(P.S. Working two jobs when one is retail and its the holidays makes it hard to stay on top of blogging. In case you didn't notice.)
I was all excited to kick off the new year talking about money, and I have several entries planned about using mint.com, which was has really helped me stay on top of my money. But that isn't what I ended up doing today.
This afternoon, while a pot of potato leek soup was simmering on the stove, we cleaned out the cabinets. I've seen several people reference this lately: Trent on the Simple Dollar did an "Out with the Old, In with the New" series and one of his steps was to clean out and restock the pantry. Since we were in the kitchen anyhow, it seemed like a good time to do it. We have food in three places: the large cabinet next to the fridge, a skinny cabinet next to the sink and the high up cabinet over the microwave. I have extra tall cabinets, so I can't reach the top shelf of any of them.
Basically, I brought my new tv table (so versatile! can be used to make the living room computer more computer-like!) into the kitchen and we took everything out of the cabinet next to the sink (the primary home for ingredients, but so skinny its easy for stuff to get pushed to the back and lost). Then we threw out anything expired--only a couple things this time, I was very proud. Before we put it all back, we did two things that I think were really helpful: we cleaned out the cabinets (duh) and we listed what meals we could make with some of the ingredients.
Before making the soup, Mark suggested two different dishes we didn't really have the ingredients for. We live a few blocks from the grocery store and its a quick trip, but I suggested we use up some of the stuff we have. We've been really bad about that. We started meal planning with the best of intentions, but frequently fall off the planning. And of course when that happens we just end up eating frozen stuff from Trader Joe's or going out or something.
So we cleaned out the cabinets, threw some stuff away, figured out what we have, and we're going to do some long term meal planning hopefully tomorrow.
How did you start the new year off right?