Clean It Out and Earn a Treat!

by admin on June 21, 2011

For the past couple of days, Ellie Krieger has been on this kick about cleaning things out, a useful reminder since my home is pretty much a complete disaster all the time.  Today, she suggested cleaning out the pantry.  Ugh.

My first thought was simply, “I don’t need to clean out the pantry.  I cleaned it out just before our engagement trip.”  It then occurred to me that said trip was over a year ago.  Yikes.  I knew if I took time to think about it, I wouldn’t do it, so I dashed into the kitchen with an audiobook to keep me company and started cleaning.

Ellie’s suggestion was to get rid of expired products and unhealthy ones, which is mostly what I did.  I kept all the normal baking products because, let’s be honest, there will be times when I’m baking, particularly around the holidays, when I’m not trying to make everything healthy.  I wouldn’t mind trying to make it healthier, but my family likely has very little interest in chocolate chip pumpkin bread with agave nectar and whole wheat flour.  It’s just not the dish they’re used to and the one they’re used to is amazing.  So I kept the baking products – I’m not messing with a good thing every time.  Otherwise, though, most of the unhealthy stuff went, which was interesting to see because it was pretty much all expired anyway.  That made me feel good – I knew I hadn’t been using the crap.  Yay me!

This endeavor also taught me a good lesson: I waste a lot of food.  This much, in fact.


Time to become much, much more careful about only buying items I intend to use quickly.  I also learned that I have 3 containers of nutmeg, 3 bottles of olive oil, and 2 containers of cinnamon.  Another lesson: when you start buying expensive spices because you aren’t sure if you have them, it’s time to re-organize and save money.  Now, I know what I have and don’t have and my grocery list has completely changed.

I wish I’d taken a before picture, but the trash bag gives a good idea.  So, a massive trash bag and a broken food disposal later (I can’t believe I broke my food disposal!), here’s the final product.


And I always thought my pantry was so small; I never imagined fitting the necessary food in it.  Look how much space is left now!  I might just move my bread drawer into my pantry and open up some cabinet space!  Apparently, there is no reason to have too much pantry space; it just leads to waste.

Finally, the reward (and the consolation for the broken food disposal.)  A new smoothie.

The taste of summer!

Strawberry Mango Smoothie

Frozen Strawberries (10-12)

Frozen mango pieces (6-8)

1 cup of water

Agave nectar to taste

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