So on Thursday I decided to not go out in the car for the next few days. Well, Friday morning dawned and it was pouring with rain. I popped on my raincoat, put up my brolly and went on a brisk walk to the gym. My gym buddy offered to drive me home, and I let her drive me as far as her house, then walked home. It was still pouring when it came time to go to the optometrist with Rosy, so I caved in and we drove, and then went to the vegie shop on the way home. The rain had cleared up by the time we came out of our appointment. We could very well have walked - we have plenty of umbrellas. What did occur to me though, is that neither of the girls have a really rain-proof coat. I know, here in rainy Tasmania. It's because we are always in the car, and only go out 'for a walk' if it's fine. For school camps the girls take my Goretex raincoat. But, if I am going to make them walk to the school bus and to town in the rain, I will have to think about buying them proper raincoats (don't worry, they do have warm coats - they are those down jackets though, which are not in the least bit rainproof).
Then, Saturday morning there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth - apparently, there was 'no food in the house'. Nonsense of course. There are plenty of ingredients in the house, and between the huge reserves of dried beans in the cupboard and what's in the garden I am pretty sure we could withstand a two-month siege at least, but I was ground down by the whining, so I made a list of everything we normally buy from the supermarket and drove (well, The Girl drove, killing two birds with one stone) to our local independent supermarket (local, but not walking distance. It is opposite a retirement village and full of little old ladies with walkers), where I stocked up with what is hopefully about two months' worth of groceries.
What I buy at the supermarket is just dry goods - toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste etc, plus cans (coconut milk, tuna, stock powder) plus things like dog and cat food, tomato passata, crackers, mayonnaise, big blocks of cheese, butter, frozen peas and frozen corn. All the other dry goods like flour, sugar, beans, dried fruit, nuts, vinegar, honey, oils, dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid etc I buy in bulk at the whole foods shop once a month.
Everything else - vegies and fruit, meat, dairy, bread - I can buy from local shops just a couple of blocks down the hill. And then up the hill on the way home. All that weight bearing exercise is so good for me.
So maybe, just maybe, I can stop driving to the shops every couple of days for food now. Well, except that of course, I forgot several things at the supermarket. I didn't buy any sanitary products or coffee and The Girl certainly didn't buy a month's worth of soy and oat milk. But I am sure I will be visiting my parents soon, and on the way to their house is another independent supermarket, so I can pop in there to top up with those extras.
I remember reading Agatha Christie's autobiography, and as a small child she would accompany her grandmother to the Army and Navy Stores in London, where her grandmother would order a year's supply of household goods. A year! She must have had an excellent list, and kept meticulous records. She also had a large and rambling English country house to store it all in. I only have a small three bedroom cottage but I am rather surprised to be able to report that all that extra food fitted right into my kitchen and bathroom cupboards, with the toilet paper stuffed under a table next to the bathroom.
I am now going to go and compile a master shopping list, and keep some records so I know how much toilet paper we use in a year. I am sure you are all waiting with baited breath to find out:)
I wrote this yesterday, and today it is Monday and Posy and I walked into town to buy school stationery, school shoes and zinc oxide powder. The zinc is to make more sunscreen. The Girl has continuing and unresolved eczema and my home-made sunscreen is the only one that doesn't make her eczema worse. We bought the stationery at an independent book and art supplies shop, the zinc oxide at a compounding chemist, and tried to buy shoes at a local school outfitters - but Posy had forgotten to bring her orthotics. Aaargh! In the end, we drove back to town this afternoon to buy her shoes. Well, again The Girl drove and we did parking practice. It is a delicate line I am treading to give The Girl enough practice for her driving test, and not just driving all over the place for the sake of it.
It's ok, we're trying, we're learning. Sometimes it doesn't all go to plan, but what ever does? The great thing about failure is what you learn from it. On a positive note I haven't been into a supermarket chain or department store for weeks. Local all the way..
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (13). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much.. and now extra frugal adventures with Partner Paul..