A Moving Larder

As some of you will know, Dave and I have no fixed abode. We house sit, moving around Bristol and Bath looking after peoples pets whilst they are away. We’ve been doing this since September last year, including during our travels and since we came home in April. If you want to find out more about why we do it and some of the logistics involved, take a read of my Medium article here!

Today, however, I wanted to touch on the food side of being nomadic. How I’ve adjusted and adapted to not having my own kitchen over the last 12+ months. Whilst the homes we stay in often tell us to help our selves to their staple ingredients, we don’t want to turn up and use every last drop of oil, spices or salt they own. So, I’ve developed a moving larder of key essentials and this travels with us from place to place.

The core elements live in one big box, a shallow box, tote bag and freezer bag. In a way, it’s changed our eating and shopping habits for the better and keeps me on my toes so that we’re not just cooking the same old familiar staples each week. I’m not able to fill my fridge and freezer with deals from the supermarket because usually, we’re slotting in around someone else’s fridge space. We’re not able to stock up on bulk buy tins of tomatoes and unusual spices and herbs you tend collect over time because again, there’s no cupboard space and we don’t want to be moving all that stuff every few weeks!

Let’s take a look at my current supplies:

Basics:

  • Oils & kinds of vinegar, fish & soy sauce
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • Italian seasoning, dried chilli flakes, stock cubes
  • Marmite for me, Vegemite for Dave
  • Garlic & onions
  • Dried goods – rice, pasta, flour
  • Freezer/ Fridge – peas, pickles and condiments, pesto, eggs, cheese and chillis
  • Coffee and tea bags.

This cost us less than a tenner and is invaluable for moving fridge & freezer items!

Keeping things neat:

I tend to use Tupperware boxes for any open packets and small bits and pieces such as stock cubes, chocolate bars and loose items, having learnt the hard way that open bags of sugar, flour and most recently, coriander seeds, are prone to spilling (everywhere) during a move.

Moving larder tupperwares

Shopping habits:

Currently, it’s little and often. Meal planning is a useful way of making sure you’re going to eat well and not fall victim to a ‘we’ve got nothing in, let’s get a takeaway’ mentality, which used to happen. We often use services like Farmdrop (available in London and Bristol) and Fresh Range (available in Bristol and Bath) to make sure we’re eating locally and only ordering enough food for the duration of the current house sit.

Fresh Range shopping haul

Fresh Range is a great place for locally sourced and organic food

The great thing about delivery as well is that there is no packing and carrying to the next place as we only order and eat what we need for each place we stay at!

Have you ever had to travel with a moving larder? Do you have any tips? Is there anything you just couldn’t live without? 

6 Comments

  1. 22nd November 2017 / 4:13 pm

    Love this. I have done some house sitting and love it. One dog is particularly close to our heart and when the owners came home, Perce jumped into our car as we made to leave – it was the third time with us and it had been 5 weeks. Fortunately the owners thought it funny too. The DH and I are near the end of our careers, but in all honesty I would swap my home for a camper van and house sitting. I get why you keep a store cupboard though, people do say help yourself but it never feels right. Why would we look in other people’s drawers? I don’t even go into their bedrooms unless I have to. Although I have been known to declutter/organise the kitchen cupboards and freezer for one time poor client. And she thanked me. But then we did that at a Bach we were renting too…

  2. 22nd November 2017 / 5:12 pm

    As a fellow nomad, I love this article! We used to cart loads of food stuff around with us, which was always a bit cumbersome. Back in April our food ‘collection’ from different countries as well as our day to day goods got stolen. Apart from being upset that we wouldn’t get to enjoy all those yummy things, I realised that financially it was quite a loss. So, I decided to live with less food stuff and use it or eat it as we go along! It’s quite hard as a foodie to give up on all those bottles of different cooking oils, balsamic sauces and so on, but I now really enjoy the challenge of buying only as much as we need. And, it makes it so much easier to find things in the cupboard!!! Thanks for such a great article.

  3. 26th November 2017 / 9:41 am

    Gosh that’s very organised! We travelled a lot when I was a kid (at least once every 6 months for a while) and I know my mum’s staples were a packet of digestives, tea, coffee and uht milk! I like your fridge bag too – really cool!

  4. 29th November 2017 / 2:53 pm

    It must be challenging to travel on the go so often! I’ve looked into house sitting before too – it seems really fun! I’m glad to hear it’s worked well for you.

    • 2nd December 2017 / 11:55 am

      On the whole, it’s fun! But it definitely takes a bit of getting used to as a way of life – especially with jobs involved!!

  5. 29th November 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Wow – not sure, I would have such a great overview – but it looks like you have it all under controle! In my house we tend to buy too many things – and often our spices get outdated. Love the way you organise your things!
    Happy house-sitting 😀

    X Louise

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