This is a get organized and know what you have post.
I know as well as I am sitting here - there are so many of us that have pantry items that we have forgotten about - shoved to the bottom of freezer - pushed to the back of the shelves, etc.. You know who you are!!!!!!! LOL
It happens. We have gotten things on sale thinking - 'this would be good'. We have not been the most organized. We have run out of exciting ideas. We have just gotten sort of lazy!
Now is the time to go through the pantry and through the freezers and organize and INVENTORY!!!!
WRITE IT DOWN!!!!!
Know your inventory. Now is the time to not waste anything. Now is the time to get creative. If you know exactly what you have you can better plan your meals, your shopping, and your budget.
I spent one morning this week going through the entire freezer. I took everything out, and made my list of exactly what and how much I had of everything. I then organized - beef, chicken, pork, etc. all together. You can keep your list by how many pounds or how many packages. Know how many servings are in each package (ie: 4 chops, 6 drumsticks, 1/2 lb. ground beef, etc.).
Do the same with your pantry and your home canned goods and deep pantry if you have one. Once you sit and look at those lists - you can get creative and figure out some wonderful meals.
REMEMBER: Meat is not a necessity at every meal - regardless of what you may want!
You can use beans or lentils to make burgers. They are wonderful and they are full of protein. You can add beans, lentils, peas, etc. to soups and stews to extend. Peanut butter, cheese, milk, nuts, eggs, even protein powders can be added to foods.
Keep canned meats on hand!!!!! Not only is it easy (in case of power outage), but it is practical. Tuna, salmon, mackerel, chicken, pulled pork, beef, Spam, small hams, corned beef...…… There are so many canned meats, and we should all have some of them around.
Check your pasta, rice, dry beans, veggies, sauces, fruits, baking goods, etc. If you are running low on some things - slowly work on accumulating more! I know there are many items that are hard to get right now - but keep your eyes open and get WHAT you can WHEN you can.
Don't let yourself get back into a situation where you don't have the necessities and basics.
Another thing to remember - IF you have some meats in the freezer that are older and have some freezer burn - cut it off!!!!! You don't have to throw the entire item away. Freezer burn DOES change taste and texture (and not for the good) - but many times it is just on a section of the meat. Cut it off and cook your meat with seasonings and maybe cooking it in a crockpot. It will be fine. DO NOT WASTE!!!! Make stew, soup, shred it, just use it and don't waste.
So now you have an assignment for those rainy, cooler or yucky days - INVENTORY EVERYTHING!!!!!! Make your list and keep it handy.
Have fun with your food.