Monday, February 18, 2013

Discovering Costco

Well we finally did it,,,,,we succumbed to temptation and went on our first visit to Costco!

After living here for just over 6 months, the place called to us and we just had to hand over our $60 membership and have a look.  I hadn't bothered before because I kind of begrudge handing over $60 or our hard earned dollars just to go shopping,,,,,but well I had to go and see for myself if it was worth it.

The result,,,,,,well yes and no.  The kids loved it because of all the food samples they received along the way.  Hubby and I were impressed with some things, not so with others.  We ended up spending about $130 on things that we didn't necessarily need right now, but which will save us money down the track.

The store wasn't as big as I had imagined it would be.  The electrical equipment prices seemed pretty ordinary, I really don't think they were any/much cheaper than elsewhere.  The clothing, well I didn't really pay alot of attention to it, but from a distance the prices didn't seem that great, as for the shoes.  Furniture, well they don't have much of it and the prices, once again are ordinary.

I did buy myself an awesome set of melamine mixing bowls, set of 4 with lids for $23.  They are fantastic bowls and so big!  I was in desperate need of some more mixing bowls and I wanted sturdy ones, so I was pretty happy with that.

Also bought a 4 pack of those flame gun thingies (you know the things I mean you don't need matches).  They cost about $4.50 - a bargain compared to buying them individually!

Food prices were a little hit and miss.  I didn't thinnk their fruit and veg was that great, price wise, as with their meat and bakery section.

We found the real savings to be in standard food items which was finally where we decided that we would continue to come here maybe once a month or so. 
We got a large tub of Marshmallow Fluff (yummy,,,,I love Fluffernutter sandwiches!!) for just $4.20,,,a jar in Coles is worth more than that for about half the amount.
We got a twin pack of Hersheys Chocolate Syrum (1.4L bottles) for around $7.
A jar of peanut butter for about $4 - I'm talking a very large jar!
A small bucket of Vegemite for $11.
Large packets of Doritos (500 grams) for about $5.80 and the list goes on.

I basically only bought things that I knew were cheap.  I will pay closer attention to my shopping for the next few weeks and maybe jot down prices of things we buy regularly so that I can compare.  We may or may not renew our membership next year depending on how much we save overall.  While the savings on these items are great, it will also depend on how fast we go through them as to whether or not we have saved enough to recoup our $60 membership.

The kids did find it quite fun though and the fact that they do have some different things to try made it fantastic in their eyes.

On the way out we stopped for lunch at their cafe.  This area was a bargain.  We paid $16.50 for the 5 of us for lunch,,,great value!
Three of us had hotdogs and the younger two had a slice of pizza (we are talking american sized slices here! Mr10 couldn't even get through his whole slice and that is unheard of lol).  We all had refillable soft drinks.
The hotdogs were $1.00, pizza $3 a slice and drinks $1.50 for the refillable cups.
Next time we will go in the afternoon because they had the most amazing looking berry sundaes for just $3.50 I think it was lol.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Work Headaches and Life problems as usual

Wow, well at this rate it is going to take me all year just to catch up on our Christmas events lol......lucky I don't have much else going on to talk about right now!

Hubby has had the last two days off work, lets call it a couple of "mental health days" shall we?  He is pretty down about the way this job is turning out and the way his boss has been treating him since Christmas.  He is relieved to realise that others at work have noticed it and it hasn't just been his imagination.  None of them can work out what is going on at all.  Even the older guy who Hubby took over the job from, although he hadn't known how bad it was until Hubby had a talk to him on Monday, is shocked.  The older guy has also been getting treated badly too though.  He is a consultant for the company now and basically is mainly there to do overseas consulting and only works 2 days a week.  He has been told that when he goes to China on his next trip that he will only be paid for the 2 days a week he works even though the trip will take him away from home for about a week!!!  Needless to say I find that disgusting, its not like he is going on a holiday, he is going to get business for the company!!  I'm sure this is against some kind of workplace law.  I said to Hubby that something must be going on for the guy to be treating people like this.  I have a feeling that he has used hubby for his knowledge though and has gotten whatever it was he wanted from him and now is trying to make him leave.

Hubby is desperate to do something together, just him and I but I have my concerns about that.  We are looking at the moment at a cleaning franchise and have a guy coming out tonight to give us some information.  They do car cleaning, house cleaning and a few other different franchises.  They are very cheap franchises and it would mean we wouldn't have to take out a loan which does take away one worry.  I don't see it making enough money to support us though.  Child support is our killer each week, it basically takes over a quarter of hubby's take home pay and after a conversation with the Child Support Agency the other day, if hubby starts up a business and it doesn't give him the same earnings that he is getting now, that is just too bad, he will still be stuck paying what he is now, even if his earnings only end up being $30,000 or so!  They call it him deliberately downgrading his income to avoid paying child support and he has a higher earning capacity.  Basically they said that it doesn't matter what we want to do, his children require him to pay this money and its not fair on him to deny them that.  Now don't get me wrong, I have an ex as well who pays child support and I think that parents should support their children and I would never not help to pay for his children's welfare BUT having said that, I also believe that parents are entitled to be able to do what they want to do in their lives too.  If we had all remained with our previous partners we would have been able to do whatever we wanted and just because you have a relationship breakdown, why should you have to stick at a job you hate just to support your children.  Our biggest annoyance is that we believe his ex is earning money and a decent enough sum that they can run two cars, both only a couple of years old, both petrol guzzlers, they can afford Ipads, brand new phones (stepdaughter has gone through 4 Samsung Galaxy 2 and 3s in the last year!).  They have 4 people in the house using mobile phones and stepdaughter got told that her bill was ok each month provided it wasn't more than $100........We sure as hell can't afford to run 4 mobile phones with a $100 bill each in the month!  Stepdaughter is always getting new clothes, haircuts are done at hairdressers on a regular basis, the ex can afford to get tattoos and hair extensions, they have take away numerous nights of the week and go out to hotels for dinner at least every couple of weeks and movie tell me where the money is coming from and her partner has been unemployed for a few months too!  (Child Support have been told this but they say unless we can come up physical proof that she is earning we can't do anything about it,,,,ggrrrrrrrrr)

So back to my original point, I just don't know if us starting a business together is going to be wise from a financial point of view.  I'm off to ponder things for a bit today and try to come up with some ingeniuous money making idea lol,,,,,maybe we could come up with a plan to take over the company ourselves!!

I will leave you with a few more photos......

....or maybe I won't,Blogger has decided once again it doesn't like me today lol, maybe next week we can have photots!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Catching up Part 1

As I said earlier this week, I thought I would play a little catch up with my photos that have escaped getting put on my blog due to the unco-operativeness of my blog lately lol.

These pics were taken all the day back in early December when we decided to take a little venture into the city to view the Christmas displays of lights.  As you can see we arrived in there a little early to take in twinkling lights so we grabbed a bite to eat and went for a wander to start the night off.

We discovered this fantastic stick house just down from Federation Square which we hadn't seen before.....not sure if it was newly put here or not but it was new to us.

It was called "Stickwork Ballroom".  Absolutely amazing and must have taken a very long time and a heck of a lot of patience to construct!!

Will be back soon to show you some of the other Christmasy things we saw this night (I do remember that we had very sore feet,,,,,,we walked for kilometres that night lol).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm actually here,,,,,,,,,I can't believe it :)

Hi everyone :)

Well after spending the christmas break frustrated because I couldn't access my blog, finally after help from the wonderful, fabulous, incredibly helpful Niki, I am in!!!!!  Thank you Niki you are awesome!!

Of course I have absolutely nothing to say today, because I hadn't expected to be able to do this but I just wanted to say that yes I am alive and yes I do still love blogging and I will return with my usual grumpy moods and moaning and groaning very soon lol.

I now have to actually remember everything I had been going to talk about over the last couple of months!! 

Right now I can say that my Hubby is in China yet again :(.  This time it is a ten day trip, he returns home at about 11pm Saturday has been a very loooooong trip.  Once again it was last minute notice and this time even he is disheartened with the company and feels that he needs to leave (I know........we only just moved our family here and we can't afford to move back to Adelaide!!!).  He was supposed to be on holidays until Monday 4 February but got a call last Wednesday Jan 30 at 6.30pm saying that he was going to be flying out to China the following day at 4.30pm!!!!  We both feel that this is beginning to get just ridiculous.  The boss also turned around to him and said that he doesn't get holidays like everyone else, in this position he is on call 24/7 and even if he is on "holiday"  he is to still answer phone calls and emails.  Needless to say Hubby and I are less than impressed. 

Hubby wants to find a business that we can work together.  We enjoy being together and all this travel has made us realise that even more.  When he returns we will look into it further.  Right now the only business that I can think  of us affording is a cleaning business or something along those lines,,,,,,,,looking at the state of my house I wonder if I could clean other people's and still be smiling at the end of the day lol......then again cleaning someone else's house is never as bad as cleaning your own I find.

Hubby called me last night saying "I don't think I can work for this company any more".  Apparently the guy he went with (the accountant of the company) who is a very straight laced kinda guy generally, got absolutely blottoed when they went out for dinner last night with the supplier they went to see yesterday.  The supplier organised a dinner at some Chinese restaurant.  There were quite a few people there, including the supplier's family members and Mr Accountant took up the offer of some chinese rice wine.  They have been travelling with one of the Chinese girls from their work who acts as interpreter for them and she warned about the potency of rice wine.  Mr Accountant has been on many trips to China in the past so he was more than aware anyway, but he drank some,,,,,followed by some red wine,,,,,and then followed by some yellow looking wine.  He got up and sang karaoke, he got angry with Hubby for not drinking (hubby rarely drinks and if he does he really only drinks a beer or maybe a spirit).  Anyway by the end of the night Mr Accountant managed to throw up on himself.  Hubby and one of the supplier guys half carried him out to the car, where he promptly leaned out and threw up yet again.  They had a 40 minute drive to their motel where Hubby had to check them in.  They got Mr Drunk Bum up to his room where he started crying and begging the chinese girl to stay in his room to keep an eye on him.  She obliged and got a fold up bed brought up so that she could sleep in there too....she even washed his clothes for him!!!  I said to hubby I would have just walked out of his room and left him to lay in his own stench, I think she is crazy for doing what she did personally lol.  As hubby said to me though, what kind of impression did this behaviour give to the supplier people.  As far as I am concerned, you travel for business, then you are the face of the company and you don't get drunk to the point where you can't walk! They guy is in his late 40's and definitely old enough to know better.  He kept saying to hubby that he "took one for the team" because hubby wouldn't "man up" and have a drink..........if Hubby gets a talking to by the head boss when he returns next week, I think I will give them a piece of my mind myself,,,,,sheesh for all they know hubby may have been a recovering alcoholic (which he isn't), they don't know!!!

Anyway today they are off to the next city, Hubby just called saying they are about to leave and he hasn't seen Drunken Bum yet but apparently he is ok to travel,,,,,,,,,,will be interesting to hear about the day later lol.

Ok, well for not having much to say I have certainly rambled on lol.

I will return later this week to do a catch up of our Christmas and holiday season :)