An awful title but it sums up my feelings right now. I went to the PO delivery office in Wisbech to pick our parcels. This is situated just behind Mr T's Emporium so like most other folks I availed myself of their car park and walked through. More about my parcel at another date.
I only had a few things to buy so popped in and grabbed a trolley. Just inside they have a stand set up to collect non perishable foods for a local food bank, Mr T has pledged to top up all donations by 30%.
For the last little while we have been living out of the freezer and larder just buying dairy, fruit and veg. I have saved a tidy sum even though during this time I happened upon a few bargains and snaffled them up.
I had a quick think and ran through my blessings in my head while doing my shop, £9 63. I set my weekly budget at £50, I could cut that but I am fortunate in that I do not have to.
If I was facing the wall I would want to slash that to to minimum so having thunked I decided to put my shopping in the car and take my trolley back and see what it would cost for a week using the basic range.
I started off with the basics, pasta, rice, tinned potatoes, peas and carrots, remember these have to be non perishable, I added 1 tin each of tuna, corned beef, spam and luncheon meat, 2 jars of pasta sauce. Then it was baked beans, spaghetti, 2 each of those, then 1 each of macaroni cheese, spaghetti bolognese, beans and sausages. I added a bottle of tomato ketchup, 2 bottles of squash 1 orange and 1 blackcurrant with apple, 1 family pack of custard creams and 1 pack of jaffa cakes, then I went back to tins and added 1 rice pudding and 1 custard.
Merrily through the checkout and WOW how cheap a third of the £25 I had in mind.
I took it to the very nice girl manning the display ( A dead ringer for Adele BTW) and handed it over.
I went back and bought it all again but twice as much,
I added coffee, tea and hot chocolate as extras, I don't know how I forgot them in the first place, that added £2. ish to each of the 3 shops, so over budget but completely my own fault. Reading this I realise that I forgot sugar, that is because we do not use it. Duh!
Now as to the title,
I am embarrassed that I have not done this before, I have read many articles about how essentials food banks are becoming.
I am frustrated that I could not give fresh food.
And I feel very very fortunate that I was able to make this small gesture today.
Reasons to be grateful,
1. I do not have any financial worries.
2. The sun is shining.
3. My wonderful parcel from America.
4. I do not have to go to work tonight.
5. I do not HAVE to go to work, I choose to.
I am not a "do gooder" sort of person, I do not feel the need to stroke my ego or do the "lady bountiful" thing.
Today everything was in the right place and I did what I felt was right for ME.
I do not think that it is the answer, teaching basic skills in cooking, shopping and setting a budget would be a good step. The question is who should and could take it on and how do you tell a woman with 3 children and a husband living in very basic accommodation struggling to pay fuel bills that she has to do this. It is demeaning enough to have to literally beg for food without somebody inferring that it is your own fault for not having a certain skill set.
Her comes my good fortune again, I grew up learning these skills without realizing it. I have friends who never got the chance to learn, they were never allowed to stand next to mother/ grandmother and watch pastry being made and pie fillings cooked, bread being made and a massive rice pudding slid into the oven to cook in the residual heat and provide a sweet finish to dinner.
Never shown how to cook up a chicken carcass to make stock and soup for pennies, or how to stretch a joint of meat to 3 or even 4 days meals.
Enough, cease and desist !
I had planned to show some sewing today, really thrifty pretty sewing but that can wait for another day.
I will get off now and play in the kitchen. TTFN Pam