A cupboard full of unused food

So the other day I found a book called The 21 Dollar Challenge in the library.

Basically the idea is to go through your cupboards and use as much of your unused food for a week, spending only $21 at the grocery store for milk and veggies.

I thought it was a great idea. But instead of taking the challenge, I’m just trying to use up what’s in my cupboards, because frankly, it will all go bad before I use it otherwise.  (And I suspect hubby Will.Not.Live. without his Coke and Doritos.)

So I started off like the book suggests and took inventory of my fridge, freezer, pantry, garden and any other food I found about the house. I found some interesting stuff that I realised I had no idea what to do with. Probably bought them as a one time thing for a recipe.

One of those things was treacle.  So far this week we have made gingerbread men and blackjacks with the treacle. Very yummy!! Still looking for more creative things to do with it, though, so I’m open to suggestions!

Another one is pearl barley. I bought it for the obvious… soup. But as it turns out, my hubby & kids hate soup.  So what else can I do with the stuff? Anybody know anything yummy?

Awhile ago I bought red lentils to make a vegetarian meatloaf. I loved it and thought it was fantastic!! Hubby & the kids turned up their noses. Dhal got the same treatment.  So I gotta find a recipe that will hide them well.

At any rate, I’ve reduced my last two grocery shops by about $100 by using up stuff in my cupboards. I’m happy with this and so is the hubby.

(And no, I haven’t been paid or otherwise recompensed for this post. Like I said, I found the book in the library and read it. )


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

11 responses to “A cupboard full of unused food”

  1. Mary says :

    Great idea! We’re doing a similar challenge, even though I hadn’t ever heard of the book. I think it is doable – we have such a stockpile of groceries in the house I need to get them used up!

  2. Deb says :

    Oh my gosh – I made a lentil loaf for my husband during a vegetarian phase about 15 years ago and he has never let me hear the end of it!

    You can use barley pretty much any way you’d use rice – under a stir fry or as hot cereal.

  3. Sandy says :

    I should try this! My cupboards are always full of odd things like that!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

  4. Maureen says :

    Sounds like a fun challenge there. This reminds me that I have to sort my cupboards 😀
    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Anna says :

    I use pearl barley in Tabouli and rice salad. This is a great challenge!

    Hope SITS a great weekend

  6. mommylebron says :

    I’m always looking for ways to tweak the budget (who isn’t in this economy?) I’ll have to look for that book! As far as ways to hide veggies in recipes, have you seen Jessica Seinfeld’s cook book?
    Happy SITS Sharefest!

  7. solodialogue says :

    I’m not thinking this will work for me as I am not the greatest cook. However, I do love the idea. Can you recommend recipes with green beans and some stale Oreos? 😉 I have been snooping around your blog. It’s a very nice place and I will be back, SITS girl! (Thanks for finding me so I could find you!)

    • Broot says :

      Green beans and stale oreos? I thought everything went with Oreos. They are manna from heaven. 😉 Welcome and thanks for hanging around! 🙂

  8. susan says :

    pearl barley salad. as you would make a rice salad. i got this recipe from everybody community board and it’s become one of my signature dishes (but you’ll have to go to my blog to get the recipe!)
    Also lemon barley water is yummo, more for adults than kids but I really like it.

    I’m a big proponent of the challenge and it sure can be cause of some interesting meals. Call them MacGyver meals if it looks a bit haphazard and noone need ever know!

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