A relative recently commented that I probably had enough food in store to stock a small shop!
He was right - and this is probably the time of year at which the stores peak, because of all the harvesting and preserving we have been doing.
The pickles and chutneys, jams and jellies are on all the shelves. The only thing left to make is the sweet chilli jam, and that won't be long.
The beetroot chutney is perhaps the prettiest to look at, but actually no one sees much of it, because the jar empties within days of coming into the pantry from the stores!
Having food readily available at home means that I can rustle up a meal like this - beans, home made baguette and a tinned salmon quiche - from scratch at a very reasonable cost.
And keeping food in the freezers means that we never scratch our heads, wonder what to have to eat and order takeaway - I may sound strange but I have never ordered takeaway in my life. The contents of the freezers vary with the seasons - this photo seems to show a time when we had plenty of meat in stock but right now, the freezers are packed to the gunnells with frozen fruit - pears, apples and plums - that we have been given.
It also means that weeks like this week, when the purse is stretched to the limit, I can make do with a very small grocery shop and we can eat from the freezer and cupboard. A very worthwhile investment in time and money, in our opinions.
Why is the purse stretched this week, you may well ask? The bill has come in for the Skoda service and new tyres at £449, and I have been to the dentist this afternoon and parted with £128. I hadn't budgeted for needing all four tyres replaced, for the car, and nor for needing a bite guard as well as a filling at the dentist, so both bills were a little larger than anticipated. On both counts, though, better to spend now than leave the issues to get worse!