I just launched Week of Plenty, where I plan to make easy guides to cooking (and shopping for) 10 healthy, plant-based recipes with 10 ingredients or less, each and every week. My goals are to start cooking and eating in a way that helps me:
- Save money
- Stop wasting food
- Save time
- Find peace in the kitchen
- Make simple, plant-based cooking a happy, calming part of everyday life
- Use extra resources and energy to give back to the people around me
But before I can do that, I need a clean slate. Before I can take control and make the kitchen a place without stress, I need to reach Pantry Level Zero.
If you’re a person with a lot of self-control, you might not know what I’m talking about. But if you’re like me, and you go to the grocery store without a list and throw things into your basket willy-nilly, then you understand what pantry overwhelm looks like. You have mountains of dried beans, 4 types of hazelnut butter, and a huge collection of chocolate chips. You have sardines. You have soy sauce, low sodium sauce, and Tamari. You have 2 bags of almond meal plus a 3rd in the freezer. In short, if you’re like me, you have a problem.
I didn’t realize I was hoarding food. I thought I was building the perfectly stocked pantry. I thought that’s what I needed to live a healthy, balanced life filled with plant-based lunches and dinners.
But after wasting money, food, and time on groceries I never actually needed, I realized there was a better way. I decided to use up everything in my overstocked pantry and start over.
Each week, I’ll buy only what I plan to cook (right away!), and I’ll make a conscious effort to use up all the groceries we have before I add new things to the pile. I’ll be able to see the back of the pantry. I’ll be able to make dinner without looking at a thousand and 1 options. Maybe I’ll even be able to give those extra resources to people who need them.
So do you want to do it with me? Do you want to start fresh? Do you want to keep only what you need?
Here’s how I’m going to take control and reach Pantry Level Zero:
- I won’t buy anything until I drain the pantry, except:
- Produce. Shopping for produce is still happening. Gotta have fresh fruit and veg.
- I don’t have to eat super unhealthy things, expired things, or things that make me feel sick. Ex) Goodbye, malted milk powder and funky hardened corn syrup.
- I can buy pantry items for other people in my household (like chips or bread for my husband).
- I’m allowed to change the rules if I start to feel super sick or malnourished.
- I don’t have to use up all the spices to get to Pantry Level Zero, but I also won’t buy anymore. Ex) If I’m out of ginger, I’m out of ginger, but I don’t have to use up the 3 cups of chili powder or 1 pint of salt.
I know it seems easy, but I already had to have a friend talk me off the edge when I almost bought some agar flakes.
I told you. Problem… Working on it.
The Waco Vegan is no longer updated. You can find me over at RandleBrowning.com instead.