Upcoming Pantry Challenge – Let’s Prepare!
A pantry challenge is a great to reduce waste & save money by challenging yourself to use up what’s in your pantry, fridge, & freezer for your meals!
My pantry is overfilled at the brims, & my deep freezer isn’t exactly empty either. I know I’m extremely blessed to have such an abundance of food, but it’s time I really got down in there & used everything before they went bad. I have a tendency to stock up on meat when it’s on sale for one. We have this fabulous local butcher down the street from where we live & every time that I go in, I’m checking out their reduced section. I find so many fabulous deals there that I take home & I food save & stick it in my freezer. And during the holidays, you can bet I grab an extra turkey & ham when they go on sale. So yup,I definitely have one of each of those in my deep freezer right now.
And my pantry. It used to be organized, but giving the job of putting away groceries to my 2 teenage daughters has backfired on me – and the whole thing is in disarray. I really don’t know what’s in the back of there, but it needs help. Then there’s this whole thing you may not know about me…. I have an addiction to sauces. Especially ‘hole-in-the-wall’ town sauces – things I pick up at local craft shows & such. Y’all…. I have so many sauces. I love my sauces though! I’m kinda excited about experimenting with all these.
So, what I’m saying is I need to clean out my fridge, pantry, & freezer. Then, I plan putting myself on a personal challenge to purchase as limited groceries as I can (still getting things like milk as needed) & use up everything I have stored here. This will keep me from forgetting things in the bottom of the deep freezer, back of the fridge/pantry, etc – and that stuff going bad. I despise throwing food (aka, money) away!
I’m going to try for 30 days in my personal pantry challenge (I need my time to use this sauce collection you guys! haha), and I’d love it if you joined along with me! If you don’t have enough to do a whole 30 days, you can go for 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, whatever days!
I would love for you all to share simple recipes that you discover in the comments of the Pantry Challenge update posts I do! This is a great time to explore with flavor combinations that you wouldn’t rather mess with. Think of it as your own little Chopped competition! 😉 (Speaking of, the Chopped cookbook is a cool inspirational book that’s great in challenges like this!)
We’re going to start this Pantry Challenge ‘officially’ on March 1st – so mark your calendars!
In the meantime, let’s start making inventory of what we have on hand! I make a separate list for the pantry, fridge, & freezer. You can use piece of paper to make your lists, or you can use one of the printables I’m linking to below. Try to highlight those things that need to be used first when making your lists so you will see that when you plan your menu.
After you get your grocery inventory taken care of, you can sit down & plan meals from that list. Try to stick to the ingredients you have on hand, but make a grocery list for things you absolutely have to have.
Here’s some printables to help get you started!
If we get a lot of good easy pantry recipes shared, I will compile them into an e-cookbook of sorts for everyone to use! So please, – during the weekend challenge updates, please share the recipes you’ve come up with!
I’ll see y’all back here on March 1st!
I’m in 🙂 for the pantry challenge
I’m in for it, such a great idea!
I’m so glad to have you!
JUST saw our pudding pop molds this morning and thought of how there are like 10 boxes of pudding stashed all the way in the back of the pantry. Time to use.
I have just as many jello boxes stashed away – totally need to do something with them!
just saw your email. have been putting off, cleaning out. i’m in. want to know your thoughts on “use by” dates.
I know there’s gonna be some professional somewhere that disagrees with me, but I use those date as more of an estimation. As for fresh stuff, use your eyes & nose. If it looks good & smells good & isn’t horribly expired – I say go for it. As for pantry ingredients, I’ve used boxes of dry pasta a year past the expiration & cans of beans 6 months past the expiration – and they tasted fine & I’m still alive & kicking. I say use them a guideline, but use your senses too!
Hi Crystal, thanks for your quick response. I think you’re comments are dead-on and will use common sense and your comments as my guidelines. I so need to do this. I, too, am a queen collector of sauces and condiments; sometimes my fridge has more sauces and condiments than regular food items…but I love them. Thanks, enjoy and savor each moment.
What amazing idea! My cupboards and freezer are long overdue for a cleanout. Come March 1st, I’ll be joining you. The sheets you attached will be a great help before, during and after the Pantry Challenge to help keep everything from piling up again. Thanks so much, Crystal.
I’m on board girl! My freezer is a HOT mess right now!
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Just finished doing the pantry and freezer. I am going to sit down and make my month menu out now. Great idea because I actually had no idea what was all in my freezer.
I’ve been talking to a friend about doing this. Though, he has 3 teens/preteens and I have a six year old(that can eat a ton). He needs to learn how to stockpile better. Whereas, I have stuff that needs to be used. I’m also showing him and his kids how to cook some things from scratch.
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