Tag Archives: careful consumer

Controversial Children’s Clothes

This has been a bugbear of mine since having my darling daughter 6 years ago. I’m conflicted: I want to be cool and appear to not be fussed about silly things, but the old-school feminist, pro-people-having-respect part of me gets annoyed and cross about them.

Gallery of children’s clothes here.

I mean, The Babymop is just funny. Surely no mom would think it was a real item.

But this one?

I just find this offensive. It’s age-inappropriate, not to mention that it smacks of misogynism.

The baby bikini body is just humorous to me: .

I don’t see it as making a child look older than she/he is. It’s obvious that it’s a onesie and it’s surely obvious that the little kid wearing it is years away from being curvy and filling out a bikini.

I’m not cool with onesies that have swear words on them or intimate that the child is looking for a MILF. That’s just yuck.

The more I think about this, the more my head hurts. I’m going to have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. That’s less controversial.


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in children


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Window shopping

Well, when you’re stuck at home or in front of a computer, it’s more correct to call it something else.

I play at imaginary shopping. If it works for little kids, it should work for me. The difference is I don’t get a neat little shopping trolley and plastic baked goods and a tiny cash-free cash register and the opportunity to dress up in a hat and gloves.

For example, if I hadn’t forked out another $220 to the gardeners to remove two trees, dispose of rubbish and take away a slippery slide from my backyard, I would totally be buying these cool flash cards for young nerds. I reckon DD would enjoy them. This is the kid who wanted me to make a volcano in the kitchen, and keeps asking me what dirt is made of and how do you make a car in a factory and why do trees grow.

Apart from the cash issue and the fact that I am doing imaginary shopping only, the thing that would finally stop me from getting them is the ensuing new questions and the answers I’d have to revise.

Think about it. Mum, what’s covalent mean? What are magnetic poles? Why can’t I count in binary at school? What’s a degree and why does a triangle only get 180 of them but a square gets 360? That’s not fair!

In a way, imaginary shopping can save me money. By not buying these cards, I am not having to buy tablets to deal with the headache that would come from DD’s continuing questions. 🙂

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Education


Tags: , , ,

No, or not much, spending

I should re-do my tags. It is more honest to say it’s Not Much Spending September. 🙂

Yesterday I had to fork out $28 for a prescription and also spent $7 at the supermarket. Definitely not a NO spend.

I found a card from a local supermarket that apologises for the mess involved in renovations and offers 5% off a bill total of more than $30. Considering that I have to buy toilet paper at some point (and honestly, I’m fussy to the point of neurotic about the type of TP we have and what the plumbing will cope with), I will now start a shopping list of what are supermarket only goods.

One friend suggested that I buy some things in bulk from wholesale places. The plan had more merits when there were 3 of us in this house. I can see the sense in buying a box of paper towels (still go through these steadily), but we simply don’t go through much soap, for example, or butter or cheese. Our grocery bills have decreased a fair bit since DH died.

I am leery of buying too much of perishable stuff that will go off. We have a small freezer in the refrigerator so that limits how much I will make in pre-prepared meals. I suppose we could buy a small freezer, but it would have to pay its way to make it worth (a) the initial outlay and (b) the ongoing electricity costs. Hmmm …

To do:
1. Find out if it’s worth getting paper towels in bulk. No sense in getting scrappy stuff that falls to pieces. And how much is ‘bulk’? 48 rolls? Where would I store them?
2. Find out the electricity costs of running a small freezer.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Budget, Food


Tags: ,

Buy Nothing September

Since it’s 1st September, I should write a bit about my plan for September.

Inspired by Shipmates, I’m joining in Buy Nothing September. Doing it with others gives me a bit of support, a bit of accountability, and some good ideas as well.

I had a look at my bank balance this morning. Gasp! Things have been vile since DH died – huge drop in income, even allowing for his small pension. Time to pull my head out of the clouds about how I spend my cash each week.

I should add that I’m apparently pound-wise and penny-foolish. Obviously the latter translated into pound-foolish later on when I think about the money that I’ve wasted on cups of coffee or muffins or lunch or dinner or silly wee things at the supermarket.

I suspect part of the reason why my everyday account looks so beaten is because I tend to put any lump sums into my mortgage offset account to cut down on interest payments. That certainly is a good thing and as far as I can, I’ll try to continue that.

As part of my No Spend September, I have to budget for bills and ongoing payments. That means two fortnightly mortgage payments. There’s also the trash collection service bill to pay which is $125. Particularly high this month because I had two CRT monitors collected and the ACT charges like a wounded bull for recycling monitors and TVs. Part of me applauds the ‘green’ policy behind that. The penny-pinching part of me is having a bloody good whinge about having to pay to get rid of DH’s excess, old monitors as part of my ongoing decluttering project. Apparently there will be some free national e-waste scheme started sometime in 2011 (hey, that means 2012 in Australian terms) but I’m not willing to store more stuff in the shed for that long as a hiding place for spiders, cockroaches and wriggly things.

My tasks for today and tomorrow are to do a more accurate stocktake of the pantry and the refrigerator. I have chicken to make into a big dish of chicken risotto tonight (may have to extend the arborio rice with some long grain rice but that’s my fault for not doing a proper shelf check at home before going out to the supermarket).

The other thing that occurs to me is how much I do love my snacks. I really do. So at work I have some of those sachets for DIY cappuccinos, just add boiling water. Looking at the pantry properly has reminded me that I bought way too much self-raising flour in April. I have recipe books, I have baking trays and I have eggs from my friend’s hens. I can make biscuits. Maybe even raspberry jam biscuits.


Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Budget, decluttering project


Tags: , , ,

Cat update and budgeting

The Ancient Kitty is getting better. His eye ulcer has reduced in size. I am still putting drops of serum in his eyes, though finding it hard to do four times a day. Bearing in mind that I have to go to work to earn money to pay veterinarian bills, I’m not sure how the vet thinks I’m going to take time off to drive home to medicate a cat. He also has antibiotic eye cream which he similarly loathes. That cat can put a lot of distaste into a glare. This morning he headed off at a run rather than submit to eye medication. Not bad for a 17-year-old cat with poor muscle tone in his hind legs.

He also hates the Cone of Shame which he is expected to wear. The vet told me optimistically that by raising the cat’s dishes, perhaps on a brick, the Ancient Kitty will be able to eat and drink easily. Um, not in this universe. I saw it. I mean, we’re talking about a cat that stands in his water dish while eating from a food dish next to it. He isn’t as sharp as he used to be, though of course the instinct to run from medication is still strong.

I am amazed at the amount that cat has cost me this year. I nearly fainted at the most recent bill. We’ve cut back on groceries, but surely there are other things left to cut back. It’s not like we have lots of drycleaning, or that I go to the hairdresser or beautician frequently, I don’t drink much if anything at all. So off go the remaining luxuries and maybe some of the necessities

It looks like the only way I’m going to pick up is by:

  • cutting back further on babysitting (cheapest is $15 an hour so it’s no more than once every 6 to 8 weeks anyway),
  • car trips (petrol is still expensive but the bus system takes at minimum 2.25 hours return each day, more if I have to get DD from preschool first – I’ll have to cut back on trips to town)
  • the occasional cup of coffee from a cafe
  • using up everything in the freezer over the next couple of weeks and only purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and bread
  • using only the pantry supplies that I already have
  • finding additional work.

The last point is something I’ve really been thinking about. Not sure what I’m going to do or how I will achieve it. I think I’ll have to give more music lessons from my home at this rate because otherwise it will involve (a) babysitting and (b) petrol costs.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2010 in Budget, cats


Tags: , ,

Cooking styles

I love reading Molly’s blog MommyCoddle and read her entries regularly. (Go on, visit her!)

If you go to the post linked above, you’ll see a delicious recipe that DD and I are going to try next time we have the oven on. Why yes, I am making it sound like ‘an occasion’ LOL!

I’ve been using the oven a whole lot less over the past year. I’d like to say that it’s because I am careful with the electricity bill (which has veered into the OMG section in the past thanks to all items being electric rather than gas-powered in our house). Also part of it is me knowing that I am too darn tired when I get home to do anything that involves baking or roasting, hence stir fries and steamed rice are dishes fit for a queen. The third reason is that at the moment it’s so darn hot, the last thing I want to do is run the oven and swelter over trays of goodies, no matter how much I want rock cakes or a tea cake.

Now I plan ahead for oven use. I want to make home-made meat pies tonight. I prepared the meat last night – slow cooking, soft and tasty, and it drove the cats mad in anticipation. While the oven is on, I was thinking I could drag out another tray and make the scones that Molly tried. Given that the trays of pies and scones wouldn’t take up much height, I can put in all 4 metal trays in the oven and therefore cut down on baking time.

Oh boy, I am in danger of turning into a Scrooge.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

Still not the perfect housewife

I’ve heard there is such a thing. 🙂 She is the one who has a sparkling kitchen, no grease spots on the splashbacks, no errant crumbs in the bottom of the oven, and she always remembers to wear an apron so that her clothes are similarly spotless.

She irons her husband’s shirts and he prefers the way she does it. She plans ahead and doesn’t run out of milk or bread or butter or the only type of cheese that works in a quiche recipe.

Even the plants in her garden obey her.

Sadly, that woman doesn’t seem to live around here.

Nevertheless, I’ve given it a red hot go, insofar as I can without driving myself nuts, polishing the cats, dusting my husband, and tidying my daughter into a corner. The washing up is waiting but the clean clothes have been put away. Even DH has been tidying his wardrobe.

Things have been difficult over the past 6 weeks. One of my dearest and loveliest relatives died only a week after a devastating diagnosis. Just when I thought my heart was slowly repairing, there was another unexpected death, and this time it was a lovely friend who was only one year older than me. One such death, I could deal with. Two seems more than my heart can bear at this point. Small surprise that tears have poured down my cheeks, my thoughts have spun round in circles of “what if” and “why” and “not fair”.

This evening, to soothe my hot, jangled nerves and calm my hands, I found myself calling on the rituals of women in my past. No strange teas or chants, but rather the thrifty habits that run deep in my family. Taking an old flannelette nightgown that had finally worn out at the elbows and shoulders, I methodically tore it down the side seams, unpicked the yoke, cut off the buttons for my button tin, and square by square, measuring by sight, I created a new year’s worth of soft cleaning cloths. Nothing grand here. Last year’s dusters were from an old calico sheet that I or my brothers had slept in as children, long since worn thin in the middle but too sturdy at the edges to let go into the bin.

As I tore and turned the soft fabric, my thoughts wandered. Back to my maternal grandmother who had taught this to my mother. My grandmother had grown up during the Depression and knew how to make things last, how to be thrifty and sensible, and how to have fun with a small amount of money. I smiled as I thought of how my acquaintances think that I am being “green” or “recycling” or “eco-friendly” with my funny old habits. No, dear friends, I am simultaneously saving money while connecting with my past, warming myself with memories and taking my place as another grown woman in a long line.

1 Comment

Posted by on August 5, 2009 in House, Life Matters, Motherhood, women


Tags: , , , , ,