Eating My Way Through My Fridge & Pantry Experiment ~ Day 1

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Thoughtful Eating and Vintage Brand New. Please add my to your circles.

This is Day 1's entry in a 15-day experiment. I found myself with a very low bank balance and 15 days until my next pay check. I have lots of food in my fridge and can't really afford to go out and purchase any new food. I'm going to try to not buy any groceries from here to 9/14 (I might have to beg friends and family for some items though). I'm also going to try to not go out to eat, with the exception of the last Summer Friday Food Journey trip my friend and co-worker Lisa are taking this Friday (Jewish Deli Food yay!). What I'll try to do is make do with all the food I have in my fridge and pantry. I won't be able to make perfect meals, but at least I can make use of that food. Can I do it? I'm not sure, but out of necessity I'm going to try.

How did I get myself here? Several reasons.

#1 Hungry Boyfriend. We go out to eat a lot because at the beginning of any relationship, a lot of bonding is done while eating food. Everyone has to eat and it's a great way to spend alone time together and to get out of the house and do something fun. To counterbalance this I have tried cooking meals for my beau and I. In hindsight, I thought this would be more cost-effective. Home-cooked meals are generally less expensive than restaraunt ones. However, the beau eats SO MUCH FOOD that my regular portion is tripled or quadrupled to feed his raving hunger. It costs money to feed a hungry hungry man.

#2 Summertime Fun. It's warm out, the days are longer and friends are out and about. Summer is the best season for quality hang-out time with the friends and like with the beau, this usually means eating out. Plus there are extras to treat oneself with like iced tea, ice cream and carnival/sports arena fair like hotdogs and fried dough. So not only am I spending money on meals, I'm spending money on extra food items that are by any means necessary.

#3 Travel Fun. Travel is expensive gosh dang it. I have barely done any, but already it's sapped my wallet.

#4 Baking. I have been very experimental with baking lately and have been excited to try a lot of new things. Baked goods, not an essential meal or food group. It's an extra. Plus the cost of all those ingredients adds up. And when I bake, I usually try a little bit and then give the rest out to friends and family. That's a lot of $$$ just to bake and give it all away.

#5 Fickle Fickle mind. I make a meal plan on Saturday for the week then on Sunday morning I buy all the ingredients for the meals. By Wednesday or Thursday, I don't want to cook anymore, I'm sick of the meal plan and I end up getting take out while all that extra food sits in my fridge. What a waste!

#6 DVDs. Not food-related, but there have been so many amazing sales that I just have been shelling out the dinero for some coveted classic movies. Argh!

Day #1

- Mom donated a box of Basic 4 cereal to my cause so I'm trying to finish off my previous box. I had that for cereal. Beau drank most of my grapefruit juice so I won't have much of that to last me for 15 days. I did give him leftover brunch desserts and my vegan coconut cupcakes to satisfy his breakfast needs. I'm not feeding him again for the rest of this experiment.

- Had soup for lunch. Had purchased 3 cans on Sunday ($5 for all three). They will be my lunches today, Tuesday and Wednesday. Also had some leftover fruit from yesterday's birthday brunch. I caved in and bought a scone for $2.25. That'll be my afternoon snack with tea. I have a big stash of tea bags at my work desk so I'm determined only to brew my own tea rather than going out and getting tea.

- I have Butoni's Wild Mushroom Agnolotti and marinara sauce in my fridge and some still-good wax and green beans from my local market. Put that all together for a pretty decent meal. I have some more beans to spare so maybe I'll use those later in the week. Fresh stuffed pasta and fresh vegetables, this will be one of the most luxurious meals out of this experiment!


NMOS said...

I remember in college I had to be very frugal. I watched every little thing I spent and made food last a looong time. I seriously made a pizza last longer than it should have. Haha. Anyway, you have to do what you have to do.

You definitely have an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I just started my own food blog called "Om Nom Nom Nom" over at Feel free to stop by and follow, if you'd like. I actually found it cheaper for me to eat out instead of cook at home. Seriously, you can get cheap, fresh meals for like $5.

Jonas Nordin said...

Splendid idea Raquelle! Everybody needs to cook more with ingredients hidden in pantrys and fridges. I have a wonderful collection of dry goods like peas and lentils I should attend to more often. You could also bake your own bread, its a great saver. A decent bread can often be obtained with the weirdest ingredients like carrots or whatever you have in stock as long as you have some flour, salt and yeast. Bread can be filled with stuff. Bread can act as a filler in other dishes...

Jonas Nordin said...

Another thing, there's no way eating out can be less expensive than coooking yourself unless you chose to cook with extremely costly ingredients like Panda beef or heaps of saffron...

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