Posts tagged ‘Clean Out Cupboards Challenge’

Up for a Challenge?

Do you ever feel like you are doggy paddling away, losing strength, and just barely able to keep your head above the water? I’ve been feeling that way. I can hardly believe its almost mid Jan. Many things I need to get accomplished have been waiting on the sidelines. Then the guilt creeps in… and still my to-do list piles up. I’m trying.

There’s SO many posts and recipes (half written or unwritten) in the queue, and several events I wanted to “attend” but time just slips by. I’m hoping I can get back to blogging and visiting my friends here in bloggyworld this week. But till then I wanted to share something I’ve been up to.

Around the first of the year, we were discussing our grocery bills/habits. I don’t think we overspend on groceries, but we wondered if that is because we have a lot of items that we continue to use from the pantry, that rarely need restocked. I decided we will keep a detailed list of how much we spend and on what, for at least a few months. I also realized we need to seriously start to use up the foods we already have, and there are too many of those!

Wouldn’t you know, the same day, I stumbled on this post about the “Clean out the Cupboards Challenge”. Right in line with my thoughts, but going a step further. I decided to join along!

The good thing is, since I didn’t decide to accept the challenge until Jan 4, I didn’t do anything consciously or subconsciously to prepare (stocking up on anything).

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.

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English
language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and
enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in
having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
–   Elise Boulding


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