Tag Archives: thoughts

R3000 Challenge: I’m in trouble… 

YOI! I’m in trouble. I did a quick shop yesterday. (I’m surprised at how often I need to go to the shops, as it turns out – 5ppl can eat quite a lot).

I spent another R300, which, in my vague calculation (still unsure of total GFC order) leaves me around R600 for the rest of the month. 😳 I have meat, and staples. But today my confidence may have superseded the reality of my situation because I might have made some rash decisions.

I bought 2 x 3kg bags of butternut. Why 2? Did I need 2? I’m not so sure. I also needed tea. So I bought a box, of 107 teabags. Do I need all 107 teabags? Can I even drink that much in 15 more days? Not a chance. But the bulk buyer in me came to the party.

The saver came to the party too and I couldn’t refuse the Jungle Oats on sale, nor the Bubbly chocolate. If Bubbly is ever on sale, it’s almost sinful to say no. Surely? So I caved, and as I grabbed two slabs off the shelf I thought twice about my budget. And naively took the hit. 


I seeeeeeriously need to tighten the purse strings. Because I have a birthday boy coming up, and cake (and school party treats) will be a necessity shortly.

RIGHT! Two points that have been raised by numerous readers: FREEZING GLASS JARS.

Yes, I too believed one could never freeze glass, but, it turns out you can. A friend showed me or else I would’ve been way too scared to try. They must be decent glass jars and you must be sensible. Don’t freeze HOT food, straight from the oven into the freezer, and take care when defrosting. Don’t take it from the freezer and pop it straight in the microwave/oven. Go easy on your glass.

I buy my glass jars from Bonpak in Prime Park, Diep River. They’re the same size and shape as the Oh Mega Nut Butter jars.

RETHINKING FOOD:

A friend messaged me today, and she was reading my mind. Her message was as follows:

I love the challenge blah blah because… you “buy what you need, no need to overdo elaborate meals EVERY night, good for the hips, good for the world / enviro (cause not over consuming in this consumer crazy society etc etc). Every time I have made my “normal” purchases I think of you and how you’re exercising such restraint and it makes me see the “normal” purchase as a super spoil.”

Someone else (talking about something similar but different) spoke of our consumer culture like this: shopping (unnecessarily, in our case maybe for food/eating) is a way of “filling voids, eradicating boredom, fostering laziness, thwarting creativity, not to mention draining our bottom line“.

I sometimes imagine asking someone from the early 1900’s to watch our western culture. And I wonder how sensible popping into the same shop every 2nd day would seem? Especially in today’s unbelievably demanding lifestyle, when we don’t actually have the time to spare? Does buying a takeaway coffee look cool, indulgent or irresponsible? Is it a prerequisite to your morning? (Coffee is ABSOLUTELY a prerequisite to mine, and I thank the Good Lord for the creamy sweet nectar every morning as I sip it). Pre-cooked meals? Are they convenient, or necessary, or have we barely stopped to consider the joy and creativity involved in cooking we’re blindly robbing ourselves of? Nooooooo judgement here guys – I’m asking myself these exact questions… (and I could’ve fueled a small country on the amount of take away coffee I had last month…)

What is food? What have we made it? Where have we been sold a lemon by society? I’m ALL about good food. I’ve said this already. I love what it represents; different textures and colours, what humans are able to create with micro greens and edible flowers, the complexity of flavours and beauty and satisfaction in a delicately prepared meal. But when did we put it on autopilot?

How I’m keeping our grocery budget to R3000 this month. 

Anyone else feeling slightly nauseous at the prices of groceries recently? I get that I’m now buying for a (solid food eating) family of 5, but it seems like every trip to the shops seems to deplete my bank account more than it should, and it’s significant. And I know others feel the same.

We recently had veeeeery dear friends visiting us from Vancouver. Despite paying for 4 doctors appointments and numerous meds in 6 days the week prior, we decided that we’d enjoy the holiday and have fun and not be scared off by our growing credit card bill. We’d also endured a car break in (in hubby’s car), the need for new brakes on my car, new glasses for our son, and random renovation payments. But whatevs. We were going to have fun. Oh, and FUN we did! I’m sure I’ll blog alllll about it another time. Cape Town is spectacular.

Right, so on Sunday evening through tears we bid our friends farewell. Our time together had deeply satisfied our hearts, our minds, our emotions, certainly our stomachs, and most definitely the ones reaping benefits from the interest we pay on our Discovery Card.

And so, in the spirit of FUN, and not despair (this is important) we decided that we needed to replenish the available funds and be HARDCORE about it. So I set myself the most ridiculous challenge of keeping our food budget this month to R3000. We’re only allowed to spend R3000 on food this month. Can we do it? When I shared my new challenge with my girlfriends, one actually texted back “that’s impossible”. Maybe it is, we’ll soon see.

Before anyone throws any eye-rolling judgemental glances my way – I have a few DISCLAIMERS:

1) This does not include the existing food I have in my house (although I assure you there wasn’t heaps – if I did it would defeat the point).

2) While I will do my best not to deplete EVERYTHING in my pantry before 1 July, I do want to rummage through and use things that have been there a while. Use up before buying new.

3) This is not an exact science or mathematical formulae on how much each meal costs. I have given myself a R3k limit, but obviously, as with most lessons we teach ourselves, it’s more about opening our eyes to how we do things (in auto pilot) and then rethinking them…

4) Since we eat mostly paleo, we will have to be reaaaaally flexible when it comes to what we eat. Some nights very well might be bread and butter (not margarine, NEVER margarine).

5) I know that for some, R3000 for food alone can seem like a LUXURY. Budgets and money are sensitive topics – but most people in my demographic easily spend more than double that on food. Again, it’s bringing into question numerous thoughts and ways of doing things which deserve attention from time to time.


Let’s get into it, in the post to follow. This is not a bait-and-switch, I just know the most people don’t like to read long posts… so keep your eyes peeled for the next installment.

Join me! This will be fun.