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How much food do you have in your house?

(104 Posts)
PaperdollCartoon Tue 30-Jan-18 11:38:56

Just that really.

I’ve realised the amount of food I keep in the house is mad, and I need to reduce it. I currently have two full sized fridge/freezers (both freezers are full, one fridge is, the other fridge has a few bits now but can also be full at times) a large pantry with shelves of tins and dry stuff like rice and beans, and a few very full cupboards. Two adults live here. That’s it. There’s no need for all this.

I love to cook and cook a lot of different things, so I can justify all the herbs and spices etc. I often buy things like chickpeas that we eat a lot of in bulk online as it works out better. We eat a lot of fresh veg which takes up space. But I can never run out of anything. If I have less than two of anything I need to get more. I have several different kinds of everything (pasta, rice, beans) at any one time. I can’t meal plan as I don’t know what I’ll want when I get there. I tend to shop a bit for the month and then top up rather than do a set weekly shop which works for us. I don’t spend that much despite having so much though as we don’t eat meat and little dairy and a lot of what we eat are staples.

My mum is similar and we didn’t have much food money when I was young so I can see where it comes from - stock up so if you suddenly don’t have money you can still eat - but I don’t need to worry about this anymore. Friends joke that my house is the place to go in a zombie apocalypse as I have so many tins and dry food.

But we are moving to a house where I’ll only have one fridge and one freezer and I’m actually a bit worried about how I will manage (silly I know)

How much food do you keep in the house? What’s a reasonable amount? Any thoughts appreciated (sorry this got so long!)

Ifailed Tue 30-Jan-18 11:40:56

If you have access to seasonal veg & fruit, then having a lot of freezer space makes sense. However, if you are just hoarding food, I don't see the point, especially as the quality degrades with time.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 30-Jan-18 11:44:03

It’s not really hording, everything get used. I might buy 12 tins of chickpeas or beans but they’ll get used within 3-6 months so we’ll within best befores.

Crumbs1 Tue 30-Jan-18 11:47:26

I’m a bit similar. I was used to cooking for large numbers and haven’t really adapted very well. I do use the spice stuff etc. I do feed the neighbours quite often so use up bulk stuff like pasta and rice but I do need to stop buying huge bags of basics.
Freezer has portioned home cooked meals for one daughter to take back and stock up with. It also has our pig and lamb that was village reared and butchered.
I do throw away too much fresh food though. I need to waste less.

ilovesprouts Tue 30-Jan-18 11:54:07

i have two fridge freezers one that's integrated when i bought the house And there is one in the garage from my other house both full of food but mainly frozen stuff .

theunsure Tue 30-Jan-18 11:57:54

My dad is like you, he has tons and tons, both store cupboard and packed huge fridges and freezers.
DH and I are the opposite, our cupboards and fridge/freezer are pretty bare. We shop weekly and buy what we need which works better for us. We used to throw tons and tons out otherwise as it went out of date.
So for example I have half a bag of rice, half a bag of pasta, half a pack of spaghetti, a tin of tomatoes, kidney beans etc right now. My Dad would have about 6 of each! When we use it, we replace it - but only with 1.
Only exception here is baked beans and wine, as DH has beans on toast a lot for lunch, so we always buy multipacks of those.

We keep some guilty pleasure frozen food in - for when we either have no time or just want to indulge in beige food. So always some oven chips, fish fingers, frozen fish etc. Plus a spare loaf of bread in freezer for emergency toast.

Other than that we shop for meals as we need them. We live rurally so have a weekly delivery which usually covers 5 meals. Then we have 1 takeaway and then usually one "freezer meal" or something we pick up on the way home. We have our own hens so always have eggs.

At the moment we have another fridge and freezer in the garage but they are currently switched off - only used at Christmas really.

So yes we are the polar opposite to you and keep only 1 weeks worth of most things in. And we are over 8 miles to a shop!

rightknockered Tue 30-Jan-18 11:58:11

I have enough fresh food to last a week, and then other things 'just in case', such as bread/milk/butter/fish/meat/veg in my freezer. I have a stock of pre-cooked meals that I can take out if I need to. I always keep two large freezers stocked up.
In my store cupboard, I have tins of tuna, mackerel, packs of rice, dried milk, dried fruit, nuts, pulses, and coffee and tea.

UpstartCrow Tue 30-Jan-18 12:01:04

I have planned meals to see me through to payday. On payday I'll do that again, so that I won't go hungry if I run out of money.
I have some cash for fresh things like eggs, salad and milk.

Evelynismycatsformerspyname Tue 30-Jan-18 12:03:27

I like to keep the store cupboard basics stocked though - I don't see a problem as long as nothing goes past its sell by dates and you rotate.

Worse to be one of those people who is frequently in emergency mode (despite no financial hardships) dashing to the supermarket at the last moment because somehow they forgot that children need feeding...

arousingcheer Tue 30-Jan-18 12:36:56

OP I used to lay in stores like a disaster prepper but over time it becomes hard to keep up with it all. One issue (weevils, freezer door left open etc) becomes a huge project. We now keep similar supplies to theunsure and also don't restock with multiples.

We get a weekly delivery of fresh food (fruit, veg, meat/fish, cheese, milk) which gets used up (or occasionally some items are frozen) before the next arrives, and once a month I stop into the supermarket for booze, bread and staples. The freezer is kept relatively full for the sake of efficiency but it's things that get used up regularly like bread and flour and I keep a freezer drawer full of ice packs for when we pack food for a car journey. Cupboards hold herbs/spices, sugar, one bag of lentils, one bag of chickpeas etc. I don't eat a lot of pasta so I buy it when I want to eat it. We do a double order of tea (six boxes every other month) as I can't find Barry's in our local shop.

Like you I cook a lot and want ingredients at my fingertips and that's not a problem. I feel more efficient and I know at a glance what I have and what I need. The only way I was able to reduce my food stocks was to stop regular supermarket visits but if you order in bulk online it may be harder to stop.

I'd urge you to have a go at reducing your stocks as an experiment to see how it makes you feel. I realise now it used to make me feel anxious to be the caretaker of all that food. I'm redoing the kitchen soon and it's a relief that I don't have to organise loads of extra 'just in case' stuff. We will also have more open space in the new kitchen instead of lining every square inch of the walls with cupboards, because we just don't need all that cupboard space now.

Katedotness1963 Tue 30-Jan-18 12:47:24

Tons and packets? A lot. There wasn't always enough food growing up so I have a tendency to hoard food.
Freezer? Stuffed. We'll never get through it. We have a move coming up and it'll have to be thrown away. I rarely use anything from the freezer, I just need to know its there.
Fresh? Not a lot at the moment, it's shopping day. Right now I have melon, grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, peppers, onions and potatoes.
Fridge is pretty empty, enough for tonight's meal and the boys packed lunch tomorrow.

Like I said, lack of food growing up has lead me to hoard. I'm thinking now, reading it back, maybe that's not such a poor amount of fresh food?

wonkylegs Tue 30-Jan-18 12:47:46

Ha my sister thinks my larder cupboard looks like a shop! She's at the other end of the scale though and never has anything in.
As long as you aren't wasting food and having to throw it away and you have space, I can't see an actual problem. I do rotate stuff to make sure I use it in the right order and I don't tend to have lots of the same thing - just a lot of variety so I can make almost anything I want / need to.

It works for me as when life gets hectic or just in the way and i don't get round to shopping or someone unexpectedly comes for tea I can always whip something up.

bigbluebus Tue 30-Jan-18 12:51:50

I also have far too much food in the house - and my parents were the same so maybe it's linked.
I have 2 fridges. The one in the kitchen is full of salad/cheese/milk/cold meat etc. The one in the garage has drinks and other veg (not salads). I also have 2 freezers. The kitchen one contains meat/fish/ice cubes whilst the garage one has bread and boxed teenage junk food. There are 5 cupboards in the kitchen devoted to food. OP I have different types of rice/pasta/noodles as I like to cook from scratch and never meal plan. I also have a sack of potatoes in the garage along with a basket containing onions/carrots/squash/celeriac type veg. I tend to cook according to what needs using next a lot of the time so clearly I am buying far too much. There are now only 2 of us here most of the time too and I sometimes cook a meal that would have fed 4 of us in the past and have to fight off DH from eating the leftovers as seconds so I can freeze it for another day.

Mossbystrand Tue 30-Jan-18 13:07:41

We shop so we have enough for two weeks in terms of fresh food and about a month's worth of frozen and store cupboard food. I need to stock up on more pasta, rice, lentils, loo roll, veg soup, long life milk and bottled water for emergencies though.

@katedoteness1963 can you start to eat out of your freezer now instead of throwing away the food. Or have a few dinner parties or offer some frozen food to friends/family & neighbours? I hate throwing away food especially since so many people resort to using food banks in the U.K. If you have tins & packets with long shelf lives, can you donate it to a foodbank instead of throwing it way?

dustarr73 Tue 30-Jan-18 13:10:18

I have a lot in right now, cause I only done a shop.I have a fridge only and a chest freezer.But there are9 of us here.So I'm always buying stuff as I run out.

toocool4cats Tue 30-Jan-18 13:15:08

We do a big shop monthly and stock up on meat , groceries etc. Twice weekly top up for fresh stuff which means our 1 fridge freezer is plenty of room for our family of 3. 2 cupboards get filled monthly with tins and basics pasta rice etc. We hate to waste food and will make great efforts to use everything. I cannot imagine having as much food stock as some have mentioned. Please don't ever throw away food! Someone will always take it

Stabbitha Tue 30-Jan-18 13:20:07

I've always wanted to start a 'show us ya fridge ' thread. A bit like the Christmas Tree one but for inside of fridges.

So we can all marvel in the joy and wonderment that is other peoples fridges.

Can I start one? Can I?

toocool4cats Tue 30-Jan-18 13:37:34

Try the OLIO app for local food pick up opportunities!

Queeniebed Tue 30-Jan-18 16:00:18

My mum was exactly like this - two huge standing freezers and a fridge freezer - full to bursting. Ill never forget going into the freezer, getting out a tub of chocolate icecream and finding it had half crystallised and was half chewy it was that old. I nearly cried. Now she has one freezer and one fridge freezer. Still full but constantly rotated and I will say that I never starved when I was home alone. I have a freezer full of home made meals that can be chucked into the oven, extra veg that we prepped and work lunches that I can get out the night before and defrost.

Wtfdoicare Tue 30-Jan-18 16:06:23

I cook a lot and have absolutely loads. We are a family of 4 and recently updated our kitchen to have lots of cupboard space. I have several large bags of dried beans/lentils/grains/rice/flours for baking and for bread etc, less tins, and loads of herbs/spices/sauces. One upright freezer and one chest freezer as I cook in bulk and freeze meals.

Kursk Tue 30-Jan-18 16:07:41

We aim to have 3 months supply of food and 30 days supply of water in the house as you never know what’s going to happen.

morningconstitutional2017 Tue 30-Jan-18 16:11:31

I think that you'll be able to manage, in the meantime maybe start 'winding down' all the items that are in your freezers so that by the time you move you can start again in a more modest fashion.
I buy fresh fruit and veg for a week at a time - I'm aware that it's now longer at its best just before I shop again. I also keep tins of rice pudding, custard, pears etc 'just in case.'
I only keep one type of pasta. I used to have all sorts of herbs and spices but with downsizing I felt that all I really needed was pepper, salt, mixed herbs and mixed spice.

booqueue Tue 30-Jan-18 16:24:43

few tins in the cupboard
few frozen chips in the freezer
1 box of cereal
1 bag of crisps
yogurts, cheese, bread, milk in the fridge
5 bananas

i need to go shopping! i never have much in though.

DrWhy Tue 30-Jan-18 16:25:52

I’m a hoarder and I have no idea why, we were never short of food as kids! I did live overseas for a while somewhere where is was perfectly possible for one item to be out of stock everywhere until the next container ship arrived but I’m sure I started it before that and it was never real essentials that ran out. The restock level for tins of tomatoes for example is 3 to 4, 2 or less makes me nervous... I constantly batch cook and add things to the freezer but worry if I use them up that I won’t have anything for emergencies. I cooked loads in the last few weeks of pregnancy for when the baby arrived but we still have stuff there and he’s now 16 months old... I’m fretting about what I can have for a quick dinner tonight but realistically the freezer has bolognaise, fish pie, several risottos, some curry - all of which need eating!
I seriously need to do a freezer rotation and clear out. When we moved back from overseas I left 5 weeks before DH, in that time he literally ate home cooked meals from the freezer every night to clear it out.
Some things we are well stocked on and that’s fine, we have 3 types of rice all of which get used, same for pasta, herbs and spices and the fridge is perfectly sensible but the freezers are bonkers!

CottonSock Tue 30-Jan-18 16:28:05

I'm the same but nothing gets wasted.
I love having ingredients to hand.

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