No Food Shop November - 2015

After skipping a couple years Matt and I have decided to once again try a dedicated No Food Shopping November.
Beautifully veined Swiss chard.
We're flush with preserved garden goodness and have a good stockpile of dried beans, flour, yeast, etc. to last us well beyond a month.  In fact, we may see how long we can go without food shopping, but even if its just November that will be fine, too.
Rhubarb wine and a honebrew, the variety of which escapes me now, in fermentation.
The basic point of the whole endeavor is to save money, use up what we have grown or already purchased, and improvise new recipes based on what is at hand rather than just running to the store for one particular ingredient or other.  Mostly, though we just do it because we can.
Baked tomato-pasta casserole
The "rules," so to speak, are pretty straight forward.  No spending money on food in the month of November.  This includes beverages, too.
Local apples, waiting to be pressed into cider.
We'll be eating our frozen, dried, and canned produce--as well as the fresh squash, potatoes, and onions we've got in storage.  There are still carrots, leeks, and chard in the garden.  This will be supplemented by our 50 pound bag of Wheat Montana flour, the countless pounds of dried beans we've stockpiled, and our store-bought supply of salt, sugar, vinegar, and the like.  We'll be drinking Matt's homebrew and wine.  We'll be making our own pasta, in addition to our own bread.  I've called off the trips to the campus book store for my weekly (and unnecessary) salty snack fix.
Canning apple cider.
There may be some exceptions to make, but we'll take them as they come.  We've already acknowledged we may need to buy more balsamic vinegar for our tomato sauce canning, for example.  But we might just try the  roasted sauce without the addition of balsamic instead.
Incredible lines of bubbles in the bottom of a glass of homebrew.
We might need a going-out beer allowance since I know we've got plans to listen to some music at the local breweries this month.  In 2012 we gave ourselves an $8 per week beer allowance because Matt had just started brewing.  We're still on the fence about this and will just see how it shakes out.
A huge clove of garlic next to a itty-bitty painting.
Back in 2012, when we first cooked up this scheme, we chose November just because the pantry was full.  It also happens to contain the very food oriented holiday of Thanksgiving though, which adds a fun extra challenge to the project.  This summer Matt stocked up on several fancy pastry-wrapped Celebration Roasts, a wheat-based meat alternative.  They're not the sort of thing we usually buy (because they're fairly expensive and more processed than, say, beans or tofu), but since they were practically giving them away at the store we thought it might be handy to have a few in the freezer.  We didn't have No Food Shop November on our minds at that time, but they will prove handy indeed for our No Food Shop Thanksgiving.
Pressing cider with Josh.
It should be an interesting (and tasty and cheap) month!
Butternut squash soup with peanuts.


  1. Good Luck, I know you will do it. You and Matt are such an inspiration, The world would be a better place with more people like you!!!"IMAGINE" LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

    1. Aw, thank you! You are too kind to us (but we appreciate the heck out of it). Its been going well so far--only one thing we've run out of that I'm missing.

  2. Your soup looks very pretty. Good luck!

    1. Thanks! Those butternuts are such a beautiful color.

  3. I admire you for doing no food shop november, I wish I could too. Good luck with it. I should though wade through my kitchen store cupboards and use up those dried goods before use by date.

    1. Thanks! Its pretty remarkable how much food we have in our cupboard, really. When the dried beans are on sale we stock up! That makes it not too much of a problem. Matt made a mushroom broth/stock with a couple packages of mushrooms we'd put in the freezer a while back and its been a real tasty, mushroomy last couple of days. Yum.


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