Friday, February 05, 2010

Eating out of the cupboard

Last month I took up the challenge of making meals out of what I had in the pantry for the entire month. I sat down and made a month menu based on what I had in the cupboard and then went to the store for the supplement items. I have to admit that it wasn't a 100% success as I did end up at the store throughout the month, but I can say that my cupboard is much more bare than it was a month ago. I cooked much more than I have since starting my job 10 months ago. I love being in the kitchen, so getting the creative juices flowing again didn't take long. Healthier meals were cooked compared to the previous month which makes one feel so much better.

But I'm finding there's one problem. An empty cupboard. A much more empty cupboard. Not only the cupboards, but my fridge too. Makes for a little bit more of a food budget this month, but it was a good exercise overall. And getting into that habit has paid off.

The other night Ed had defrosted some ground chicken and I was going to grill hamburgers (I heart grilling), but realized after I was home, there were no buns. Menu changed to tacos. Threw in a can of black beans and corn, stretched the tacos into the next day for lunches too.

Today on the way to pick kids up from school I thought, "I need to stop by the store to pick something up for dinner" which was immediately followed by, "wait...what do I have at home? I have ground turkey in the freezer and a bag of red potatoes that need used. Shepherds Pie!" So grocery store trip was scratched off the list and I spent $0. Throw in some veggies (not IN the shepherds pie Anne...just in case you were wondering if I was feeling ok) and there's dinner!

So it CAN be done with a little brain work, some extra time and for me, creating a menu for the month (sure saves $$ when I'm shopping off a list instead of off my brain).


anne said...

Duuude. It's all about the layering.

Amy said...

I need to have you send me some recipes. My kids are such picky eaters, I haven't had much success in the home-cooked arena. Last night I made shrimp spaghetti and ended up throwing half of it away. How do you get kids out of the chicken nuggets and mac & cheese mode?

Luanne said...

Good work Jean! I am trying to do that more and more as well and have found my cupborads bare as well...especially last week!