Sunday, February 2, 2014
Step Away From the Supermarket
It is hot, hot, hot here. We have been having late night races in the pool, but Posy kept winning because she was wearing flippers. Not fair koala bear!
I have come to a decision, which is to not spend any money on groceries this week. This morning I looked in the cupboard and the fridge, and thought that I wouldn't need much at the shops this week, just one or two things. But I often think that, and pop out to do the grocery shopping, and you know how it is, even with a list, one or two things turns into quite a few things, and the food at the back of the cupboard stays there, the dried beans remain unsoaked because it is so much easier to buy a can or two while I am out, and then the chips are on sale, and the icecream.. well, I am sure you all understand.
So this week, line drawn in the sand. I will make do with what I have. I announced this to the girls today - no going to the shops until next Monday. That is actually more than a week, because the last time I popped into a shop was for milk and juice on Friday morning. So really, I am just skipping Monday grocery day. But no incidental shopping either. Except for milk. Just milk. Nothing else.
It's OK, we have lots of food. We won't even get slightly thinner. But I want life to be a bit simpler, to see what I can do without while still enjoying life. To think about the concept of 'enough' and 'making do' in the middle of a life that doesn't really require much of either.
What we don't have this week, is any potatoes at all. We have hardly any greens, except enough broccoli for a meal, and a large bunch of kale (hooray) and half a lettuce. There is a bit of green in the garden, fast sizzling in the heat, and half a cucumber from a friend's garden. We probably won't get scurvy because we have a lot of carrots, a capsicum, and almost two dozen oranges. There is no cream or sour cream, and only a dozen eggs (usually we go through two dozen in a week).
My first action was to locate a scrap piece of paper at the dining room table, and the nearest writing implement (a blue crayon, of course), and to write a menu, including snacks and school lunches, because this is the first week of school (why not add an extra level of difficulty). Actually, in the last week of school last year I hid all the left over 'school snack treats' (muesli bars, boxes of crackers, small bags of 'junk food Friday' chips) in my wardrobe, so that is taken care of. Nevertheless, this evening after dinner we whipped up cheese and vegemite scrolls for school lunches, a muesli bar slice, and a pan of brownies that used up the last of the choc chips, so we are officially a chocolate-free house now... (well, actually, I do know where a packet of chocolate biscuits is hidden... for emergencies. I only buy ones I don't like so I won't be tempted to eat them. So far an appropriate emergency hasn't presented itself in the three or four weeks since I bought them, but you never know..). So now we only have four eggs to see us through the week - we used four in a salad for dinner, and four in the baking..
For dinner I made a rice-based salad using the brown rice I bought to try, oh, about six months ago now. I only have enough of our favourite basmati for two meals, and they are already planned out for later in the week, so brown it was. And the girls loved it, what do you know? Well, except for Posy, but then she doesn't like anything. She appears to live on air.
So that is this week's project. It might even save $160 (I work on a budget of about $40 per person, per week. There are only four of us this week, as The Man is away). It might not be that much saved, because I will have to stock up next week, but I tell you, nothing will be wasted here, and I won't be indulging in my usual 'extra ingredient' supermarket dash.
Would anyone like to join in the fun? Have any of you tried this before? Please let me know in the comments:)