There has been a lot of talk since the start of the new year about "Cleaning Out The Pantry Challenges" going on with many of the homemaking blogs I read. I have never purposefully done one of these, but I do believe that it can save you money, eliminate wasted food, and help you organize your pantry and/or freezer better once you have gotten rid of the majority of the items that cause the clutter. With that being said, our cupboards currently look like we have been doing something like this, because I have not shopped since before my surgery 3 weeks ago. We did receive some meals from our church family the first weeks, my mom brought over some food for us to eat, and my two aunts and my mother-in-law have all picked up a few needed items for me when they were doing their own shopping, but our cupboards are getting very bare. Luckily, we stock up on meat whenever we find an amazing sale, so we still have quite a big of meat, a little frozen veggies, and some convenience foods my husband bought for him and kids in the freezer, However, we are out of tons of staples that I need to be able to make foods that are safe for me to eat, and we are out of coffee! That may be the worst at the moment! I am actually going back to work next week, so I have a meeting to attend with my lead faculty member this afternoon. Luckily, there is a discount grocery store nearby so I should be able to stock up on some staples and make some foods for my lunches before then.
Here are some of the easy meals I suggest if you are just trying to keep cooking and menu planning low-key for whatever reason. To make them complete meals, I usually just heat up a bag of frozen veggies and open up a can of fruit (juice packed).
- Cheese Quesadillas
- Rice & Beans
- Eggs & Toast
So, what about all of you? Have any of you done one of these challenges? What were the results? Did you make it the entire time without grocery shopping? What did you think of it? Also, if you have any really good pantry meals, I'd love for you to share them!