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The Pantry Project

September 26, 2005

I love to start projects. And though I’m not that great at finishing them, starting them is always a blast. My latest project involves my favorite things: food, lists, and grocery stores.

Usually, I make a weekly menu for all our meals and go to the supermarket once a week. I buy all the produce, pastas, and breads that I will need for the coming week. Sometimes this works out well, but most of the time, we stray from the menu, either by eating at a restaurant or by deciding late in the week that we really don’t feel like having that meal after all. This results in another trip to the supermarket, an expensive trip to a restaurant, and/or wilted produce and unused pantry items.

Now, we don’t have a big kitchen. In fact, it’s tiny. So I was really surprised when I did a full inventory of our food. (Yes, I made a list. Yes, I typed it up. Yes, I’m that weird.) I found frozen vegetables, old pasta, bags of dried beans, seven (!) different kinds of vinegar, and lots of items that I bought double of, just because I had no idea that I already had some.

So I decided to attempt to remedy these two problems with one solution: The Pantry Project. I’d like to attempt to use up the staples in our little kitchen, a little bit at a time. And I’d like to shop for additional items (like produce or cheese) every few days, or even every day if I feel like it. The thought of going to Whole Foods and saying, “Today, I feel like having an apple,” and buying just one apple, and knowing that it will get eaten, is very exciting to me. I’m a little worried that shopping more often will be more expensive, but I’m hoping that using up pantry items and not wasting food will balance it all out.

So for lunch today, I had a sandwich made with a Boca burger I found in the back of the freezer, a piece of avocado that was wrapped up in the fridge, as well as baby spinach, sliced tomato, and baby carrots on the side. Then I ate the last chocolate chip cookie. Hey, the cookie counts as pantry-cleaning, doesn’t it?

So tune in to find out whether The Pantry Project works, or better yet, whether I even remember The Pantry Project by tomorrow evening.

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5 Discussion to this post
  1. Utenzi says:

    Good luck with this, Crystal. I know I could never do it. I take too much comfort in having lots of food around. I suspect I could live for 6 months off of the food I have in the house–as long as I can get water from somewhere. And a good month even without the water. LOL Obsession, you say?

  2. Michelle says:

    Man oh man I wish I could do that! I find myself at the grocery store almost everyday! I keep saying I do it because I don’t buy one huge load of groceries at one time, but I think it is just because I like going there. Even when I don’t really need something I talk myself into going because “I think we need new bread” Talk about terrible! I might go through my pantry to see what all I have in there. Good idea! Love you & miss you both!

  3. I 100% TOTALLY understand the sentiments behind your Pantry Project. I should do the same thing, but I haven’t mustered up the self-discipline and commitment yet. Maybe you will inspire me!

  4. amateur says:

    I too used to go to the store and buy in bulk every few weeks. However, I HATE throwing food away and that is what was happening. Lately I’ve been going much more often to get smaller quantities. It’s very nice because you can cater meals to your cravings and have things ultra fresh. I’m not sure yet if it’s coming out cheaper, but I do feel MUCH better throwing away less food.

  5. Lora says:

    I’m nerdy enough to do such things too. Iy’s a great way to remeber food that you enjoy but forgot about.

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