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Pantry Inventory Challenge, Anyone?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I was nervous that our power would go out due to Sandy, so I went ahead and consolidated stuff from our regular freezer in the kitchen to the chest freezer, so it would all stay frozen longer.  In the process, I was a little surprised about how much stuff I had in there that I'd forgotten about.


Not to mention, in the last week both my husband and I received some health info that wasn't too great.  He has high cholesterol and I have to go gluten free.  I love baking, and he loves bacon, so we're both having to make some dietary changes we're not too happy with... but we'll cope.  In the meantime, I want to see what we can use from our pantry inventory and what we can't.  This is perfect timing considering we stock up for the winter months when we can't leave the house, AND we're expecting a baby around the holidays so I definitely won't be shopping much with a newborn...  OK, I'm rambling here.


SO... since misery loves company and all that... anyone want to join me as I clean out our back-up supplies, fridge, freezer, and all that?

post #2 of 3

I've been planning to do a pantry challenge for the next month or two at least.  By that I mean making meal plans to use what I have on hand and minimizing grocery shopping.  I'm not planning to do a full on inventory at first because we are very stocked up right now (just got our whole pastured hog a couple weeks ago!) - I just want to make sure that I am using what I have instead of buying more, that I can save money and that anything older in the pantry/freezer gets used first.


Does that count?  Usually we post meal plans and ask for advice if we are stuck on how to use up odd bits of things.  If that isn't what you have in mind I could start a different thread  :)


ETA - Just realized this was in the decluttering area.....usually my version of the pantry challenge is more in the frugality area!  I need to do it for both reasons  lol - but I'm here to support you at least!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hey - however you want to do it, it's all good with me!!


Yesterday I reorganized our freezer and I'm feeling really good about it.  Luckily our freezer comes with these dividers in it (unlike our last freezer) so now I have sections for fruit, vegetables, roasts (and other meats that are meant for slow cooking like short ribs or stew meat), "ingredients" (like stock, soup bones, bacon, hocks, etc.), convenience meals (frozen soups and that sort of thing), ground beef/pork/sausage, and quick-cook meats (like steaks). 


I brought all our junky frozen food into our kitchen - DH likes things like Hot Pockets and such.  But if I'm going to go gluten free, at least now I know that pretty much everything in the chest freezer is acceptable - and if DH needs a snack he can grab stuff from the kitchen without rummaging through the chest freezer.  He makes a mess of things anyway usually when he does that.  He can make a mess of the inside freezer all he wants, it's too little to make a difference.  Before the baby comes I'll stock up the inside freezer with snacks he's running low on so he can microwave himself something when I don't feel like cooking.  So this is a win-win...


Next up is, I guess, the pantry... I'm going to separate gluten-free stuff into one section and gluten inclusive into another.  I think that's the plan...


Oh, and I still obviously have to clean our fridge, which is in terrible shape... I want to use up everything we have in there and start from scratch as well.  So I guess that puts us in the same place, artemis. :)


And THEN when all is said and done, I want to start making and freezing food in big batches.  But come to think of it, most of my big-batch food staples have gluten, and I don't want to buy gluten-free substitute ingredients because they cost an arm and a leg.  So how do I make gluten free lasagna, for instance without buying special noodles etc?  Argh.  This is going to take some getting used to.  =/ 

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