Monday, January 2, 2012

Pantry Challenge

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet?  Have you made a goals list for your homestead?  

We're still working on putting our goals for 2012 together, but one goal we're starting today is a "Pantry Challenge."  What this means is that my family will attempt to eat as much as we can out of our own pantry for the next month.  We'll be going to the grocery store less and having to take more time to plan meals. 

We spent the fall getting our pantry stocked and I hate to see all that hard work go to waste.  But each year it seems like there is far too much food that doesn't get used up and it ends up being thrown away, fed to the chickens/pigs/dogs/cats, or composted.

Sadly, the wasted food does not come from stocking too much.  It comes from going to our grocery store for this and that ingredient and picking up more every time I'm there.  Why?  Because it takes more time to cook, or I forget what I have, or it's not something I really like and I think "why did I buy that?"  It's as simple as I just don't have the ambition to cook or, more likely, I just simply forget to plan.   

I'd love to be able to claim the Pantry Challenge as my own idea, but it's not original.  I follow a blog named Good Cheap Eats.  The Pantry Challenge and it's "rules" originated from there.  You can find those "rules" here.

Yesterday was the first day of my pantry challenge.  I wanted to make a traditional pork roast for New Year's Day, but due to poor planning the roast wasn't thawed in time.  So I found some easy-to-thaw pork chops, the last box of Stove Top stuffing (I know, terrible stuff), and I almost always have cream of mushroom soup in the pantry (I bought a big case of Pacific Foods All Natural Mushroom Soup the last time I was at our "local" big box store, named BJs.  It's a bit more gelatinous in nature than I like, but tastes pretty much same as Campbells -I'll have to use it up).  Then, I went on to the Stove Top website and found a good recipe for Pork Chop Stuffing Bake here.   I made a salad from some great salad greens and some fresh red and yellow peppers that need to be eaten up before they go bad.  I segmented a tangelo from the case that I had bought at the high school from the FFA students.  We have lots of Christmas cookies left over for our dessert.  Dinner!

The family loved it.  There wasn't a bit left.

Starting next Monday I'll keep you updated on how well this challenge has done and (hopefully!) have a meal plan for the next week.

Will you join me for the Pantry Challenge?  I'd love to hear how tackle it!

Please head over to Barn Hop #43 at Homestead Revival!


  1. This is spur of the moment, but I'll join in. I probably won't get my post up till tomorrow though. I really need to do this.

  2. I should really do another Pantry Challenge. I only did one for one month last year, but honestly, I could probably do them two or three times a year with two-month stints at it. Thanks for the reminder.