February 14, 2011

Food Shopping On The Farm. A Pantry Tour.

A few weeks ago I asked if there was anything in particular people wanted to know about life on The Farm.  Jane from Planet Baby wanted to know how I managed the food shopping and what was available locally.  So Jane - this one is for you!

I actually hate food shopping.  It is boring and involves way too much unpacking, and packing for my liking.  Pack stuff into the trolley, unpack at checkout, repack into trolley, pack into car, unpack car then finally unpack shopping into the fridge and pantry... See, lots of pack/unpack.  Boring.

Our nearest food shop is 35km from The Farm.  This is not a huge distance but obviously enough that if I forget something I choose to go without rather than do a special trip! I try and do one big shop once a week/fortnight and limit the little shops in between if possible. Obviously this doesn't always work but I figure it is worth aiming for. I try to buy a lot in bulk and also store a lot of non perishable food. Likewise we have lots of freezer space and again I try and keep lots of supplies on hand.  This saves "emergency" trips into town and means I can cope with unplanned guests etc.

We have a fairly decent IGA in our closest town.  It is now open 7 days a week.  When I first came to town the shops all shut at midday on Saturday and if you didn't get there on time it was beans on toast for the weekend...  Now we have a lot more shopping time.  The IGA has most things and I try and make sure I shop there as much as possible because I want to do the right thing by local business.  There is a small amount of gourmet food but it is basic.  If I am planning a dinner party I often head in with a list for my first choice recipe and a fall back basic recipe so if what I need for my first choice isn't there I can still buy something.  Fresh fruit and veg is OK but not brilliant.  There is a fantastic butcher in town and I try and use him as much as I can. Sometimes we kill and dress our own sheep but it is quite time consuming and has we have got busier has happened less and less often.

Shopping in town is definitely more expensive than The City.  If things are exorbitant in town I will vote with my feet and buy elsewhere.  I have done this mainly with things like nappies.  At one point I struggled to see how any retailer could justify a $20 mark up on a big box of Huggies just because we were 180km from a city...

Here are some photos of The Farmhouse pantry.  I store lots of stuff and it is a quite big walk in arrangement.  I love it.  It looks super tidy in the photos.  Please don't think I am an uber housewife.  I just took the photos after a huge post mouse war clean out.

Dry Goods

General Household Stuff And Alcohol Stash

Just for the record The Farmer is responsible for all the spices lined up very neatly.  They are also in alphabetical order.  He is a farmer.  He has a thing about straight lines...

So anyway - there you go.  Shopping on The Farm and a quick pantry tour.

I hope everyone is having a nice Valentine's Day.

18 comments:

Annette Piper said...

MUCH neater than my pantry! Mine is the receptacle for anything I need to keep out of the way eg. there are 2 spare mattresses in there up against one wall. Mind you, my pantry is more like a small (but narrow) room and is the envy of many a friend! I go to big town 100km away every 6 weeks or so and do the canned/frozen/organic thing. Then I get my veg, bread, milk and the 'emergency that I never foresaw' from the local IGA 25kms away (and it still shuts at noon on Saturday!)

Sydney Shop Girl said...

AFW

Thank you! I am in awe of your pantry space and its organization. Something to work towards.

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

I am green with envy over the size of your pantry! My pantry is tiny and oddly shaped and more often then not things get shoved into whatever inch of space is available *sigh*

Amanda said...

Wow, what a pantry!! It is SO organised!! Grocery shopping is one of my least favourite jobs too - if I were in your position, I think I'd be doing lots of bulk buying and freezing too.

Semi Expat said...

An amazing pantry - I am very envious...LOVE the spice jars lined up in alphbetical order. One of my sisters (the one who got the tidy gene) lines up ALL her tins in alphabetical order too!! How are the mouse wars going by the way?? X

Tai Tai said...

Incredible!! My pantry here consists of all of 3 small cupboards, jammed to the brim with crap that I barely use! I dream of having a walk-in one like yours. And such organisation! Very, very nice...

Not A Ballerina said...

So funny, I was going to comment on the spice jars until I read further down and discovered (somewhat to my relief) that it's not your fault!!!!

Let's just say my pantry looks nothing at all like this. Less organised, less alphabetised and less well-stocked - but then our IGA is only 1 km away!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Annette - It is not always that neat. No mattresses though - just love that as an image! Must admit I do stash stuff in there that needs a home too. Thanks for sharing your shopping experience. It sounds similar except for IGA opening hours. I sympathise though - ours only stopped shutting at Sat lunchtime quite recently.

SSG - Thank you. I think the Tupperware and The Farmer's handiwork with the spices make it look more organised than it is!

Christie - Shoving into odd places happens here too. Also the children stash stuff and so I will be looking for something and suddenly a plastic dinosaur will jump out at me. Quite disconcerting.

Amanda - Thank you. I wasn't always this organised but over the years have had to be to deal with the mice that always seem intent on taking over.

Semi-Expat - Just to annoy The Farmer I shift one thing into the wrong place. Do you do that to your sister? It is hard to resist. Have kicked some serious mouse butt. 14 is the score so far.

Tai Tai - I dream of having a shop close by! The grass is always greener...

Not A Ballerina - The alphabetical order things is so not my idea... Hope all is going well for you and your little family.

Bungalowgirl said...

Betsy is seriously lacking in the pantry department- have a small broom cupboard in which to fit all foods and crockery as well. Have wanted to make gingerbread men for the last 6 months but cannot face emptying the whole thing ind order to find the ginger and mixed spice. Will be referrring back to your photos for my new kitchen though- Legoman would also love to alpabetize our spices too but has currently admitted defeat.

This Mid 30s Life said...

Ah this takes me back to my childhood when we were 37kn (to be exact) from town.

My cousin just finished up a stint in NT as a station cook. I love her stories of "getting stores" which meant a 6 hour round trip, returning with pallets of food. The mind boggles.

I so love the shops down the road...!

Fiona said...

Suffering from a severe case of pantry-envy here on the east coast!

Brasilian_Babe said...

AFW, i think this is the biggest pantry I have ever seen. I am in awe. And it is so well organised too!!!

I have given up trying to organise our pantry. MrBB just leaves things wherever he pleases after using them (no matter how much i nag him about it!) and now the Bubba is helps him cook on occasion, things just misteriously disappear all the time. :p

Sherry said...

Wow, I wish I was that organised!

Georgie said...

Ah yes, love a good pantry... gxo

Jane said...

Ah, loving it! Thanks so much for filling us in on one of the thankless but necessary tasks you have to undertake in the country. The spice jars caught my eye, too (hmm, I probably would alphabetise them as well ☺) and the Tupperware has really come up with the goods. Bravo on such organisation. I only wish I had such space. Thanks for sharing. J x

Faux Fuchsia said...

warms my heart- so organised x

Emma said...

That is impressively organised! A $20 mark up is absolutely criminal. How do country people that are struggling to make ends meet cope with that?

therhythmmethod said...

I love your pantry. I have a problem/fascination with buying in bulk. Thanks for sharing. :)