At the beginning of November I did a clean-up and reorganization of the pantry.  At the end I listed a number of items that I needed to purposely use.  Now, to be clear, none of these are really expiring.  But, they are not necessarily things that we use frequently and they’ve been around a while.


So, here’s the list with updates.


  • 1 jar of pesto, 1 package of sea salt, 1 package of sugar in the raw – These came in gift boxes.  We can use all of them, it just needs to be conscious planning.  I used about a third of the pesto with steak.  People did like it so we’ll do that again until its gone.  Now that its open I should get this used up.  We haven’t touched the other items.
  • 1 jar of clam juice – This was extra left over from the first time I tried a recipe.  This recipe has been requested again so I should make it and finish this off.  It would use up one of the boxes of puff pastry in the freezer (coming on that list) also. Made it again to use this up.
  • 1 0.5 bag of marshmallows, 2.5 1.5 boxes of graham crackers – Leftovers from summer s’mores.  Its going to be cold this weekend, but ideally we’ll make s’mores one more time.  That would use up the marshmallows and some of the graham crackers.  I need some of the graham crackers for a key lime pie at Thanksgiving.  After that we’ll have to see.  Neither will keep well until next summer. We had smores on the last cold but possible night.  The marshmallows I’ll use up in hot chocolate because it is definitely winter now.  I also used a few graham crackers to make a crust for key lime pie.  We were not fans of the crust recipe though so I’m not sure I’ll make it again.
  • 4 3 pecan pumpkin quick bread mixes – We like this.  I just need to remember to make them.
  • 1 bag of Cape Cod potato chips – I found these on sale at Target over the summer so they should be eaten soon.  I’ve been thinking of meatball subs to use up the provolone in the fridge and I think these would go nicely. Yes, did this.
  • 2 single serve cups of pineapple tid-bits – I purchased a box of fruit cups that were half pineapple/half tropical fruit.  Tropical fruit flies, but nobody wants to eat pineapple unless I put it in pineapple upside down cake.  That will probably have to wait until after the holidays as there are so many fun holiday desserts to make.

I’ll eat them eventually:

  • 10 5 single serve packages of plain oatmeal – These are leftover from when I needed pregnancy snacks.  I need to finish them off, maybe some light lunches.
  • Dates, whole & chopped – I just need to remember they’re there.
  • 3 2 single serve brownie mixes – These came from a Friday Freebie coupon.  There were four in the box and I had one.  It was ok.  I will eventually eat the rest, but they’re not tasty enough to actually spend money on.

Kids snacks:

  • Ritz crackers, veggie straws, Ruffles potato chips – These are leftover summer pool snacks.  These are all open and therefore need to be eaten soon.  I will probably just send them to school as part of lunch/snack. Still need to remember the Ritz crackers.
  • 6 pk chicken ramen – I bought these as snacks for the oldest.  I need to introduce them to him, but he hasn’t been snacking as much as one might think for his size/age.
  • Whole almonds, whole cashews – The boys used to snack on these, but they haven’t recently.  I cook with cashews occasionally so I’ll just need to plan to use these up.  Not sure yet what to do with the almonds.
  • Coconut oil, dried apple rings – I had planned to make granola with these, but haven’t.  Maybe I will actually get around to that.
  • 2 packages of plain, microwave popcorn – Sounds like a snack for the kids, maybe with a movie on a cold winter day (like the holiday tomorrow which is supposed to be awfully cold relative to recent weather). Used for a movie one on of last week’s bitterly cold snow days.

I don’t feel like I need to add more to the list at this point.  There are a few perishables that we need to consciously eat through:

  • 1.5 packages of English muffins – I rarely buy these.  But, did bite when it was buy 1, get 2 free.  I realize I could freeze them if necessary.
  • 50 lbs of Russet potatoes – These were under 20¢/pound last week plus I had a few on hand already.  Again, I know they can be stored for a long time, but I don’t have a properly temperature-controlled space for long-term.  That being said, we usually eat 3-4 pounds of potatoes with a meal so it should not be a problem to use them.  Mindfulness really.
  • 6 lbs of yellow onions – I was almost out and these were buy 1 get one free.  So, more that I would normally buy, but its winter and lots of soups/stews/etc. call for onions so we should be able to use them up too.

Tomorrow I’ll update the current freezer situation.  I’ll plan for a final update on both again in March before the catch as catch can meals of the summer sports season begin.