Friday, January 29, 2010

Eat from your Pantry Challenge

Crystal at MoneySavingMom hosted an Eat from your Pantry Challenge in January. I decided to join in.

At the beginning of this month, my freezers were bulging with all sorts of leftover holiday goodies. I had a huge supply of meat, home grown veggies and canned fruit. Actually, looking at all the food I had in the house, I wondered why I needed to go grocery shopping for the rest of the year!

I took a quick trip to the grocery store for fresh fruit, oatmeal, and peanut butter, which I thought were necessities. Oh, and toilet paper and diapers (since I've fallen off the cloth diaper band wagon and just now trying to climb back on).

It was rather shocking to walk out of Walmart with anything less then an overflowing cart and a receipt without an astronomical figure at the bottom.

I had to adjust my usual menus somewhat, but we ate very well. I had to keep in mind what I had available. It was very good for me to be "forced" to eat potatoes and all the other good stuff from our garden instead of pasta, rice and purchased items.

By cleaning out all the baked items in the freezer, I did next to no baking. In the little I did, I discovered that vanilla is an optional item. I actually never missed the fact that I had used it up. I also found out just how much peanut butter and oatmeal we consume in a month's time. The children learned they could live without mac and cheese for a month. Actually cheese is probably the item I missed the most. Almost everything good contains cheese and there really isn't a good substitute.

I am thrilled to open up the freezer now and find empty space! I used up all sorts of odds and ends and even found some zucchini bread! I don't even want to think of how old that was! And it tasted like it too!

I know January isn't over yet, but I did go grocery shopping this week. I was totally out of the wheat that I grind for whole wheat flour. I did have some white flour left, but I had promised Ed I wouldn't lower my cooking standards just to make a point! I think he was visualizing some sort of bland food without any salt. Now I'm stocked up again and yesterday I did a big baking day, which I may write about later.

All in all, I think I could make Eating out of the Pantry a yearly event. I love how organized and neat my pantry looks and am excited about baking again!


  1. What a great idea. Gina, do you get your wheat locally? I grind my own too and my supply is getting low. I would love to avoid shipping costs since I now order my wheat online.
    I've shared your blog with many friends from church and they enjoy it too. Thank you.

  2. Oh, how brave you are. I read about her challenge and thought about it and wimped out! Maybe during the summer?? 'course that might be considered cheating. :)

  3. Regan -
    I order wheat from my local bulk food store. They can usually have it in within a couple days. Very convenient for me!

  4. You go! Isn't it amazing how creative we can get when we need to?


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