The Zero Grocery Challenge

For the past year, we have been on a mission to more diligently shop first in our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer when meal planning, and then purchase what is needed to fill out our meals. This has been an excellent plan but we still have A LOT of food on hand, so we are setting out on a challenge for the next two months to stay out of the grocery store as much as humanly possible and create all of our meals from ingredients we already have on hand. Over the past week, I have created an exhaustive inventory of the food in our freezer and on our pantry shelves. This morning I did a quick inventory of what we currently have in the refrigerator. This project will stretch our creativity and expand our meals to include some combinations of things we haven’t tried before but I am excited for the challenge!

That being said, we did set some ground rules for this challenge. Our household includes a dedicated plant-based eater (the ‘herbivore’, who is me) and a wonderful man who is happy to eat plant-based things as long as there is some kind of animal protein on the table (the ‘carnivore’, who is my husband). We agree that we are not willing to compromise on the healthy eating habits we currently practice, but we also agree that eating food on hand is important.

The Zero Grocery Challenge Ground Rules:

  • Continue to prepare mostly nutrient-dense, plant-based meals with animal protein additions.
  • Essential staples can be replaced. This will include cow milk and eggs for my husband and absolutely critical staples we might run out of.
  • A tiny amount of money each month will be set aside for fresh green things if needed. This is primarily for my mental comfort…knowing that I can buy some fresh broccoli or salad greens if I truly must.
  • We can’t cheat by going out to eat more frequently!

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