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In an act of faith, I am spring cleaning my house.  Mother Nature may have not received the memo, but damn it, it’s APRIL!  It’s time to spring clean, bitches, even if there’s still three feet of snow on the ground outside.

In related news, April is also my “Buy Nothing (except what’s necessary) Month,” and it’s going very well.*  In my post, I asked for your tips and suggestions on how to save money.

My mom suggested going through the pantry, and using up any food that is about to expire in the next six months.  It may take some creative meal planning, but it’s a good way to clean the pantry up, avoid future food poisoning, and save money on groceries.  Awesome tip, mother!

You may remember last year when I did a complete overhaul on my pantry, so thankfully, it wasn’t too much of an unorganized mess.  “A place for everything, and everything in its place” is my pantry motto.

organized pantry

OCD or just an awesomely organized pantry? You be the judge.

However, as I cleaned and sorted, I carefully checked expiration dates.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I had cans of soup that had expired in 2012, fruit cups that had expired in 2010 (yes, 2010), and more than a few dry goods that had gone really, really stale.  Why had I never thought to look at expiration dates before?  How have I not given us food poisoning?  Scary stuff.

Expired food

Pile of shame. All expired and stale.

But the cleaning part was awesome.  It took me two hours to sort, clean, sweep, mop, and put everything back in its place.  So easy.  It inspires me to keep going.

Pantry shelves

Just looking at this photo of organized beauty makes me feel calm. Ahhhhhh.

I made a list of food that we need to use up:

  • rice noodles
  • lasagna noodles
  • Teriyaki marinade
  • red pepper garlic sauce
  • dried red lentils
  • green split peas

Not too bad, right?  I should be able to make some tasty dishes with those ingredients, and save a bit on groceries this month.  Especially since April is also “No Eating Out Month.”  Needless to say, when you aren’t eating out, the grocery bill is a bit higher than normal.

*In terms of not doing any extra shopping, “Buy Nothing Month” is going very well.  In terms of saving money, ummmm, not as well.  The dogs had their annual check up this month, and also needed a de-wormer.  Two hundred and twenty-five dollars later, we walked out of the vet clinic.  Sigh.