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a peek into my pantry

March 28, 2009

I’m generally good at staying within my grocery budget, but it’s pretty easy for me to see it as “guideline” rather than an absolute.  I love food and I like to have obvious ingredients for good meals.  Not to mention tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Since I cook everything from scratch, I need to have a plethora of ingredients available to cook dinner on any given day.  So, I try to keep the pantry full.

But for the past three months or so, Andy and I have committed to capping spending at a particular dollar amount, no matter what it is that we have in the cupboards or fridge.  I am trying to learn how to plan far in advance a bit better, how to get creative, and how to very wisely spend that last $25 in order to pull all the assorted odds and ends left in my cupboard together at the end of the month.  I hate stripping the cupboards bare, but in some ways, it’s a really good feeling to go shopping at the beginning of the month and start afresh.

So, this month, I still have four suppers left to prepare, not to mention lunch!  I made the tour of the kitchen this morning, and here’s what I’ve got: a can of cut green beans, a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of marinated artichokes, a can of chickpeas, a can of creamstyle corn, a box of macaroni and cheese, frozen edamame, a can of tuna, a quarter of a block of cheese, chicken, ground beef, English muffins, frozen corn, two cans of Progresso soup, four grapefruit, elbow macaroni, farfallini, beef broth, rice, two eggs, a lemon, a few apples, a can of peaches and pears, dried lentils, dried split peas, a bag of uncooked black beans, and of course, all the normal pantry and refrigerator foodstuffs that last forever like molasses, tahini, mustard, pesto, etc.  

No onions!  No carrots!  No celery!  What can you possibly make without those three ingredients?

Do you see my dilemma?  That is an awful lot of food!  But it honestly sounds horribly unappetizing in any kind of combination!

Well, I must admit… I’m starting to get some ideas… dinner will be interesting, that’s for sure!!!

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