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Archive for the ‘no food left behind’ Category

Over the last week I’ve thought about why I’m doing this and perhaps more importantly why anyone else would care. My personal goal is to eat my way out of my pantry but in doing so I’m also saving money on my groceries, lessening the food that’s wasted or goes bad each week and menu planning. While most people don’t need to use their entire pantry we could all save a little money and waste a little less by menu planning based on what we’ve got in our pantry and in our fridge. Doing so means we can stock up on basics when they go on sale but use them when we are in the mood and we can prevent things from going bad hanging out in the vegetable drawer or the back of the fridge.

Our goal last week was to cut out mid week grocery trips. We are pretty bad about deciding mid week we “need” to make some dessert or recipe and end up spending nearly as much on these impromptu grocery trips as we do on our weekly ones. This isn’t good for our budgets, our meal plan or our waist lines! I’m happy to say that we were successful although we did end up ordering pizza one night because we didn’t like any of our menu options…

This week I decided to use:

  • Banana (Apparently after they went brown I or TH stuck a couple in the freezer and then forgot them…)
  • Puff Pastry (We have two opened packages of this in the freezer so this week we will finish one of them off)
  • Blueberries
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Orzo
  • Sour Cream (We have half the package leftover from a biscuit recipe we made last week and we are horrible about using it up)
  • Buttermilk (Leftover from a recipe the week before last, this tends to go bad in our fridge after using it for one recipe as well)
  • Frozen Salmon Filets
  • Half an onion (leftover from last week)
  • Fresh Asparagus (leftover from the bunch we purchased last week)

We made:

  • Herbed Chicken in Puff Pastry with roasted asparagus (These are like homemade hot pockets! We loved them and the leftovers were almost as good.)
  • Vegan Blueberry Waffles (We aren’t vegans so I’m not sure how these stack up to other vegan waffles but compared to traditional waffles they are pretty heavy. I doubt we will make these again.)
  • Sweet and Spicy Salmon with cheesy orzo
  • Oven Fried Chicken with sour cream mashed potatoes (I’m astounded by how much like fried chicken this tastes! Both of these are five star recipes we will make again and again. While both recipes are a little time consuming and the chicken requires overnight marinading they are well worth the additional effort.)
  • Lettuce Tacos (TH’s recipe) with lime rice and black beans (Tasty, nothing earth shattering but a good go to meal)

Grocery costs: $54.00

Leftovers:

Despite halving the recipe we still have leftover mashed potatoes. Personally I think leftover mashed potatoes are good so I’m sure we will eat these up in the next couple weeks.

What’s your favorite recipe from last week? What tips do you have for menu planning?

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TH (The Husband) and I are slowly getting ready to move again. We have moved every 12- 16 months for the past four years so we are getting pretty good at it and I plan on adding more tips and tricks for moving as we go along. But challenge number one is getting rid of all the perishable food and most of the non perishable food we have in the pantry before we move. We aren’t moving until February but it’s going to take a couple months to use everything and not feel like we are having the same two or three meals over and over and over again. You may be curious why we need to eat everything if we are moving and there are a couple reasons. One, we are moving ourselves which means we have to pack, move, and unpack every single item we own- the less we have the easier and faster this process will be. Two, we are moving in with my parents (a topic for its own blog post) so we won’t need our own pantry items and they don’t have the room to fold our entire pantry into theirs.

So step one of this fun and tasty (because my goal is to make this both fun and tasty) adventure is to do a full assessment of what we have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer and start to meal plan around those items starting with the perishable items first. As part of this process we won’t be purchasing large quanities of any new items unless we think we will use it before we leave. The only two things I think might fit in this category are flour (TH makes most of our bread and sugar because I love baking) oh and maybe stock. Everything else will be purchased according to our meal plan. I’m excited to see how close we can come to an empty pantry 🙂

Last week I decided to get rid of:

– 3 oranges (no clue why we have these since we don’t eat them, I’m guessing they were for a menu item that never happened.)
– 2 frozen chicken breasts (leftover from other recipe)
– 1 lb frozen ribeye steak (TH purchased it on sale a couple weeks ago)
– chicken stock (we have two different boxes open in the fridge for some strange reason..)
– 2 half empty containers of salsa (I don’t know why we have these in our fridge….)
– 1 lb angel hair pasta (probably months and months old and hidden in back of a high shelf)
– pumpkin seeds (less than a week old but I’m not sure how long they are good for)

We made:

1) BBQ Steak in an orange marinade with Grilled Asparagus (My husband really like this but I only thought it was so so)
2) Spicy Spaghetti Squash (We are having this tonight but we have high hopes!)
3) Salsa Chicken with Black Beans (The salsa chicken was our favorite this week. It was easy to make, easy to clean up, and the leftovers are tasty)
4) Pumpkin Seed Pesto over Angel Hair Pasta (It was pretty tasty and we would definitely make it again)
5) Pumpkin Risotto (This made A LOT of risotto, way too much for two people. It was tasty but I would cut this in half and maybe down to one quarter the next time I make it.)

It was pretty easy this week, I’m sure it will get harder when I’m down to rice ( we have a GIANT bag), Worcester Sauce and canned tomato sauce.

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