Category: Bulk

Banging my head against the wall!

Bash Head

I have about half a dozen unfinished blog post that I can’t seem to get out. I write… have a brain fart…. and that ends that endeavor!

And it happens over and over…

And then there are all the little projects I want to do (and tell you all about) where I get all the stuff out.. take a picture for the blog post… have another brain fart, and here we go… again 😦

So you might say things are not going according to plan…

Take yesterday!

My intention was to spend the day making a large amount of broth for future use (first time ever doing a dedicated broth “run”), pay my bills, write on my blog and hang out with a friend watching the newest Star Trek movie 🙂

And guess what… another very sudden stop!

I had two large casseroles all decked out with broth bones, ox tails and vegetables. I was all ready to go. Two large casseroles was on the inductions cooktop with full heat for a quick boil (before I put them back on a simmer) and I had just put on a small casserole to make some tea.. and BANG!

My cooktop blew up!

What?????

OK, so it didn’t physically blow up, but the fuse blew, and it did say bang.. and when I threw the fuse breaker back, sparks flew and killed the mains at the same time.

Oh no… 

No worries… I pulled the plug on the cooktop, and activated the fuses again.. all back to normal… with one teeny weeny exception..

The cook-top no longer worked.

For real? 

Yep!

I left it alone for a about half an hour (to let it cool down) just in case it would spring back to action.

And guess what, it did. Yaay! 🙂

But only half of it. Noooo! 😦

Turned out, the half I use the most, was dead as a door nail. All it did was give me all sorts of funky error messages that was not mentioned in the manual (go figure).

I had no other option but to call a repair man to find out what was wrong with the darn thing. A few minutes into the conversation he concluded what was wrong, and gave me an estimated repair cost.

Well guess what! I could literally buy a brand spanking new induction cooktop, for what he said the repair most likely would be.

My cooktop is 10 years old, and no way I’m spending half it’s cost on repair when I can get a new one for same price as the repair.

So guess what… after sorting out the two broth casseroles that was already warmed up before everything went pear-shaped, by putting one in the oven and the other one on the remaining working burners, B and I took off to look for a new hob.

Hours later, after reviewing several, we came home for a rest and a cup of coffee.. to see if we could narrow it down to one or two.

Revived from the coffee, we took of for town late last night, to a shop we hadn’t visited already, as it looked like they might have something just up my alley.

Did we find something?

Yes we did, I think.. maybe.. if I can make all my pots work on it… which I haven’t quite succeeded at yet. So tomorrow will show, if it’s a keeper or not (yes, I’m hard to please).

Stay tuned.. and I’ll keep you posted on where I end up on this.

And the broth?

Well that task is going quite well, thank you. It’s simmering nicely, on the stove as we speak, slowly being reduced into an amount that hopefully will fit my freezer 😉

broth

Saving a tree or two…?

After my February plastic trash challenge, I got inspired and started to look more closely at everything else I toss.

Now that I have some sort of control over my plastic trash, and gotten into a good routine of using the plastic recycle bag, I have found that most of my other trash is paper (advertising/junk mail) and food scraps.

Let’s talk about the junk mail. I tend to look through all the advertising from grocery stores, as I try to save a little when possible. I bulk up on some of my everyday products, when there is a good sale. All these adverts ends up in the paper recycle bin, so the paper is recycled, but I would have loved not contributing so much to paper waste.

I discussed this with a friend of mine that I do a bit of grocery shopping with, and we decided that, since I am the one who pays attention to when there are good deals to be had, he would be the one to put the “No junk” sticker on his mailbox. This way we can at least reduce one household of paper! And hopefully over time, I can figure out what advertising I “need” and see if I can find it online instead, to ultimate reduce two households!

But for now, the sticker is on his mailbox, there is one less household filled with paper junk and he think this is the best idea we (I’ve) have had since… ever!

I know it’s not much in the big picture of things, but a bit here, and a bit there… ads up eventually 😉

Buying in bulk – when is it a good idea!

Happy Valentines everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂

Remember I mentioned in “Buying necessities – how am I doing”, that I had bought some extras of items that was on sale. It made me think about, buying in bulk. And when does it make sense.

I think buying in bulk can be a good idea for certain items. It also can save some money during a year, if one goes about it right.

I believe there are a few rules one need to follow for this to make sense.

Free storage space
You need to have room for the item you are stocking up on. And I’m not talking about cramming stuff into the house, but a dedicated space, so that it don’t clutter up you space. We are on a declutter journey remember 🙂  I have a smallish house, so I have a specific place set aside.

Buy what you use
You should only buy items you actually use and need. None of this; well it’s cheap, I might need it sometime or I used to use this and I might start using it again. You should only buy items you use on a regular basis.

Pick your number
Don’t buy more than you can use within a certain time frame – pick your number of items or months for when it’s should be eaten up. As an example, I love Heinz baked beans, and they are really expensive in Norway, but sometimes they will sell for 1/3 of the regular price, and I jump on it. But I’ll never buy more than about 8-10 off them. The reason for this is that I don’t have a lot of space to store them, and I know if I buy to many I might not get them eaten before they expire.

Should save you money
Buying the items should save you some money. Either because they are on sale, or they are cheaper in bigger packs. If it cost the same as any other day, there is no reason to use precious space in your house, when you can buy it any time.

Long shelf time
It should be items that have a long shelf time so they will keep. Always check the dates on the items, don’t assume they have a long shelf life. Some items might not last as long as you think, an example of this is brown rice, certain spices, creams and make-up.

Now that we have got some “rules” out of the way.

What kind of items could this work for?

Dry goods  – bags of soups, sauces, flour, sugar, beans, rice…
Canned goods – tomatoes, peas, purée, tuna, corn, ham…
Goods in glass/plastic containers – jams, honey, oils…
Boxed goods – cereals, pastas..
Spices – NB! check dates, some spices have a surprisingly short shelf life
Sodas – check dates though, not all sodas will keep forever
Alcohol – for those of us that enjoys a glass of wine now and then 😉
Toiletries – toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, creams, make-up (NB! some beauty products have shorter shelf life, check!)
Toothbrush – huh? Did you know you should swap every 3 month? Most people wait until it falls apart…
“Tissues”  – toilet paper, paper towels, diaper, feminine items, Kleenex…
Vitamins – check dates, not all last as long as you would think
Detergents – for dishwasher/laundry, and other cleaning products
Office/school supplies – paper, pens, tape, glue, wrapping paper…

Fresh goods for freezing – In addition to long shelf life items, I would add fresh goods if you can freeze them. Make sure you don’t get more than you will eat in a short time, to avoid having to toss food, because it got to old.

Personally I stock up a few items in pretty much all the categories mentioned above. And I only stock up when they are on sale, mostly because I don’t have the space to buy the bigger “bulk” versions they have in the stores here (I just don’t have storage space for 98 toilet rolls 😉 and stuff)

I’m sure there are several more items and groups of items that you can think off, this was just a short list from me.

What do you stock up on? Please share you good ideas in comments below.