Cupboards full of cash? Take a closer look
What about all that cash you have got lying around the house? This is not about the children’s piggy banks, those euros you have not changed back or the stuff that has fallen down the back of the sofa.
Go into the kitchen, open all the cupboard doors and take a long, slow look at all that money.
Now do the same at the fridge and freezer – though it will have to be a much quicker look because you do not want to start a thaw.
A well-stocked family kitchen, a freezer with a working supply of ice- cream, burgers, pizzas, garlic bread and a mix of different veg, a couple of big bags of frozen chips, packets of mince and a joint or two of meat plus a family pack of chicken pieces has a price tag wandering into the hundreds of pounds.
Take a look at the herb and spice rack. The average price is around a pound for each jar. How many have you got on the rack, not to mention the overflow of all those other jars in the cupboard, sitting there with the stock cubes, gravy powder, casserole mixes and spice rubs?
Quite a fright – and we have not even gone through the fridge yet, with all that pre-packed salad and yoghurt, pate and cooked meat with its short life.
Not to mention all the pasta, rice, flour, sugar, tea, coffee – what our grannies used to call ‘dry goods and groceries’.
Then there is the special foodie ingredients you bought to do those TV recipes that everyone fancied from the previous Jamie Oliver show.
It runs to hundreds of pounds.
The easiest way to save money and eat well for less is to recognise the money already invested in your food stock and use it.
If your kitchen was part of a cafe or hotel chain, someone at head office would be breathing down your neck and asking why you were carrying so much stock and not turning it into profit. And the size of those packets? A weekend special XXL bargain is only a bargain if you use it all.
Remember the difference between best before dates and use by dates, and also remember that how you store items is of prime importance.
If you do not decant into a spotlessly clean, air-tight container, then open the packaging carefully and close securely with a suitable fastener.
Also, how do you know what you have got to use if you cannot see it because those cupboards are in such a mess?
Remember the time you had to clean out that shelf because something had leaked and you found the inevitable tin of tuna happily rusting away at the back, a good three years out of date.
And all those half- eaten packets of breakfast cereal the kids pestered you to buy.
Are you looking at a well-stocked kitchen with all goods rotated, oldest to front, newest to back with a quick-turn over that would make your inner profit or loss account beam with pride?
Just think how much you could save if you got those cupboards under control.