Clear out the Cupboards Challenge!

Times are tough, we need to stop spending money unnecessarily so I came up with an idea today that I know Joe will hate but I’m going to do anyway!


So, I looked in the cupboards today and despite them brimming with random of bits and pieces, my initial reaction was that there was clearly nothing instantly visible for dinner and I’d better head down to the shops to buy a few bits. STOP. Not this week Alice! No, instead of continuously buying food, I’m going to use up everything in the cupboards until they are virtually empty and only then will I allow myself to go food shopping. The only exception to this being milk and fruit as we go through a lot of that so it isn’t technically wasted or replaceable with something else.


Now, this isn’t going to be pretty and I’m sure Joe is going to complain about some of the questionable combinations I present each evening but frankly, tough.

I can already see Elsa’s eyes roll before I type this but…there are millions of starving people around the world (*cough cough* meat and dairy industry *cough cough*) and we, as a Western society certainly do not help this situation. I know me not buying food for a few days isn’t going to make a difference in the world but morally, I will feel better about us having harboured all these fantastically viable foods that I’ve previously deemed un-dinner worthy, especially if I at least make an attempt to eat them.


So what’s on the menu tonight? LASAGNE.


I thought I had a bag of veggie mince in the freezer but it turned out to only be about a quarter full. Was my initial day of scrimping going to turn into a disaster? NO. Ta da, I found a bag of red lentils and quinoa (southern snob food) that I bought ages ago and stuffed at the back behind the “real food” (crisps and bags of pasta).




This stuff cooks up to a great bolognaise sauce. I fried up some onion and garlic, threw in a load of carrots and chopped up kale and then added the measly amount of leftover mince plus a load of quinoa and lentils. I poured in some stock and a carton of passata and voila, we’re half way there.


Pre-passata and stock mixture.



Making the white sauce is easy and we had a whole packet of lasagne sheets in the cupboard so amazingly, despite buying nothing today (ok, just a carton of soya milk and a few apples) I’ve made a yummy lasagne for the whole family to have at least two helpings plus a bit left over for Jude’s packed lunch.




Everyone loved it so I’m really happy.


Mondays money spent on food – £1.39 for the carton of milk and apples (about £1.50)

What did you have for dinner tonight?

The Pramshed
Petite Pudding


  • katykicker on

    Well done you – I love things like this! I need to run the cupboards down – maybe next month now!

  • admin on

    It’s insane how much food we hide in cupboards! We don’t have a lot of space in the kitchen so it’s a bit of a necessity for us. Hey, shall we start a series of Clear the Cupboard Challenges!? haha We can save the environment!

  • twotinyhands on

    I’m totally going to do this today. I’ve been meaning to go through my cupboards just to clean them but I can totally give a bit of an inventory check list at the same time! Go us!!

  • suz on

    Oh well done. That looks a yummy recipe. I like to eat up all the random bits every now and then. Thanks for inspiring me to get rid of all those leftover Christmas things we didn’t finish.

    • admin on

      Haha, we still have a load of crackers from Christmas and a Christmas pudding x

  • occupation:(m)other on

    Oh i love this idea! I wonder if my imagination can stretch to it each day given my current state of sleep deprivation but actually i’m very up for this challenge. I have so many half packets of stuff (lentils, pasta etc) that i could really do with using. And my freezer depresses me…it’s not huge but i can only see what’s on top, i need to delve deep. Love it. #familyfun

    • admin on

      I’m amazed by what I’ve found. Like you said, lots of half packets of stuff and about five opened bags of pasta!

  • tammymum on

    This is a fab idea although I have to say it would take a lot of thought and planning for me to make that meal 😂 If I was to use what’s left in my cupboard you would prob have tin tomatoes on crackers 😂 Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  • kerry on

    Great post, I’m terrible at cooking and I usually throw anything together, it doesn’t turn out like this though!!

    • admin on

      Haha I think this was fluke due to what I found. Another week it would be a disaster x

  • imummyblog on

    I really need to do this, i tend to shop without looking at what i have in the cupboard so end up with loads of stuff stockpiled. I reckon i could make a feast! #eatsleepblogrt

    • admin on

      That’s what I’m famed for doing as well, it’s an expensive game! It’s amazing what you find after a few weeks lurking in the cupboards x

  • Autumn’s Mummy on

    I had a good clear out of my cupboards last week and I also had quinoa and red lentils hiding behind the ‘real food’!
    I love it when I clear out the cupboards and can make meals out of it, but this time there wasn’t really much of real use, boo. #EatSleepBlogRT

    • admin on

      Ahhh well at least you had a look. It’s so easy just to keep stuffing things at the front! A x

      • Autumn’s Mummy on

        It is! I found things right at the back that went out of date in 2014, it was a bit worrying! x

  • Jade The Parenting Jungle on

    This looks super tasty, I love using lentils to bulk out foods. Last year went through my cupboards and now try and only have base bits. Lots of pasta and chopped tomatoes! I like the challenge of making end of the week meals with all the leftovers! I am super hungry right now! #fortheloveofBLOG xx

    • admin on

      Thanks for the message. Yes, I’ve restocked but only with useful bits! Will definitely keep on top of things from now on. A x

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