Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cutting costly corners - and cutting weeds!

An American friend living here in Oz, (it seems like we're everywhere!) recently sent me this information - comparing prices from one city to another, or I think you can even do it "country to country". (but since prices can vary from one city in a country to another, what's high in one city, may be lower just a few miles away)
I mean, I knew that things were much more expensive here where I live... but I sure as heck didn't realize by just how much!

Cost of Living comparison Between Sacramento,California USA, and Melbourne Victoria AU

Consumer Prices in Melbourne are 51.12% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Melbourne are 56.42% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Rent Prices in Melbourne are 77.17% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Restaurant Prices in Melbourne are 67.23% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Groceries Prices in Melbourne are 28.48% higher than in Sacramento, CA


Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant, CA - $9.33 ... Australia - $15.35
+64.41 % higher
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course CA - $35.00 ... Australia $67.01
+91.45 % higher
Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar CA -$5.60 ... Australia - $7.67 $
+36.94 % higher
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) CA - $2.62 - Australia - $5.71
+117.36 % higher
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $3.38 ... Australia $6.78
+101.00 % higher
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.34 ... Australia $2.88
+115.32 % higher
Water (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.20 ... Australia $2.47
+105.66 % higher

Clothing and Shoes

1 Pair of Levis 501 (Or Equivalent) CA - $38.75 ... Australia $90.11
+132.54 % higher
1 Summer Dress / Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) CA - $33.33 ... Australia $84.42
+153.26 % higher
1 Pair of Nike Shoes CA - $69.75 ... Australia $141.84
+103.36 % higher
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes CA- $65.00 ... Australia $172.18
+164.89 % higher

Eggs (12) CA - $2.62 ... Australia $3.85
+46.57 % higher
Potatoes (1kg) CA -$1.55 ... Australia $2.47
+58.70 % higher
Lettuce (1 head) CA - $1.95 ... Australia $2.46
+26.14 % higher

So, when I saw Arugula greens in the grocery store for almost 5 bucks a bunch, a light bulb went off in my head.
I decided to go for the much cheaper option, and to simply go out and weed my yard. Unfortunately, we're only eating one plant at a time, but at the rate we're going we'll will eventually get 'er done!
This way, I can live high off the hog... and at the same time, I'm saving bucket-loads of money!
Which kind of leaves my yard looking like an overgrown jungle, but hey... in the end, it's all good eats!!
Now you may think that dandelions are just your pesky garden-variety weed, but dandelion
greens have become so popular nowadays, that many grocery stores and greengrocers now stock cultivated varieties. I think it's probably because it's less labor-intensive than running around and digging up peoples yards. And chances are, if you've ever had an Arugula Salad in some high-priced fancy-schmancy restaurant... you were actually eating dandelions and didn't even know it.

This one is Purslane - or known by some people as "little hogweed" It's tart and lemony, with a slight peppery kick... and the Old Guy loves it fresh, although you can cook 'er up too.
I throughly investigated it before even trying it,( I recommend investigating anything out in the wild - or in your yard... before putting it in your mouth or on your plate) so I had to laugh at this description:

Known formally as portulaca oleracea, and informally as little hogweed, purslane
is a succulent herb that looks, as one Baltimore chef put it, like a miniature
jade plant. A more colorful description can be found in seed catalogs, which
note that in Malawi, the name for the fleshy, round-leafed plant translates to
"the buttocks of the wife of a chief."

Now the Old Guy has trouble remembering the name purslane or even "the buttocks of the wife of a chief", so he simply calls it "Chiefs Arse".

Honey? Can we eat some of the Chiefs Arse tonight?
Sure dear, go cut some off...

Necessity is the mother of invention...

I have 2 freezers still partially full of food, so I figure that if the stuff in there doesn't get eaten by the time I leave for good... well hell, it will just go to waste. And I sure as heck didn't want that to happen.

So tonight's dinner is going to consist of Stagg canned Chili, Glicks frozen "bake and eat" Bagels and a lovely Sara Lee Cheesecake for dessert.

I know that "bagels and chili" kind of sound like a strange combination, but I think that they'll go surprisingly well together.
You know... Bagels and cream cheese / chili and sour cream?
I mean, why not mix it up a little bit? And serve chili and bagels with sour cream? At least the freezer's will be cleared out a little bit more, and the stacks of canned goods will be getting used up too.
And that's a win / win in my book!!

Even if it gives me The Old Guy wind!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Packing my bags...

Ayup... I'm packing my bags here, because I"M COMING HOME!! Well, not for good at this 'exact' point in time, but we are going 'home' for a few short weeks in May, to get details and finances sorted out, prior to me getting home for good - hopefully by mid-to late summer.
The house here is ready to put on the market (except for replacing that damn vomit-pink pedestal sink in the bathroom) and all the mess and clutter from months of carpentry and painting is well and truly done and dusted.
My stuff has been (mostly) sorted through, tossed out, set aside for the Salvation Army, given away to friends or sold... and I'm kind of enjoying this 'clutter-free' existence!

In the past, when we've gone home we've only worried about taking a small-ish carry on bag each... but this time we're taking the small bags plus two huge 70 lb bags as well. Stuffed with things that I want to keep and think at this point, that can't live without... but Lord knows what the airport security people are going to think of some of it!
Wind chimes and photos, bird feeders and linens & laces, and even a couple of ancient and well-loved cast iron skillets.
Oh... and a book or two that I just can't bear to part with.
And my cookbooks...
And that cool vegetable peeler that's shaped like a carrot... the one with the cushy orange handle.
And... and... well heck... whatever else I can fit in the suitcases!

I thought at one point that I would find a moving company to move most of my stuff, but as my son pointed out, with the exhorbitant cost of shipping, I can buy "new furniture" cheaper over there, and then fill in the gaps with garage and yard sale finds.. And that will also give me the pleasure of picking out 'new stuff' as well - something I haven't been able to afford to do, in all the years I've been here!

I just want to get this all over and done with, so I can settle down and start living my life again... instead of feeling like I'm on a never ending roller coaster. Leaving The Old Guy is going to be one of the hardest things about it all, but I have his sworn promise that he'll be coming over a couple of times a year for a month or two at a time.

And if he doesn't, I'll be coming back to whoop his arse...


FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Thanks for visiting!

Thank you Libby!

Honest Scrap Award

Honest Scrap Award
Powered By Blogger