A picture is worth a thousand words.

A week ago I challenged myself to eat my house clean in an attempt to reduce both my grocery bill and get the creative juices going in the kitchen. I would say that overall it has been a success, I have appreciated every comment and acknowledgement along the way and if I’ve inspired a couple of you to do the same that makes me happy. I have to admit that there was a degree of purging that took place and those items that moved in with us 6 years ago and failed to bring anything to the table finally moved out. My biggest success was surprisingly the tuna lasagna, it was both quick and easy to make and everyone enjoyed it, to the extent that my youngest has requested it for dinner tomorrow. Who knew mixing a jar of roasted peppers, a tin of tuna and a can of tomatoes and then layering it in between lasagna sheets and calling it Mums Special Lasagna Surprise would be such a hit!?!?

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For now my fridge and freezer are relatively empty and my pantry is looking bare of some essentials, though I really do need to tackle the coconut milk supply. I still have 3 cans to use up (any recipe suggestions?). I need to work on a list of essential pantry and freezer items and this last week has given me great insight into those staples that can easily be called upon last minute to serve up a delicious meal for the family #tunalasagna.


Looking for Accountability Coaches …… Eat your house clean challenge.

Ever had that feeling first thing when you wake up (usually after a long night partying) of not really being sure where you are? That was the feeling I experienced this morning when I woke up and saw my oldest at the base of my bed muttering something about breakfast. Then it hit me …. after what seemed like the longest Christmas break (17 days, but who’s counting?), which dragged on due to some weather phenomenon they named bombogenesis, my kids were finally going back to school, my husband was no longer ‘working from home’ and I was going back to work. Today I was supposed to run a tight military campaign that involved getting everyone out the house fed and clothed (pajamas under snow suits was no longer suitable attire) by 8am, followed by an over scheduled afternoon of activities, homework, dinner and bed. There is something about school days and dinner that always throws me off course …. I don’t know what to cook, when will I cook it, do I need to go the grocery store? As I was raiding the fridge and pantry and processing advanced algorithms in my mind to calculate the best time to fit in grocery shopping, it hit me ….. I do have food in my house I just have to figure out what to cook with it.

How many times have any of you gone food shopping, bought a cart load full of groceries, spent a small fortune only to arrive home and feel like you can’t put a meal together? Yep, well that is yours truly. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried meal planning. I even bought the note pads that break down your shopping lists based on the different meals and days of the week. I just don’t find that to be a sustainable process for me and my kids now use those fancy pads to play hangman. As a serial food shopper, yes I sometimes buy things because they look nice or different or interesting and then never use them. It’s not so much a case of not having food in the house but more of a know how and motivation of throwing quick, healthy meals together for the family.

That is why I have decided to challenge myself and I’m calling on all my friends old and new to hold me accountable. I need you all to be my Accountability coach. This is actually a real thing as I discovered during a recent binge watching session of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Who knew you could hire people to hold you accountable? Apparently new Housewife Teddy Mellencamp makes a living by doing just that!

So what is the challenge I hear you all screaming ……. I challenge myself to eat my fridge and pantry clean before buying any other groceries. I am naming my challenge quite simply ‘Eat your house clean’. My motivators are two fold, one to cut down on both my grocery bill and food wastage (which I hate to admit I am guilty off) and two, to challenge myself creatively in the kitchen by cooking new dishes for my family that are both tasty and healthy. During this time I will still purchase fresh produce (eggs, bread, milk, fruit, vegetables and protein) to compliment what I already have. I have attached a photo of what I’m working with and at first glance I see coconut creams (x 3)…..curry anyone? If anyone has any ideas to inspire me by glancing at the contents of my pantry I would love to hear them. Since I know you will all be holding me accountable I will aim to post daily results of my challenge. Full honest disclosure, including what ingredients I purchased and which I used from the stash at home and what the final result was (may or may not include pictures !!).

I still haven’t quite decided whether my liquor and wine cabinet will be held to such scrutiny, from memory things do not linger on the shelves there for long, in part due to friends stopping by. Well I guess they are not stopping by to be fed. However, just in case I wake up tomorrow with a change of heart, I believe there are a couple bottles of Tempranillo on the wine rack that may need some attention, one has to start somewhere. Looking forward to sharing this challenge with you all. Now who is going to hold me accountable whilst I eat (and possibly drink) my house clean !!

Cheers RGV