It's been a little while since I've posted, but I'm still making slow progress. The holidays have been both a help and hinderance on my cupboard clearing ambitions.
Good: I was able to use 1 old can of evaporated milk and some frozen pumpkin in a Thanksgiving pie (and will be making another for Christmas, which will use the last of the evaporated milk), and finally used up an old tub of whipped topping on said pie as well.
Bad: Of course, I filled the freezer with leftover turkey, broth, and mashed potatoes.
Good: I made one batch of turkey soup a couple of weeks ago
Bad: I still have enough broth and turkey for 1-2 more batches of soup. And I'm making another turkey for Christmas.
Good: After I cook the Christmas turkey, there will not be a giant turkey in my fridge/freezer
Bad: This is the time of year I stockpile baking supplies (especially flour and sugar), so I'm re-filling all that nice empty space I had cleared.
Good: I have lots of space to stockpile the things I know I will use while they're cheap, and I have a much better idea of how much and what I should be buying.
Bad: One of my regular stores has been doing almost daily e-coupons for free items, so I'm ending up with some kind of random stuff filling my cupboards again.
Anyway, you get the gist... using up old stuff but frequently replacing it with new.
I have finally used all the instant brown rice and tomato paste that was on my "urgently needs to get used" list, so that is good. My chest freezer has descended into chaos once again, and I desperately need to do another inventory. Last night I planned to make salmon for dinner - had the rice cooking on the stove, then went out to the freezer to get the last salmon fillet... and no salmon. I think I used it last week and didn't realize it was all gone... sadness ensued. But then I remembered I had two cans of soup on my "urgently needs to get used" list so I heated those up and made some grilled cheese sandwiches. It was a lovely dinner on a cold, rainy night, and the soup is gone! Hooray :)
I have decided that January is going to be a pantry challenge month, and I will only buy fresh produce, dairy products (milk, eggs, yogurt, butter), and nuts. I'm working on a list of meals I can make from the things I currently have on hand, and finding that it is a very, very long list.