Operation Cupboard Purge

Craig and I have lived in our house in Kenosha for two and a half years — the longest I’ve ever lived in one place since my parents’ house.  As anyone who knows me can say, “stable” is not my middle name (geographically or mentally — you can keep your opinions to yourself….). While moving once a year is a pain in the you-know-what, there are benefits to it besides feeding my wanderlust, one of which is that I didn’t accumulate a lot of “stuff.” Once a year, I’d sort through all my paperwork, my dried-up pens, my doesn’t-fit-anymore clothing, my Craigslisted furniture, etc., etc., etc., and get rid of anything that wasn’t worth the money to move (for our the last cross-country move, I even calculated this out on a cubic-foot basis).

 Now that we own a house, I feel like we’ve turned into our parents. Maybe that’s because we have a basement packed with Christmas decorations and gardening supplies and books and photos and my wedding dress and all that stuff our parents have been holding onto for years and have  now dumped off with its rightful owners. Our cupboards are overflowing with, among other things, the cans of pumpkin I bought the Thanksgiving there was a pumpkin shortage and the cans of tuna and salmon I scooped up in the wake of the Gulf oil spill/ Japanese tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown when I was convinced the era of safe seafood had ended. I can’t believe I’m telling the world about this… I heretofore vow to never tease my mom about her backstock of jelly again.


So when the folks over at The Bitten Word announced their “clean out the cupboard week,” I knew we were game. I didn’t even have to do it stealth — Craig agreed to play along. The deal was that you get $15 to buy your essentials but the rest of your food for the week comes out of your pantry, fridge, or freezer. For our essentials I spent a little more than $15, but that was because we were out of coffee and I don’t think anyone will argue with me that it needs to be on the list. So it was coffee, half and half, and milk, and that was it. Eek!

Being that I am recovering from a stomach bug I haven’t made any sort of dent in the backstock, but hopefully soon I will be able to eat again. Anyone want to join me? With the cupboard, not the flu….

 (PS: More here on my long-term plans to deal with the cupboard situation.)



7 thoughts on “Operation Cupboard Purge

  1. Excellent idea! I generally do this on weeks that I am too busy (er, lazy) to grocery shop. Usually the only thing I miss is fresh fruit.

    You’ll have to let us know if you come up with any unique meals with your pantry items! And good news – tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, so you can make our family traditional Tuna Casserole!

  2. Ha, unfortunately I have lots of tuna, but no cream of mushroom soup, so I guess tuna cassarole is out! Maybe I can make up my own white sauce and put in other vegetables… hmmm….

    Luckily we have a bag of minneolas sitting in our fridge and lots of frozen fruit and veggies so we won’t be produce-less for the week!

  3. I always like cleaning out my pantry in May, when the Postal Service collects food when they pick up your mail. It cleans your pantry and helps others! Just check you dates and watch what you leave out-one year some birds opened a box of cereal!

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