Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A Stockpile Challenge Pt 6

Well the month of February is over and so is the stockpile challenge so I thought I would share how things panned out.
The idea was to use up some of the things in our stockpile and really test how things would go if for some reason we were not able to get to the shops.
As I did not want to completely sacrifice fresh fruit and veg I allowed $15 per week but in the end we actually only spent $32.60.
We had watermelons in the garden and so many eggplants that they made it into most meals over the month. And we had lots of herbs, home grown garlic and chillies so there was always enough for a stir fry (even if most of it was eggplant.
Over the month I used up a number of things both from the pantry and freezer that were nearing the end of their storage life.  I also found some green split peas that were 18 months past their used by date, not that it would really have mattered since they were dried.  They are not something I really enjoy and since they were only 99 cents ( the price was still on them) they got cooked up for the chickens.
Other than the split peas nothing else had expired.
I also used up some frozen rosellas which have been a great addition to breakfast cereal, made plenty of bread instead of buying it and generally got a bit more creative with my cooking.

What did I learn?  Quite a lot really.

We waste food.  Not a lot but more than I am willing to accept.
I always thought we did not waste much food but I think there was a lot of blindness going on.  Little things like half tubs of yoghurt, some pesto, vegetables gone soft or mushy that sort of thing.  Part of the issue is that when we do a lot of shopping at once things get lost in the fridge.  And it is easy to be so spoilt for choice that things you intended to use up do not get used in lieu of more exciting meals.

We still have a huge stockpile.
You can hardly even tell that we didn't shop.

We spend too much on food
We still have a huge stockpile.  You can hardly even tell that we didn't shop.  Based on the amount of food we still have we are spending money we don't need to. There are just 2 of us and we spend about $70 a week on food.  Since this does not include meat very often (we have a freezer full of beef and chicken) I think this needs to be cut back to $50.

We need to change the way we shop.
I am not sure how we got to the point of shopping out of habit but some how we did, well I did.  Hubby leave it to me so I guess I have no one else to blame.

So I have made a decision.  For the rest of this year I am going to not only change the way I shop week to week, but I am going to plan another 5 months where we do the stockpile challenge.

So in March we will be cutting back to the new target of $50 a week and then in April if will be back to the challenge.

If you think you spend too much on food or want to join me in April to work through your stockpile then just leave a comment below.


  1. I know i spend too much on food but i dont have a stockpile (YET) and my garden is not producing enough. I think i learned at the course last week that i have spaced things out too much in straight line and groupings. There is room in between. My accountant brain needs to be turned off. Good luck with your challenge. Did you decide on Melb outings?

    1. It is very hard to get away from those pretty rows though isn't it.

  2. Sounds good. I have been following with interest. Wouldn't mind giving it ago.

  3. Sounds like you've done well and learnt heaps. I have also been trying to limit what I spend on groceries but not really kept track of it. I do base our meals around what we have growing and try to limt my vegie buying.And like you I know we waste too much even if it's just a bit of yoghurt here and some sour cream there. Having a menu planned for the week helps me a lot.Good luck in April. What are the rules for the challenge in April.

    1. I have been working on my menu planing too. I will be having a think about any rules for the challenge. At this stage I am thinking about a per person allowance for shopping each week (non food items do not count). I am wondering if for some people this may also need to exclude milk and bread. I will put some more thoughts into it.


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