My January Use-It-Up Project


The first week of January is a good time to reflect on what goals and projects I want to accomplish in the new year.  I didn’t want to decide what I wanted to do for a whole year.  Life around here is always changing, so any plans I make now for months into the future would probably be changed anyway.  A bout of winter weather kept me home for a couple of extra days after the holidays and I was able to decide what I wanted to do as my January project.

I decided that I wanted to use up as many odds and ends as I could, especially from my food storage.  It really bothers me to store foods and then have them go bad because I didn’t use them.  It really, really bothers me to think that foods I’ve preserved might go bad, since it is a lot of work to can, dry and freeze food.

So, I set myself a challenge to use at least 31 food items up that are odd, getting older, unusual, etc., an average of 1 per day. I am especially  looking for things that might go bad if not used promptly.  I don’t anticipate working on this project on days that I work, instead, I’ll double up on my days off.  I expect to actually use far more items than that.


I started by going out to the garage, where the bulk of my food storage is.  I grabbed a gluten-free flour mixture Ja’Ana had mixed up for a recipe last summer.  I also grabbed quite a few other gluten-free flours that needed to be used. I grabbed some dried cherries that had been there for a long time.  Patsy and I made sweet cherry biscuits yesterday.  Today,  Ja’Ana decided to make a cake with the remains of her flour mix.  I mixed up some waffles and froze them for easy breakfasts.  I also am trying a carrot bread recipe I found.

So, for January so far, I’ve used:

some dried cherries,  sorghum flour I was given quite a while ago, millet flour, oatmeal, carrots from our garden that have been in the fridge since September, the rest of the flour mix Ja’Ana made months ago, some jam I canned several years ago, emptied 2 mustard containers from the fridge, and a bottle of Diet Coke that has been in the garage for WAY over a year.  That’s already 10 items and it’s only the 5th!  (I only listed things that had been there a long time)

How about you?  Are you putting any of the grocery money you’ve previously spent to good use in January?  I plan to put any extra money I save by doing this project away for future purchases to restock.



4 thoughts on “My January Use-It-Up Project”

  1. Hi Becky! Great job on using things up. Today we made coconut pudding to use up some milk before it goes bad and the last of the coconut left over from Christmas baking. Been trying to use all the canned goods in our back pantry so we can use the space for storage. For some reason, my husband bought dozens of cans of soup about a year back. So we’ll be having a lot of soup and salad and soup and sandwiches lunches!

  2. Love this idea. I have a lot of things that really should be used up…like expired cake mixes, and a bunch of expired pancake syrup, to name a few. I’ll need to get creative for some of it, but I think this will definitely be worth the effort. In fact, I just received a food dehydrator for Christmas from my mom. My first attempt was to use a jar of homemade applesauce from 2014 to make fruit leather. My daughter refused to eat the apple sauce, but LOVED the fruit leather. So I guess all that old applesauce (and there is a fair amount) will come in handy. I plan to make mixed fruit leathers with it, so she doesn’t become bored with the same flavour. At least it’s healthy!

    1. I’ve done that before, but it’s been quite a while. I should make some fruit leather, too, especially with some of the old berries that are getting a little freezer-burned, mixed with canned applesauce. Good idea!

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