Dec 1, 2008

My Pantry Cooking Challenge

As an experiment, I spent six weeks (plus a few days) determined that I was going to cook from my embarassingly overstocked pantry/freezer/refrigerator rather than continuing to make new menus and go and buy new groceries each week.

See, I would go shopping every week and bring many things home. I would carefully freeze things and store things.

THEN, I would either slap together something quick like macaroni and cheese or eat fast food.

That was doing nothing good for my budget, my waistline, or my health!

I decided to inventory everything I had and commit myself to making 30 meals buying only four foods as needed: Lettuce, Milk, Apples, and Bananas.

My experiment led to LOTS of home cooking. It led me to experience creativity in the kitchen like I never had before. It also helped to reduce our outgo as my husband's business had a severe slow-down in his customers during the downturn from the economy and the holidays. (He's a paint contractor and does custom interior work.)

I documented my journey and the results. I've linked everything below. If you'd like to challenge yourself to cook only from your pantry, look through my activities and see if I can somehow encourage and inspire you!


Go ahead. I dare you.
Shop at home first!


Pictures of my stocked built-in pantry, small pantry areas, refrigerator, small freezer, and upright freezer.

Master Inventory list. I started out typing all my items in black. As I used them, I changed them to red and added the approximate value.

Weekly Menus. Click on each week to see the posts showing recipes:
Holidays.

What about breakfast and lunch?

Financial Results:

Running value of stock used: $266.77

New groceries bought: $74.58
Holiday food purchases: $38.16
Unexpected buys: $40.27

My average weekly outgo for six weeks was $25.17.

Final evaluation.

Read ENTIRE Experiment in blog date entry order. (Remember to start at the bottom and read UP.)

3 comments:

Trixie said...

Wow! This has some great info! I too have a very large stock of food and was surprised at how many meals it will make. Love your pantry!

Trixie

Roxanne said...

Thanks! My husband built that pantry to my specs and I absolutely adore it.

~Tonja~ said...

What a great 30 day plan...your husband done a wonderful job on your pantry...in our old house we use to have a room off the kitchen I made into a pantry....I miss not having one now...
you have a lot of great info on your blog...
Have a Blessed day
Tonja

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