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Easing back in with linky post

September 21, 2009

I’m taking some time off with the offspring for the next couple of weeks, so perhaps I’ll get my frugality blogging mojo back.

I expect I’ll also be bleating about the house-buying process soon too — we got pre-approval for a mortgage last week, so the search has begun.

Our housing choices presented as a Venn diagram

Our housing choices presented as a Venn diagram

In the meanwhile, frugal reader Heather sends us this link to some sound if US-centric advice on saving money on food.  I think my biggest beef with this analysis is the assumption that organic food is necessarily better for you, which is a contentious assertion in my book, but I’m right behind the idea that you can eat better and more cheaply by making stuff instead of buying prepared food.

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8 comments

  1. Biggest beef… heh.


  2. We are in a similar place as regards housing (we’re looking at the mo too). Stressful, isn’t it?


  3. In my world the 2 cicles of your Venn diagram would be in different hemispheres.


  4. We looked, we discovered we indeed owned the one house that was in the intersection, and we renovated to make it meet the new (maybe even the old) minimum requirements. Renovation rivals buying a house for the length of the process.


  5. For me, the difference between organic and non-organic (terrible terms), isn’t that one has more nutrients than the other, it is that non-organic tends to have more harmful chemicals applied. Their impact is harder to measure, and doesn’t come up so easily in the kinds of tests that have been applied so far.

    I don’t think the difference in price is worth it, personally, but I would thoroughly encourage growing your own where it’s practical, as this blog endorses.

    Interestingly, one are where there is a difference is in modern plant strains, which have been bred for small a number of characteristics (taste, yield, pest resistance etc). Unfortunately, this often means the content of vitamins and other nutrients is less than it would be otherwise. Organic farming tends to use the same strains as non-organic, and that’s a pity. Of course, if they used the old strains, then their produce would probably be even more expensive.


  6. Have you considered going to a mortgage broker? We did that when we bought our current house (which, by the way, we are probably about to sell); you don’t pay anything, and we ended up with a substantially better deal than we’d managed to put together ourselves. Since you don’t pay anything, you can always get them to put together a set of possibilities for you – if they can’t do any better than you can do yourself, ignore their offerings and go yourself. In our case, they got a lender who knocked 0.2% off their rates as I was a public servant at the time (a discount they didn’t particularly advertise and we wouldn’t have known to ask for), plus they kicked $750 in to cover legal fees. Definitely worth doing. We used Vickie Pickering from the Conveyancing Company; http://www.toconvey.co.nz.

    Even if you have a preapproved finance deal from your current bank, there’s nothing stopping you shopping around. The preapproval just means that you can make a confident offer – it’s a good fallback position if you can’t arrange any better finance once you get an offer accepted.


  7. Said by a woman much smarter than me when she was looking for a place in Wellington – “I want sun and drive-on access – everything else I can change”.

    I presume you’ve checked fundit in the mortgage broker stakes


  8. You and me will be seeing each other at open homes then, methinks. My diagram looks very similar to yours …



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