So food prices in New Zealand have increased by 28% in the past year and they're set to continue rising. Here in the so tread softly house, we've always tried to watch our spending. Each week - usually a Sunday morning - we sit down, plan our menu and write a shopping list. We started doing that about 8 years ago as we found that at the end of each week, we were having to throw out good food. Since planning our meals, not only have we saved money on the weekly shop, but we very rarely throw anything away.
Now we're about to embark on, what could be, if we're not careful, a pretty expensive building project (more about that at a later date) and were thinking of areas where we could be a wee bit more thrifty. Each day Mr TS takes a couple of biscuits to work in his lunch box and so he has decided to make his own in a bid to save a few cents, that, as we all know, soon add up. This afternoon he made a batch of Tiffin Cake (a recipe from my Mum) but it tasted so good that there's not a great deal of it left for the weeks lunch box!
This afternoon I've been curled up on the settee reading this book about the cotton farms in Alabama throughout the last century. Women then didn't have a rubbish bin in their kitchen purely because of the fact that they didn't have rubbish! The food scraps were given to the pigs and the flour, grain and sugar sacks, all of which were made from pretty printed cotton, were made in clothing, pillowcases and quilts. Thread was a real luxury so they used to unpick the cotton sacks very carefully and use the strands. If you happen across a quilt from the beginning of the last century and it's sewn with red thread, this was probably unpicked from the tobacco pouches and re-used. Quite amazing!
I'm determined to be more thrifty. We were pretty much self sufficient throughout the summer regarding vegetables and salads and our food scraps were turned into fabulously rich compost, but I will certainly think twice in future, before putting anything into the rubbish bin.
Now were did he hide that tiffin cake?...
Update: It seems that the increase in food is a worldwide issue looking at your comments. Thriftiness is on many of your minds. Mr TS's auntie wanted you all to know about a smell free composting method that you can use in your home. Here's the link. She uses the system and swears by it.
Keriann wanted the recipe for Tiffin Cake as she tried it once in the UK. It's so not good for you but we all deserve a treat every once in a while!
6 oz plain biscuits
4 oz marg or butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup (although Mr TS tells me he sneaked in 2!)
2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate
3 tablespoons sultanas
1 dessert spoon on caster sugar
Cooking chocolate to cover
Melt marge/butter, syrup, drinking chocolate, sultanas and sugar in a pan. Crush biscuits and add to melted mixture. Press into a greased swiss roll tin. Cool slightly and pour the melted chocolate over it. Allow to set and then cut into squares.