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Simple things

One of the ways I can tell when I may not be doing as well as I have been in regard to my mental illness CPTSD is how I become more sensitive and fixated on one particular aspect in a day. Usually to do with an issue I am struggling with or of that wonderful and terrible thing called Facebook. The beauty of where I am today is that I can pick up the signs pretty early on that this is happening. I will then be able to redirect my focus firstly by acknowledging what is happening, then finding something I enjoy. So as this was happening recently and strangely I had been doing a lot of positive things for my mental health it still creeps up on me.

The weather in Spring in Tasmania can be challenging. We have had the wettest Spring for 50 years. Last week we had a couple of days of 23dC(73df) then the temperature dropped to 7dc(44.6dF) wet and windy. I was warm at home with my wood fire going. A lovely cosy day. I spent to much time on the computer though. So when I woke up the next morning I decided to head into Cygnet for brunch. My battery of the car was flat, (somehow my internal light was left on) I have a charger, and started it up. The dogs and I went in spent time with friends ate, and then I went for a drive to recharge my battery fully.

It was a lovely afternoon.

You could be mistaken for believing that the photo below is from the Swiss Alps; it is Hartz Mountains in Southern Tasmania taken on the 30/10/21 Springtime. Yes I did feel an urge to sing The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music.



A drive through Pelverata is quite beautiful

Battery fully charged, having had a couple of walks with the dogs through the bush. We were all content and I was certainly in a much better place. I may find being with people draining at times, it had been delightful to spend time in the morning with friends. Then to switch off my brains fixation status, and recharge by being out in the world of nature. Smelling the forest and fresh air, hearing the water in the full rivers and even the wee waterfalls at the side of the road created by the heavy and consitent rain we continue to have. I am so blessed by Godess to live where I do. To be able to get in my car and see such beauty.

Life in Tasmania can be challenging for those who first move her. No season is totally what it should be. You carry in your car layers just in case. As the population changes and house prices go though the roof where I live I do fear for so much of our areas as people subdivide land and farmland for the ever growing numbers of people who desire all that I am privileged to have. Yet at the same time excluding our younger generations who are struggling to even afford the rents if they can actually find a rental.

Oops I am off on a tangent Again I am thankful that I am so fortunate and I am especially fortunate to know it, and to feel I am rich beyond belief. (not in a monetary sense.

my hope is You will be content in your lives and if you are struggling reach out. It can be hard, but learning to manage our illnesses emotions reactions is freeing and empowering.

blessings to You, Tazzie.

Spirit of Christmas?

Possible triggers

It is the time of the year when it is very easy to become caught up in the crazy season. Here in Australia we are in the early days of Summer. Yet still most of our Christmas is based on a Winter theme. If you love the Christmas that is wonderful.
Here lights adorn homes, but it is still light here in Tasmania until after 21:00 so not really likely that the little ones will see them in their full glory. It is most likely going to be over 38dC/100dF if not hotter in many locations in Australia, most likely not here in Tasmania. Thankfully many people have given up the cooked roast and trimmings. Salads, seafood, BBQs, picnics, ice cream and pavlova. Are more the traditions here, cold stubbies(beer), icy cold soft drinks and wine, champagne or punch.

I look about me and see what almost seems like panic most definitely anxieties. Traffic increases, people stock up as if the shops will not be open for weeks. Instead of only usually 24 hours. Ridiculous amounts of money being spent. Many people go into debt for the ‘Spirit of Christmas’. Why?

Why do this to yourself. If you really love it great. Some folk do. My work life has seen the opposite side of this time of year.

My own mental illness sees me less interested in the media and advertising creation that has very little to do with reality.

It is the time of year for many who feel alone, who feel pressured to be what they think they should rather than be themselves. To be generous even when they are struggling financially. I guess after this crazy year and for many around the world where lock downs have been happening again. So thankful that Australia has no lock downs and our infection rates have become almost non existent.

For me I have no plans. I am content with that. There are possibilities.

I will see the lovely lights of the houses in parts of the Huon Valley that go all out and I smile as I drive by. I like seeing the Christmas trees with their lights glowing. I am not bah humbug really. I love fruit cake and fruit mince pies (as long as the pastry is wonderful). I love plum pudding and brandy custard. Many childhood Christmas’s spent in 40+dC with my Gran dparents, My Grandmother and Mother cooking the roast, steaming the plum pudding and making the custard. It was lovely but oh so hot. As the food was cooked on a wood stove, the water filled air conditioner struggling to keep any air cool. There always so much angst.
It all had to be perfect. It was, but at such a cost. Sigh.

I love that now I can do or not do what I want. For years I would travel to be with family. My hope was for the Christmas to be as I hoped. The advertised creation. Of course it never was. Stress angst and undertones, never arguments on Christmas Day.

Even with my wonderful partner I wanted a story book kind of Christmas when we first were living together. I wanted it to be perfect. He helped me move past that. It was wonderful. I stopped being stressed and buying gifts for everyone and just in case someone gave me something and I had nothing for them. I stopped sending cards to people I never heard from. In fact I send no cards, no gifts no emails. What joy. Does it make me an awful person..get real NO. It makes me a person who is taking control of what is right for me.

So if you are stressing, spending money you can not afford, please be honest with yourself. Be honest and say enough. I am not falling for the manufactured concept of Christmas. It is not the Merry or Happy time of Year for us all.

Do not get me wrong please I see getting together and sharing food with people who you want to be with is fantastic. I do enjoy it when there is no pressure, just bring a plate and liquid to share. To share conversations laughter and love. For those of you who are struggling to say No. Please be considerate of yourself. Do what you need to for yourself.

Blessings to You, Tazzie.





Life my new normal..

I am not sure how others who might read my (rather irregular of late) posts are doing with Covid 19. We here in Tasmania only have one case and that is someone in quarantine returned from overseas. Melbourne has been in full lock down again as the second wave hit them. (seemingly from poor education given on hygiene to security guards employed to keep an eye on and support those in hotel isolation).

I can not imagine what returning to full quarantine after a period of relative freedom must be like for so many people.

Tasmania has the advantage of being an island. Our Premier recently announced our boarders will be closed (essential workers exempted) until the 1st December. You can imagine what some people will feel especially those with businesses reliant on tourism. My heart aches for all being hit by loss of family, friends, health. Also for those whose loss of income, their business and perhaps their home. I can not imagine how hard this time is for you.

My Government has been giving those of us on unemployment an extra payment each fortnight which for me basically doubles my income. $250 a week to a bit over $500 a week now.

I am still being as frugal as I can. I have paid all my yearly bills in full rather than monthly and have savings for the first time in almost five years.

Of course life throws up things that will cost me quite a bit as in trees requiring removal, plumbing, some windows need to be fixed and I am really working on where the leak (that I paid to have fixed but it was made worse even after three visits the guy gave up)!

Here in Tasmania we are being encouraged to visit locations and support businesses, hospitality accommodation, wineries, tourist venues I guess things often you do not necessarily do because they are always here.

My attitude is to support my local shops, cafes and I rarely go further a field for shopping unless I can not get what I need in my region. I also do not see the extra money as spending money on things that are not essential to me. I have purchased some things for the garden but most of what I have is old, second hand or I have acquired for free.

I am still being frugal with my shopping and what I do purchase.

Which is why I headed to Hobart recently for a tip shop run. I had an appointment so I decided to see if I could purchase a second hand CD player. The new ones that I was looking at were so cheaply made I did not have a lot of faith in them.

Off I went with my dogs and we had a pleasant time out.
The tip shops here sadly are becoming businesses, with paid employees, and all that this entails. So the ‘free’ rubbish that is dropped off at these facilities is sometimes more expensive than new items. Especially building items and some cooking items that are trendy.

The following photos are a display on the walls, apparently this tip shop offers tours for school groups and other interested groups. They also have really interesting sculptures made by someone who works there and others who I assume do it as a paid work. I always ask them what is the best price and happily explain I am on a very low income. I always get a better price especially if items have been there for a long time.

A pause for lunch at The Pollen Tea Room Battery Point, dog friendly , great food, it is vegetarian/vegan I am not but so delicious I love it for its ambiance lovely staff , and wonderful teas and coffee. Tiny friendly resonable prices.

My dogs had been so patient and it is really lovely to go for a walk around Battery Point which is a very pretty suburb right next to Salamanca Wharf and Hobart City it has quite early built houses

I came across this

The first photo is mine and I pondered how much this little house would have sold for. Ummm not so little but…

My research shows it is not such a little house and it sold for a lot!

Prices in Tasmania have gone through the roof in the last six or so years. As have rental prices. Mind you this is a very desirable location and with water views from upstairs. (main bedroom only).
You might see the water from the little front garden but I doubt it would be seen from the front windows.

My dogs had a joyous time at a dog park at Battery point with water access.

The dogs went into the boat yard under the fence where work had been happening. I apologised to the owner who had come out he laughed and said it was OK. It was a new place for us and Miss Treacle and Busby loved it. We all slept really well that nights. Oh and I did get a second hand CD player with tape deck and radio, speakers for $40 (it works) solid and a nice system with speakers. Much better than the crappy one I saw brand new at Big W for over $50 that was so light and all plastic. I guess time will tell on my second hand one.



blessings to you all Tazzie

Not the Greatest Gardener

Sunday today a walk about the garden, and a quick trip to my wee village to pick up a voucher for my mobile as I had run out of credit and have a doctors phone call visit tomorrow at 9am.

It was supposed to be really cold and wild weather here over the weekend and we seemed to have missed quite a lot of it in my little corner of the Huon Valley. It was mild today and if the sun was out behind the clouds I had just a T-shirt on. I am letting my fire go out as the following days are to be warmer overnight and during the day.

As I walked about the paddock and pulled out young bracken ferns noticing the wattle is still flowering (weird) and most of the leaves are now off my plums. I also noticed my neighbours had left a bike on the main road with a notice saying free to good home.

As I stood there looking at what a great bike it looked a man and his son stopped and the son said hey dad mum wanted a bike. Fathers reply was yes and we could not get her one, but we can have this one. I watched them load the bike into their car and the smile on the sons face was wide. He said to his dad it would be a great Mother’s Day gift (Mothers Day is next sunday here in Australia).

As I was ambling back up the side of my paddock my neighbours were walking down there drive and I said Hi. They shared that they had just put the bike out 5 mins ago, it had flat tyres and needed a little work probably tweeking the chains, and how happy they were someone had taken it. I shared the story and that made them both even happier. I too smiled as I walked to the vegetable garden.

There are sunflowers still attempting to produce flowers and others like the one in the bottom of the photos above that the birds have been eating seeds off. Broad beans flowering, lettuce setting and sending seeds forth on the winds. I have picked the sunflower as I would like more seeds to grow next season.

The vegetable garden is going slowly into winter mode,(photos above) and I am making a compost bed. Manure horses, and vegetable waste, green and brown material will be added. The three sisters bed is finished now and I will not be doing one again, as I feel it is not really the best way in my climate to grow beans, corn and pumpkins/squash. I had to pull out the beans as I could smell mildew on them with all the rain we have had. I have the plants undercover on the deck my fingers are crossed the beans will dry out and not rot.

The tomato bed is winding down the lettuce is ending its life cycle and the sunflower is now gone. I will add some manure, compost and minerals when I decide what will be planted in this bed in spring.

Above a wee bit of artistic license with cape gooseberries flower and fruit. I love the fruit taste and its crazy paper cover. Some of my sage is flowering, and the red kale seedlings are going well. All the plants with the lables on them were in the discount area of my local hardware(nursery area no not a bunnings) I got two lavenders that were $24 ea alone plus 12 plants for $20 I could not pass them by. Two salvias, a rosemary, some seedlings. Several others. I will be planting them out this week. They have all perked up since coming here.

I have been busy putting all the seedlings and potted lettuce and brassicas up on wracks to get them off the timber, I am worrying about the rot that might happen. I am still working on the big pots. A trip to a tip shop may be on the cards. When I take a load of rubbish to the tip which is essential.

Let me reassure you all I am not the worlds greatest gardener. I am very much a hit or miss kind a one. I am absolutely delighted and appreciative of what my garden gives me for how neglected it has and can be at times.
I look at my neighbour up the road. Who has the money to spend on an amazing set up his vegetable garden is a work of art and stunning. He has wallaby and possum proof fencing, and yet he has lost part of his pumpkins crop to rats, and now his beetroots and carrots have been eaten underground by rats it seems too or possums.
He is devastated. Where as after 20 years of living here and knowing that the more you fight nature the harder nature fights you back. I have things outside my veggie garden that the critters can nibble on. They have free run off all areas with exception of my deck part of it, and my veggie area. I leave them food, I have had very little damage from anything with the exception of birds and cabbage moth.
I protect individual trees rather than fencing the whole of my land off from them. Sure they do some damage, sometimes, and I feel it for a wee while. In the scheme of my way of thinking the critters were here first, and if fences are stopping them from getting to their food supplies and you have temptation I know where I would be going too. The critters are not silly.

The photographs above were taken on my quick run into my village to get the darn phone credit voucher (I don’t own a credit card). This was the return trip home.
I bought some potatoes at one of my road side sellers and as I came upon this little one closer to my place I bought some eggs $5 for a dozen fresh eggs and 10 golden delicious apples for $2. I am eating one as I write, crunchy slightly tart and juicy. Flavoursome.

I am so very fortunate to live where I do. I love being in my garden and need to get in it to weed but no point weeding when the ground is so wet.
I also have to fix my faviourite tool. My partner bought it with him from Malaysia, and he called it a ‘chunkor'{sic} The head has come away from the handle and I love the handle as it is thin made for a female hand, as they are the worker who use them most on rubber plantations. I have to find a small piece of wood to hold it in place.

I am thankful for being in such a beautiful place and working with mother nature to ensure the wild life have the correct food for them. I am thankful for all the birds that were about today. I am thankful for the bees that were in my garden today. I am thankful to Mother Earth. I am so thankful to have such wonderful cheap locally grown produce available to buy at roadsides near me. I am thankful that the rain is helping my large trees about the house. I am thankful for all I have, and all I can share. I am thankful for good sleep. I am so very thankful that my mental health is improving and that I am moving forward no matter how small every day. Gardening certainly helps me there, along with my routine.

No walk today it was a car run for the dogs. I was not well this morning very dizzy. I am thankful that I will be able to get back into walking my dogs tomorrow.

blessings to you all Tazzie

Got Mushroom?

Cheap compost that bears gifts.

This is how the mushroom logs looked when I first picked them up (Above). They have a plastic bag on the bottom to hold moisture. I have removed it as spores from the mushrooms often have gone down into that area.

Being frugal I try to find things with more than one use. Here in Tasmania you can buy used mushroom logs, from a mushroom farm. They are really sold as a compost material, made entirely from natural products. I do get them for the compost factor they help keep moisture in the soil.

Before they become compost I moisten them and leave them in my mushroom cupboard. A put together structure that currently is forming the fence between my drive and my wood pile. It is made from a solid second hand cupboard frame, picked up for free, and the shelves inside are fairly in tact. The damp logs go inside and corrugated iron, also picked up for free becomes the wall, The roof is old rubber mat from one of our cars we no longer own. To hold the iron in place I put a very old and broken rabbit hutch in front.

The photos above and below are a mere four days after moistening the logs and putting them in the cupboard. I have picked a couple as they were getting to large and inhibiting some of the smaller ones to develop. I know I have white oyster and grey oyster mushrooms.

They are an art work in their own right. I love photographing fungi in the wild but having these at home is also quite fun. They develop so rapidly and I am pleasantly surprised with the number of mushrooms that are growing on these spent logs. So for a small donation I am getting artisan mushrooms for very little, and superb compost material too.

When you live life on a low income you have to think outside the box at times, and also be aware of what may be available in your area.

So have you got mushroom?

stay safe, stay home.

blessings Tazzie

Productivity in Isolation

It was a wee bit weird to be heading off to my small village, after being at home for 14 days. I had to get a script filled, and buy a few essential things.


I was really quite amazed at how busy it was in my small village.
My local supermarket, IGA was stocked well with everything I certainly required. Yes some things I had to buy a different brand or variety, these things were a small price to pay to have what I needed. It was good that my Tasmania milk was available. There was toilet paper, flour, pasta, I did not need any of these. Dried fruit was a bit lacking. I was fortunate to get some sultanas. Just what I wanted. I have dried apricots I dried at home

I think I may have over dried them hard but delicious.

The plants in the photo below, are three I bought plus there are two lavenders on the right you can see the flowers. The three plants cost me $9AUS/$5.46USD/4.42 UK pounds a small prostrate rosemary, and two salvias, The two large lavender plants were selling for
$24AUS/$14.56US/11.14UKpounds each, but they were in the unloved plants area and were $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.57 UK pounds each. I have some cuttings I had taken of some friends lavender plants but they would take several years to be as large as these plants. I know exactly where all of them will be going.

I also purchased some potting mix. I had a lot of seedlings of cabbage and cauliflowers to pot up. I accidentally ordered to many from my local seedling man Dave. I thought they were one seedling in each pot when I read his post on what he had available. So I ordered three of each of four cabbages, two red and two white, and four cauliflowers two different varieties. When the order was picked up they were punnets. So I have so many to plant. I am attempting to put them in pots and in the veggie garden.

If You look at the photograph above you an see seedlings basically in the middle of the photo these are some of the seedlings. I have to take out the tomatoes I have picked them all and wait for them to ripen.

New England Honey Eater

I love my garden this salvia is loved by these birds. This wee New Holland Honey Eater was happily getting nectar as I was potting up seedlings on my deck.

Above are the 3kgs/6,61Lbs for $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.89UK Pound of tomatoes I purchased from my friends who had a veggie store at the Cygnet Market,(which is closed due to the Covid-19 virus). They are selling their produce from their gate, you order and they book you to come one at a time to pick up.
I wanted them for sauce. I had not told them this and they had picked me a lovely lot of varied ripeness tomatoes. I had to think fast. How could I ripen them all at once? I put them in my car, with the windows up. The next two days were gorgeous. Hot sunny and clear. This is how the box of tomatoes looked (photo above) when I took them out of the car/glass house. I have also used my car as a greenhouse for seedlings in the past.

I started the sauce yesterday (Tuesday). I had picked some rose hips in the morning to make some rose hip syrup. I put them on to cook, I just took the tails and heads of them, popped them in the saucepan whole put them on to come to a boil and left them to soften. I came back twice and mixed them to break the hips up and to release the juices. I then strained the seed and skins overnight catching all the juices. I then added some sugar. I do not add a huge amount as I do not like it too sweet.

The history of rosehip syrup

During the war, government scientists realised that, weight for weight, rosehips have over 20 times the vitamin C of oranges. So the Ministry of Food (UK) recommended rosehip syrup and a generation of children began receiving a daily dose.

During World War II, a national week for the collection of rosehips was established in late September. Scouts, guides and other groups would head out to harvest the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips which made 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup!

With the growing popularity of foraging, the vitamin saviour of World War II has been making a welcome comeback.

As well as vitamin C, rosehips are a great source of vitamin A, D and E. They contain an anti-inflammatory and have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/07/raw-rosehip-syrup/

Home goods for my pantry.

In the photo above the tomato sauce is in the large jars on the left( with the seeds in them). The small jars in front with the red colour are my four jars of rosehip syrup for over autumn and winter. To the right of that t

Blackberry Thyme Oxymel

Based on a recipe from “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” by Emily Han

Ingredients

6 oz container of organic blackberries (approx. 1-1/4 cup)

½ cup roughly chopped thyme

1 ½ cups of raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup local raw honey

Directions

Place berries in a bowl and lightly crush.

Coarsely chop thyme and combine with blackberries in a glass mason jar.

Cover with vinegar, making sure thyme and blackberries are submerged with at least 1/4 inch of headspace.

Use a non-reactive lid and store in a cool, dark space for 2 to 4 weeks.

Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, add honey and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Add your oxymel to seltzer or use as a base for sauces, marinades or salad dressing.  It’s a great way to stay healthy through the winter.
Recipe from https://soulholistichealth.com/blackberry-thyme-oxymel/

The final jar the tall jar on the far right with all the chopped up things in it is my Fire Cider Vinegar. I followed the recipe from Danus Irish Herb Garden. on Youtube. It is not quite ready to be strained.


I feel happy to have these items to go in my pantry in any year. This year with all that is happening as we here in the Southern Hemisphere are heading into Winter and the normal cold and flu season. The added concern of Covid-19. Well I want to be as prepared to have things to assist me and my body as best I can.

My garden provides so much the rosehips, the black berries, the garlic. All for free, as I now grow garlic from my own previous years supply. Horseradish seems to have fallen out of favour with Wasabi seeming to be many peoples preferred heat these days. I am very content with Horseradish.

I am thankful that Mother Earth provides me with so much free food. I am also thankful that she has given me the ability to grow things for myself.
I am thankful that I was able to go out and do what I needed to today. I am thankful to be home, in my safe, isolation with my two dogs. I am thankful for the lovely fresh produce that is grown around me in this beautiful valley.

keep well blessings to you all Tazzie





Feeding my dogs on a low income.

I had been fortunate to get 3 rather large raw chooks each about 2.5kgs/5.51lbs in weight. I boiled one, and roasted the other two as the use bye date was in two days. At $3.50 a kg/2.2lbs it was a very cheap form of meat for my dogs.
I was also able to get winter vegetable frozen blend in 1kg/2.2lbs bags. Australian grown for $3.95kg/2.2lbs The bag of frozen vegetables provided me enough veggies for 5 meals. The contained beans, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. I boiled some in the stock made by the boiled chicken, and took apart the chicken that was boiled ensuring I had removed all the bones.

When the stock had boiled I first add the frozen vegetables, and turn the heat off. A short time later I added a cup and half of oats to it and several garlic bubils (the tiny garlic bulbs that develop at the end of the scape.) They can be planted out and will develop into bulbs. I use them in dogs food and salads, but will plant some out in my tubs perhaps this year. I also added some turmeric about 3 teaspoons.

You can see how fit and active Busby and Miss Treacle are here playing with a friend.

I end up blitzing the vegetable/oat chicken soup sort of mix before I add the chicken. As Miss Treacle will spit out the vegetables if they are too big.

I will freeze the rest which will mean from this one chicken my dogs had a raw meal the night I bought the whole chickens home. They had their meal today, and I will get three more meals for them which I will freeze as ready to go meals.

I will do similar with the two roast chickens that are cooling in the fridge. I may do one with boiled rice, and the other with oats. These will also go in my freezer giving me in total 13 frozen meals for my two dogs so 13 days of food. Because I roasted these two chooks I will make stock out of the bones. Perhaps for me to have available for soups or whatever in the freezer.

Busby loves rolling around in the grass, you can see he has no redness from allergies on his undercarriage.

In comparison Optimum for example at Woolworth’s is $35 for 7.5kgs/16.53lbs of kibble style food. It would take 450gms /15.9oz of dry feed a day for Busby and 160gms/5.6oz for Miss Treacle.
Total per day 610gms/21.5ozs, at a cost of $2.91 a day. Sounds great. You could get a deal if ordered online for 2 bags for $52 a big saving of $18. but not if your dog has issues with what is in the ingredients.

Comparing my chicken oats, and veggie meals for my dogs and the Optimum is going to be an interesting thing. I paid $9.35 for almost 3kgs of whole raw chicken. Cooked weight with all bones removed was 2.45 Kgs plus I had the chicken stock from cooking the whole chook in.

I added two cups of frozen vegetables about 1kg, plus some broccoli leaves shredded from my garden. I added garlic pearls/bulbils also free from my garden. I did not add any extras to the basic mix at this point in time. But tomorrow night they will have beef mince with brewers yeast. Oh and turmeric was added at about 3tspns in total, so $1 worth. Oats at $3.95kg and I used about 250gms of oats for this volume so $1.00
2450gms of chicken meat will provide 5 meals for both my dogs as they get 500gms of meat per meal. (because they also get regular fresh raw bones ).

Miss Treacle is showing you her wonderful teeth pretty great for a girl her age. She had one missing when I adopted her, and she has an under bite. She was from a hoarder so we do not think her diet was very good before she came to me 10 years ago.

Chicken $9.35
Oats $1.00
Veggies $4.50
Tumeric $1.00
Chicken stock free
bulbils garlic free
$15.85
Cost of 5 meals $3.17each for two dogs =$0.06 cents per kg of dog.

Busby 41Kgs/90.4lbs $2.60per meal of pure chicken veggies and oats with turmeric in a chicken stock.
Miss Treacle 8.5kgs/18.74lbs . 48 cents per meal (rounded up)

Miss Treacle very Happy this afternoon.

My ingredients, human grade chicken 100% , chicken stock (no added salt made with water and whole chicken from whole human edible grade product) cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beans, frozen. Fresh broccoli leaves my garden, oats or rice. both human grade, garlic bulbils my garden, turmeric powder. Everything was fit for human consumption.
The three chicken meals that are left will be frozen. I will add once a meal is defrosted for dinner either egg or sardines, and brewers yeast to the meals for each dog.
If I had used rice it would have been cheaper as my brown rice was cheaper than my Oats to buy when I purchased them.

Oh that does not look great. The dogs loved it wolfed down their food this afternoon.

Compared to the ingredients in the Optimum dried kibble Chicken, Rice and vegetables, off the Woolworth’s site :Poultry And Poultry By-products; Sorghum And/or Rice And/or Wheat; Barley And/or Corn; Chicken Digest; Cereal Protein; Beet Pulp; Vegetables; Salt; Vegetable Oil; Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Iodide And Selenium); Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E And Choline) And Antioxidants

Sodium tripolyphosphate, also known as pentasodium triphosphate, pentasodium tripolyphosphate or sodium triphosphate, is used in a wide range of applications in the manufacture of cleaning products and food preservatives as well as in water treatment facilities.

https://www.chefsteps.com/ingredients/sodium-tripolyphosphateSodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is an alkaline salt that will raise the pH of meats and seafood, enough to increase their water-holding capacity. So if you see this on human grade foods you have to wonder how much extra water is being added to the product to give more weight.



https://www.dogingtonpost.com/a-guide-to-understanding-dog-food-ingredients/Sodium tripolyphosphate works as a preservative in your pet’s food. According to a fact sheet by the Food & Water Watch, sodium tripolyphosphate can be harmful if inhaled and is a skin irritant (MSDS). … Let’s leave this unnecessary, non-nutritive ingredient out of our dog food. Watch for STPP in your fish, too.Sep 29, 2015
beet pulp Fiber/filler, stills contains enough sugar for rush/addiction to food and hyperactivity.
corn This controversial cereal grain typically used in dog food is feed-grade (not for human consumption) and can include mold or fungus. Corn is typically considered a cheap filler which is both difficult for dogs to digest and can increase a dog’s blood sugar, leading to diabetes, weight gain, and joint dysfunction.

https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_pet_food_for_your_pets_sake
By-products (for example, chicken by-products or beef by-products): clean non-rendered “parts”, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, blood, bone, fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels “high” (although not high quality) while keeping food production costs low. 

These are enough to cause me concern. So many dogs and cats have allergies and skin issues. Non of my animals have on the raw, home cooked and Vets all Natural, diets I have had them on . I personally loved the Vets all natural raw diet adult mix but sadly of late the cost of the 15kg bag is becoming so expensive and at present I am finding my home made raw and cooked meat meals cheaper.

So for me the fact my animals are incredibly healthy. Miss Treacle is 12, 1/2,she has a aging condition that makes her eyes look like they are developing cataracts the vet has assured me she can see well. That these are not human cataracts.
Busby will be 5 on the 8th May.

Look at Miss Treacle move, not bad for an older girl!

I currently spend $6 .99for a kg/2.20lbs of pet mince premium (no preservatives, or colours or food enhancers as can be used in sausage meat which is also included in the cheaper pet mince at my butcher) I buy my meat at a local butchers, and they have their own farm/s so much of the meat is usually local. Unless specified.

I buy usually 14 kgs/30.86/lbs for $6.99 for a total of $97.86 but this will actually provide my dogs for over a month of food when I add the chicken necks once a week $3.50kg/2.20lbs.
I also buy bones 5kgs bones $5.00
They will get sardines once a week with their meal. I will also add to two meals one egg for Miss Treacle and two eggs for Busby. They get less meat in those meals. Which extend the meat longer.

125gm tin of headless whole sardines usually 3 in a tin, costs $0.75. I usually buy in spring water unless it they have them in olive oil.

I will also give them eggs two for Miss Treacle and four for Busby a week, total cost of $3.25 I buy oats at $3.95per Kg from a bulk wholefoods they may be less as these may have been organic ones, and the frozen vegetables usually at about $4.50 a kg.

Once a week I will use 1kg of chicken necks for a meal.

I will make six meals of beef pet mince 3.6kgs of meat. which cost me $25.16 plus $4.95 for the vegetables.
Eggs cost me $6.50a dozen $0.54 per egg $3.25 for the dogs 6 eggs and $0.75cents a tin of sardines.

I will also add turmeric and brewers yeast alternately. I use turmeric powder that I get from a local supplier for about $4.50 for 375gms/13.28ozs and the yeast I get from a pet supply company for a lot less than from any supermarket. I have had my supply for ages and as I use only a small amount for each dog it has been very economical. lets say $0.30 a week turmeric say similar as it is small doses.


A cost of $34.71 a week for my dogs to eat a home made raw diet that includes beef, eggs, vegetables, fish, turmeric and brewers yeast. All Human grade. Plus bones which $5 bag lasts me two weeks so another $2.50 total of $34.71 for a 41Kg dog and a 8.5kg dog. They are both really healthy with shiny soft coats, they have no skin issues. Fleas and ticks are very rarely a problem and I live in the bush and they have wallabies, rabbits and other macro pods about all who can carry fleas and ticks. I do not use any chemicals to control these critters.

Note I do say human grade meat for my dogs in regard to beef. As it from the butchers. It has no preservatives in it and is made generally every week from off cuts and scraps. It is from human grade edible beef though I may not wish to eat it.

Also note my recipe is using oats and not rice this time. I buy my rice from an Indian store in Hobart and my last bag of brown rice (Australian) was $18 for 15kgs. Both dogs and I eat this too. My dogs also eat apples and carrots as treats. I also will grate both in their raw food which is how I do their beef mince. Along with frozen veggies that I have just defrosted and pureed.

A total of $5 a day. So yes more expensive but when I compare what is in the dried kibble from optimum the ingredients list off the Woolworth’s site and the possibilities that some conditions that some dogs seem to have. I will stick with my perhaps slightly more expensive food but definitely cheaper regarding vets visits and after care costs.

I chose Optimum because it is at Woolworth’s and seems to be endorsed by a TV Vet Dr Chris Brown whom appears to have been involved in the design and development of their Grain free food. See their website https://www.optimumpet.com.au/
While looking at the company website I noted in small writing on their Daily feeding guide. Research shows that feeding your dog a mix of both wet and dry products has a broad range of health benefits. OPTIMUM™ has created a variety of both wet and dry formulations to suit your dog at every life stage.  When feeding both, simply halve the recommended quantities of each product. I would need to feed Busby one full can $3.75 per day and 1,1/2cups of the kibble. As I am not sure how much weight that is I can not price it. It would have to be at least $1.25 OH I just found it I would have to feed him 130gms of the kibble at $0.50 per 100gms so 80cents for the kibble making it $4.55 for Busby
For Miss Treacle 8.5kgs I would have to feed her 300gms of wet food and 70 gms of kibble so $0.75 for the kibble and $3.75 700gms tin so $0.54 c/100gms $1.62 for the wet so $2.37 for her bringing the total to $6.92 to feed this food to both my dogs as per the recommendations of the company.

Making it almost $2 a day more expensive than my fresh human grade chicken and beef scraps and off cuts.

I am also aware that for some their is concerns in regard to Brewers Yeast, What are the risks of brewer’s yeast for dogs? In large dogs, the amount of brewer’s yeast needed to have an effect may cause stomach and intestinal upset. Gas is the most commonly reported side effect in all dogs. Brewer’s yeast can interact with some types of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/brewers-yeast-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks

I also give garlic to my dogs in small doses. I hear some of you go WHAT? IT IS TOXIC TO DOGS! No it isn’t in the correct dosages. I do not use anywhere near what is considered OK. for more information to dispel this fear https://www.petguide.com/health/dog/the-shocking-truth-about-dogs-and-garlic/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108195 the research article that states potential for toxicity of garlic but the amount given was massive the research paper mentioned below can be found in the link at the beginning of the paragragh.

ttps://www.petguide.com/health/dog/the-shocking-truth-about-dogs-and-garlic/Garlic got a bad rap in 2000, when a research paper was published that was based on garlic’s effect on dogs. Even though the dogs tested didn’t show any outward appearance of toxicity symptoms, there was an effect on the red blood cells. The researchers stated: “we believe that foods containing garlic should be avoided for use in dogs.” From that point on, the rumour spread that garlic could be deadly for dogs. However, that reaction was a little hasty and harsh. Most people read summaries of the study and jumped to conclusions. Reading the results in detail reveals a more complicated story.

Let’s take a closer look into the study itself, not just one quote. This study, which was undertaken at Hokkaido University, was conducted on four dogs. Each of these dogs given 1.25 ml of garlic extract per kg of body weight for seven straight days. As an example, if the dog weighed 40 pounds, it would be given about 20 cloves of garlic. That’s a staggering amount of garlic that no dog or human would ever actually consume in that time frame! Don’t believe us? Then Calculate how much garlic you’d be eating using that formula. It would be more than enough garlic to make anyone ill.

So this is my food for my dogs, they do not get treats (with the exception of when they visit A dear friend Billy she is like their Aunt and will give them and her dog those shmackos. Miss Treacle runs into the pantry if the door is open and sits in front of the jar looking at it longingly and wagging her tail knowing what is in store for her. Obviously deprived my dogs are.
All the above is my own opinions and thoughts, I am no way endorsing any products or suppliers, I also am not saying you have to do anything if you are happy with your dogs food.

I would also like to add I could not afford to feed my dogs the more premium dog foods that are vet endorsed and they may or may not be better in quality than how I perceive the particular one I have chosen.

I also have noted many non grain dog foods have a lot of broad beans as the extra protein ingredient, as they are a cheaper source of protein than meat. One such is Australian company who do a home delivery direct to you contract. They say they specialise in ensuring the quantity/ap for your dog.

$79 per box – free shipping to Melb, Bris & Syd 7.5kg They are Australian and state they use 97% Australian sourced ingredients. Scratch is the companys name https://www.scratchpetfood.com.au/grain-free-dog-food/
I have never tried this dog food for my dog, and they charge $5 for a sample? So will never be likely too. I have read some positive and some issues with the products for some dogs on their companies own site.

I have used Vets All Natural again an Australian company but raw based. I have only ever used their grain mix that you soak and add to raw meat. My dogs loved it and it WAS economical for me. Sadly it is too expensive now which is why I am doing my own food for my dogs.

There are some concerns over feeding too many broad beans or legumes to dogs. That in some incidences the Food and Drug people of USA have noted that their has been a rise in heart issues of breeds not previously known to have any genetic issue and when information has been gathered about diet the higher percentage of dogs involved seemed to have diets high in legumes and or potatoes though most were grain free foods but some were grain diets also where these products were included.
https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/questions-answers-fda-center-veterinary-medicines-investigation-possible-connection-between-diet-and.
Updated post on 27th June 2019


When Bills Collide

I receive my benefit payment once a fortnight, so I budget quite fastidiously. It does not take much to create a bit of a bottleneck of who is getting paid first and who can I possibly leave for a fortnight. I am not saying I will not pay bills when due. However it is pretty usual to receive a reminder if you do not pay the bill before the due date. If that happens I usually will ring the company and explain honestly the situation and that I will pay the full amount in however many days.

I have found it to be so beneficial firstly to pay bills generally by the due date. If for some reason I can not pay the full amount I pay a proportion, and contact them to say the rest will be in the next fortnight. I have never incurred late fees or charges as it happens very rarely. I believe to that most companies will understand and see intent to pay.

I used to get very upset and anxious. I would fixate and then I would not be able to phone the company. It could have become a horrible situation. As I do not own a credit card.

I seem to have somehow created this potential situation this fortnight. My internet payment which is done as a direct debit for some reason did not go out on its due date. Of course the money was used as I assumed it had been paid. (Yes I know assume only makes an ass out of u and me) 🤪.

I have been attempting to pay this, again since I do not have a credit card and the call centres can not provide a bank account number or a BSB so I can transfer the money. I have grown frustrated angry and over the situation. My account is due again this week, and I just hope they will take two payments! I have been emailing the company attempting to explain that I have CPTSD and dealing with the call centres every second day for basically 3 weeks has caused huge issues for me, as they can not resolve the issue, even when I provide the reference number. I also can not seem to lodge a complaint or access them through a thing they call toolbox. Go Figure. So whinge over. I owe them $140 at the end of this week.

I have ordered my dogs meat (they eat raw diet) I get 14kgs /30.6lbs which lasts us about 21 days. The meat costs $6perKg/2.2lbs $84 in total plus some lambs frys 2.50each I got 2 so $5 and a bag of dog bones probably $5 So $94 all up.
I also ran out of my LPG (gas/propane) and had to order 2 full bottles 45gk/99lbs I think I pay about $120 a bottle delivered and installed. So $240 due this fortnight.

In total bills for this fortnight will be $474.00 leaving me $104 for the entire fortnight. Not as bad as I had thought. I will have the money to pay everyone fully and still have money for essentials.

In the past I would have made myself very unwell and my anxiety would have run away with me. What I was able to do, and I know I am so very very lucky that I do not have to pay rent or fares, etc. I had been putting some money aside and had a couple of hundred dollars, this was towards costs that I work out for 12 months all my known bills and on last years I usually add an extra 10% to budget for this years. This meant I did have some extra money because off course this fortnight I also needed to buy some pantry staples that had run out.

I was out today and did a rather large pantry shop. I am also fairly certain my next quarterly payment for Rates is due at the end of this month. It will not be as high as normal as I paid extra on it last quarter. This is another thing I will often do with bills such as electricity, and this year with Rates (as it is the first year I was not able to save for the full Rate payment amount and pay only it).

For me a really positve change in the last few months is not getting so distressed when I feel overwhelmed by how many bills I have and costs. To talk to the companies before it becomes a bigger issue. To also when I do have extra money to pay a little more off a regular bill so if I am short the company can see I endevour to pay their bills.

I am thankful that I live in a country that supports people who are unemployed with a monetary payment (as small as it is and as hard for so many to live on).

I am thankful to now be able to manage when speaking to companies generally in a more relaxed and conscience manner. It is something I still struggle with especially with my internet provider call centres. I am still very much a work in progress in regard to my CPTSD.
I am thankful to have found other people who have CPTSD and who share their own experiences through blogging. It really does help to hear and see you are not alone or that unusual.
I am so incredibly thankful for having found a psychologist who has really been able to work with me and I with her, (not always an easy thing to find) who I have had consistently for several years now. Which also makes it a heck of a lot better. My GP who is great and supportive, who says it like it is.
I am also thankful for all the lovely folk I am meeting through this blog. For their stories and comments here and support. What a blessing.

Blessings to you all.

Tazzie

What is the Truth about Budgeting, frugality and living on a low income?

There are so many budgeting sites online, though for me it seems most are for families. The really interesting thing I am noting when I go shopping or seeing things online, is that supermarkets are aiming for bulk buyers, vegetables in plastic, and prepared foods.
I find so often that many of these Youtube and blogs do not really seem to discuss the reality and holistic approach to budgeting, frugal living or even simple living. Often they are just about food.

Budgeting can be affected by so many things. Where you live, how you shop, how you get to the shops. What services are available to you. Government services, doctors, hospitals, child care, education, shops, petrol, all the things you need to live today. For some trying to budget involves seeking work, and going to interviews. For others it requires medical costs and visits to doctors, specialists, hospitals. Paying rent or a mortgage is major necessity and should be first priority in my opinion.
Your income of course, and family size, are important factors in setting up a budget that is realistic and possible for you.

I can cook from scratch, and as I have said previously it is this that helps me save a fortune. I also have a vegetable garden, and encourage people to grow what ever they can.
So it is a single person budget I expound. I encourage single people to learn to cook from scratch. For me whipping up an ommlette

I live in a small populated community with a large area 5,497km² (1358338.2819acres) The Huon Valley is the Southern most Council region in Australia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics Census (ABS 2016)
POPULATION (ABS 2016)
3,069 under 14 years
3,338 15-34 years
7,071 35- 64
3,197 65 years and over
16,675 TOTAL POPULATION(ABS 2016)

I bring this up so you will understand that I we have only one big Corporate supermarket, Woolworths, we also have Several Independent Grocery stores in each of the townships that make up the Huon Valley. However in Tasmania it is called Independant Grocery Austraila. Each store is independently owned, but they form I assume a sort of co-operative for buying in bulk. I personally love my local IGA as they will order things in for you, if you are known to them and you are a bit short they will take a note and you sign it and pay it asap. Very few places allow this these days. I can not imagine the likes of Woolworths, Coles or Aldi, or what ever your large supermarket chain doing this for you. They also carry your boxes to the car if required .

So I do not have ready access to ‘competitive’ pricing as most people who live in cities do. Perhaps the lack of competition is why I have to be a very aware shopper.

I could travel further a field to shop to Kingston but it is 93km return and takes about 40mins each way not including shopping time. Petrol wise it would cost me about $20 approx. So when I look at any savings is it really worth the wear and tear on my vehicle every fortnight, and time.
My answer is no.
I would very rarely save enough to make it worthwhile to make this a regular event.

However if I did have to go to Hobart(Capital City of Tasmania 224,000 people population of the Island state of Tasmania is only 522,327 as 2019 ABS) (a further 20km each way from Kingston), I would certainly try to look to see if there were things that might save money if I budgeted for them.

Most people on low incomes, generally are not able to buy in bulk as so many have rent and other costs that I perhaps do not. So again I am very aware that I am very fortunate.
For me I have to have a car to get to the shops. I have no public transport I can catch the school bus occasionally but it is not really aurthorised the drivers just know how hard it can be for locals. I take a freezer carrier bags and reusable material shopping bags. I take a shopping list. (I do not always stick to it believe me).

For my budget not going out saves me money. I usually go shopping once a week.
Budgeting and living simply (frugally) are often shown to be by people as just shopping. To me it is far more than this. To really budget you Have to know how much it costs to fill your car, and how much mileage you get. How much it costs per km/ml. How much it costs for services, tyres, oil, radiator fluid, coolant/anti freeze. Not just the price of fuel.

I do look at online shopping though sadly freight charges are often prohibitive for weighty items. I also do not use online for groceries, as I prefer to pick my own things, and It means I can look at lower levels on the shelves. Though I do see online shopping is spurring an increase in employment in supermarkets as people have to pick out the items to be delivered. (at least here in Tassie).
I imagine it is the same for many people living in rural areas on low incomes.

Most people who live on low incomes are frugal out of necessities. They are not following a trend, nor are they generally able to remain debt free. It can be just the way it is.

I also look at the huge differences in pricing. American budgeting sites especially about groceries seem to be so cheap compared to here in Tasmania. Then I read the comments and find I am not alone in seeing that not just for me but others including from other states in US.

Different countries have vastly different costs for everything, and where you live within that country can have vastly different costs. So for me you have to evaluate and consider your own area and needs, base your budget on only your personal situation.

The other thing that is not always mentioned is what income the family or person may have, nor are the annual costs shared.

I want people to remember that yes some people are honestly sharing how they budget I just wonder as some seem more focused on presentation and looking successful doing it.

Let me tell you I am not always successful with budgeting, as costs spring up and reality of life steps in and sees me eat the same thing for meals over a week or fortnight. Not many people share that on frugal life, or budgeting videos or blogs.

I also have to include in my budget the cost of rubbish removal, I pay to have my rubbish picked up,It is included in costs for my council rates. I do not have recycling as currently I try to recycle at home. Creating compost and worm farms.

Budgeting. I have written before about how I budget. I know how much money it takes for me to live a year all my bills. https://echidna.home.blog/2019/12/29/living-on-a-tiny-budget/

So to truly budget well it is knowing where every cent of your money is going annually. Know your bills and charges if late payment, know how much you save if you can budget to pay your bills annually such as for me registration and insurances, rates. Wood for heating and gas for the year Perhaps my bigger expenses are internet connection, mobile phone, and my dogs food.

I do wonder for some of the budgeting sites online, Youtube, when I see them talking about going from shop to shop how much time, how much petrol is used and how does that add to their cost, and is this actually included in the budgeting.

Blessings to you all Tazzie









Setting up a pantry

How do you begin if you have no idea especially in the cooking, shopping and eating area?

You hear about having a well stocked pantry. What does that mean and how do you achieve that? Why should you have one, especially if you are on a low income or budget.

You do not need to have a beautiful expensive ‘pantry’, hidden behind doors with a sink and whatever. My pantry is just in my kitchen and really it is usually having more on hand, so one in use and one if I run out! For example, I make my own bread often. So I will buy a 5kg/11lbs bag of plain flour I have food grade storage for it. I take about 2kg/4.4lbs and put it in the canister. When I am putting the next 2kgs into the canister I will put flour on my shopping list. As I have to budget for the larger bag, I will see how much plain flour costs and I may only buy a 2kg bag that week.


Having a pantry allows you more freedom with the food you cook. Cooking from scratch is perhaps the biggest and yet for many the hardest place to begin their budgeting and saving money. With fresh vegetables and meat you can make delicious meals, and you can make snacks such as sweet and savoury, biscuits, cakes, pancakes and even pasta if you wanted too.

A pantry is their not for the end of the world I am not talking about a preppers hoard for anything that may come. I guess if you live in China at the moment and were a prepper you would be managing relatively well in the current situation with the virus.

I am really talking about how you can have supplies that you use and LIKE on hand to make things easier for you to be more likely to cook a meal than spend money getting a take -a-way, or home delivery. All which convienient are expensive in either cost or lack of real nutrition. The cheaper meals such as McDonalds KFC Hungry Jacks, and all similar are generally high in sugar and fat. Or have been processed so the actual nurtitional value apart from maybe fibre is neglible.

So where to begin
I have basics in my pantry, and even though there is only me, I buy the best price, generally larger quantities, but not always. The supermarkets are getting savvy to budget shoppers, and now it seems you do have to check the price of each against the other. Looking at the price per gram or 100gms rather than the ticketed price. You have to be prepared to spend some time, in not only preparing a list of what you need in your shopping but also the cost. Otherwise you may be paying to much.

Best Before and Use by dates, now these for someone older are really only a guide to how long things last. It is up to you how and what you do in regard to them. My own life experiences and life before these ‘helpful’ dates is I am prepared to use some items beyond the stamped dates on them. I am not suggesting you do this.


My Pantry.
I have flour, just plain (all purpose) as I purchase baking powder to convert it to Self-raising. This means that I can purchase a larger quantity of plain flour (all purpose).
So plain flour and baking powder are on my pantry list.
I also have rye flour and whole wheat as I make my own bread and like rye bread.

Cornflour/Cornstarch (often in Australia this is made from wheat). So I have to check that it is real corn flour from corn.
Rolled oat, great for breakfast porridge, you can use them in biscuits and slices, and to crumb chicken and other meat. They can be ground to make gluten free flour.

Sugar, I have raw and brown. I usually have white icing sugar, (confectioners sugar)
Bicarb soda (baking soda)
Dried beans and lentils, great to whip up a dahl or a curry to extend a stew reduce meat intake
Rice I have white and brown. which ever you like what ever sort jasmine long grain short grain.
popping corn

I also have powdered milk (for those times I run out of fresh milk or the power is off and I dont want to be opening the fridge up)
I also keep semolina I make a sweet pudding if I am craving something sweet
polenta I use it instead of bread crumbs for meat and fish
I have almond meal use it in cooking, and added to porridge or yougurt
peanuts, I make my own peanut butter but also have them as a snack
almonds
brazil nuts
Currants
sultanas
Home made dried apricots and apples
coffee,
tea
coconut desicated
cocoa powder
stock powder for soup base,

Oils and Sauces
olive oil
rice bran oil
soy sauce
Worcester
sesame oil
mayonnaise
honey
mustard
vinegar cider, white, and balsamic
Home made sweet plum chili sauce

Herbs and Spices
smoked paprika
sweet paprika
thyme,
oregano,
chili
tumeric
coriander,
cumin,
pepper
salt
nutmeg
cinnamon
powdered ginger
Vanilla essence

Tinned Goods
tomatoes
coconut milk
beans
chick peas
baked beans
sardines
tuna
tomato puree

Jars
home made jams
peanut butter home made
vegiemite
anchovies,
pickles,
relish green tomato home made

I also have frozen vegetables
butter in the freezer which I buy on sale
meat also when it is on sale I buy extra and freeze it.
I also buy 1kg block of cheese when it is on sale and cut it up and freeze it.

I grow garlic, so have fresh garlic most of the year along with herbs that I grow.
I also grow vegetables, parsley, bay leave, onions, chives, spring onions, corriandor (so I have seeds to grind for cooking), garlic chives, fruit, and hazlenuts.

This is my basic pantry. I do not have biscuits or chocolates in it as I can’t I eat them in one go. sigh
It is a lot of food. You will notice I do not have tins of soup. I prefer to make my own and freeze it.
I also make my own bread mostly so very rarely have bread in the freezer.
It seems like a huge amount to have to get together. The reality is you begin simply. Buy one or two extra items if they are on sale and/or you can afford it.
Over time you will find you have things to assist in flavouring and preparing delicious home cooked meals. It helps with making simple food taste extra tasty.

Do not buy something because it sounds interesting or just because it is on sale. Only buy things you know you will use. It is not uncommon for people to get caught out buying something because it was on special or sounded interesting.

Herbs and spices can be a big on here. Buy only what you know you will use, and these sorts of things are best bought in smaller quantities.

Herbs and spices keep best in a air tight jars. Don’t be caught out paying the hefty extra price you might for a jar of herbs or spices. Wash up the jars from other items you buy and the lids, store your herbs in them. Or if you must buy the jar, do it only once then buy the bags and refill the jar. Dried herbs and spices are best kept out of direct sunlight.

My pantry has helped numerous times when I have had unexpected bills, or been ill and not able to go shopping.
Here in Tasmania most of our supplies are shipped over from the Australian mainland. We are supposed to have about three days worth of food available in supermarkets if for some reason shipping stopped. Which did occur quite a few years ago in the dockers strike. Another good reason to have a good pantry.

I am also a great believer that cooking extra and freezing it is always a good idea.

I am happy to answer or discuss the idea of having a pantry.
My pantry is maintained by ensuring I know how much of everything I have on hand, and adding it to the shopping list of things I need to buy. For me it is as simple as a list on the fridge. I use a wipe off marker and write how many or much I have and generally when I need to buy another one.

It is YOUR pantry no one else’s so you only have to please yourself and your family.

I am so thankful for my ability to have a pantry, and grateful for how it has helped me over time.

blessings to you all
Tazzie



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