Sometime ago, I was reading how a family decided to put themselves on a spending freeze for something like 3 or 6 months. They allowed a small amount of money for fresh items for the month and that was pretty much that. It seems that they realized that they had a full pantry, and yet were still filling up their cart at the grocery store each week. The goal was to only eat what was in their pantry and freezer and not run to the store.
That seems like a really good idea. I notice on Pinterest and other blogs that people are always organizing their pantries. And there seems to be a LOT of ingredients on display in those pretty pantries. Shhh…but sometimes I have wondered if it was just for show. It made me wonder how long it takes to use it all up.
I have a small pantry too. It’s one shelf of grains and teas. The rest holds small appliances and cat food and foil and food wraps. In addition to that I have one shelf in the kitchen cabinet that holds canned goods and such, another with herbs and spices, and another with baking supplies. That’s it. I have never been one to stock up. Especially since our grocery store is within walking distance.
Recently we have cinched our belts and extended our spending freeze to our pantry and freezer. I managed to go through everything there except a few handfuls of quinoa, a can of cranberry sauce, a can of pumpkin, and a boxed muffin mix. I’m not sure why I have a muffin mix. I’ve never made muffins from a mix….or much else other than brownies.
The other day I decided I needed to make up the muffin mix for breakfast. The recipe on the box calls for milk, eggs, and oil. I had the eggs and the oil. But, no milk. I had been staring at the can of pumpkin trying to decide what to do with it…no milk…no pie. And then the light bulb went off. Why not substitute pumpkin for milk? Why not. And so I added 3/4 cup of pumpkin, in place of the milk, to the eggs and oil and stirred in the dry mix. It was a little bit heavy, so I decided to add 2 Tablespoons of water, one at a time. Though these were Cinnabon muffins, I thought I would spice them up a little more, so I added a dash each of allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
The muffins were baked according to the instructions and they came out perfectly. The best part, my husband mentioned several times how much he enjoyed them. Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins, tweaked from the box. With a bit of butter…mouthwatering. With a little tweaking ordinary muffins can become extraordinary!
Have you tweaked a box mix of something recently?
How did it turn out?
A little more than a half a can of pumpkin is sitting in the fridge. Tonight I’m going to try my hand at pumpkin bread. The from scratch kind. I still have some flour in the freezer, the only thing left in there, and eggs and oil. But, that cranberry sauce. I am not sure what to do with that. One thing I can say for sure, it’s amazing, with what little I actually had in my pantry, how many meals I was able to create. It was the impetus I needed to grind up the sesame seeds into tahini to which I added the garbanzo beans, which resulted in a yummy homemade humus.
Consider a grocery spending freeze at your house. It’s a good way to get creative in the kitchen, save some money, and use up what you have.
Have you ever put your pantry, freezer, or fridge on a spending freeze?
If so, how did it work out for you?
I wish you could have come over for tea to enjoy the muffins with me. Oh, they were good!
Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!
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