Saturday, 9 April 2016

Day 100 - One Hundred Day Musings

Well here I am Day 100 of my year long Challenge.

It's funny but 'milestone' days seem to get me thinking about things that little bit more and this week I got to thinking what I've found hard about the Challenge - not shopping, and what I've found easy about the Challenge - finding meals amongst the ridiculously large amount of food we still have in stock.

And put the two together and it's easy to see that for a long time I've been holding stocks of food but shopping weekly for the food that we actually do eat.  For example making vast amount of jars of jam with our homegrown produce ... but rarely getting round to eating it.  Batch cooking for future meals when there is food available to choose from already in the freezer.

And that is what this year is all about, working out what we need, how much we need of it and what excesses develop naturally.  I already have it in the back of my mind that I might sell off some of the extra jars of jam that I made at the end of last year at the first car boot sale we do this year, and use the money to buy things that we are actually using up more quickly and can't make ourselves ... jars of coffee for example.

I have to remember that there are only the two of us and the occasional weekend visitor, and I do only need to cater in quantities for two, I am not feeding the five thousand ... although my freezer tells a different tale   ;-)

Today is a No Spend Day


  1. Love this post. After cooking for 4 I'm still hopeless at cooking for 2, there's always leftovers but it doesn't get wasted as we then have homemade ready meals the next day. I too miss throwing what I fancy into the trolley, but we also have loads of homegrown stuff and lots of jam and pickle to use up.

  2. I'm the same, live on my own but make marmalade, cook three lasagnas in the oven to save on fuel and then up with 12 portions, same with curries, chillis etc. Have already decided that when last batch of Seville oranges (in freezer at mo) are used up, I shall put jam pan on ebay. This year am only doing 'big shop' once a month and living out of cupboards/two freezers and fresh veg/bread bought weekly. Am also saving my reward points and spare cash as will do your current challenge in 2017 (my planned retirement year). Thanks for all the ideas, particularly choppy salad, as am still working that has saved me soooooooo much time!

  3. Fab post! For years I cooked for a family of 5 that included 3 sporty teenagers and my ex who was an ultra runner. When we lived out in the country I would stockpile food to save trips into town especially when the weather was bad and we got snowed in. It's taking me ages to change that mindset. I still make family sized meals and then freeze them in portions.

    Like you I have loads of jam (I never eat it!) so won't be making any more this year. But I love chutney and pickles so will grow stuff I like eating to make them instead :-)

  4. So true! I built up stocks in my store cupboard and freezer of things I always meant to eat, whether I thought they would come in handy, or were on offer, or I'd didn't really like them but felt guilty about throwing away. I had to make a conscious effort to shop less and use them up, otherwise I always focused on the fresh food first. I really enjoy reading about your challenge, and learnt a lot that helped in my own efforts to eat up the contents of my cupboards, fridge and freezer. It cut our food bills by 30% during February, which is always an added bonus!

  5. I do the same. I used to shop for 6 but now there's only two of us and I haven't cut down accordingly. My freezers and pantry are full but still I shop - and batch freeze. Sigh. I'm glad it's not just me. I am trying to simplify things nad use up the excess.

  6. What do you think about continuing to make jams etc. to sell at the car boots? Remember when you used to make the cupcakes and sell them. I think I remember you saying you did well with this. Maybe that would help with the challenge money!

  7. I getting very good at using up leftovers and freezing fresh thing before they go off. It all helps me keep my costs down. My excess jam and marmalade are given as presents, which family and friends love. I've definitely learnt to buy far less and utilise everything over the last year!!!

  8. I am fascinated by your year's challenge.
    How about a new one for next year? Make all your surplus produce into jams, chutneys, pies, pasta sauces etc, sell them and see how long you can last using the proceeds for next year's housekeeping.
    Perhaps you could allow yourself some clothes and books from a separate fund because 1 year doing without books sounds an horrendous prospect to me, 2 years would be unbearable! Sue

    1. This years Challenge is all about seeing how little we can live on and what we need to grow to feed ourselves. Our ultimate aim is self sufficiency wherever possible, and in as many things as possible. There will be no challenge as such next year other than us surviving and living well on the lowest possible amount of cash, using what we have learnt from this year as our bench mark ... and this will be our future.

      We will be giving ourselves allowances for various things, clothes, books etc using this years information for our future financial spreadsheets. This year is about using up excesses and getting back to basics, comfortable basic but basics nevertheless.

      And don't worry I am far from being 'without books' ... I have literally hundreds to read my way through :-)


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