Saturday, 16 October 2010

Famines and feasts

I saw a robin again today – maybe not something amazing to many folk – but to me just gorgeous as I don’t see them very much at home. I’m still on my travels off of the island, fuelling up on friends, food, views, trees and many of the things we can’t easily do at home. We’ve been to parks, been to forests, to the city and of course to the beach (I’m lucky to be on the mainland by the coast). It’s quite strange to have access to all of those things that are normally out of reach, almost like feast or famine in our lives.

A lovely robin
 For our adventure into the ‘good life’ it seemed sensible to try and maximise our money by stocking up our store cupboard shelves. We do this when we are on the mainland as there is more choice and the prices in the bigger supermarkets are much cheaper than at home. It helps to keep us out of the main supermarket at home where the money spent makes no real difference to our economy. It does help us save money, by reducing the need to just pop in for a small item and end up with a basket full. Instead we pop to the store cupboard in the garage; it got the nickname of the ‘stripey-socks-shop’. No petrol needed to get to this shop, no money required – open all hours – everything you’d ever need. Perfect!

Part of the last stripey-sock-shop! Ready to be put away, we reuse the bags!
We have a list – we had a lot of help making up the stripey-socks-shop, from many friends – my question was ‘...if you have to stock up your cupboards for six months what would you buy?’ The answers helped to form our shopping list – and the quantities well, they were a bit of a guess. Kind of what might we eat/drink/use for a week/month, times by the time between trips to the mainland. The savings we make allows us to maximise our food budget and to be able to support our local community by being able to afford to buy our fresh produce (meat/fish/cheese/vegetables) locally where the money will be more gladly received.

Today’s task is to finish this and pack the car which will be laden to bursting for the trip home, making the most of the money spent on the ferry. Whilst we’ve saved for this trip, to spend money so freely is quite odd, scary in fact. It’s worked very well, although it does go awry when the children decide they’ve ‘gone off’ something and you’ve bought enough for 6 months! Nevertheless, on the whole we have found a system that works for us by being frugal at home, then a massive ‘feast’ on the mainland, which once home we’ll follow by ‘frugality’ again. I’m looking forward to being home again, too much choice and temptation on the mainland – although I’ll miss my little robin for a while.


  1. I assume you fill the car up with fuel on the mainland as well? Fingers crossed the promised relief on fuel duty for Islands comes to fruition - there was a piece about it on recently

    R xx

  2. Hey there - yup petrol will be the final purchase alhtough north of inverness the prices start to hike up - we'll probably fuel up there and although it will eat into about 120 miles of fuel it will be worth it - and we've had things in the local press about the potential fuel relief - fingers definitely crossed for that one! Thanks for the link! x

  3. Glad you had a great trip,hope Darwin isn't too shattered after lugging home all the supplies :)

  4. Hey there - all emptied now and put away - you know of course - your storecupboard inspired me!