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Sunday, 14 February 2016

(Some Of) What I'm Not Making and What I Am Making.

In the past few years I have been trying to make more and buy less. This works well for some things, others I have discovered are better off bought. It's all a big experiment.
Yesterday I discovered yet another product that I will buy instead of make - sweet chilli sauce. Firstly, my chillies turned out to be smaller than I had hoped - and you know, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is. Still determined to make my own chilli sauce I decided to use two red capsicums in there to reduce the heat, plus I barely used more than 6 chilli seeds in it. The seeds of course are the hottest part.

Well the chilli sauce turned out nice. Hot, but not too hot. The problem is, I think it cost more to make than it would have to buy, plus it took me ages to remove all those chilli seeds and prepare it all. Not to mention the burning fingers for hours afterwards, despite having worn gloves. 
So that goes onto the shopping list again, along with dishwasher powder(which I can refill into my own container), and currently I'm buying Eco Store coconut soap, after I ran out of my home made soap. It's cardboard packaged, is reasonably inexpensive and does as good a job, including hair and face washing as my own soap. And it smells yum. 
I find that making everything can be just a little exhausting at times, when added to garden upkeep and everything else, so I'm happy to find some items that meet my criteria to buy. 

Something that I have made recently - and it's just a bit of fun - from bits and pieces lying around that we have picked up.

My Junk Man

Something I will be making lots more of:
Market bags
My prototype market bag

I am working with a group to help our Farmer's Market become plastic bag free, starting with plastic carrier bags. We aim to have a supply of bags to give out to people entering the market who have forgotten their own bags. The District Council have donated a good quantity of "Love It Here" cloth bags for us to distribute. We also aim to make some (via SewGood, the community sewing group that is getting up and running), which hopefully we will be able to get small donations for, to support SewGood.
I was given a huge carton of the most fabulous curtain offcuts, just for having asked, from a local business.

I was so excited to be given this for our project

 I have made one up as a prototype - I hope this all works to plan - I'll let you know, eventually.   


  1. Oh Anne have I got THE sweet chilli sauce recipe for you!

    I've made it and it is delicious AND easy, only 4 ingredients!

    Admittedly you need the long red chilli's for it, but they are easy to grow, I have only one plant, and I pop the chilli's into the freezer until I have enough to make a batch, just use them from frozen it's fine, check out!

    I love the concept of the bags such a helpful, positive step to take to prevent plastic use!

    1. Thanks Cheryl - that is THE recipe I used lol. It only had extra capsicum because I was trying to balance the too hot chillies. I will try again to grow the big long chillis next summer, and if successful might try again. The real reason I wasn't happy all boiled down to the chillies not being the right ones.

    2. LOL!
      Well I must have had an overall better experience making it than you.
      I didn't find it more expensive than shop bought, because in only had to buy the cheap vinegar and sugar, I grew the chillis and garlic!
      Funnily enough I'm about to make a batch, as I have so many chillis in the freezer ATM it's getting rediculous

    3. It was because I used bought capsicums, add that to the vinegar and sugar and I think it works out more...

  2. I came to a similar conclusion yesterday about making homemade kefir. I was looking to order the kefir grains and then I started calculating. Making it myself came out a little bit more than buying it in the store. The advantage would be that I can't buy plain store-made; it is all flavored and therefore sugared. My the time I add some fruit to mine, it will be even more expensive.
    I love that your sewing group will make reusable bags for the farmers market! I am the ONLY one who brings them to the grocery store or farmers market in our small town but I was in a larger town last week and it was just great to see others using them, even some young families.
    Are you familiar with thie blog, Life After Money? Ilona makes lots of them and gives them to random people at the grocery store as well as selling them to benefit the animal rescue in her town. I've thought about making some to hand out in Ridgeland but haven't gotten to it yet.
    Have a good week, m'dear!


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