This was my pantry this morning. Don’t get so excited- the pb and jam are bird food.
You’re probably wondering how someone who is such a foodie could maintain such an empty pantry. Check out these pics:
Ya. SO inventory was: some beans, rice, couscous, vegan jello, some pathetic handfuls of snacks my kids haven’t finished, the world’s largest herbal tea collection, dry popcorn, miso, soymilk, a few random wilty veges, onions, a few pieces of fruit, and some handfuls of frozen veges. We didn’t have butter or oil. No oats. No dried fruit. We DID have a few english muffins left.
This included quite a few canned goods to even out meals and snacks, but we still have ample home-canned foods in the closet.
And I’m crafty, so that would have lasted us another two days. We had snacks, and rice and beans, or beans and couscous, paired with veges would have been just fine. But I don’t like to cut it that close in case I begin a fibro flair or if I get sick.
Are you curious as to why I ate my pantry?
I read this post about 2 weeks ago. A couple months ago, I was going through my pantry to see what I could cook, and the more I pulled out, the more I realized was coming within a few months of expiration! OH NO! You can only imagine how much I hate food waste. When I read that post, it seemed so clear. The problem wasn’t that I needed more groceries. It was that I wasn’t using random stuff kicking around. Obviously, there were a few impulse buys, or meals that weren’t thought through- but mostly, it was that I wasn’t eating everything I bought.
Why don’t I just buy my favorite things and not buy the things that are perpetually left over? I dunno. Convenience? Lack of creativity? Too much creativity/experimentation? Forgetfulness? Who knows. But the good news is that I know what I DO eat! And those are the things I need to buy more off, and less of the things that are always left behind.
After I eat the pantry.
How did I do it? Well honestly I wasn’t the least bit creative. I ran on the rule of three- every meal had to have whole grain, veg, and protein for lunch and supper. Snacks were whole grain, veg, or fruit. Maybe it was weird, pairing up certain things, and maybe it was weird having quarter cup servings of 5 different entrees leftover for lunch. But food didn’t end up in the trash, we were fed, and mostly, we were smug and self-satisfied.
This was part of a great kitchen-cleanout, and I’ll post more on that later. But I used the opportunity to clean out old spices that were past, take soap and water to my refrigerator and cabinets, and reconsider my storage solutions. When I DID restock my kitchen, I was sure to get only foods that I remember eating or needing. I wrote them all down, and didn’t stray from my enormous list. I bought a few naughty foods- cinnamon chex for snacks is definitely in my cupboard HA! (no one ever said I was perfect) Here are my completed photos- note the ample fresh produce, meal-cooking components, and tons of packaging. That’s my fault. We can’t eat out of the bulk bins at the store because of my inability to eat foods that have been cross-contaminated with gluten. I already cook so much stuff from scratch, that I have to cut my losses and buy pre-prepared foods that are affordable and cook the kinds that aren’t.
I strongly recommend you eat your pantry. Who knows, maybe you’ll make some discoveries…