my minimalist failure – condiments

cliff’s comment yesterday got me thinking, “what is a minimalist failure in my life that must be overcome?”  counting salad dressings, we have 51 bottles of condiments in our fridge.  does that count as a failure?

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Joshua Becker

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Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    LOL! Sounds like my fridge! I live with my husband and usually at least one roommate (it’s been complicated this month!) and it drives me crazy that we end up with three jars of balsamic vinegar, three jars of bbq sauce, four jars of peanut butter, three jars of mayo…etc. in a small kitchen. Now that one roommate moved out this month and we’re down to just one “official” roommate, I’m hoping that we can condense things a bit. We did at least throw out the bbq sauce finally since we’re trying to get rid of anything with high fructose corn syrup (which they all had) and I figure our next bbq sauce can be home mixed.

    Speaking of, when it comes to stocking the kitchen I’ve tried to buy mostly ‘one-ingredient’ items. It takes up so much less space and by mixing things myself I save a bundle. I laugh when I see the prices for pancake mix or oatmeal packets with fruit and nuts added.

    • di says

      With room mates, place a grocery list on the front of the fridge. Everyone can add and subtract to it as needed.

  2. Gabriel says

    No, this table is bunk. Honey, for one, is the only food that never goes bad. Ever. And these guys claim 8 months? They’re just making stuff up and playing with colors.

  3. says

    I think with the honey it’s just that it tends to crystallize over time — though you can undo that. It’s definitely a “best by” date, not expiration date.

  4. Catz says

    A useful tip is to create a spreadsheet of everything you know you’ll buy and need. Find the average price you pay for that item. When you get down to the last 10-20% of that product, find the best price at that time for it (via price comparison websites). You then only buy what you need, when you need it, saving money, time and space. And you’ll never be without. You can’t loose. Also, read reviews before trying anything new. Then write reviews to help others.

  5. Lynn says

    Ummm… I have honey that’s over 15 years old. Scared to eat it, but it’s not crystallized. I know, not really relevant to the minimalist conversation (and not something I should admit on a minimalist page), but wanted to put that two cents in!

    • Kira says

      Honey itself is antibacterial. If it’s diluted with other ingredients then it won’t last as long. I’ve even heard that perfectly good honey has been found in Egyptian pyramids.

    • Kira says

      Doesn’t the salt act as a preservative? I don’t pay attention to the date on my fish sauce container, but I also go through fish sauce pretty quickly. I love using it in soups to add umami (sp?).

    • Kira says

      Di, what do you eat? Fresh produce and meats seasoned only with salt and pepper? Although onion, garlic and lemon juice DO go a long way in making food taste wonderful, I can’t imagine giving up oregano and basil.

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