                $1.50
  • 2 x 400g cans kidney beans                                     $1.50
  • 2 x 400g can crushed tomatoes with herbs     $1.58
  • 1 x 400g can condensed milk                                 $1.69 (for dulce de leche of course!)
  • 1 x 190g jar sundried tomato pesto                    $1.99
  • 1 x 190g jar capsicum pesto                                   $1.99 (my new thing to try this week)
  • 1 x jar hot paprika                                                      $2.49

Total – $15.92

  • 500g unsalted butter                             $2.59
  • 1 kg Plain flour                                         $0.75
  • 2 kg SR flour                                              $1.50
  • 1 kg Jasmine rice                                    $2.29
  • 1 kg brown onions                                  $1.49

Total – $8.62

At Woolworths, I spent $12 on a 10kg bag of Laucke wholegrain bread mix (We make our own bread at the moment).

At the greengrocer:

  • 1.5 kg washed potatoes                 $3.00
  • 790g pink lady apples                     $1.49
  • 2 kg butternut pumpkin               $1.52
  • 600g sweet potatoes                      $1.83
  • sweet red capsicum                        $2.39
  • 1/2 a bunch of celery                     $1.29
  • 3 bok choy                                          $1.59
  • 1 orange                                              $0.38

Total – $13.49

All of which came to $94.95.


So, tonight we will be “shopping the fridge” and eating the remainder of a pasta bake I made last night. That used up most of a rotisserie chicken I had, so the rest of that meat has gone into the freezer and the carcass will be made into chicken stock for the freezer overnight.