Monday, September 28, 2009

Shopping in my kitchen

I woke up this morning fully intending on making a grocery run today.

As the morning wore on, the idea of loading up my cranky toddler in the car and entering the inner circle of hell (otherwise known as Wal-Mart), looked less and less appealing.

So I grabbed a notepad and decided I was going to see how many meals I could come up with using just the items I already had in my pantry, fridge and freezer.

When I reached seven decent dinners, I stopped and concluded that I absolutely did NOT need to go shopping this week. The cupboards that looked so bare were full of things that could be put together to for nice home-cooked meals. As a bonus, I now have a menu for the week and I've already pulled out the crock-pot and threw some frozen meat in the fridge to thaw. I'm halfway there!

By the way, this is a great way to make your grocery list! It's easy to see what items you need when you start assembling meals on paper.

Here's the meals I came up using just what I already had on hand:

Baked Ziti
Baked Potatoes with sour cream, cheese and bacon
Black beans, stewed tomatoes and brown rice
Roasted chicken, rice and green beans
Chicken soup w/rice (can't let that carcass go to waste!)
Chicken quesedillas with grilled peppers and onions
Veggie omelet
Stuffed Peppers (sans ground beef)

I'm embarrassed that I even thought I needed to go shopping! I even found a nice steak in the freezer I forgot I had. We have enough oatmeal and cereal to get us through a week of breakfast and leftovers will do nicely for lunches. It took me 15 minutes to go shopping in my kitchen and I did it all while Peanut ate breakfast. Can't beat that!

I'm curious what meals YOU might come up with if you took stock of the food in your kitchen! Want to play along? Leave me a comment with the meals you found hiding in your cupboards. Or blog about it and link up here. I'll throw up a MckLinky, just for fun!


  1. This is a fantastic idea! I loathe menu planning, and can use all sorts of help doing it. :)

  2. Quesedillas is my favorite thing to do with leftover meat, except possibly Charlie's fried rice.

    Thanks for the great post!

  3. is the neatest site for this. You enter in what ingredients you have on hand, and it draws from all different recipe sites to give you dishes you can make from them. I use it regularly, and it really helps get me out of the cooking rut!

  4. Loved the comment about walmart.. I totally 100% agree! I will check out, that someone mentioned, sounds like a site I need bookmarked!