As I mentioned last week, our income has dropped while D’s business is in its infancy. One of things I’m doing to stretch our pennies further is to ‘shop our pantry’. Basically this means you try and use up what you’ve already got in your pantry, because most first-world families have probably got at least a couple of weeks worth of meals hiding at the back of the cupboard.
We meal plan, so I am generally pretty good at using up our groceries but there are things I had bought for parties that I didn’t end up using, plus carby food items purchased prior to starting Trim Healthy Mama that are still lurking at the back of the pantry. I am a visual person, so I decided doing an audit of exactly what food we had around the house would be helpful.
And in case you were dying to know, this is it:
It’s not the entire list as I didn’t think you ‘d want a long list of sauces, or baking essences etc. And keep in mind, this was done at the end of the week before I went grocery shopping so there aren’t a lot of canned goods.
Seeing all of this in black and white helped me tremendously when making my meal plan for the week. Seriously, that’s what we have lying around the house. It seems like such a lot! And yet how many times have I looked in my cupboards and thought ‘there’s nothing to eat’.
I immediately decided to roast the chicken and some kumara (sweet potato, sorry I forgot to put that on the list), which we had with peas and carrots. One of those manky lemons got shoved up the chicken’s bum for subtle flavour. The following day I used leftover chicken, kumara and peas to make a curry. A can of diced tomatoes went in that too. With the curry I served brown rice and cucumber raita, which used up one of the cukes and the unsweetened yoghurt, plus a little mint from our garden.
I used up the coconut flour and some of the frozen strawberries by making some THM muffins. Sausage and I made pikelets for lunch one day, and I also made her day by serving up the raspberry jelly after dinner. I probably bought it for a party, but it’s been sitting around for ages. I reflected the other day that I so rarely surprise my kids with treats like that, it was probably high-time that I did. I used up the stewed apple (from our garden) and the oats by making a huge crumble for an extended family dinner, and they had it with the rest of the ice-cream which was purchased months ago when Sausage had a really sore throat and wouldn’t eat. I’m sugar-free so I didn’t partake but it was gobbled up quickly.
I plan to use up the rest of the almond flour by making these paleo bagel dogs that other THMer’s are raving about. For the next few weeks I won’t need to buy any veg as broccoli, leeks, spinach, celery and lettuce are now ready for harvesting in our garden.
The tins of beetroot are leftovers from one of our summer BBQ’s (it’s a New Zealand thing…). I used them to make this beetroot hummus (it’s delicious), and will have a go later in the week at making these fudgy paleo beetroot brownies.
The sausage hotpot (a meal from a friend) and a pie are on the menu for D (who is already quite trim and healthy) and the kids while I cobble together a THM meal, and I’ll also be eating a lot of chicken, brown rice and soup this week.
I did go grocery shopping for ingredients to add to some of the meals, and for non-food essentials. Shopping my pantry meant I spent 60% less than I usually do. I’ve made a reasonable dent in my pantry, and have probably got enough to work with for at least another two weeks (seriously self, what was with all the couscous?).
The audit certainly made me think more creatively about my meals and I’ve tried out some pretty great recipes. Win.
What’s hiding in your cupboards?