Going Cashless

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Photo credit – travelonbags.com

I remember when I was young and I got my first ever purse and began to carry money with me regularly. It was exciting and slightly scary in a way. There suddenly was a possibility that I could forget my purse, or lose money, or have someone try and take my money from me. I really never became someone who enjoyed purses or handbags. To me they were annoying, something to have to keep an eye on, something to have to hold onto.

I was not into the “fashion” aspect of things very much as a teenager and certainly never owned an expensive handbag – still to this day I believe the most I have ever spent on a handbag would be around $100. Perhaps if I did enjoy fashion or have an expensive handbag I might have grown to enjoy it.

The older I got, the more I wanted to carry with me. Lip balm, hand cream, tissues, a bottle of water, a diary, a calculator back in the days before one had a mobile phone with one, then of course the mobile phone appeared and that became another item to carry. Spare batteries for the mobile, a camera, the list grew and grew until my handbag was quite heavy.

What is worse, I felt like I actually NEEDED to have all that stuff with me everywhere I went. It became an obligation and not one that I enjoyed. Then the stores began with their loyalty cards, and those began to pile up. And up. And UP. I even had loyalty cards from stores in the USA in my purse!

The security of my handbag was another troubling factor, for me. I’ve always been a backpack or cross body bag person, and you do hear stories where the strap gets cut and away goes your bag. Though these are usually in countries I would not be travelling to, there is always a chance it can happen here.

The turning point for me was in early 2016 when I began to go to the pool regularly. To be on the safe side, I did not want to take anything with me. No phone, no purse, no license, no cash, nothing at all. Just a bottle of water and my gym bag with my towel and dry clothes to change into. To my surprise, the world did not end. I actually survived without those things.

This started my mind down a path – what if I actually stopped carrying a purse all the time? What if I stopped carrying cash? Is it possible to go everywhere I want to go and pay by eftpos or credit card? I began to tick places off the list of places I usually go. In reality there were only two places that do not accept cash – the local markets and one local eatery. Though a lot of places at the markets DO now accept cards, too!

So when I saw TVSN having a sale on Travelon which does contain a lot of security features including a strap that cannot be cut and RFID protection, I put in an order. That was back in July, and several months have now passed – all of which, I have been mostly cashless.

Mostly.

I have taken out cash on the following occasions – to get my car washed – to go to the local markets – to go to a food fair. The Other Half carries cash in his wallet so if I go somewhere with him and need cash, chances are he will have some. But realistically I have not needed cash 99% of the time.

What about minimum Eftpos limits?

Some places do have a minimum eftpos amount – this is usually $10. The only time I ever spend less than $10 is at the supermarket when I am running in to get one or two things I need, and all the local supermarkets here allow eftpos transactions at any amount, especially the self serve checkouts.

What about credit card charges?

It really annoys me when the stores charge for using a credit card, but it is not a deal breaker for me. Usually I can just use eftpos instead in those places – eg Aldi – and they tend not to charge for that.

The Best Part Is –

Not having to handle cash regularly. For a germophobe like me, cash is a real nightmare. Cash is absolutely covered in germs!

Overall, going cashless has worked for me. Would it work for you? The easiest way to find out is to just do it. If you want a safety net you can keep a $20 or $50 hidden in a safe place in your bag just in case, you can dispense with the coins entirely and just carry your cards with you.

Happy Snoskred, shopping

Woolworths : The Fail Whale People.

You may recall that I broke up with Woolworths in August 2015. Since then, I have been pretty consistent with my desire to not shop there. When I changed purses recently, I did not bother putting their rewards card in there.

It turns out there is only one thing we actually NEED to buy at Woolworths which we cannot get elsewhere. Don pepperoni. We tried the Aldi version and it was ok, but it was not awesome like the Don pepperoni. Coles do not sell pepperoni in sticks here, you can only get it in packets which does not work for us. So once in a blue moon, we trek to Woolworths and stock up on Don pepperoni.

Over the past year they opened a new Woolworths at Vincentia Marketplace. We visited the marketplace when it first opened and took a look at Woolworths. That store was new and therefore was laid out in the new style. Nothing we saw inspired us to reconsider our decision to break up.

Since I saw the dietitian and changed our eating habits to involve less processed foods and more fresh foods, 99% of our shop comes from Aldi now. We visit Coles for any brand name foods we cannot get at Aldi. Each shop, that list gets smaller and smaller. I do not like eggs from Aldi, so we pick up the Manning Valley eggs from Coles, and we usually get some Don ham there. Some weeks that is all we buy from Coles.

A couple of weeks ago, Woolworths put an ad on my Facebook. They told me that Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets would be 50% off. Ever since Pinchme sent a sample of those, we have been faithful Fairy customers. At 50% off, the tablets are a mere .35 cents each. Usually even on special the best price I will find is .50 cents each.

So off we went to Woolworths, only to find NO Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets on special. I was so annoyed! Clearly I was not the only one, because the next time Facebook showed me the ad, it had the dates that this would be on special.

Our next grocery shopping trip fell within those dates, so we went to Woolworths, only to find that particular store did not stock Fairy Platinum at all. FAIL WHALE.

By now, I was determined I was going to buy those darn dishwasher tablets. Having failed twice, we went to the largest Woolworths in our area and picked up 4 packets. They also had salami on special, and we had just run out. So this will be our last visit to Woolworths until we next run out of salami, which I am hoping will be in early 2017. That stuff lasts a fair while, we only use 12 slices a week on our pizzas.

I don’t care what you advertise to me on the Facebook in future, Woolworths.

I am NOT picking you.

Annoyed Snoskred, bitches, shopping

A Kmart Trip

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Let us go for a quick virtual wander around Kmart together. Here we have some pet brushes for $6, a pet toy set for $3.50 – Happy loves the mouse on a stick in this packet so I have bought a few of them and keep them aside for later – at the bottom we have two different solar globes. I love the copper ones at $4 and the crackle glass ones are only $2.. Sadly these seem to be white only and we prefer the LED colour changing kind.

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Things got a little scientifical in the home decor section. There is a $4 beaker vase, some test tube vases @ $7, a gorgeous marble tealight candle holder for $9, and a coral pink cactus for $7. Do you see that little ceramic sausage dog? $5. I love that!

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This $12 copper vase we went back that night and bought, to fit in with my reflectatory candle shelf. Not that I will ever have flowers to put in it because The Other Half believes that is murder. *boggle* Yeah all those florists are secretly Dexter!

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I really love this mini shopping trolley. For $5! They call it a pen cup. I’m not sure how that would work but I can see it in my collectible cabinet.

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I already have the silver version of this but I am loving that light pink which is supposed to be a big colour this year fashion wise. At $2.50 this is a glittery awesome kind of contact paper.

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These coloured pencils are great value at $5 – especially the watercolour ones. The bear is super plush, and that is a pig moneybox which makes a noise when you put in a coin.

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The Other Half prefers his fashion chaotic and with skulls. At $10 these seem decent value. The second one with flaming skulls is a bit awesome!

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These jumpers with sequinned arms seemed a little bit odd to me. I really love the concept, do not get me wrong. There should be more sequins in the world. But the jumper part seemed a little cheap looking. Still, at $17 I might have bought it, but the sizes were all teeny tiny. Oh well. :) They made for a great photo!

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Hello Kitty pyjamas marked down to $8 from $15, these seem reasonable. And I love anything Hello Kitty.

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These jars with blackboard paint on them were reasonably priced given the amount of hassle it would be to paint them yourself. $4 for the smaller jar, and $5 for the larger one.

There, I took you to Kmart. Happy moments for all!

Home, shopping

IKEA Haul

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When it was time to take the Aunt and Uncle back to the airport after their visit in August – another Aunt and Uncle were also going somewhere that day – they were flying to China. Arrangements were made for a trip using both cars because the Chinese trippers had 4 very large suitcases full of vitamins and baby formula.

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Added in was a meeting with my sister and her partner for lunch at the St George Rowers Club. Because we’d just spent a week with everyone toodling and gallivanting, and we wanted to make sure my sister & co had plenty of family time, we dropped them off at the Rowers and headed to the very close by Ikea at Tempe for a Swedish meatball lunch, and to pick up some items we needed.

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Over our many visits to IKEA, I have discovered the short cuts between various areas. I spotted a staff member going through a very large plastic door to one of the other sections – there was no sign saying staff only so I figured there was no reason I couldn’t use that door myself. Then I found other doors, and on one visit we were really hungry and discovered if you take a left at the top of the escalators, you could go right to the cafe.

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Maybe the shortcuts are a new addition to the maps, or maybe back when we started going there I was so deer in the headlights I did not even read the maps. I’m not sure. I was surprised to see them on the maps as I always felt like it was a bit of a secret squirrel thing. ;)

What we most needed were tealight candles and large square oven trays. They had some new flavours to try – the coconut one is very awesome.

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These DRÖMMAR oven trays are huge and fit nicely in our new oven.

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I also got some more of these cups which I’ve had several sets of – these ones are a different colour. Christmas colours, you could say. Two of these cups = one bottle of Soda Stream.

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They had my favourite rubbish bin in pink this time which I could not resist.

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We thought these mugs were a decent size for the second coffee cup of the day, and we’ve been enjoying them afternoons when The Other Half arrives home. I like mine with a side of the ginger Ikea biscuits we bought.

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I got some straws for spring and summer milkshakes and smoothies – I picked up a second egg slicer as I was using our present one daily and thought a second would be handy – we thought we would try this glass storage container and if we like it next time we are there we will pick up some more.

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I spotted these gorgeous metal candle holders near the bathrooms next to the restaurant. I did not pick any up, thinking they would be found in the market hall. Of course, they were nowhere to be seen there, and I had to trek all the way back upstairs. I’ve got a silver pineapple and now these, there is a bit of a silver theme running on my candle shelf. I love that they reflect different shapes onto the wall.

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I took a couple of candles from each packet to put in my small container and stored the rest away together in the candle container. They will keep me going for quite some time, even though I am burning candles daily here.

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We also loved these bathmats. We put them on the floor for the kitties to sniff and roadtest. We have one bathmat with an inside of memory foam and neither of them will walk on it, because it feels weird to their feet. They like these new ones, though. They got right onto scenting them up.

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Happy moments were had by all. :)

Happy Snoskred, IKEA, shopping

New Cards September

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Four new cards this month. While I am posting, here are some other new items I’m loving.

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Australian made from Aldi, these Malted Milk Balls are amazing. They are about 50 times more yummy than a Malteser because they are solidly packed with malt instead of being mostly air. The only way they could be any more awesome would be with a dark chocolate coating.

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Here is a look inside. Om nom nom! Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Aldi and pick up a set of these.

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These Colour Clickers were just $4.95 and they have a set of replacement leads. These are mechanical pencils. I love using them and find them much better than wooden pencils. I’d buy a 72 pencil set if I could find one.

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This 24 set of colour pencils was excellent value as well. I find the Mont Marte items to be great.

Greeting Cards, shopping

Snoskred Holidays

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So, will you like to know what Snoskred got up to on her holidays? I can tell you more about this now!

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We got a new oven installed. We turned the old one on once when we first moved in here, and the amount of stinky smoke which bellowed forth stopped us ever wanting to use it again. We were not bothered, because we had our LG solardom convection oven, grill and microwave. But recently that unit has begun to misbehave, and it was time to replace the oven.

There was quite a bit of writing blog posts – taking a break inspired some new posts.

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There was some fun with ice spheres but that is a post in itself.

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There was some colouring in.

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There was some shopping and eating of baked goods. There was some purchasing of chicken in bulk – 11 chicken roasters, plus a bunch of filos and kievs. Lenards have some new items available none of which we purchased this time but I wouldn’t mind trying the Chicken Cobs.

There was plenty of cooking, and some recipe posts will be coming to you as a surprise soonest!

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The Villains were seen and greatly enjoyed. There was dancing, singing, and much fun had by all.

I did not take very many photos, preferring to live in the moment and enjoy each moment when it was happening rather than try to capture moments to share here later.

The concreting was completed and sealed and the cars were finally put away safely. We deeply appreciate the vast vista of concrete we now have to enjoy. :)

What have you been up to?

Anything interesting? Let me know in the comments!

country life, Happy Snoskred, shopping

Happenings In Snoskredland

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Burning: These little candles from Aldi which cost $2.99 each. They smell delicious and provide a lovely warming glow. In general I am burning them for 1-2 hours each day and they last a week or so.

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Microwaving: These yummy Aldi puddings for 40 seconds and then serving with ice cream. The sticky date one is probably my current favourite.

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Moisturizing: Both feet and hands with this orange scented shea butter body cream that I brought back from Hawaii in 2013. It smells like you just peeled an orange and juiced it, in a good way.

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Sleeping: Two kitties have been sleeping in front of the gas heater with this artic blast.

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Enjoying: Some dark chocolate. We went to Coles and I said I wanted to be allowed to look at 3 things for as long as I wanted to look at them, because normally The Other Half rushes me in and out of there. All 3 things were in the chocolate area, and we stopped and discussed the various chocolate bars available. The Lindor Dark is an old reliable that we always enjoy.

Wondering: The Willies Cacao blocks are new buys for us, and oddly they are one solid piece of chocolate without any place to break them. It makes me wonder what people do with these – eat them in one sitting? Chop them up with a knife? Melt them down and use them for fondue?

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Snacking: I bought the Butterscotch and Vanilla Bean and I tried that first, it was awesome. This is a lovely version of Greek Yoghurt, just slightly sweet and plenty tart. So on the same night I asked to look at 3 things, I took a moment to grab the other versions of this from the shelf. The Boysenberry & Vanilla flavour is super tart, slightly too tart for me.

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Opining: I will always buy salted caramel flavours once to try them.. however, if you are going to get me to buy it again, you have to BRING it. On this occasion, they did not bring the salt. The caramel was ok, but the lack of salt means this will not be bought again by me. The butterscotch and vanilla is the winner and I highly recommend it. :)

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Standing: And driving, under the tail of the 747 at HARS. The place they have put it, you actually have to drive under the tail. And I got to have that moment I have waited all my lifetime for – to stand under a 747. Incredible!

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Washing: We thought we would give the new antibacterial scented liquid hand wash from Aldi a try, and the grapefruit flavour is a huge winner. I love it so much! We’ll keep buying it. The other flavour we tried – Lime Splice – is not very optimal, it is a bit sickly for me.

Home, shopping

Long Weekending

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The June Long Weekend is a time to get some shiznit done around the house. I kicked it off on Friday, cleaning my DVD shelves and one of my collectible cabinets. Last week there was an incident, where I fell off my little yellow stool I usually stand on to light my candles, so some sturdy steps are now in place.

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I love my DVD shelves but I do not love the dust that tends to collect on them, not at all. I sometimes think maybe I should just make them all into digital files and then pack them away, but that is a lot of effort to go to, and dusting them is probably simpler, quicker and easier.

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I still have more cleaning to do -there is another glass cabinet full of awesome – I really want to photograph everything that is in these cabinets one rainy day soon.

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but as Saturday was a sunnyish afternoon, we headed outside. Me to pick up fallen branches and sticks after some windy weather, the other half to mow the lawns.

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I also spent some time pulling down branches from the top of the chook pen. There is an entire ecosystem going on up here which would never have existed without my Redcomb meeting that hawk. There are orb weavers, leaf spiders, silk worms and caterpillars making homes safely away from pecking beaks. If the chooks could get up here they would have a fantastic meal. Unfortunately – well, fortunately for the ecosystem – they can’t, and those branches are pushing the chook wire down and needed to be removed, or at the very least, some of them did.

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I tried to remove the webs and spiders first in the hope of not getting them on me.. :) Also so they would not become barbecued spiders later in the day because a trip to Bunnings to buy a fire pit was on the afternoon agenda. Nobody likes a barbecued spider!

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First we stopped in to pick up a new SodaStream as ours broke. We don’t use much in the way of syrups at all – I am much more likely to throw in some fruit and call it awesome. I’ll have to do a post on some of my favourite combos. They were on special for $48 at Harvey Norman which was pretty decent and it came with a c02 bottle, a new reusable SodaStream plastic bottle for the water to chill in, plus two syrups – lemonade and cola – which The Other Half might use.

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The Other Half has wanted a fire pit for a while. Of course by the time we went to buy the one he liked, they were all gone. We’ve ended up with something slightly more expensive but he is happy and this will mean a lot of the fallen branches can feed that caveman fire desire rather than heading off to the dump in the ute, and keep The Other Half warm while he’s outside with his telescope at dark time.

Over to You –

Is it a long weekend where you are? What are you up to? :)

country life, shopping

Harvest Box Snacks

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Sometimes these flybuys offers are pretty excellent. A few weeks ago they sent me an email offering me either $50 credit at Coles, or 10,000 flybuys points which also = $50 credit in return for spending $70 a week for 4 weeks. I prefer to use my flybuys credit in small chunks so I went for the points. You can redeem 2000 points for $10 off a shop and I like to save my points for weeks when the budget needs a little helping hand.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I realised we had not spent our $70 for that week, so out into the rain we went, for an impromptu and somewhat rushed shopping trip. We only needed $36 worth of stuff, so a few items we would not normally buy ended up in the shopping basket.

I’d heard of Harvest Box before and I’d wanted to try their healthy snacks subscription box when I was working in the call centre but never got around to signing up, so when I saw these new packaged Harvest Box snack packs at Coles on special for $2 each, I thought I’d give them a try. It was a total impulse buy.

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I am a sucker for cherries, so I grabbed these without a second thought and without reading the packaging.

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I ate one of each item before I took the photo, which means there were 2 cherries. 7 hazelnuts and 20 yoghurt balls. This is not especially balanced in my opinion, and me personally when a product has Cherry in the title, I’d like to see a few more cherries in the mix. With that said, the yoghurt balls are very tasty and more-ish.

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Strawberry Milkshake was a little better, with 4 strawberries and a mix of other berries. I didn’t count the other bits but it seemed like a much more reasonable mix with just 12 yoghurt balls.

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The biggest concern I have with these is the little thing on the back of the packet that says “Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients” and nowhere could I find out more about the origin of the items I was eating. I searched the website and their Facebook page to no avail.

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A lot of people may have forgotten the frozen berries and Hepatitis thing, but I have not. I would not buy these again – as tasty as they were – purely because of that tiny little writing on the back of the pack.

In fact, these were bought on a very rushed shopping trip and had I checked the label in the store, they would not have gone home with me at all. I usually check the label of any new product I buy. That discovery was very disappointing. :( I’m sure if I spend some time in the dried fruits aisle, I can find better options grown here which are more reasonably priced and if I can’t find what I am looking for, I would prefer to eat something fresh but grown in Australia.

I hope companies realise when they are not specific about what items are imported they might be losing sales. For example, my favourite salad dressing now has Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients on the label. I contacted them for more information – not wanting to have to find a replacement salad dressing – and was informed that the only imported ingredients were the extra virgin olive oil, which came from Spain, and the balsamic vinegar, which came from Italy. It would not have been very difficult to make that clear on the label.

As always, nobody paid me for my review of these items, I bought them myself with my own money, I am reporting to you my personal experience, and this is totally my own opinion which others might not agree with.

Australia, food, reviews, shopping