It’s time for our second challenge of the year! I thought it might be fun this year to start off with some challenges to help us all get organized, and make managing our homes just a wee bit easier! I used to do these regularly with a group of friends of mine and the camaraderie and accountability really helped. Each Tuesday I’ll post different assignments in our challenges and I hope you will join us! (Need to catch up? See previous posts in this series HERE).
ASSIGNMENT #2: FOOD STUFF= Fridge, Freezer, Pantry, “Stash”
Okay, remember that in our imaginary upcoming move, we’ll be doing a MAJOR move (think a cross-country move situation), which means we can’t just pack all our fridge items in a box and drive them down the street and put them in our new fridge! Nope! So we need to use it up and get rid of it!
(FYI: IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not a kitchen challenge. You are not supposed to be spending days, weeks, months working room-by-room. No, remember we have to finish THE ENTIRE HOUSE. What does this mean? This means this is a SPEED PURGE/ORGANIZATIONAL challenge. You just don’t have time to tarry on one room. If you catch yourself installing shelf paper or redecorating, you have strayed off topic. If you get these kinds of ideas, great. But don’t do them. Just write them down, and you can schedule them in after this challenge is done, or if you get done with an assignment early. REMEMBER, IF YOU CATCH YOURSELF THINKING HARD, THEN YOU NEED TO STOP. JUST MAKE A DECISION AND MOVE ON.)
For those of you who aren’t really moving, of course you’re not really going to get rid of everything in your freezer. Instead, think of this as a “Use It Up” Challenge.
So, the idea is to use up everything we have and get rid of the rest! The first step is to quickly go through each area and do a quick purge of anything that has expired and toss it. Make a stack of anything that you know your family is not going to really eat. You know, we’ve all got those random things because they were on sale and it turns out that noone will touch it with a ten foot pole. Find a local food pantry or a neighbor and donate it all.
You need to do this for each area you keep food in your house. Fridge, freezer (above the fridge), pantry, any deep freezers. Plus, if you are a coupon-er, or have a stash of extra somewhere, you need to go through that as well. Again, you need to do all of these areas this week, so keep trucking through and get it done!
Take this opportunity to review what you have and what you do need. Perhaps you wanna create a list of items you commonly use and can always afford to stock up on (especially if you prefer a specific brand, etc.). That way when you see a great deal out there, you are ready to take advantage for things you will actually use.
Idea for You:
I absolutely love using our Cozi app for that step!
Then, take a mini inventory of what you already have. How many meals can you create out of ingredients you already own? How many other meals do you just need one or two things?
Finally, create a meal plan for the upcoming month. Pull out that lovely calendar you prepared yesterday and write down the meals you plan to make. Use up the items you already have. Sure, you might get an odd, mismatched meal here or there; but won’t it be great to also save on your grocery bill?
I recommend that you only buy what you can’t possibly live without for now. Don’t go stocking up on great deals and sales. The idea is to empty out the fridge, freezer, and pantry of everything that’s been sitting there forever. Just because your kids want a particular snack that is on sale, even though you have twenty other kinds on hand, is not a reason to buy it right now. USE UP WHAT YOU HAVE.
The idea is that when we “move out” at the end of the challenge, we don’t want to be looking at mountains of wasted money in the form of food we have to toss or give away.
I am not kidding, no matter how well I try to do this at the end of every move, we still lose hundreds of dollars in extra food that we have to give away every single time. My goal this time is to leave here having eating all the food we have here, only having the open condiments in the fridge left to find a good home.
Next week’s assignment: Holiday Decorations! Just to get you prepared!
Feel free to post in the comments, or link up! I’d love it!