Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Great Pantry Challenge

Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, exercise more or balance the checkbook – all pretty much no-win-situations for me – I thought that I’d try to go an entire month without going to the grocery store or eating out.  We don’t eat out very often, so that won’t be too hard, but the grocery store part is going to be a tough one.  Not that it should be; our pantry is well stocked and the chickens are still laying a few eggs a day, not to mention that our freezers are full.  But I’ve been really bad lately about just stopping at the grocery to pick up a handful of items if I’m in town or having Paul pick something up on his way home from work.
It’s not like I make a dozen trips to town each month to pick up a loaf of bread, but the grocery runs seem to have increased recently and I’d like to nip my new subconscious habit in the bud.  The only thing I am going to cheat on is that I’ll still have bananas or some other fresh fruit for Rhiannon.  Mom said she’d pick those up for me so I won’t be tempted to just slip something else in my cart.
I was thinking I’d do this for four weeks and each week I would focus on something different.  The first week will be planned around using only shelf-stable items, second week will be vegetarian, the third week I’ll only use our wood burning stove to cook and the fourth week will be any food item we have in the house (meaning shelf-stable AND frozen foods).  They may not be in that exact order though as I’m going to try to get the coldest week for cooking on the wood stove.  I was also thinking about doing a week of how-cheap-can-we-eat week.  Not sure which category I will put that in. 
In anticipation of doing this I went to the store last week & “cheated” by purchasing twice the amount of potatoes, carrots, celery & cabbage than normal.  And I am considering these shelf-stable as they do keep very nicely in our laundry room.  It’s a great place to store items like potatoes & carrots as it’s not heated, but connected to the house so it’s cool, but not freezing.
Technically I have one more day to go out & get groceries but I think I can refrain.  Hmmm…..wonder how much chocolate I have in the pantry.  Better go check!

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