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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Saving Money

Saving Money

Kim and I go shopping a bit, well you spend all day working (I sit all day) so after work we have dinner. Generally we are too lazy to cook so we get cheap dinner. If we go out i try to spend up too $20 for the two of us. Melbourne has plenty of very cheap places to eat that are filling as well. After dinner we go for a walk. A lot of the cheap places accept cash only.  Most ATM's charge +-$2 per withdrawal , the cheapest ways to not pay those fees are to go your large supermarkets and they don't charge for withdrawals. My other alternative is to go Petrol stations and find the cheapest item 20 - 50c and you can withdraw money that way. You have to buy something and their atms have higher charges than normal atms.

Price Matching

Most people are embarrassed with price matching but i believe in  why pay more?  Most stores will price match because they want your money. Stores like Dick Smith, David Jones, Myer, Target, Kmart will all do it. Dick smith, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and JB Hifi will all give you a better price but you have to ask. If someone says they can't do a better price ask someone else because i know they can. I do it a lot because i have no shame.
Kims sister had a Myer voucher and wanted to buy a toaster, the perfect toaster was $99 but gave $15 off for every $75 spent.  So it was $84, i googled the product and found another store had it for $69. I asked the staff to price match the $69 and showed the advert and they did. Now days i google before buying items. There are plenty of websites that help with saving money like Ozbargain.

Petrol vouchers are a bit of a scam, for the last few years i have been part of the Nielson homescan thing. We scan the things we buy, so we put the quantity and price. Whenever Coles or Woolworths bring out vouchers the price of Bread, eggs milk and cheese all go up by about 3-4c each. Most people don't check what they pay for items. So the 4c you save at the station. If i don't have vouchers i normally go to 7/11 or B.P because their petrol is normally cheaper and better quality than Caltex and Shell. I get better milage on either, the reason i know is because our car tells how many kms we have done and will do. I did a test on the four places and the worst was Caltex,it did about 20kms less per tank.  

If you have any hints / tricks please let me know
Kind E-gards
Dale Sewart

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Weekend Away

A weekend Away
Since our holiday in February we have not gone away anywhere. A couple of months ago I got an email from a place we have been before called The Public Inn. It was really good and this email was offering a four course meal with wine and it was using all locally made ingredients. We wanted to go back so we thought why not. We booked our accommodation right around the corner so close enough to walk. It was 160km drive so we left early on the saturday and would do a couple of stops along the way. I always wanted to go to the Holgate Brewhouse,  it is about halfway between our place and Castlemaine.

It's your typical little pub with a brewery inside, it has all your favourite meals.

I had a  Beef Pie with chips and fresh salad. The meat was chunky and very filling, Kim had the 4 Cheese Semolina Gnocchi. It was also massive and very different to what i was expecting, it had a beef and tomato ragout sauce with fresh chilli. It was not too spicy but had a good texture.  I ate way too much.

It has also won plenty of awards for its beers.
After our lunch we continued our trip to Castlemaine.

Our hotel was built in 1855. It was an old hotel that was in the process of being renovated so i did not have any photos. The people who owned are lovely people. We made ourselves at home.
After walking around the city we got ready for the dinner and headed off. It was about 1.5km to the restaurant but we managed to get lost as a "road" did not actually exist so it took us a bit longer to get there.

As we arrived it started raining and continued to rain for most of the night.

Re-Public is an old Fire Station that has been renovated as a Cafe'. It has amazing coffee and food. On arrival we got a cocktail with Gin made from Four Pillars.

The cocktail had Gin, Rosemary syrup with a lemon and beetroot stain. It was refreshing and a good way to start the meal.

They blocked off part of the Fire Station so we could all sit together.

There was about 100 people in the room. Some of the suppliers brought samples around of what we would be eating on the night. (As usual the light was not sufficient so some of the pics are blurry)

On the tables they had fresh olivers to snack on from Barfold Olives.

We all got one glass of wine included, I had a glass of the 2009 Mount Burrumboot Petit Verdot. It was a lovely wine and i have never had a Petit Verdot before.

The First course was the Loddon Valley Murray Cod, cured in Hibiscus flowers, orange dust , Four Pillars gin, Cooper Capers pickled caper leaves,Glenora Heritage Produce asparagus and breakfast radish salad.

It was very light and refreshing to start with. I don't like asparagus but it worked well with the other flavours, because the cod was cured with gin it did not have a fishy taste and was very pleasant.

To share on the table we received  Mount Franklin Organics red pickled baby turnips, Glenora Heritage produce red and white onions, spring green peas and red lentils.

It was a bit sour, sweet, soft and crunchy. It had different flavours and textures.

Second course was  'Carpaccio' of Glenora Heritage Produce candy-striped beetroots, Angel Organics Seville orange sorbet and 'dust',  Angel Organics rhubarb salt, rocket flowers

We had not been disappointed so far and this was a light and sweet yet salty meal, completely different.

To share we had McIvor Farm Foods Pork scotch fillet,'corned' in spice Henry of Harcourt cider, garlic and mirin purée, Mount Franklin Organics pickled baby turnips, Basil dandelion leaves

I love my pork, it was cooked perfectly and mixed with the puree it was just fantastic. I had a few of them as people started getting full.

Third course was Smoked and slow cooked Warialda Beef, served to medium-rare, Goldfields Free-Range Eggs Béarnaise, 
Glenora Heritage Produce pickled red onion with  Basil watercress

The beef was medium on the outside and rare on the inside. It was cooked a bit much for me but i can't complain as i still really enjoyed it.

The shared meal was Asparagus, Holly Goat Cheese "espuma", Basil dandelion leaves, Cooper Capers dehydrated caper crumbs with preserved lemon and pinenut "gremolata"

This had a bit of bitterness but the lemon and pinenut gave it some crunchy texture to it.

For dessert we had bacon ice cream.

The meal was fantastic and worth the drive. We will be back next time.

Thank you for reading
Kind E-gards
Dale Stewart

Public Inn on UrbanspoonCafe Republic & Eating Depot on Urbanspoon

Holgate Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 11 December 2014


Hophaus on Urbanspoon

Unless you know what you are looking at you will miss it, we walked walked past the shopping center. It is upstairs in South bank Promenade. 

We walked in and it was pretty quiet and that suited us as we just wanted to have some beer and relax. We ordered the tasting paddle, 4 beers and a pulled pork roll for $19, that is cheap here. It was a beautiful afternoon so we sat outside and watched the boats go past. It is always busy in the area,  lots of cyclist and runners as well.

I love tasting paddles because you can get a variety of beers and not have to drink that much,  The  Pulled Pork roll was amazing, not too sweet and just fell apart. it also had crackling on top and that was a good topping. Overall it was a great experience and top value. It is a lovely restaurant / bar and i would definitely come back again,

Thank you for reading.

Kind E-gards
Dale Stewart