Check out my recipes posted using my in-stock ingredients HERE!

I joined the Clean out the Cupboards Challenge along with Laura at Frugal Follies and a bunch of other great ladies.

To see how it began click here:


So, here are my goals for the month of January:

  • Using up some of the many jars of dried beans and grains that I have stored in my pantry, along with as much else (frozen included) as possible. There are simply too many, and I buy other new things every month, leaving the stuff on the shelves to get older and older.
  • Planning ahead. Making mealplans around the items we already have in stock, and knowing what is on the agenda for the coming days, helps me to follow through. Sometimes making extra and freezing, and then being sure to actually use what I froze!
  • Less waste. Goes along with the above.
  • Creating and repeating new recipes using the healthier ingredients that sometimes get overlooked (hello, quinoa and rye flakes!)
  • Posting about only those recipes I make this month!
  • Making more effort to not buy new things without using what is already in stock.
  • My goal is NOT necessarily to spend as little as possible. We believe in organic fruits and veggies as much as possible, and in lots of variety, even though they are not always the cheapest things to buy. What is more important to spend on than our health?

The “Rules”

  1. I will not buy any ‘dry’ or canned or shelf stable or frozen items for the month.
  2. I will make all meals and snacks at home or using what we already have.
  3. I will make my own bread. (Yikes!)
  4. I am ONLY able to buy: Fresh fruits, veggies and herbs as needed, trying to use the ones in the drawer and freezer first; one half gallon of milk or less per week; one more dozen eggs (already had one), cheese, but only after what I have gets finished; yogurt if needed.


  • We are allowed to eat out once a week or less.
  • If I get an item for free it is fair game.

Inventory + Week 1 here:

Summary:  Any ideas on using barley, rye flakes, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spelt, etc are more than welcome!

So, as I said, we were out of town, and went for shopping on Jan 1, before I knew about the challenge. Luckily, I didn’t buy a lot, but I did buy a few things which would be against my “rules” for the month. I would like to consider them part of last weeks shopping, hehe, but will own up to them in the list for that week and also in the total bill for the month (which I will post at the end of this challenge).

What I bought Jan1:

  • Tofu
  • Hummus
  • Dried Green Mango
  • 2lb bag organic sugar
  • Frozen mango pulp
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Cucumber 1
  • Eggs 1 doz
  • Milk 1/2 gal
  • Yogurt plain

Week 2 here:


This week we bought:

  • Bag of 7 lemons (for same price as 2 lemons, so bag made sense)
  • Bag of 4 avocado (same as lemons)
  • 6 bananas
  • Bag of locally grown boy choi
  • 2 locally grown sweet potatoes
  • .33lb cremini mushrooms
  • bunch of scallions
  • 3 clementine tangerines
  • 1 meyer lemon (couldnt resist!)
  • the following herbs: cilantro, mint, fenugreek (methi), curry leaves
  • and also 1/2 gallon of milk

Next week I hope to really do better and buy less than 5 items!!

Week 3 here:


This week the only things we bought were:

  • 1 qt milk
  • eggs

Meal planning has been going well, but I haven’t quite worked out the one for this week yet. We went out to eat once, which is not too bad since all breakfasts(we dont really eat cereal), lunches, snacks and dinner (sometimes dessert!) are prepared at home. However, I still could do better at cooking those rarely used grains. Quinoa, rye flakes, kasha buckwheat, millet, barley, wild rice, and spelt. If only I had a flour mill! I could turn these into multigrain breads. All in all, I have kept to my rules so far.

Week 4 here:


As expected, my freezer supplies are dwindling, and its getting a little harder to think of meals to make. Don’t worry, I will begin to restock come Feb, and at least it will be fresher and more organized.

For this week I bought:

  • Bananas
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Pomegranate
  • Swiss Chard
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger root
  • Green onions/ Scallions
  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • Italian 4 cheese blend

Check out my recipes posted using my in stock ingredients HERE!

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