>With the newest addition to the family (it’s a little weird saying that and not referring to a cat) and the fact that I didn’t request any summer teaching and Josh is down to one paying job, I have been trying to think of ways to save money instead of writing my dissertation. And while I haven’t yet bothered to sit down and actually figure out where we spend our money and come up with a budget based on that (numbers…yuck!), I do know that our biggest expense other than rent is food. The evidence of overspending on food is plain to see in our overfilled foodstuff coffers. We have 3 cupboards in the house full of dry goods, more dry goods in the walk in pantry out in the garage, and not one but two freezers full of food. When I find a shirt or pair of pants I like, I but one in every color; when I find food I like, I buy it at Costco. Add to that my general lack of organization and I tend to buy things like a 6 pound bag of dried pinto beans when we have at least 4 pounds stuck behind the jug of olive oil in the cupboard. Who needs 10 pounds of pinto beans?
Needless to say, a pantry challenge is in order. But, since it’s also the height of farmer’s market season, I’ve decided to give myself a budget of $20 a week for things like fresh produce and staples that run out during the course of the challenge–probably spices and the like. Since I recently found myself in the possession of a $100 bill, the initial length of the challenge will be 5 weeks and then I’ll reassess. I honestly think we have enough food to get us through to the end of the year doing this, but I’m starting small.
Summer 2009 Pantry Challenge
Start: 05 July 2009
End:08 August 2009
Goals: Clean out the pantry and freezer, better organize foodstuffs, replace old stuff like waaaaay out of date spices, spend $20 or less on food weekly, lose 5 pounds (okay, so now I’m aiming high)
The first step was using some of those damn beans. We also happened to have a deluge of squash taking over our kitchen. On Saturday we got to the farmer’s market late and got a fill your bag for $10 deal. I see squash and visions of calabacitas dance in my head. So, last night we had refried beans, fresh salsa, and calabacitas wraps. This is, undoubtedly, one of my all-time, top-five favorite meals and a good way to start this challenge.