So, I am moving to New York in less than one week and the meagre-at-best Australian dollar is sitting at less than US 80c. Aka: I’m totally freaking out.
I’ve notoriously never been particularly frugal with my money, and for a lot of years, it didn’t matter. I was a student working part-time at a chocolate shop and my wage was so low anyway that frivolous spending rarely took a toll. I would simply patiently wait in a state of starvation for my next pay cheque – you would be surprised how long one can survive on molten chocolate alone.
But as soon as I transitioned into fulltime work and was then earning the small-to-medium bucks, I started to take check of my income a little more. I’d sit there cradling an expensive French Pinot, nibbling some Camembert, and be like, “Huh. I couldn’t for the life of me understand where all my money is going.”
Now, I don’t want to start playing the blame game, but I pretty much hold my parents entirely responsible for my excessive culinary expenditure. As farmers, they naturally adopted a kind of waste-not-want-not attitude.
This responsible behaviour had little appeal to my infantile conscience. While my friends were all snacking on cute prepacked foods with the biscuits and the cream cheese in separate compartments, I was grudgingly downing carrot sticks and almonds. My sandwiches were made on homemade bread and we only ever drank fresh milk straight from the dairy. This may not sound particularly awful, but how I yearned for sugary treats and packets of salty crinkle chips. This was only the gateway, and crinkle chips are cheap in comparison to chorizo, fine cheese and single malt scotch.
But, now that I am back on my parents’ farm while my overseas sabbatical is pending, I am starting to learn some valuable lessons re: finance. Somehow I am saving more living in the middle of nowhere earning nothing, than I did living in Brisbane earning a real adult wage – rather unsettling.
I am recycling more, scraping the last of the yoghurt out with a spatula and saving broccoli stems for coleslaw. So instead of running out to buy some salted caramel when inevitable cravings hit, I decided to save my meagre-at-best Australian pennies and make this salted coconut caramel spread instead.
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract
- 1 cup fresh pitted dates, soaked overnight in ¾ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup almond or peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients until they are super smooth.
- Pour into a jar and allow 1-2 hours to set in the fridge. Eat on everything.