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:

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.)


Anonymous 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!


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 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

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