Freebs…pause the DVR, text your mama, and grab a snack…
A trend is coming.
Over the last few years, I have had an overwhelming amount of people ask for more and more details on how I shop for, cook for, and feed my family (of 7) on a budget. For a long time I've wondered why my “method” of cooking isn't highlighted or talked about more; why it isn't more common, nor common sense. I've come to realize over time that most people cook based on the recipe they want to make, which is backwards in my opinion.
I finally decided to step up and declare to the world, not only a name for this “new” way of cooking, but I'm issuing a challenge to everyone reading this to give it a try for yourselves!
I now introduce to you…
Shelf cooking is making homemade, balanced, and nutritious meals for your family, starting FIRST with ingredients you already have on-hand from your fridge, freezer, and pantry, then supplementing with fresh/new items from the store….not the other way around.
Sure, I'm guessing many of you are rolling your eyes saying “um…Jord, this sounds totally lame, and not new or exciting at all. Pretty much everyone does this.” *said like a valley girl, duh.*
Au contraire, my little dear!
Believe it or not, if you are a natural shelf-cooker and cook FIRST using ingredients from your pantry, fridge, and freezer BEFORE running to the store, you are a treasured minority. And a rockstar one at that.
From my years of blogging, TV segments, YouTube, public speaking and classes, one-on-one consulting, working with families, couples, and groups, and dogs (I threw that one in to see if you were really listening), I can soundly say that it is NOT common to cook this way.
Most American families, when they do cook or meal-plan at all, pick a recipe off of Pinterest or the web, buy the ingredients they need from the store, cook the meal (sometimes), then let the leftovers go to waste after a few days, OR, they toss the leftovers out from the start because they “aren't leftovers people”.
Hmm. It's a wonder most Americans are in debt and struggle to afford the lifestyle they want…
Could it be, could it POSSIBLY be, that we've been cooking wrong all along? Could it be that the method most Americans (and even families across the globe) use to feed their families, is costing them more than it should?
If you haven't picked up on the massive hints I've been dropping yet, then let me spell it out for you…yes. Yes it does mean just that.
10 times out of 10 the families I work with are spending more than they should on groceries, aren't using the food they already have on-hand to their full potential, and/or they are letting an incredible amount of food go to waste.
Well, I say NO MORE, FREEBS! It's time for a revolution!
*Picture me waving a gold sparkly banner of some kind. Likely with tassels on it.*
Today I'm going to *hopefully* change the way you look at your food, and change your food budget for the rest of your life.
Here's a video that explains not only the concept and purpose for shelf cooking, but tons of tips for making it successful for you, and also all about the Shelf Cook September challenge that you should all be part of!
Watch the video below or watch here online then come back here for even more info on the challenge and FREEZER GIVEAWAY!! (Yes, I've decided to give away a freezer…)
Are you pumped for this challenge or WHAT?! It's going to be amazing!
I know that was a lot of information to take in via video, so here's the Cliffnotes version for quick reference:
- NOTE THE NEW HASHTAG!! After filming and posting this video, you Freebs came up with a way better hashy so it's now #Shelftember! Use it and love it, folks!
- Shelf cooking is a new phrase I'm coining. Yes, you are helping me start a trend! It describes the frugal method of basing your meals primarily around ingredients you have on-hand and supplementing with ingredients from the store, rather than the other way around. Yes, you can cook healthy, balanced, nutritious meals this way! Yes folks, you've heard it here first! woo hoo! Such trend-setters!
- For the entire month of September I'm challenging all of us to take the #Shelftember challenge. I'm pledging to feed my family on just $25/week in fresh groceries, and otherwise make our meals based around what I have on-hand!
- I understand that $25 is very tight for some. I want this to be hard, but realistic. If you absolutely can't do $25/week, feel free to go up to $50 – BUT – do not exceed $50!
- Shelf cooking is extra challenging if you don't have a freezer, so I highly recommend you get an extra one. Put it in your garage, basement, closet, guest room, get creative! Watch the video above for TONS of ideas.
- Keep tabs on this blog, my YouTube channel, Facebook, and especially Instagram. I will be sharing DAILY tips about how we are making this challenge manageable.
- Have absolutely NO food in your freezer, pantry, or fridge? We need to chat. Because I don't believe you ;). Or, maybe it's true, and you just don't like to eat. Either way, you need Mama J's help! Watch closely all month long and get excited for Stocktober.
- But don't you fret. Don't have a freezer? Have no fear...I'm giving away a freezer!
- HOW TO ENTER THE FREEZER GIVEAWAY:
- Follow along with the challenge!
- Post pictures of your shelf cooking successes all September long on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #SHELFTEMBER
- BE SURE TO TAG ME OR I WON'T SEE IT (@FunCheapOrFree)
- I will pick at least one winner at random at the end of the month, and will give them a freezer! I will even have it shipped to your house so you don't have to pick it up yourself. That's how much I love you.
- Must be in the US to win a freezer delivered to your house. If you aren't in the US we will figure out a gift card situation!
Seriously guys, are you so excited or what??
You in?? Let's do this!!
(And come back excited for Stocktober next month ;))
Happy shelf cooking!