Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Perils of a Full Pantry....

I have read more than once in the past week about ways to save money on groceries.  Now, at the outset, I will say that I am thankful to not have the constraints of an actual food budget.  I do, however, shop for the best price when possible - with my priorities being local meats, dairy, eggs, and produce (when in season).  Meal planning is often touted as a great way to save money.  I'm sure that's true, but it simply doesn't fit with my personality.

It is hard for me to follow the rules - even my own.  I love buying random things and then challenging myself to create recipes.  I will often freeze partial cans of tomatoes, jalapenos, evaporated milk, etc if I have a little left from a previous recipe.  If I actually made a meal plan - I'd have to create a store list - something I hardly ever do and inevitably forget to bring along anyway.

I like being a fly-by-the-seat of my pants kind of girl.

Let me qualify something, though, we don't waste food.  I only buy things that we use on a regular basis.  I like to keep a stocked refrigerator and pantry so I can throw together a recipe that I might impulsively decide to make - another personality trait - being impulsive.

So, yesterday I had several sources of inspiration.  Annika commented on my cereal  post that Golden Grahams are perfect on vanilla ice cream.  It just so happened I had Golden Grahams and I had vanilla ice cream in the freezer.  I decided to incorporate her idea into our dessert last night and quickly whipped up a batch of this to go along with it -

hot fudge sauce - thanks, Annika!

I also read a post about homemade creamy tomato soup.  I have a great recipe for tomato bisque, but it utilizes a can of prepared tomato soup.  I like to know when I can make something myself.  I had all of the simple ingredients I needed and it tasted great on a snowy night!  I think it tasted even better to some skiers on their way home.  :)

creamy tomato soup - here is the recipe

philly cheese-steak sandwiches, perfect combination with the soup!

 Lastly, the kids have a day off from school today - snow day!!  If I didn't have a stocked pantry, we wouldn't have found something for our butter to swim onto.  I kid, but these waffles were quite well-received by a certain snowblower and his three snowman-making kiddos.

Obviously,  these recipes are all simple and require the most basic of ingredients - but still, it was fun to be inspired and not have to run to the grocery store!

Oh, by the way - the only thing in peril from a full pantry is your waistline!


  1. I hear you. :) We are each unique... what works for one person, doesn't work for another. There is no ONE way to grocery shop. Honestly, saving time is much more of a priority to me than saving money (as much as I'd like to save money for a deck, I'll find another way to save the money for it). But back to your stocked pantry - I think it's so cute how you like to cook for your family. El Cap and the boys just don't give me the feedback that you seem to get from your husband and kids. Once, I heard, "This is the best lunch EVER." So, I made it again 7 days later... they didn't like. Can't win.

  2. I am right there with you! Thankfully, we don't have to budget for food but try to be reasonable in our spending and well, meat bought is few and far between with my hunter hubby. lol

    Love the look of the tomato soup even though I'm not a big fan myself. Still, it does remind me that I really, really, really, really need an immersion blender!

  3. I have to go buy a waffle maker...