Pantry Challenge: Am I a Food Hoarder?

pink kitchen{This is my dream kitchen: source}

It’s Sunday morning, a time when most people are relaxing, sleeping in, or maybe enjoying a hot cup of coffee? Me, I’m having a mild meltdown in my kitchen. I tried to find my rose flavoured tea this morning, but it’s vanished. (It’s probably hidden behind coconut flour, food colouring, or one of the 16,000 spices in my ‘spice/baking/tea/oils cupboard’.

The reason for my meltdown isn’t the lack of rose flavoured tea, but rather the realization that I might be hoarding pantry staples. The thing is; hoarding or being a pack rat is one of my biggest fears. I never want to become one of those people that collects ‘stuff’ just for the sake of having more stuff. Plus, an over-full pantry means a greater likelihood that food will be forgotten and go bad. So, I’ve decided to give myself a pantry challenge for the month of July.

Pantry Challenge:

July seems like the perfect time for a pantry challenge. The kids are home from school which means no need to buy snack sized and portioned items, and summer dinners are usually low-fuss at my place anyway. Plus, we’ll be busy in August with festivals, and then September brings back-to-school madness, and October is Diwali/Navratri, Halloween etc., so it feels like July is the best option. 

I’m not really giving myself hard and fast rules for the challenge, but just some soft guidelines:

? Start by cooking exclusively from our pantry, fridge, and freezer. I probably have enough fresh produce and frozen meat and veggies to get through 1-2 weeks in the house right now.

? Use or distribute complicated items. When I first started my gluten free diet, I bought a lot of interesting ethnic food products that I haven’t really used (bad girl). I’m going to try my hand at cooking from my stockpile of Polish, Philippine, and Japanese food products this month, and if I can’t figure them out, I will pass them along to someone who can use them. 

? Plan meals around pantry items. I’ve really let meal planning go this year (which is probably why our pantry is a mess). I’m going to commit to shopping my pantry first and planning meals from there. 

? Add fresh produce, dairy, and meat as needed. The last thing I want this challenge to do is make me hate spending time in the kitchen, so I’m allowing myself some leeway. I imagine by the end of the month I’ll be needed some meat and cheese to keep my family motivated, so I’m planning that ahead of time. 

organizing spices{It would be a dream to open my spice cupboard and see something like this!}

As a way to motivate myself I’ve come up with a reward. If I actually make it through this process and use up some of the excess in our pantry, I’ll be treating myself to some new containers for my spice and flour collection. (I’m like a small child motivated by gold stars!)

 

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1 Comment

  1. July 3, 2014 / 5:48 pm

    That is such a gorgeous kitchen! And I love those spice jars

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