Thursday, April 7, 2011

Use It or Lose It

Normally, I don't play the "pantry challenge" game, where a home cook works diligently to use up what's on hand instead of going shopping. I appreciate the sentiment, but what do you gain? You end up with an empty pantry and have to spend more all at once than usual to replenish it.

No, I prefer to shop regularly and keep a well-stocked pantry.


But I find myself in the position of needing to use up what's on hand, because we're moving to Germany in about ten weeks.

It's use it or lose it time. Well, no. That's not quite accurate. It's use it or donate it time.

I'm going to spend the next ten weeks making meals out of what's on hand (and buying fresh foods as needed, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and bread). I'll update as frequently as I can and share my menu with you.

Whatever's left right before we leave Georgia will be donated to a local food bank.

Here's what I'm starting with:


Baking Goods:
  • 12 pounds flour (some all-purpose and some whole wheat)
  • 3 pounds granulated sugar
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • roughly 500 packets of Splenda
  • 20 packets of Truvia
  • 1 1/2 cups egg replacer
  • a small box of baking soda
  • brand-new can of baking powder
  • 3 pounds masa harina
  • 2 pounds corn meal
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 12 oz unsweetened shredded coconut
  • box of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 pounds all-vegetable shortening
  • can of cooking spray
  • about 1 1/2 liters extra virgin olive oil
beans & rice
  • 2 1/2 pounds dried black beans
  • 2 pounds dried great northern beans
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 pounds dried lentils
  • 5 4 pounds white sushi rice
  • 2 1/2 pounds organic harvest medley rice
Breakfast stuff:

  • most of a box of Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 pound of grits
  • 1 pound of old-fashioned oats
  • 6 oz cherry vanilla granola
  • 4 ox chocolate delight granola
  • enough Fiber One pancake mix to make about 8 pancakes
Beverage stuff:

  • 4 3 packets of Crystal Light
  • a box of iced tea bags
  • an unopened box of apple cider mix
  • enough mocha mix for four to six cups of mocha
Canned / Boxed goods:

  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • a large can of fruit cocktail
  • small can cranberry sauce
  • 1 box Betty crocker instant potatoes
  • 2 boxes instant pudding mix
  • popping corn
  • popping corn oil

  • 4 servings easy mac (I know, I know)
  • 1/3 pounds mini rotelle wheels
  • 1 pound mini farfalle
  • 1 pound whole wheat rotini
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
Plus various spices and seasonings.


  • 12 oz frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 pound fordhook lima beans
  • 32 oz All Whites
  • frozen minced parsley and chives
  • coffee beans
  • box of Green Giant teriyaki vegetables
  • 1 serving of peas and corn in herb butter sauce
  • cheese ravioli
  • pork roast
  • box of turkey burgers
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pound corn
  • large chicken
  • flank steak
  • family pack chicken drumsticks
  • 1 or 2 servings of Steak Ems
  • some marrow bones for the dogs
  • 5 lb black eyed peas
  • 5 4 pounds green beans
Because the stock is constantly changing, I won't list the contents of my fridge. It has lots of fresh fruits, veggies, butter, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, and condiments, and always will (well...the very last week we'll be lacking, I'm sure).

Another benefit of doing this? The potential government shutdown will impact my husband's Army pay. If we go into shut down mode, we get no pay. Fun times. (phew)

So here goes. I've got a recipe for Spanish black beans and rice to share with you tomorrow...and some blueberry bread this weekend!

1 comment:

Jess said...

We're using up our stash too, but found out we're moving in a much shorter time frame. Good Luck!

And I hope your husband gets the pay he deserves.

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