I made a menu plan a couple of weeks ago. That week, I cooked a lot of food, and then cruised along on the leftovers this past week. For instance, I ate the last piece of lasagna last night for dinner along with some green beans. I did have to cook some things, but it was minimal. Today, when I went to make a menu plan, I quickly realized I could not make a grocery list because there was NO WAY to tell what I had or didn’t have in that over-stuffed, disorganized fridge.
So, I spent the morning cleaning it out. I found things to toss. I found lots of yucky stuff that had gotten tipped over, ran down the fridge, and settled into unidentifiable masses on the bottom. There were crumbs, smears, and what looked like relish all over the shelves, and plastered to the door, even. The leftovers were piled in stacks in no apparent order, random things like bowls of rice were piled onto mostly empty bowls of chili…..you get the idea! So, I sorted, discarded, put contents of bottles together when people had opened new ones even though there was still some in the old one, washed and scrubbed, and ended up with a clean fridge. Now I know exactly what I have to work with and I had a feel-good morning. There’s nothing like clearing up a big mess to make me feel virtuous. Then, I made a menu plan.
I am continuing with the theme I’ve had for the past couple of weeks–clean it out and use it up from the freezers, pantry and canning cupboard in preparation for summer, when I will grow a garden.
Breakfasts are choice of: oatmeal, muffins, eggs with ham bits, homemade granola, cereal
Lunches are: leftovers such as soup, scalloped potatoes, salad, etc.
Today: Rob barbecued chicken drumsticks, veggies, brown rice I cooked last week
Sunday: Not sure yet–my sister and I still have to decide, but I’ll take whatever she tells me to bring
Monday: Sausage and beans, using frozen pinto beans Rob cooked a few weeks ago, veggies
Tuesday: Enchiladas, using some meat and bean mixture that was leftover from the chili-mac I made Thursday, veggies
Wednesday: Roast beef, carrots and potatoes in crock pot
Thursday: French Dip from leftover roast beef, carrot sticks
Friday: Beef soup/stew with remaining beef–in Crock Pot
Saturday: Home-made chicken nuggets, green beans, home-made fries
Veggies consist of my home-canned and frozen veggies, plus a huge bag of carrots I have. I also have some salad greens and a cauliflower
To Make: muffins, scalloped potatoes with ham (for lunches when there are not enough leftovers), big container of cut-up carrot and celery sticks for people to munch on, apple crisp with some apples that are getting a little wilty, roasted hazelnuts (from a bag I discovered in the freezer), and Chex Mix.
I need to buy: 1/2 and 1/2, milk, French dip buns, celery, look for potatoes on sale, and a few non-grocery items. If I see something I regularly use on a super good sale, I may get a few more things, but I’m very pleased with the shortness of this list. Any extra grocery money I may save will be put towards a Costco trip in a week or so. It’s not hard to use up excess money.
So, here’s your challenge! Does your fridge need cleaning? Why don’t you go see what treasures you discover when you do? It’s a feel-good job that you can accomplish in a couple of hours and you will feel “oh-so-successful” and thrifty when you do.