Feb 7 2011

downsizing the kitchen & food supply [day 256]

I’ve been doing a lot of downsizing lately.  Right before snowmageddon, I decided to clean out the kitchen, not just utensils and cabinet crap, but food.  I don’t like being wasteful, and although we waste a lot less than the average American family, I felt that we needed to make some changes.  We made some radical changes and some subtle changes, and the results are proving to be really good.  I’ll share the overall goodness of this, the process of cleaning out the kitchen and a couple of mini-challenges.

The big picture.

We haven’t died of starvation. Again, we started this a couple of weeks before the ice storm.  We have much less food in the house, but we had plenty to eat during the 4-5 days at home.  I didn’t buy extra, in fear that we would starve and have nothing to eat for a week.  I bought a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread the day before the storm hit.  We had plenty, and I was even able to feed the two painters working in my house a couple of times.

Airstream… I mean streamline. Okay, I want an Airstream, but that has nothing to do with my kitchen.  The tasks of cooking, grocery shopping and cleaning the kitchen is much easier.  Cooking is easier, as there’s less stuff to shuffle around and I know what ingredients I have on hand.  Grocery shopping is easier, again, because I have less and I know the few things I need.  Cleaning is easier too, as I have a lot of extra pantry and cabinet space.  So much extra, that I was able to move all of my pantry items into empty cabinets while the oil paint takes 5 days to dry.

Here a snack, there a snack, everywhere a snack snack. My kids will open every bag of everything we buy at the store.  We could have, and have had, a pantry overflowing with food, and yet the kids can’t find a thing to snack on.  With much less in there, this is not a problem anymore.  It’s easy to see we have two open bags of crackers or pretzels.

Waste not, want not. We are wasting very little food these days.  Not that we wasted a lot before, but it was still more than I was comfortable with.  Waste is unnecessary, and by making some small changes to lessen it allows us to save a little money, be better to our environment and enables us to help others that don’t have enough to eat.

What did we do?

Downsized the pantry. If you have a smaller house like mine, the pantry is a small closet.  The picture is my “before” picture.  I don’t have an after right now, as the oil paint is still drying.  Whether your pantry is large or small, stuff always gets hidden in the back.  My pantry wasn’t horribly unorganized, it just had too much in it and could use a little more a system of “first in, first out”.  We took everything out and carefully selected what would go back.  I had cedar balls that didn’t smell like anything anymore.  Out.  Ridiculously expired stuff?  Out.  Open bags of stale crackers and chips?  Out.

We broke down the boxes and recycled them.  We couldn’t see all of the food behind the big boxes of crackers and cereal.  The boxes take up a lot of space.  I found it best to use see-through containers and baskets as much as possible.  Most of the stuff I didn’t know I has was in these black plastic crates and could not be seen. Continue reading


Feb 7 2011

on sale for an additional $10 [day 255]

I was doing some image research for work and stumbled upon this photo.  Save -$10!  I wonder if they actually sold any of these at the higher sale price?  You would think that this error had to have been seen by at least 2 employees, and yet, it made it to the sales floor.  I wonder how many people just look at the word “sale” and really pay no attention to the original price.

No matter what I’m buying or where I buy it from, I always want to know the retail price.  It’s a rare occasion when I was shopping, that I would pay full price for anything.  I bought a sofa from Eurway, but I waited for the 20% off sale.  I had seen the 20% off sale there a few months prior and I told the sales lady to call me when they ran that special again.  She called me a month later.

It pays nicely to do just a little bit of research when you’re shopping.  With smart phones, you can even do it right there at the store.  Look out for sales that should not result in sales.  😉


Feb 7 2011

playing catch-up [day 254]

I’m 3 days behind on blogging.  Some may call them excuses, some may call them reasons.  Either way, here they are.

Ice storm. Having my kids at home for 4 days…  I don’t think I need to explain that one further.

Internet down. I had one day with no internet access.

I moved. Not across the street, like my Super Bowl evite said, but I moved everything in my house.  I hired someone to paint all of my baseboards and trim.  That’s just like moving, everything out, everything in.

Well, that pretty much sums it up.  I will get caught up today, as I have many trash society findings to share.  :)