The Empty the Storecupboard challenge

empty the store cupboard challenge Penny Golightly 2015

Time for a completely new challenge, and this time it’s designed to work on a weak spot that many thrifty people suffer from. I’m calling it the ’empty the store cupboard’ challenge.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a well stocked store cupboard. It makes home cooking a lot easier, and bulk buys can save you a lot of money.

However, an overfilled cupboard can also be more of a psychological security blanket than you might realise. Dried, canned and bottled goods can and will all eventually go off, and when that happens the food is wasted – unless you use it up first.

So the empty the store cupboard challenge now exists. The idea is to move the older stock to the front of the shelves and use it up while it’s still in good condition.

What’s happening here

I’ve gone through all my stock, and there’s way more in there than I realised. I’m regularly given free samples to test, or items to use in recipe development, and sometimes I have store credit that I add to the stockpile with, and it’s building up and building up…

So I’ve challenged myself to do three things:

  • Make a list of my older food stocks
  • Move the older food to the front of the shelves
  • Use it up – in at least three main meals each week

Please join in! I really want to see how much crazy stuff builds up in cupboards and pantries around the UK, and maybe even further afield. Plus it would be very interesting to see how creatively these foodstuffs can be cooked up and served.

If you’d like to join in, please let me know. We could have an #EmptyTheSC hashtag for your recipes, and so on.

My store cupboard list of old stock

Here’s what needs to be used up, hopefully sooner rather than later…I’ll cross things out as they’re used up.

  • 7 6 4 2 sachets chicken-style veggie roast mix
  • 1 sachet turkey-style soya mix
  • Can of butter beans
  • Can of cannellini beans
  • Can of chick peas
  • 500g bag of soup & broth mix (peas, lentils, barley)
  • 5 3 1 packets South Indian lentil sauce mix
  • 600g 500g 400g 300g brown basmati rice
  • 250g 125g arborio risotto rice
  • 500g 400g 300g 200g 100g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 750g 650g 550g 500g 400g 300g 200g 100g penne pasta
  • 6 4 2 portions macaroni cheese mix
  • 6 4 2 portions spinach pasta with mushrooms mix
  • 700g 550g 450g 300g 150g cous cous
  • 400g 300g 150g giant cous cous
  • 40g quinoa
  • 2 1 sachets instant mash
  • 2 1&1/2  1/2 packets of crispy crumb mix
  • 2 1 boxes garlic & herb stuffing mix
  • 3 2 & 2/3 2 & 1/3 2 1 & 2/3 1 2/3 1/3 box coconut milk powder
  • 2 1 & 3/4 1 & 1/2 1 3/4 1/4 x 480g tubs of just-add-water batter mix
  • Half packet of bread sauce mix
  • 100g 80g 70g 45g tagine spice mix
  • 5 4 3 2 1 sachets of paella seasoning
  • 1 1/2 sachet of BBQ marinade mix
  • 2 1 pots of paprika sauce
  • 2 1 & 2/3 1 & 1/3 1 2/3 1/3 jar of Kashmiri masala paste
  • 900g 800g 700g 600g 500g 400g 300g 200g chocolate mousse mix
  • Glace-fruit-topped Christmas pudding
  • 30g instant custard powder
  • 1 2/3 1/3 1/4 jar of fig jam

That’s a pretty strange mixture of stuff right there. Will get back to you later about how I’m planning on using it up…

Bet you can come up with an even stranger collection of old store cupboard stock yourself, can’t you?

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  1. Hi, there, we are dying to have some news about your challenge….how is it going ?

  2. Hi Patricia, I’m thinking about weekly updates so expect one soon. Thanks for taking an interest!

  3. I’m finding cannelloni beans popping up in soups, salads, and sides all over food blogs. I see you have some on your list. Interesting choices of sauce and seasoning packets-I could have fun with your cupboard.

  4. Hi Sam, I must have a look at some of those for recipe inspiration! There is so much weird stuff here, it should be interesting…

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