Every January, for six years now, we conduct the SuttonsDaze January Pantry Challenge. It’s the perfect time of year to save money after the holidays, inventory our food stores and rotate our pantry storage. As always, we hope you’ll join us on this adventure and that you’ll learn more about how your pantry operates.
How does SuttonsDaze January Pantry Challenge work?
This challenge is customizable for you and your household. If you want to go all in, buy nothing for the entire month, if you want to limit your purchases to only milk if you want to limit your purchases to fresh fruits and veggies. Make it whatever you want with the parameters that the whole point of this exercise is to see what you have, rotate through your oldest stock, learn to cook with what you store, and save time and money all at the same time. Some folk will only purchase foods that they can catch on sale to back-fill their pantry shelves when the prices are at their best. Some folks will continue shopping with the knowledge that everything they buy will be consumed in future months, but not this month. Make it your own, but make it a challenge.
Week 1 is pretty simple. It’s time to inventory our pantries. This is a dreaded task by some, understandably. But a necessary one if we don’t want to continue to stock up on too much of one item and not enough of another.
Start with the kitchen cupboards, pull everything out and organize it as you put it back in. Check your dates, check for uninvited guests, and write down what you’re placing back in the cupboards. Inventorying and organizing can be done simultaneously. Figuring out what you have is the goal here.
SuttonsDaze Pantry Challenge includes the fridge and freezer too! Everything gets counted here. But there is a method to the madness, oh yes there is. The 2023 Project Pantry Planner PDF is available now in our Etsy store. You can download it, and print off the pages you use to create the ultimate pantry system.
The items in your refrigerator are typically the items with the shortest life. Eat those down first. Get that fridge clear of those pesky half jars of salsa, sauces, and leftovers, and really, are those canned biscuits from this decade?
A great tool to help you use up what is in your pantry is Supercook.
With this website, you can plug in what is in your pantry and it will offer recipes using your ingredients. Sometimes that little bit of inspiration can help keep you from using that carry-out phone number or giving up on the pantry challenge altogether.
This week I look forward to hearing what you’ve discovered in your pantry. What is the item with the oldest expiration date? Why did I buy THIS? What was I thinking?
SuttonsDaze January Pantry Challenge is a great time to learn to make some of those staples that you and your family love instead of purchasing the commercial product. We have a playlist of DIY Kitchen items and will be adding to that playlist as the month progresses. Having the freedom to store the ingredients instead of the actual product is an amazing feeling. Having control over what ingredients you are using and feeding your loved ones is liberating.
In case you couldn’t tell, I love the SuttonsDaze January Pantry Challenge. There is so much to learn, year after year. Each new year brings us an opportunity to fine-tune our pantry, how we stock it, how we use it, how we change it. I hope you’ll join us for the 2023 SuttonsDaze January Pantry Challenge and jump into the fun.