How often do you go to the grocery store?  How much food gets wasted because you never eat it and then throw it away?  How much food do you have sitting in your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and pantry that you just never really seem to use?

For us, we go to the grocery store all too often.  It’s not uncommon to head to the store multiple times a week or at the spur of the moment to figure out “What’s for supper?”

We try to do well with leftovers, but it varies.  Some things get gobbled up and others turn into a science experiment in the back of the fridge.  Or I realize that we aren’t going to eat it for the time being, freeze the leftovers, ….and then a few months down the line end up throwing it away anyway.

We had so much stuff in our pantry and cupboards there wasn’t any more room for anything else. YET, somehow…there was “nothing to eat”.

So, we implemented a challenge upon ourselves – We are not going to the store until we eat what we have.

It didn’t take long for the complaints to start because everything the kids considered tasty, and I considered more junky, were the first things gone.  The kids got creative though, realizing that we weren’t going to go back to get more food until we used more of what we had.  Overall, we did well.  We ate well.  We had healthy food in our house that just need a little thought and prep.

Want to know how long we went without visiting the grocery store?

TWO WEEKS!! 

We did replenish our fruit.  We eat a lot of fresh fruit.  We actually get most of fruit from the gas station.  It’s cheaper and it’s good.  The only other thing we purchased was a loaf of bread.  We don’t actually eat much bread, but we had some cheese slices, that we determined had a destiny of turning into grilled cheese.  So we did need to grab a loaf of bread.  We ate dinner with the grandparents, at their house 3 times within that two week period of time, other than those few things, we ate what we had.  I was pretty impressed really.

Breakfasts were typically leftovers from dinners, which probably made them healthier and provided more energy than the normal breakfast foods.  Tacos are excellent for breakfast.  Just sayin’.

For the most part are meals were pretty balanced.  We had protein and veggies.  We even managed to use up a few of boxes of Jell-O for desserts.  I have no idea why we had so many boxes of Jell-O….and canned tomatoes.  Hmmm, I must feel I need a can every time I go to the store.  I also had several bottles of ranch dressing, a few couple cans of artichoke hearts, and way more than I realized of coconut aminos (like soy sauce, but way better!).

There were also some very interesting meals, such as tuna with a side of frozen waffles.  We also had the ingredients to make quesadillas, but we didn’t have cheddar cheese (which is what we’d normally use), so we used mozzarella cheese and that became an instant favorite.

So, the first thing we did was, take inventory and clean.  We took EVERYTHING out of the freezers, fridge cupboards, and pantry AND wrote it all down.  We purged a lot of things:  expired things, things I finally realized we just really weren’t going to eat, and things we just didn’t need.  I tossed 36 containers of spices!  You’d get the perception I was actually a good cook, with that amount of spices.  Haha.

There is even a website that helps you whip of meals with what you have on hand.  You put in the ingredients and wala!  MyFridgeFood.com

We saved at least $200 and a few hours of time by not going to grocery store for two weeks.  Awesome!  Thankfully, Annabelle took it upon herself to plan the menu and do the shopping for the next week.  She wanted to make sure we had good and healthy food in the house again.

 Have you done a challenge like this?  Are you ready to take one on this challenge yourself?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

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