After the Pantry and Freezer Challenge last year, one of my goals was to be a bit more efficient when it comes to stocking up on foods in my pantry, as well as the freezer. A year later, I reflect on how successful my resolution has been for me.


When I started the pantry and freezer cleanout last week, there was just 1 packet of frozen, mixed vegetables in my freezer which I’d bought a while back as an ‘emergency’ packet of veggies to have on hand (I avoid buying frozen vegetables altogether) and, I’m happy to say, that packet has since been used! I steamed the whole packet of veggies in the microwave and made a quick and easy butter sauce to go with. Those veggies were gone in 3 days, as a side serving to 3 dinner meals that we had last week.


Other than that 1 packet of veggies, there were no packets of meat that needed to be used up immediately, or that I haven’t included in my meal plan for next month. Yay! I’m super glad about that. I do have a few tubs of ready-made meals but those are all going to be used soon, as I have planned for that.


As for my pantry, the situation was much better this time round as well! After a thorough cleanout, the items in the photo below were the only items that needed to be used up. I think I can be pleased with my progress since last year as I’d had a whole lot more in my pantry when I started the Pantry & Freezer Challenge.


Pantry items


The small tin of granadilla pulp you can see in the photo was left over from baking and, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough for me to make another granadilla cake, which is what I’d initially used those tins for. So I made us some mango flavoured jelly and after it had set, I poured the pulp over the jelly and served it for dessert a couple of times. It was delicious and, at least for us, something a bit different.


The Lipton fruit tea packets in the photo were free to begin with. I was stocking up on Joko tea (hubby’s favourite), which was on a really good special at the time, and for each packet of Joko tea that I bought, I received a whole packet of Lipton tea for free. I ended up with several packets of the different flavours which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed this winter. Now that the days are getting warmer, I decided to start use some of those leftover tea bags to make us ice tea. The Mandarin orange flavour, in particular, was very nice as I’d added a couple of slices of oranges and naartjies to the bottle of tea.


The items which I very rarely buy – the Cup-a-Soup sachets, Melba toast and prawn crackers – were also put to good use. We had the slices of Melba toast for breakfast during the week instead of actually making toast. The Cup-a-Soup sachets hubby and I took to work and had a cup with a sandwich on two days. We fried the whole packet of prawn crackers over the weekend and enjoyed the snack while watching TV.


Finally, the little bit of castor sugar that was left in the packet I used for this lovely Lemon Loaf Cake. I also made us some Taco mince filling for the Taco shells which was our supper on 2 nights this week.


All in all, my pantry and freezer cleanout this year was an absolute breeze. I’m so happy that there was no waste from either the pantry or the freezer, and that I’ve managed to use up all the items that needed to be used up, quite quickly. I’ve tried some new ideas (the granadilla pulp poured over jelly and taking the time to make us ice tea instead of plain cups of tea) as well as some new recipes which we’ve so enjoyed (the Lemon Loaf Cake and Tacos).


Have you done a pantry and freezer cleanout lately? How did it go?


If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others!

You can also find Frugal in SA

on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.