Green and Thrifty

Tasmanian Native Pepper Berry

This week, oh lordy, I got the sewing machine out. I know, such a bold, and possibly misguided step. It has been years since I used the sewing machine, but Rosy came home with ripped sports shorts, and you just can't imagine how ridiculously expensive a new pair of regulation school uniform sports shorts are. Luckily, it had ripped up a hem, so I just zipped along and fixed it in no time. Well, I say no time. First, I had to remember how to thread the wretched machine, then I had to get out the manual to remind me how to thread a bobbin, then I had to swear at the bobbin a tiny bit, and then I zipped through the sewing. And while I had the machine out I sewed up the zip in the bottom of Posy's sport track pants. They have that zip at the bottom of the leg to make them easy to get on and off over sneakers - a thing Posy never does, so how the zip broke I will never know. For months she has been going to school with the zip held in with a safety pin. Imagine, as a lazy mother, how marvellously grateful I am to the inventor of the safety pin. Thank you Mr Walter Hunt, benefactor of ballet mothers and persons responsible for the maintenance of school uniforms everywhere.

Anyways, two pieces of school uniform mended, and I was on a roll. Then I sewed up Rosy's blazer pocket. It required hand sewing, attaching the pocket to the coat without catching the lining, and has since fallen apart twice. Hmm, epic fail for hand sewing. I will have to be tougher and use double thread this time. I have always considered sewing an arcane science which need have nothing to do with me. My thoughts are that if I don't bother sewing, it won't bother me. BUT, not sewing equals buying more clothes. And apart from the cost, new clothes are part of a very wasteful and inequitable industry. And I do hate clothes shopping. So mending it must be. Sewing is unfortunately a very green and thrifty enterprise. Hence I forsee more sewing in my future. Sigh. I expect it will be awfully good for my character development.

In other news I pulled everything out of the bathroom cupboards and cabinets, gasped at the amount of STUFF that was in a very small space, and threw a lot of it out. What I have this week is a collection of tiny bottles of shampoo from hotels that The Man has brought home, and a pile of various sample products of creams and potions in little packets from who knows where. This week I am using them all up, and vowing not to let any more into the house, ever.

Our no-sugar diet is having a positive effect on the grocery budget. Not buying cereal, fruit juice or muesli bars has made an appreciable difference. We are obviously using and buying less sugar, but also buying more fruit and veg, nuts and yoghurt. I am not sure how it is that we are not spending more, but I am not complaining. Rosy's new breakfast is local oats with local yoghurt, and decidedly non-local bananas. Posy eats brose - oats and milk (with a spoonful of honey. Yes it's a sugar, but it's not hidden sugar, it's sugar I can see, and it's no more than a spoonful a day. Well, when I'm looking, that is). I stewed a big pot of cheap apples this week, and The Girl has been eating stewed apple and yoghurt for breakfast. My breakfast is a boiled egg and a piece of fruit. While The Man has been here he has been eating porridge. I feel so much better seeing my family eating oats than cornflakes.

Harvested from the garden this week - warrigal greens, a tiny amount of lettuce, bay leaves, rosemary, lemons. And Tasmanian native pepper berries. I bribed Posy to come out in the garden with me to pick them, so we could have a mother/daughter bonding moment. We all know how that sort of thing ends. Luckily, she didn't throw the tub of berries as she stomped off, so I saved them, stripped the rest of the bush and dried them in the dehydrator. This week we will be eating our own home grown black pepper:)

Tell me about your thrifty green moments this week.


Evi said…
I had to laugh at your attempted bonding time….. yes, you are not alone! Why is this so? Do we expect bells and whistles and rainbows because we made an effort? And then when it falls a bit short of the expected (which it will because true bonding moments with teens are as scarce as hens teeth - there is a after all that monstrous and insurmountable ditch between a teen and her parents!!) we are surprised and somehow deflated that they didn't reciprocate and play along!
Oh yes, I surely know how they end…thanks for the giggle!
Jo said…
Dear Evi, yes, and this one isn't even a teenager yet. Although she thinks she is.
I absolutely love the line 'Do we expect bells and whistles and rainbows because we made an effort?' That is so, so true. I DO expect that. But it is unreasonable, of course. I am absolutely adding that line to my mental list of Parenting Truths from Wise Mamas. Thank you:)
Bek said…
You have inspired my green and thrifty, which will be tonights dinner. I was oscelating between fish and chips (god knows where they are from at my local chippie) andusing the last of the pasta lurking in my fridge. I have
now resolved to use said pasta, probably wih garden fresh broccoli and a little cream, thus saving me me money and being greener. Thanks for the prompt jo!
Jo said…
So glad to be of assistance Bek. I love the broccoli/cream/pasta combination, but I generally also add bacon/salami/chorizo, whatever I have on hand. Yum. I might pop over around dinner time..
Anonymous said…
Thrifty yes - attempting to be green, yes, turned the air a smidge blue - also, yes. The Hound, being a rather bouncy creature, and also not enamoured of Things on the clothes line nor being left at home alone for a millisecond longer than she has to if her people are out and about, took issue with the KING SIZED only one winter old, Sheridan flannelette sheets and pulled them off the line. (That's the green bit - my drying sheets on the line - ok, I was off out buying a clothes dryer, but still!)

Small tooth sized hole right in the middle of the sheet. Did I mention these were virtually new sheets? Yes. Insert swears. Now, I would normally have relegated them to the shed, but we've just become a single income family *and* they're virtually new.

So, I got out some interfacing and ironed some over the wee hole and voila! Saved myself copious with only a little bit of effort (and I didn't have to get out the sewing machine!)
Anonymous said…
You inspired me to finally mend 3 holes in my son's onesie; he wrestles with the dog who bites his clothes, sigh. Loretta
Jo said…
Miss Maudy and Loretta, my girls are clamouring for a dog. This is not helping.
Well done on the 'Make Do and Mend' front though my dears. Interfacing hey, Miss Maudy? I must investigate this promising alternative to actual sewing...
Anonymous said…
I don't mind a bit of hand sewing but I don't like wrangling with the machine and would have to re-learn it, ugh!
Jen's Busy Days said…
Hubby does the sewing around here. It involves heavy machinery o_O so it is his job. Ironically my sewing machine brand is Toyota. lol

With hubby away I paid $11 for someone else to hem ds2's trousers. Local employment!

How peppery are those pepper berries? I tend to have this mentality that if it didn't come from a shop it isn't edible. I definitely need some education in my local plants.

Best wishes
Jen in NSW
hankering to be in Qld with DH
Heather said…
Green and thrifty? I wish. It seems as if my wallet explodes every time summer rolls around and my kids are at home 24/7. They both went back to school this week so I am hoping to get back on track. Love your "bonding" moment story. Kids are never as compliant as they are in our fantasies, are they?
Jo said…
Dar, 'wrangling with the machine' - yes, my thoughts on the matter, exactly!
Jen, good work, handing over the sewing jobs! And yes, pepper berries very peppery. Posy naughtily lures her friends into the garden and dares them to eat one!
Heather, love the image of the wallet exploding. That is exactly what happens!

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