I was out of commission for three days (sick), so I’m not including a list of what we ate to finish off the month. But it was primarily leftovers and “convenience” foods like Boca burgers and veggie dogs. I did do some cooking this weekend since we were snowed in. Last night I made a delicious goat cheese, roasted red pepper, and artichoke heart pizza using this crust recipe.
As January comes to a close, I’m reflecting on how and in what form to take what I learned into the next month. What did I learn? Let’s see…
- I seem to cook in fairly large quantities. Or maybe it’s just that right now, there are only two of us eating my cooking. Either way, I should be stashing leftovers in the freezer more quickly, rather than eating them day after day.
- As a vegetarian, much of what I tend to buy at the store is fresh produce, dairy, and eggs – all things that were not off-limits for this month. I don’t actually feel as though I made much of a dent in what I have in the pantry. Most of my meals ended up using one or two things from there, and fresh ingredients for the rest.
- I did save money on groceries, but not as much as I hoped. I should probably have set an amount to spend each week, rather than going wild with cheese. Not that I went wilder than usual with cheese. (Just a note that I didn’t buy the goat cheese this month – I already had it from December. So there.)
- Having some kind of parameter, such as not buying any canned goods, turned out to be just the thing I needed to reinvigorate my cooking. I brought back several meals I hadn’t made in years, tried out new ones (seven!), and even made a huge batch of pancakes, which are normally full of fail for me. I busted out my bread machine, and used it several times as well – something else I’d never done before.
Based on all this, what I’m planning to do for February is to identify ingredients that I have in the pantry that I will use up (or at least use some of) by the end of the month. This will be a slightly different challenge, as I will be free to buy whatever I need. It’s more of a creative challenge than a frugal one. I’ll try to come up with a clever name for this, but I’m not promising anything…