day 8



It has occasionally, in the last week, struck me as ridiculous; this game of buying nothing and making do, when so many many many people just do it because they have to. 

But I'm keeping on, because it's interesting to me what we can do without.

We're not doing without much, just yet, having been kept afloat on the weekend by my sister Suzie who had us over for dinner and then minded the kids the next day while Adam and I drove down to Mudgee for Milkwood's field day (AMAZING – let me sort through the photos and come down to earth and report back on that tomorrow!) 

We're almost out of fresh fruit which will be hard on the kids and I can stretch the fresh veggies out for another day or two – thanks to my gorgeous friend Leanne who waylaid me in the street today and handed me a bag of four fresh leeks! We had leek and zucchini frittata for dinner with the last of the lettuce. Delicious. 

I didn't realise how central bread and milk were to our diet – might sound obvious but I'm out of the habit of making bread now that I don't actually have a kitchen in my house (I'm using Mum's kitchen next door) and I also can't just duck out for milk. It's time consuming, Armageddon. I realised tonight that I don't have enough milk to send a bottle to daycare tomorrow with Ivy, and the tanker would have already been to the dairy to collect tonight's milk. I have one carton of UHT milk in the pantry which was a gift from a friend last year (so I would never run out.) Bonanza.  And I can get to the dairy after the morning's milking (with the last of the eggs!)

I took the second-last homegrown chook out of the freezer today so we'll have chicken and steamed carrot and broccoli tomorrow night, and we still have potatoes to roast. (And olive oil and rock salt and rosemary in the garden!)

Every day Adam and I wonder why we hadn't got around to putting in a garden here yet and are dreaming of lush peppery rocket and salads of brassicas.

When you're eating like this you do not crave processed food at all. I don't long for chips or chocolate like I do for a smooth creamy avocado or fresh asparagus.

We are down to our second last dishwasher tablet Adam solemnly reported tonight, cheek pale and brow furrowed. Yep, that's serious.

And the kids' lunchboxes were harder today, but I still had apples and grapes to add to a vegemite sandwich, the end of the rice crackers, some sultanas and a homemade bikkie. Tomorrow might be harder. 

But grandparents and godparents have all sent handfuls of Easter eggs so the kids won't go without, and we still have, I think, a few weeks worth of food here. 

I'd really like to see if we can make 30 days.

Which means I need to learn how to forage wild greens. 

Why not.



20 Comments on “day 8

Nick UK
April 3, 2012 at 1:17 am

Sounds like you are doing well, I was just having a moan today that with the children on easter break they all eat twice as much and my bills go up.
Shame you are not nearer as our tanker doesnt collect till the morning!

April 3, 2012 at 4:01 am

I foraged for wild greens myself the other week, it was great fun! I don’t know if I’d be up for as hardcore a challenge as this though. If anyone can do it it’s you! x

April 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

Home made dishwashing powder – I have used this for nearly 18 mths and can’t see any loss of quality, and guess what :Save $/save environment/no Mr Coles et al/stuff you could eat.

I wouldn’t make it up larger than double as it can clump if the lid isn’t put on properly (boys!)

1 cup bicarb / 1/4 cup salt (cheap cooking salt by the 2kg) 1/4 cup citric acid

Mix and keep in a airtight container ( I use an old praise mayo jar and a 1 ltr juice bottle), use about 1 tbsp each loae, use vinegar in the rinse container.

April 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

Janet, that is absolutely awesome. Particularly because Im pretty sure I have citric acid in the pantry somewhere. Going to go look this minute!! Thank you xx

April 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

I really do commend you on this challenge, I imagine as the days go by it will get harder and harder but the fact that you have gotten this far is awesome 🙂

I am going to file that DIY dish washing powder away, thanks Janet.


Darren (Green Change)
April 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

If things get too bad as Armageddon drags on, maybe you could try dumpster diving behind the IGA? 🙂

April 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Or nick stuff out of your garden under the cover of darkness.

knutty knitter
April 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

We haven’t been able to afford a full supermarket trip for a couple of months – just go to the local vege and fruit shop and some meat from the local butcher. Its amazing what you can do when you have to 🙂 Fortunately I was well stocked up and have always done preserves and jams.

Good luck

viv in nz

April 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

One of my resolutions this year was to forage more. It’s amazing how many different ways you can cook stinging nettles…

It seemed silly to be buying organic spinach when I could pick (organic) wild greens for free! We’re coming up to dandelion flower season here, which as far as my children are concerned means fritters!

How did you get on googling 9 meals from anarchy? It was a phrase that came up during the last petrol price protest blockades when it was pointed out that the supermarkets ‘just in time’ stocking policy means that they have very little food in store other than what is on the shelves. If they cannot get it from central distribution for whatever reason, supermarkets empty and it only takes a couple of days of no food (9 meals)for people to start taking drastic action.

I was brought up by a mother who had inherited her mother’s ‘blitz mentality’ and we always had cupboards full of tinned and packet food. I had no idea that people only had that weeks food in their cupboard until I went to get a tin of cat food when feeding a neighbours cats and she had about 4 tins in her cupboard in total. I get twitchy when I’m down to the last half dozen tins of baked beans…

I’ve since realised that stockpiling is all very well (I like to know I’ve got stuff in reserve for snow/strikes/whatever) but actually maybe we need to think about being more self- reliant and be able to feed our families without relying on supermarkets and other shops so much(or getting all guns and bunkers about it). Hence the foraging. Off to make fritters (to eat with shop bought syrup).

April 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

As this seems to be going viral – I should reference the original inspiration – Towards Sustainability – I started my first batch 1 september 2010 and each batch lasts approx 1 month with one load a day.

You will note that I took out the borax and I got sick of counting drops of citrus oil and haven’t noticed the difference.


April 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

There is a TV show running here in Aus, River Cottage Every Day.
About 2 weeks ago there was a lady making dandelion marmalaide –

And now you mention fritters!!

Mr Shell
April 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

We ran out of dishwasher powder recently and started throwing a bit of bi-carb, a splash or vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil in the dispenser. It works well most of the time. But I will try Janet’s recipe metioned above as soon as I can find some citric acid – which I’ve never bought – is it something I’ll find in the supermarket?

April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Tell me what you need and I’ll swap it for an esky of pork on saturday- toilet paper? dishwasher tablets?

April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm

P.S, I can give you a recipe for hot cross buns if you want it?

April 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm

You can buy small containers in the spice/baking isle (McKenzie brand)
I have now started buying from New Directions 500gm at a time vs. 75gm.

April 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

wow you are doing amazingly well and getting very creative!!!

Ngo Family Farm
April 4, 2012 at 12:02 am

So, so fun following this adventure you’re having! Thanks for sharing it with us here 🙂

April 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

Wow, I’m very impressed on the challenge you’ve started! For the last week, it has kept me thinking about how well (read: badly) I would manage. I make most of my things from scratch, but I need ingredients for that.
Although my veggie garden is doing well, I still have to supplement it with the farmers markets. Fresh milk is not something I can get locally, flour same thing and my husband would go on strike without coffee beans and meat (in that order). Other then the milk, I buy all those products through local shops and markets, it’s a joy shopping there.
My biggest frustration is with the supermarkets, I would love to cut them out completely. You’ve inspired me to think about starting my own challenge.

Darren (Green Change)
April 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

Grab a random handful from my garden at the moment, and you’re likely to have a handful of weeds :-). Actually, it’d help me if you did!

brenda from ar
April 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

Also known as “the midnight requisition”. I’m often tempted to try it too – when I see a gorgeous garden.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *