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Minimizing Pantry Waste during a PCS

PCS Tips

Author: Mary-Catherine LaBossiere, MPH, RD, LDN

We’ve all been there. You’re getting ready to move, and you probably have quite a few groceries left. I mean, when do you really stop buying groceries? After all, you have to feed yourself, your spouse, and likely some kids or fur babies. 

At first, it may not seem like a lot. It’s “just a few items” but upon closer inspection, you notice that there’s a couple of hundreds of dollars worth of groceries between your pantry, fridge, and freezer. 

Here are 6 tips you can use to cut down on pantry waste during your PCS:

  1. Repurpose items that would normally be “standalone” 
    • Toss salad greens with sunflower seeds, crumbled uncooked ramen, and almonds in oil and vinegar!
    • Blend chickpeas or black beans with olive oil and sweet or savory spices for a make-at-home hummus. I’m a huge fan of this chocolate hummus recipe!
  2. Create some DIY spice mixes 
    • Mix oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme together for a quick Italian seasoning. Use just one bag or bottle to eliminate spice bottles. Before you PCS, use this seasoning on various meats to spice up a can of tomato sauce, make a homemade dressing, or marinade your meat. 
    • Combine chili powder, garlic and onion powders, oregano, and paprika to form a taco seasoning blend. If you like a spicy, smoky taste, add in crushed red pepper flakes and cumin!
  3. Make homemade trail mix for on-the-road snacks 
    • Combine nuts, raisins, seeds, chocolate chips, and pretzels, then portion into baggies for grab-n-go snacks!
  4. Prepare a delicious chili
    • Use up those canned beans, tomatoes, and vegetables by making a hearty chili!
  5. Use up the baked goods
    • Trying to avoid throwing away all those baking mixes? Bake some parting goodies for that last hooray!
    • Or baking isn’t all that realistic. I mean, your stuff is already packed.  It turns out baking soda and white vinegar makes GREAT cleaning solutions - especially for those pots and pans.
  6. Have fun with a grazing board
    • Grab a disposable platter at the dollar store and fill it up with remaining food items such as cookies, cheeses, crackers, meats, and more. Use this to fuel your family and movers the day of the move! 

PCSing is stressful and, let’s be honest, expensive on the front end! Save your money by using these 6 tips the next time you move. 

About the Author:

Mary-Catherine is a registered dietitian, military spouse, and the owner of Defy Nutrition, LLC. She helps women learn how to eat like humans again and develop healthier relationships with food. In her free time, Mary-Catherine loves being active and exploring the outdoors with her husband and their dogs.

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