Yes, this is an homage to Hyperbole and a Half, possibly the most humorous blog. Ever.

But back to the topic at hand: EATING! As part of our Uber Frugal Month experiment, Mr. Frugalwoods and I challenged ourselves to eat the backlog of food in our home. We’re not over-buyers by our very frugal nature, but we still had quite the collection of unique foodstuffs. All that bulk grocery shopping can sometimes come back to bite ya…

To identify our stash of food:

  1. We explored our refrigerator:
    • Found a jar of lemon curd (?!?, but it was tasty)
  2. We examined our freezer:
    • I’m not sure whose idea it was to buy a 5 lb bag of frozen green beans, but I’m sure it was a good deal at the time.
    • Also, 6 lbs of frozen fruit.
  3. We excavated our pantry:
    • At some point in our lives, we decided we needed a lot of canned salmon. Like, a lot.
    • Plus, one can of anchovies!

We’re a month in and no one has contracted scurvy. First to go were the perishables–fruits, vegetables, dairy.

It’s taken a good deal of creativity in the cooking department–directed, staffed & managed entirely by Mr. Frugalwoods–but he says it’s been a delicious and often hilarious undertaking. Right now he’s roasting sweet potatoes for dinner (with a side of, yes, green beans) while cooking our lunches for the week: black beans, vegetables, and rice.

The legendary green beans! Paired with cheap frozen shrimp and leftover jalepanos
The legendary green beans! Paired with cheap frozen shrimp, shallots, and leftover jalapeños.

Consuming your backlog of food is a great way to:

  1. Have a super frugal month
  2. Examine the food you’ve been purchasing and make educated decisions on future purchases in order to frugalize your groceries
  3. Recognize when to buy bulk and when not to. I think we’re going to be eating those green beans for 6 months…

 What’s the most unusual meal combo you’ve made from random and forgotten food?

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  1. We are doing this experiment this week. Our fridge supplies are already a little low due to holiday traveling since last Wednesday, but I am refusing to do anymore grocery shopping until after the new year, longer if we can last! Luckily we have a pretty good supply of lentils, rice, and beans, as well as some frozen veggies. And we were gifted a dozen home-grown eggs from M’s aunt and uncle who have several chickens. Omelets for dinner, lentil chili for lunch, woot!

    1. Woohoo! That’s awesome! Lentils, rice, beans, and veggies are such great staples–we eat some combination thereof pretty much every week. Omelets and lentil chili both sound delicious. Good luck!

  2. Do you ever use a pressure cooker for your beans or rice, or for making soup? If not you should consider trying one out. I was surprised to see that your recipe used canned beans. Back in my 20’s I was a climbing bum and thought canned beans were an extravagance. Dried beans turn out really nice when pressure cooked, and very cheap.

    1. We haven’t in the past, but I’m on the lookout for a pressure cooker on Craigslist now that the internet has schooled me on bean prep 🙂

      1. Hi, I’ve just been exploring and enjoying your website, and although it’s a very old post, thought I’d put in my 2 cents worth on pressure cooking equipment.

        Most pressure cookers use rubber caskets, which wear out with use and degrade with time, so if you’re buying a used cooker, you should assume you’ll need to replace the gasket. Before you decide if a used one is a good deal, check Amazon on the cost of the new gasket for that model first. It may turn out not to be such a bargain. Also, chances are you’ll end up wanting to do some pressure canning at your homestead (veggies and meats all need to be pressure canned). Keep in mind that a pressure cooker of under 16 quart capacity (that’s fluid volume, not number of quart jars it will hold) should not be used for pressure canning because it can’t hold the heat necessary to safely can low-acid foods long enough. So if you want dual use, you must get one over 16 quarts. But on the other hand (and isn’t there always another hand?), once you get in to the big canners of that size or more, they’re just too cumbersome to use for daily cooking. BUT a used All-American pressure canner, if you can find one, is probably a good deal if its parts are all intact, just as a single use (canning) item. They are practically indestructible, don’t use gaskets, and can process big batches.

        I bought a 10-quart gasketed Fagor pressure cooker for beans, stews, etc., and that’s about as big as I’d want to go for cooking. Frankly, I’d rather it was even a little smaller (or my sink bigger), but it is non-stick, so that helps with the cleaning. Otherwise, I really love it, and use it almost weekly. My canner is an All-American 921 (21 quarts) and it’s HUGE and HEAVY, and I’d never use it to cook up a batch of beans unless I was feeding an army, but it works great for canning big batches of meat or veggies.

        1. Agreed with Annjo, I use my pressure cooker daily ( A kuhn rikon 3 qt) and when I looked into the price of a replacement valve, I was shocked! They really get you on the spare parts. For slightly more I could buy a barely used one on Ebay…so now I have all the spare parts: gasket, replacement valve, valve housing and cap. Pressure cooking saves so much time and energy, especially if you pre soak your beans. I will never be without one in the kitchen. I actually have four now: a wedding gift, birthday gift, and two from ebay.

  3. I just discovered your blog, and having exhausted Mr. Money Mustache until the next post, am really enjoying yours! I agree about the beans- we buy dried beans and cook them in batches, then freeze. Soak the beans overnight or during work day, then cook them in fresh water until tender. I don’t have a pressure cooker- just use a big pot (more electricity than a pressure cooker). I throw in some type of seaweed because I read it cuts down on flatulence. I have no idea if it works, but the extra minerals can’t hurt. This will give you good practice for growing your beans and shelling them once dried on your homestead! My children are quite picky, but are happy to snack on chick peas, kidney beans and black beans straight out of the freezer.

    I’m trying to eat all the food in our house- I love the challenge, but it takes time when we don’t start using bulk purchases regularly after purchase. 5 lbs of red lentils? Bought a year ago and completely forgotten about. 🙂

    1. Hey Rebecca! I’m so glad you found us–welcome :)! Hooray for beans, we love ’em. They’re so inexpensive and such a great protein source–vastly cheaper than meat. 5 lbs of red lentils is a lot of lentils. Good luck with the challenge and thanks for saying hi :).

      1. I would love to have a 5 pound bag of red lentils. I would make Chef AJ’s Red Lentil Chili for sure. It’s a tried and true family favorite.

        Chef AJ’s Red Lentil Chili

        Makes 14 cups


        1 pound of red lentils (I used green since that is what I had on hand)
        7 cups of water
        2 (14.5 ounce) cans of salt-free tomatoes, fire roasted preferred
        1 (6 ounce) can of salt-free tomato paste
        10 ounces of chopped onion (approximately one large)
        One pound of red bell pepper, (approximately 2 large) VERY finely chopped
        3 ounces of dates (approximately 12 Deglet Noor) (I had/used 5 dates)
        8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
        4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (omitted since I was out)
        1.5 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes (0mitted)
        1.5 Tablespoons Oregano
        1.5 Tablespoons Salt-free Chili Powder
        2 teaspoons SMOKED paprika
        1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or more to taste) (0mitted)
        1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste) (0mitted)


        Blend the dates, tomatoes, red bell peppers and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth.
        (I didn’t blend anything, I just put them all in the pressure cooker as is)
        Place all remaining ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 10 minutes.
        Alternatively, place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

        1. My husband and I just planted a bag of black beans we’ve had in our cupboard for two years. Our germination test showed at least 40% sprouted within a week. If the plants are successful, we are going to really bring the bounty! I know this post is a couple of years old, but we can’t believe we just thought of this. Maybe he saw it on a gardening Facebook page, but we’re really excited to try growing them.

  4. Oh this is my challenge for April! I need to eat all the things in the house! I, too, found myself with a 5 lb bag of green beans in the freezer. I cooked some and ate some with my oatmeal for breakfast, and I do not recommend it! I will have to try them for dinner instead. Plus I have so many kinds of lentils, dried beans, dals, etc. I don’t know when I can eat them all. And then my mom gave me some bags of kala chana (black chickpeas) and brown mung beans. I don’t even have bottles to put them in! Aaaaacccckkkkk! This challenge will probably continue into May for me!

    1. HAHA! Black beans in the oatmeal… that sounds like something I’d try! It gets to be pretty fun to dig through the cupboards!

  5. Oh my gosh, call me crazy but I absolutely LOVE doing this. I do it at least once a month (once a week more often than not) and am always finding new and creative ways to make our food go further. I’m in agreement with Mr. Frugalwoods, it is “a delicious and often hilarious undertaking.” Just last week we had some left over crescents (that I graciously took from a work potluck), 6 eggs, a little bit of Gruyere cheese left from Christmas (that’s right, CHRISTMAS. the stuff lasts FOR-E-VER), remaining almond milk from my juice cleanse and some leftover breakfast sausage. What does that make? A breakfast casserole! For normal people it probably would have lasted a whole week, but given our appetites are those of a full-grown gorilla, we ate it in 3 days. It still saved us time and money AND gave us something other than granola and oatmeal to eat for breakfast. I can’t think of any unusual combos…but that’s probably because we’ll eat just about anything in any combination and think it’s totally normal. 😉

    1. Heh, we’re similarly so jaded by odd combos that the occasional weekend lunch of olives, black beans, and leftover pasta (goes pretty well actually) doesn’t even make us bat an eye 🙂

      All I’m going to say is that cheese of any sort rarely lasts very long in our house… 😉

  6. I used some *old* frozen bag of green beans to make homemade baby food for my 8 month old. Old wilted sad looking frozen green beans don’t matter when you puree them in a blender and they taste just the same to him. That helped to get rid of a ton of frozen bags of green beans.

    1. Great idea! We’re going to have to learn the ways of making baby food before too long, so that’s good to know 🙂

  7. Love you folks!! Especially the ever Elegant,Frugaldog!!! You make me laugh and you give me hope that we can do this too. Thanks!!

  8. The big win I found in our area is Cash and Carry, which is a west coast restaurant supply store. They have a great assortment of dried beans that our local Costco does not have. And cheese is crazy cheap, we can get 16 ounces of buffalo mozzarella for 1/2 the price of 8 ounces at a regular store. They also carry this amazing pizza sauce(no preservatives) for $2.29/can, which will make about 4 pizzas.

  9. I have six month’s supply of dried beans, canned vegetables, rice, spices, etc., so I totally love this!. Also, I now love my dried beans thanks to your recipe with chili paste! That stuff is awesome! Like I said before, I buy a different brand I found at Walmart, since we have limited shopping options here. Today, I brought my lunch and I have a rice, cream of mushroom soup(that I found in my pantry) and green peas casserole….lol. I packed it in a glass jar, and brought my cloth napkin, with my thermos of water….score!

  10. This is a treasure hunt for sure!! I started searching through our stores last week, and have discovered some fun things. My favorite combo has been just a nice chili made with one random (fell to the bottom of our chest freezer) bag of red tomatoes (blanched, peeled, and thrown whole into baggies), one bag of frozen green tomatoes (they are fabulous if someone gives you their last fall picking!!), and some pinto beans in my dried bean storage. Along with spices, I added some leftover scrap veggie broth and a can of tomato paste–apparently I had ten cans scattered throughout my shelves! Cannot wait to see what other fun meals will come up this month. So glad my hubby and kiddos think it is fun too 😉

  11. You inspired me to eat all the little leftover scraps from my fridge and freezer today! They usually get eaten anyway, but I was kind of planning to buy a frozen pizza tonight, as I usually do on the rare nights when my boyfriend isn’t home. Instead, I’m having the last bit of Tuesday’s delicious baked bean casserole, I’m baking some potatoes that were already cooked for said casserole, a few veggies from the freezer, and I’m thinking a boiled egg. A bit eclectic but not bad 🙂 and I didn’t go to the grocery store, so yay!

  12. There is this 2lb bag of “zombie brussel sprouts” that is hiding in the back of the freezer and has probably been there for over a year. They’ll be fine to eat except for the freezer burn taste. I have a way to cook them that takes away that cold storage flavor. First a short soaking in a bowl filled with fresh water, plus 1/4 cup of vinegar, to get all the ice crystals off and impart a little tartness. Then a tumble in a bowl of honey, salt, garlic powder, tamari or soy sauce, and sesame seed oil, with a dusting of cornstarch or arrowroot to finish. Then a bake or broil at 375 degrees, turning once. You’ll know they are done when browned and crispy. Usually, a bag of veggies like that was bought for a purpose, I just forgot about it.

  13. DH and I were trying to cut back on carbs for health reasons (long story), but what with Uber Frugal Month, we’re going to resort to eating up a fair amount of the pasta in the pantry. We were feeling decently on track with the budget we created for this month, but forgot about Little Dude’s dental (he’s a dog). It’s covered under our veterinary plan, but he almost always needs at least one extraction (poor guy) and we didn’t set aside extra for that. So… will be tightening up a couple of other categories so we can stay on track with the savings goal. The nice thing is, we have the pasta already, and veggies are some of the least expensive items to buy, so I think we’ll hit our target!

  14. I had Mr.-Grumby-Offspring-Prevention Surgery a few years ago and, on the advice of my doctor, bought a bag of frozen peas for topical post-surgical use. I healed as planned and, for some reason placed the bag back in the freezer.
    A couple years later Mrs. Grumby was cleaning out the freezer (we had not yet fully adopted the EATT Credo) and found them. She had forgotten their original purpose, but fortunately I was there to prevent them from ending up on my plate. Now we are very mindful of what we buy and make every effort to eat all the things.

  15. I love all the past posts!
    It is now 2017 and I am here for the month of January pantry challenge! There are just 2 of us and the amount of food I have will probably last 6 months with few repeats. I seem to have an unnatural love of sausages… At least an unnatural love of buying them. So, besides the usual beans and weiners, I think a sausage fried rice, pasta and sausage casserole and regular old hotdogs in bread will be included. Maybe even weekly! Lol

  16. I have been on a mission to use up odd things for the past year – a tin of this or a packet of that bought with a specific purpose in mind, put in the cupboard or freezer and never used. My goal last year was to either discard ( if too old), rehome or use all the food and cleaning products lurking in cupboards/freezers, that are not normally used in our day to day meals or cleaning regimes. I did pretty well, but still have a few grocery items to use up. Also, being a person who stocks up on groceries when they are on special, if a family member decides that he or she no longer wishes to eat an item I have stocked up on specifically for them, I am left with a surplus to find uses for (or to give away). This year I aim to finally use all the errant food packages from the cupboards and freezers and stick to purchasing and stocking up only on basic grocery items we frequently use.

  17. I decided to clean the butler’s pantry where I store things that can’t go in the pantry down in the basement…I have no clue to why I have over 50 cake mixes when we don’t really eat cake. Granddaughter suggested I make cookies with them to share with the grandkids through the year. Did go to store yesterday to get non food items that I had coupons to match sales with (over 30% savings) and some perishables including basic veggies and dairy (I have Crohn’s and use dairy for protein when I can’t eat meat/beans). Still saved 30% there also. Got 3 lbs of meat free due to coupons and sales combined YES SCORE. AND came in way under budget for the amt we decided to spend…that money is now transferred to savings so we don’t want to spend it later this month. PLUS we won’t be going back to the store for 2 wks even moved when to refill meds so we weren’t going to town until I have a doc appt.

  18. A hint when it comes to help eliminate food waste.
    I use the top shelf in the fridge for the food we need to use very soon (leftovers, thawing food from the freezer, food that will expire soon etc.)
    In the pantry I keep a basket for food I need to use before it expires (for me that’s usually nut and bean flours).
    In other words, I no longer use my favorite storage method (storing like things together) for everything in my house, at least not for perishables in the kitchen and bathroom.

    It is very inspiring for “the grandma of a bunch” to see all the creative and frugal ideas posted by the younger generation, thank you!

    When frugal out of necessity, I have been the most creative, productive and happy. When wasteful, out of opportunity, I have made my biggest mistakes. And now, being frugal by choise has brought all the good things back in my life! And I strongly believe that a frugal lifestyle is the only sustainable way of life.

  19. FISH! We had plain white tilapia leftovers. Like four filets from Thursday. I thought, well, I could feed it to the cats or I can try to feed it to my family Saturday. Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day, so I thought I’d try using it like leftover chicken into a chicken salad. Fish salad, anyone? I was afraid to try it, but happy to report it was delicious! Who would have thought to put pickle relish and mayonnaise on fish? I even overheard my husband telling a friend about it at a birthday party. Talk about proud creativity moment!

    1. Hey Erica

      Not sure if Tartare Sauce is used in the US, but in the U.K., it is to “casual” fish what tomato ketchup is to a burger. And it’s made from mayonnaise and finely diced pickles!

      1. My Mother’s recipe for Tartare sauce is mayonaise, lemon juice, chopped green onion, pickle relish and a splash of Worchestershire sauce.

      2. Beans don’t love me back. My DOG will leave the room after I’ve eaten beans and I don’t dare get near the gas fireplace . . . Beano is expensive. Baking soda works but it isn’t healthy to neutralize your stomach acid on a regular basis. What have people discovered to make beans digestible? I’ve heard seaweed. I’ve heard soaking twice. I’ve heard sticking to Adzuki beans and black-eyed peas (the sweeter the bean, the easier to digest). Anybody found the answer? My dog wants to know!

  20. I love this challenge! I’ve had some pretty strange combos before. LOL. Mostly I’ve figured out that there are some triggers/signals that my brain uses to tell me that we are OUT OF FOOD. I’ve noticed that the “out of food” signal more often than not tends to be wrong, and it’s usually just “We ran out of eggs, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, etc.” where there are usually staples that can be substituted in there. After all this though I’ve discovered that I like canned tuna and rice. I add sesame seeds et voila! Just make sure no cats are around! Tuna and mayo also go great (@Erica). I haven’t tried pickle relish though. 🙂

    Let’s see… I’ve also learned that dried milk is a blessing. Seriously, it doesn’t taste that much worse and can suffice in a pinch for baking & cooking purposes. I also re-purposed my turkey burgers. Turns out that I really don’t like turkey burgers… and I found this out after I bought a whole thing of costco frozen patties. That said, I discovered that I do like turkey when it is cooked with certain Indian spices and doctored up a bit! 🙂 So I made a few meals out of that.

    Anyway, I think the biggest thing has been just discovering that my WE ARE OUT OF FOOD alarm bells go off a little earlier than they should. Eating what I have is also a great way to prevent food waste. So double win! Yay!

  21. I’ve read this post a couple of times before but still find it fascinating. I am trying to finish all the food that we have in the pantry and freezer as well. Sometimes I just can’t believe why we bought so much stuff that we didn’t even need. But we’ll try to finish them anyway. 😉

  22. I am new to the blog and the UFM Challenge, and I am loving everything about it. Thanks for the great content so far! I remember one time making a dinner out of noodles, tuna and topping it with some ranch along with a side salad. It doesn’t sound too good, but I’ve actually made it on more than one occasion after that first endeavor. This was right after I graduated college and had started my new job, so when I told my new found friends about this meal, they definitely thought I was weird. Funny thing about it is they are now some of my best friends, and only give me a hard time about it every now and then. Further proof that you can be frugal, and still have friends!

  23. This will probably sound funny to all FrugalMonth’ers, but I was shocked to discover you can eat canned beans with rice. In my mind, beans = side dish, and rice = side dish, so you gotta have something that’s not a side to go along with them, right? Well, when these were the only two things left in my pantry, I did a quick google search and lo and behold, turns out beans with rice are actually a regular meal people eat on a daily basis…

      1. Yay!! I have a huge bin of brown rice, white rice and black beans. Thanks for the recipes! Pulling out the crock pot and rice cooker 🙂

  24. I was trying to remember which day was the “eat it all” day of the challenge, as I was looking forward to it! I have a lot of boxes, bags and jars of food in my cabinet and want to use them up. I see a good deal (like 35cents for a pound of pasta) and I stock up with 10 boxes. Unfortunately, I live along, so it takes a long time to use it all up. I hate to admit that I also end up throwing away food that has expired since I can’t eat it all in time and I hate that. This year, I am going to eat what I buy and it starts with going through my cabinet and starting to make meals with that I have. I have already paid for that food and need to use it! Good luck to everyone else as we save money on food this month!

  25. I needed this article so bad! going to clean up freezer and pantry this weekend for sure and make a meal plan to use it all!

  26. Mrs. Frugalwoods I love your blog and I subscribed because of Michelle’s interview with you and I’m so glad I did! So every time we move(at least every 3 years due to being in the military and moving next week because our lease is up) we “eat from our pantry” and its interesting to say the least. Due to moving all the time and having 3 kids I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing when things having been sitting in the fridge or pantry a little to long (I’m looking at those pretzel rods no one wants). I love to save money this way by eating what we already bought as well as saving a box I don’t need to bring the food to the next house. Keep up the great work and I look forward to my morning email from you in my inbox!

  27. I think at some point in time we’ve all fallen victim to Costco’s five pound bag of green beans. At least, I’m assuming that’s where yours came from. Not sure what I was thinking as we’re a two person household, so that’s 2.5 pounds of green beans per person!

    I need to find a way to use up 6 or 8 (can’t remember how big the box was) cans of tomato and peppers (a different brand but the same as Rotel) that I NEEDED from Costco. A month of queso sounds like a good idea, but I’m sure we’d be miserable after the third or fourth time.

    Not the point of this post, but one thing (besides eating) that helps me clear out our pantry is that our public library offers cans for fines once or twice a year. One canned good = $1 of fines wiped out. We always have extra food in our pantry whereas others may not, so I donate even if I don’t have any fines.

  28. I’m on my third go around for the frugal month challenge and I love the reminder of being grateful for what we have, then getting creative and using our reserves rather than running to the store for missing ingredients. Today I used a cup of crushed up pretzels I found floating in my freezer along with some chopped walnuts to give my weekly allotment of homemade granola added crunch. I also pressurized some garbonzo beans for hummus only to realize I’m out of sesame seeds. I just tossed them tasty summer salad instead. How much fun can one gal have in the kitchen? It’s refreshing to be creative. It serves three purposes. It saves money, time and provides variations of meals you might not otherwise have tried.

  29. I am totally doing this all through July! So far I have managed to eat lots of bulk nuts/seeds, granola, and a veritable backlog of frozen foods. Ditto for using up old condiments (salsa, garlic, stewed beets) and other sides/seasonings. I do need to manage my Costco and Aldi bulk food choices a bit better….

  30. I am the queen of “upcycling” leftovers. leftover Black bean and butternut squash became smoky black bean soup with mussels, potatoes, tomatoes and smoked paprika. Green papaya pad thai appeared as spring roll filling for lunch next day. Vegan mac and cheese casserole morphed into “creamy tomato soup with noodles. Roasted root veggies become coconut curry soup. I actually plan to cook this way, kind of cook once, eat twice. And fried rice has got to be the most forgiving recipe. Leftover cold rice can be accessorized so many ways: spinach, corn, tofu lime juice and fish sauce; mushroom, carrot, peas, aduki and hoisin sauce; brussel spouts, winter squash cranberry with tahini; broccoli, kale, tempeh, shittake. the possibilites endless,: seriously easy way to use up bits and bobs from the depths of the fridge. Nothing gets thrown away, if really too bad or slimy for us or the dog it goes in the compost.

  31. I’m so psyched to be participating in the January 2019 challenge. I did the July 2018 and couldn’t believe how much money I saved, especially since I’m not really much of a spendthrift to begin with.
    I haven’t gone through all the cupboards and freezer yet but I did find two, yes, two bags of sushi rice-unopened-and two boxes of lasagna noodles. The noodles are a month from expiring so I foresee lasagna in my future or lasagna roll ups. I also imagine we’ll be eating a lot of rice bowls 🙂

    Thanks for organizing this challenge Mrs. FWoods

  32. With five adults to feed and only one and a quarter incomes, we get some interesting food from various food pantries. Right now we have five huge bags of chicken legs in the freezer, which means about an hour up to my elbows in greasy stuff deboning and processing. Frankly, it isn’t my favorite thing to do, but if I do it all at once, I’ll have lots of frozen chicken meat and broth to use. We have tons of canned veggies and fruit, but very little to make a decent flavoring for casseroles and pot pies. We get some strange things sometimes, like tamerand sauce I tried combining with baked beans, with very mixed reviews.

  33. cook green put in blender with olive oil/lemon juice/parsley/any other cooked veggie leftovers like broccoli garlic and other spices and salt and pepper?? make a sauce for any veggies or rice or???

  34. Every xmas I roast a huge turkey. It’s traditional for us Brits. Then we have days of left over Xmas dinners. Turkey soup. Turkey curry with rice. And of course, turkey sandwiches. Given that they are all so delicious, I don’t know why u don’t do it throughout the year. But anyway, today is the last of the turkey that I will make into a curry for lunches next week. I still have in the freezer two huge bags of turkey for more soups and a bag of turkey bones for more stock.

    I grow veg in my garden to help supplement my larder. I’m getting better at each year, and now save seed too.

    I love that I found this website and read the book just before Xmas in time to reset my thinking and do this frugal challenge. It falls right along with all the goals I’m setting for myself for this year and to gain back my life. I’m decluttering my house and minimizing and saving tons. And, I’m finally optimistic about my future.

    I love the reminders to stay in the moment too. Thank you Frugalwoods so much for writing so clearly and intelligently and sharing your knowledge!!

  35. Oh, and I forgot to mention. A big thank you for turning me on to Hyperbole and a Half. I laughed so hard my stomach muscles said, yep, i’m done, never ever, ever go to the gym again, ever! I sent the link to my millennial daughter; she may love it more than me.

  36. I just finished listening to your book (I’m still at a 9-5 doing mostly computer work and listening to audio books from the library (of course) makes the day fly by) and this is the first blog post I’ve read. I wanted to ask your thoughts about food storage (forgive me if you address it later on — I haven’t gotten there yet!) . I grew up in a Mormon household and food storage – at least a year’s worth for emergencies – is a big deal. Some of that rubbed off on me and I feel more calm and peaceful when I know I have food on hand in case of…oh, I don’t know — zombie invasions? In reality, it would most likely be something like being laid off or a trucking strike or natural disaster of some sort. It certainly is a psychological thing as well as a practical matter, as when my marriage of 26 years was falling apart, I “invested” in purchasing quite a bit of #10 cans of things like rice, beans, sugar, flour, oats, and dried fruits and veggies. I’m sure it was a way to find some control in my life and protection of my future during a time when I had very little of either. The good news is that they have a shelf life of 20-30 years plus — so I figure if the zombie invasion never happens, they can be part of my retirement plan (a 70-year old has to eat!)

    Do you can/freeze/dry your home grown produce or buy bulk food storage items for use for a rainy day? (if I recall from my childhood, the optimal way of utilizing food storage is to rotate it — eating from the older stuff while storing away new stuff). One of the downsides of my food storage/hoarding upbringing is that I tend to buy a lot of something when it is on sale — and sometimes I don’t eat it before it goes bad. Of course, I realize that is just money wasted – so, especially now that money is tight now that I’m on my own, I try to control that impulse. I’m giving the “Eat all the things” challenge a shot. It will be good to clear out the freezer and pantry just so I can see where the problem lies and how I need to change my mindset – as a single gal with grown kids, there is no reason to have a huge freezer and pantries full of food.

    1. Thank you so much for listening to my book and for joining us here on the blog :)! To answer your question: YES! We do preserve food from our garden. And like you, we keep our pantry stocked at all times with basic staples: flour, sugar, rice, quinoa, olive oil, etc. This year we’re canning tomato sauce from our garden, apple sauce & dried apples & apple butter & cider from our apple trees, and more. I also pick and freeze as many berries as I can. Last year we made pickles from our cucumbers and blanched and froze a ton of kale and chard from our garden. Hoping to ramp up our food preservation more each year as we get better at gardening :).

  37. I had an organic chicken at my friend’s house in the freezer that was two years old – he thought we should chuck it. I said, no, bring it to me, and I will roast it. Well, I did roast it for Christmas dinner, and it was DELICIOUS.

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