We’re buckling down and making ourselves eat as much of the remaining food in our fridge as possible. We haven’t gone grocery shopping for at least three weeks (except for the occasional under $30 run for milk, cereal, and some fresh fruits & veggies) and we don’t plan to go at all for the next two weeks (since there’s still plenty to nosh on before we move). We’re concentrating mostly on eating things in the freezer and the fridge since there will be at least five hours between handing over the keys to our current house and getting the keys to our new one (we were luckily able to coordinate both closings on the same day, but the bank still needs a few hours to transfer funds in between). So we don’t want to worry about keeping a bunch of things refrigerated or frozen in a cooler in the moving van (or over in John’s sister’s fridge) if we can help it. Here’s what we’re dealing with (MTV Cribs style):
So I devised a little look-how-type-A-I-am system to keep us focused when it comes to strategically stuffing our faces. I’m a sucker for a list, what can I say? It actually took a little while to get the whole list thing figured out. I knew we needed a reminder about what we should eat, so first I made a list of all the random ingredients and items that we ideally should scarf before moving day. But it seemed like a chaotic little crammed piece of paper with too many things to actually absorb. So I decided to compartmentalize, grouping items that we could eat together and listing things in these categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack/dessert. Worked like a charm. We now have this list staring us in the face every time we glance at the fridge:
- peas and carrot sides (J)
- broccoli soup (S)
- grilled cheese (J & S)
- turkey, cheese, & deli flats (J & S)
- tuna on wasa crackers (S)
- laughing cow cheese or almond butter on wasa crackers (S)
- breakfast for dinner omelette w/ frozen veggies
- pot stickers with frozen veggies
- burritos and frozen veggies
- pancakes with mixed berries
- frozen amy’s pizza and alexa fries
- sides to eat asap: brown rice & cous cous
- pumpkin bread
- ice cream
- mixed nuts & pistachios
We just cross things off when we finish them and then move onto other meals in that category. So far we’re on track to eat right up until moving day (since we have a few servings of a few of the things on the list- like pasta, pot stickers, a truckload of wasa crackers, etc). Here’s hoping we can get ‘er done. Have you guys ever strategically planned meals (for moving or just money management or organizational purposes?). Do you have weekly meal plans (Macaroni Monday? Taco Tuesday?). Growing up we had a pretty predictable rotation but there was something strangely comforting about it. I still miss Wednesday night pizza dinners…
Psst- I know the last few posts haven’t been very DIY focused (we blame our turkey coma) but soon we’ll be sharing some fun homemade holiday gift ideas along with a free downloadable calendar for 2011 and another home-related video. So as they say on SNL, stick around…
Second pssst- Holy bananas. Who watched Dexter last night? Was it not the single best episode ever? John and I couldn’t sleep from all the adrenaline rushing through our veins. Love that show.
UPDATE: See how we did when it came to cleaning out the fridge before our big move here.
I’m always impressed by your list-making skills. I too have made the occasional list, usually to make sure that all of the fresh veggies I pick up at the farmer’s market get eaten before they wind up in the compost pile. Sometimes that mountain of Swiss chard that seemed like such a bargain on Friday turns into a chore by Wednesday.
Regarding Dexter – amazing! I had just been thinking to myself earlier in the episode (when Lumen was admiring the knives) how their relationship was more intimate than Dexter and Rita’s had been, despite never being physically intimate. And then bam, the ending happened.
How’s the food going? Whatcha got left? We call eating odds and ends “buffet night”!
Well, it’s only been two days so we still have a lot left. We had edamame and pot stickers for dinner tonight. Not so bad.
Oh, man! I usually don’t comment on your posts since you get so many, but DEXTER! It just makes you guys that much cooler. Really. I was freaking out on Sunday night. I might die if they don’t do another season cause there’s no way they’re wrapping this up in two episodes.
Erin T. says
I make a weekly menu and write my shopping list along the side. While I’m creating the menu, I raid our dry goods (bought on a monthly Wal-Mart trip) to fill out each meal. The “fresh” stuff (veggies, meat, etc.) comes from a weekly grocery store trip. It’s really helped us bring our grocery costs down since we’re always planning ahead, and we waste much less food.
Thank you for this idea! I tend to forget what food I have on hand, which results in it either going bad or buying duplicates. So I went home last night and took inventory to post on the fridge! Now I know what’s there and can’t say “there’s nothing to eat!” So thanks :)
Amy W says
I like to do that to my fridge and cupboards periodically just to clean them out. Last time I realized I had jar of pesto from a year ago still half used in the fridge. This time my purge started with a friend noticing a can of pumpkin in the pantry from, um, ’08. So yes, I’m all about doing the “let’s be creative until it’s all gone” at LEAST twice a year now!!
You are the first American I know of that likes vegemite. I’m proud of you!
I’ve seen Vegemite at World Market
Really?! That’s so good to know!
Katie C says
Your list really isn’t all that Type A, just practical.
As a (very very busy) graduate student I found that, in order to actually eat without wasting my money on campus fast food, it was very helpful to sit down and figure out what my next 14 meals would be (lunch and dinner for two weeks) before going to the store. All my cooking was done on Sunday afternoon, so that I could do my 60-hour homework weeks without starving. It was a pretty good system, and although it required being more organized than I like to be, it got the job done.
Of course, now that I’m only regular busy I have time to cook more than once a week, which is good, because my boyfriend eats 1.5-2 times more food than I do, and every time I feed him he messes up my leftovers count. I still make a list of meals to cook, but it’s only for one week at a time, and I agree with the other comments that this really saves a lot of money at the grocery store.
My husband and I don’t stick to the same weekly menu mainly becuase I really like trying new recipes and I often take a page from my mother’s book of just throwing together something with what you have – and we really avoid processed foods at all cost. We don’t make our own cheese or anything loike that, but the only prepackaged foods we have in our house right now are cereal, sandwich bread, and a pint of vanilla icecream. Other than that we keep our cabinets stocked with plenty of staples andI then I buy produce and meat weekly from our little grocer based on what recipes I think I might want to try.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of money you save from not buying prepackaged food – and things taste so much better.
One thing is pretty regular – Saturday night is still movie night and since we have a 10 month old that usually means movies at home, but I always try out a new recipe (usually something a little more complicated because I have the extra time) and we try a new wine and we’ve really found some stuff we like this way!
I was just wondering how you all were doing with this. I cant imagine there is anything left in your fridge. Eagerly awaiting the update! HAHA!
ummm…you guys just keep getting better…I LOVE Dexter.
I know this is a seriously old post but wanted to mention to anyone that reads it – mustard does not require refrigeration and can be moved safely.
Thanks for the tip!