Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simplify Challenge Day 2: Kitchen and Meal Plan

This week I’m following along with the Life Your Way Simplify for Fall Challenge. Six days, six areas of the home to simplify. I’ll be sharing my progress here all week. 

First of all I want to share the link to a booklet put out by The Environmental Working Group - Good Food on a Tight Budget. These are the folks who have brought us the lists of dirty and clean vegetable and fruits as it relates to pesticide residue. Now they are focusing on nutritional value for the low budget shopper.

Now on with today's challenge results.  No way am I going to go through the whole kitchen in one day. It is already pretty decluttered although all the cabinets could use cleaning.  Another day LOL.  Instead I am focusing on the pantry, under the sink, and simplifying dinner planning.

Last year I moved some things onto the pantry shelves because they took up so much space in the cupboards.  I moved the coffee maker and blender back into the cupboards and candles and matches into a drawer. The mixer and box of good silverware stayed in the pantry as they don't fit anywhere else.  I consolidated the dog's supplies near each other and put the extra vitamins and medicines in a drawer. Threw away a candle and put a set of coasters in donation bag.

Looks better and roomier. We don't shut the doors unless we have guests so looking better is a good thing!   Yes, we do keep our dictionary with the cookbooks so hubby can look up words in the morning while he works the jumble in the paper and drinks his coffee in the kitchen. That is the "new" dictionary I got for $5 from the library used book sale stash.  It replaces our 40 year old one that was coming loose in the binding.  Look closely and you can see the fire extinguisher and flashlight too.

Under the sink just needed to be cleaned so I also found a few things to put away that were on the counter and frig top and wiped them down too. 

I don't like to meal plan in detail. I am a think about it in the morning and cook it in the evening person. I do want to make grocery shopping easier and cheaper though. So I have decided that each week we will have dinners built around the following: Fish - 2 days, Vegetarian (including eggs) - 3 days, Poultry or meat - 2 days. I think this will simplify deciding what to buy each week.  I need to find more vegetarian dinner options and pulled out one cookbook to start going through.

I'm glad this was an easy project because the mosquito spray has arrived and, since there was no rain predicted for three days, I hauled the hose around both the front and back yards and sprayed this morning before I started this project.  That is always a good workout for the upper body!

What did you focus on today?


  1. Looks great!! I haven't menu planned since our zoo trip...time to get back to it! I think theme weeks are great, but there ends up being a certain meat on sale I stck up & plan around it instead. I shoud actually go do that now as I've already went over our grocery budget ths week... (I need to fatten up! lol!)

    1. Thanks Carla. With just the two of us to feed it is interesting to try to shop and cook. Fortunately we like leftovers.

  2. Your pantry is so organized! Since I can't get to my kitchen today, I'm working on my home office. So far two bags of trash and a bag of giveaways! Who knew so much stuff could accumulate in a desk?

    1. Sharon, your kitchen will be fabulous when it is done. I think offices accumulate so much. What happened to the paperless world we were promised?


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