The cupboard was bare

Every time I’ve gone to the grocery store for the past month, I have been thinking of Outlaw Mama. Outlaw Mama, or Christie Tate, is a blogger I met through Yeah Write. I was her guest this summer as part of her series on working. A few weeks after she published my post, she wrote one of her own called “No Grocery Shopping Til We Move in Three Weeks.” Now that I have a house under contract, I think of her words as I push my shopping cart down the aisle.

We were supposed to close on the house on November 4.

That didn’t happen.

And because that didn’t happen, we didn’t move on November 8 as we first planned. But we didn’t know our move would be delayed, so our refrigerator has been very bare. The freezer was no longer stocked up. Canned goods and boxed items have dwindled in the cupboards.

At least there's nothing left for the sneaky mouse that's been gnawing into our boxes

At least there’s nothing left for the sneaky mouse that’s been gnawing into our boxes

Completely irrelevant aside: Writing that line made me think of “Old Mother Hubbard.” That’s why I quoted the nursery rhyme in my post title. However, when I looked up the verse to refresh my memory, I discovered that I’ve never gotten past the first stanza. Spoiler alert: I was shocked that the dog dies in the second verse. Spoiler alert two: the dog is alive and laughing by stanza three.

The only items that we have kept in abundance have been milk and pepperoni. Peter and I can do without, but Philip doesn’t care that we are going to a new house and that Mommy and Daddy don’t want to move food. When he’s hungry or thirsty, moving is not his concern.

The move is the reason I didn’t follow the fruit fly removal suggestion of pouring bleach down the drains. We ran out of bleach, and I didn’t want to buy any before we moved. Plus, I’ve been trying to save every penny until our loan is approved.

On the upside, I stopped buying junk food. Also, since I don’t rotate my stock, I’ve now been forced to use up the oldest cans of food first.

Did I mention that we postponed our move to the 15th, still didn’t close and then moved it back one more week?

At first, I thought the buying-only-what-we-will use strategy might become a habit. I imagined myself learning from this experience, not stockpiling like one of those preppers.  After this experience, I would become a better, more frugal shopper.

Now I worry that I’ll actually have the opposite reaction when I go shopping that first time after the move.

Bleach? Yes! My whites will be brighter, and I don’t have to move it!

Cans of soup? Yes! I now have a huge pantry, plus I don’t have to move them!

Cookies? Hell, yes! I don’t have to move them, and they make me happy.

-me going crazy at the store

We’ll see what moves me once I go shopping.

Day 16

My cupboards are bare by choice, so I can choose to make light of it. I can’t forget that I’m also fortunate enough to have cupboards. Jill Smokler, who blogs as Scary Mommy, has a waiting list of ninety-seven families who haven’t chosen to go without. I learned about The Thanksgiving Project through Yeah Write editor Kristin Wald’s blog. She donated to The Third Annual Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project and inspired another Yeah Write Blogger, Jamie Miles, to do the same. If you can help, follow this link to make a donation.


12 thoughts on “The cupboard was bare

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning the Scary Mommy project! And my cupboards could use a good rotation. I’ve got some hearts of palm that have been patiently waiting to be used since we move in…four years ago.


  2. I have to admit, I’m jealous of your empty cabinets. If we move (which we might this year), I’m going to have to stop shopping like 2 months before.


  3. Good story, but the best part of this post was your admittance that the cupboards were bare by choice and encouragement for us to help others in need out. I’ll be checking the projects out. I always donate to the local food pantry.


    1. I went back and added that part after reading those other blog posts. It’s easy to forget how difficult it is for others. Here I’ve been complaining about delays in closing on our house when I need to remember I’m lucky to have a home.


  4. Oh, I know this so well. When we were under contract for our house last year our closing kept getting delayed too, and then once we chose our moving date that, too, was pushed off. By the end we were basically eating frozen fruit, PB out of the jar and the occasional take out pizza because I badly didn’t want to buy food that I would have to end up moving.


  5. We are working towards revamping our diets, trying to save money, and get out of the habit of stockpiling stuff for no good reason. My cupboards are dwindling, but there is no move in sight. Looks like I’m going to have to go to the grocery store.


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