2017 “Chopped Challenge”


Well, the new year is here and although it may be cliché, I can’t help but look forward to the opportunity for a fresh start.  There is something about a brand new, clean calendar and day planner to make me want to change my ways.  And after failing, once again, to avoid the excess sugar of the holiday season my body starts to crave that fresh start as well.  So call it cliché if you want but I LOVE resolution season.

One thing that I am really looking forward to making a focus in 2017 is MINIMIZING!  I plan to go through my whole house, our property… our life really…and declutter!

I am NOT a type A personality.  But I really want to be.  I was born with the misfortune of longing for the organization and cleanliness of my mother and maternal grandmother, but alas, I was not born with that gene.  I love organization, really I do, but it fails to come naturally for me.

Whether it comes naturally to us or not, organization IS possible, some of us just have to have a little help, a lot of determination and a LOT LESS STUFF.

So I have made my plan on how to start off my new year of minimizing and combining it with my need to get back on the frugality train as well.  I am going to make a bit of a game out of it and I’d love for you to follow along in my fun!

I am designating January 2017 as my “Chopped Challenge.” 

Being a total foodie, I am a Food Network junkie and one of my favorite shows to watch is Chopped.  The idea of being faced with 3 REALLY random ingredients and having to make something enjoyable to eat (using the pantry stocked with basic staples) is really entertaining and stretches my own imagination wondering just what I would do with fruit loops, champagne vinegar and Nori.

So in the spirit of Chopped, and in an effort to declutter my kitchen cupboards and fin

d along with it some much needed grocery budget savings, this is what I came up with.

(My food hording skills are unmatched… and embarrassing.)

This challenge will also help me refocus on the true homesteading mentality.  The past year came with some extra business/craziness and to be honest I have fallen off of the wagon and very much back into reliance on the grocery store.  GASP!

I am a bad, bad homesteader and should be stoned for my wicked ways.

(Only kidding, the truth is we all have busy crazy times in our lives where we are going to lose track of what is important to us or when we are truly unable to keep up.  It’s really no big deal.  We just need to jump back on the wagon.)

So here are the rules… or the rule I guess as it pretty much comes down to one thing.

NO grocery shopping in January except for a small budget for fresh produce and the fresh raw milk we buy from the farmer down the road (having fallen off of the wagon a bit this year I did not stock the cellar with winter vegetables as well as I should have and aside from a LOT of pumpkin, I have no other homegrown goodness left.)

  • NO buying meat (because our freezers are well stocked with pork, elk, deer and salmon from last years self sufficiency efforts and a small amount of chicken that I already have on hand from my last trip to Sam’s Club)
  • NO buying of processed/packaged food.  I have some on hand already that I will use up in order to not be wasteful, but once we are out, that’s it.

I would love it if you would follow me along on my silly challenge this month, and keep me accountable.  I don’t think there will be any adventures using fruit loops and Nori, but it should be rather entertaining.

To see how it all turned out, you can follow these links.

Chopped Challenge – Week 1

Chopped Challenge 2017 – All wrapped up?








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