Monday, January 4, 2010

Official Start Day

Today is my official start day for the Eat from Your Pantry Challenge. I wanted to shop at the Amish Bulk store for their inventory sale before closing the purse to shopping. I did shop there on Saturday and spent $72 after the 15% discount. I mostly bought organic things, dried fruit and nuts, and cheese so that was why it was so high a bill. My budget for food for the entire month is maximum $100 and this seriously took a chunk. Then, on Sunday, we went to the city to maintain Little House (we are hopefully closing on it soon *fingers crossed*) and I mentioned to Sr I always wanted to stop at the International Grocery nearby (I was ruminating that once Little House is sold, I wouldn't be back to this part of the City). He says, "Well, let's go in and look around!"

I ended up buying 2 lbs of tomatillos (I made this fabulous chicken and tomatillo crockpot thing while in LA-I know they are so not local or in season! I really must plant some this summer so I won't be tempted to buy them like this); a box of falafal mix; pita bread for Sr's lunches and some Chihuahua Queso cheese. This came to about $11. I also bought milk (organic so a bit more expensive) and that pretty much wiped out the $100 grocery budget! Now we have no choice but to eat from the reserves!

Tonight's meal was mostly bits and pieces from leftovers (penne pasta with home canned spaghetti sauce from Sunday; the rest of the NY's yellow eyed peas; fresh cut-up veggies from in-law's holiday gathering and hamburgers from the chest freezer). Sr was in charge of dinner as he is a house husband more or less until the 15th (I so despise this time of year financially).

I am still working on inventory. I would have it done by now, but the weather has turned Arctic here and my toes can't stand to be in the basement for very long or in the garage looking through the freezers. As soon as the winter thaw commences I will get it done (I promise!!), but this week is not looking good where temps and snow are concerned (darn Lake Effect thing).

Here is a bit of inventory from one of the 'frige cabinet:

16 lbs of various beans (lentil, kidney, small red, chana dal*, baby lima, great northern, pinto, black)
7 boxes cold cereal (some opened, but most not opened)
3 bags Musli
3.5 bags oyster crackers
2 boxes multigrain granola bars
2 lb quick oats
4.5 lbs Irish style oats (steel cut oats)
5 lbs organic WW pancake mix (this is actually a local item!)
5 lbs King Arthur bread flour
3 lbs multigrain hot cereal
1 jar Trader Joe's Almond Butter (love TJ's-glad they are two hours away from here)
Dried pineapple
Dried mango
Dried mixed fruits
Golden raisins
dark raisins
Dried cranberries (big, big bag bought cheap at bulk store this summer)
*******I am thinking lots of homemade granola may be in our near future...*****

2 lbs brown sugar
2 lb powdered sugar
Box of stevia sweetener
Little bottle of Sorghum
Yerba mate (loose tea)
A whole bunch of hotel coffee packs (Sr brings them home for me, the coffee drinker)
various types of in-bag tea (probably more than 100 bags from the time before I killed my kumbucha colonies)

*I brought the chana dal (small yellow lentil) back from LA. I have some other food items I brought back that ended up making my bag overweight and cost me $100 to ship it back. I could have bought many, many pound of Chana dal lentils for what it cost me to bring back this one bag! It would be a crime to waste them.

OK, so there you have it. This is basically three/four shelves (I didn't write down what was on the middle shelf as it was the only one not needing immediate attention). I still have the right side of the 'fride to do and the shelves in the basement. Then, if it ever warms up, the fun begins in the freezers.


Monica said...

I would have stocked up as well if I had an Amish bulk store or an international store nearby. I also tend to plan meals spontaneously and will be holding myself accountable to come up with a meal plan.

Gina said...

I think the meal plan is the hardest part! I saw that some of the participants are just making a list that way they don't feel "tied" to a particular meal. I may try that method. I haven't been that successful in this area.

fullfreezer said...

I'm impressed with this challenge. I thought about it but I'm not sure I could talk the hubby into it. I've been trying to eat more from the pantry but we still haven't restocked some things well enough after the move to have a balanced diet from it.
My meal planning is pretty flexible. I have a dry erase board that we keep on the fridge. I have a general idea that we put up. Tonight was burritos (easy and fast) tomorrow is 'chicken something' because I know I have chicken that needs used. I'll wing it on side dishes and what it actually becomes as I cook. I find that having at least a main dish 'idea' keeps me more likely to have something thawed from the freezer when I need it.
Good luck, I'll be following along and cheering you on.