Shopping Habits


Since being on the bus we have had to change our shopping habits quite a lot.  It is not only the fact of discontinuing to purchase all those ‘in case someone pops over’ items such as milk, coffee and sugar, it is also the way we are buying that is changing.

With limited cupboard and fridge space we can no longer stockpile as now we have to restrict our shopping to replacement only items.  This is fine by us and while it does require multiple trips to the supermarket is it good knowing exactly what is in our cupboards day to day.  I know for some of you reading this you already shop this way … local markets, fresh produce … however for us it is a new experience.  We usually do a weekly shop where we get enough to last us the whole week (or close to) and then repeat the process the next week. Even with a co-op shop it is a month’s worth of dry goods at a time that I purchase.


The majority of my food storage space

What I am noticing now as I shop is that maybe what I thought was our choice to shop weekly actually isn’t completely our choice.  You see as I head down the supermarket aisles I am noticing more and more that there are incentives laid out to encourage you to buy more.  Lately when I have gone to buy broccoli it is often on a ‘2 for $3’ special where as one head of broccoli is $2 and they are not alone.  All sorts of canned items and other produce is in for the ‘special offer’ ride.

I feel the urge to buy more, save more … unfortunately I also feel the pressure of our limited space and reminded of just how insane moving things to get other things makes me feel.  My new year (bus life) intentions are to find more local places to buy from, more road side stalls and market places.  I can already feel that it will take much more effort than I am currently putting into shopping, which is probably why I am still down at the supermarket struggling with my urge to buy less and the temptation of getting more for my dollar, though hopefully slowly and surely I can create a change in our buying habits.

Hope this finds you warm, dry and healthy.



Minimalist Eating


So it is whitebait season here in NZ.  This is the time of the year when greed often overcomes any actual need and when usually mild mannered people become guarded and territorial over their ‘patch’ of river.  The prices are high and because it is a limited season the eagerness to get out there is also high…. my family included, though their catches are usually counted on one hand :).  It has become a prized delicacy.

The thing is that whitebait are actually the young of several threaten native species of fish.  As they struggle to get back up the rivers to grow and spawn they are caught in the thousands.  Combined with unhealthy and altered waterways this means that slowly but surely these species will disappear.  It no longer feels like such a good thing to be encouraging our kids to do. This isn’t just a New Zealand problem though and I have had quite a few conversations lately around the issue of ‘over-use’ of animals in our food.

white bait species

A few people I have talked to, after seeing ‘Cowspiracy’  have become vegan as they learn more about the true cost of the food on our plates.  Even our locally sourced raw milk, which I thought was a good alternative to big business milk, has me questioning after I realised there was no break in milk production over the past year. Then I was left wondering, yet again, about my own occasional seafood intake as watching a movie on sushi that discussed how many fish species they used to use are no longer available due to over fishing.  Then there is the whole palm oil issue and the list could go on.

I don’t know the answer that will ultimately solve the issues however it has made me think even more about the food we purchase, the amounts we purchase of it and what we consume.  We stock our cupboards each week even when they are not empty, eat foods that used to be seasonal all year around and generally consume more than necessary.  I can see that there is room for a little more minimalist eating in our home and a little more room to get even more ‘back to basics’.

While I am aware of these issues I find I am slow to make changes which I think is probably where many stand.  Change can be hard and is not always possible depending on personal circumstances.  Is it a case of waiting until it is all gone before we make real change?  I hope not.  I hope that the Cree Indian Proverb doesn’t have to come true before people around the world realise that how we are doing things now is not sustainable.

Cree proverb

Hope this finds you asking your own questions and finding the solutions that work for you.




Capsule Eating?


Ok, so the title may have you wondering but read on and all will be revealed.

You see over the past few weeks I have had a few conversations about mealtimes – namely what people have on the menu for their evening meals.  One friend talked of collecting recipes so that she could get out of her cooking rut while another shared how she cooked a different meal each night over several weeks??!! You know who you are you culinary goddess 🙂

And what was I doing while these conversations occurred? Quietly hanging my head in shame…….. you see that so called ‘cooking rut’ is my life-ring in a stormy sea of meal time indecision!!

While I don’t intentionally cook the same things over and over (and over and over and well you get the idea) somehow I manage to cook particular dishes on certain week nights.  Sheer lack of enthusiasm over cooking meals combined with so many options ends in my no-think meals arriving each week.

Ready to cook my Wednesday night regular - rice and veg

Ready to cook my Wednesday night regular – rice and veg

Then last week something arrived in my inbox from Becoming Minimalist that gave me hope.  In fact it overjoyed me, gave me my new food revolution and relieved my shame instantly!  What was this amazing blog about you may ask?  Well it was actually about 8 reasons that successful people wear the same things everyday (a capsule wardrobe) however in reading those reasons I saw that actually in having the same menu over and over again it was in fact a very savvy and smart move for someone less culinary endowed like myself.

Six out of the 8 reasons applied to me and cooking meals and so I am now embracing my same meals each week as a ‘capsule eating’ plan rather than thinking of it as a cooking rut.  I have a ‘capsule’ shopping list which now means that I can create a range of meals which I know 1.I can cook without thinking and  2. the kids will eat (most nights)!

For those Foodies out there who may be wondering why??! Here are my adaptation of Becoming Minimalists reasons as applied to mealtime.

1: Fewer Decisions and hence leaving more head space for more important decisions during the day.

2: Less time wasted in trying to decide what I will cook while swinging on open cupboard and fridge doors.

3: Less Stress!!

4: Less wasted energy both in strolling numerous aisles looking for ingredients and in juggling recipe books, children and animals.

5: Less expense as my shopping list is fairly basic ingredients

6: More Peace. Of mind that is!!

Hope this finds you embracing your own revolution – even if it only applies to you.