Saturday, November 19, 2011

My pantryith has runnith overith...

There is so much food in this house, but with my obsession/addiction (to buying food) I'm still at the store at least once a day. It's definitely time to get this issue of mine under control.
I'm going to try my hardest to eventually get to the point of an actual shopping DAY of the week.
I've read a lot about people doing The Pantry Challenge and I've decided to join in!
I'm going to post my goals on the refrigerator to remind myself, but I'll also post the list here.
Maybe if someone is going through the same thing I am then I can inspire them somehow.
Maybe I'll get someone to start their own pantry-challenge one day?! That would be excellent :)
Observe... the refrigerator... 
The freezer....
And now... the pantry...

Amy's Pantry Challenge - Facts and Goals:
FACT: Every single day I go to the store and impulse-buy.
GOAL: Save money by making 1 large weekly trip, and 1 mini-trip in the middle of the week if we need a few necessities. By doing this, it will add up to a lot of money saved in the long-run (since I won't be able to indulge in a ridiculous amount of impulse buying anymore).

FACT: I'm a stay-at-home-mom and use way too much gas just going to the store daily.
GOAL: Save gas (which will save money) by not driving back and forth to the store everyday.

FACT: I hardly ever bake.
GOAL: Save money by baking/making some of my own bread items.
EXAMPLE: We eat a lot of  cheesy garlic bread with our dinners and it's around $3 a box! That is such a waste of money when you stop and calculate! Sometimes I make my own cheesy garlic bread (with just regular bread) but more times than not, I'm buying it! So I need to stop buying as much "pre-made" stuff.
         :One box of pre-made garlic bread is around $3.00 for 6 tiny pieces. That's .50 per slice!
         :One loaf of bread at Walmart is $1.00 for 24 slices. That's .4 per slice! HUGE difference!
(Wow... thinking about stuff like that sure opens my eyes to a new way of spending/living!)

FACT: The freezer and pantry are so full I can barely fit anything in them; yet I buy more daily.
GOAL: Eat up what we already have and stop buying more and more! (I blame the impulse buying! So if I'm not at the store  everyday then I can't do that anymore!)

FACT: My food budget is supposed to be $322.00 per month, but the money is gone before 1/2 that time (2 weeks) even passes!!
GOAL: Make $322.00 (for food/drink items) last the entire month! That's $80.50/week.
NOTE: That shouldn't be a struggle in the beginning because we have so much food already here!

FACT: I usually tend to shy away from Freezer-Cooking since I'm really picky about the taste of food.
GOAL: After my freezer gets about half empty I will start making at least 2 frugal freezer-meals each month to not only save money, but time too (since I'll have 3 kids under 3 years old by then).
NOTE: Frugal Freezer Meals to me mean big quantities of economic food that freeze well. That reminds me of the quote "Cook once, eat twice.". You can have the meal for dinner, put some in the fridge for lunch the next day, and then divide the rest into at least 3 separate freezer-baggies for future meals.
CALCULATIONS: That way if you spend around $6 on a huge pot of (for example) Chili and it turns out you got at least 6 big meals out of it, that's only $1 per meal to feed your whole family. For my family (of 4) that'd basically be a .25 dinner for each of us a few nights a month. Sounds pretty fantastic to me!!!!

FACT: Having this much food in my house overwhelms me, and it keeps getting worse.
GOAL: Make food with what we have! I could probably write about 3 monthly menus and not have to buy anything but milk/bread! Ofcourse that's not going to happen, but you know what I'm trying to say. I have to stop buying what I might be "craving" at the time, and just make what we have here! This reminds me of the post I made about eating what's on the menu even if I don't feel like it. Read it HERE is you're curious.
EXCEPTION: At least 3x a month it's important to me that we eat my 'famous' teriyaki salmon for dinner. Not only because it's healthy, but because it's one of our all-time favorites. I ONLY eat salmon fresh and have to cook it the very night I buy it. (meaning, I'll primarily eat up what we have here, but I still have to buy salmon since I only eat it fresh.)

FACT: Usually when I buy/open a bottle of sauce (like teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.) then it just sits in the fridge until I have to throw it away (since it eventually expires). I love knowing I have all the choices to use, but (more times than not) it turns out to be money wasted.
GOAL: If I open a bottle of sauce and have left-over in the bottle then I need to put a meal on my monthly menu (or the next month's rough-draft menu/ideas) using the rest of the sauce instead of just forgetting about it! This will eliminate wasting.

FACT: We grow some vegetables in our backyard, and also have an herb garden!
GOAL: Use/Cook/Eat as many vegetables from the garden as possible! Also, use the herbs to make marinades, flavored butter, pesto, and just as a garnish for extra flavor to meals!

FACT: I keep having to re-take inventory of all the food in the kitchen (which is a huge tedious task!). I go to the store everyday and lose track of what I buy. I then feel over-whelmed that I have to do the whole inventory again and it makes me anxious!
GOAL: Don't forget to write down EVERY food item I bring into this house so I know exactly what we have to work with. My other goal is to re-organize the pantry. I know exactly where everything is and it's actually really organized to me! BUT, after I took a picture and saw it on the computer screen I realized it just looks chaotic since the food items are mixed in with other stuff/paper towels/cooking gadgets/etc. I want to bring all the edible stuff to the front of the pantry, and put everything else in 1 section (probably the back wall) of the pantry.
NOTE: Since I won't be going to the store daily anymore it shouldn't be that hard to keep the inventory from being too over-whelming. The less food coming into this house is the less I have to add to all my lists!

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