Next year I plan to ditch my job and go back to Uni. Because I soon won’t have an income, I look at everything with the eyes of the card carrying broke.
“You don’t need new runners Andrew, electrical tape fixes everything”
“Why use the car, it’s a 20min walk and it’s not REALLY raining”
“Feel like a beer? Too bad princess, you’re on tap water from here on!”
Sometimes I get attitude and call myself princess in my head, that’s normal right?
Right now, behind the scenes little Tassievores around the state are working furiously to source Tasmanian produced foods (and we’ve found some beauties!). But the student in me is very aware that mass produced products can be grown elsewhere (see Caitlin’s pantry challenge blog on our global food supply entitled The Cupboard Cleanout) for cheaper. I’ve been worried I can’t afford to participate in the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge.
But will participating be more expensive?
The Tassievore Eat Local Challenge has different levels of commitment to cater for our different lifestyles, including my lack of funds. The Challenge is not a competition to see who is hardcore, while other Tassievores are leading by example and going whole-hog, it is not feasible for me to do so.
Enter the garden. I’m going to produce my own food as a major part of my personal Tassievore challenge. Have I gardened before? No! But with the help of the interwebs, fellow garden enthusiasts and my trusty Peter Cundall planting guide, I hope to grow local. 300 carrot seeds for $3, a bag of 30 seedling pink eyes for $5, 12 raspberry canes for $12 – YES. I can afford this. 300 carrots is a lot of carrot.
Cheapskate recipes. With a little experimentation, I’ve found I can turn Tasmanian milk into yoghurt, cheeses (labne, ricotta, mozzarella) and breakfast smoothies. The smoothies are a no brainer – I wanted to see if you were paying attention. If I buy a Tasmanian chook, I can roast it for a meal then make stock with the bones for soup the next day. Eating seasonally in Tasmania can be really cost effective (1$ a kg of apples for the past 2 months at Meredith’s!), so shaping my eating around what’s ready here and now is a good move. Annnnnd steering away from food fads (Spirulina, agave and red sorghum muffin anyone?) by sticking to the basic food groups, and not using unnecessary supplements (man multi-vitamins: for all my manly needs..) should work in my favour budget-wise, as a lot of these products are a result of marketing spin.
Shop local. Considering the two points above I think I may end up spending less on food than I do now! Which means the third part of my challenge is to spend that saving by shopping local. I’ll buy meat from my local butcher Darren instead of a supermarket – not because he sells all Tasmanian products, but because the profit he makes will stay in Tasmania. Unless he goes on holidays overseas. Or has a global investment portfolio – besides the point really, Daz can do what he likes with his cash, but buying from Tasmanian owned shops is a part of what this challenge is all about (promoting the Tasmanian food supply!).
So. That’s my Tassievore Challenge. I will be increasing my consumption of Tassie produced foods without increasing the money I spend on groceries, and supporting Tasmanian businesses, if not Tasmanian producers all the time. Whaddya think?