the humble fish pie and the value of a dollar

The other night I made a fish pie, a friend came over and we ate it’s delicious goodness.  The recipe is from my mum and is the classic Kiwi version made from tinned smoked fish (with a few tweaks from moi).  What I love about the pie is the transformation of cheap ingredients into an incredibly memorable meal.  The lemon zested smoked fish with lashings of parsley, ensconced in a white sauce under the surrender of mashed potato and grilled cheese is taste bud nirvana. And nothing says winter and comfort food more than this dish.  To me it is the poster child for value for money and ‘getting alot out of a little’, humble cheap ingredients combining to make glorious food (and on this note reminds me of one of my favourite Italian dishes – Spaghetti alla Puttanesca).  But I digress.

The making and chewing of said pie got me thinking about my relationship to money.  I know this sounds random, but stay with me.  Having taken myself out of paid employment a couple of months ago to allow connection to and creation of my authentic future path (what I really want to be doing) I have a laser beam intimate knowledge of my finances.  Sat facing a finite pile of moola without the flow of salary, the distraction of 40 hours of work or the social trappings of the working woman I have been forced to connect. I’ve become uber aware of the amount of money I take out of the magic hole in the wall, and how quickly I find myself back there.  And I’ve become keenly interested in pursuing more ways of having fun for little spend (insert tenuous fish pie connection here).

Reflecting on all things financial health leads me to look at the emotions and behaviours behind my spending and money management, what’s driving it.  And soberingly the outcomes of my behaviours – savings, debt and investments.  I’ve never been one for traditional goals that popular sound financial advice promotes, but I am extremely passionate about creating and living an authentic life.  Hence my new found interest and commitment to developing a healthier and smarter relationship to the dino.  It’s early days, but what has come up is…….when I think of budgeting and money management I think of sacrificing and doing without…… feels stifling and freedom robbing.  God knows where thats come from, but I’m off to explore.  And funnily, this wee book has been on my coffee table (lent to me by a friend) for over a year and I haven’t read it.  I’m thinking its time.  Oh, and I’m off to enjoy the simple pleasures, budget style.

p.s this is not a new topic for me, I have looked at it a few times in the last three years or so.  I suppose working and having abundant money coming in just made it easy to fall off the plate of focus.  But not this time, I’ve got it by the goolies and I ain’t letting go.

Are you in love with your relationship to money? …….Do you have any tips or great resources to share?  If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  


About maree

I'm creative and curious and love writing about the fine and messy art of creating an authentic joy laden life.


  1. Hi Ree
    Love your “news” – you’ve always had the ‘gift’ of expression with the correct wording.:)It’s hard pressed not to enjoy a good old fashioned smoked fish pie, I’m making one Wed night taking to Jons. An old saying ‘Save your Pennies and the Pounds will take care of themselves’-Relationship with money – dear to my heart with strong values. “Don’t keep up with the Jones’s” “spend what you can afford” .
    old fashioned ways – cleaning products – Baking soda with water works far more effectively than the fancy products. Diluted White Vinegar – fab for glass and shower doors. Left over vegetables – if not enough to make soup – freeze till you have enough. I save 50c pieces and use these when going to the markets. Treat yourself save $5.00 notes
    – stash these away in no time you have saved several $$ to buy something nice. – Library has great selection of Magazines,keep your $$ and read for free. Lipsticks have at least 5cm of lipstick down in bottom of tube when it appears to be finished – use lip brush or cotton bud to maximise. Tips are endless -I’ll close and look forward to your update.

    Laters, Louise

  2. Justine Gosbee

    Hey Maree really enjoyable post especially since I’ve been the beneficiary of the beloved fish pie. Now onto talk of money oh how I love the topic. In my experience it’s more about your emotions than your wallet. If you can understand why you feel the need to spend (obviously excluding the necessities) then you will be able to control the open & close of your wallet.

    My top tips are:
    1. no amount of money is too small to be considered savings ie as Louise said 50cents is all it takes to start accumulating.
    2. really look at where your money is going so you at least know what you spend it on….. be honest!
    3. if your struggling talk to someone as 1 hour of conversation can make all the difference.

    Ciao, I’m off to do some shopping :)

  3. Oh yes! Fabulous read! Thank you for the ‘money tips’ ladies…, can I get down to how to make that fish pie? I am honestly salivating…..and the bowl of green peas!! YUM……, where do I get that smoked fish from????? xox LOVE your work Maree!!!

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