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.
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.
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.