Monday, January 9, 2012

Pantry Challenge Needed!

I am in desperate need of doing a pantry challenge. We have been blessed with wonderful crops from our CSA, Bluebird Gardens. My freezers, fridges and cabinets are full! After I spend so much time putting all this food away for winter I tend to hoard it. Now that it is January, I'm realizing that I need to make a more concerted effort to use up our supplies so we have room this spring for new veggies.

Our kitchen at this house may be small but, it feels like we have our own appliance store downstairs in our laundry room.  We have our washer and dryer, a fridge and 2 freezers. 

When we moved from Waupun, WI to here we brought our almost new fridge with us because we weren't sure if our new house would have one. It did, so know we have two. When we moved from MO to WI we didn't bring any of our appliances and we really regretted that, especially since our house in WI came with a fridge from the 1940s. Most of the time we haven't had it on, but as our food stash from summer gardening has increased we've now been using it full time.

 A few years after we were married we bought a little chest freezer which we have keep pretty full through the years. I was really grateful for this freezer when I discovered the world of freezer cooking. My family has eaten many nutritious meals that I've stalked in the freezer.

Last year my parents decided to get rid of their stand-up freezer and so we gladly accepted it. YEAH, free freezer! I love being able to see stuff on the shelves. It is so much easier to access, so I put lots of things that I need to find in this one. 

I know we probably pay quite a bit in electricity, but I love knowing where my food came from and all the harvest events at Bluebird Gardens are considered a free bonus. Free food = Stock up! are my pictures of our food stash. (I also have a snack cabinet and a rice/noodles/baking good cabinet that I didn't take a picture of) I feel like these are the before pictures of a home improvement project. Hopefully in a few months these freezers will be empty and ready to be filled with fresh food. I'm also hoping to see if I can lower my food bill for a few months too.

 Upstairs Freezer. I don't really like these side-by-side kind, but it can hold lots of veggie bags. 

 Our stand-up freezer downstairs. It's stuffed with chickens, beef and more veggies.

 Our chest freezer full of duck, geese and LOTS of veggies.

 I usually use our old fridge for freezer meals so I can get to them easily. Right now it's full of milk, broth, cream of soup and a few meals.

 The fridge downstairs holds all my flour, oats, sugar, extra milk and Shawn's Dr. Pepper.

This last picture is our upstairs pantry. The two middle shelves are stuffed full of food. I know I have at least 16 quarts of green beans in there. We have TONS of pickles and tomato sauce too (and I know I have more jars downstairs in our storage room.)

Man that is a lot of food. I'm glad that God has blessed our family this year. I shared lots of our veggies with friends as they came by the house and gave jars of canned stuff for Christmas.

I've been checking out for good recipes to use up our stash. If you are interested in learning more about this type of challenge check out GoodCheapEats for more ideas and other moms who are doing the same thing.


  1. Wow, what a stash! I downloaded an All-recipes app on my ipad. Check on your Kindle, and I am learning to use it - like it too. Looks like lots of healthy meals are in store for everyone this winter!

  2. That is a lot of food! I really like my stand up deep freeze also so I can see what's all in there. All the deer meat goes in the chest freeze (which we were lucky to catch in time after it stopped working on 12/24)! I look forward to see all the fun recipes you cook with all that food. You shouldn't need to grocery shop the rest of the winter!