The cupboards are (not very) bare

I have decided to ease myself into this challenge. The original plan was to dump everything and start from completely empty cupboards. That mammoth task might have been the reason that I have been putting this challenge off for at least six months.

So I have decided to make it a bit (a lot) easier. I am allowing myself to use what I have already opened in my store cupboard and anything that the food bank won’t accept.

All this sent to the food bank. No, I don’t know why I had two tubs of gravy granules either.

Nice and admirable as that is, to my shame the quantity donated was dwarfed by expired or damaged food that I had to throw away. The record for oldest expiry date was 2016 (I moved into the flat in 2017 so not sure how that happened) and numerous tins had a 2018 expiry. I am aware that best before dates are only a suggestion and do not denote that the food is inedible but for the purposes of this challenge I disposed of them.

For the record here is what was in my store cupboard which I shall be dipping into:

  • Nine frozen meals (I don’t know exactly what they are).
  • Salt, pepper and a huge number of half used dried herb and spice pots.
  • Frozen peas and frozen mixed fruit (the charity doesn’t take frozen food).
  • Five bananas and a packet of easy peel satsumas.
  • Sunflower oil spray, olive oil, coconut oil and a larger vegetable oil bottle (I forgot to put in the photo) and a couple of infused oils. An unnecessary amount of oil.
  • Worstershire sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar, white (transparent actually) vinegar.
  • Lurpak butter (I know, I am a snob).
  • Decaff instant coffee, caffeinated instant coffee, tea bags (for guests), redbush tea (told you I was a snob) and a flavoured tea.
  • Posh hot chocolate that genuinely was a gift.
  • A mostly squeezed tube of tomato puree.
I took this photo on the Thursday evening before the challenge starting on Saturday, so some of it will have been consumed by then.

That is clearly a larger array of spices than most households have. They are all partially used. Any that I wish to replace I will need to find out of the £10 budget. I would say that nearly all of the items fit into what a reasonable person might have in a store cupboard. The few luxury items (butter, hot chocolate, coconut oil etc) won’t be being replaced for a while I suspect.

I considered whether it was in the spirit of the challenge to keep nine pre-prepared meals. It probably isn’t fair but they will help. I plan to take one to school each day for the first fortnight after my Easter break ends. Making frozen meals is going to be a key part of my success in this challenge and this gives me a head start. I have been putting this challenge off for a quite a long time now and having this safety net makes it achievable.

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