Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nourishing and Preparing....

This week I'm spending time Nourishing my soul with some knitting in the form of a seamless yoke jumper for my littlest girl, Millie..
I'm longing to complete one of these jumpers for each of my girls this Winter but with the days clicking away sooner than I anticipated maybe these Winter jumpers will be turning into Spring cover-ups instead....
seamless yoke 1
Both my girls have picked out their own colours for their jumpers and the yarn is a gorgeous Australian 8ply Merino X (in my Shop soon)...
The pattern is the ever popular jumper 'recipe' by the very talented Elizabeth Zimmerman. I love the book that this pattern is from, 'Knitting Without Tears', it has so many knitting purls of wisdom and I find myself referring to it often. This jumper is knit from the bottom up in one piece and there are NO SEAMS.

We are preparing for the huge spike in Energy prices here on the farm and trying hard to be more mindful of our usage... As of the 1st of July Energy prices across the board in Australia went up quite significantly - will this affect you????
We are usually pretty savvy power saving kind of people anyway but an increase is an increase and we sure aren't looking forward to this one! So we are changing a few things in our home and around the farm, hoping that we're not too affected by the increase.
Are you doing anything to help reduce your Energy Consumption and lower your every increasing Power Bill?

This week I've also been preparing a new family budget.
When it comes to feeding my family I try hard to produce as much of what we eat as I can, be it in the form of fresh eggs, vegetables, meat, cheese, baked goods, preserves etc...
Sometimes I don't always succeed, but I'm mindful of this and source as local a product as I can as a substitute.
Our weekly budget for feeding our family of 4 is $80. This is spent on re-stocking the pantry and fridge with staples such as flour, salt, sugar, vinegar, cream, milk (some milk I get from the farm but not all, yet), butter, hard cheese (I'm yet to master this) and any seasonal produce that I just can't grow.... 
Any money that is not spent from the $80 (which is usually between $20-$30) goes into an envelope and is placed in our safe to be saved up for when we need big ticket items - chook feed, bulk bread flour from the Mill, garden mulch, new seeds etc... 
I try and bake twice a week to feed my families sweet teeth. This week I've made caramel slice (DH's favourite), custard tart, orange slice cake (pictured below), and jam biscuits are to come... 
orange slice
I am mindful of what I am feeding my family everyday... There are times when processed, pre-packed items make their way onto the shelves of our pantry, but not often... I am still a long way from where I one day hope to be in the whole scheme of 'self-sufficientcy' but each and every small step which we make as a family towards this goal is a step in the right direction and I'm confident of that. 

What have you been Preparing for this Week???


  1. Yes the electricity price rise is a worry. This week I made my own washing powder for the first time which cleans the clothes really well. I try and cook a cake or slice each week too. You do very well to feed your family on $80 a week. Our is more like $250.00 but I also have a very hungry teenager who seems to inhale his food!

  2. It seems like I am not as resourceful these days as I use to be when my daughters were at home. I use to hang laundry out every week and save on the electric that way. Now I am so swamped for time that I am doing good to get laundry done at all. When we had a drought one year I would bath my girls together in the tub and then scoop the bath water into a bucket that I used to flush the toilet. While other people were having to drill new wells we were doing fine in that department. I use to bake my own sourdough bread with a starter that I kept for months in the fridge. I did that until I stepped on the scales and had gained 10-15 pounds, lol.
    Hope your pregnancy is going well Jodi.
    (((HUGS))) Susanne :)

  3. We also try to eat as much natural food as possible, most of our shop is fruit, veg and meat. Vegie patch isnt doing too much at the moment...some sneaky creature ate all of my broccoli!!

  4. I think you are doing well with self-sufficiency and your budget Jodie! Like you, we kill our own meat, make all our baked goods and grow as many vegetables as we can. At the moment we are preparing for crutching so for me that means lots of baking and preparing warm food for hungry men...sausage rolls, soup, cake...I am sure you know the kind of food I mean x

  5. I am hoping that the prices arent too high as it does cut into your weekly paycheck doesnt it. It sounds as though you budget very well though for your family. I really need to start doing that instead of popping down to the shops if I need 1 or 2 things as it always end up being more! Your girl's jumper looks very nice, loving the color. I am sure you will finish them in time, they might go faster than you think.

  6. I hope to be more like you as time goes on. I would love to be off the grid and be self-sufficient.
    You're an inspiration!

  7. We just invested in 2 hens and we breed pet rabbits for extra cash. We have a small orchard too. Comprising of a Kaffa Lime, 2 Lemon, 2 Oranges, 2 Mandarin, Nectarine, Blood Plum and an Apple tree. I've also just started making jams. I have also been making my own gifts for family and friends. Each of this things have cut down our spending heaps.
    I hope that the energy changes aren't to much on your purse.

  8. Each year we try to prepare better for more food to stock up. Each year we invest for a more self-sufficient lifestyle. We recently lost our health insurance and we are focusing on the food we eat and our health to avoid the doctor's office.

  9. I do the same with my weekly budget - $60 for two of us but I don't include chook food or mulch / that's a challenge for me! With electricity we got our new solar system installed last Friday on the last day for govt rebate so saved around a thousand on that and with the rise in prices expecting it should pay itself in much less than ten years! Only needed a small unit as you benefit most now from what you produce that you use at the time of production, as they're not paying much for any excess you make anymore! We already have the smallest bill out of all our friends and family and it's set to half now!

  10. I think you are very smart and I have always tried to be self-sufficient too. Just yesterday I was looking on the internet for lists of emergency supplies and lists for evacuation in case of fire here. I'm not a fearful person but I like to be as prepared as possible and we are in extreme fire danger right now it is so hot and dry.
    I also try to conserve energy and this year I have managed to keep the air conditioning 2 degrees higher than last year and still be comfortable. In the Winter I try to use wood to offset the furnace a bit. To keep my grocery bill down I make my own bread, laundry detergent and dog treats and I'm going to start making cheese soon. I love your desserts you listed and when you have time please share the recipes as they sound delicious! I also like your idea of putting the savings into a fund for bulk items and seeds and such.


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