There is definitely something satisfying about having my cupboard stocked. As much as I wanted to complain about grocery shopping in this post, I have a sense of bounty when it’s full. Our cupboard is an old metal cabinet inherited from Grandmom that is more like a pantry. I removed my upper cabinets in the kitchen and this is what we use now instead. And to have it stocked means that I can throw together quick-breads or a pasta dish or a soup based on what’s in there and the fridge. I can be lazy or I can make effort but it’s there for the cooking. Some of the meals I have given recipes for that I think of as cupboard meals are my Cannellini bean and Tuna salad and the Warm Salad.
On the random day that I inventoried my cupboard just to see what I had, it contained the following ingredients:
Oats, grits,olive oil, vegetable oil, bulk fake yellow sugar , sugar free syrup, peanuts, almonds, cashews, craisins, prunes, raisins, popcorn, goldfish, graham crackers, animal crackers, rice cakes, saltines ,triscuits, oreos, Nillas, rice crackers, peanut butter, natural peanut butter, taco shells, breakfast bars,squeezy applesauces,peach cups, whole grain spaghetti, penne, angel hair, rotini, quinoa, mac and cheese, chicken stock, black beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, cannalini beans, re-fried beans, taco shells, salsa, tomatoes and green chilies, evaporated milk, coconut milk, tuna, petite diced tomatoes, olives, green chilies, artichokes, brown sugar, cornmeal, Masa Harina (corn flour), wheat flour, mayonnaise, juice bottles, freezer bags, and brown rice. Not to mention the various vinegars and sauces that we use and all the baking powder, soda, and salt. The sugar, flour, and rice live in tins on the counter top.
The fridge and freezer are stocked by mood and sale items. Currently there’s shrimp, pork butt, pork chops, chicken breasts, ribs, flat-iron steak, and various frozen veggies as well as chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and ice cream in the freezer.
The “rotter’ as my husband likes to call the fresh veggie drawer, is filled with lettuce, cabbage, spinach, carrots, celery, thyme, ginger, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, and a lemon or two. Dairy includes butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, cheese, and buttermilk. And breakfast sausages and bacon as well. The onions, potatoes, and hand fruit sit on my counter behind my sink.
I do find that too much choice can be a bad thing so I feel much much better when I write out suggestive menu plans for the week. That way I can get “in the mood” for some meals. And I can switch around meals depending on the amount of effort I feel like making . Although it almost seems hard to make that meal plan out sometimes, I’m always happy when I do.
I also didn’t realize that I cook breakfast 5 days out of 7. I don’t often just let everyone eat cereal or yogurt. So we eat eggs or leftover pancakes or oatmeal more often than not. And leftovers can be bundled into a burrito later. I try to be frugal and mindful of making what I have bought. My kids hopefully will eventually appreciate this. Or not.
Tip number 7 of the 10 Smart tips for eating healthier on a budget from the Kitchen.com is to keep a well-organized fridge and pantry. Shopping for fresh produce at the end of the farmer’s market, sale meats, whole grains, planning and eating outside your box/comfort zone are all on the list. Wonder how well you’re doing ? Read the article and find out.
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