September's Pantry Challenge Starts SATURDAY!!!

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September is here which means it's time for the ONE MONTH PANTRY CHALLENGE!!  (all caps because I'm excited....)  This is just a quick check-in for those of you who have let me know via blog, facebook, or email that you will be participating.

I think one of the things I've already learned while prepping for this is that I don't shop the freezer first before I make the meal plan.  I can tell you this because our 2 stand-alone freezers are packed.  Packed!  And I'm out of space for more in-season produce, which means this challenge comes at the perfect time for me.

If you would like to join in and missed the first post that outlines the pantry challenge, you can find that here.

If you're following along with a pantry challenge of your own, here are a few things to think about before starting:

  • Take an inventory of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer(s).  You have to know what you've got in order to effectively figure out what you'll be making for meals the next 4 weeks.  This will help you ensure that you're not eating a strange combination of ingredients on week 4.
  • Set-up your first week's meal plan to use up your perishables that are going to expire in the next week.  Whether you have dairy, fruit, veggies, or leftovers in the fridge that won't make it beyond a week, take note of it so you can use it up rather than throwing it out.
  • To take full advantage of this challenge, make note of the items you find that you've avoided using or aren't used to using.  This way, you're using it before it expires and you'll be able to determine if you ever stock up on it again or not.

Some Potential Challenges:
  • You may have to get creative toward the end.  My biggest challenge with this is that my husband believes that soup is a lunch item only.  Knowing that you can make soup from so many odds and ends, it would work for meals for me, but, unfortunately not so much for him.  I'll be looking at other options if the freezer is getting lean.
  • If you don't make a lot homemade now (bread, mayo, sauces, dressings, etc.) you may be learning to do so.  
  • If you are resistant to meal planning, I think it will be incredibly difficult to pull together.  Unless you've got a lot of boxed mac & cheese or something else in your pantry you're ok eating in a pinch.  Planning it out is going help ensure you are able to make (fairly) complete meals throughout the challenge.

    Are you ready to begin?

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