Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pantry Diving

The Greenhabilitator attempts to use it up...

It seems all the stars are aligned this month as I begin working on some of my food-related goals for 2010. That, or other people possibly share some of my habits and have conveniently created challenges with my name on them.

As I mentioned this week on my Greenhab blog, we've started participating in Meatless Monday, which is good for the environment, our health, and my grocery budget. We normally eat meat 4-5 nights per week and I'd like to cut that back to 3 nights...I'll have to arm wrestle my husband for that though.

If you'd like to join in the Meatless Monday revolution, check the hash tag #meatlessmonday on Twitter. Our own EnviRambo has also started a Meatless Monday Flickr group where you can post photos of your meals. (More to come on that!)

I also just heard (through local blogger buddy Julie at Terminal Verbosity) about the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge. This one is right up my alley. Mr. Greenhab has a habit of stocking up on any and all food that's on sale -- whether it's good food or crap -- so it's not unusual to find four boxes of stuffing, or 6 bottles of BBQ sauce in my cupboard. Since we're trying to get away from canned / boxed / processed food, this will give us a nice jump start on doing so.

The nice thing about this challenge is that you can make your own rules. I'm trying to incorporate at least one item from our pantry and one item from our freezer into each dinner, and anything I can into breakfast and lunch. I'll still be purchasing dairy, bread and produce from the store. On average we spend around $500 each month at the grocery store. I'm hoping to cut that back to $50 per week for the challenge month -- I definitely couldn't do it forever!

We're contemplating getting rid of the freezer in our basement, because it's so old and energy inefficient. The savings we gain by purchasing meat and other junk when it's on sale is really negated by what we pay to keep the freezer running. On the other hand, I'd really like to be able to freeze soups, vegetables, pre-made meals, etc. Maybe we'll look into a more efficient model at some point, but for now this challenge will motivate me to get through the food that's in there. (Although I'm not sure how long we can survive on popsicles and bacon.)

I'll keep you posted on all the glorious meals I make with hearts of palm, BBQ sauce, and mandarin oranges!


panamamama said...

Great ideas! I need to eat my pantry down. It's got some strange things left too! I know I have a can of heart of palm and lots of black beans (I always pick up a can no matter what?) We only eat poultry and fish, no red meat, and trying to buy them locally and that in itself makes you eat less meat (price.) I think we eat meat maybe 3 days a week. I'm going to try and give up my little freezer too, and eat out less.

Green Bean said...

I love eating from the pantry - frugal AND green. :)


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