Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Eat From Our Pantry Challenge

Preface:  Recently one of my talented neices, who I love dearly, came to visit my dad (who I also love dearly).  She wrote a pretty amazing post about my dad and I would love to share it with you.  You can read it here  on her blog (which is a fabulous foodie/fitness blog).

I feel like I have finally recovered from losing the hour that disappeared when we sprang forward (apparently some of us sprang more quickly than others).  I can wake up now and I don't feel quite so comatose even before my allotted one large K-cup of coffee.  As you know I have been trying some cooking challenges and I have also been re-doing the older girls' room in a major way (I promise I will have after photos for you soon - the talented woman who is making the drapes and comforters is still working).  Since I have reverted back to my old cooking ways and I am kind of at a stand-still with the girls' room, today I decided it was high time for some spring cleaning (I am proud that this year I did not wait until summer to do spring cleaning).  The pantry was begging for me to organize it since my Costco purchase still lay on the kitchen floor after being dumped there Monday because the pantry was too crowded and disorganized to put anything away.

Our pantry extends all the way under our staircase leading upstairs, so it's walk-in and (as I've said many times) is big enough to convert into a room for a very small child (okay, maybe not a child, but definitely a pet).  This job took me most of the morning because once I started organizing I decided to go ahead and clear the floor and mop in there (which I'm going to guess hasn't been done in, oh, - I'll try not to gross you out - five years - give or take).   Here is what I ended up with:  (remember:  cell phone camera and bad lighting)

I realize:  1.  This may not look incredibly organized to some of you, 2.  I also realize that with the three Costco peanut butter jars front and center some of you might think I am a hoarder, and 3.  You might also think I am a lush because yes, that is the top of my Costco Lite Beer box.  My explanation:  I cannot afford to elfa my pantry yet (although it is on the long list), I feed six people three meals a day seven days a week (some of them happen to like peanut butter), and I am a lush. 

For me, this is a super-clean, organized pantry and I am supremely happy I took the time to do this (so is my family since they no longer have to trip over all the Costco crap on the kitchen floor).  But I will concede that is a lot of food.  Even for six people.
So, I have decided to issue a challenge to my family.  We are going to eat solely out of our pantry and freezers (yes, we have two and they are well stocked) for one week. 

I usually shop every Friday morning.  I spend from $125-145 on weekly groceries for our family and included in that total are some non-grocery items such as some toiletries and some cleaning supplies.  This is after I carefully plan a menu and try to note what we need (that's the part I am seeing that I am not-so-great-at).  I shop accordingly.  Tomorrow I am still going to plan the menu, but instead of seeing what I need after that I am going to plan the menu around what we already have.  I am only allowing myself to buy three gallons of milk (should be a short trip - - for once). 

I have told hubby and the kids and they are all on board.  Hubby said if we can do it we will have about $112 of free money.  We have already planned to treat ourselves to Spicy Ginger and I am sure we will manage to take care of any money left over after that.  Hubby also Facebooked this to me:

Thanks, hubby.

Wish me luck and if I post next Thursday that I am having milk for dinner - you will know what's up.  Happy weekend!


Shannon said...

I'm not going to be posting pics of my pantry any time soon because it, well they -I have two pantries, are total disaster areas. Ugh! You go girl. If I ever stop trying to cough up a lung from the stupid yellow trees from hell blooming I will clean house. In the mean time I am popping xyrtec and sucking on an inhaler. Mountain cedar is looking great to me it never made me this sick.

jamiew said...

I have often wanted to move into my pantry, turn it into a day-spa or perhaps an exclusive clubhouse with only one member (me).
Good luck with the challenge!
(Have you ever heard of the show "doomsday preppers"? check it out)

Monica said...

ugh! feel better! I LOVE purging and I think we'll eat fine. ;o)

Monica said...

uh-oh. a new show? that surely means i'll be "busy" for weeks. ;o) hmm. I could like the day spa thing.

Anonymous said...

That pantry looks great to me, you crazy lush!

Monica said...

whatimeant2say - crazy lush? yes. i am. ;o) least my beer has a "place" now. :o)

Monika said...

Love you!