A few years ago, I started using coupons and following all of these blogs about how you can save so much money by using coupons. I was able to get a lot of things for free or, at least, close to free. But (and you knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you?) now I’m trying to clean out my kitchen, organize, simplify, and minimize.
I’ve slowly been cleaning out cabinets. Going through my dishes hasn’t been all that difficult as I tend to do that every year. Since I very rarely buy any new dishes (except for travel mugs/glasses for work…that’s a whole different blog post), I’m finally at a place where I don’t have a lot to get rid of.
Now I’m tackling the pantry. Since I haven’t been feeling well (gosh, for what? Like the past three years?), I’m just doing a little bit each evening while doing the dishes. I started on one shelf, took out boxes and cans, checking the expiration dates. I’m ashamed to admit how many cans of veggies or soup I’ve tossed because they were well past the expiration date. Anyhow, my method is to go through the items until I’ve found a minimum of five items to discard. Some days that’s pretty quick work.
You know, I was so proud of myself for being able to save so much money when I was buying all of this stuff. But, honestly, how much money did I really save when I’m now pitching probably half of what I bought?
I’ve learned a couple of lessons here. One, don’t buy so much processed food. Fresh is healthier and I tend to actually use it because I knowingly buy small quantities so it won’t go bad on me. Two, I’m not really saving money if the things I buy end up in the trash. Okay, make it three lessons. One person doesn’t need a lot. When you see all of those stockpiles people have created, it’s not meant for one person.
I’m going to continue cleaning out the pantry. I don’t know exactly how long it’ll take to get it done, but I’ll eventually finish it. I’ll do a post later about my pared down pantry (hmm…I’ll have to remember that for the title).
Do you buy more than you need and then toss a lot? I know a lot of folks say they do that with fresh produce, is that where you have issues? Or is it in other areas?