Okay, I just did a super weird thing this week. Maybe this is the retailer in me, having only recently recovered from doing a full year-end inventory of the shop, but this week, on my day off, I decided to take a full inventory of my kitchen.
This was partially motivated by curiosity, partially motivated by the fact that I had set out to clean out and organize my cupboards anyway, and I figured it couldn’t take that much more energy to write down every single thing I found along the way, and partially motivated by accountability.
With another full time blog and four other businesses to run, I long ago accepted that I only have time to recipe-blog once a week and show you all what I’m cooking and eating within this budget I’ve set for myself. And while I am pretty darn good at saving all my receipts (thanks, Lemon! And how the hell did they score a 5-letter domain name in this day and age??), it’s true that you’ll see ingredients pop up in my meals that you won’t be able to find in my weekly purchases.
That’s because apparently, as my good friend recently put it, I am a pantry cook. I have — as I now know — an absurd amount of food already occupying the shelves and cupboards of my kitchen, which leaves me with plenty of options of delicious things to cook, and lets me stick to a pretty simple grocery budget if I need to.
The cool thing that I realized during this inventory project, however, is that almost every food item in my house, with the exception of spices and condiments, is less than a year old, which means that even my pantry staples were at one point purchased within my Six Dollars A Day budget. Which honestly makes me feel a lot more legit.
So, let’s get down to it. Here’s all the food I have at my disposal to cook with, even without grocery shopping. It’s pretty unbelievable. Needless to say, when the apocalypse comes, you’d better come wait it out down here in Lindsey’s Lodge. We’ll have a feast.
I’m blessed to have both an icebox freezer, and an entire standalone freezer in the laundry room, which allows me to do economical things like roast entire chickens, store the meat for future meals, make big batches of homemade stock, chop and save seasonal veggies, and store Trader Joe’s frozen junk food snacks out of daily sight.
My lifeblood. It has been my dream for many years to have a kitchen prominently featuring “beans in jars.” I don’t like the taste of aluminum so any beans I make are implicitly of the dried-and-soaked variety. I like to buy weird grains like millet and amaranth and challenge myself to make something yummy out of them. That’s how my love affair with bulgur started.
All the other Project: Food Budget-ers!