July 20, 2010

My Sign: Time To Clean

I've never really believed in "signs." But sometimes, things happen in such a way, that I just wonder..."Am I missing something here?"

A few weeks ago, we had an ant infestation in our house.  I had to clear out half of my pantry (all my rice, peanut butter, pasta, cereals...)!  I was so frustrated, these are all the non-perishable items I'd slowly been stocking up on (using coupons and great sales) that were supposed to last "forever."  But my sister kept me focused on the positive: "At least you get to reorganize your pantry!"  *Always look on the bright side of life...*

Last weekend, after dealing with a flooded office and garage from our water heater going, our friend was walking through our kitchen and stepped in a puddle of water.  As I began wiping it up I realized our fridge was "leaking."  Little did we realize nearly everything in our freezer was thawed out and our refrigerator was barely even cool.  AHHH!  All my pre-made, frozen meals and steam-able bagged veggies, breads and meats (even the Mediterranean-crusted Salmon I just bought for a pretty penny)...dripping and half-frozen!

After spending the evening cooking everything that was still good, and stocking our fridge with dry-ice to keep our food cool until the "Maytag Man" made it out Monday morning, I started to wonder why I had now cleaned out my entire kitchen?  Is this some sign that I need to clean out the "dusty corners" and "drippy stuff" of my life?  I don't know.  But I do know that it really never hurts to spend some time re-evaluting yourself. What you invest your time/energy/thought/money into; where you are in your dreams/goals; the condition of your spirit man and physical man; who you are - your character/actions/words/thoughts/intents...

I still have a long way to go in my self-evaluation (all the way to go really, since I just had my "eyes" opened up to the idea), but I did get something else out of this experience: a few meals that require no refrigerated items.  So while chewing on the idea of evaluating your own life, feel free to stock up on some of these items just incase the power goes out or your freezer creates puddles all over your kitchen!

Non-Refrigerated/No-Cook Meals: 
(remember a manual can opener)
  • Basic Hummus & Crackers:
2 cups canned Chickpeas
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
Crackers or Veggie Chips
Blend together in a blender or food processor (I've never tried mixing without electricity, but you may be able to mash and whip the ingredients together for a chunky hummus if needed). Serve with crackers, pita bread, chips, veggies... There are many variations for times when you don't have to worry about your refrigerator not working: add in 1/4 cup Tahini and 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice; Black beans and jalapeno peppers; Experiment with different seasonings; Roasted red peppers; Sun-dried tomatoes; Mix equal parts hummus and yogurt for a creamy dip.
  • Tuna Salad Sandwich: made with vacuum-packed tuna/tuna-salad/chicken/salmon!
  • Apples & Peanut Butter
  • Granola Bars, Meal/Protein Bars (CLIF Kid ZBaRs are great for kids, and adults!) 
  • Fruit cups/Applesauce cups & Peanut/Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich
  • GoPicnic.com - I just found these, I haven't even tried them yet, but they would be great to have on hand for emergencies, lunches, camping, hiking, etc!  Check them out and use coupon code TRYGOPICNIC for 10% off your order!
  • Ketchup and Mustard don't have to be refrigerated, so they can add a little flavor to some dishes
  • Shelf-stable Milks: Soy, Almond or even Cows milk - Organic Valley has a few options!  Serve with cereal or drink up.


  1. You are so inspiring! I love reading your blog posts and learning your coupon tricks; it actually got me started on using them and we saved $20 on our last shopping trip...that went right into our savings account! You're so resourceful and it definitely inspires me for when we have kids. Tell Rachel I say hi! It's almost her 1 year anniversary! I forgot the exact date...August...Anyways, thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks Rebekah!! I am so excited for you! Saving a buck or two feels good, but $20 could be a whole date night! =) Keep it up!


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