Save the Date: Eating Down the Fridge, Round 2

Back in March, you, me and more than 100 households across the U.S. (plus folks in Canada, Denmark and Australia) kicked off the first Eating Down the Fridge challenge in this space. With guest bloggers and a robust Facebook group page, we went great guns, sharing the ups and downs of taking a break from food shopping and using what you had stored in the freezer, fridge and pantry.

In fact, when the week came to an end, many of you kept going and expressed interest in future frugal adventures. Your enthusiasm is the inspiration for the second quarterly EDF, scheduled for June 20-26.

If you’re new to this idea, here’s the FAQ I posted from the first EDF:

So how is this going to work?
The challenge is in effect from Saturday, June 20, until Friday, June 26. During this time, the goal is to do zero food shopping.

Does that mean I can stock up on the weekend before the challenge kicks off?
Sure, it does. But I urge you to exercise restraint and refrain from buying three weeks of groceries to stay in the game. The idea here is to take stock and be mindful of what you already have on hand.

Can I make exceptions for a few items? What if I forget to buy coffee and suddenly run out? Or if that head of lettuce has gone unexpectedly rotten?
The goal here is to challenge yourself, not inflict punishment or torture. If there’s something you just gotta have to get you (or a family member) through the week, by all means, go to the store. But I bet you’ll feel differently when/if you go.

Can I commit to just half a week? I'm traveling, and the we've been invited out to dinner.
Again, you are the best judge of what is and isn’t possible. If 3 ½ days are all you can do, that’s better than zero. Do what works within the scheme of your own life.

My kids are going to hate this. How do I get them on board?
Make it sound like an adventure, like you’re going camping or you’re off on a magic carpet with limited storage. And get them involved in meal prep; it will give them ownership.

If you’re a returning EDFer, what would you like to see covered this time? All suggestions/feedback submitted in the comments area will be taken under consideration as we gear up in the coming weeks.

Whether you’re an EDF newbie or veteran, be sure to sign up to be included on the EDF Summer Honor Roll. E-mail me with the subject line: “Eating Down the Fridge, Summer” and in your note, include your first and last name, city, state (and country, when applicable). The EDF Honor Roll will be updated daily until June 19. And if you belong to Facebook, you can connect with other EDFers here. For those interested in guest blogging, let me know by Friday, June 13.

By Kim ODonnel |  May 29, 2009; 7:10 AM ET Eating Down the Fridge
Previous: Wanted: Oregon Coast Must-Dos, Eats | Next: Weekend Project: Chicken Barbecue in a Loaf Pan


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I'm a member of a CSA, so I'll be getting a delivery of fresh veggies every Monday all summer. Skip that week? Or pretend that it came from my extensively cultivated garden?

Posted by: Freyathorn | May 28, 2009 11:18 AM

I have a specific ingredient for EDF - whole wheat flour. I have a big batch of whole wheat flour (stored in the freezer) and I tried to make some whole wheat pastry for some meatpies (using up leftovers). In raw form, the pastry seemed great, but the pastry flaked into a thousand pieces as soon as I picked it up after baking. Any ideas for a better whole wheat pastry? (for fruit pies for the summer?) or other ingredients with whole wheat pastry? Thanks

Posted by: blankdc | May 28, 2009 12:26 PM

I will be using my CSA box that week. I think it's silly not to. I paid for it, and the challenge to use all the stuff fits right in with the challenge.

Posted by: millioninprizes | May 28, 2009 1:20 PM

millioninprizes, of course you should use! The idea is to make do with what you have -- and if that's what you have, and yes, make it fit in within scheme of your life. Cheers.

Posted by: Kim ODonnel | May 28, 2009 2:09 PM

I'm not sure what the big deal is... I generally shop once a week, will make a mid-week trip only occasionally if really necessary. Still, I could stand to dig things out from the back shelves and use them up. I'll see how it goes!

Posted by: catherine3 | May 28, 2009 2:27 PM

I am so in (I'll email shortly). As I can't quite give up on going to the farmers market , I'll do it as an official 7 day EDF starting with a run to the Falls Church farmers market early Saturday to start and finish with a run late Saturday a week later to finish. And celebrate with strawberries!


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 28, 2009 8:16 PM

I was in on the first one -- I was amazed when I realized that I hadn't been to the grocery store in two weeks! So catherine3 might want to try what I did -- skip the big shop that you would normally do the weekend the challenge starts and use what you have stored up instead.

Posted by: margaret6 | May 29, 2009 6:25 PM

I don't need to eat down the fridge but the pantry needs work. Count me in, sorta.

Posted by: fitday19550 | May 31, 2009 10:15 AM

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