Shopping for food is relatively guilt free. While we may waver on purchasing designer shoes or another bike, we rarely censor our shopping habits when it comes to food. As a result, some of our pantries are JAMMED with foods both in date and out!! (You know who you are…)
I want to tell you about the March Madness that my friend Valarie has been implementing in her household for several years now. It is a month long ban on food shopping. For this family of 5, it coincides with Lent but it could truly be done any time of the year.
For 40 days, this family spends only $100 on food. If they are really diligent, they can purchase bread, produce and dairy items BUT little else. (Certainly not Starbuck’s much to the frustration of her 3 daughters.) As an Organizer, I see the benefits of March Madness on so many levels, here are a few:
- It is green. Instead of throwing out expired food, get creative and eat it before it goes bad.
- It is economical. By throwing out less food the kids learn not to waste money.
- It cleans out the pantry once a year and makes room for fresh and new food.
- It reminds the family to shop with intention. Always have and stick to your list. (Especially if you are on a tight budget.)
- It forces creativity. Have you used Epicurious.com? This site is terrific for suggesting recipes based on one or two ingredients.
So, if you feel that your cupboards, freezer, pantry, laundry room, garage and basement closet could use a food clean-out, consider taking the March Madness challenge. It will save you a month of groceries, clear out your pantry, create some needed cupboard space and reduce your carbon footprint just a little bit! Thanks for sharing Valarie…
For excellent guidelines on how long of a shelf life most food items have visit: www.stilltasty.com