2011 pantry challenge...

It's that time once again...LifeAsMom and goodcheapeats are hosting a Pantry Challenge for the month of January. Remember last years challenge? I do and it was a fantastic way to start out the New Year. Last week I took a complete inventory of both my baking pantry, dry/canned goods pantry and my deep freezer and was astonished with how much food I had amassed over the past three months. The inventory list is 7 pages LONG!! I think I purchased extras every time something went on sale. I have no idea what I am going to do with 7 cans of black olives or 12 cans of chopped tomatoes but whatever it is, it's going to be yummy! I think I could easily take this challenge longer than four weeks but we shall see. Ya never know what craziness I can come up with.

So here are my self imposed rules:
1. I will NOT enter a grocery store (unless it's for the party I'm helping to cater on the 15th of the month) more than 2 x's for the ENTIRE month of January! I know it's extreme but that's what makes this fun.

2. I will NOT spend more than $50 for the entire month focusing mostly one fresh veg or diary. That's it...not one more dime and if I do this right, I will come in under budget.

3. I will bake and cook from scratch unless it's a brownie. I have several boxes of ready made mix so I will use those before I make that particular treat from scratch. This includes bread and maybe even some homemade past by the end of the month.

4. We will NOT order out in the month of January. NOT ONCE!! I will be making dinner every night and if I don't Jerry will be. This is going to be hard. Tony's NY Pizza really hits the spot sometimes after a long week. I will just have to step outside my comfort zone and make my own. Oh yea...challenge is my middle name.

5. Instead of making a menu for the entire month ahead of time, I will make a list of what ready made meals I have in the freezer and then plan out a few meals using whole ingredients as well that way I don't get bored. Boredom is death in the kitchen so we will avoid that at all costs.

6. I will post my menu plan on Mondays for the next four weeks including recipes or their links.

So what do you think? Care to join me on this grand adventure? Leave a comment if your going to cook along so I can check out your blog or steal from your menu list. Hey...that's what friends are for!!

So happy cooking my friends. As always, let's Celebrate the Feast!!