Do you ever come home with a large load of groceries and find it’s hard to fit everything in the cupboards, pantry, and fridge because there’s already so much food there? And do you ever stare at your seemingly fully stocked shelves only to find “nothing to eat”? Declare this “Live Off The Pantry” month and tackle this issue head on!
Save money on groceries, time on trips to the store, and see how resourceful you can be by creating meals day after day with the items you already. You’ll probably need to allow yourself to buy a few items such as milk and fresh produce, but you will likely be amazed at the satisfying food you can pull together out of the “there’s nothing to eat” zone.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Enhance canned soups with spices such as curry, chili powder, or Italian seasoning and fresh or frozen veggies. Add the spices in the beginning of the heating time so that the flavors can develop and the veggies at the end so they retain their crunch.
- Switch up mealtime expectations and serve “breakfast” for dinner out of what you have on hand. Pancakes, egg burritos, or a veggie and cheese filled frittata would all be a treat in the evening. You can also make a hearty morning meal of rice, quinoa, or other grains with milk, brown sugar, and dried fruit stirred in.
- You may find yourself with almost everything you need for baking – a great way to use flour, sugar, and other baking supplies which often get neglected as life gets busy. Resist the urge to run to the store and do a search for your missing ingredient + “substitute” online. You may be surprised you can pull off those muffins with what you already have!
For example try these stand-ins for eggs:
For leavening: 1 tsp baking powder + 1 tbsp water + 1 tbsp vinegar
OR 1 ½ tbsp water + 1 ½ tbsp oil + 1 tsp baking powder
For binding: ¼ cup applesauce or other pureed fruitOR ½ a ripe banana, mashed