Where Are the Savings?

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I was debating what to write tonight when I came across this post from Jennifer Lorenzetti at Fast, Cheap and Good.  The final 2 paragraphs are the crux of the matter as far as I am concerned.

For many people it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet financial commitments and this is a clear reminder that simply making at least some meals from scratch can be a huge saving on the budget.

If you can manage to grow even a few vegetables it can make an even greater difference.  Here in Australia, we have the benefit of being able to grow something almost all of the year round in most parts of the country.

Lettuce, bok choy, pak choy and broccoli

Compared to the USA and Europe we are still in relatively good financial shape but it is anyone’s guess how long that will continue.  Therefore, it is prudent to consider what changes we can make to the way we prepare our meals that will both save us money and reduce our reliance on ‘just in time deliveries’ to the major supermarkets.

Have you made any changes to the foods you eat or way you prepare meals?

Back to the Practical Stuff

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After a couple of days spent debating the carbon tax it is time to get back to the things I do every day which reduce our carbon footprint today and increase our self-reliance so that we can face whatever the future may bring.

Collecting eggsWashing plastic bags

Taking our own bags and containers to the shops

Brewing beer

Raising seedlings

Harvesting from the garden

Making compost

Today was my day off so I immersed myself in all these jobs and more.  It has been productive and worthwhile.

A Winter Wardrobe

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This is not about my winter wardrobe as it is pretty much the same as last year.  In fact I don’t think I have bought any new clothes this season.  That may change, of course, but I don’t really need anything extra.

Miss O and Izz are a different story as they are still at the age where they grow out of almost everything from one winter to the next.  So, I have have been busy sewing for them and here are some of the results.

A dressing gown for Miss O

2011-06-16 01……and a nightie – I actually made 2 of them.

2011-06-16 02Pyjamas for Izz

2011-06-16 03Corduroy pinafore for Izz

2011-06-16 04Finally, a hooded jacket for Miss O.

2011-06-16 05These projects have been successful on two fronts – the girls now have more clothes that they needed and I have less fabric in my stockpile to be used up.  Lots more to use and numerous other things I want to make.

I am looking forward to doing more sewing.  I must admit I had forgotten how rewarding it is to make garments for small children.

Some people believe that it is not economical to sew but I have to disagree.  These things should not be compared to the cheapest you can buy but mid to top-range garments which are of similar quality fabric and construction.  It is also important to remember that hand-made garments can be custom-sized  with extra allowance in seams and hems to allow for growing, thus ensuring at least 2 years wear out of most items.

Sewing, like knitting, cooking from scratch and growing our own food is a skill which we should all have if there is to be any degree of self-reliance.  We cannot simply expect that mass-produced, cheap imported clothing that is produced in overseas sweatshops will always be available.

Do you sew?  Maybe knitting or crocheting?  Do you use your skills or teach others so that these arts are not lost forever?