My personal food challenge
Using up the old to bring in the new; cleaning out the cabinets
I’ve had the house to myself for about a week, and I have another week to go. When there’s only one person—it’s easy to downsize a bit. And I decided to downsize in regards to hastily purchasing food.
I have not done a full grocery shopping yet—instead, I’m forcing myself to come up with meals from scrap, using all up the random things in the cabinets and fridge.
The older I get, the more I understand every parent’s frustration when kids say there is nothing to eat. I know I used that phrase a number of times (probably a number of times a day, if I’m being honest) and yet I know my childhood home was always stocked. In this instance, you can just say kids will be kids and kids want food with bunnies staring down at them.
Now as an adult, whenever I find myself thinking I have nothing to eat—I know better. I know there are people out there who literally have nothing to eat. I may not be able to get a gourmet meal three times a day, but there is always food available. And I’m a smart shopper—you can even ask the last cashier I had who said “How do you know so much about shopping?”
I’m not sure if it was my coupons, my reusable bags or my bagging skills that gave it away—but yes, I try to be smart in all aspects of food and that includes the very act of shopping. I’m digressing. I placed this challenge in front of myself: eat as many things in the fridge and cabinets as possible before restocking.
I’m doing this for many reasons: to save money, to free up space and to prevent food waste. It’s also a way to simply to clean everything out.
Chances are – If it’s been sitting in the back of the shelf for two years— it’s not going to get eaten. How long can I tell myself “someday” every time I look at it?
I’m trying to avoid an overstock of undesirables. It’s a waste.
As a general rule, I always try to buy versatile ingredients. The last time I shopped, I had healthier options in mind—so that doesn’t hurt things either.
In regards to this challenge, I’m basically making myself eat all of these things and I feel better for it. It’s been more than a week since I’ve been to the supermarket, though I do admit picking up some items at the farmers market.
I’m happy to say this challenge has been successful. My refrigerator is practically empty and I find myself pitching some of the older jarred items as well.
Who needs spring cleaning when this summer heat is pushing me indoors?
Some of my made-fromscratch meals included two chicken sandwiches using up tomatoes and green leaf lettuce that had been sitting; once I ran out of break I turned those ingredients into a salad the next day. Fried rice with veggies is a popular go-to of mine, though last night I just made buttered rice with veggies because I wasn’t feeling very well and wanted something bland. And I was happy to have finished off my hummus as an office snack yesterday. All of these items are gluten-free of course.
Tonight I’m cooking off the rest of some elbow needles. The buzzer just rang for those actually, so now I need to go fry up some broccoli and red pepper that I bought locally today.
Tomorrow, I will be food shopping.