One of my biggest fears - its irrational I know it is but after OH was out of work for 3 1/2 years its left me with a fear of having nothing in the pantry. My philosophy very much is if I have a well stocked pantry you can pretty much get through anything even if you have precious little else you must always eat and must not skip meals. There is always someone who can help and there is always a way round things - probably not the way you would go by choice but it may be the best for you in the long run. I think to some extent this is why I am always very keen to try and keep everything fairly well stocked - as you never quite know what is round the corner or what is going to happen. One of the main things I learned was to buy good ingredients and only the ingredients and if we wanted bread - then I would make it the same with cookies and cake, pastries etc. Buy the ingredients and have a go and make it yourself it really is the only way to learn is by having a go yourself and getting used to handling the ingredients and how not to do things more than anything else. So its a learning curve mistakes will be made but the positive of making a mistake is that nine times out of ten you learn from it and don't do that thing again.
Fortunately we just about survived on my wages but everything had to be cut back to the quick and we could only have the basics. OH did not receive benefits for the 3 1/2 year period and despite the property at that time being in his sole name the Social would not pay the rent on the grounds that I was earning a limited wage but because we were not married and both of us had paid our full stamp. When we needed the help we did not get it but then the good side of that is that we dug ourselves out of the hole ourselves; we were passing on to the Landlord that we were waiting for a decision from the Social but by the time they let us know three months down the line we were £900 in arrears. Fortunately my darling mum got us out of the mire and lent us the money and we paid her back in bits and bobs here and there but not everybody has a family member to go to. We were extremely lucky
At the same time we got into trouble with the gas and electric - the relevant companies had not been charging the correct rates and we ended up having to go on to the electric and gas prepayment cards to keep warm and to have light but one good thing did come out of it in that we paid the arrears £1,000 for the gas and £600 for the electric by paying every time we topped up, but it meant we were getting ourselves out of debt and still having the benefit of keeping warm and being able to see of a winters evening. It took us the 3 1/2 years to pay it off but we did it. I also as a result was able to work out how much a month we were using on gas and electric so I started to budget. So something positive came out of that experience.
We are still to some extent trawling away at some bills and they will take a while to sort out but we are doing it a little at a time. So having the pantry and the cupboards stocked gives me a deep feeling of satisfaction and security because at least we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and warmth and light. Everything else is a bonus.
So I am keeping the pantry and the cupboards and the freezer well stocked
This is just the deep chest freezer I have a stand alone just to the side of it as well. These are in my dining room. However if and when we get a shed these will be relocated to the shed then I will be able to have the tall upright fridge that I would like in the dining room just to the side of the deep freeze below and then the cd dresser under the window will go back under a pine dresser top which is above the freezer below. Musical furniture!
We are very lucky but I do not take that luck for granted.
I am hoping to go to Wilkinsons tomorrow to see what seeds they have so that I can set a few in tubs to supplement what we already have i.e I am talking about mixed lettuce leaves, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers here as well as probably setting some beetroot, spring onions and carrots etc. I have to clear the garden first but if the weather gets any better if the house is reasonably tidy it will mean I will be able to concentrate on getting that sorted. But first I want to look in the £ shop and Wilkinsons. Our Wilkinsons has just had a major sort out and have new stock in so nothing is where it used to be so I hope I find something useful. I am looking to get some horseradish roots and also some rhubarb plants. Sometimes in the £ shop you can pick up little fruit bushes for next to nothing so all I can do is have a look and see.
Right Catch you later on. Hope everyone has a good day and is keeping safe in this awful weather.