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Old 10-04-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
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Help/advice with food hoarding.

I was looking around in our kitchen today and realized that we have a lot of stored food. I am not sure how it got that way, but we could feed an army with what we have. I know I have to try to reduce it or it will come to the point of where we will have to throw it out. Has anyone ever had this issue and had success dealing with it? Every time I tell my husband I am going grocery shopping he gives me a list of more food to buy and I cringe because we have so much food already. I am thinking that I should just stop listening to him, but he likes specific items and I think we need to eat what we already have. He also doesn't like it when I experiment with the meals. He used to do all the cooking and he likes the way he cooks. But we have to use up all this food we have stored in our cupboards and freezer. How do I get him on board, any ideas?

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Old 10-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #2
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When you find yourself standing in the bottom of a deep hole the first thing you need to do is stop shoveling!

Before you go shopping, shop at home to make sure that you are not buying things you already have.

See if you can get him into the idea of having a pantry night once or twice a week to focus on using some of the stored ingredients.

If the stored items are things that neither of you care for then I would donate or give them away before they spoil, why keep it if you are not going to eat it?

The reason I do not have a freezer is that I grew up in a home where my Mother "fed" the freezer as much as she fed us. Once you got below the top layer of food it was a frozen WASTE land and every couple of years she would toss all of the spoiled food and start over again. I use the freezing compartment above my refrigerator for short term storage, a month to six weeks.

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamlet_cat View Post
I was looking around in our kitchen today and realized that we have a lot of stored food. I am not sure how it got that way, but we could feed an army with what we have. I know I have to try to reduce it or it will come to the point of where we will have to throw it out. Has anyone ever had this issue and had success dealing with it? Every time I tell my husband I am going grocery shopping he gives me a list of more food to buy and I cringe because we have so much food already. I am thinking that I should just stop listening to him, but he likes specific items and I think we need to eat what we already have. He also doesn't like it when I experiment with the meals. He used to do all the cooking and he likes the way he cooks. But we have to use up all this food we have stored in our cupboards and freezer. How do I get him on board, any ideas?
If he likes cooking, hand it over to him including the food budget and the shopping. Give him a guided tour of the store cupboards and freezer and tell him to get on with it. Don't weaken when he comes whining that he's run out of money in the food kitty - just tell him to use what's in store.

From odd things you've said on other posts it sounds as though he's a bit controlling - no, let's be down to earth here - he sounds like a bully - but you don't have to put up with his nonsense. He thinks he knows best so give him the opportunity to find out that he doesn't.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Several years ago, I found myself in the same situation - I had lots of stuff and when I was shopping, I would try to make up menus in my head, but I couldn't always remember what I needed for a recipe and what I already had. So I overbought.

I don't always do this as consistently as I'd like, but my goal now is to shop once a week primarily based on the sales. So on Sunday morning, I check the newspaper circulars for meat and produce sales, as well as the online coupons, and make up menus for the week based on that and what I already have. Then I make a grocery list based on the menus, pulling out the recipes if needed and checking the cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what I have and what I need.

This approach has saved me money because I don't buy things I already have. I also did a Chopped-like pantry challenge to use up the extra stuff I had. DH was happy about the idea of saving money and thinking of it as a challenge made it fun for both of us.

I've seen blog posts where people challenge themselves to only buy fresh items for a month to use up pantry and freezer contents.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
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I start picking things from the pantry and figure out something to do with them. If I need help, there are recipe sites galore on the web. All Recipes.com lets you enter what you have and brings up recipes which use it. You can enter several ingredients, and as long as they have some chance of working together, you should come up with some ideas.

My wife and I usually shop together, so when the pantry gets out of control, we both take responsibility for reversing the trend. I've found some good dishes this way just by accidentally putting the right things together. It also makes the grocery budget look pretty good for a couple of weeks - important down here where it's easy to spend $150 per week on just the two of us.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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On the other end of things, we had a massive cupboard and pantry cleaning the other day. Where did all that stuff come from? There were things in there I forgot we had and ain't got a clue when we got 'em. Now it looks like we need to restock. It is nice to have the storage space again.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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Having a full pantry is a good thing.

I don't like it when my stores are low because you never know when you might really need them.

I see it as a safety factor for the unexpected times like
bad weather or unexpected income loss.

Being prepared and hoarding are different things.

As long as your shelf's aren't filled with things you'll never use then I wouldn't worry about it.

To use things up before they have been in the pantry too long can be a fun way to experiment with new things.

And if they really have to go, Donating them to a food bank is the way to go.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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I would never complain about too much food! Not having enough is something to complain about. Just give it to someone that needs it.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
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Howdy, Snip!
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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it may or may not be of help, but there's a couple questions first:

are you storing food for emergencies / bad weather / zombie attacks?
if so, you need a seriously more rigorous approach
(not addressed here.....)

presuming not, I solved the problem "mechanically" by building "one deep" shelving for non-perishables (cans/jars/etc)
nothing can hide. everything is side by side - everything is visible. not so much as spice jar can "fit" / hide behind anything else.
it is "organized" by types of stuff, so I can with just minor effort scan for soups, broths, tomato/stewed/paste/sauce, olives, pickles, canned salmon/tuna, canned clams, deviled ham (ssssssshhh, a weakness... don't tell.....) pasta/spag/elbows/spirals/ling/fett/etc, pepper corns, olive oil, vinegars, salad dressings . . .
get the drift?

the problem to this approach is: takes some custom woodworking and a lot of wall space.
but, it's highly effective.
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