Home Fueling and Nutrition The Summer Challenge: Clearing out the pantry & reducing the grocery bill.

The Summer Challenge: Clearing out the pantry & reducing the grocery bill.


Our freezer is chock full of frozen fruits and veggies… frozen berries are perfect for blending into smoothies or baking into healthy muffins 🙂

Two maybe three times a year I make a dish of homemade meat lasagna. Owen always makes fun of me because I go out and buy 2 boxes of lasagna noodles and end up using half of one box. So, I have a net of 1.5 boxes of noodles with every lasagna made. Last weekend I looked in the pantry and noticed that we have four boxes of lasagna noodles!!! Four boxes!! I’m pretty much set on noodles for the next 2 years at the rate I’m going.

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop with lasagna noodles- nuts, jarred pumpkin (guess I never did make that pie), dried fruit, cans of tomato sauce/diced tomatoes, canned red peppers, rice, beans, pancake mix – you name it! My pantry is stocked! And don’t get me started on my freezer! We have so many bags of frozen cherries, blueberries and fruit, alongside frozen meats like chicken breasts, ground turkey etc. We need to do a better job meal planning and that starts NOW!

Owen and I have started a SUMMER CHALLENGE for the Berry household. We will be eating our way through our freezer and pantry in hopes to (1) better organize the freezer/pantry (2) reduce our weekly grocery bill and (3) keep me sane.


Behold the pantry. Top shelf: canned goods. Shelf #2: nuts and dried fruit. Shelf #3: olive oil, vinegars, bbq sauces, etc Shelf #4: baking necessities!

In order to do this Owen and I have agreed to:

(1) Cook at least 2-3 meals a week that HAVE TO use items from the pantry

(2) Plan out our meals in advance for the week (we usually do this, but rarely check to see what items we already have on hand)

(3) NEVER go grocery shopping without having a list!  ~ The idea is that our grocery shopping will consist mostly of fresh items like fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs and fewer canned items.


Pantry #2: Shot blok collection, soups and rice!

This summer challenge means that we will be trying out new recipes and you will start to see a lot more dinner recipes on this blog!! Tonight’s meal will be one of our favorites: Moroccan chicken and artichoke cooked in a tagine over couscous 🙂 The recipe calls for couscous and some frozen artichokes! Horray for making space in the overstuffed freezer and pantry!

Can’t wait to share the recipe soon!


2 Responses

  1. Yes! This is the story of my life! One of our problems is that while our kitchen has a lot of cabinet space, we don’t have an obvious pantry, so we use a couple of cupboards for food storage, and also use shelves in our basement. Can you imagine going to the basement to check for cans or spare spices? Yeah… I don’t. We should try this challenge, too.

  2. […] easily substitute ingredients (especially ingredients you have a ton of in your house; remember my summer challenge?). Not into sunflower seeds or dried cherries? Try substituting dried cranberries and walnuts. Or […]

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