Tuesday 7 May 2019

Down to Basics - Using Things Up

So ... how's this going?

Well because I just jumped in with both feet, no dithering, no thinking of rules, no planning, no menus ... it's going casually.  But, and this is the main thing we are off and running immediately.

I'm trying to photograph ingredients as I use them up, relishing throwing empty packs in the bin after prepping each meal and positively loving every little bit of space that I make in the cupboard, fridge or freezer.

I even let Alan have a whole pack of bacon on his two breakfast bacon buns ... they were small slices and it the only time he's eating bacon this week so I'm not trying to kill him ... honest!!

While he tucked into bacon buns with good old HP sauce I had a couple of egg buns with mayo ... so between us an egg and bacon breakfast that kept us going for hours. 

  Later on all we needed as a late lunch was the coffee and cake we tucked into at  the local garden centre.  Our tea was therefore much more like a supper so we decided to share a homemade pizza.

Keeping it simple I managed to use up half a tub of Dolmio pasta sauce from the cupboard, along with some leftover roasted vegetables from the fridge, some slices of red onion and the last of one of my packs of ready grated cheese.  For Alan's half, as I had no cheese I could grate I finely chopped up a cheese slice.  Of course it worked well, it always does, cheese is cheese is cheese ... whatever its starting shape.

Not a bad day of using things up ... a full pack of buns, leftovers from the fridge, cheese and of course a full pack of bacon.  What it does highlight to me straight away though is that while I am so thrilled to use things up, most of what we eat seems to come in excessive and mostly unrecyclable packaging.  Both the bacon slices and the Dolmio sauce for instance had cardboard sleeves over the plastic tray and tub that they came in, very decorative and full of information but mostly unnecessary.  

 At home we can compost and burn things, here at the Van it's a different thing altogether.  ALL rubbish goes into the big shared rubbish bins, if it's recycled at its destination I'm not sure.  The only reason for this is that the local recycling vans don't fit under the railway bridge that leads into the caravan park.

My answer to this dilemma I have decided is that once this Challenge I might try a 'packaging free', or at the very least 'much less packaging' challenge, especially here at the Van.  Back home in Wales, Conwy Council is leading the way in recycling and it's not quite so much of a worry.  

Back tomorrow with some more chatter/waffle/photos ... well that's what my blog has always been full of  🙂



  1. Hi Sue, just a thought - are there any big recycle bins locally such as supermarket carpark? If not can you pack up the recycles and take them back to Wales with you when you visit or give them to Alan when he leaves?

    1. We've not found any recycling bins in any supermarket or town carparks for anything except textiles ... I am still looking though. We did take a lot of our recycling home for the first few months of being at the Van but it started to get a bit out of hand. I only have a Fiat 500, so not a lot of room for bags of rubbish along with dogs, clothes, food and washing!

  2. Seeing the empty spaces appearing must be a wonderful feeling. I agree with the other poster, sometimes you can pack up the recycles and take them to a central area where there are large bins. While we have individual recycling here, we can also take items to the central bins.

    God bless.

    1. I'm on the lookout for somewhere to take our recyclables 🙂


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