My cupboards (and freezer) runneth over…

6 01 2010

I have too much food in my house. I know, this is a terrible problem to have. Unfortunately, for some weird reason I’m amazingly talented at stockpiling food, but I’m terrible at actually using the food that I buy. You would think that I had survived the depression or something. When I see a great deal on good food, I immediately snatch it up and stash it into the freezer and then never touch it again. Not because I didn’t like what I bought. But because I might need it later. You know, if there is a natural disaster or we have a random, spontaneous party or HEB gets hit by a meteor. Just. In. Case. Its gotten to the point that I can not fit one single piece of food into my already packed freezers. Yes, freezers.

So, I’ve decided that January of 2010 is when I break this cycle. I’m going to start using everything that I have. In order to do this, I’ve cut my grocery budget to $55 a week. This includes food, toilet paper, razors, shampoo, dog and cat food, pull ups, etc. I’m hoping this will force me to use what is available and it will allow me to save money for new plants for my garden that will translate into groceries later on. (My current obsession is my own berry orchard; blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries.)  I initially arrived at $55 because I thought I would spend $20 at HEB, $10 at Kroger, $20 at the Farmer’s Market and $5 at CVS.   This great theory was blown out of the water when I spent $40 at HEB today. I may have to rethink this. I’m going to skip the Farmer’s Market since we still have produce from last week.

The problem is that I love to cook. When I get an idea of what I want to cook, I want to cook it that night. Even if it means running to the store for 3 more ingredients. Its going to be a challenge to make myself plan meals backwards working from the foods that I already have.

Tonight’s dinner cost $3.00. I made open faced chicken parm sandwiches with a side of potato soup. The soup came from my mom and I made the marinara from my leftover market tomatoes, the bread from scratch and topped the chicken with fresh mozzarella I had leftover from last night’s dinner.  I spent $3.00 on the chicken, which isn’t bad, but I could still do better. I have 3 or 4 things in my freezer that I could have made a similar meal with, but my heart was stuck on chicken. This is going to be a very challenging month.




2 responses

6 01 2010

You speak!

6 01 2010

I noticed I was having the same problem (I only have one freezer these days, too, and I looove to stockpile so it’s been a stretch). I started this whole “pantry/freezer/fridge” movement a while back and it’s made a HUGE dent. Now it’s just kind of habit, and these days I’m really only buying produce, fresh meat/poultry/seafood, milk, cheese, and cans of beans (but only when I run out of beans entirely). Sad that I have yet to run out of grains or pasta. 😛

But now I have useful things in my stores, like bread dough and homemade pizza sauce, with which I can throw a really awesome pizza together with just what I have on hand in the time it takes for the oven to heat to 500. I’m not there yet but I’m on my way–and I think learning to work with what you have makes you a more creative cook. (Hell, they have Top Chef challenges that force them to do just that!)

You can do it!!

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