If you have been following my Facebook page’s feed, you would have seen these photos. I was prepping my master recipe list for the soups I was serving for our holiday open house party. Each pink line was an ingredient that I found in my pantry. I was really proud that I was able to make almost 10 gallons of soup from ingredients that were on-hand. I started to wonder, though. Why do I grocery shop so often? Am I a food hoarder??? Maybe it’s time to give up grocery shopping.
We spent weeks canning this year. I bought grains and baking supplies in bulk to get a jump on a Christmas cookie baking marathon. I have large quantities of spices from trips to Penzeys downtown. I began asking myself, was the squirreling away of all of this food actually about making it through the winter or just because I enjoy the act of gathering? I have freezers full of vegetables, and pastured meats. I have jars of beans, lentils, grains, different rices and pastas. I have bulk flours that enable me to make pastas if I ran out of the pre-made linguini and bucatini. Where does it stop?
I began to be a little ashamed of how much food we have. That wasn’t the reaction I should have had, either. The entire family has worked very hard to have the things we do. I pulled several all-nighters making tomato sauce. I am, and should be, proud that I can feed my family from what I grew and prepared with my own two hands. The problem I saw was in our budget. I still made trips to the grocery store every week – sometimes multiple trips. I use Quicken and I ran some more numbers. We eat out alot.
Keith and I agreed – we needed to make some changes. Standing in front of a bulging pantry, we complained there wasn’t anything to eat. No more. We have embarked on a No Grocery fast. We gave ourselves permission to buy dairy so that we can have milk, make butter and cheese or use buttermilk in bread making. We also said one meal out every two weeks in the interest of travelling for the kids’ schedules. That’s it. We’re giving up coupons, fuel perks (gasp) and BOGO deals.
We’re aiming for a week, then two. Hopefully, we’ll get to a month, and then another. I just know that I have a wealth of sustenance in my home and it’s time to start reaping the rewards of all of our hard work.