Tuesday, 4 January 2022

My No Spend Challenge 2022 - The Food Stash at the Start


Can I just start this off by saying - My name is Sue and I obviously have a food problem. πŸ˜„πŸ˜†

Here is the food that I currently have in the Lodge, the cupboards, fridge and freezer, drawers, baskets, boxes, shelves and surfaces.  When you start looking for it you find it ... and then some!!

The top photo is the top half of my larder cupboard ...


... and this is the bottom half.

The little stack of tuna on the shelf on the left is actually Ginger's so I will give that to Alan later as Ginger always eats in his kitchen now.  It's safer for him to eat at the back of the table then the dogs can't pinch his food.


The fridge.

The top drawer is fruit and vegan cheeses and the bottom drawer is packed to the gunnels with vegetables and salad stuff.  It's imperative that I either eat or process the fridge stuff first as I really do not want to waste a single thing.


The door of the fridge is full of condiments, chocolate bars and a little bit of leftover Christmas alcohol ... gosh I will have to grit my teeth and drink the wine.  πŸ˜‰


The freezer is absolutely packed and includes things like Shepherdess pie bases, ready rolled pastry bargains, ice-cream, a loaf of bread and bags of frozen vegetables.  I will work on emptying this gradually but definintely in time to add bulk cooked items ready for when I get to basics.


The top of my little storage unit has the Flour Bin which is full of sweets, and a few half eaten Christmas leftover nibbles, thank goodness we have little dogs and not Great Danes, so everything is safely out of reach ... much to Suky's frustration. πŸ˜„


One of the wooden drawers hold polybags and zip-lock bags etc and the other ... a selection of chocolate bars, Deliciously Ella flapjacks and other Christmas treats.


The top two baskets of this unit hold my potatoes (they are not green, but the bag they are in is!) and some dried goods and more chocolate bars ... there's a theme developing here are you seeing it. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„


The bottom two baskets hold biscuits ... mostly Christmas gifts ... some part baked rolls from Aldi and two large bags of crisps.  As there are such a lot of biscuits they have been put in here in careful Best Before order, so hopefully they will last me for the next six months.


On top of my little green chest next to the drawer unit is a shopping basket which has three large jars of Nescafe coffee in it.  These were bought back in November when it was on offer reduced from £7 to £4.50.  I always try and stock up when it's on offer at that sort of discount.  It will be interesting to see how long they last me, the jar on the worktop is just over half full as well so I should be okay for a couple of months at least.


I remembered after I started this post that actually in the green chest is some of my homemade marmalades so I got up and grabbed a photo.  It looks like eleven jars ... more than enough for a year I should think.


On the wall above the drawer unit and green chest are the wire shelves which hold some dried goods, and a jar of snack Biscoff biscuits that I take out when we go out for a coffee.  In the large enamel container there are some mini pots of jam from last years Advent calendar and in the smaller one some Deliciously Ella Caramel Cup snack packs.


Talking of dried goods, on the shelves above the worktop are my large jars of spaghetti, rice, pasta shapes and porridge oats.  The tiny shell pastas are usually added to soups and in the Bisto tin is ... Bisto gravy granules.  The little green King Monty tin has some sherbet lemons in it.

At the front are my salt and pepper pots, an ongoing joke as my black and white cat was called Pepper but this is the salt pot.  😸


Below the shelves are my drawers, the top one holds the cutlery and all my spices.  Over the course of this year I really want to whittle this collection down a bit, as I'm sure I don't use some of them enough to warrant replacing them.


On the worktop by the hob are the oil, salt pepper and cumin that I use regularly and a tin of Weetabix.  I have two slices and two crusts of bread and a bread roll that all need using up first and then I will start on the bread from the freezer.


As I was putting away my camera I noticed the Panettone and my little mug of candy canes, so the camera stayed out and they were photographed for posterity ...


I nearly got the camera away and then in the cupboard where it lives I spotted my little dish of sachets from cafes.  I always pick up leftovers rather than have them go into the bin ... I may be glad of these later in the year!!


And the thing that made me laugh the other night just as I was getting into bed was this!!

Two full boxes of Ten Acre cheese and onion crisps.  They really are the tastiest vegan cheese and onion crisps and since they stopped selling them in our local Booths and the company no longer selling them direct, I have been buying them off Amazon.  I usually only buy one box at a time but before Christmas the boxes of the family sized bags were reduced so I got one box of ten 135g bags and one box of twenty four 40g bags ...then I found 10 small bags that I already had, so these were never touched.  With a Best Before date of May this year there is no rush to eat them up.  Crisps in the bedroom ... now that's a new one even for me!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ€£

And that is it.

Wow what a shocking amount of food I have in at the moment, especially the sweet, treat kinds of food.  It's going to be interesting to see how long this all lasts but I really do not have to worry about going hungry even with my £10 a week budget.  

I am being kind to myself  for once, since I have been in so much pain there has been a lot less cooking and a lot more sweet treats consumed on black days and nights, and my appetite has really diminished ... even though it appears my need to shop hasn't.   So I am not going to beat myself up even slightly for all this extravagance but I will be gradually working my way through everything that currently here supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, and hopefully over the course of this year the stocks will dwindle and the scales will tip in favour of healthier, more regularly bought fresh foods.

Any questions ask away.


Sue xx



50 comments:

  1. Good luck with the challenge Sue, you have a magnificent stash to get you started. I have been in my flat for less than a month and the pantry is well stocked and the freezer full, so I am going to do my own mini challenge.x

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    1. Thanks. πŸ˜€

      Have you thought of coming back to blogland or are you just on Instagram now?

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    2. Seriously thinking about that Sue, mentally before I wasn't ready.x

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    3. I just have the name dilemma now, so can't do anything until I have decided that.x

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    4. The hardest part of blogging is getting the name right and then planning the layout. Good luck. 🀞❤️

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  2. You could feed my family lol!! And that’s going to be 7 of us soon!! I feel like you have this challenge well and truly sorted out. I used to think I was bad having a large sack of rice sitting in the kitchen as it is a staple over here except hubby cannot stand the stuff lol .
    I try to limit my intake of Candy it’s marmite at the moment so you can guess what my suitcase is full of it. I coffee would have me worried as it’s my jam. And I know how expensive it is everywhere!! So I like what you did. Good luck and I will be following you.

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    1. Haha ... I could, but I think I would soon run out of food. On my own this will last a lot longer. πŸ˜€

      I think I will try to stock up again on more coffee when the offer comes around again, it seems to about 3 times a year. I'd be a grumpy cow without my coffee. 🀣🀣

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  3. I think you have enough snacks and treats to keep you going all year.....or to have a party of all us bloggers! (except we wouldn't all fit in your little Lodge ;-) lol!!).

    It's so tempting to eat snacks and comfort foods when in pain or feeling down - I know only too well. Having boxes of crisps in my bedroom would be far too dangerous for me. You've got a great start to this year-long challenge Sue, and I'm impressed at how well organised you are. xx

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    1. Haha, it would be a tight squeeze, but wow what a brilliant atmosphere. Imagine the chatter. πŸ’–

      You know funnily enough I haven't even been tempted by the crisps while they are sealed in their boxes ... now once they come out it could be a completely different story. 🀣🀣

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  4. I've done my fridge/freezer post Christmas audit. But we are back on the diet - so leftover Xmas cake now frozen and forbidden. Fancy biscuits also hidden. Humongous dental bill just over the horizon - so we are "eating up the cupboards" right now. I will be referring to Jack Monroe's "tin can cook", Katherine Whitehorn's "cooking in a bedsit" and Hugh FW Leftovers for lots of inspiration

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    1. You've reminded me I meant to get all my frugal cookbooks together for inspiration. Jack's books are brilliant, I still use her first book the most. πŸ˜€

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  5. So, not much shopping in your immediate future...LOL...I know what it is like not having the energy to cook. Like you I always have some extras of things and living in a hurricane state with power outages means I also stay stocked of canned food and water, clean up and first aid supplies as well as extra litter and food for my feline friend. I will be eating down the pantry and small freezer for the next month. Good luck with this Sue!

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    1. Thank you. πŸ˜€. It is sensible to have a good storecupboard, I just want to get mine to a nice logical and organised place. Having ALL my food in the larder and little drawers would be a great start. πŸ’š. Gosh I'm would hate to run out of pet food. 😟

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  6. That is a lot of food but it's all going to come in handy. I also know you won't waste anything. I am currently on a very low spend challenge using everything in the house too.

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    1. It's the sweet treats that astounded me the most ... I should remember that people buy me things for Christmas and not stock up so much myself!!

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  7. That looks like a well stocked food cupboard etc to me - not someone with a problem, although having those many sweets in would be temptation beyond endurance for me! Good luck with your challenge. I am sure you will manage well.

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    1. Funnily enough if I have a lot of sweets available I tend not to want to eat them. Now if it was one lone chocolate bar it would be gone in a flash. πŸ˜€πŸ€£

      Thank you.

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    2. I'm the same! I think knowing that there are lots of treats around means that I don't worry about it - I can wait. If there is only one or two items then I get panicky.

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  8. Oh my goodness, Sue, you made me and G smile this morning πŸ˜‚ especially with your crisps in the bedroom! You are in no danger of running out of treats any time soon are you πŸ˜‰ A few months down the line you will have more room too. Our stash is nowhere near as much but I really need to lose a bit of weight anyway so sweet treats for me, at least, will be limited. Thanks for sharing your photos. Good luck with your challenge πŸ€πŸ‘x

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    1. Could prove handy in a midnight starvation emergency eh 🀣🀣. I'm really looking forward to getting some space back. πŸ˜€

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  9. Well at least your current food stash will allow you to spend your weekly 10 on staples for later in the year.

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    1. I will most likely try to hold off shopping for as long as I can and only buy things that I really need at first. Then I think the £10 weekly food allowance can be mostly spent on fruits and vegetables, either fresh or frozen.

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  10. An interesting challenge!

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    1. It should keep me occupied. πŸ˜€πŸ€£

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  11. I have been reading your blog for some time and am doing my own challenge this year so will be interested to follow how you get along.

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    1. Sounds interesting, have you thought about blogging about it?

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    2. I used to blog but now I prefer to read other peoples.

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  12. Ha ha you've got enough to feed an army. I think you will probably have money left over at the end of the challenge.

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    1. Haha I doubt it, but I shouldn't go hungry ... and if I have any money left over I can always go a little bit mad with my final months shopping and splurge for Christmas :-)

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  13. You have a good stash there Sue but I could give you a run for your money and then some! Buying and storing food has become a bit of an obsession over the past two years. I've always kept a decent pantry but things have gotten a wee bit over the top recently. I don't want to entirely run down my pantry but I do want to use up at least half of what I currently have in order to ensure that nothing goes off or gets freezer burn. It will also give me time to reassess what I use and what I don't. When the pandemic started I had about 6 different kinds of flours and only used half of them. I did bring in the unused items to my church pantry so it didn't go to waste but I do need to think about things a bit more carefully. Like you I am only cooking for one - most of the time - so it's amazing how long food can last.

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    1. Oh gosh, it sounds as though you have a lot in store then. It is good every now and then to get things in date order and have a reassess isn't it. It's surprising how little you can actually get away with buying when you only cook for one isn't it.

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  14. In your defense, we WERE warned of impending food shortages....!

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    1. Haha .... I LOVE it, yes, that will be my defence. I don't remember them saying anything about chocolate shortages though, but I can always say I misheard!!

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  15. My goodness you do have a huge store. There is just the two of us here and my store is about the size of your first photo. There again I shop regularly. It will be interesting to see how long it all lasts. Alcohol is our downfall but we feel we need to have something to make up for never going anywhere these days.

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    1. I think my stores have built up because I have not been able to shop regularly, so when I have had a good day and could manage to et to the supermarket I have perhaps over-bought on a few occasions. I only have the one bottle of Bucks Fizz left now, as the wine was finished off last night.

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  16. That's a lot of food so you are ready! I never buy that much but I should remember to stock up when I see a bargain. I usually only buy week by week.
    You are going to do a great job with your challenge!

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    1. It just seems to have built up over the last few months. Condensing two homes into one last year didn't help. It meant I doubled up on most things. πŸ˜ƒ

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  17. I’m really looking forward to following your progress Sue … you may find when you get back to your normal healthy eating with lots of fresh stuff you will feel better in lots of ways … wishing you lots of luck πŸ˜ƒ

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    1. I am still eating healthily, just much smaller portions at the moment ... but I'm obviously still shopping to larger portion days. 🀣🀣

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  18. I never stock up on sweets or crisps as I would eat them in one go! As for potatoes: I always take them out of their plastic bag at once. In plastic they go bad very quickly.

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    1. Yes, I always take fruit and vegetables out of the plastic bags they come in if I buy them that way. These potatoes are in one of my Stay-Fresh bags from Lakeland as unfortunately, there was no more space in the fabric potato bag which is what I usually use. I just couldn't resist an extra bag of potatoes from Aldi at 19p before Christmas. πŸ˜ƒ

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  19. You have a very good stock to start your challenge with. I will be cheering you on.

    God bless.

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  20. You are well-stocked! My food supply was substantially diminished overnight. Had a major snowstorm (38cm) and a 26 hour power outage...think frige/freezer not holding temp. Power restored this afternoon. Ah well, will get around to replenishing stocks over the next week or so. :)

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    1. Oh gosh, poor you. ☹️. Were you able to cook and package food up ready for refreezing or was it all spoilt?

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  21. You have a very impressive stock of food, spices and treats. It seems that it will be fairly easy to stay on budget/goal given the wonderful stock you have in place. We are warned of shortages and it seems a bit of stockpiling is playing it safe.

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    1. I have a good selection that's for sure. πŸ˜€

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  22. What fun it was seeing all the places you had food stored:) Food is so expensive here and of late the weekly special catalogue has been woeful:( Food on hand will be a great start to your challengeπŸ‘

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    1. If I can keep the spend negligible in January and low in February it should make things easier in the coming months, but food prices are rising even here so it's going to be tougher than in previous challenges.

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