Recently I wrote about the $21 Supermarket Challenge whereby I challenged myself to clear out the pantry, refrigerator and freezer of all the ‘forgotten’ food and then spending only $21 per week to supplement what I ‘found’
Well, I have had mixed success. One evening I thought I was going to be reheating a cooked meatloaf to find that it was in fact a frozen choc-orange cake. I was glad that I had taken two items out of the freezer that morning to defrost otherwise that could have been a very ‘interesting’ dinner.
Here are just some dishes that I served up using some found items:
The bread and crusts were dried out in the oven whilst cooking another meal, and become breadcrumbs for a Chicken Schnitzel
This piece of leftover pork was neatly wrapped and dated at the bottom of the freezer. This became Thai Salad and I must admit it was awesome!
This jar of peanut butter hadn’t been used up because there was a 1cm [1/2 inch] thick layer of peanut oil on top. So I poured this oil into a non-stick pan and used to fry chicken breast.
This added a deeper flavour when I added the chicken
The remaining peanut butter became a Satay Sauce for two Indonesian dishes: Satay Chicken and then Gado Gado
Satay sauce photo sourced at www.theyummylife.com I admit that I have borrowed a professional photo for this one, as my photo didn’t make it look this appetising, but it tasted delicious! Yum. Grins all ‘round
Found in freezer: two Italian sausages
I squeezed the meat out of the artificial cases, stir-fried it and added to bottled pasta sauce [passata] and then stirred the lot through the cooked spaghetti. This was one of the quickest meals that I have ever made.
Found in pantry: packet of Instant Potato Mash [ 3 years past its best before date].
Let me say I really hated this product. Hubby said he didn’t mind it, but I think the compost bin [worms] will prosper with the leftovers.
I can’t say that I spent $21 per week; it was more like $30 per week for the weeks that I did go shopping [ but then I did miss two weeks ]. Considering ‘The $21 Challenge’ book was written in 2012, and the increase in the cost of living in the meantime, I still reckon I’m in front.
I still saved around $70 per week so I probably saved around $200 all up. I am still proud of this, plus I am now able to defrost the freezer.
This challenge has taught me to live a lot simpler, think outside the square when it comes to food preparation and look harder at what we already have on-hand before going to the shops. Now, all I have to do is put the leash on hubby-the-chef when he resumes dominion over the kitchen.
Have you tried this challenge yet? What did you learn?
Until next time,