Saturday, 12 November 2016

Day 317 - Re-Evaluating the Stores

The Main Food Cupboard in July

We were chatting this morning as we drank our first cup of coffee of the day, about this year long Challenge and the interesting results it is throwing up.  Mainly we are surprised by the amount of food still left in the cupboards and it has really highlighted that we eat fresh foods as and when we harvest them or buy them in. 

We store lots of our own homegrown foods so we can eat them for as long as possible, and then we move on to alternatives when they run out.  For instance; we store potatoes in the cool, dark cupboard under the stairs, when these are all gone we will switch to more pasta and rice based dishes, we store tomatoes in the form of frozen or bottled sauces and only when these are gone will we switch to tinned tomatoes and purees.  We have homegrown garlic hung in strings on the back of the kitchen door and loose heads that could not be tied up in a bowl in the cupboard for using up first, if these run out we have some jars of easy garlic and some garlic pastes and dried garlic powder that we can continue to use to keep up our garlic addiction.

We store homegrown fruits open frozen as they are picked and then bagged up to be loose flowing, and also in the form of jams, marmalades, pies and crumbles.  And the freezer is full to bursting with bags of free flowing frozen homegrown vegetables of every description.  And of course we are still eating freshly picked vegetables that are still growing directly from the polytunnel.

So with all this in mind we are rapidly re-evaluating the stores we actually need to hold of bought in foodstuffs.  The items on our Permanent Shopping List at the top of the blog and here in this link, have been added to and deleted over the course of the year and it is levelling out nicely at a future plan for the spending needed over the coming years. 

And all this has been the main reason for this year long Challenge, that is fast racing towards its finishing date, just how quickly has this year gone!!  It's been a very worthwhile venture and we have both learnt a lot.

And I'll have to get around to photographing the food cupboards again :-)

Today is a No Spend Day


  1. I am trying to make up my mind at the minute about my use of the freezer. A change of appliance has meant an increase in freezer space. Now I cannot decide whether it is better to make up dishes and freeze them [eg apple pies, crumbles, casseroles etc] or keep the basics [stewed apples, chicken pieces, cooking fats etc] in the freezer, and the dried goods [flour, sugar etc] in the pantry. The latter takes up less freezer space- but the former is useful when we are pressed for time and want meals fast, or when I am away and want to leave homecooked ready-meals for a busy but tired spouse. Can you share any ideas on this one, please?

    1. I think you have almost answered your own question.

      It seems you, like us need a mixture of both ways of freezing things ... some homemade 'ready meals' and some component parts that can be switched and changed about. It's always handy to have a ready made shepherds pie for example but also good to have packs of raw mince that can be turned into pies, pasties and just plain old mince and onions. Bags or freezer boxes of stewed apple that could be made up as pies, crumbles or to be served with pork etc once defrosted, but also to have a couple of ready made pies that simply need defrosting.

      I think what I need to do is to separate these two types of freezing things in to more logical places so that when I open the lid or door I can see what I have got in either section and plan a meal around them much easier.

      So I think the simple answer is a bit of both, stored logically.

  2. Well done Sue. The challenge has certainly proved what you set out to prove and it has all been worthwhile in the end. If you carry on with this every year it will become as routine for you as planting your seeds. All that bottling and pickling, which became a labour of love for you, doesn't seem too bad now, does it? Well worth it.

    Joan (Wales)

    1. Haha .... no the memory isn't quite distant enough yet. I can't bring myself to eat any of the newly bottled stuff .... but this will bode well for the chutneys which will improve in flavour on keeping ;-)

  3. Timely post for me here too (there's lots on blogland at the moment). I'm working on a shopping list for New Year which will see us through for 3 months for certain items. I just haven't decided how to go about it yet. This is the first attempt and will balance over the years as you say, so this is great to read. Thank you.


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