Skeletons in the Closet

My wife and I are moving in a few weeks. This weekend, that meant tackling our pantry.

photo by Roadsidepictures (via Flickr)We’ve lived in our current house for four years, and some lurking “cabinet castaways” have been there almost as long.

To be fair, our tenure predates my obsession with food waste. And overall, we’ve done pretty well. Yet there’s still plenty of room for improvement in our next home and pantry.

Here’s what I found:

Lack of visibility was a major problem. Who the heck would have guessed that this ugly bag contained perishable tortilla chips brought home from a restaurant? The same goes for this bulk aisle bag, which I learned contained cous cous. I transferred the cous to a glass canister we now use for all of our grains.

banana sauce!Specialty purchases often lead to waste. For instance, this cereal made great Rice Krispie Treats, but nobody wanted it for breakfast. And while I couldn’t resist buying banana sauce, I can’t find an occasion to use it. Not much Filipino fried chicken in my house, unfortunately, and I rarely use ketchup.

Crackers, I’ve learned, are not something we seem to eat. When we do get a box, we don’t seem to use the entire thing. I found an entire sleeve of Saltines buried behind some cans. Had I seen them a year ago, I could have used them as bread crumbs.

That raises a final point: take inventory every so often. Had I done that, I might have enjoyed some toffees instead of cleaning up the their sticky remains.

Besides, it’s good to know what you have, even if it’s not all that useful. Anyone have any suggestions for banana sauce?! (I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out.)

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