Eat at Home Habit #7 – Pantry and Freezer Challenge!

It’s the final post in our series on 7 Habits for Eating at Home.

If you are just joining us and would like to catch up on the other topics we’ve covered including topics planning meals around your calendar, quick and simple grocery shopping tips, stocking your freezer, the 15-minute meal, tools and tips for mastering time-saving cooking methods and a collection of dinner conversation starters. Today we have the perfect way to wrap up our series on healthy eating habits with a pantry and freezer challenge.

Habit #7 – Pantry and Freezer Challenge

One habit that needs to be in the rotation for all of us is the occasional pantry and freezer challenge.  We are blessed to live in a country where food is abundant and getting it in hand is easier than it ever has been before. We have the ability to buy and store all kinds of food to keep on hand whenever we want it. We can even have it delivered to our door in some instances!

But the other side of that coin is it’s easy to keep buying things we don’t need while letting ingredients we already have languish and spoil in the pantry and freezer. Of course, wasted food is not only sad but it’s not really great for the budget either. So I like to be intentional about taking a week or two every so often to go through what I have and make a plan for using it up in my meals. This means I waste much less food than before and still put great meals on the table for my family!

Here are a few tips for taking a week (or more) and using up the food that’s been hiding in your kitchen and turning it into delicious and satisfying meals for your family.

  • Go on a search and rescue mission in your pantry and freezer.  You need to know exactly what you’ve got in there.  Examine expiration dates, pitching what’s already past its prime.  Make a list of what you find.
  • Search recipes for meals that use the foods you find.  Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients and get creative in your cooking.
  • Grab a calendar and plot out your meals. You might surprise yourself and be able to plan several weeks or a whole month!
  • Commit.  Stay out of the stores as much as possible and keep to your plan.  One way to commit is to designate a way to spend or save the money you’re not spending on groceries.  If you budget a regular amount of money for the grocery, during your pantry and freezer challenge you won’t be spending that.  That means you can put that money aside for something needed or fun!

I think this pantry and freezer challenge is the perfect way to end our 7 Habits of Eating at Home series.  I’d love it if you took a moment and told me what you’re making from your pantry and freezer this week!

Here are a few more things that might be helpful in your pantry and freezer challenge this week

 

Next week we’re starting a new series on Summer Slow Cooking and Pressure Cooking. Let’s keep the kitchen cool together!

Read all the posts in the 7 Successful Habits for Eating at Home

  1. Plan Meals around your calendar and lifestyle
  2. Simplify Grocery Shopping to save time and money
  3. Stock up your freezer with easy meals and shortcuts
  4. Plan 15-minute meals for busy days
  5. Master time-saving tools in the kitchen–before you are in a time crunch!
  6. Create intentional conversation and connection with your families at the dinner table + FREE PRINTABLE!
  7. THIS POST: Use up what you already have by shopping from your pantry and freezer when you plan your menu at least a few times a year!
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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – April 17

1.  Turkey in the Pressure Cooker – for sandwiches instead of the freezer

The other day on Facebook Live, I showed how to make a turkey breast (or boneless turkey breast roast, in this case) in the Instant Pot.  My intention was to put the meat in the freezer to use for recipes.  We ended up using it for sandwiches and things though.  Mia and I got home late from a soccer game the night I made the turkey.  It was waiting for us, since I’d left it on “keep warm” all day.

We sliced and chopped some of the meat and served it over quick quinoa and brown rice (more on that below), topped with shredded cheddar, salsa, lettuce and sour cream.  Yum!  The rest of the turkey got sliced and put in the fridge.  It made for great sandwiches over the next few days.

2. Quick Quinoa and Brown Rice combo

I know I shared this a few weeks ago, but I’m sharing again because these packets are so good and versatile.  This isn’t sponsored in any way, I’m just sharing a product I love.

I will say that for a family meal, this is not the way to go.  But for 1-2 people that need a quick, nutritious meal these packets are great.  They only have 2 servings in each packet and they cost $2.something  at the grocery.  I picked up a 6-pack at Costco the other day for $10 something. Cheaper but still kind of pricey.

But a 90 second spin through the microwave to have a great base for leftover meat, veggies, eggs, cheese etc – you can’t beat that.

3.  Money Saving Mom is hosting an Eat at Home Challenge

I’m so excited to partner with Crystal from Money Saving Mom for an Eat at Home Challenge.  Crystal will be on Facebook Live every morning this week, cooking from the Eat at Home Slow Cooker Plan.  We’d love to have you join in!

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New Eat at Home Challenge Starting Soon!

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I’m very excited that we’re doing the Eat at Home Challenge again!  I’ve changed things up and made it even better for this time around.

The timing is perfect on this one – getting a good foundation of eating at home before the craziness of the holidays hits.

Click Here to Join!The challenge starts October 22 and runs through November 5. Our goal is to eat dinner at home six nights a week for two straight weeks.  We want to build that habit and carry it through once the challenge is over, but we’re starting with just a couple of weeks. It’s free to join and participants will get a week of each of the three types of Weekly Meal Plans – Traditional, Slow Cooker and Whole Food.  That means you won’t even have to plan or make a grocery list during the challenge!  But you can use any recipes you like during the challenge.  This is all about what works for you.

What You Get During the Challenge

When you sign up with your email address, you’ll receive helpful tips and resources from me, including:15min2

    • A week each of Traditional, Slow Cooker and Whole Food Weekly Meal Plans with grocery lists

 

  • Lots of printable recipes

 

 

  • My best meal planning tips

 

 

  • My favorite quick cooking tricks

 

 

  • The speed grocery shopping tactics I use when I hit the store

 

 

  • Encouragement to help you get in the swing of eating at home!

 

 

 

So what are you waiting for? Join us and let’s get our dinners back on track!

Click Here to Join!

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