Having a hard time this year

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11 years 6 months ago #445462 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Having a hard time this year
On ya Kilmoon!
My brother and I used to sneak the big triangular Tux biscuits sometimes just because we could and we both grew up normal. Aunty put dog roll on uncle's sandwiches for a while but his mates at work gave him a lot of cheek when they found out.
We have often eaten roadkill and creatures that died of natural causes if we found them soon enough. Large quantities of curry powder and that sort of thing can conceal the smell/taste of questionable meat. I say to the children "you don't have to like it, you just have to eat it". They have started saying the same thing to each other sometimes now. MIL used to cook Guinea Pigs and stinging nettle when they were hard up and her sister's husband once cooked steaks off a horse that he found dead and told the family it was venison. There is always a way to make a feed for the family if one is a bit creative.
Being as tight as a fish's arse helps too of course. I am fortunate in having spent a lot of time with my father's parents as a child. They taught me a lot about growing up dirt poor which has given me a certain mindset that has never gone away.
A holiday for me is time off from my paid job so I can stay home and get some things done.
Christmas is going to be a bit lean for us this year as well but there is a boar whose days are numbered so we will eat well if nothing else.
Perhaps, daerfamily, less expensive cars might be something worth looking at to help you out of trouble. Once when my grandfather was hard up during WW2 he sold his near new car and bought a much older vehicle for a quarter of the sale price and the remainder of the money kept him out of trouble for long enough for things to come right for him.

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11 years 6 months ago #445468 by Kilmoon
Igor - best time I've ever had was staying at nana's (mums mum) and helping cook. Her family survived the London blitz and all the associated shortages of that time - it was amazing what she could do with dead meat of a questionable origin.... that's if they got their hands on meat! She would always say (if we hurt ourselves) "are your arms hanging off? legs? lost some fingers?, no, then what the hell do you have to complain about!" Her attitude to normal childhood injuries was at a completely different level to the 'wrap in cotton wool' of today kids. Mum's one contribution was "don't you get blood on my carpet!" - unless you were dying in front of her she didn't really give a damn how you had ripped your toenail off etc....ohh, and if it was still attached by a thread, she'd help it on its way to the rubbish bin before putting a plaster on.

Yeah, when you grow up poor you learn whats actually important in life and how little you actually need to survive. Our holidays were a day trip to the Bay of Islands, an ice cream when we got there, warm soggy cucumber sandwiches for lunch (amazing how that taste and texture is memorable decades later :D ), and fish n chips on the way home that night. About every five years we might make a trip to the Auckland Zoo... until the day Mum nearly had a heart attack at the price to get us all in! Mum and Dad let us vote the day's activities: go into the zoo but no extra $ for food (as all$ gone on getting in), or wander around Auckland for the day with a lunch out....we all voted zoo, and fish n chips for dinner. Missing a meal never killed us as kids, but damn we all enjoyed that last visit; at the prices charged we all knew it was the last time down to see it, so we made the most of it.

Money (the lack or surplus of) only has power over your life if you let it. Its a useful tool buts that's all it is. Its certainly not the be-all or end-all of your life.

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11 years 6 months ago #445475 by Hawkspur
Other things to consider are:
Do you pay Sky fees? If you do, cancel it. They take a lot of money from people, for what is mostly rubbish, that you don't have the time to watch.
The public library is a great resource if you want entertainment.

Baking bread is cheaper than buying. It can be easy too: see the recipe on this forum for one minute ciabatta.
Baking anything is cheaper than buying, especially when you take quality into account. Bake a lot at a time to save on power usage.

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11 years 5 months ago #445476 by llvonn
Replied by llvonn on topic Having a hard time this year
Re food bill - remember making things from scratch makes things cheaper as does eating in season.
1 egg +100g plain flour = pasta for two. I often make fresh pasta and never overcook it, whereas dried pasta always ends up overcooked. Just use a rolling pin and slice with a knife. (remembering to let the dough rest 15 min before rolling). Pasta sauce is 1-2 onions plus canned tomatoes and any seasonings or additives you desire.
If your cows are producing milk - make your own ice cream with eggs from your chickens.
Try and borrow Sophie Gray's cook books from your library, her recipes are really good for families.
Do you have a vege garden?If not, grab a couple of zucchini and silverbeet seedlings, a pack of dwarf bean seeds, and start with those. They are hard to stuff up and very productive. Also, they are expensive to buy in the shops.
Re kids - popcorn is a cheap snack and as long as you don't use sugar, can be regarded as veges.

1 Border Terrier, 5 hens, 5 chicks, an orchard and vege garden. All on 350 square metres.

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11 years 5 months ago #445479 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic Having a hard time this year

llvonn;445478 wrote:
Do you have a vege garden?If not, grab a couple of zucchini and silverbeet seedlings, a pack of dwarf bean seeds, and start with those.


& mesclun lettuce/other lettuce suitable for picking... tons of seeds & if you plant a 1/2 doz every couple of weeks you will have heaps to pick all the time... I have 3 containers in my courtyard filled with them... I just plant a few extra seeds every few weeks in the bigger gaps & pull out any past it ones

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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11 years 5 months ago #445481 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Having a hard time this year
katieb
thanks you have reminded me, I have some growing and yes I should know better, but I have forgotten to sow another crop

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11 years 5 months ago #445483 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic Having a hard time this year

kai;445485 wrote: katieb
thanks you have reminded me, I have some growing and yes I should know better, but I have forgotten to sow another crop


I forgot a while ago & had to buy lettuce last week!!!!

it was an iceburg & is still going so by the time its finished the other stuff will be ready :)

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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11 years 5 months ago #445490 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic Having a hard time this year
Sympathies - been there, done that, so many times!

A few more suggestions to add to those already given, gained from my time with Stepmum who had a black belt in frugal living and from Aunty Social Welfare:

rabbits are edible (and free), and

get a 'pig' (a fictitious one) and ask any food business your hubby goes past to save their expired/ not needed food (cafes are marvellous for this) for your 'pig' - any food that's any good, you can eat/freeze/recycle yourselves, and any that really is animal food can be fed to chooks, so you don't need to buy pellets or mash.

Don't mean to sound bizarre, but, when needs must...and you can save the much needed cash for things which really must have money, and scrounge / haggle for the rest.
My four kids used to laugh / cringe at what I could and did scrounge up, but now they have grown up, they all do it themselves and are none the worse for it!

A final one -check op shops when you can, many discarded / cheap but very useful objects turn up in op shops.

Best of wishes & luck!

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11 years 5 months ago #445494 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Having a hard time this year
Welcome to the club!

I lost my job a few months after we bought our LSB, halfing our income but we got through it. That was some 20 years ago when we paid 15 and a quarter percent in interest.

I actually feed a family of 5 (all kids older than 15) for less than what you have for food and we eat very well. Hubby shot a hare yesterday and that will make 2 very nice meals for all of us, including a visitor.

$260 per week is $37.14 per day - what do you spend that kind of money on??

We drink water and herbal teas - today we had plantain tea fresh from the paddock. Alcohol is a bottle of red wine when we have visitors.

No cigarettes, no coffee, no fizzies - it's unhealthy anyway.

I bought a breadmaker (first one which is worn out cost $20 on TradeMe) and bread now is less than a Dollar per loaf. Toppings - honey from our bees, home made jam, sons like salami or ham so we buy that maybe once a week and cheese which we also buy.

A packet of pasta is $2 on special, an onion, a tin of tomatoes, home grown pumpkin and some meat or eggs - most dinners for all of us don't cost more than 10 Dollars.

We have one car, 4 drivers. If it's not available - tough luck. Does your hubby NEED that diesel guzzler that uses more than 10litres per 100km? A Suzuki swift could save you $150 per week in petrol.

Our kids have never had a playstation, never an overseas holiday, never one of those arranged 'fairy birthday parties' - but they grew up eating healthy homegrown food and had lots of space to play.

It's really easy to make a 5 year old happy and it doesn't have to cost much at all. You've got penty of suggestions already - don't be afraid to be different. We've always been different and it didn't do our kids any harm.

If you live in the country embrace country life and all the free stuff that comes with it.

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11 years 5 months ago #445498 by ronnie
Replied by ronnie on topic Having a hard time this year
Also been there and still are [xx(]

One thing I will stress - ring the IRD. If you do not come to an arrangement with them, they will just take what they see fit out of your husbands pay and you will have no choice in the matter. Do it before the payment becomes overdue.

Good luck with everything else.

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11 years 5 months ago #445511 by kindajojo
Kilmoon you reminded me of my childhood. We were never allowed to "eat between meals", but occasionally we would come home from school to a massive rice pudding that mum encouraged us to eat. I now realise it was because she had very little for dinner that night but we didnt care because we were full of rice pudding. It was her way of making do when the $$$ were short.
Porridge/weetbix for breakfast or once a week a boiled egg. (cholesterol thing)
Tripe, lambs fry and kidney were regular.
As the youngest I get the hand me downs and they had been down quite a way.

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11 years 5 months ago #445521 by CHEESE_IT
I know what your going through, it seems to be a right of passage.

Its important to communicate with the IRD regarding any outstanding tax, they have systems in place to help you "pay-off" any you owe.

Ditto with the bank, they would rather you work through this period with them than wait to react. Its worth considering putting some of the loan into an interest only loan. It will cut down the weekly payments by some margin.

Maybe consider an accountant, you could find a way to claim some of the costs if there is any income component to your farm/lifestyle block.

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11 years 5 months ago #445522 by llvonn
Replied by llvonn on topic Having a hard time this year
Also remember that buying in bulk can save money - but only when it's items you use regularly (i.e. bulk flour if you make your own bread, oats if you have porridge in the morning).
Have you contacted your local budget advice? No shame in asking for help. The service is free and sometimes it helps to have an outsider look in as sometimes when you are facing these issues - you can't see the wood for the trees. They can also help you contact organisations like the IRD and discuss payment options.
Also - you could try contacting the local branch of supergrans - they have mentors that can help you learn gardening and cooking and other traditional skills.

1 Border Terrier, 5 hens, 5 chicks, an orchard and vege garden. All on 350 square metres.

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11 years 5 months ago #445523 by daerfamily
Thanks everyone for your input. I have read through all your messages and it's overwhelming the response I've had esp in my inbox, so thanks!

Regarding the diesel car, we bought this because my husband used to drive a toyota corolla which was very economical, but driving into town from where we live for work in the depths of winter became very dangerous for him, and I had no sleep during the nights of June and July because I was terrified a) I would be husbandless and more importantly b) my children would be fatherless. So we got a safer 4WD so it's not so treacherous. I dont go very far anymore as the petrol costs. I do take two kids to preschool and back and also the school run as we are not on a bus route (which I am currently battling with the school for as we are not the only 'kids' on the street).

Food, well, yes, we probably spend toooo much! That amount currently includes EVERYTHING (beer for DH as I feel like he never ever gets anything and works his butt off, only 12 pack) .. also includes pellets for chooks etc, and one of my children is gluten free so we have to be careful there with what we buy. I do make my own bread etc, and I do have a vegie garden, it is just currently full of seedlings and not any vegies yet but in a month there will be (potatoes, toms, cucumber, beans, peas, carrots, courgette, peppers, onions, sp onions and leeks). I buy homebrand ALL the time. The meat I spend probably $25/week until we get our first homekill done hopefully this time next year.

As far as car pooling goes, DH is the only one from his work out this way, so that wont work lol. Good idea though!

I am 100% certain I will not feed my children pet food - after working at Mars pet food in the north island for a year, I would never even feed it to my pets let alone my children! We eat alot of healthy food here, lots of fresh fruit (which may be my downfall as I believe it is a good thing to have) ... we do have an orchard planted, which will provide apples and pears most of the year round they are just starting to fruit now ... it's all a waiting game.

I have never ever asked for help from anyone WINZ/IRD anyone, we have always found a way out! Today I wrote a letter to the IRD asking if they would consider a payment option etc so we shall see.

My sons birthday, well, the party in the paddock sounds pretty good!! The 'city' children coming may have to get used to the cow pats lol. I have presents stashed away from the year and also christmas is sorted, as I buy things as I see them when they are on sale and not at this time of year.

I feel a little more positive today after working a few things out. I dont know about the interest only loan ... dont you eventually have to pay back the principal!?!? We have been putting $15/week extra on to the mortgage on top of the required amount, which I have stopped today ... and will start again once things turn around.

Until then, fingers crossed all for a merry december and happy 2013, may we have lovely sunny days and rainy nights for all those in need of rain (like us!) ... thanks again.

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11 years 5 months ago #445525 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Having a hard time this year
I was getting peeved off with my weekly grocery bill. I thought we would be further along in the home grown food chain than we are and the blinking chooks keep getting to my lettuces and perhaps you are in this position too.

My homekill has run out and due to roster and weather conditions, it hasn't been timely for SOH and neighbour to do over the next beast and hogget. SOH hasn't had time to go fishing either.

So in my case I have recently been buying only the things we have run out of, as opposed to what I would grab as I walked through the ailes. So far its working out. I made a point earlier on to buy things we use when on special and not on any other occasion, and that has given us a good store cupboard of items along the lines of flour, sugar and rice. Bread is the same, I buy what is on special, and it goes into the freezer. I have tried making my own bread but not very successfully and also I don't see it as being cheaper than buying bread when on special. Its just that you know what is going into it that appeals to me to do home bread baking.

Feminine hygiene product pricings peeve me no end. they never seem to stop going up!

Instead of buying little packets of salt, I buy the 25 kilo bags from RD1 when on special. I am reassured by several trusted and healthy beings this salt is no different to our domestic variety, but because of labelling and pricing, is at the commerical end of the market. We are doing ok by using it, none of us have grown a 3rd leg or such like.

Recently "One Day"" an email based daily alert, had specials on Hubby's mach 3 blades and our persil. both excellent buys even after postage. Washing powder is expensive at the supermarket as the packets get smaller and smaller!

About a year or so ago, I found there was not much difference between Pak N save and C***ntdown in pricing. I was therefore surprised upon visiting our local PNS to find this has now changed and big savings are there again. Might pay to review where you are buying your goods from...

In regard to fuel costs, we have 3 vehicles, a 1 yo diesel 4wd, an older petrol honda civic, and an LPG ute we brought across from aussie with us.
As my Hubby works PT at Wiri and depending on shopping fuel vouchers, it works out cheaper for him to take my diesel 4wd when available to work than the little civic.
And if he drives the civic, he now fills up at the unmanned service stations which saves further cents per litre. We don't fill up at Papakura motorway (the most expensive). Watch those prices as well.

The LPG vehicle used to be cheaper when new than the civic and 4wd, however now its getting on, the diesel wins including RUCs. The two older vehicles are regularly serviced by our excellent local mechanic, the 4wd is still under warranty and so far I am happy with that.

Pet food: Our dogs get dog biscuits when on special and they are allowed to hunt for possums and rabbits when out and in our company. SOH also occasionally shoots a possum and they knaw on that for meat. As we have plenty of eggs, they usually get 1 each with their nightly biscuits at least twice a week.

Kids: we have 1, a 14 yo, she doesn't get pocket money but was encouraged to start her own chook business and we helped with the purchase of an incubator from TM. She sells her eggs to family and Dad's work mates which works out ok, but selling chooks on TM is better as there is a big market out there for living meat birds. If you go down that track, ensure your ad' quotes for people to bring their own boxes, they seem to turn up without them, wanting live birds but not planning on how to contain them...

We are honest with E where the money is at and she has enjoyed the very good times and shared the lows. I think honesty is the best policy with kids although it would be hard to spring it on them ''all of a sudden'' if you haven't done it with them before.

I haven't started christmas shopping yet, and have her birthday in early February, my Dad's is in January. We know what we want to get for her, but will see if it comes on special beforehand or leave it until her birthday and then buy it cheaper. In the meanwhile I will buy stocking (home made by nan) fillers such as sweets, cheap DVD's on horses and such like, and decorate the house.

Nothing needs to feel different for the prep of christmas. Its the attitude, love and company that counts. :)

Have a good one from me to you!

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