To heat, or not to heat

Winter this year is going to be one of the biggest learning curves in our lives together.
Unlike a house, we can’t ‘get in’ our winter fuel and set the boiler to automatic on and off.  We can’t stock pile canned or frozen goods either due to lack of space, so this year is going to be very different, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s necessarily going to be bad.


frontmidback
We got the manual out this week to try and understand how the heating worked (remember our inventive cassette cover for the control by the door?).
Apparently, with a full load (and now that we have all our stuff here we are probably not that far off), we can expect to burn 1/2 a litre of oil an hour in heating. That equates to about 45p, and our tank holds, we believe, 50 litres.
However, unlike domestic oil tanks where you just phone up and ask for a delivery (we got through less than 1000 litres a year in our house), we have to take the boat to the fuel jetty. Ah.

So our alternative is an electric heater.

We have found a nice little 500 watt oil filled radiator which will heat a 10 foot square area nicely. Standard rooms are about 8 feet high, so we’re looking at around 800 cubic feet. We have 31 by 6 in living space aboard, but the bathroom takes up a third of that. We are also only 6 feet high tops, so this should be more than adequate.

Thing is, why is ANYTHING that comes in a small size so damn expensive? We are looking at almost £60 compared to a standard sized similar item which can be purchased for half that.

It’s not just this though.
We were looking at a gas hob to replace the cooker and give me an extra cupboard where the oven and grill is.
Hob alone, £200. Hob and grill, £157. I don’t want a grill.

And don’t get me started on food……….. single chicken breast £4, tray of 4 breasts, £6.
I’ve no means to store extra portions now, so have to buy single items.
Anything small, costs a lot.
cashThat’s my next challenge.
Trying to budget shop without buying all tinned or bottled stuff.
We had curry last night, but to buy the ingredients to make it from scratch would have set me back almost £5 and then having the problem of storing said ingredients for next time. (Little box of cornflour, 85p, large 94p which is too high for my cupboard and no containers will fit either to decant it). So I cheated and bought a single turkey escalop (£1.20) and a jar of sauce (£1.10) of which I used half.
Tonight we are having another curry, and I will throw all my odds and ends of veg in it.

No matter what though, we won’t go hungry, and we won’t be cold.
Even if the electric fails, we have three megga crocheted blankets, jumpers, each other and the dog to snuggle up to.
It’s getting WET that could be an issue (but we’re working on that too).
camping wet dog

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have an elderly dog called Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in budgets, change, diary, food, Frugality, home, life afloat, My life, narrow boat and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to To heat, or not to heat

  1. On a boat? Fish (no chips), Duck (an orange is optional), Goose (you’ll need a BIG oven), and if all else fails, raid the bull rushes (the roots, heck the whole plant can be eaten).

  2. I adore your problem solving spirit! And I think about the three of you so often, wondering how the adventure is going–for I really believe you’re doing something so unique and challenging. And obviously truly interesting. Your courage and go get ’em attitude is so inspirational. Fingers crossed for your first winter to be one with a shallow learning curve, just to give you some time to get the hang of it and figure out the options. I have faith, though. You guys are troopers.

    • How very kind of you to say so. Thank you.
      I have to admit buying a boat was not my first choice, but saying that, I am not unhappy. We are all more relaxed than we have ever been.
      It’s great on sunny days, OK on chilly and dry days, but rain is a problem insomuch as getting everything and the dog dry. Although the pontoon is designed to rise and fall with the water level, this cannot be said for the car park and dog walk, so our friend has offered to be our bolt hole if needed. Hubby says he can manage on his own with the boat when he knows we are safe and doesn’t have to worry about us.
      Waders are on the shopping list, and a dinghy for transporting the dog!

  3. Pingback: Yo yos, Swings and See Saws. | pensitivity101

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