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Summer time and the living is easy…

fish are jumping and the cotton is high…

Not so easy for some!

It was my husband’s turn to do the weekly shopping and I think he went shopping hungry – big mistake, big supermarket bill just for two people!

We have very little food waste.  But that is largely as we both take account of what’s happening in the fridge before we go: normally.

We also make the effort to store food carefully to get the most of what we buy.  I make my own pasta, which uses up eggs as well as the 00 grade durum wheat.  Jon bought some rolls this week, so I won’t be baking bread this weekend.  The celery in the fridge, with some cream, eggs, and stilton, will make a delicious soup.

A while ago, I bought a load of spinach.  I do that with some sheets of pasta to make a tasty ravioli.  Quite a bit of effort but so straightforward and quick to cook.

Even if we get a ready meal, I prefer to cook my own rice.  There are two reasons for that, for me.  In 1998, I bought my first house: I know, houses were reasonably priced then, I don’t know how lucky I was, blah.

Back to the point!

Sorry, I got my first car load of shopping to fill my new kitchen.  I bought a 5kg bag of basmati rice, I think the price was about £8 a bag.  Well, my now husband moved in and we’d got through that big bag of rice in just over a month!  To say I was a little shocked was to put it mildly because a 500g used to last more than a month…

I looked at the back of the next 5kg bag and it said “a portion of rice is between 50-75g per person”.  I duly weighed out the 100g for me and my husband and cooked it to have with a chicken korma (bung ’em in the oven).

I served up and we both commented on how small the rice looked.  The surprising thing was, it was a good size of rice.  True, it looked lost on the plate, but it was perfectly sized to the curry.  Our 5kg lasted 6 months and in fact, I scaled up to 10kg which lasts about a year.  The price for 5kg is now £16 but you get 100 portions, that’s 16p a serving.  No waste.

It also needs less water to cook it – 100g rice should be boiled in 200ml of water.  That needs 0.18kWh for 15 minutes – that 0.72kW.  Significantly less than a unit of electricity, about 14p to cook.

Life isn’t as cheap as it was but it’s not out of reach of many.  What’s going to be out of reach is wasting food and energy, going out for food, and sitting in the winter with the heating set to 20C.

Already, we’ve noticed the cinema is quieter.  Restaurants are less busy, car parks have spaces in them.  10am in our local supermarket and it was relatively quiet!  The main road outside of our house is quiet and not because the vehicles are now electric not petrol…  Taking a car into town is not just the fuel to power the motors but parking too.

People are making the effort to switch off lights if they are not being used, laptops in home offices are switched off at the end of the day.

I know for some, life is going to be really difficult, but if we’re changing our behaviour to reduce our costs, the planet is going to be reaping the benefits too.

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