Things to think about:
  • Menu planning - this works for some families and not others.
  • If you're growing food, how do you intend to use your excess?
  • How do you safely store your food?
  • Have you minimised food waste?
  • Do I use leftovers wisely?
  • Skills - learn to preserve/can, blanch and freeze, bake, sprout, ferment, fruit cordials.
  • Make a space in your cupboard to store recycled bottles and jars.
  • Do I have enough good cooked from scratch recipes to cover a two week meal rotation?
  • Do I have a good selection of quick and easy fast meal recipes?
  • Am I able to fill school and work lunch boxes with healthy snacks?
  • Is the fridge cooling as it should?
  • Do I use my oven efficiently? Baking two things at once. Make twice the amount and freeze half.
  • Is my kitchen set up properly for the tasks I carry out frequently? eg, if you bake a lot, do you have all your baking equipment together. If you drink a lot of tea or coffee, do you have a tea and coffee station set up close to your stove or hot water kettle? Can the kids reach the water glasses easily?
  • If you're composting, do you have a covered container for your kitchen scraps?
  • Do you need to make food covers for bread, ginger beer, sourdough, yoghurt?
  • Do you have enough dishcloths and tea towels/dish towels
  • Do you have enough large glass or plastic storage containers? I got some 5kg plastic buckets from my local baker (free) that I store flour in. Look around for recyclables for your storage, they do just as well as store bought containers.

I am hoping these are the questions that I have to use to base my post on.

I agree very much with Rhonda Jean's opening paragraph:

Food is an important part of everyone's life; we have to eat every day for as long as we live. And that is one of the reasons we need to focus carefully on our food. We grow it, buy it, cook it, preserve it, freeze it and store it. Buying it costs a lot of money; growing it takes a lot of energy; wasting it is not an option. If you organise your food growing, buying and storage efficiently you'll save money because you'll grow the right amount, buy at the right price, and store it to prevent wastage.

As a middle aged type lady, it is hard to know what I should be doing in my life, but my husband and I both agree that my major function at the moment is food related. I still have four large children at home. We live in a remote area and this has provided challenges in the way of food.

Last shopping day the food cost $500 as it was the school holidays, today my husband spent another $40 on UHT milk and cheese. We forgot the bread, as we could have bought less milk and got the box on our off pay week, we get a minor pay then. Usually we try to get all the food on the day after shopping day, with possibly a couple of desperate things a couple of days earlier with another minor pay. Basically we try to do a whole fortnight at once. Luckily I had some vegetables over and I was able to work with that.

I have lots of ideas for using up excess produce but we are not growing much except jam melons. At the moment they haven't been preserved yet, but we are storing them. We did preserve wildcrafted apples in the form of a sauce that can be used like tomato sauce or ketchup.

Recipe here
photos here

Our leftovers have for many years been eaten by our boys. The eldest had left over meals for snacks I think, our current big boy at home likes a cooked breakfast despite his mother's protestations so he eats the leftovers for breakfast. These is usually only one bowl full.

We do have jars tucked away in the bottom of our oldfashioned dresser.

I absolutely do have enough recipes stored in my Marbig for a two week rotation. I do get new ones fairly regularly however it is not getting out of hand. You will see there are lots of repeats here.

We don't tend to use the oven much. The recipes I find on the Taste website from the above link are fairly fast recipes.

We do keep scraps on the bench, not covered though. The dog goes through them after we throw them out.

We have collections of kilner and Agee jars for food storage.


joolzmac said…
Hi Linda

Looking at your Menu Planners, I'd say you all eat very well for a 'remotely located' family.

I signed up for this Biggest Table thingo but didn't realise it would start immediately. I wasn't ready to NOT go shopping or spend for a whole week. I am one of those people who work each day then head to Woollies to get dinner ingredients on the way home. "Hmmm, maybe we'll have a stir fry tonight...or...pork chops, veg and apple sauce."

We eat very well and don't have takeaway very often. I would rather make my own pizzas on a Friday night instead of ordering a dodgy one and I can knock up a mean stir-fry as good as our Chinese takeaway.

When you do a Menu Plan, can you include a recipe each week also? That would be great,

Cheers - Joolz
Out Back said…
It is hard to feed a family these days. There is only three of us and I know how much that is costing me a week.

Menu planning is the way to go. Things run a lot smoother if one knows what is on the menu for each day.

I haven't been to Rhonda's blog this week but will go there soon.

I have an award for you over at my blog if you want to collect it. I am not sure if you have already participated in this one.

Linda said…
joolz I will try to do that.

Thank you Tania, very much.
Linda said…
I must admit that I have a lot of catching up reading to do with the no spending thing. Wish I had been reading when it started.
Jules said…
That was a great list. I shop fortnightly and have three sons at home regularly (four at the moment and soon to change) who are either teenage or adult so I know how hard it is to feed them (and how often you can run out of supplies). I had one son that liked leftovers for breakfast too. Now that he's left home, I often find that there's leftovers for my lunch (particularly of the vegetable type). I've basically given up on a vegetable garden. Apart from tomatoes and chillis and capsicums, I can't seem to grow anything (why is it that silverbeet and rhubarb grow like weeds for everyone else but not for me?) but we do have fruit trees and I always freeze the surplus. I've been thinking of menu planning. Perhaps I'll start next week when eldest son moves in with his little family. Cooking for 7 adults and a 2-1/2 year old every day is really going to test my skills (or lack of) in the kitchen!
Caroline said…
I have just arrived back from Hols so missed the start of the biggest kitchen table, although I have written about it on my post today and I will TRY to achieve some of it.

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