One of the ways I like to start off a New Year is bringing my budget (which is stretched out of shape in December) back into alignment in January. And it seems to me a good old fashioned pantry/freezer challenge is a nice way to do just that. I like to sprinkle these challenges to myself all throughout the year, but most especially in January. So for our first challenge of the year, here are my 'rules':
#1 All meal planning starts with pantry/freezer items first. I try to plan meals that will use only what is on hand. If a recipe calls for an ingredient I don't have I have two choices: substitute or use another recipe.
#2 Try to limit purchases to fresh fruit/produce/dairy products (bread too if you're not a baker) but truly try to use only items you already have on hand to make meals.