I’ll admit it: I’m a borderline hoarder when it comes to pantry goods. Taught by my mom, I tend to stock up on things when they’re on sale. That’s all well and good, but six weeks later, when canned tomatoes go on sale again, I buy another five cans to add to the eight I bought last time.
It’s good to be well-supplied, but it’s not like I could ever really get cut off from food supplies. There’s a fully stocked (and freshly renovated) grocery store just a 10 minute walk downhill, and, if things get dire, a gas station on the corner. And besides, it’s just me. Unless we have some sort of nuclear holocaust, I don’t think I’ll need to rely on my pantry to sustain me for weeks on end.
My hoarding impulses used to be kept in check by a lack of space. I lived in a couple apartments that had virtually no kitchen storage whatsoever, and my current kitchen is pretty small. But when I realized that I could turn part of a hallway closet into a pantry, I started moving some canned goods off the cabinets’ bowing shelves.
And here we are, with two big shelves full of canned tomatoes (really, the only veggie that’s ok canned), soups, brown rice, oats, flour, nuts, various dried fruits, soy sauce, coffee, olive oil… you name it, I’ve likely got it.
When unloading groceries the other night, I stopped and wondered how much money I have invested in all that food. True, with my eating habits, I spend a lot on fresh produce, dairy, meat, etc… and in the summer, a lot of that never gets reflected in my budget, as it’s cash spent at farmers’ markets.
And then I wondered how long I might be able to go without buying any more pantry staples? Surely a week, but how about a month? I think it’s completely feasible that I could go a month and buy only produce, dairy and meat.
So let’s do it. It’s March 2. Can I go the rest of March without buying any additional pantry goods? Can my grocery trips involve just fresh produce, meat, dairy and household goods? Can I do a little pantry spring cleaning?
My meals may get interesting by the end of the month, but let’s see what happens.