Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This weeks insourcing #6....

Cooking is such a restorative activity. Our family motto has always been, 'When you don't know what to do, just cook'.
So cook, I have.
Summer Garden Casserole with slivers of Triple Brie seen above.
Sooooo yum.
All you do is thinly slice about six tomatoes, a couple of field mushrooms, slice the kernels from some corn cobs, and sliver some of that glorious Australian garlic that is HUGE. Pop it all in alternate layers of tomato, corn, mushrooms, fresh basil and rosemary, and garlic slivers in a quiche dish (3 layers of all that is good), sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, and bake in a moderate oven until it all collapses and warms through...about 60-75 minutes. Serve with brie, or bocconcini or even croutons on top. Dee-vine.
Cinnamon cookies with cherry ripe centres, seen below.

Summer fruit jam here....
Jam is so easy....just equal parts fruit and sugar and a bit of lemon...

...and home made Prawn toasts here....

All up that lot would have cost a pretty penny had we had similar meals out and about. Lets just say this week insourcing on gourmet jam alone saved around $50. Honestly. I saw 'gourmet preserve' at the fancy schmancy fruit market yesterday for $9.99. Ten bucks for jam....puh-leeeze.
Fancy chinese meal? At least $60 saved there.
Fab vege bake thingo? No idea, but anything like that served at a café, is around the $18 a head mark. So lets round that up to $60 as there would have been coffees and such involved there for sure.
And big, fat, delicious cookies? Well last time I looked that were selling for about $3 each. I made 36. So that's around $100 worth of cookies....whaaaaaat??
Someone said to me recently that you can't count the savings if you wouldn't have ever bought that thing anyway. I guess that's true. But by putting a value on the things that I would HAVE to buy if I worked full time and couldn't make them, I get a very clear picture of my value in the home. That's the rub, isn't it. Work = $$$. But if I can stay home and save an equivalent sum of money by insourcing, then I get to have the best of both worlds and so does my family.
What do you think?


  1. Mimi you are so right - buy the ingredients and make lots or buy the finished product and spend heaps - know which one I prefer.

    I am looking forward to the time I will not have the extra stuff happening and then I can really focus on saving money our way. There is a growing list of baking ideas that I want to try rather than falling back onto the same old same old (mind you there is nothing too shabby about what I do now).

    Loving the vegetable 'thingy' that you made, have the brie in the freezer - would make a perfect autumn lunch - thinking, thinking.


    1. Lynette, you would know that gluten free ready made, is horrendously expensive. It's only thanks to insourcing that we can afford to eat as well as we do, you and I! Try the vege thing. I think you'd really enjoy it. Mimi xxx

  2. I agree too. Plus work entails expenses, some of them big. And then tax. You dont pay tax on what you save. So if you save a dollar you get $1. If you earn a dollar you get 75c or less. Anyway I am seeing food that is homemade humble food sold for huge prices. I saw 6 gluten free biscuits for $16. What we do has so much value!
    I read a good thought the other day. That is to learn even if you have to pay to learn. This woman needed to decorate a cake so she took a class. And since she has made very celebration cake. (bit like you, this is Laine) Then she need to learn another skill like cutting her sons hair so she would learn that. Over the years the savings become enormous. So now I am thinking what could I learn next?
    When I have worries I also cook and/or clean. Better to be busy for me I feel. But it is often followed by a collapse later...
    Thanks for the lovely recipe also. xxx

    1. Annabel, I recall seeing a giant jar of jam drops the Christmas before last in Myer. It was $40. For jam drops! And just an old clip lid style jar, nothing special! And yes gluten free, well, crazy. Back in my Church Youth Group days we learned that our lives should be all about learning and mentoring, and I think that mindset has served me well in life. I'm never afraid to say "I don't know how, but I'll soon find out", and it keeps bank account healthy and brain cells active. Who was it said 'Busy hands make for a light heart'? Truer words never spoken. Thankyou for your thoughts on this. You and I think alike often....Mimi xxx

  3. Hi Mimi; I worked for many years and am now retired, it is so wonderful to do things I enjoy and save money at the same time! I want to make some cookie dough for the freezer today or tomorrow and put up some Easter decorations. Crafting decorations is fun and you can make things for a fraction of the cost in the stores! Love your salad, will give it a try once our weather warms up. Have a great day, Hugs, Nana

    1. Nana, I love seasonal decorating too, and Easter is so special and fun, both from the chocolate perspective and the traditional one. Retirement is something I too am looking forward to. All that time to craft and sew and cook! Thankyou for stopping by....Mimi xxx

  4. Mimi, great reading there, in fact, I have printed out your recipes and meal plan, looks great. I love planning ahead and being careful with the dollars and waste. My partner sometimes laughs at me for this (kindly of course) but he does agree with me that being careful has certainly allowed me to do many things with my money. Thank you for sharing. Both you and Annabel are so very generous with your knowledge and wisdom.

    1. Hi Fiona...glad you like them! Men don't always understand the methods, but they understand money in the bank...lol! Mimi xxx

  5. I'm not sure I understood the statement...Obviously these are things you would have liked if you made them so you ARE making the savings...and if you wouldn't have been able to buy them but can make affordably then you've increased your standard of living! Oh there is great value in making things that you see in shops. Look at Annabelle and her succelents. She might not have bought them at the florists but won't she be posh with them in her home for next to nothing? This IS the beauty of frugality and learning to do ourselves.

    1. Terri, these are things I WOULD have bought if I were working full time and did not have the time to make them. I like to put a dollar value on what I create in the home and it's always eye opening to realise that oftentimes I have created more in a week, by being home in terms of dollar value, than I would have earned in a job outside of the home. I would have and have, paid big money for all of those things at different times in my life so I feel perfectly justified in listing them as my 'savings'. I agree that our standard of living is elevated and the contentment and satisfaction in DIY far surpasses the fleeting pleasure of spending money. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon....Mimi xxx


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx