During the month of February I completed a pantry challenge...
in a world of buy, buy, buy, I took a break.
To see what I really use and what is just wasting my money and space by sitting in the cabinets and in the fridge.
The only purchases allowed are fresh produce and dairy products.
To clean out and use things in my pantry and freezer. I had a menu plan that didn't assign days, but listed recipes to make during the month. I made favorites and new recipes and even made snacks and desserts.
The most surprising thing was this...
my cooking habits have changed, a lot. I don't eat a lot of meat now, so even after not buying any meat for a month, I still have quite a bit in my freezer. I use black beans at almost a 3 to 1 ratio to kidney beans, who knew? Condensed soups have now been banned since I have found a healthier, less processed, version that I can make from scratch with ease. I love popcorn as a snack or dessert, coconut oil and dill.
I learned the following....
I would rather spend a bit of time to make something from scratch and know all of the ingredients instead of buying a pre-packaged options. The breakfast and lunch burritos that routinely fill my freezer are cases in point.
I love to cook.
I love being creative to vary a menu and in finding new recipes to try.
I even had food to eat when I went down with a flu for almost a week....
There was a little cheating when my favorite brand of herbs and spices went on sale at 50% off and when I ran out of yeast and couldn't make bread.
In terms of saving money, I did, but I used it to get ahead and do some extra things this month, which was very nice!
I am very glad I did this and will do it again in the future!
Off to plan my next meal...