Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce

Slash your grocery bill by living sustainably

Changing Your Expectations

We have set a weekly grocery limit of $35 (for one adult and a teenager). We can stick to this by making our own cleaning products and cosmetics (we do virtually everything with baking soda now) and by utilising the resources available on the farm – veggie garden, cows milk eggs and a beast in the freezer – takes the pressure off.  Don’t forget I used to have access to all this and yet still spend hundreds at the supermarket weekly. So happy to have changed.

But we have just shifted  1000kms and the cows are dried off, chickens are on strike and the veggie garden has been left behind.  The freezer is empty as I gave all the meat away before the big move. So now I am in the same boat as many others with scarce resources.  We are sticking to the budget, and this month I am logging every meal to give some idea on how we get around the dilemma of eating well with scarce resources. Luckily there is a veggie garden at our new place with herbs, kumera and salad greens, lemons etc. At the end of the month I will post my list of what we ate and what we spent.

I am trying to illustrate that this is about changing your lifestyle expectations. It is about making different choices to still attain a positive result.  Here is an example:  I have run out of milk.  We got a 3 litre milk in our grocery shop, but we have nearly spent the whole months budget in the first 10 days (we shifted here with virtually nothing, so we stocked up a bit). So now I am dying for a coffee (but the coffee jar actually got smashed on the trip so we don’t have any and no budget left to get any).  There’s a few tea bags but I’m not that keen on black tea (a last resort). So then I  think what have I got? Fresh lemons and fresh ginger, so now I am enjoying a hot lemon tea with fresh ginger sweetened with honey – its amazing and much much better for me than the coffee I was craving.

Living on a low self imposed grocery budget opens the doors to fresh and healthier thinking.


  1. Garth has just found that he was your form teacher in 1983, after he thought he recognised your picture in the ODT!!

    • Ha, ha yes that is me – Hi Garth – did you teach me all I know????

  2. Hi Lyn – you absolutely inspired me to slash my grocery bill after reading your column in the Taranaki Daily News – it has been stuck on my office wall for the last two years. Thanks for the awesome start you gave me, and all the best with your wonderful expansions into books & Australia. How exciting!!

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