Friday, November 27, 2015

Cupboards: Not Bare, but Neglected, or The Petrifying Pantry


As you may have heard lately, my wife and I are selling our house and moving to an apartment in order to save money. Some of my posts have sounded a bit maudlin about that, and I don't want them to, so today I wanted to tell you about something kind of gross and hilarious: our cupboards.

Now, I don't mean to say that having cupboards are gross or hilarious--they're just, y'know, cabinets. But in the process of trying to reduce the amount of crap we have to move, we've been going through all of our stuff and trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible. So, we started going through our cupboards and refrigerator looking at all the stuff that we could get rid of by donating or throwing out.

We're not generally in the business of wasting food, but we're also not in the business of donating spoiled food to folks in need, so the throwing out is somewhat necessary.

At one point, though, we began to realize that some of the stuff that we had hidden away on the very highest shelves, and the very furthest reaches, was...shall we say...past its prime?

It was when we found some food from this time last year that we decided to make it a competition to see who could find the oldest food.

My wife took an early lead with something from October 2014.

I quickly pulled ahead with something from May 2014.

We were in a dead heat after that, going back a few days at a time. And then

BAM!

My wife finds something from 2013.

The very old food on the table grew into a pile, the food in the pantry dwindled, and my heart started to sink that my wife would win this one.

But then it happened:

I found a package of food from May of 2012.

VICTORY!

We also found a vast majority of food that was still very much good and that we are going to be donating as it's stuff that we just don't really want but that seemed like a good idea at the time.

This makes me think, though, about how available food is in America vs other places, and how lucky we are to have such easy and ready access to so much food. And while we were having this silly game, I also felt guilty that we had so much wasted food. Part of it is the weird layout of the cabinets in this house, which results in some weird blind spots where things were put to get them out of the way and then forgotten, and part of it is because, as shameful as it is, we would buy things that sounded good at the time and then think, naw, I actually don't want that afterall.

One of the things I'm going to work on in the new place is making sure our cupboards stay well-stocked with essentials, but also that we cycle through and use our food so that we can avoid these embarrassing food purges.

One of the ways I want to keep my house cleaner, in fact, is by trying to do bi-annual clean ups where we go through and donate any clothes/stuff/food that we don't want anymore. This way we can give back to people without wasting stuff.

I think the most important thing to take away from this post is: I WON! WHOOOOO!