After the holidays, I decided to do better at planning meals and managing our food inventory. So far so good.
I'm only going to the grocery store every other week now instead of weekly. And I'm not purchasing items I already have. Instead I'm making a conscience effort to use pantry staples and freezer items I've had for months. I'm also no long buying more than I'll need for a two-week period, or stock-piling staples such as buying six cans of diced tomatoes when I only need two.
Because I'm using up what I already have and not buying in abundance, I've obviously been able to reduce our grocery costs so far this year. But an additional benefit that wasn't so obvious when I started is how much easier it is now to keep the freezer drawers (2) and produce drawers (4) clean and organized. And you know I love that!
I'm also having more fun cooking again. I'm enjoying the challenge of creating something with what I already have. Today I made soup with frozen chicken stock, some fresh mushrooms, some not-so-fresh carrots and celery, and rice. I also made pumpkin muffins with a can of pumpkin leftover from the holidays and my last box of cake mix.
In addition to better food and meal management, I've also been steadily progressing through my yearly household purging and re-organizing. I think I'll tackle the pantry next. Why not? Now that it's less cluttered, it should be super easy!