Well, our last blog was about keeping track of what’s in your cupboards, so this week, we thought we’d stick to a similar theme, and extend a challenge to you all! We’re all for eating better, more creatively, and more economically. Who isn’t, right? We all have different shopping habits. Some of us shop for what we need every couple of days. Some do a huge shop every two weeks – or even less often! Most of us are probably somewhere in between. However you do your grocery shopping, are you sure that you’re making the most of what’s in your cupboards? Sometimes, we’re blind to certain combinations of food, perhaps simply because we’re not used to them or don’t usually cook them. As a result, our fridge looks empty to us and we go out shopping, neglecting to use some really useful, tasty ingredients, and spending more money in the process!

Every now and again, in order to avoid this, we skip our regular trip to the store and ‘make do’ with what’s already in. And when we say ‘make do’, we mean find awesome new food combinations and create delicious (usually) new recipes, without spending a dollar. We’d like to challenge you to do the same! On ‘grocery day’, take stock of what you have in and create a meal plan, whether for just a day, a few days, or a week. You don’t have to be a seasoned chef to figure this out – remember, Google is your friend! Just imagine doing this, say, once every month or two – you could save yourself hundreds of dollars a year, and avoid wasting good produce.

Here are a few things we’ve created when we’ve ‘shopped the kitchen’:

Soups. All kinds of soups. Too many varieties to list them all, but including bacon and cabbage (one of our favorites), lentil and carrot, and bean and veggies. So simple, yet so healthy – not to mention tasty!

Pasta dishes. We’ve used canned tuna, canned salmon, anchovies, chickpeas…all the typical stuff you find in the back of the cupboard. Throw in some veggies and a swig of olive oil, and you’re done. Yum.

Stir-fries. These really don’t have to be of the Asian variety. This works really well with leftover meat, potatoes, and veggies – in the UK, it’s an actual dish, called bubble and squeak. We’re not kidding – look it up.

Check out this store-cupboard pasta dish we made after Thanksgiving a few years ago – it was so tasty! Next time, we want to create even more new recipes, and we’d love a little inspiration from you guys. It would be great to hear your creations, however simple or ambitious, and even the downright bizarre! Comment below, tweet us, or post on our Facebook wall. Send us a picture of your meal plan or the end results!