Sunday Shopping

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No sewing of the stash this week despite the best of intentions.  Today was mostly about shopping which was a little different to our usual weekly shop which consists of going to a local fruit and vegetable stall and a few groceries from Aldi.  We went a bit further afield – to Caloundra because I wanted to buy some more salmon.  It is about 50km round trip so we generally try to make the most of it when we drive that far.

We collected our thoughts and made a list which looked like this:

Farmers’ Markets – fruit and vegetables
KMart – relacement gas canister for Soda Stream, coathangers and long-handled dustpan/brush
Fishmonger – salmon
Discount chemist – tablets and deodorant

After checking the pantry I decided that there was nothing we needed this week from Aldi so we set out on our expedition.

The fruit and vegetables were successfully bought then we headed to KMart.  This was not quite as good.  The gas canister was swapped with far less fuss than last time we wanted one.  You can read about that event here.  However, they did not have the type of coathangers that I wanted nor any long-handled dustpan and brush.  In fact, the selection of household items was very ordinary and there were numerous empty shelves – I am not sure what the reason was.

Off to the fish shop for 4 pieces of salmon which makes 8 serves cost just under $40.  While this is not spectacularly cheap it is a meal that we really enjoy and is better than paying $30 – $35 for a meal of salmon at a restaurant.

There is a Bunnings hardware across the road from the chemist so we tried for the dustpan and coathangers there.  We struck gold with the dustpan but not the coathangers.

Here is the dustpan.  It is the third one I have had in almost 35 years.

2015-05-03 01I bought it to replace this one which has now cracked near the base of the handle.

2015-05-03 02Finally, at the chemist I bought 2 bottles of calcium tablets because they were on special and I made sure they would be used by the expiry date.  I won’t need to buy any more for about 20 months!  GMan could not find the particular deodorant that he uses so we will look elsewhere.

2015-05-03 03I will keep looking for type of coathangers that I want as well as the deodorant.  There is a Big W and Target in Brisbane near my office so I will try to check them out during the week.

Speaking of shopping and spending money, I have tallied up our spending for the first 4 months of the year.  I will have all of the details for you tomorrow.

Obsolete? No Way!

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We were working on building the fence for the vegetable gardens yesterday when The Duke needed some more of the long screws that he was using.  This necessitated a trip to Bunnings which is about a 50km round trip.  It is not a trip we make every week so we try to combine more than one reason to make it worthwhile.  As well as buying the screws, we needed fuel for the ute, bought more salmon at the fish shop and took the 2 empty CO2 canisters from the Soda Stream to be replaced.

We do not use the Soda Stream every week so the canisters last quite a while.  I took them to KMart and the attendant at the service desk stated that my canisters were 40 litre ones (enough to carbonate 40 litres of drink) but that they were no longer available and they had 60 litre replacements.  She also assured me that they fitted all models except the first one.  I accepted this and handed over my $38 in exchange for 2 new 60 litre canisters of CO2.

I arrived home and checked them, and of course, I discovered that they did not fit.  I rang KMart and said I would be returning them since the 40 litre ones were not available.  I then rang Coles and Harvey Norman to check the validity of the the story and it seemed that I was definitely out of luck.  The girl at Harvey Norman flippantly said, “Well its obviously over 10 years old, you’ll just have to buy a new one”.  I did not want to buy a new Soda Stream as the one I have is in perfect condition and works well.

So, I was up for the challenge to modify the device to accept the larger canister.  The connections are identical as the staff in KMart had advised that the 2 sizes were interchangeable.  The problem was the size of the opening that the base of the canister fits through.  The Duke and I decided that we had nothing to lose by attempting the modification as we could no longer use our Soda Stream as it was.

The equipment:  A jigsaw, wire cutters, Stanley knife and sandpaper.

The jigsaw was perfect to enlarge the opening, however, on one side there was not enough room to manouvre the saw.  We use the wire cutters to cut small notches to weaken the edge of the plastic then expanded the diameter of the opening using the Stanley knife and finally smoothed the rough edges with the sandpaper.

New canister
We were too busy being creative to take any photos of the actual process but here is the end result with the canister in place.

Soda Stream
It is impossible to see our handiwork with the back cover replaced.  I even made a bottle of soda water to test it out and celebrate our success.

What have you refashioned or modified lately?  Does the expectation that you will buy a new item irritate you?