Saturday 24 August 2019

Finishing off Challenge Four - Down to Basics

I didn't realise until the other day that I had never really ended Challenge Four - Down to Basics.  It was interrupted for a very good cause ... the Ration Challenge ... and then never returned to.

So I'm here today to bring things up to date.

These photos are of the cupboards in our Welsh home, as you can see much emptier, neater and slightly re-organised.  As we ate from the various cupboards and spaces appeared I took the opportunity to put like with like, to actually get rid of some very old foods that were seriously out of date and of no use to anyone, and to generally have a bit of a re-jig of the kitchen.

The top photo is my cupboard of jars, it 's always been a bit of a mish-mash, but now it is a slightly more logical one and it now also holds all of our the spices, mostly in the basket.

This is how it looked back in June.

This was my shelf of spices in the 'medicine' cupboard, now the medicine cupboard is just that ... and these things are all relocated into other cupboards.  Spices into the top photo and the tins into the one below. 

The main food cupboard.

This now contains all our condiments and all the tins of food.  Refreshingly there is nothing hidden behind the row of various packets of rice, noodles and jars of honey on the top shelf ... just empty space.

In June it looked like this.

So it's not really emptier now, just more logical and with like grouped with like.  It also makes knowing what I need to buy when out shopping a lot easier, as even just a quick glance at this photo tells me I have four cans of tomatoes left and once I use two of them it will be time to stock up again.

The 'baking' cupboard as it looked this morning ...

... and as it was in June.

The tall larder cupboard this morning ...

... and back in June.

Not so many snacks, treats and sweet things as I just don't eat them at the moment.  There will always be lots of tuna in there as it's Ginger's staple diet ... bloody fussy cat!!

So you can see we have been gradually eating our way through the extensive stores even if I haven't been blogging about it.  I always hold myself accountable to myself before anyone else.  So if I start something I do try and see it through.

I am on the verge of trialling a whole new and simpler way of shopping and eating with a limited number of foodstuffs but have been taking the time to see if this is viable or am I challenging myself a step too far.

Only I know the answer to that ... but of course I will let you in on what I decide  ;-) 

Sue xx

Thursday 22 August 2019

And So I'm Back ...

'And so I'm back, from outer space.

I just walked in and found you here with that sad look upon your face.'

To slightly misquote Gloria ... I'm back  :-)

I pulled up the photos I had gotten lined up on the computer for my next Challenge and then decided I'm not ready for this Challenge yet.  But here they are anyway and my reason for taking them was shock and surprise, so it would be a shame not to share them and chat briefly about them. 

I photographed the Ecover refill station in Booths at Garstang as I was so pleased to see it there.  I immediately bought myself a bottle of liquid clothes washing stuff for use at the van and a small bottle of conditioner, with the idea that now I could just fill them up whenever I needed to and no longer have to worry at the lack of local recycling facilities.

Then literally along the next aisle, I came across this.


Crisps in a plastic bucket.

Bloody ridiculous.

Do people actually buy these ... and why?

My eyes were also drawn to this 'Natural Multi Cleaner' in a cardboard bottle and I thought what a brilliant idea ... then I saw the price!  

My first reaction was total astonishment, then I saw the little bottle in the bottom left-hand corner of the label that states '25 spray bottles' and I realised that this was a super-concentrated formula and therefore yes, a brilliant idea.  One bottle of this and you have enough product for 25 refills of your empty spray bottle and no need for an extra 24 plastic bottles needing recycling or going to landfill, and sooo much cheaper as well.  But I do think they need this information to be a lot bigger and a lot clearer at first glance.  How many just like me, have disregarded product this just because of cost and moved off before reading the label properly.

I Googled the company this morning and I am now of the opinion that yes, this is a good product and a really good idea ... they even say you can split the recyclable packaging when you have finished using the product and use the cardboard as a little planter.

*** *** ***

Anyway, this is all by the by as for now this is not my next Challenge, to be totally honest I'm not entirely sure what is, as we are still working our way through simplifying the cupboards, which was if I remember correctly Challenge Four - Down to Basics, the Challenge that was never really finished off properly on here as I jumped feet first into the Ration Challenge.  We have continued and done well, albeit rather slowly at this and although we have been shopping numerous times since I left the blog back in June, we have slowly but surely either eaten or gotten rid of lots of the foods that were in the cupboards and freezers both at home in Wales and here at the Van.

That we still had some foods remaining after such a long time ... and after so many similar Challenges ... was an indication that we were just not eating some things that we had in store.  It made me think that I really needed to do an assessment of what we do actually eat and therefore what we do actually need to buy on a regular basis.

Which gives me a glimmer of an idea of what could be my next Challenge.  I'll be back again when I've figured it out ... or a bit sooner if you would like to see the current state of the cupboards.

Sue xx