Good afternoon, Dear Ladies!
Can you believe it? It seems like the month (and year!) just started and now, here we are, the last day of January and we're 1/12 of the way through another year! Where on earth does the time go? It just seems to fly anymore!
Okay...so we've made it through the final week and a half of our Dollar S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project for January 2018 and we feel that, overall, we've done pretty well. For the most part, we've managed to stay on track with menu plans and a lot of the food that had been on the shelf and in the freezer for quite some time is gone now. There is, however, a lot left still, but it's manageable.
After discussing our options (we were going to do our grocery shopping tomorrow - on February 1st), but, in the end, decided to save an extra trip to town (40 miles round trip minimum) and I just went ahead and did our monthly February stock-up shopping when I took a friend shopping yesterday afternoon (on Tuesday). The menus were already in place, so it really didn't matter one way or the other...other than the fact that it would save time and money by eliminating a double trip...so...that being said...the house is full and we're ready to go into a new month with a new plan.
The new plan for February, basically, consists of continuing to focus on clearing out the older stuff on a daily basis by scheduling weekly (or bi-weekly) food inventories, always concentrating on including items that typically tend to get overlooked if we don't stay on top of them...for instance...frozen tomatoes.
We have several packages of beautiful, frozen tomatoes in the deep freeze, but do I think about them when I'm preparing to make spaghetti sauce or soup? Nope! I just grab a can of tomatoes off the shelf, open it, and go on. Almost every time...after it's too late, of course...I think, "Oh, shoot! I should have grabbed a bag of those tomatoes out of the freezer!" Continuing to purposefully do a weekly, or bi-weekly, food inventory will force us to look at and consider things like this on a regular basis and help us to get into the habit of keeping things moving ahead and being used up.
Another thing we have a lot of is potatoes. Again, we still have several quarts of frozen potatoes in the freezer (these are the potatoes that we were blessed with back in October). The answer to this one is easy. Other than an occasional, individually-wrapped, baking potato for certain meals, I'm not buying anymore potatoes until the frozen and canned ones that we have are gone!
Through the use of regular food inventories I am finally getting in to the habit of using up the last bits of fresh fruits and vegetables with little to no waste. For example, the last of last month's bag of apples were still good, but they weren't as nice and firm as they are when freshly purchased, so they were chopped up and thrown into muffins this week. The last of the fresh vegetables (and a few odds and ends that are frozen) will be chopped up, drizzled with olive oil, and baked in a hot oven until tender and roasted. Vegetable ends and peelings have been boiled and strained to make vegetable stock for soups and stews. This I either place in jars in the fridge to be used right away, or it, too, can be frozen and used at a later date. The thing is, though, to remember that it's in there. Thus, the need to do a food inventory on a regular basis.
You know...I really feel that we take food for granted in this country and that way too much of it goes to waste. On the other hand, a lot of what we eat isn't even fit to be put in our mouths, let alone sufficiently fuel our bodies. I have so much that I want to share with you all! I will say this...I am working my way towards being a better steward of finances and making healthier food and lifestyle choices, and all that I learn along the way I want to share with you, but, it's too soon.
Pray for me. I don't even know why I'm mentioning any of this at this time, but the Lord is dropping something down in my spirit and I know that it's big and that it's going to take time. It all has to do with finances, food, and physical (and spiritual) fitness. I've got a long way to go, Ladies. Just pray for me.
Okay...I'm sorry...I've gotten off track in this post, but I'm leaving it as is.
This was our second major food clean-up project within a year and, while I don't feel that we made as much progress with the second one as we did with the first one, we still did well. (Of course, we didn't have as much older stuff in the house the second time around as we did with the first, so I guess that counts for something!) Anyway, I will close here.
Did anyone else do any kind of no-spend, low-spend, or general clean-up-the-food January? If so, please, feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.
Until next time...
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