Yours truly, The Clean Eating Coach, has started off the new year with a bang by creating lots of clean eating, healthy meals while also going easy on my wallet. How so? By investing some time this month to take an inventory of my pantry and devise healthy meals based on what I already have on hand, not simply going and buying more things.
I don’t know about you but I’ve been known to buy multiple cans of certain items only to find I already had some at home. Taking stock last week, I counted lots of red lentils, cans of beans, canned tomatoes, coconut milk and sardines just to name a few. So instead of creating meals this month and buying a whole new slew of items, I’m challenging myself to find recipes in the tons of cookbooks I have or online, that use at least some of the ingredients.
I kicked things off with a yummy pumpkin soup using up a couple of leftover cans of pumpkin from Thanksgiving. I also got busy with the red lentils and made a delicious red lentil stew with kale. I’ve pledged to make at least one meal per week with items in the pantry before I start making some new dishes I’ve been itching to try.
I like the idea of shaving some dollars off my grocery bill – these days everything is so incredibly expensive. And I can see that I have more “pantry” meals in coming weeks from other items:
- whole grain lasagna noodles – for my favorite butternut squash lasagna
- mandarin oranges – as part of a tasty spinach salad
- salsa – to be added to a quick meal of rice and beans
- coconut milk – for a veggie curry along with the can of garbanzo beans
- split peas for a delicious pea soup
- cornmeal – for cornbread to accompany the soup
You get the idea, there are lots of possibilities plus the fun of being creative on these chilly weekends when staying home seems inviting.
What’s in your pantry that you could easily turn into a meal? How could you use this strategy to help you save some money and create some clean eating meals for your family? Do tell!