Did you know that one of the easiest ways to save money is to cook at home? Did you also know that in order to save more money, you should use up what you have before you buy a bunch more? Today’s Monday Money Tip is…raid the pantry!
We have a really bad habit of opening the fridge or cabinets and only seeing ingredients. Then we grab the keys and either go to the grocery for a bunch of junk we didn’t need or head to a restaurant. It’s a huge money waster and it’s time to stop.
This week I will be raiding my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I can come up with. I know that I will need to go to the grocery for a few things, but for the most part, I intend to use what we already have!
After vacation, I only restocked what I knew we really needed so the cupboards are a little more bare than usual. Still, if I can be a little bit creative and save some money, it makes me happy!!
I’ve been looking through the kitchen this morning to see what’s left and trying to come up with a few ideas. Think Chopped for the Financially Challenged (that should probably be a show).
Here is what I’ve come up with for the week:
Chipotle Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Foil Wraps…I don’t have cilantro or zucchini, but I think we can live without it! Spizzie probably won’t eat these, so she will probably have leftover Cavatini or a sandwich.
Pinto Beans and cornbread with fried potatoes…I don’t have any chow chow, so that makes me sad, but I’ll cut up an onion instead.
Thai Coconut Curry, rice, Crab Rangoon Dip, and fried wonton wrapper chips…I found a mix for the Thai Coconut curry in the cabinet and I have chicken in the freezer. I also have all of the ingredients for the crab rangoon dip except for green onions and one pack of cream cheese. That won’t set me back much!
Island Pork Roast, Yams with pineapple, and some sort of black bean and quinoa dish…I will be out of rice after the curry, so I will make up something using quinoa. Hopefully I can find something on Pinterest to inspire me!!
BBQ Pulled Pork and Hot Slaw , Potato Salad, roasted corn on the cob, and baked beans…My pork roast is big enough for at least two meals, so I will use half of it for BBQ. The only thing I will need is a pack of buns.
Leftover Night…I always try to have at least one leftover night during the week. I eat leftovers for lunch a lot and Super Trooper has been taking them to work a couple times a week, but there are always plenty left to make a meal for someone.
Restaurant Night…It doesn’t tie in with saving money, but we have already made plans to have dinner out with some friends of ours. They are worth it!!
My grocery list will consist of hamburger buns, a loaf of bread, green onions, and cream cheese. I will probably get some cilantro and maybe a small pack of ham for my pinto beans. Not too shabby for almost a week’s worth of meals (I’m not counting it as a full week because of the night out).
There are some days when I wish I could just feed everyone cheap noodles and sandwiches every night for dinner, but since I don’t like the idea of eating that way myself, I guess I won’t do it to them!! Raiding the pantry allows me to use up some of the food we have stored AND be a little more creative with my dishes. Throw in the added benefit of saving a little money and it’s a win-win for me!
Have you ever raided the pantry to save money or keep from going to the grocery or the drive-thru? Do you have favorite recipes or dishes you’d like to share? I would love to hear all about them!!