Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Year of Less - Sorting Through the Food

The 'Year of Less' is going really well, and slowly but surely I am working my way around the house sorting through everything we own, and somehow I seem to keep coming back to the kitchen, well I guess it is the 'heart of the home' and the place where the most new stuff is brought in, in the form of food shopping.
Something wasn't sitting right with me and at first I couldn't put my finger on it.  Then I realised it was these shelves.  They were full of foodstuffs in jars that I had used a couple of times maybe and then just left.  Now yes they do look nice, but looking nice just doesn't cut the mustard anymore, things also have to be in regular use and be what we really want in our lives, and we simply weren't eating our way through these at all.
So something had to be done.
I went through each and every jar, thinking back (or trying to) to the last time it had been used, if we had liked the meal or item I had made and if I intended to make anything with the contents in the foreseeable future, everything where there was any doubt about either usefulness or age was thrown away and the jar washed out for future use.
I went through everything and rearranged the things that I was keeping.

Putting some of the things from the wider 'alcove' shelves onto the little green shelf. 
Leaving myself almost two free shelves in the alcove, so then I went round the kitchen taking the storage jars that have been living on the worktops as they did contain foods we used over and over and placed them instead on the bigger shelves, and I still have a gap.
Freeing space in the house is continuing to free space in my mind and it's a brilliant feeling.
This was the main food cupboard before tidying the other week ....

... and this is it now. 
 Not a million times better but I now know exactly what we have in stock and what meals we can make from what we have, and therefore how long I can make our £2 House Keeping Challenge money last.
All the food has now been sorted through and like stored with like, I just have to bring the bags of bread flour that have been living in a box in the spare room to fill this final gap in the larder cupboard and then we will be able to see all our food in one space.
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Thinking about food and our vast overstocking of it brought to mind that it's almost the time of year for the Live Below The Line Challenge, (next week in fact).   I'm not doing it myself this year but if you are please let me know as I am in contact with the organisers of the charity I raised money for last year Restless Development, as they have asked to link to my Blog this year as believe it or not I achieved the highest Blog referral rate for last years challenge.
If you are doing it and would like me to include a link to your Blog on my next post which will be linking to the Restless Development Blog ready for Live Below the Line week please get in touch, either via the comments below this post or by email, my address is at the very bottom of the blog on the left hand sidebar.
This year I want to follow the exploits of others doing the challenge, see how they manage , what they eat and sponsor them, as unfortunately with all that's going on here I just couldn't do it justice myself.
Sue xx


  1. I so have to do this! I think the first step for me will be to also make it a point to peruse my stock and pull out a specific older item each week and set it out on the counter so I know I have to use it.

  2. Great improvement there - we did our kitchen food cupboard a while back and the amount of space we gained was scary!

  3. it IS such a mind-freer isn't it?!

  4. I'm probably not trying to reduce our pantry cupboard - it's not too full - but I am trying to organise it so that it only contains food we eat.

    Yours looks good Sue x

  5. When I buy things we only use occasionally, such as certain lentils, rice etc. we cut out the date column on the packet and drop it into the jar (or stick on the bottom. That way, we know when things are out of date and make sure we use them. I now do it with my herbs. Each bottle has a long white sticker on the back. When I fill up, I cross out the old date and write in the new.

  6. Can you come to my house please
    Bring one of those all in one boiler suits with you

  7. I'm going to google the live below the line challenge, I think I know what it is but just want to make sure.

  8. I'm planning todo the challenge Sue, I'll be blogging about it :)

    1. I'm putting in another Blog list for the week so I'll link to you there. I can't wait to read how you get on, good luck.

  9. I have signed up to do the 'Live Below the Line 'Challenge this year for Christian Aid'I am a bit of a biff with computers so don';t know how to link it to yours or whatever you said to do!!!

    I plan to blog every day what I have eaten etc! Planning my meals and calculating!!

    Natalie xx

    1. You don't have to do a thing, I'll link to you on my sidebar. Good luck, I look forward to reading all about it.

  10. Just found your blog and am finding it very interesting, so I'll pop in and take a look now and then. We must downsize and cleanup as we are approaching that "age".

  11. Well done! It's all looking great but more to the point, all to be used (keeping the grocery budget challenge going!) and easy to find

  12. I went to visit rabitlittlehippy last week and she was showing me her purpose built kitchen cupboard with bins for grains to make flour (i know, thats full on) and grains etc and then she opened two doors and it was like the sun came out. WOW, Wall to wall fowlers jars (original) all lined up beautifully with her fruit and tomatoes and corn, chick peas, even meat. You couldnt wipe the smile off my face. It was so cool....

  13. We have a tiny 'pantry' area but we could still do this and I'm sure we'd find lots of food to use up.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Sft x


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