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
- 6 Classic Meal Builders Your Pantry Needs – This post will give you ideas on what to do with some of the items in your pantry.
- You can read about one of my pantry and freezer finds and the recipes I made in this post I did a few years back.
- I love this recipe for using up pantry and fridge ingredients. There are so many ways you can make it and it pretty much is always delicious.
- Here’s another recipe I made from whatever I had on hand to show you how simple ingredients can work really well together. SO GOOD!
- Try some of these super easy 3 ingredient or less recipes for using up some of those ingredients!
- This list features sixty 4 and 5 ingredient recipes and it has some of my favorites on it!
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
- Plan Meals around your calendar and lifestyle
- Simplify Grocery Shopping to save time and money
- Stock up your freezer with easy meals and shortcuts
- Plan 15-minute meals for busy days
- Master time-saving tools in the kitchen–before you are in a time crunch!
- Create intentional conversation and connection with your families at the dinner table + FREE PRINTABLE!
- 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!
Grammy's Grub says
Thank you for your article. I’m looking forward to reading more from your site. We are moving cross country in a few months. I’m challenging myself to eat down as much from my well stocked freezer as possible before the move.