Author Topic: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2  (Read 826383 times)

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2500 on: September 22, 2019, 01:23:58 PM »
I didn't have quite enough peanut butter for my protein bars today. I used my food processor & turned the remainder of a bag of macadamia nuts that had been lingering in the pantry for way too long into a nut butter, and mixed that with the peanut butter. One more item out of the pantry!

MountainGal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2501 on: September 23, 2019, 01:36:24 PM »
Lately:

Remaining pecan pieces went on top of today's salad
Leftover cauliflower was made into a puree to use as a side dish last night
Leftover broccoli was sauteed with baby spinach and asparagus for a side last week
A jar of rather runny homemade apricot jam will go on top of a pork roast in the Crock Pot tomorrow
Garden fresh crookneck squash will be cooked as a side dish tonight, and in Wednesday's stir fry
Frozen leftovers such as deer chili will feed DH when I soon go out of town

I need to dig around the bottom freezer drawer to figure out what else is lurking there.

Dee_

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
  • Location: Podunk, Midwest
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2502 on: September 23, 2019, 09:29:01 PM »
Here's an interesting one: found half a bag of gummed together stale marshmallows at the back of the pantry. In the absence of any prepared cereal in the house, we're having marshmallow popcorn for dessert tomorrow!

GermanStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Germany
  • Working my way to FI
    • My Journal
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2503 on: September 26, 2019, 11:09:03 PM »
I Need to get back to this... I am away on the weekend, but on Monday I will put a basket on the kitchen counter and will put in all dry items that need to be used up. I am overwhelmed by the content of my kitchen cabinets...

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2504 on: September 28, 2019, 09:56:51 AM »
I haven't been cooking much the last week, so no major progress on the freezer contents, but I did eat 3 frozen leftover meals (lentils makhani, corn-coconut soup, and stuffed squash) for lunches this week.  I also finished off 2 more bags of frozen fruit from 2017 - 4 to go!

GermanStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Germany
  • Working my way to FI
    • My Journal
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2505 on: October 03, 2019, 11:01:06 AM »
I put 25 items in a basket in the kitchen that i would like to use up in October. Tonight I will use a pack of naan bread and two packs of Curry Sauce in a indian style fish curry.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3411
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2506 on: October 04, 2019, 01:15:27 PM »
I have a couple packages of ham in the freezer still from buying it on sale before Christmas.  Using that up along with some homegrown potatoes and leeks to make soup for dinner tonight.  I've been eating low-carb all summer, so the stash of potatoes has been going very slowly.

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2507 on: October 06, 2019, 02:17:08 PM »
This weekend I'm keeping it simple and only making one dish (I have lots of frozen leftovers to round out my week).

I have Cabbage-Farro soup from Smitten Kitchen on the stove right now.  It used cabbage and rosemary from the fridge, farro from the pantry, and onions, leeks (because there weren't enough onions), and 2 portions of pork broth from the freezer.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2508 on: October 06, 2019, 03:38:32 PM »
We are out of peanut butter, so I used the last of a can of peanuts, and maybe 2 tbsp of very old pistachios to make nut butter for my protein bars.

My son used up a couple of freezer bananas for smoothies this week.

MountainGal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2509 on: October 07, 2019, 11:06:54 AM »
Nicely done, @MaybeBabyMustache!

As posted earlier a few weeks ago, I dug around the kitchen freezer Saturday, and asked DH for a summary of the garage freezer.  These resulted in:

Ham steaks:  Some went onto last night's pizza, the rest will be used for lunches.
A pound each deer and pork sausage is in today's Crock Pot meatloaf.
I pulled June's leftover chicken and "dumplings" for tomorrow night.
I also pulled last month's leftover rotisserie chicken for my salads this week.
The last of the salmon will be eaten Wednesday night.

Pantry/fridge:
The rest of the coconut flour went into last night's Fathead pizza crust.
Cheddar remnant was used in Saturday's cheesy scrambled eggs.
The rest of a jar of peanut butter went onto last week's pork chops.
I processed grapes, strawberries, and cauliflower for lunch sides this week.
The rest of the kalamata olives went on top of this week's salads.

We've got half a cow coming so we REALLY need to make freezer space!

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3411
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2510 on: October 07, 2019, 02:29:56 PM »
My dad was in town, so I took a break from the low-carb diet and used a large portion of a bag of masa to make tortillas.  Cooked some black beans we also haven't been using, and used a jar of green enchilada sauce I canned in 2018 to make a big pan of enchiladas Suizas.


MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2511 on: October 07, 2019, 03:55:40 PM »
Wow @MountainGal - that's a lot of progress! Awesome work

gatortator

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 245
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2512 on: October 07, 2019, 04:27:16 PM »
i need help...

we just picked up many, many, many pounds of root vegetables from our CSA.  so yummy but so many!

potatoes, yams, garlic, onions, winter squash-- I have a handle on what to do with these..

but the tricky one is BEETS.

I really only cook roasted beets as a side dish or thinly slice raw baby ones for a salad.  But I need more ideas/recipes as to get through the amount I have (almost 20lbs).  what's your favorite way to use beets?

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2513 on: October 07, 2019, 05:55:31 PM »
i need help...

we just picked up many, many, many pounds of root vegetables from our CSA.  so yummy but so many!

potatoes, yams, garlic, onions, winter squash-- I have a handle on what to do with these..

but the tricky one is BEETS.

I really only cook roasted beets as a side dish or thinly slice raw baby ones for a salad.  But I need more ideas/recipes as to get through the amount I have (almost 20lbs).  what's your favorite way to use beets?
Beet soup!
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/215037/lithuanian-saltibarsciai-cold-beet-soup/

Raenia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2514 on: October 07, 2019, 06:51:49 PM »
i need help...

we just picked up many, many, many pounds of root vegetables from our CSA.  so yummy but so many!

potatoes, yams, garlic, onions, winter squash-- I have a handle on what to do with these..

but the tricky one is BEETS.

I really only cook roasted beets as a side dish or thinly slice raw baby ones for a salad.  But I need more ideas/recipes as to get through the amount I have (almost 20lbs).  what's your favorite way to use beets?

Pickled beets!  Great way to preserve too many beets, I like them cold as a side dish or in salad.  For fresh cooking, I also like boiled (until the skins slip off, then they're done), but I just really love the flavor of beets.  If you're not a beet person, that might not be for you.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3411
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2515 on: October 07, 2019, 08:37:28 PM »
i need help...

we just picked up many, many, many pounds of root vegetables from our CSA.  so yummy but so many!

potatoes, yams, garlic, onions, winter squash-- I have a handle on what to do with these..

but the tricky one is BEETS.

I really only cook roasted beets as a side dish or thinly slice raw baby ones for a salad.  But I need more ideas/recipes as to get through the amount I have (almost 20lbs).  what's your favorite way to use beets?

Red Flannel Hash with eggs on top makes  a good dinner.  Ham or bacon is good if you don't have corned beef (or go vegetarian if that's your thing).  https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/red-flannel-hash/

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2516 on: October 08, 2019, 05:07:13 AM »
i need help...

we just picked up many, many, many pounds of root vegetables from our CSA.  so yummy but so many!

potatoes, yams, garlic, onions, winter squash-- I have a handle on what to do with these..

but the tricky one is BEETS.

I really only cook roasted beets as a side dish or thinly slice raw baby ones for a salad.  But I need more ideas/recipes as to get through the amount I have (almost 20lbs).  what's your favorite way to use beets?

Shredded along with carrots to make a coleslaw-like salad.  I usually use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and cumin as the main parts of the dressing.

gatortator

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 245
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2517 on: October 08, 2019, 10:15:13 AM »
but I just really love the flavor of beets.  If you're not a beet person, that might not be for you.

we have a sliding scale of beet lovers in our house.  Spouse loves beets and would eat them every week.  I also like beets but not as much as spouse.  Kid2 is well on the road to liking beets and eats them roasted without complaint.  Kid1 is slowest on the journey to liking beets but keeps trying them (with some nudging from us).

Mainly with this fall season,  I hope to explore all the cool ways to eat beets to find which way(s) work(s) best.

Borscht is out-- it was one of my first thoughts as well, but it failed.  will try again later, maybe after a little time.

@horsepoor Red Flannel Hash is a great idea!  will definitely be trying that (Kid1 is a big bacon eater).

@Raenia Pickling is also a cool idea.  Kid1 and Kid2 both loved eating pickled mushrooms last weekend ( mushrooms are a food they normally skip).  so pickling might help.  is there a specific recipe that works best for beets or can I just use something like a quick pickle?

thanks everyone for the suggestions so far!  Let me know if you have more ideas to help Kid1 and Kid2.

Raenia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2518 on: October 08, 2019, 10:35:30 AM »
I think the recipe I used was something like this: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/38109/pickled-beets/, however there are also recipes with more savory spicing or apple cider vinegar.  I can dig up my recipe tonight and double check.

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2519 on: October 13, 2019, 05:46:38 PM »
Today's project was stuffed peppers.  I got lots of free poblano peppers from work, so I used 2 bags of tomato sauce, 1 bag of leeks, and 2 packs of chorizo from the freezer along with 1.5 bags of rice that was near its use by date to make stuffed peppers, with the only ingredient specially purchased for the recipe being the cheese.  I also used up some more of the fancy taco seasoning my grandmother bought me.  My grandmother passed away 10+ years ago...

I made 14 servings of stuffed peppers to go in the freezer for winter lunches and have about 3 servings to eat this week.  (Note, this may have actually resulted in a net increase of freezer space used, but now the ingredients are in a much more usable form.)

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2520 on: October 20, 2019, 06:56:39 AM »
A few wins this week:  I had some "almost-finished" meals in the freezer - stuffing for delicata squash I froze a year ago when I had extra, and makhani sauce from June.  I bought paneer and finished the meal of paneer makhani on Friday, and I have free delicata squash from work that I'll make into stuffed delicata this evening.

I also finished a jar of jam so got a new jar out of the freezer.  Strawberry, that I froze in 2016, apparently.

Anoushka

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2521 on: October 20, 2019, 09:54:15 PM »
This is such a great idea! And a good time for me to try it out, since the grocery budget is dwindling and we are prone to wasting food around here.

Tonight my daughter made pasta with a sauce made from white wine, peas, mushrooms, and cream cheese. It was delicious. We have lots of rice and dried beans, some chicken thighs, bacon, and a bunch of canned food. I'm looking forward to getting creative with the pantry ingredients this week and just supplementing with some produce from a veggie stand nearby, and maybe a gallon of milk.

MountainGal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2522 on: October 21, 2019, 12:57:20 PM »
Hi, @Anoushka!  That pasta sauce sounds divine!!!

Lately:
Made a stir fry using a bag of riced cauliflower and a beef sausage from the freezer, and a few fresh ingredients
Used up a package of bacon for brunch
Used the rest of the mozzarella cheese in low carb Fathead bagel bombs yesterday
Made tacos using up a pound each regular and spicy pork sausage
Reheated frozen chicken Alfredo from the freezer
Sauteed the rest of a jar of marinaded asparagus

Frozen veggies piled up over the summer as we were eating from the garden.  A nice problem to have.  :)

Anoushka

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2523 on: October 21, 2019, 10:06:20 PM »
@MountainGal Tacos with spicy sausage sound amazing!

My kids are sick, so my brother's fiancee gave me some homemade chicken broth and I made chicken soup with a few chicken thighs and the random mushrooms, onions, garlic, and potatoes we had that needed to be eaten. I put a little more of the leftover white wine in there.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2524 on: October 27, 2019, 08:45:38 AM »
Over the past few days:
-used a tiny tub of sunflower butter (along with peanut butter) in protein bars. I rescued the sunflower butter at a summer camp pick up when I saw all of the kids throwing their unopened butter in the garbage
-a gifted container of Trader Joes tomato & red pepper soup, which was quite good
-Turned cabbage & carrots into a coleslaw mix, & then used the dressing I have prepped in the fridge to make coleslaw

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6118
  • Age: 43
  • Location: New York City
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2525 on: October 28, 2019, 04:37:41 PM »
This is more of a hypothetical future question since I'm considering a bulk purchase... does anyone know how long organic whole wheat pasta will keep? (Probably organic makes no difference, but who knows.) I've been stung a few times by brown rice going rancid fairly quickly so I'm worried that whole grain pasta will be similar. There's a brand I like that's no longer carried in any stores I can find locally and I was thinking of ordering a case of it online... but I can't check the expiration dates before I order.

MountainGal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2526 on: October 31, 2019, 01:50:23 PM »
@Dollar Slice, we don't usually eat pasta, so I'm not sure on the expiration date.  Did you try looking it up online?

According to my spreadsheet, this month I spent:
 $455.28 food
 $95.71 HBAs

Crazy!  And this reflects nearly zero food waste.  I partly blame it on Halloween candy.  (blush)

I've been majorly stressed which is when I do my best cleaning.  Yesterday was the fridge:
~Boiled eggs for breakfasts and lunch snacks
~Moved eggs from the cartons into the fridge bin and put the cartons into the recycle stack to give to a chicken owning friend.
~Processed celery, berries, baby spinach, etc. for lunches
~Put cream cheese and pb into single servings for the celery
~Divided leftover chili into two servings, one for DH and I each
~Grated the rest of the cheddar for DH to put on his chili today
~Tossed 2 old, bought on sale, portobello mushrooms as I just didn't want to chance it
~Poured out an expired mini bottle of apple juice DH bought over the summer for smoking meat purposes
~Put yogurt into several single servings for breakfasts here at the office
~Put olives and pickle slices into single servings for DH's lunches
~Wiped down every shelf
~Organized leftover juices from our Halloween party
~Will ask our neighbor if she would like the leftover bloody Mary mix from said party

The fridge is looking really good!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 11:12:35 AM by MountainGal »

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2527 on: October 31, 2019, 04:53:35 PM »
Pretty good progress since I last posted - I made lentil soup which used the rest of a bag of lentils from the pantry, a pack of sausage, a bag of tomatoes, some leeks, and some celery all from the freezer, and Swiss chard from my CSA.  Yum!  (https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/01/lentil-soup-with-sausage-chard-and-garlic/ for anyone who's interested - it's one of my favorite soup recipes)

A slight fail involved buying lots of expensive cheese to make a pumpkin-kale-cheese-pasta bake.  But it was delicious at least!  And I have mozzarella and ricotta left over that I'm going to use for a baked ziti-type dish this weekend.

My freezers are all reaching capacity with all the free veggies I've been putting in them, so I need to focus on clearing out bulky items by eating them so that I can freeze some more free spinach (for my daily smoothies) while it's still available.  It's very satisfying freezing the spinach, because each bag frozen is $6 I won't have to spend this winter on greens.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3411
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2528 on: October 31, 2019, 05:57:24 PM »
Made a chicken stirfry with peanut sauce tonight to address some of the expired jar of peanut butter that was lurking in the back of the pantry cupboard.

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2529 on: November 26, 2019, 11:14:52 PM »
OH BOY THAT'S TASTY!

I've had a loooong hiatus from the forums, but this thread is among the first I checked when I came back. I probably still have food in my freezer and cupboards from the last time I posted.

*sob*

Anyway, tonight I was inspired by the simplicity of the baked rice and bean dish in this video:

https://youtu.be/DawtW1CWhIw

But I made it with completely different ingredients and a completely different flavour profile...

1 large can red kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
Chopped celery and red pepper (from freezer)
Most of a pkg of taco seasoning
Unused pkg of seasoning from a broccoli cheddar rice mix
Long grain brown rice
Pop in oven and bake

Yummy!

Also had a take-out container of pumpkin soup that I just wasn't in the mood for. So, supplemented with some extra milk, it became the liquid necessary to make some gorgeous looking pumpkin cornbread muffins, complete with a sprinkling of pepitas on top.

Yup, I'm a happy camper at the moment...

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2530 on: November 30, 2019, 02:21:26 PM »
Our fridge & both freezers are stuffed. I need a plan stat to start working everything into the menu!

So far, here's where we're at:
-Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner tonight. May make more brussel sprouts to use up the last
- I've defrosted a pound of ground beef (adios from the freezer) to make a bolognese sauce for the week. I'll also use up some celery, carrots & onion that are lingering in the house
-I'll serve the bolognese on Monday over zoodles (freezer) for the adults, and pasta (kids)

I need to seriously make an inventory of other things that need to be used up:
-A parmesan gnocchi quick meal kit
-ravioli
-2 giant containers of soup

Okay, that should keep me going for a few days. More updates coming. I may need a December/January challenge!

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2531 on: December 01, 2019, 01:34:20 PM »
-I ate the last of broccoli cheddar soup for lunch today
-Made the bolognese sauce as planned (using carrots, celery & the remainder of an onion) + ground beef from the freezer. Also used the rest of an open can of spaghetti sauce that was in the fridge
-Made the kids an eclectic lunch - smoothies + taquitos & chicken. Used the last of a bag of frozen strawberries, the last of a bag of taquitos & the last of a bag of chicken

I MUST package the pumpkin cake into serving sizes for the kids, because otherwise, I keep eating it!

Yasha

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2532 on: December 01, 2019, 02:17:50 PM »
Haven’t been on the forums in ages, but so glad I remembered this thread!

Last night I made chicken stock from the freezer stockpile (heaps of onion ends, carrots about to turn, the carcasses of three rotisserie chickens. So good to have space in there, even though it only lasted a moment before I put back in the made chicken stock and the drained solids until I can either burn them in the bbq or find someone who’s chooks want to be cannibals. This house has had rat issues, so I am hesitant to chuck the bones etc in the compost.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2533 on: December 02, 2019, 08:07:40 PM »
@Yasha - I laughed at your comment about making space with the broth, and then putting it back in the freezer. I can relate!

Progress from today:
-Last of the Thanksgiving beans & sprouts were added to a salad for dinner
-Used the last of the goat cheese spread on 1/2 a baguette, and toasted it to serve with soup
-Managed to repurpose the last of the Thanksgiving steak (without overdrying it...whew)
-Sent one of the last two pieces of pumpkin cake with my hollow legged 13 year old in his school lunch

Maybe one day I'll be able to close the freezer without shuffling things, lifting, and quickly sliding the drawer closed before everything falls back out again. One can dream.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2534 on: December 02, 2019, 09:15:55 PM »
I took a few things out of the freezer to make room for freezing the pierogi I was making aaand now my freezer is full of pierogi. That's fine though, they're delicious and they'll all get eaten by Christmas. Other than that I'm trying to get by on the food I already have cause things are piling up, maybe I'll be able to start fresh by the new year.

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2535 on: December 02, 2019, 11:11:01 PM »
I took a few things out of the freezer to make room for freezing the pierogi I was making aaand now my freezer is full of pierogi. That's fine though, they're delicious and they'll all get eaten by Christmas. Other than that I'm trying to get by on the food I already have cause things are piling up, maybe I'll be able to start fresh by the new year.

Back in the origin of this thread (version #1) the idea, I think, was to try to use up everything, or virtually everything, before shopping again. It's a good thing to do, once in a while, and especially if you want to pay for a Christmas in cash, make a year end savings deposit, or if you hit a financial crunch- have an extra bill or two to pay this month. Shop from your own fridge, freezer and cupboards!

But for me, it's more about keeping food circulating, because I always go for the easy and surface stuff first, leaving other - often more nutritious - stuff to languish. And then I get it in my head that that stuff is just too "complicated" or will take too much time. When really, it's not at all complicated, and often is really quick and easy. And, again, better for me.  Or, I forget what I have, and it goes bad before I get around to using it, and what a waste that is!

Anyway, no great progress today, but I had some leftovers from the lunch we had after church yesterday. So I ate those, including a nice container of salad. But for my salad dressing, I used a single serving package left over from I don't know when, rather than the new and unopened bottle of dressing I recently bought. There are a couple more single serve packages in the fridge, though I have no more  salad fixing around at the moment!

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2536 on: December 03, 2019, 05:47:40 AM »
I took a few things out of the freezer to make room for freezing the pierogi I was making aaand now my freezer is full of pierogi. That's fine though, they're delicious and they'll all get eaten by Christmas. Other than that I'm trying to get by on the food I already have cause things are piling up, maybe I'll be able to start fresh by the new year.

Back in the origin of this thread (version #1) the idea, I think, was to try to use up everything, or virtually everything, before shopping again. It's a good thing to do, once in a while, and especially if you want to pay for a Christmas in cash, make a year end savings deposit, or if you hit a financial crunch- have an extra bill or two to pay this month. Shop from your own fridge, freezer and cupboards!

But for me, it's more about keeping food circulating, because I always go for the easy and surface stuff first, leaving other - often more nutritious - stuff to languish. And then I get it in my head that that stuff is just too "complicated" or will take too much time. When really, it's not at all complicated, and often is really quick and easy. And, again, better for me.  Or, I forget what I have, and it goes bad before I get around to using it, and what a waste that is!

Anyway, no great progress today, but I had some leftovers from the lunch we had after church yesterday. So I ate those, including a nice container of salad. But for my salad dressing, I used a single serving package left over from I don't know when, rather than the new and unopened bottle of dressing I recently bought. There are a couple more single serve packages in the fridge, though I have no more  salad fixing around at the moment!
I don't think I was part of this the first time around, but I have a couple reasons for doing this. Right now it's the fact that I had a couple of extra bills this month (unexpected car repair and flight) so I'm trying not to buy anything extra (except Christmas presents, but that's mostly done anyway). I love having a good stock of food in the freezer and pantry, it's great for when I don't want to shop or don't have time. But there's certain times of year where I need that space back, like Christmas since I'm hosting a big dinner, so it's a good time to eat down the food.
I had a duck in the freezer, making that in the slow cooker today. Had frozen soup, having that for lunches this week. Need to use up broth, but I have a great recipe in mind and I think I have all the other ingredients.
And I've been saving up my grocery card points all year, so I'm planning on just using that when I need to shop for the Christmas meal. If all goes according to plan, I'm set!

*edited for typo
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 09:06:29 AM by PoutineLover »

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2537 on: December 03, 2019, 07:13:36 AM »
@PJ  & @PoutineLover - for me, this is mostly about minimizing food waste, although any reduction in the grocery bill would be a glorious side product. Interestingly, our grocery bills don't vary much when we do freezer/pantry challenges. They do go down, but not by enough. We buy a lot of fresh produce for salads & fruit for the kids. So, that doesn't change week on week. But, I love ensuring we're not wasting money we've already spent. And, we do typically see a decrease of 10% or so.

SquashingDebt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2538 on: December 03, 2019, 11:21:43 AM »
I'm having a very spendy November and December and also have totally packed freezers, so I should have a little pantry challenge too.  I'm only back home for 17 days before I head back to my parents' for Christmas, so I'll try to buy only what's absolutely necessary.  That'll include dairy, maybe some fruit for my smoothies, and ingredients for a FaceTime cooking date I already scheduled with my long-distance SO.  (He wants to learn how to cook, which is awesome, so I'm trying to pick recipes to make together that'll be fun, not too hard, and tasty.  I'd love suggestions, if anyone has any - he's excited to use his new Instant Pot in recipes and has typically been a meat and potatoes kind of eater, though he wants to branch out.)

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2539 on: December 03, 2019, 07:36:56 PM »
Eating more healthy, reducing food waste, saving a little money - it's all good!  Whatever the motivation, I'm just always amazed and thrilled by the longevity of this thread.  :-)

Because I'm not necessarily trying to use up everything in my cupboards, fridge and freezer, I didn't mind doing some shopping over the weekend.  Stocked up mostly on canned goods, freezer food (frozen veggies, etc) and other staples, with just a few vegetables and a couple of "treat" foods.  Hopefully this will help me mostly stay out of the grocery store for the next month or two, when I'm really busy, because when I'm stressed, I tend to buy lots of non-essentials, or, to buy an unrealistic amount of "cook from scratch" food that ends up going to waste.  I did do a pretty big shop, but I paid with points, not cash!  So now my cupboards are extra full, and my freezer has been reorganized to have the oldest stuff at the front, and it didn't cost me anything, in terms of cash.

Now, I need to process some of the stuff!

So tonight I threw some long grain brown rice in the rice cooker, just plain.  Then, I figured out which can of canned beans was the oldest.  Turned out to be lentils, which I've probably overlooked because I usually just use dry lentils.  I actually think my mom might have given me that can, after it had been kicking around in her cupboards for a while!

To the can of lentils I added some diced and sautéed onions and carrots, plus a small baggie of some kind of chopped greens from the freezer.  I think it was bok choy, and honestly, pretty sure it was from *last* summer, not this year!  For flavour, I had a packet of seasoning from an "herb and wild rice" mix.  Actually surprised at how tasty it all turned out to be - I really wasn't expecting much!  Pretty sure most of the flavouring mix was just salt though.

My late night snack tonight will be some fruit they sent me home from church with on Sunday, and either one of the pumpkin corn muffins I made last week, or a blueberry muffin left over from a work meeting last week.  Froze some to keep them fresh.

The other thing I want to do tonight is cube a couple of blocks of extra firm tofu, then add some packaged sauces I picked up.  I'll make two containers with different flavour sauces, and throw them in the freezer, so that "future me" can grab some pre-marinated tofu out of the freezer and cook something up.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2540 on: December 03, 2019, 07:50:19 PM »
Nice work getting all of that done, @PJ

My husband decided to put a huge package of sandwich bread in the freezer. The freezer didn't shut all the way. See previous comments about how packed everything currently is. So, dinner was a bit of impromptu freezer items:
-Baked a bag of mini won tons (some leftovers now in fridge)
-Defrosted a container of chicken curry (some leftovers now in fridge)
-Found another bag of frozen zoodles, and served that with bolognese sauce

In the fridge, we currently have 1 serving left of curry, a couple of bolognese servings (froze some, unfortunately adding to the freezer stash) & 2 servings of soup. I think tomorrow will once again be "eclectic leftover night"

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2541 on: December 03, 2019, 08:01:54 PM »
I have had more than one "eclectic leftover night" myself over the years, @MaybeBabyMustache!  Sounds like a plan!

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2542 on: December 04, 2019, 08:05:07 PM »
I can actually see some of the shelf of my fridge (the one where I keep leftovers), which is making me incredibly excited.

-13 y.o ate remaining won tons as "after school snack". It's good to have the metabolism of an active teen boy
-One diner polished off all of the leftover curry
-We *almost* finished the bolognese sauce
-I defrosted & cooked a bag of cauliflower rice stir fry (served as the base for curry & bolognese)
-Picky 12 y.o. had two pieces of chicken on a sandwich bread

Net/net, one more item out of the freezer, and almost out of leftovers for tomorrow. Woohoo! Now I can think ahead to what I should serve for dinner for the rest of the week.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2543 on: December 05, 2019, 07:39:57 PM »
Made two different types of pizza tonight:
-Pizza one, made from cauliflower crust. Added pepperoni & mozzarella
-Made naan pizzas for the kids. Used 4 naan crusts, some of an open jar of pizza sauce, the rest of the mozzarella, and about 1/2 of a package of pepperoni

The cauliflower pizza crust is from the freezer, so one less thing in there. I'm thrilled to have used the last of the mozzarella, as that sometimes gets away from us before we can use it all.

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2544 on: December 05, 2019, 09:46:47 PM »
I can actually see some of the shelf of my fridge (the one where I keep leftovers), which is making me incredibly excited.

Isn't it great to see the shelf under all the bags, boxes, and Tupperware containers? I even cleaned some of my fridge shelves in preparation for last weekend's shop!

Made two different types of pizza tonight:
-Pizza one, made from cauliflower crust. Added pepperoni & mozzarella
-Made naan pizzas for the kids. Used 4 naan crusts, some of an open jar of pizza sauce, the rest of the mozzarella, and about 1/2 of a package of pepperoni

The cauliflower pizza crust is from the freezer, so one less thing in there. I'm thrilled to have used the last of the mozzarella, as that sometimes gets away from us before we can use it all. 

Twinsies! I had pizza tonight too!

Had a good, but waaaay to long day at work today. On the way home, I passed someone carrying a pizza box home. There's a pizza place nearby, and it is not at all uncommon for me to stop in for a "walk-in special."  I pick up a large or extra large pizza, $10-12, and eat for several days. Pizza is my kryptonite!

But, I'm trying to not spend any money unnecessarily, and I had lots of food at home to eat. Ah ha! Including everything I needed to make pizzas.

Naan, bottled tomato sauce, orange pepper, sliced tomato, grated cheese from the freezer. Washed down with (so far) half a bottle of cranberry cider. Soon to be all of a bottle of cranberry cider. :-)

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2545 on: December 06, 2019, 07:07:51 AM »
Great work with the homemade pizza, @PJ . I paired mine with a hard seltzer, because it was that kind of day. ;-)

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2546 on: December 06, 2019, 07:29:28 AM »
Slight twist --trying to eat up the backlog of food in my cubicle! I've been trying to eat in more often, but I'm terrible at remembering to bring lunch from home, so I've been buying microwaveable ingredients and keeping them at work. But I spent way more than intended last month (enough to almost equal my previous fast food budget!), so this month I'm trying to eat only the food that I already have on hand. So far I have enough of everything to assemble my pre-planned meals, but eventually I'll get to the point where I have to improvise...

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2618
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2547 on: December 07, 2019, 11:30:57 AM »
@dcheesi - I like that challenge! Sounds like it will get interesting

My freezer pare down continues. I'm heading to London tonight for work, so prepping in advance. So far today:
-Made 6 naan pizzas for the kids for dinner. Used the last of the pepperoni & more of the pizza sauce. Had to buy more mozzarella, so will be conscious about using it before it goes bad.
-Found a single corn dog buried (wrapped) in the freezer. One child is having that with lunch.
-Defrosted a bag of frozen fruit + 2 frozen bananas. Used that, plus the end of a melon & apple juice to make the kids a smoothie
-Also found a reasonably large bag of seasoned/marinated/grilled hot dogs. Leftover from this summer? I'll have one in my salad for lunch. Using up the last of a bagged salad before i leave.

It's getting a bit easier to move things around in the freezer. Hurrah!

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2548 on: December 07, 2019, 10:18:24 PM »
-Also found a reasonably large bag of seasoned/marinated/grilled hot dogs. Leftover from this summer? I'll have one in my salad for lunch. Using up the last of a bagged salad before i leave.

And twinsies again!

A woman from church had told me that she had some veggie dogs she had bought for grandkids, but they didn't like. I'm probably the only vegetarian that she knows! I said I'd take them. Thought there would be 3 or 4. It must have been a huge package - 20 or so? Well, I guess 18 or 19, since they must have eaten one or two! I mean, I don't mind the occasional veggie dog, but that's a lot of them!

Slight twist --trying to eat up the backlog of food in my cubicle! I've been trying to eat in more often, but I'm terrible at remembering to bring lunch from home, so I've been buying microwaveable ingredients and keeping them at work. But I spent way more than intended last month (enough to almost equal my previous fast food budget!), so this month I'm trying to eat only the food that I already have on hand. So far I have enough of everything to assemble my pre-planned meals, but eventually I'll get to the point where I have to improvise...

Over the summer, I bought a mini fridge for my office. Have been trying to figure out what works for me, since my schedule means I'm not always eating lunch there five days a week. So far, hummus, baby carrots, cheese and crackers have the best chance of being eaten in time. I also keep granola bars, instant oatmeal, pudding cups and single serve applesauce in my drawer.

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
Re: Eat All The Food In Your House - Take 2
« Reply #2549 on: December 08, 2019, 07:17:27 AM »
Slight twist --trying to eat up the backlog of food in my cubicle! I've been trying to eat in more often, but I'm terrible at remembering to bring lunch from home, so I've been buying microwaveable ingredients and keeping them at work. But I spent way more than intended last month (enough to almost equal my previous fast food budget!), so this month I'm trying to eat only the food that I already have on hand. So far I have enough of everything to assemble my pre-planned meals, but eventually I'll get to the point where I have to improvise...

Over the summer, I bought a mini fridge for my office. Have been trying to figure out what works for me, since my schedule means I'm not always eating lunch there five days a week. So far, hummus, baby carrots, cheese and crackers have the best chance of being eaten in time. I also keep granola bars, instant oatmeal, pudding cups and single serve applesauce in my drawer.
We have a communal fridge at work, so I keep a few things in there; yogurt for late afternoon snack1, and I keep a big Sam's Club jar of nuts in the freezer for freshness. But most of my meal options are shelf-stable, since I don't want to take up too much room in the fridge. I always try to keep fresh fruit on hand for midday snacking.

The cheapest and easiest solution for lunches would be complete meals in a can (soup, spaghetti-o's, etc.); however, I'm also trying to eat healthy, and I find that few canned/packaged meals meet my dietary goals. So instead I end up combining elements, say a small can of chicken or tuna with a pouch of instant brown rice, and some kind of jarred sauce. Common combinations:

Black beans + salsa
Chicken + salsa + rice
tuna + teriyaki sauce + rice
salsa + potatoes + cheese (laughing cow)
Tasty bite curry + rice (+ maybe chicken/tuna)

1My SO works a later shift than I do, and I need something with protein to hold me over until dinner. Plus I often find that my hunger can go from zero to Joe-Pesci-Snickers-Commercial in the time it takes to drive home :)