Once you've stocked up, use up what you have! There have been months when we've pretty much "eaten from the pantry" and only spent money on dairy and fresh produce at the store. Again, my memory isn't the best, so I keep two important lists in a prominent place in my kitchen. One is my food inventory--it's broken into categories such as meat, beans, vegetables, grains, and sauces. This way, I don't forget about the salmon in the deep freeze, the basmati rice at the back of the pantry, or the curry paste in the fridge. A second list contains meal ideas based on the ingredients we have around, broken down into categories such as entrees, sides, breakfast, snacks, and desserts. Whereas in the past, I would have looked around the kitchen and felt like there was nothing I could make, now I consult my list, and see how easy it would be to throw together Brown Rice and Lentils, or Homemade Pizza, or Black Bean Soup with homemade biscuits.
I'm also throwing away a lot less food than I used to. If we're not going to finish the fresh strawberries before they go bad, I will freeze some for use in smoothies. If I use half a can of tomato sauce, the rest can be frozen for later use.
What about you? How do you make sure you use up what you have? Have you ever "eaten from the pantry" for a week or two or three?
6 hours ago