Friday, January 1, 2010

January Challenge: Eating from the Pantry and Freezer

The deal-seeking and coupon-cutting I've done the last few months has left us with food bursting out of our kitchen and currently taking up space in our playroom and dining room. In addition, both our freezer and full-size stand-up freezer are full. I defrosted the stand-up in November and took an inventory, which helps a lot. As a result, our family is joining Money Saving Mom and Fish Mama's Freezer and Pantry Cooking month.

For this challenge, I have three goals.
  1. Spend $200 on groceries.
  2. Organize our food stockpile so I can see what we have more easily.
  3. Post more recipes! 
We spent $230 on groceries in September with far less food in our stockpile, so I think goal 1 is doable. It will also probably drive up our grocery spending in February, but the point is to rotate goods so things don't go bad. The recipes are needed because I have a terrible habit of throwing things together without measuring the seasonings or paying attention to cooking times. I'd like to be able to replicate dishes we liked and fix dishes that aren't quite up to scratch.

I flipped through the freezer inventory and looked in our cupboards. Here are some of the meals we can make from the items we already have. For sides we have plenty of rice, potatoes, couscous, and canned green beans. I'll need to add more veggies as we go.

  1. smoked turkey
  2. chicken pot pie
  3. macaroni and cheese
  4. pasta with meat sauce
  5. meatloaf
  6. pasta e fagiole with ham
  7. pancakes or French toast 
  8. crockpot beef and mashed potatoes
  9. clementine pork roast
  10. kielbasa rice skillet
  11. pizza
  12. ribs
  13. turkey soup
  14. duck
  15. breakfast burritos
  16. crockpot chicken with 40 cloves of garlic
  17. gnocchi
  18. potato soup
Since several of these entrees will last more than one night, I think we'll be in good shape. We're definitely not afraid of leftovers in our house, and I rarely need to disguise things to serve them again. Often changing up the side dishes is enough.

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