I feel like I am airing my dirty laundry by posting this, however, last year Marc and I very intentionally took the month of December and ate through our pantry, freezers, fridge, and cupboards. We don't keep a ton of food in our cupboards by many people's standards, but at the same time it feels like we have a ton of food. We buy pasta and soups and things when they are on good sales so we get lots of them at a time and sometimes when we are at the store we can't remember what we have or how much so we end up buy more pasta sides or more soup or or or or or and eventually it all does get used, rarely does food go to waste in our house. The nice part about doing this in December is towards the end of the month we have LOTS of house guests coming and space in the fridge/freezer becomes a hot commodity when trying to feed everyone, so it will be nice to get it cleared out before people start arriving.
Last year in December Marc came up with the idea of trying to see how much we could eat out of what we have without buying more than the fresh fruits and veggies and milk. It was actually really good for us and we had to get a little creative to use up some of the things that we had - How many partial bags of chocolate chips do I really need in my fridge just *waiting* to be used (current total is five - time to bake something). I hate to admit how many bananas I have frozen in my freezer that had gone far to ripe for our eating pleasures - so I freeze them to make bread or pancakes or something (time to bake some banana something). How many partial bags of frozen veggies do we really need (current count - four partial bags of frozen veggies - time to make casserole).
I do have 13 freezer meals that I made right before Thanksgiving that we also will be eating but that won't be enough to get us through the whole month, so we are going to get creative and eat up what we have. The only food that we buy is if it helps us use up things that we have already. I need to buy some brats or something because we have three bags of hot dog buns with one or two buns in them each.
How do you use up all of the things in your pantry/fridge/freezer - do you intentionally set some time in which you try to use it all up?
My goal for the new year is to actually create some type of an inventory system so that we know what we actually have and don't end up with stashes of stuff and can be more intentional throughout the year. (This could be purely wishful thinking - but for now I am going to rock it).