Pantry Cooking week

We have a ton of food. Enough to where if I took out half of it to donate to the food pantry, I'd still have a ton to work with.

Each week I plan out meals and shop for the groceries needed to cook those meals. And each week I get around to cooking maybe half those meals. Then the perishables get wasted, the meat goes in the freezer, and the other stuff joins the pantry graveyard. The cycle starts over the next week. I could just shift the uncooked meals to the next week, but there's always some other recipe in a magazine or on a website somewhere that I think I'd rather try.

This week, I'm going to try my hardest to only cook meals from what I have on hand. I want to clear this stuff out! Maybe it's the nesting kicking in, but I just can't handle all the clutter in that pantry anymore. It's driving me nuts.

I usually spend roughly $50-$60 dollars a week on groceries for the two of us, and sadly some of it gets wasted (mostly fresh fruit and veggies). Actually, I shop at Walmart and my bill is usually a little higher than that, but that's because I get things like shampoo, a dog toy, extra thread, or an oil filter for one of the cars (none of which I'd consider part of the grocery budget).

The goal here is to spend way less than that on my next grocery run. There will be the usual fresh milk and fruit for snacks on the bill. But I'm going to try really hard to make sure I don't buy any "new" food for the recipes I'm going to make this week. If I have to buy more than 1 new ingredient for a recipe, I'm just going to leave it out or not make the recipe. I'm allowing myself that 1 ingredient really only if it's going to make or break the recipe.

So there's my challenge. I'm going to blog about it all week, starting with a separate post in a little bit about what I made last night, as well as my plan for what I'm making.

For now I'll leave you with a photo of how horrible my pantry looks. Hopefully when this week is over, it will look a little more tidy.

Anyone want to join me?