Saving and Giving has moved to! I hope that you'll all join me over at Saving & Giving's new home. I'm planning some fun giveaways to kick things off. I'm still working on the site, and I'd love to hear your input. Let me know which features you want me to keep. You can email me at If you're currently an email subscriber, you shouldn't see any change in your daily email newsletter. I switched the feed over so that you should continue to receive your daily updates.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pantry Challenge Update: What a Snow Day Gets You

I ended up having a snow day today, so I was home with my family! (Emma was not happy about not being able to get back to preschool today, but I did a little happy dance when I got the call that my office was closed.)

I spent the day working on my Eat from the Pantry Challenge goals. Here were my goals along with my progress.
  • Empty the freezer. Toss what's beyond its usable life. Inventory what's left. Maybe put all of our frozen veggies in some type of container so that they don't spill over onto the rest of the contents of the freezer. DONE

  • Empty the big cupboard. Toss what's beyond its usable life. Inventory what's left. Move to the basement the things we don't use that often or items with multiples. DONE

  • Empty the small cupboard. Toss what's beyond its usable life. (I'm pretty sure that there are old spices lurking there!) Only keep things I know I'll use. Move a few more boxes of cereal upstairs from the basement. PARTIALLY DONE - CEREAL MOVED

  • Inventory what's in the basement cupboard. DONE
I was pretty surprised at what was in my freezer. I had an idea of what was there, but I didn't realize that there was enough food to cover (in a heaping kind of way) my kitchen table! Here's what came out of the freezer, not including a few bags of frozen bananas that were WAY past their expiration!

I found 1 1/2 bags of chicken and thought I only had 1. I found a box of frozen treats that only had 1 cup inside. Getting rid of the box cleared up some space. I popped the Fla-Vor-Ice into a container in the freezer door, allowing me to get rid of that box too. I put the frozen veggies into a container, and I did the same with the gazillion bags of shredded zucchini. (What in the world am I going to do with all of this zucchini!?!?) I'm hoping that we'll eat up the remaining ice cream soon so that we can get rid of those cartons too.

The funniest thing I found was a large white container that held multiple blue ice packs (the ones you use in lunch boxes). I'm the only one who takes a lunch, and I rarely use a blue ice pack. So I kept one in the door and put the others away. No need to take up precious freezer space with those!

Now let's compare the BEFORE and AFTER pictures....



I also emptied the big cupboard and found MANY things that were expired. In fact, one of the boxes of Jell-o from the top shelf (which I can't reach without standing on a chair) had a sell by date of July 2007. *GULP!* Guess I should do this more often, eh?

The lesson learned by cleaning out this cupboards was that girls who complain about lack of cupboard space should clean out their cupboards more often. I was quite surprised by how little went back into the cupboard (and how heavy the garbage bag was when I was done!).



I've now inventoried everything that we have on-hand, and I've created a list of 20 meals that can be made from those items. I've got a list of the odds and ends that will need to be bought to fill in the gaps. We went to Kroger this afternoon and bought those items. I'll post those for you later tonight along with the meals that I've planned with what I found in my pantry.

Are you keeping up with the challenge? I'm so glad I started. It's not too late to jump in and join us!!


PoorMom said...

I try to keep my pantry really organized especially b/c all the freebies can get a bit out of hand otherwise. I do it like grocery store , newest in back of oldest and if it is within 2 months of expiring and I won't use it within that time it goes to the poor.

My Freezer though ..a whole other story !