Ok so there has been a LOT of interest about having a nosey around my store cupboard, so I had better issue a few groundrules here LOL. Well maybe a short explanation instead before I give you a peek around my bedroom.
The SINGLE most important thing that I did to get Debt Free (remember that £10,000 I blasted in 22 months?) was to get a real handle on our food costs.
Apparently the average family spends about £3,500 per year on food – our bills have been running at less than £1000 per year for the last couple of years (and you have seen the food on here – we do not eat crap!!!)
To put that in perspective – that’s around about £1.00 per person per day.
One of the strategies I implemented was a rigid budget with an allocation to building a decent store cupboard – of course it has grown some arms and legs and is often referred to as “The Armageddon Cupboards” by my lovely ladies as with it I could probably survive anything the Universe was to fling my way.
…………incidentally I don’t think the world is about to end and we will be stormed by brain-sucking zombies, but everyone needs a little protection policy against redundancy, accidents, illness or the ebbs and flows of annual cash-flow management.
It started with one tin of tomatoes (yes I WAS that skint) and by some nipping, tucking and clever purchasing I now have the bare bones of a food plan that should see me a Loooooong way through this 3 Year Challenge.
But do the math – if I am “saving” £2500 on then average family food spend that is £7500 over three years or 6% of my mortageg paid off just by being organised.
I think about my meal plans in “Annual Terms” and by knowing how much bread flour, pasta, rice etc we will eat in a year I can stock up when I find great deals on the staples.
Week on week what I buy is the “fresh fruit, veg and dairy” from my local Lidl supplemented by what we grow and sprout at home.
But mostly I can “Shop from Home” building the basics of my meal plan from stock I already have. This works really well for us as a family because we are “foodies” who love to eat the world rather than a “meat n 2 veg” kind of menu.
Wanna have the “Royal Tour?
Yes – this is the “other cupboard” – the walk in closet in my bedroom – kitted out with some metal racking to keep everything tidy – because as you can see there is not much space in there.
Top – mostly baking bits, yeast, oils, tofu kits – and custard powder (like a pot of tea, a jug of custard can soothe all ills).
Dried pulses, lentils, soup mix, honey and popcorn. When a bag is opened I like to decant into a jar so that there is no danger of attracting vermin. I know, I know – but if you are spending your hard earned cash building up a store you don’t wan to be feeding all the neighbourhood mice too!!!
Behind are some bargain packets of flavoured couscous, bulghar wheat, spelt and polenta which are our lunchtime staples for packed lunches.
In the cereal containers – flour, rice, lentils, muffin mix, pizza base mix, suet pastry mix (Most were bought in wholesale sizes via an online discounter)
On the bottom, flours n stuff. In the purple topped bin is 10kg of chapatti flour ( a sack full) but you know its just wholemeal flour and is perfect for breadmaking but was so much cheaper.
Normal bread flour and plain and SR flour for baking. Fancy flours (Rye, Pasta and multigrain) in the bottom box with tortillas and Pumpernickel in the wire basket on the floor.
On the shelf next door – well up on the top – but in the darkest corner, sorry! are all my tins (olives, tomatoes, tuna, crab, pesto, fruit, beans,thai curry bases, mayonnaise)
Next shelf down is my “World Foods” – noodles (of all varieties, wheat, rices, buckwheat) pasta, thai curry paste (a whole box of them for a quid) and a tray of pasatta .
Also in there is my stash of “sprouting seeds” – we do this a lot especially in the hungry months when you have eaten enough root vegetables and you want something crisp, crunchy and juicy.
In the pink boxes are some random packets including yogurt starter – with all my sushi stuff in the box underneath. Behind are rice cakes and cracker breads ( the toddler’s favourites) and porridge, breakfast cereal and some packet soup (great as a base in stews)
On the floor are some catering sized tins of tomatoes, broad beans and red peppers.
The shallow cupboard next to my bed holds the spicy noodles, couscous, risotto rice, dried beans, pectin, barley and soup mixes, soy cream, jellies and a few bread mixes bought at bargain prices.
It looks like loads – but the shelves are literally only 6 inches deep.
Here it is in all its glory
Now I know your jaws are dropping thinking – sheesh!!! she must have paid a fortune for all of that, but the reality is that I have spent about £168 over the last 12 months slowly stocking up my Armageddon Cupboards – and as you can see I have food enough to last us years (maybe not all three but a good long way there anyway LOL)
With food inflation so high at the moment – this might be the smartest financial investment I have made in a long long time.
But I did it step by step – with aplan, with intention and with an end goal – but lets leave that for a whole other day.
So what foods are you stockpiling?