A date with Sarah-Kate; Kate’s home truths

Sarah-Kate’s feel­ing far from bud­get-friendly

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - Woman's Day This Week -

There’s a long list of things I am not very good at, but sav­ing money is right at the top of it. I’m not a huge shop­per, but I’ve cer­tainly given it a nudge at times and have even em­ployed such clever skills as get­ting full-priced things put in a sale bag to hood­wink the Gin­ger.

Un­for­tu­nately, he’s not that stupid and be­cause we share a bank ac­count, it all gets hor­ri­bly ex­posed any­way, un­less I pay half in cash, which, of course, does hap­pen. How­ever, af­ter 10 years of won­der­ing whether we should ren­o­vate our house or not, we’ve finally de­cided that we should, so the penny-pinch­ing is about to be­gin.

By the way, it would be a lot bet­ter if space didn’t cost a mil­lion dol­lars a square me­tre to tack on. How did that hap­pen? What­ever, we are now en­ter­ing the zone of cut-price ev­ery­thing.

For the Gin­ger, this means buy­ing things at the su­per­mar­ket that are on spe­cial, us­ing the six cents-a-litre-off voucher at the gas sta­tion, not drink­ing fancy beers, not going out for din­ner, not buy­ing new spiky green things or rocks for the gar­den – and even plant­ing some veg­eta­bles in our vege patch, if he can find it through the weeds. Al­though hope­fully not kale be­cause kale is the cock­roach of the veg­etable world in my opin­ion.

For me, it means, ac­cord­ing to him, stay­ing at home and not going any­where near the shops – or the in­ter­net – be­cause that’s where all the things are and we now have a mora­to­rium on things. In fact, he’s quite keen to get on TradeMe and sell some of the things we al­ready have. I’m sorry, the things I al­ready have.

My Ger­man para­trooper jump­suit bought at a Syd­ney op shop in 1985 and last worn in 1995? I don’t think so. My ab­do­miniser, my col­lec­tion of Swiss balls in vary­ing sizes and colours, my Ree­bok step­per, my bar­bells, roller skates and my col­lec­tion of ap­prox­i­mately 142 Tracy An­der­son DVDs, most of them un­opened? Hmm. Best I stop spend­ing money on magic tricks to make my muf­fin top dis­ap­pear.

But eat­ing healthily is an ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise. If you want fresh food that’s not full of ra­di­ated hor­mones and corn syrup, then you have to pay for it. I like my chicken or­ganic and my man­gos for break­fast, but un­der the new regime, they’re toast. Lit­er­ally.

And the Gin­ger is hav­ing some truly ter­ri­ble ideas for ex­tra fundrais­ing. He has sug­gested he take Ted the dog and go busk­ing. Nei­ther of them can sing or play an in­stru­ment, so I’m not sure how that’s going to pan out, but I sure as hell don’t want to be within cooee when they give it a bash. You know what? Maybe we don’t need a car­port af­ter all. Maybe I can em­brace the hair frizz that hap­pens be­tween front door and car in howl­ing wind and driv­ing rain. Bet­ter that, per­haps, than kale?

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