The Month of No Shopping

There’s been a topic over on the eGullet site on the subject of not shopping for food for some time now. You can read the topic here. It sounded like a great idea, but I never did anything with it.

Times have been a little tight for my family, yet we have enough food squirreled away to last us a long time. I have a chest freezer as well as a generous side-by-side refrigerator-freezer and a spare refrigerator. I also have a pantry packed to the gills with dry goods, condiments and the like. Why do I keep filling those spaces? Why not use everything up?

To be fair, the spare fridge is almost completely empty; it currently holds some beer, backup milk, and a few other random things. The chest freezer is only about half-full…but, you know, it’s half-full! That’s a lot of food! The pantry, on the other hand, is crammed with about a dozen partially-eaten packages and containers of rice, many partially-used packages of pasta, yellow split peas, canned beans, Israeli couscous, an enormous complement of baking supplies, dried mushrooms, wine for cooking and drinking, boxes of cereal, canned tomato products, and much, much more. You should see my condiment shelf, with about 15 different vinegars, several types of soy sauce, some unusual oils, hot sauces, Worcestershire, etc.

I don’t want to do anything to discourage fruit and vegetable consumption in my household, and with a young child we rely on many dairy foods as building blocks for meals. So I’m allowing myself to buy produce, dairy, and my son’s sandwich bread. I reserve the right to purchase some food for my son’s birthday party later this month–dogs and burgers with the trimmings. I will need to buy things for work–I’m not turning away business for a month! But otherwise, for the month of April, no shopping for food! It’s time to eat down the freezer and pantry, try to get our food inventory under control and prevent food waste. It’s also time to find uses for those foods I’ve been keeping around without deciding how to use them. And at the end, it will be time to defrost, scrub, and reorganize everything.

I hope you’ll join me for this adventure!

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