The last few months, I’ve been coming in well under my monthly grocery budget of $250/month, and I shared how I am saving to buy a quarter cow. Well, I’m happy that this boatload of beef has graced our freezer!
I don’t remember exactly how many pounds it is, but last time we got this much beef, it lasted our family 10 months!
As my husband and I were loading it into the freezer, he remarked to me that we had some old stuff in the freezer that we should use up first. And it got me thinking, “We kind of have some old stuff everywhere that needs to be used up…”
So I decided that this week is officially Pantry Cleanout Week.
I’m not buying any groceries. We do have some fresh carrots, tomatoes, and peppers that I’ll be pulling from the garden. And I got 2 gallons of milk free from WIC, so my grocery total for the week is $0.
I won’t lie, this is going to be tough. I absolutely abhor staring into the cabinets trying to figure out what to make with what I have. That’s why I usually stick to making menus, and my favorite tried-and-true recipes. But I’ll be doing a lot of improvising this week, which takes up a lot of precious brain-space.
A lot of this stuff came from random places — they might have been items I got for free after a coupon, that were free with another purchase, or they were located on a clearance shelf for pennies. Some are things people gave me, things that their family didn’t like or wouldn’t eat, or from a friend who was moving away and needed to get rid of the rest of their groceries. I never turn down free food! Other items were things I made ahead of time, when like homemade tomato sauce from tomatoes in my garden, or homemade cinnamon syrup, or soups and casseroles that I doubled and froze for later. Many of these things have just been taking up shelf/freezer space, and now it’s time to eat them!
I’ve never set aside a whole week for pantry cleanout before, but if it works out well, it might be something I try to do more often. It is certainly going to be a huge money saver, as it means I buy NO groceries this week!
Come on back next week for my regularly scheduled weekly menus!