Sunday, August 28, 2011

Four Seasons In One Week

I know this is a bit late as the snow disappeared over a week ago now. However I have once again been "snowed" under with work and life in general. So here are some belated pictures of the snow in Whitby.

Not sure if Whitby has ever looked this cold and white.

It snowed during the week and on Sunday we had this glorious spring day. Time for a picnic and walk at Battle Hill.

Finally getting the hang of my new camera and the fast shutter speed. I managed to get an unposed photo of A!

A quick rest looking down onto Transmission Gully where, I think, they are eventually going to relocate the SH1. It will be a very sad day when that is done.

Some cows and the forest behind. A beautiful spot.

I have just put this picture in because I love Pukekoes. They are one of the weirdest birds I have ever seen and I loved they way they were all strutting snootily along this fence.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Continually Increasing Cost of Living.

Just been around our local New World (the equivalent of Waitrose or Sainsburys, likes to think its a cut above the other supermarkets) and was shocked that I managed to spend over $110 on just "a few little bits" that I needed to pick up.

 I had been watching the news reports complaining about increasing prices and had filed it away in the part of my brain labelled "things I'm not very interested in". However today it hit home that food prices really have gone up and perhaps I should be looking at the prices of the items I am blindly chucking in the trolley. Its not just the food prices that are going up over here. The price of petrol has been steadily increasing since we arrived and our electricity and gas direct debit has been sneakily going up each month. Although that is more likely to be because I have been having the heater in the lounge on constantly the last month or so, as I resent the fact that if I don't I have to wear so many layers of clothing it becomes difficult to move.

So I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a review of food prices in this country. Well over a year ago I posted a cost of food comparison between the UK and New Zealand. I think this now needs updating. So here is my shopping list from this morning and how I managed to spend $110 in about 10 minutes.

ACT popcorn. 1 packet $2.35
Toilet Duck $3.99
6 Eggs Free Range  $3.05
Friskies Cat Biscuits $7.06
30 Sandwich bags $3.44
2 loaves of sliced bread $8.52
Listerine mouthwash $8.77
Pack of 4 Cup of Soups $2.67
Porridge Microwavable Packets $6.84
Toilet Tissue 18 pack $9.99
Tinned Pineapple chunks $1.29
Raspberry Jam $3.25
Ricies Cereal $3.68
Twisties crisps $1.99
Cheerios Cereal $5.36
Whiskas cat food $8.33
Lean diced beef 0.350kg $5.95
Beef mince 0.378kg $6.42
Meadow lee margarine $ 4.14
Butter $5.99
Grapes 0.334kg $3.34

Please don't judge me on my healthy eating habits! Based on this we live on a diet of beef, grapes and cereal. I can assure you we do eat a reasonably balanced diet and I stress this is a just a few bits I needed to pick up. Honestly!

Anyway I hope this proves useful to anyone out there looking for information on prices and cost of living out here. At the moment it seems to be increasing and I think I need to start keeping a closer watch on what I am spending whilst going round the supermarket. Instead of trying to think what would be the quickest dinner I could produce so that I can stop the kids moaning at me and proclaiming that I am starving them.

In order to save some money we opted to do our own baking, which is much more fun than simply buying cakes from the bakery. Even if it does make a lot more mess.