We are beyond blessed with an overflowing pantry, fridge, and freezer at the moment. I took advantage of several pre-Thanksgiving sales on things like canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups, and $0.79/lb. no-additive chickens (yes, plural). I was thrilled to know that I could stock up because I had room in my upright freezer and I was already thinking about all of the meals that I could make out of the goodies that were piling up in the cart.
Once it was all unloaded and I was staring at my stuffed upright, I realized that we were going to be due for another Life as MOM-inspired eat from the pantry challenge. I also recognized that December was probably not going to be the month to attempt such a thing as I might find some more good deals with all the holiday sales. However, come January 1st, things are going to quiet down and I know I'm going to be up for a no shopping challenge. What about you?
In fact, my shopping habits are already changing as I once again work within the constraints of the South Beach Diet (Peter is just finishing up Phase 1), and I need to make sure that we are loaded with easy-to-grab protein for snacks and lunches. Instead of stockpiling on low-carb noodles (I still have plenty, and they are a no-go until Phase 2 anyway), I've focused on getting cans of tuna (in water), fresh veggies (including Brussels Sprouts - yes, yes I did), and plenty of low-fat cheese, eggs, and turkey bacon. I've found several soup recipes in my favorite soup cookbook that are easily adapted to fit within the bounds of the South Beach, so making sure that my pantry is well supplied with canned beans of all varieties is another important point on my shopping plan.
In looking ahead to 2012, I've come up with five food-related goals for the new year:
1) Eating from the pantry/freezer (i.e. don't just hoard, USE!)
2) Learning how to cook dried beans (I have them, I just need to try cooking them again)
3) Cutting back on fast dinners out by giving myself a plethora of "fast" dinner options at home
4) Supporting a healthy eating lifestyle, not just for Peter, but for myself
5) Splurging on higher quality ingredients (especially if it means eating out less overall)
What about you? Any thoughts about changing your eating or grocery shopping habits in the new year? Any life-changing tips for easy bean cooking? I'm stirring around some other goals and dreams for 2012, but I'll write more about those in a later post, so stay tuned!