Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taking stock of the pantry!

January means that I try to maintain a very frugal budget.  I believe starting off the new year this way sets the tone for the rest of the year.  One way I do this is to try and use out of my stockpile in my pantry.  It's time to clean out the pantry and wipe down all the cabinets.  I use as much out of the pantry as possible during this time and begin to purchase new items for the stockpile.

I have quite a few recipes that use out of the pantry stockpile I've created.  Taco soup, potato soup, chicken tortilla soup, just to name a few.  I also try to use up pasta and boxed meals so they don't get old.  Canned goods can live indefinitely in your pantry but I like to keep a rotation going so I'm not always leaving old things in the pantry.  When I purchase something, I place it in the back of the pantry behind what is already there.

I do the same thing in the freezer.  I am planning to use up the cheese in the freezer this month.  I've noticed that my local grocery has cheese on sale this week and I have coupons for the brand that's on sale.  I'll be going in this week and stocking up.  I'll plan cheese quesadillas and creamy tomato soup next week for dinner.  I'll also be making a few casseroles for the freezer that includes cheese.

I just recently cleaned out the freezer when we moved it into the new garage so at least I don't have to defrost and clean it!  That is one of those jobs that I absolutely hate to do!  As my stockpile of frozen berries gets smaller and smaller, I have more room in the freezer for storing quick meals for our family.  I cooked two beef roasts over the weekend; one with carrots and potatoes for dinner and one to freezer for later, I'm thinking barbeque sandwiches.  I have leftovers that will make a great hash later in the week. I took the strained leftover beef broth and froze it in one and half cups for making rice later.  I don't usually purchase rice mixes because I can use this leftover broth to make long grain rice and it tastes just as good but is a lot cheaper and has less sodium than the mixes.

January is always a month of getting things in order for me.  I'm starting this year in my kitchen!

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