Stephanie at Keeper of the Home has started a Eating From the Freezer and Pantry Challenge for anyone wishing to join in. Pretty easy concept - your meals will consist of only what you have on hand in your cupboards, pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. You're not prohibited from shopping, but trust me, if you take this challenge seriously, you can save a TON of cash off your regular bill. It takes some organization to be truly successful at it - planning and writing out your menus ahead helps A LOT. Some participants will post on their blogs their menu selections, and you can get some great new meal ideas.
I usually do my own version of this challenge in February. It's a great month (short!), involves a school vacation week (so I'm guaranteed to have hungry kids in the house for at least three meals a day), and it's usually cold out, lending itself to warm bubbling pots of comfort food. Not so much this February. I think New England saw a few 70-degree days that month, and bubbling pots gave way to pulling the grill out of the garage. And I just wasn't on my A-game.
Now push has come to shove. Our CSA farm share starts next week. The freezer, which has NO room, needs to be defrosted. So tonight it's begun. Dinner was the last of Sunday cookout's, green beans from the freezer, and brown rice from the pantry. Grocery shopping will be limited to milk, eggs, bread, and a few other essentials. At a glance, there's enough on hand for dinners and a few lunches for three weeks. Meals won't resemble the strange concoctions my college roommates and I would call "dinner" at the end of the month when we were out of money, but it may get interesting towards the end.
Game on, family.