Thursday, May 10, 2012
Show Me What You're Workin With.
Supply hoarding is a bit of a problem for me. I prefer to have extra of everything. I buy my toilet paper by the case, my shaving cream in 3's, and makeup when it's BOGO. I always have a 'stash' of practically everything you could need. So if there's a zombie Apocalypse, you may want to come knocking if you forgot to shave your legs and you're about to wear shorts or if you've been craving spaghetti and the rest of the world has run out of pasta they got for free by couponing.
It's become quite a habit of mine to participate in self-mockery on this blog but the sad part is, it's all true. I really am this quirky. Thankfully, I'm also completely comfortable with it. I don't believe in taking yourself too seriously and I enjoy laughing at myself almost as much as my sisters enjoy laughing at me.
For someone who keeps extra everything I'm alarmingly aware of everything in my house. If you took a squeeze of my toothpaste, I'd know. I literally know when someone has walked in my room and walked back out. I can't remember what I'm supposed to do with myself without a planner and a to do list but I can tell you exactly where I threw a dirty t-shirt at any given time (I should be studied).
So as part of my spring cleaning I determined it was time to knock the dust off any items who'd been getting a bit too comfortable in the batch pad. Anyone else have this happening?
I started by making my menu for my first week back from Haiti to include items that were growing roots in my pantry (for me this means they've been there over a month). I had a stash of tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and rotel tomatoes as a result of BOGO deals at Publix and coupons, so I started there. I pulled out what I already had and listed out what I would still need to make a low cal crock pot lasagna (I modify Prevention magazine's recipe) and my Mom's 'Santa Fe Soup' recipe (this is a taco soup). This used up: 1 can of pasta sauce, 2 cans of rotel tomatoes, a can of black beans, and 2 cans of tomato sauce that were 'justing lying around'.
I also had a box of pasta and 9 leftover lasagna noodles in a box. I used the lasagna noodles in my crock pot recipe, which I divided up and packed for lunches for the week. I already had onion, parm cheese, and mozzarella cheese too, so in the end I only had to buy ground beef (I buy organic ground beef, but you can also use turkey if you prefer). I had to buy a few more items than that to make my soup but I froze two large mason jars of it for later (possibly for my neighbor when he returns from Scotland because he's obsessed with it) and still had more than enough to share with friends this week.
A little high off my crock pot success, I took on the box of pasta with new excitement. I had chicken in the freezer, so I thawed two chicken breasts and bought a Philly Cooking Creme, the pesto flavor. I mixed in some garlic and cilantro and ta da - easy, inexpensive dinner that freed up more pantry space.
Many of you have been interacting with me via blogs, twitter, or text long enough to know that I am an unstoppable force one I get going. After 'winning' at cleaning out the pantry with delicious recipes I started plotting my next feat. The cleaning supply closet...
I picked up each of my cleaning supplies and shook them to see what was nearing the end. I tend to buy cleaning supplies as they're on sale so it's easy for me to get a bigger stash than necessary and forget to use up one before I start another. Over the last year of having a roommate the chances of this doubled when two people were buying and two people were using the supplies the chances of new ones being started with the old being used up doubled. So I pulled a few 'close to the end' bottles out and finished them off during this weeks cleaning. It felt good to toss or recycle a few bottles right before I revamped my 'cleaning closet' (a post on that coming soon).
The last idea I came up with was a DIY spa night, using items I already had. I always have an abundance of baking supplies because I love any excuse to throw a dessert together so I used google and pinterest to find a few recipes for scrubs, face masques, and at home soaks. After a week in the Haitian sun, my face and body needed a little pick-me-up anyway! It also gave me an excuse to get out some candles, work my way through some lotions, eye cremes, hand lotions, and nail accessories while I was at it.
If you're stashes are getting a little out of control it might be time for you to access what you're working with and work with what you've got! If you're like me and you tend to over collect office supplies you don't need, another great idea is to donate them to a local Boys and Girls Club. I interned with a Boys & Girls Club in Indianapolis, IN and I have a huge soft spot for the beacon of hope they provide in their communities. After graduating college I donated ALL my school supplies to a local club before moving to Florida.
I'm also open to any ideas you may have of using your resources wisely!