Sunday, January 1, 2017
Annual pantry and freezer challenge 2017
Every January, I force myself to do a pantry and freezer challenge. There are several reasons behind this:
-post holiday weight gain as well as RX induced weight gain
-the need to downsize stock on hand, in case of an impending move, come Spring (one of the joys of renting)
-rotating of stock
-elimination of some lurkers: now restricted, no long care for, too expensive, hard to find etc
Benefits of this approach:
-reduced grocery spending, saving time and money in the process
-no need to go out if the weather is bad, an issue this time of year, we'll just make do!
-avoiding food waste
-eliminating overstock/excess in stock
-interesting variety of meals
How this works for me:
-I will menu plan for Feb (Jan was done already and is already based upon what's on hand, as usual). -Before I menu plan, I will take an inventory of kitchen cupboards, pantry closet and garage freezer to see what needs to get used up
-I will focus on things I can make at home, planning ahead in the process, which is something I've usually done. I will not be tempted by the marked down danish as a treat, for example, as I know that I can easily make a coffee cake using some canned fruit pie filling or home canned jam out of my pantry.
-I will seek alternatives. Instead of looking at a fzn pkg of ground beef as potential sloppy joes which would require that I purchase a can of sauce and a pkg of buns, I will only consider that menu choice if I make my own sauce, and my own buns at home.
-While some* grocery shopping will happen, I will try my best to limit it to must haves such as weekly perishables or items that are a super deal such as the 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes on sale for 99 cents, limit 2. That's 1/2 the price of Aldi's potatoes and a staple ingredient we will definately use.
I hope to carry this challenge from Jan thru March, possibly longer. I will be reaching out to my landlords come March 1, to see their intention to renew the lease or put the condo on the market. If we do end up having to move, I wish to reduce what has to be moved.
Anyone else doing a pantry/freezer challenge?