Friday, 1 February 2013

A Stock Pile Challange

Over the Australia Day long weekend we were flooded in and we had a few of our friends ask if we were going to be ok.  They were concerned about if we were going to have enough to eat and drink if we could not get to the shops for a few days.  We reassured them we were fine (which we were)  as we had been through worse than this back in 2011. I even joked to a few of them that we could survive for a few months out of our pantry.
And that is when I started to really think about the stock pile of food we have in the pantry. fridge and freezer.
There are at least 3 packets of dates that I know of, quite a number of packets of crackers, more tea than you can poke a stick at and some tinned fruit that has been around for more than a few years.  I also found some random ingredients at the back of the pantry including marshmallows and Turkish Delight.  I guess I was planning on making rocky road at some stage.  And don't even ask about the 20 odd frozen bananas in the freezer because i refuse to throw them out (does that happen at your place).

Are there other things that are just sitting there never getting used possibly going past their used by dates?
Are we stockpiling things that we actually hardly ever use?
Are there things that we use a lot of that we are not stockpiling and should be?

So how long could we actually get by without shopping?

My guess is quite a while.

We have 2 chest freezers, the small freezer on top of our fridge, the fridge it's self and the pantry full of food.  For two people this is quite a stockpile.
Now admittedly we had a cow butchered just before Christmas and we still have some chicken left from when we butchered our own so we have plenty of meat.
But unlike most of the country, this time of year is too hot for most veggies, so the garden is pretty bare.  There are some watermelons, capsicums, eggplants and tomatoes.  I have also just planted out another round of cucumbers and beans as the last lot got cooked in the hot weather.  But these will not be ready for a while.

So the challenge is to spend nothing on groceries for the month of February.  With one exception.  There will be a small allowance for milk, fresh fruit and vegetables of $15.00 per week and we will try not to use this if we can.  So I am not going to say we will spend nothing but what we do spend will be a small enough amount to ensure that we use up the frozen vegetables that need using up and that we really focus on wasting nothing.

I think there will be a few challenges over the coming month but I think a lot of them will all come back to organisation.  So I will really be making an effort with menu planning ahead of time. I will be getting creative in the kitchen and making sure all the odds and ends are used up.  I will also be making sure there is plenty of snacks in the form of muffins, biscuits and birdseed bars.

At the end of the month I hope to have cleared out a backlog of pantry items and frozen bananas and have a much better idea of the things we use a lot and should be stockpiling.  I will keep you posted of how things go during the month and what I discover.


  1. Ooooh! Looking forward to seeing how you go! I was thinking that once we get our goats, my shopping will (hopefully) be reduced to a few kilos of basics like flour and oats each week. There will be more of course, but it might be possible to finally go at least fortnightly on the shopping.
    Good luck with your month - should be very creative!
    Ps. Eat those bananas! I love frozen bananas!

  2. Good for you Fiona, it will be interesting to see how you go.
    I should be the same of course, I tend to stockpile things way too much. However, I don't do preserves. cheers Wendy

  3. Glad to hear you "survived" and can now do an audit to see just how well you could fare. My hubby lost his job before Christmas and out of necessity im working my way through the pantry. I've taken on lots of advice from my blogging sisters, especially Rhonda and yourself. I've started shopping differently and im amazed at how far I can make my wage go. I turned my frozen bananas into banana bread the other day and the boys couldnt believe that i can make McDonald's food. LOL I make hamburgers all the time but they taste different and look different - like real food! Fiona, just started my new blog. I complained to a friend that she wasnt blogging enough, so i was told to put my money where my mouth is.

  4. ha ha, we can't believe it when people in Brisbane need food drops after a few days! We have so much food in the freezer, fridge and pantry, and after the last floods we decided to buy a generator to keep everything cold in case we lost power (as Kilcoy did for several days I believe). We were actually a little disappointed when the power came back after only 14 hours, I wondered how long we really would have survived, I'm sure we have several weeks of food and months of water, and plenty more food walking around in the paddock if needed! We also realised that we had far to much in the pantry a few months ago and have been trying to use it up and not buy more. I have habit of stocking up on things like tomato paste and coconut cream until I realise that I have 12 tins of it! Good luck, it will be interesting to see how your experiment goes....


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