Sunday, July 15, 2012

An update on eating down the pantry

I've already mentioned that one of my goals for the month of July is to eat from the pantry. This will help us save money, rotate the contents of our stockpile, and not have food sitting around going bad while we take a quick trip to Guatemala.

So far, this is going pretty well! We stopped at the store for essentials like milk, picked up a couple watermelons because the whole family loves them, and I grabbed a few packs of jalapeƱo cheese wedges - normally I wouldn't stock up on these in the middle of a pantry challenge, but they are on a special buy at Aldi right now, and they may be gone by the end of July. And P-Daddy stocked up when he saw good chocolate on sale. But overall, our purchases have been minimal, and we've been making progress on eating from the pantry.

One thing we have to make sure we keep on top of is eating fruit and veggies in a timely manner. With a new co-op delivery every two weeks, we have plenty on hand, and we have to consciously plan how to use them. What has really been helping me with is that I try to spend time on the weekend prepping for the week. This helps me use up things I have on hand, and it keeps me sane - and healthy - even when things get crazy around here.

When the fruit and veggies are just hanging out in the crisper drawers and I have to peel, chop, cook, etc. right when I need them, I'm unlikely to want to go through all of that for a snack or for a quick dinner after a long day at work. So I've been doing as much of the prep work as possible on the weekend to make my life easier - and my meals healthier - during the week. This has been especially helpful for my lunches. Because I portioned different things into individual serving size containers that can be grabbed and tossed into a lunch bag easily, getting my lunch together for work was a breeze. I had pork roast for a couple of entrees, and ate them with carrot sticks, pepper strips, watermelon chunks, and strawberries.

I also had more of all of those things, plus cucumber sticks, that I put into larger containers to keep in the fridge for quick grab snacks or to add to evening meals as needed. We've been really working on Pooh's swimming the last couple of weeks, so we've gone to the pool every night. We don't want a heavy dinner before we go, so we've been putting together simple meals with some kind of protein, plus fruit and veggies. We've really enjoyed having these ready to go, and it's made life a lot easier this week!

This coming week will look much the same. I've got broccoli, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, blueberries, and watermelon ready to go, and I've got bananas, kiwis, oranges, and apples yet to prep. For entrees, P-Daddy made this gorgeous frittata that we'll be working on.

Yum! I'm ready for another good week! And yay, we used up some potatoes! Still have more to go, but it's a start!

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