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Back to trying to eat what's on hand

January 16th, 2009 at 05:50 pm

I would like to use up the foodstuffs I already have in my cabinets and fridge before shopping for more (read interesting and new) grocery items.

I'm a pretty good cook and love to make things from scratch, so I guess half of my space is taken up with staples, spices, and things that take some planning and preparation to make into a meal.

Ah, but getting the motivation to do it is another thing! It just seems so overwhelming.

Some folks on here make periodic challenges to eat out of their current inventory of food, and I admire that. Are there any simple strategies about how to do this on a regular basis to use up what you already have?

7 Responses to “Back to trying to eat what's on hand”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    I brace myself and eat a cycle of spaghetti, rice, and soup for a week. That's what I tend to have on hand and sometimes I open the pantry and want to scream- then I remember its only food- so what if its boring- its not the end of the world.

  2. mooshocker Says:

    Purging ones body is great. Purging ones cabinets and recycling the old with the new is awesome. Eat your house empty, then re-stock with coupons, frugality and on a full stomach. God bless.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    I've been working on this recently, also. Our one kitchen cabinet where we keep snacks was overflowing with half-eaten packages of crackers, pretzels, cookies, etc. The past couple of weeks, when I've wanted a snack, I've focused on finishing bags and boxes of things in there. I've gotten rid of quite a few items so far. Sure beats throwing it out or having so much stuff crammed in there that we can't find anything.

  4. Ralph Says:

    This is a pretty fun winter game. I especially enjoy cleaning out the fridge - there is just something so satisfying about that. But it's also nice to dig through the pantry to unearth long forgotten treasures, preferably before they expire.

  5. crazyliblady Says:

    I would make a basic inventory of ingredients you already have. Then, figure out what you can make out of what you already have and if there are any ingredients you are missing. It might help to make a basic menu for each meal so that you don't feel tempted to say there's nothing to eat. Also, keep track of what items in your stock you have used. I do some cooking ahead and then freeze what I have made for my lunches at work. I stock up a lot on basic items I used a lot - rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef, chicken, and spices. That way, if I experience a lean month due to high utility bills or something, I have something to lean on. It helps a lot.

  6. davera Says:

    Thanks y'all, these are good ideas. I wonder how long it would take to "eat the house empty," as Moo says?

    It seems like every cabinet and the fridge freezer are full to overflowing. Honestly, I have to question how and why did I get to such a point of being so super-overstocked?

    I don't usually buy convenience foods of any kind, so 99% of what I have on hand requires assembly and preparation. The approach of doing an inventory and then making menu plans seems like a very good one.

    Well, if I can stay out of the grocery aisles, except for dairy and produce, I might be able to clean everything out in 6 months. Seriously.

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