Pantry Purge (1/27/13)

I’m now out of a few of my staples (Greek yogurt, fresh spinach, something to dip in hummus…).  But, I still have food stored away in my freezer and filling up my pantry.  So, before going grocery shopping, I decided I should take stock of everything I have and see if there’s a way I can work it into a meal.  I haven’t been looking forward to this moment.  For the most part, I feel like I’m good about using left-overs and saving food.  But, I’m an absolute sucker for Supermarket sales – Buy one get one free!  Save money by buying in bulk!  You know the drill.  As a result I know I have food that I was sure I would eat, but that I’ve let expire because I never really needed it.  Well, here goes.  Time to clean the slate and get rid of the food I let go bad…  Ouch!

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Here’s the damage from the pantry: a full box of crackers (I didn’t want to run out at a party, and then couldn’t eat them on my own), a bunch of taco shells (sales sucker!), microwave popcorn (how did I let this one go?), bread crumbs (I’ve been working away at them, but should have bought the smaller size), cooking spray (I usually use olive oil), evaporated milk (for a baking endeavor that never happened), Crystal light (again, I clearly didn’t need Sam’s Club size), and a can of tuna fish (forgotten in the back of the pantry).

So, what are my lessons learned?  Clearly, I should be buying the smaller sizes, even if it costs more per unit.  That one will be tough.  I also rearranged things so that food that’s closest to expiring is in the front.  And, I did put into use my new knowledge about sell by, best buy, and use buy dates and kept some food that may not be at its best, but won’t give me food poisoning and actually tastes perfectly fine.  Another thing I realized is that I should try to wait to buy food until I need it (think baking ideas).  If I don’t have plans to make a flan in the next week, I can hold off on getting the evaporated milk.

I’m warning you now; the freezer isn’t going to be pretty. Oh dear.  (Lauren Hirshon)

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