Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pantry Adventure

Part of my new theme this year was to simplify. One aspect of that was to simplify not only our diets, but our finances.

Pantry Overload

In 2008 (wow, that seemed like a few months ago, not years), I wrote a post on how much food I had unconsciously "hoarded" into my pantry. I spent that month using up the ingredients in my pantry and freezer instead of running out to the grocery store for meals ingredients.

It was amazingly freeing and once again I find a need to go through my pantry and freezer. Although I have made permanent changes to my grocery habits to ensure I don't "collect" as much food (like weekly meal planning), it still has added up over the last few years.

The Challenge

Using up food you have already at home is also easier on the budget! Instead of spending $50 or more in food, this week's grocery bill was under $16. And, no, we aren't eating rice and beans for every meal. If you are looking for ways to save money this month AND simplify your pantry and freezer, I'd highly recommend going on a Pantry Adventure. There's even a "blog" challenge occurring right now over at Money Saving Mom (a new favorite blog I've found). And if your stuck on trying to create actual meals out those random ingredients - try this! It's a casserole "formula" for taking just about anything and making it into dinner. I know I'll be testing this out in the weeks to come.

What do you have lingering in your pantry or freezer? Can you survive a nuclear attack for years to come with your hoarding? Or are you the Spartan - keeping only mustard and ice cubes?


Gail said...

I guess you could say were are Spartans right now.

Right around the time we moved, I got a mass email from a friend about a family she knows of who have 13 people living in one house (adults, kids, now a kid with a kid...), who are struggling to eat. Especially with the holiday vacation, and all the kids being home, and not in school, where they get free breakfast and lunches, etc. The email said they were hungry and had no food, and please bring over your dinner leftovers to this family, etc. So Dan and I prayed about it, and decided they could just have whatever food was in our house: Fridge, Freezer, Cupboard. We were/are not starving. We didn't need it like they did. So we are starting from scratch here....

Amanda said...

I tend to go through phases...sometimes I can go about eating from the pantry and freezer for awhile and sometimes not. I think it depends on how we are eating and what time of year it is too. Like in summer, it just sounds so much better to eat fresher items than the dry goods in my pantry no matter how much excess I have. :)

I do need to get better about planning several of my weekly meals using ingredients and items that I have on hand or that need used up before going and making meals with ingredients I need to buy.

Just Me said...

I totally agree on the summer thing. I crave fresh fruits and salads during those hot months! Winter is a good time to do a bunch of casseroles, soups, stews and whatever to get rid of those extras! Planning meals has come in handy for me - on those crazy days where the kids are driving me batty, I don't have to worry about what to make for dinner. Also, I plan easy meals for the nights I know Mark will be home later, I we have a lot of errands to run and I'll be tired.