Sunday, 9 October 2016

Day 283 - Musings


I've got less than a fiver in my Challenge shopping cash pot, I've got my M&S vouchers too and the Nectar point stash that has reached the dizzying heights of just over £10, should I be worried?  At one stage in my life I might have been, but if this Challenge has taught me anything it's taught me that you don't need much ...  you don't need much at all.

As the cash amount plummeted somehow my spirits have soared.  I've always been good of making something out of nothing, be it food, shop stock ... both mine and the charity shops that I have managed in the past.  You bulk things out and make them bigger creating illusions of plenty and somehow plenty appears.

It's easy to do with food, you take a small block of cheese and grate it and voila you have a mound of lovely cheese on your plate that looks as if it would make a whole loaf full of sandwiches.  You take a small pack of mince, beef or veggie, add a handful each of chopped carrot, onion, celery, some herbs, seasoning cook it slowly together and then pour into an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed flesh of a couple of jacket potatoes and suddenly there is a Shepherds Pie to feed a family.

All of us cooks, save the few that serve up 'ding cuisine' are magicians of making more out of some, think about it  ... when has it ever turned into less ... well unless you count the shrinkage of water-filled meats that shrivel up to pathetic little replicas of the product that was on the front of the box  or pack they came out of. 

We make a meal from a few ingredients on an almost daily basis.  We fling open the fridge door, spy the lone dish of leftover boiled potatoes, the half onion that we meant to wrap but instead plonked on the shelf to dry out forlornly on it's own, as we instead distractedly reached in to wring the last glass of wine from the bottle in the door shelf.  We take our paltry offerings chop them together tip them into a bowl of beaten eggs and cook slowly and watchfully.  Never has a Spanish Omelette tasted so good as the one that appeared from nowhere :-)


My motto from now on.  For food, for books, for clothes, for life.

Today is a No Spend Day
... well it would be after this post wouldn't it  :-)


12 comments:

  1. You put this so well! It isn't what you have, it is what you make of it!! xx

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  2. I used to add a handful of oats to 1lb of mince when the children were small. That with the vegetables you
    mentioned stretched the amount quite a lot! I'm sure you will eek out every penny from now until the end of the year. Can you do any bartering?
    I do have one more question. Have you a long booklist waiting for January 1st?
    Like you I'm resisting any books that I can't get from our mobile library but the list of ones I'd like to read keeps growing.
    Sue from "Frugal in Suffolk" has added another one today! Sue

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    1. There's no food bartering that we can do, or that we need to do at the moment.

      I'll answer your 'book' question on tomorrow post :-)

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  3. i do love that. can I reuse that quote. I just love it and what you wrote. I might try this next year . How did you come up with the amount for the household spending?

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    1. Of course you can, I think I picked it up from Facebook originally ... many moons ago :-)

      The years household spending cash pot came from the contents of our Sealed Pot when it was opened in December last year. Any other questions you may have can be answered, usually, on the FAQs or The Challenge pages at the top of this blog.

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  4. So wonderfully interesting and super ture.

    cheers, parsnip

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  5. I love this blog and with three allotments and a large garden we produce enough eggs and fruit and veg to be self sufficient. We want to do a similar challenge next year. In your budget toiletries and things like toothpaste and loo roll never get mentioned! So, if you don't mind me asking, do they come out of your cashpot or did you stock up before you started your year's challenge? Regards

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    1. We don't mention toiletries etc. as they are not included in the remit of this Challenge, they WERE going to be but then we decided that what we really needed to learn was what food we needed to produce ourselves and what would always need to be bought and how low an amount would this cost us.

      I have been keeping tabs on the toiletries and cleaning products throughout the course of the year, and yes we did stock up slightly when we found offers before this Challenge began. In fact it as the stocking up that made us realise the Challenge wouldn't work properly if we included non-food items as so much had been purposefully bought in prior to the challenge starting.

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    2. Ah, that makes sense! I thought your cash pot and vouchers were stretching really well!!! :)

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  6. Was listening to a short piece on Radio 4 this morning about 'stuff'. One person had loads of everything, and the other owned just 50-60 items and could pack everything into 1 bag. What he was saying made me think of you and your increasingly minimal life

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  7. Your post really resonated with me, because (surprise surprise) I really do like making much more out of less! I know perfectly well that when we tidied up our old house to sell, we all enjoyed the light and space, and I'd dearly love to get rid of more of the stuff and clutter now we've moved. I often think of your quote on your other blog: "The best things in life aren't things". A great motto to live by!

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  8. Found this post from your other blog "A New Life in the Country." I spent a few weeks in Wales last year and fell in love with that area. I really enjoyed what you wrote here and can relate. I find it very pleasing to open the cupboard and see what I've got to deal with and them make more of out less. I've recently been cooking from scratch and find that with the basics on hand, it's easy to put together a good and wholesome meal. Thank you for both you lovely blogs and for making me think today.

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