Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Pantry Purge ... A Success!

So a few weeks back I decided it was time to go through the meat in my freezer before it was burnt, and the dry stuff in my pantry.  I committed to only shopping for dairy and produce for as long as I could, but wanted to make it at least a week.

Well I made it through more than 2 weeks!  And we didn't even die.  My oldest was a bit perturbed that we didn't have more snacks in the house, but he got over it when he rediscovered homemade milkshakes (milk, sugar, frozen fruit), and popcorn made with the hot air popper.

Meal planning played a big part, but before I could do that I had to know what I had so I took a bit of an inventory.  Here's what got me through 2.5 weeks:

  • 1 frozen chicken
  • 6 lbs ground beef
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • frozen mixed veggies
  • frozen berries
  • frozen leftover soup
  • broth
  • canned goods (beans, soups, olives)
  • potatoes & onions
That's pretty much it!  It was fun getting creative.  We put some spins on old classics like Shepherd's Pie, and made a roasted chicken stretch from one dinner into over 3 days of meals like sandwiches, quesadillas and salads.  I always marvelled at my mother's ability to make a wicked meal out of 3 things that were just kicking around the house, so it felt good to know I'm learning to do the same.

All in all, I figure I saved over $300 dollars over the 2.5 weeks as I only bought dairy and fresh produce instead of the usual $100-$150/week I would have spent on food.  I think I'll try doing it again, maybe on a smaller scale - like a week every once in a while, just 'cause.

What kind of creative creations have you thrown together when a trip to grocery store just wasn't happening?   I'd love to hear how you make your grocery dollars stretch!

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