Cup­boards full of cash? Take a closer look

The Oban Times - - FEATURE -

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.

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