1 Stay healthy and buy a mix of dried long-life grains, tinned goods, frozen and fresh produce to maintain a mixed diet
2 Store everything carefully and buy the longest lasting goods first. If you don’t have a freezer, see if you can find help to get one
3 Try different shops like Asian and wholesale stores that might sell by the sack (eg, potatoes, onions) or in multi-packs
4 Shop around online to find the best deals
5 Invest £4-5 a week (£20 a month) for as long as it takes to have the essentials for a shopping-free month, cutting back on other things
6 Don’t forget toilet roll, apparently
We’ve made it even easier for you by setting out a plan to go shop-free. We recommend starting right away and planning three months ahead but if it takes longer, that’s okay. Just stay alert for any warnings about lockdowns or food shortages.
Month One: (Three months prior to completing the Doomsday Cupboard)
• Tinned Goods: Tomatoes (essential), pulses and beans (chickpeas, kidney and baked beans), sweetcorn, peas; also meats, tuna and soups
• Oils and Spices: Vegetable/olive oil, vinegar (for sauces and dressings), mustard, salt, pepper, stock cubes, spices and herbs that add useful extra flavour to repetitive meals. (For example, mince and tomatoes make a bolognese one day but add chilli and kidney beans and it’s a chilli the next!)
• Dried Goods: Pasta, dried beans/chickpeas (which you soak before cooking but are cheaper to buy), sacks of rice, couscous, lentils, tea/ coffee… and loo roll!!
• Flours and Shorter-Life Dried Goods: Flours, baking powder, sugar, milk powder and oats, which can be used for porridge, tasty flapjacks, or just bulking up veggie burgers and meatballs
• Frozen (If you have a freezer): Peas, meat (mince, chicken breast portions, Quorn mince, fish pieces, spinach chunks – very useful for sauces and curries), frozen fruit/berries and fruit for freezing (like bananas)
• Longer-Life Fresh Produce: Squash/pumpkins, onions and potatoes, carrots and lemons. Buy these as close to the month ending as possible. Other fresh vegetables can be blanched in boiling water, then frozen in chunks to use through the month
Chances are, we won’t need to raid our Doomsday Cupboard right away. Keep rotating the fresh produce, eating and replacing it before it goes out of date.