05 July 2020

Happiness Homemade: Re-Stocking Before Another Lockdown

Living in Melbourne, being put into lockdown again is more a defnite that possibility. Having enough to see us through up to a month in lockdown is important to me. I need to be able to care for my family, to feed them,  keep them healthy, keep our home clean, keep the garden going, keep everyone busy and entertained. That's my security blanket - knowing I can care for my family and our home.

And, doing the bulk of our shopping just once a year, we are getting low on some things (we're more than half-way through the year and we use our stockpile). There were some gaps needing to be filled, that would normally wait until December, but I feel pressed to fill those gaps now.

When I get that feeling, that urge that something must be done now, I've learned to listen and take action. And I've had that feeling for a few weeks now.

I was able to get a great deal on yeast (from Hindustan Imports) by buying in bulk. It halved the price compared to supermarkets, so I asked around and was able to share it amongst some friends so I don't have 20 packets of yeast in the pantry.

Aldi had bulk bags of Gem of the West plain and SR flour on a special buy a few weeks ago. I passed at the time as it wasn't any cheaper than their regular flour or what I could get at Costco. By waiting a few weeks I was able to get the 12.5kg bags marked down to $10.99 each - under $1/kilo and cheaper than their regular price (and cheaper than Costco's price for the same flour). Now making bread, pizza bases and regular baking is covered for another 12 months.

During the last lockdown frozen veggies were hard to get, so as I've opened a packet I've replaced it. That means that the freezer could be almost full of frozen veg, but instead I've been dehydrating them. A 1 kilo packet of frozen peas/corn/carrots or beans fits into a 500g preserving jar and it's shelf stable. And it frees up a whole lot of room in the freezer.

Seeds are back in plentiful supply so the garden journal came out and the spring and summer gardens have been planned, and the seeds ordered for them. Our winter garden is doing OK, but not all the parsnips took, and one lot of broccoli didn't even form heads, just bolted straight to seed. There are still plenty of caulis, cabbages, beetroot, silverbeet, peas and beans growing. I've been picking something each day to either preserve or add to our dinner.

My favourite fruit and veg supplier has been sold and the new owners have changed it a lot, including upping prices. Finding a new greengrocer is going to be a challenge. I tried one two suburbs away this morning and only bought bananas ($1.99/kg - and not that nice looking) and two bags of potatos $3.99/5kg). I'll keep one bag to use fresh, and the other bag is to be canned.

A couple of weeks ago Hannah and I went through the bathrooms and then the medicine cupboard to see what needed replenishing. Then we went to Chemist Warehouse to try and get what we needed. Oh boy! They still had limits of 1 on so many of the things on my list. I did argue with the woman on the till that I could just come back later in the day, or the next day and buy more and she agreed. She also said most people don't bother doing that. It seems a tad silly to not be able to get enough of what is needed for a month in one go, especially for families. Oh well - the new normal isn't quite to my taste.

Right now I'm looking for moisturiser and hand cream on sale. I missed the half-price Aveeno at Coles a couple of weeks ago, and with all the handwashing and sanitising even the boys are needing cream or lotion for their hands and wrists.

The butcher didn't have anything special today. I only bought chicken fillets. The cheapest mince was $10.99/kg and the cheapest roast was $15.99/kg. Both way over my budget limits.

This week I'm planning on adding eucalyptus oil to the shopping list. It's versatile - a main ingredient in Miracle Spray, a good disinfectant and works in the vaporiser.

I'm also on the lookout for socks for Wayne and myself. Kmart has been out of my favourite socks for months, so I need to find a new favourite.

And on a very happy note, our favourite craft store re-opens this week. Hannah is already doing a happy dance at the thougth of being able to actually shop in the store instead of online. She has a lot of spending money burning a hole in her purse because she's not been shopping for months. I used mine to buy some things online so I'll get my craft fix by watching her shop :).

And if there is another lockdown, or the predicted second wave comes, we'll be prepared because being prepared will make it a whole lot easier.

And if it doesn't, it just means my huge, big, once-a-year shop in December won't be quite so huge and big.