July Pantry Challenge Instructions:
1. Clear everything out of your refrigerator.
Wipe down the shelves, as needed, and put back only the food that should be kept. Empty and wash reusable containers of mystery items, and get rid of almost-empty condiments. Make a list of everything you have in the fridge.
2. Empty your freezer.
Take everything out, and clean up any messes in your freezer. Then, put items back neatly, taking inventory of everything you have. Try to make it so you can easily see and access items in the freezer.
3. Empty your pantry.
Get rid of stale crackers and cereal, and throw away items past their expiration date. If there are canned goods you just won’t eat, put them in a box for donation (or in your emergency stockpile). Wipe down pantry shelves, as needed. Put your food items back in an organized way, so you can always see what you have available; take inventory of everything in your pantry.
4. With your inventory, plan meals for the upcoming days of the work week (or more).
Try to use only what you have on hand first, then list meals requiring only minimal purchases. Start with anything in the fridge, so you use it before it goes bad.
5. Share your pantry challenge experience here!
What was easy? Which part was difficult? What surprised you? What did you learn? I really learned a great deal on my last pantry challenge, and I’ve been doing this for years.
If you need to complete your challenge on a different day this week, that’s fine! Post a picture of your pantry before and after the cleanup. Post a picture of your list of foods. Post your meal plan. You can use comments below or post on the FaceBook page!
I can’t wait to hear how it works for you! I made this a timed event for my benefit – 8am – 8pm Hawaii time, but you can do your challenge any time this week. Happy pantry challenge!
RESULTS: My Pantry Challenge Meal Plans
My inventory is still really, really LARGE, but I’m improving on keeping disaster supplies on hand (canned food). My oldest will be home from college for a few weeks, and having all six of us here should deplete my overages significantly. Here is the (dinner only) meal plan I have for this coming week, based on my food on hand. If you look at the grocery list on the bottom right, I did buy lots of fresh produce.
Get your super simple one-week meal planner blank by subscribing! Here’s a Cheat Sheet for Weekly Meal Planning to show you what to do with it, too!I want to hear from you! What’s on your meal plan this week?