Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Keeping things stocked up

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.




  1. A very interesting post of how to survive in the face of adversity. When I was growing up money was very tight and it always felt as though there was enough of everything but nothing to spare. My parents did an amazing job of managing on a small budget and grew lots of their own fruit and veg to supplement the bought food but when I moved out of home it mean that I bought a lot of everything to keep well stocked up. I still do it now but have educated myself to buy those things we need when there is a good offer on and not to be tempted by a load of stuff that we don't need and isn't good for us. I've recently got in to buying ingredients to make things from scratch and am enjoying the experimentation althoug I am not as adventurous as you yet :-)

    1. Hi Sarah

      Money was very tight when we were growing up too and my parents also did very well considering that for the best part it was only my dad's wage coming in. My parents also used to grow veg my Dad had an allotment as well. Because we lived in villages without a chance of coming into town once a month mum used to do a big shop for the whole month on basic things so that we never ran out and I think this is where I get a lot of my base rules from. Once the pantry is pretty well stocked up then for a few months we can live out of it and then take genuine advantage of bargains with meat and things like sauces etc. I always for the best part just buy ingredients as you can do so much more with them yourself far more cheaply. I have been told by the Doctors that I should not buy prepaid meals as there is so much stodge in them which only blocks up my system and causes so many more problems. That is why I buy a lot of veg and freeze it myself yes a bit more work but I know where it came from and it makes my life a lot easier during the week as I just fish things out o the freezer and can get on quite qickly with tea when I get home from work. I work full time as a Legal Secretary. Give it time you will start to do more and more. I am very keen on learning more about canning and growing my own and meat preserving i.e making own salamis etc. Just wish I had the house with the land to do it as I would wish. Have all sorts of plans bubbling under the surface it is just a matter of opportunity. One day.
      Take care Pattypan x

  2. Must have been a very scary time. Glad things are better.

    1. Hi Hart

      It was at the time and the worrying thing was we oould not see any end to it. In the end I followed my father's advice. Take each day as it comes, enjoy the good days and deal with the not so good. Everything is relevant and part of the whole at the end of the day and gradually things do get better, but these days none of us are immune from such situations and you have to deal with the deck life has dished out as best as you can. I am a lot luckier than most.

      Take care and thanks for popping by.

      Tricia (aka pattypan0


  3. I read this post and it touched me easy to take things for granted until a time come when things change and we re assess our lives..I too know this feeling, maybe in other ways but that feeling once it arrives and hopefully things change and things approve you never forget. A beautiful post , thank you for sharing

    1. Hi Maria

      None of us can take anything for granted these days and each person has a different story and a different take on things. The most important thing is to make the best our journey whatever that may be- it becomes part of us an innate part of what you actually become. So we have to embrace the good and the not so good as they ultimately form the whole. Each day I think how lucky I am - but it does not stop me from aiming high or from ending up being taffled up in the corner. Such is life. Hope you and yours are keeping well.

      Take care




Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)