45 days...

posted on: 1.15.2009

So, I had this crazy thought one day... "I wonder how long we could live off the food that we already have"? Don't ask me why, this is SO unlike me, but I decided I wanted to try it. How long would those cans of tomatoes, boxes of pasta and chicken broth last? I knew we had accumulated more than we needed BUT, I had no idea the food we had would last us 45 days!!
That's right, Wyatt and I just went to the store for the first time in over 6 weeks.
At first, the experiment was pretty easy. For the first 2 weeks I really didn't have to be that "creative" with what I made. I just simplified things a bit. Towards the end however, we were scrounging and eating a lot of strange (and bland) meals. I wanted to eat the fresh stuff first so it didn't go bad, which meant we ran out of produce and meat in the first week. It was pretty much pasta and random soup from there on out! One night I was lucky enough to have a dinner planned with some girlfriends, so Wyatt was home alone to fend for himself. This was the salad he came up with (the lettuce was donated to us leftover from my parents ward party:)...
lettuce, canned beets, garbanzo beans, and canned corn!
One day, after about 3 weeks with no meat, I was digging through the freezer and saw this tiny sandwich bag tucked in the back with something frozen inside... it was a single chicken breast!!! Ahhhhh- that was a glorious day! We rationed and split it between the 2 of us, and it was the best chicken breast I've ever had.
We truly went until everything in our pantry and fridge was GONE! If that meant eating a can of tomatoes or black beans for lunch than that's what we ate. The picture above was taken just a few days before my beloved 2 hour trip to the store for the first time in 45 days. In the end it was actually pretty fun. Really, it was! It gave us a new perspective on how little we really need, and to be more grateful and utilize what we already have. Plus, we saved about $400 bucks!
It just so happened that we ran out of food right as the new year was approaching. It was the perfect timing to start fresh and make new goals for the way we'll eat and shop. Since our kitchen was bare, I wanted to re-stock it with only the best ingredients. So from now on it's only whole grain breads, and organic products if possible. I won't buy foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or things I can't pronounce. I've also added soy milk, flax seed meal, and steel cut oats to our weekly shopping list. So far, the new year is going really well and we all feel GREAT!
*** For those of you that would like to try flax seed meal, here's what I use it for:
Pancake & waffle batter, bread, muffins, cornbread, oatmeal (even instant), I also put it in my chocolate chip cookies and you'd never know. It really doesn't affect the taste of things at all. You could also mix it with bread crumbs, sprinkle some over a salad, or mix it up in a smoothie.
You just need 2 TBS. in everything. For the whole batch of cookies I put 2 TBS., and for a small personal bowl of oatmeal I put only 1 TBS.


  1. how lucky are you that wyatt willing participated in this? i can't even tell you how many times i have suggested "eating out of our cupboards until they are bare" to g. he is somewhat of a baby when it comes to food. i can go shopping for EVERYTHING & have a perfectly stocked kitchen & the next day g will still complain to me that he "doesn't know what to make & we don't have any food". if it isn't an easy, delicious & complete OBVIOUS meal, he won't think of it or make it.

    he needs to take a lesson from wyatt. i am making him read this post!

  2. I love that idea. Sometimes we have nothing to eat because I'm just plain too lazy to go to the store after a horribly long day. This is a good excuse to not have to do it! Grocery shopping used to be one of my favorite activities to do with Pat...but when you're paying for it yourself it's not so fun anymore. Chelsea thanks for being the brains behind every operation.

  3. Wow- I had no idea you were trying this little experiment. Good work!It kind of sounds like our med school days (a little foreshadow of things to come...) And by the way, I've bought flax seed, knowing that it's super healthy, but now I don't know what to do with it. What do you do with yours?

  4. i'm so impressed. i can't believe that you could live off of what you had for 45 days! what did you do for milk? i have to restock our milk and cereal at least once a week. i think that is really cool. tyler and i are only going on three months now, but we could already do this with how much stuff is in our kitchen! i love this idea.

  5. impressive. there is no way we would make it 45 days, without eating out, with what we have in our cupboards and fridge. i doubt we'd last much longer than a week. judging from the pictures, you still had more individually edible ingredients than i do with a "full kitchen" way to go.

  6. This is serious business! And, I think you're an absolute rock star! I can't believe you did 45 days from what was in your cupboards! That's really fantastic. I'd love to know what you made.

    One of my New Year's goals is to stock up on food storage - but my concern is that I wouldn't know what to make with it.

    I also think your healthy eating goals for 2009 are great. But, I'm with the others: I wouldn't know what to do with some of that. Will you post about that? I told you you're my idea girl!!

  7. you are one amazing person!!! nice job

  8. Wow, I am so impressed! I don't think I could even go 10 days. Funny question but did you get milk? I couldn't go without my cereal! I am so glad you're going to participate in the play group. I think it will be fun.

  9. Wowsers! That is so impressive and takes some crazy discipline. I couldn't go 45 days without eating out, was that part of it or were you allowed that one pleasure?

  10. I know without a doubt that I COULD NOT to this. No way. Wow, way to go. I love fresh fruit and anything "fresh" way too much. What did you do for milk? And milk for Tate? I assume you at least bought that? This is craziness!! I'm so impressed!

  11. I wonder how long we could go? ... I'll just take your word for it that it's around 40 days. =)

  12. WOW!!!!I Already know I couldn't try that! I have to have my fresh fruits, etc, and we just consume soooooooo much food weekly. I'm quite impressed though!! Out of curiosity, is that milk still leftover after 45 days? You are all amazing!! It would be cool to see how long you could go if you planned to do it first!

  13. That is awesome. What does flax seed help with?

  14. Looks like fun! I'm glad you like the food suggestions and I'm also glad that YOU'RE WINNING!! Keep it up!


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