Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clean out the Pantry Challenge

So we are doing this Pantry Challenge thing where you try for a month to use all that is in your pantry before you head out to the store and buy more stuff which in turn will probably add to your even increasing pantry!

We are on day 7 of this challenge and while I can't say I've been perfect (aka: I went shopping!) it has made me think about all we waste because its just chillin' in the Pantry getting older and older and how we just pack up more and more stuff into our pantries.

I probably have some stuff in there I had from when we moved in here over 5 yrs ago now. I know you might be saying Yuck, but have you looked in your pantry lately??

For me shopping for groceries is like going shoe shopping for others. I get a thrill out of finding good deals and just live to go to the store. A grocery store for me is like my mall! All the colors and pretty stuff.....but let's face it. At least 85% of it I shouldn't be buying because its not good for me and at least another 5% I can't eat period. So I have a 10% chance of buying stuff that is good for me and my family. I will confess I have bought lately many items I shouldn't have if I was truly trying to life my Green lifestyle. Mostly things that have a lot of waste such as TV dinners or soda. Ahhh yes....Soda...well i call it Pop, but it sounds so cheesy writing it down. I love me some good ol' Pop. But I shouldn't drink it as it makes me so ill because I hardly ever drink the stuff now.
So I buy Hansen's soda instead. Love the stuff, probably still not the best because again its made out of pure sugars and I'm already a sugar addicted person. OH the horrible cycle I subject myself to!

Anyway, I'm getting way off track here.
What I'm trying to say is cleaning out your pantry is a good thing because it reminds us of ALL we really have. Some people have pantries the size of my walk-in closet! How much food does one family need anyway? More then likely we are families of 3-5 and having a closet filled to the rafters isn't wise to begin with -- it could lead to over eating and snacking because its there and available.

So my pantry is full and we are going to make what we can and of course as part of the challenge include your freezer and fridge in the clean out process. Just work with what you have. If you don't have something to make a meal, oh well. Google Meal plans and stick to it or use those as a guide to come up with meal suggestions. Consider using the recipes on the backs of the boxes or cans in your pantry. Some of those recipes are amazingly good and use little ingredients. I know I'll be breaking out my crock pot for this challenge as well.

My goal is to use up as much as I can and then when we start to see the back of the pantry and the bottom of the Freezer then I'll go shopping. Obviously if I am at the store I'll need to question like I do for any shopping trip if I truly NEED this grocery purchase. Perishables don't count (eggs, milk, butter, you get the idea) because clearly you will need to restock those.
Anything you don't need in your pantry please donate. Food banks always need your items in and out of season.

Let me know if this is something you plan on joining me in and I'll keep you all posted.

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