We saved money and built up our nest in lots of ways, I am very happy with it.
Firstly it rained twice in the week with a warm day in between. It watered everything really well. Rain is money from the sky as my friend Helen says. It's true. Taps stayed off. Everything looks fresh and wonderful. What a help.
I also sat my indoor plants out in the rain. This does them so much good and they look fabulous after a wash and rain water... somehow does them more good than hand watering.
Inspired by Wendy, on a post she wrote on the $300 a month grocery budget, I rearranged my pantry. Wendy's column is on The Cheapskates Club website. (yes she feeds a family of four for under $300 a month and writes a column on how she does it!) Wendy had cleaned out and re arranged her pantry to start to stock up for Christmas. Reading how she did it and how much room she created I knew I needed to do this. By adding to my jars all the things that needed to go into them and get out of packets I tidied things up and made so much more space on my shelves. Plus my jars of pasta, beans, nuts and so on all look full and beautiful. One thing leads to another and all my patty pans are in a tin, cake decorations in another and so on. I can see what I have better and have much more room. Its actually amazing how much room you can create doing this! My aim is to have really good back up supplies, pantry emergency meals and space that allows me to buy up on specials and never pay full price.
I made some jam from a punnet of cheap strawberries and froze others for smoothies. I am building up a collection of jams for hampers to give plus a supply for the pantry. Even if it's one jar I will make it, in the microwave it is easy to make small amounts.
Also I made Nuts and Bolts. Mum used to make this. It is a spicy nut snack mix that is fantastic and very tasty. I made two big jars full and several containers to give away. Some for my son in law, some for the boys fishing trip on the weekend and some for work lunch boxes. We nibbled on it last night after a swim. Andy hadn't had it in a while and he was saying YUM. For parties, BBQ's etc it is an economical way to make a big amount of snacks.
This is the recipe:
300g nutri grain
375 g peanuts or other nuts or mixed nuts. I use salted.
1 pack french onion soup
1 pack Cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder.
3/4 cup warmed olive oil
Mix in a large bowl. Stir few times as you can.
Store in big jars.
Now this recipe of 300 g Nutri grain... well it comes in 500g boxes. So I use the whole box and double the rest of the ingredients. I have used double curry powder without any mustard powder and its been fine, also I've used a tablespoon of chicken stock in place of the chicken soup and its still good. It is very flaxible. You could add raisins or dried cranberries or whatever you like or have. This is a good mans gift in a big jar. It is better the next day and the days after when the flavours have a chance to blend.
If other countries don't have Nutri Grain (breakfast cereal) it is a cereal that looks like little bricks...
We have been talking about increasing our food storage. Once we decided on this we decided we would need to build or get some shelving. We were going for a swim yesterday and we found a large metal shelving unit on the side of the road! ... the kind that would have been in a shop. You stack cans in it and if you take the front can others roll forward. It is quite large too about 160cm high and 1 meter wide. So it is fabulous storage space. And it fits where we want it. So how good is that!?
We had trouble with a tap and changing the washer didn't work. Instead of a plumber Andy had a go at it... it involved grinding pipe and stuff... a lot of noises and groaning, but it worked! Perfectly!
Our bird buddy must have been reading my blog as he took feathering his nest very seriously and BUILT a nest and got married apparently... now there are two of them and they have built a nest in the neighbours tree that overhangs our yard. We can see it easily and they both come for something to eat and to drink from the bird bath especially in the evening. They are both so tame with us. I can't wait to see babies! This is better than reality television!
In the garden we have two huge trees in massive pots. They are a kind of Magnolia. The flowers are huge, bigger than a side plate. Just now they are covered!
I hope you had a good week. I would love to hear anything you did to feather your nest or save money.
I am thinking of the US ladies as I have never seen snow like that and I can't imagine it even being so cold. Here we are almost in summer so it is even harder to comprehend. I hope everyone is safe.
Have a wonderful weekend. xxx