The sun is well and truly out today and we’ve spent some time getting things sorted on the boat. Then it was time to go shopping to top up on fresh produce. As a bit of background, our ‘fridge’ measures about 20cm x 30cm and the freezer capacity is abt 20cm x 20cm. 😳
When you’ve lived comfortably with twin fridge and freezer for the last 18 years this teeny tiny area of cold storage comes as a bit of a shock. It’s a perfectly reasonable size for a weekend break, but to be storing food for every day living? A whole different kettle of fish! Yes there’s a couple of eskies to keep some water cold or to defrost a pre-cooked meal on occasion, but it’s still downsizing in a dramatic way! I’ve realise that I may only be able to store fresh produce enough for a couple of meals at a time (in addition to leaving room for basics like milk, butter and possibly cheese).
Anyway, as we are in Matilda Bay currently we noticed that there is an IGA close by. So off we went for a 30 min walk (taking our shopping bags with us) through the leafy suburb of Crawley, past part of UWA (University of Western Australia). $60.08 later 😳 we have learnt some lessons today.
Lesson number 1: Never go shopping on an empty stomach.
Lesson number 2: have in mind a simple recipe, not the exotic salad or stir fry you read about yesterday!
Lesson number 3: take a LIST (and leave your hubby behind!)!
Lesson number 4: remind yourself that you can jolly well make your own lunch from the ingredients you are buying and that there is no need to buy that pepper steak pie no matter how delicious it looks and even though you feel like you’re ‘starving’!
Now $60 isn’t a lot of money in our ‘old’ life. But it definitely is, in this new life where we’re wanting to live simpler and eat real food.
So the main thing we will keep in mind in future is that while we don’t want to deprive ourselves of the good things in life there’s always the danger of impulse buying which makes you purchase a heap of food just because it looks good and then eating those calorie filled deliciousness or being forced to eat all the fresh food in a couple of days just because it may spoil due to lack of cold storage space. This results in us going over our budget, is a waste of money and not attuned with simplifying our lives or living with less!
Biggest lesson I’ve been learning for a while is that buying ‘more’ does not equal happy. A hard concept for this consumeristic girl to get her head around. But now I have to relate it to food as well. But hey, considering it’s only day 4, I have a lot more learning to do!
I want to buy what we need and pay for the product, not the packaging. So we are going to search out farmers’/ fresh produce markets that we can walk to preferably (free exercise). I would love to minimise on our waste (ideal would be zero waste as a longer term goal). I want to let go of the mindset that eating healthy is more expensive, and fill up on fresh vegetables and fruit rather than packaged food or empty carbs which I often turn to as a quick fill or emotional pacifier.
Pondering on this today we realise that there has been a real disconnect with how we’ve purchased food. That has caused us not only to waste money over the years but has also perpetuated a wasteful mentality (BB used to say things like “are you going to wait till it’s more dead before we throw it out?” referring to vegetables I’d forgotten about in the crisper 😏).
We have been privileged to not have to stick to a serious budget for the last 7 years and have fallen into bad habits. We could afford it, so easy come easy go. I believe that has reduced our appreciation of good food and we haven’t for a very long time been mindful about our eating (other than of course to snap that ubiquitous Instagram photo of a nicely plated meal!).
So in the next few weeks we want to re-learn how to budget, buy quality ‘whole’ foods (from the source where possible) and appreciate every mouthful.