Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Great Pantry Cleanout: The Lessons I Have Learned

Well, this experiment was just that: an experiment! And while it went well for the most part, I didn't go quite as long and as lean as I'd hoped. I laid out my successes and misses below.

I've actually gotten all of my 'pantry' (various shelves and small cubbies all over the garage) consolidated into one small metal cabinet, and I could probably fit all of my freezer contents into one small chest freezer. It's a good thing, too, because I just found out I need to make 300 cupcakes for an upcoming church celebration!  So, I won't be unplugging the 2nd freezer quite yet, but it is good to know we're well on our way to being ready for the movers in May!

My main 'miss' is in the perishables department. I greatly underestimated how many eggs I would need for holiday baking and such. So, I have had to head to the store a few times for those. Also, we didn't quite eat up all the canned fruit I'd hoped. I'm sorry, but I just can't feel good about feeding my family a steady diet of canned fruit versus fresh; even if I did can it myself!  We will keep working on whittling that down between now and May...

The other disappointment is that I will have to end this 2 weeks sooner than I'd hoped.  We have visiting family coming the last part of January, and one of them needs a GFCF diet.  They mainly eat meat, potatoes/rice and veggies to keep meal prep simple, which means I'll need to go restock my meat supply. Right now I'm down to a few packs of porkchops, a stray chicken or two, and bacon. Every good homestead has to have bacon on hand, right? I am sure it's part of farm training. Besides I need the bacon grease to season my cast iron collection ;)

My list of planned recipes for the next two weeks are all repeats of previous posts. If you missed any of them, then just click here or go to the Homestead button on my homepage and scroll down to view the various weeks' posts.

So overall, I'm not thrilled with how this went, but I am pleased at my progress. It definitely got me into the mode of paring back and cleaning out for our pending move.  It also seriously reminded me of the value of a well-stocked pantry. Had I been in a situation where I was forced to live off my pantry, we would have survived, but we're clearly not as self-sufficient as I would like.

So, I'd love to hear if any of you attempted this experiment, too?!  If so, let me know how you fared, and if you had any light-bulb moments along the way.

Hillary At Home

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