Making Ends Meet – Emergency Action


As I mentioned in my previous post, these are the things that you can do immediately that will make a difference.

1  Eat from what you already have

We have all heard the cry, “But there is nothing to eat!”  If you are living in a developed country it is very, very unlikely that this is the case.  In fact many of us do the grocery shopping out of habit as much as for the real need of buying food.  The other thing to consider is that in the UK, USA and Australia research shows that somewhere between 20 and 40% of all food is wasted.  Imagine buying 5 bags of groceries and throwing 1-2 bags full straight in the bin.  It sounds ridiculous but that is essentially what is happening.

The first step is to make an inventory of what you have – in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  Then plan as many meals and snacks as possible from what you have.  Trawl around the internet and you will find literally hundreds of sites offering ways to create meals from limited ingredients. 

2  Stay away from the shops

If you are not there you cannot spend money.  It is simple really.  Shopping is not entertainment.

3  Curtail your car usage. 

Walk or cycle everywhere that you possibly can.

4  Minimise your heating costs

Wear more clothes at home.  Put a beanie on.  It may not look glamorous but a disproportionate amount is lost through your head.

keeping warm
Do all of these things for 2 weeks and you have immediately saved the equivalent of what you would normally spend on:

Incidental purchases

Try it and see how you go.

If you would like to send me a list of what is in your freezer, refrigerator and pantry right now I will do a menu plan for a week (at least) and use it as the basis of an upcoming post.  Just let me know the number in the family and ages of children.  You can email me at the address in the ‘About Me’ tab at the top of the page.

6 thoughts on “Making Ends Meet – Emergency Action

  1. HI Fairy, here’s my inventory of my pantry a while back: I’ve usually got more of less of the same things. I don’t freeze any meat really.

    As far as what’s on hand that’s fresh in the fridge/freezer
    – stale brown bread (homemade, not sliced)
    – bowl of baby spinach
    – grated cheese
    – one mushy pear
    – some shallots
    – ginger
    – 2 carrots
    – 1 zuchini
    – 1/2 red cabbage
    – 1/2 butternut pumpkin
    – 1 onion (maybe)
    – miso soup paste (would love to use this up)

    Love to know what you come up with!

    • Thanks, Sarah. I will definitely come up with ideas in another post. Your well-stocked pantry offers lots of opportunities. I would probably buy some eggs and milk, unless you have milk powder on hand and I think I could make a few meals at least.

      • I almost always have both of those one hand – I have milk on cereal, but it’s lactose free, and mum and dad have chooks, so I stock up on eggs every week. I look forward to what you can rustle up!

  2. the “emergency” situation really kicked in for us when I got furloughed earlier this year. Unfortunately after the paychecks started coming again I definitely started going back into the shops and stopped thoroughly emptying the fridge and freezer before grocery shopping again. You gave some great tips and I think they apply even when it’s not an emergency. We’ll have some lean times in the next couple months as we finish our kitchen renovation and I will be definitely following your emergency steps during that time.

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