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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Moving

Frugal Kitchens 101

Since being newlyweds we have moved seventeen times.  It has always been very important to me that the kitchen is first in order during the move and following the move.  Delivered pizza and beer or take-out may be fine for one night, but it just does not cut it for other meals during the move.  Delivery and take-out are expensive as well as not being the healthiest choice for dining.  The way to deal with this problem is to take the actual move into consideration.  A move that is long distance needs to be considered in a different light than a short distance move.  A move that will be extended out over a number of days has a bit more leeway than one that must be done in the same day.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 discusses a few of the ways I deal with moving:

  • long distance moves - Our major long distance move was Ontario to Alberta then back to Ontario.  We had the little ones on the more to Alberta and I was pregnant on the move back to Ontario.  There was no way we could afford a lot of eating out either move.  We relied on healthy, well packed coolers, stopping for ice and restocking as needed.  We bought an abundance of fruits and vegetables along the way stopping to wash them at public washrooms.  I know that doesn't sound very sanitary but I washed the sink first before washing the produce.  We stopped at rest areas for picnic lunches and truck stops for hot meals.  It is a good idea on long distance moves to have a bit of camping equipment like a camp stove and the basics.  Better yet if staying in motels on the move choose those with kitchenettes.  Long distance moves are just difficult to deal with due to the travel involved and the logistics of taking food but it can be done quite easily without a lot of expense.
  • short distance moves - Most of our moves have been short distance (an hour or less away).  In this case I maintain two kitchens even on a same day move.  That way anyone helping us can easily get snacks and beverages at the old and new houses. 
  • set a budget - The disruption of moving will more than likely affect your eating patterns for at least a week.  On average per person breakfast with coffee will cost $6, lunch (soup, sandwich, drink) $8 and dinner with drink and dessert $20 if eating out.  This can really add to your moving expenses but it may help save your sanity.  So it is a toss up as to how much you want to spend on take-out or restaurants.  By far if eating out during the moving adjustment period we will eat out for dinner.  So a minimum budget for us is $280 for two but I round it off to $300.  We seldom spend that because I am adamant about keeping the kitchen function on each end but it is nice to know we could if we have to.
  • restocking - When I know we are moving I go into pantry mode.  Unless I absolutely have to I won't buy any food at all.  I rely on my pantry stock.  I use the three food rule to help me reduce what is on the pantry shelves, freezers and refrigerator. 
  • timing - You can't always time your move to coincide with canning or freezing sessions and nice weather but if you can, try to do so.   If I have my druthers I like moving in early spring, past the cold weather but in time to get the garden in and before the busy canning season starts.   I was elated when the moving date was initially set at Nov 1 but then by mutual consent it was moved legally to Sep 15 with us getting the keys on Sep 1.  The problem is this is right in the midst of my busiest canning season and canning stops for nothing which means very, very busy days ahead. 

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