Friday, March 6, 2009

Confession of a food hoarder

Last week, I ran out of condensed milk while trying to prepare teh talek for our visitor from Singapore. "Could someone get me a tin of condensed milk from the pantry" I shouted from the veranda towards the kitchen. Not long after, our house guest appeared with a puzzled look in his face to hand me a tin of milk to me. " Gee, you hold a bigger stock than the NTUC supermarket in Singapore." he said in a disbelief sort of way. My family doesn't drink much teh talek with condensed milk. But if we did, I would have hoarded a years supply of it before now. That's because I have been a food hoarder for years.

If we eat much of something , we probably hoard it to some degree. I must admit that I hoard all kinds of food. There are 10kg of onions in a net bag, hanging from the rafter underneath the veranda. Cans and jars of tomatoes paste, pasta sauce, soya sauce, cream corn, beans, tuna and canning jars of home made pickles in the pantry. I have nearly forgotten to mention the dozen of salty eggs that were recently made and kept in the fridge.

I don't consider it hoarding, but prefer to use a better synonym. It is much nicer to call it "stocking up". As a matter of fact, it is nothing new. It is what kampong folks (villagers) have done for ages. In today's hectic lifestyle, stocking up just makes sense. It saves time and money. We should be shopping to refill what you have used from the pantry and as things come on sale instead of running about to find specific items to cook for a particular meal of the day.

We have been talking about this a lot lately. Has it ever occurr to me that I may be be a compulsive food hoarder? Or I may be a food hoarder because of my past experiences. I guess I prefer the latter, the former sounds like a disorder and I should be seeing a psychiatrist.
It has occurred to me that I may be food hoarder because of my childhood experience.

When I was about fifteen years old, there was a series of ethnic unrest and curfews were imposed to control and quell the riots in the streets. There were panic buying of food when the curfew were lifted for a couple of hours each day. My mother actually bought a supply of canned foods and stored the hoard in boxes under my bed, just in case. I guess I was traumatised for life when I was fifteen years old. Maybe I should see a psychiatrist. :D


  1. it's a good practice wat. for me i remember the civil defence food rationing exercise long time ago. haha

  2. When I was living in Singapore, buying toilet rolls was something insignificant. But when I moved to Australia and saw the prices, I was shocked! Wah.. Aussie kar chng is made of gold or what? *LOL*

    So, a favorite past time of my wife and I, was to shop around looking for toilet rolls that are less than 50 cents each (we don't really bother to compare the length, but we'd go for 3-ply ones). And whenever we find those that cost less than 50 cents a roll, we'd buy heaps!

    I store all of them in my garage. And it's a bit embarrassing whenever I open it, and the neighbor happen to walk past :)

  3. Hi Anonymous,
    I also buy them in bulk. It never stop to amaze me when I seen people in the supermarket buying one roll of toilet paper at a time! Anyway, toilet paper is not all I stock on,I stock up when stuff went on sale and whatever we use and whenever it is cheap :D

  4. used to buy lots of vege as they cost cheaper in bulk, now I dun, cos I might end up eating celery for the entire week...haha

  5. ya i dun wan to eat wombok for 2 months!
    celery i throw away already la. eat until scared.

    i buy things that can be saved in bulk but veg i prefer to buy daily