Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tunic pattern and fabric

I've finally got hold of the tunic pattern to end all tunic patterns!

Here's the pattern:

Here's the fabric I chose ( and paid for from my house keeping money.. sshhhh!)

It's all washed and ironed and waiting for a day to cut out and construct!

Post 1 from the challenge: Food at it's barest minimum

I described our food habits.

These things are NOT set in stone, we change our habits and tastes but it is usually something like this below. Things change seasonally too.
I was going over our food budget. For the 7 of us (2 adults, 3 teens, 2 children) I try to stick to $100 a week. $150 is a budget blow out. 

So at $100 div 7 days = $14.28 a day 
$14.28 div 7 persons = $2.04 per person 
$2.04 div 3 meals = 68 cents!! per meal per person! 

It just seems so unbelievable when you break it down to this degree. It needs to be pointed out that we have a garden and chickens. some times there isn't much action in the garden but there is always parsley and mint. We like to embrace free food too, like picking apples on the side on the road.

Criteria to our eating: Nutritious, no chemicals/additives, we like it, it is filling and preferably not prepackaged.  (In an 'emergency' I do let the adults eat some suspect food but not the little ones if I can help it)
We are finding it harder and harder to stick to this amount as prices increase so we are trying to find ways of filling the above criteria and come in under budget. 

Breakfast in winter porridge. Currently stewed fruit on muesli, or waffles or muffins and yoghurt (ss style) 

Lunch potato wedges, simple salad. Pies with stew insides. Sandwiches. Homemade bread or that foul homebrand bread :o- Has happened more than I'd like :o(

Making up lunch boxes/snack boxes for the little ones so they stop asking to eat all day. Carrot sicks, yoghurt, cheese, strawberries (if I can beat the birds), celery with peanut butter. 

I've been using Sophie Gray's Destitute gourmet books, especially the recipes that use smaller amounts of meat. 
Using the food processor to chop veggies finely. Minced chicken or beef with cabbage and carrot etc, chow mien style on rice. 
We've been roasting chooks and making stock/soup from the carcass. 
We try to have 3 red meat, chicken, fish and 2 veggo nights. Subject to change if there's a brilliant special, or I'm being lazy. ;0) 

We love our desserts too, so fruit and yoghurt. Whipped jelly and yoghurt. 

It's probably less per meal per person when you includes cakes/slices, snacks and fruit to nibble comes out of this total. 

I though it was quite an eye opener of how cheap it is when it's broken down to a per person per meal! I don't think I could feed one person with 68 cents. It is the bulk buying and scratch making that makes it possible. Certainly I could not walk into Woolies and come out with a 68 cents meal, not even close. It having bulk things like lentils or pearl barley that helps fill and add nutrients but one packet goes a long way and used in many meals.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I've been set a challenge!

I've been asked to show how we do some things I talked about on a Simple Savings thread so here's the list cut and paste from there and I'll work on each to show how we do it, maybe it might be helpful to see each one in action?....

This is the list of what we currently do and I was looking for new areas to save in.

*Food is at it's barest minimum, I think. 
*Housing is being paid as quickly as possible 
*Telecommunications are good but could save on Internet pay change to wireless but unsure if voip works then. 
*Clothing de-cluttered and barest minimums. 
*Cleaning, all home made, cheap as. 
*Cars, careful with trips but a necessary evil. 
*Insurances, always find best prices. 
*Utilities are very small by comparison to other families. 
*Heating via wood heater and free wood. 
*Gifts are home made, Cards scrapbooked. 
*Consumables are being replaced slowly, reducing paper towel, gladwrap, toilet paper (can't see that one being totally eliminated... or want to!) 
*Toys are usually homemade or purchased on sale, larger items are a grand parents purchasing delight. 
*Gardening, make own compost and fertilisers etc 
*Entertainment is mostly free via library or going out to local park for picnics/dinner on council own bbqs. 
*Crafts, knitting, look for knitted items at op shop to unravel, or buy on sale. Scrapbooking gear on sale. 
*Babies, cloth nappies for night (no day any more) make own creams and hand me downs or home crafted things. 
*Personal items, cup, cloth pads. I do buy deodorant on sale at the health food shop. 
*Holidays, we got a camper. Pretty cool especially in free state forest places. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recycling clothes

DD15 had out grown her pants. They are the most beautiful soft cotton and since she was tossing them I've cut them down for ds4. Here is them chopped off but not yet sewn. I can't find my cotton!

Before! Too short for dd15. It has a nice shirred waist.

Measured child and chopped:o)

Here should be the finished product as soon as I find matching thread :o-

Honey Jumbles

l love honey jumbles so today littlest and I made some :o)

1/3 cup honey + 45g butter Heat together until simmer and cool for 5 mins.
Sift 1 cup plain flour with 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves ( I crushed wholes ones)
Make a well and pour honey mix into centre. Mix well and cover, chill for 30 mins. 

Roll into 4 cm sausage and cut into 5mm biscuits. Next time I'll make them bigger. Oven 180 deg C for 8 mins. Cool and ice. We didn't have any food dye so we used frozen raspberries.

They taste like the real shop bought ones, very yummy indeed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pillowcase = soft cotton bag

Peta from SS gave me the link to a sweet bag. and search for "sleeper of a bag"

Here it is made up from a 20 cent pillowcase

As you would imagine it wasn't as easy as the instruction makes out. Old pillow cases are not perfectly shaped but it came together nicely in the end and now they will be much easier having done one. These really would be handy to have loaded and ready for the beach for each child.

Here is how mine went together:
Cut in half diagonally

Although the instructions didn't say, I cut off the folded part that stops the pillow falling out. There is a tiny triangle on the other piece too. Sew back up the sides.

I overlocked the long diagonal edges.
Overlapped and pinned in place. This was easier said than done. Due to the case being miss-shapened, I measured the top and the bottom so the sides were parallel to each other. It resulted in a bit needing to be cut off the bottom.
Turned inside out and over-locked across the bottom.
Turn right side out and tie shoulder strap.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Picnic or emergency snacking!

After many terrific suggestions on Simple Savings about being prepared for picnics and general eating while out. I had a brain wave! I used to keep disposable cutlery in the glove box and they did the trick but not really nicely.
So I picked up a tooth paste and tooth brush holder and loaded it with knife, fork, spoon and teaspoon and a nice cloth serviette. They actually fit! So I'll put one for some of the family, those most likely to be in the car with me and keep it in the boot :o)

Step one to being slightly more organised!

Now can I remember it's there, use it, wash it and return to the car? :o-

Mushroom Farm is doing well

Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms! This is the second load this size we've pick in a week. Those little farms are very productive and fun!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Quick trip

I often go to the Katoomba Co-Op but had never seen the Three Sisters so on a day that was 3 deg C but the BOM said it felt like -.6 deg C I thought it felt like -10 we did!
I got a nice cook book from my second fav Co-Op pic below. (The best one is Candelo Bulk Foods in Bega).  I made a Chocolate, almond and cherry cake for dessert tonight. Here it is nude and un-iced.

We took a ferry ride too, what fun!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chicken soup and corn muffins... 63c per person

Tonight we are having lovely thick chicken and veg soup with corn muffins. 
Soup is 1 kg chicken legs $4.90 1kg mixed veg from Aldi $1.75, cup of pearl barley, (50c?) stock home made from carcass. Salt and dash of cider vinegar (50cents for these?). $7.65 Makes 3 meals for 7 people =36 cents each 

Recipe: is the above ingredients all tossed in a pot, just make sure the stock reaches the legs and veggies. I use the thermal cooker so I bring it to the boil and pop it in the cooker and eat hours later. On a stove top bring to boil then just let it gently simmer for an hour if you can.
I really like the cider vinegar as it gets the goodness out of the bones. If makes a stickier more gelatinous soup than if you don't add a dash. We want all the nutrients we can get! Once it's all cooked grab the bones out with tongs and the meat falls off, use a fork if needed and remember to get those finer bones out too.

Sorry the picture is a bit unattractive, I could only find a phone camera and they just make things look yuck :o( It really is a very tasty, stick to your bones sort of meal!

Then I made corn muffins roughly guessing cost: corn meal-70/flour-16/egg -free/butter -55/powdered milk 20= $1.61/12 +13.4 cents each. we might have 2 each. 
Tonight's meal 63c each.

Recipe: 1 cup polenta
1 cup SR flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (I used powdered milk)
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
Whizz together, in processor (or hand), place in muffin tins, 220 deg C for 10-12 mins.

Eat buttered.