*ETA: I forgot to add links to the recipes I’m using as well as picture of my pantry. I know you want to see it.*
Besides making me struggle with my own imperfections, the thing I hate most about Pinterest is that it enables my recipe hoarding habit. I have over 1100 recipe pins; that’s over 53% of all the things I’ve pinned! What makes this is so bad is that I constantly want to make new recipes and try new things. Which means I have to buy lots of food which tends to result in an expensive grocery bills.
This summer I’ve noticed 2 things: one, I seem to be going over my $50/week food budget a lot (that also includes toiletries and household products), sometimes by as much as $15; and two, my pantry is so full that I don’t have room for new purchases. I am one person; I do not need a pantry so full that things fall out when I try to put something away.
I realized this on Saturday, when I was menu planning and getting my grocery list together. I was writing down that I needed to buy pasta and diet coke because they were on mega sale AND I had coupons when I realized that I should probably check and see if I actually needed those things. I opened the pantry door and found two unopened 12 packs of diet coke (plus some sprite left over from a party) and no less than 6 packages of pasta. Seriously, y’all. It’s out of control.
It’s time for Operation Eat All the Food.
For the next 6 weeks, I’m going to be working my way through all the food in my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. I will not be stocking up on any food, no matter how good the sale/coupon combination is. I will be aiming to keep my spending at $30 or less. I have all the toiletries and cleaning supplies I need for a while, so I’m thinking this shouldn’t be too hard. I will mostly focus on buying produce and dairy and creating meals around what food I have on hand. I’ve also got to cut back on eating out because not only do I need to eat the food I already have, I’ve got to stop spending so much money.
I will be doing my best to update you all (and hold myself accountable) on my progress including my spending and what I’ve used up. I did really well on Saturday; I only spent $26 and that included some sirloin steak and chicken breasts.
The plan for this week is as follows:
Lunch: leftover pizza
Dinner: eating at my parents
Using up – pizza
Brunch: bagel with cream cheese; fresh fruit
chicken picatta pasta (bumped from two weeks ago) *okay so I ended up eating out with The Carpenter and his kids. At least I didn’t spend any money. ;)*
Using up – cut up fruit, pasta, fresh lemon, parsley
Lunch: leftover pizza
Dinner: meatball subs, salad
Using up – hot dog buns, meatballs, lettuce, croutons, cheese
Lunch: egg salad on crackers, fruit
Dinner: Bible study where dinner is provided
Using up: eggs, crackers, cut up fruit
Lunch: leftover potato, salad if there’s any left or tomatoes and cucumbers
Dinner: Chinese orange beef over rice, steamed broccoli
Using up – leftovers, rice (why do I have so much rice?!), green onions
Lunch: leftover Chinese beef
Dinner: TBD (if I don’t eat with my parents it will be leftovers or scrambled eggs and toast)
Using up – leftovers, eggs (maybe), sandwich bread (maybe)
Anyone else want to join me in Operation Eat All the Food?
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday