Last weekend, we cleared out the pantry. When I say cleared out, I mean everything was removed before anything was considered to make the cut and make it back on the shelf. Things had got to the point where you couldn’t find anything let alone find space to put anything new in. It was most definitely time to clean out the pantry.
It surprised me how much food was spoiled. Flour with bugs, sauces that had separated or congealed and other items that were so stale they surely would have broken a tooth. I felt terrible that things had got to this point, it’s such a waste and something I’m endeavoring to avoid again moving forward. Aside from the fact it’s a blatant waste of food which is a precious commodity, it’s also an obscene waste of money and I feel extremely guilty in regards to both.
The other side of the coin though, is that I stumbled upon many things I’d forgotten were in there. There was a long lost bag of pasta hiding at the back (which I now intend on using this weekend to make pasta for work lunches, along with the cans of diced tomatoes and lentils I found). For some reason there were four tins of red kidney beans floating around which I now intend on using to make a bean curry for lunches. This has definitely been the silver lining of the pantry clean out. Not only has it provided me with ingredients I now don’t have to buy but it’s also given me inspiration for what to cook which is usually where I stumble. I don’t know about anyone else reading this but coming up with what to cook for dinner/lunches is not always an easy task.
Working out meal ideas that are healthy, cheap and will last five days is often difficult especially when I’m looking for variety too (I don’t want to eat the same thing week in, week out). The pantry clear out provided me with some ‘free’ ingredients and also free meal inspiration.
In case anyone is curious, the pantry is now organised and there is actually some free space! (soon to be more after I’ve cooked up some big meals). There’s nothing I enjoy more than frugality and minimalism all rolled into one. Why spend more money buying ingredients when you don’t have to? Shop the local shelves. I will try and limit what I buy until I’ve eaten everything we currently have – while it’s still good!
Have you had a pantry clear out recently?