Pantry Clean-Out and Eat in Month Groceries

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I’m so glad to hear so many people are joining in on the Eat in Month challenge! Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with people sharing how they’re getting ready. The theme of the day seems to be prep, mostly stocking up on groceries. It’s a good strategy and one I started on the other day while I had some free time.

I spent a good portion of Sunday prepping for Eat in Month as follows:

  1. I removed any old/expired foods from the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
  2. I assessed what I had remaining and what I thought I needed (as far as solid staples) and made a shopping list.
  3. I went grocery shopping, focusing on getting staples that were on sale.
  4. I re-stocked and re-organized (grouping like items) the new and old staples in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.

I gotta say, this is definitely a great way to start the year. I feel like I have a great grasp on what foods I have and I’m ready to tackle the new year eats-wise. And I just love how everything is so organized! Here are some photos of my pantry and the groceries I picked up:

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I still want to get some more storage containers, but I’m researching good options. I’m considering just getting larger mason jars, but I’m not sure they’re the most efficient. I definitely want to get glass containers. Do you guys have any recommendations?

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I love having frozen fruits and vegetables in the freezer at all times. The vegetables make a great, last-minute side and can also be thrown into soups and noodle stir-fries.

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I love broths for quick soups, to cook grains, or to make simple sauces.

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This is a random mix of items here. I don’t drink soda very often, but I like having some light options when the mood strikes. I love having the ginger ales they sell at health food stores around – they have great ingredient lists. This one in particular is sweetened with honey and pineapple juice. I also really love Cascal. Fresh fruit is a must – we almost always have bananas and apples. Snack bars are also a must, but I didn’t see any that had a good sale price. I love these Green Superfood bars, but they’re a little more expensive than I want to spend for pantry snack bars. I try to stay under $2. Larabars are my favorite, and I like to get big boxes of them at Costco.

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Pasta and sauce = easiest last minute dinner ever. We have a quasi-homemade beef sauce that we make when we don’t know what else to eat. I should probably share that recipe with you guys. Maybe in the next week or so? But, if you’re really desperate, you can just cook pasta and add this sauce and call it a night.

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Various tomato products are great for some many things – to add flavor to soups or make quick sauces.

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Here are some more great pantry staples – tomato paste – to add to sauce and soups. Garlic – good with almost everything. Panko breadcrumbs – makes a simple and easy dinner when paired with chicken.

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I’m not vegan or dairy-free, but I prefer non-dairy milks to make oatmeal or smoothies.

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Tofu – an easy way to bulk up protein when you haven’t been to the store recently. I like to add these to soups or noodle stir-fries, and it’s great marinated in soy sauce and then roasted. I love yogurt for a filling but healthy snack – straight-up or topped with granola. Eggs – a great, quick protein and a breakfast staple in our house. We love fried eggs or egg bakes with whole grain toast.

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I’m thinking of re-writing my pantry tips post. I read the one I did a couple years ago, and it’s still good, but I think I have a couple more tips, and I’d definitely like to update the photos. Any interest?

Anywho, I’ve got some ideas for quick and easy meal ideas, and I made a new soup recipe that would be great to make for a cozy meal. Plus, it makes lots of leftovers that you can freezer for later. I think frozen soup is going to be my life saver this year as far as the challenge goes.

Reader question: What groceries have you gotten recently?

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