Saturday, April 21, 2012

Austerity Measures

In the spirit of both spring cleaning and frugality, I decided to give myself a challenge in the kitchen: do not go to the grocery store for one month.  Doesn't seem like that big of a deal, as long as you plan, right?  But the catch is, the last time I went to the store was Sunday, April 15th.  The challenge had not yet been born, so I didn't go in with the intention of stocking up for weeks of so-called austerity.  I just got my regulars like yogurt, salad greens, bananas, eggs, etc. 

This is a look at my pantry and fridge as of Thursday, April 19th.  Pantry - fully stocked, and quite messy.  Fridge - already looking a bit bare. 

One of my kitchen faults is wasting food.  Sometimes I am a perfect meal planner, make a list of all meals for the week, convert that into a grocery list, and buy only what I need.  But more often I am not.  I wander the aisles of the store, selecting items that pique my interest at the time, but that I have no desire to actually prepare, cook, or eat (see: tahini, shelf 1).

This challenge is going to force me to get the creative juices flowing in the kitchen.  My pantry has staples like beans, grains, and canned tomato products.  And my freezer has some leftover roasted chicken, pulled pork, and some veggies, so I'm not going to subsist on a diet of mayonnaise and ketchup.  But once the eggs are gone, they're gone.  Same goes for the lettuce, bananas, milk, and, oh yeah, the tahini. 

This week has been pretty tame, as far as my meals were concerned.  I located a freezer bag full of roasted chicken pieces (score!), and made an orzo salad with that plus asparagus, broccoli, and pesto.  I'm already out of English muffins, so breakfast this morning was banana bread oatmeal - delicious! 

Once May 15th rolls around, you might want to check back to see the potential horror on my dinner plate.  Barley + ketchup + frozen corn?  I hope it doesn't come to that.

A couple notes on the challenge: 
1. I will not deprive myself of dinners out with friends.
2. I will not eat any take-out.
3. I will seek out free food whenever possible. (Oh but wait, I do that already. #teacherproblems)

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