Clean out your kitchen for the holidays

15/Nov/19 / 21:31

It’s time to prepare your pantry, clear your cabinets and free up space in the fridge — the holidays are nearly here!
From turkey to casserole, hors d’oeuvres to desserts, the end of the year often means countless homemade holiday meals shared with family and friends. But getting crafty in the kitchen doesn’t need to come with a side helping of extra grocery bills. Check out our tips on how to turn your culinary odds and ends into delicious dishes!

  • Make soup from scratch with the stragglers in your vegetable drawer. From carrot skins to potato peels and more, leftover veggies make for a flavorful stock base that you can whip up on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.

  • Churn out a chili using common pantry staples liked canned beans and tomatoes – just add a handful of spices like oregano or chili powder, simmer over medium heat, and you’ll soon be good to go!

  • Shred leftover chicken to use in a casserole, or for homemade chicken tacos.

  • Instead of throwing out bread that’s about to go stale, turn it into croutons, breadcrumbs, or a savory bread stuffing!

  • Pull together a pizza using leftover tortillas or French bread – just add sauce (pesto, leftover barbecue or tomato sauce, even hummus!), vegetables, nearly any kind of meat (make sure to precook it as necessary), and whatever cheese you like.

  • Tired of salad? Shake things up with pasta salad, using vegetables and purchased (or leftover) dressing. You can even add in cooked meat – breakfast sausage, canned tuna and more.

With these kitchen hacks, you’ll be enjoying affordable holiday meals with family and friends in no time! However, if you find you need a little extra help to make ends meet this holiday season, but the items in your pantry or fridge aren’t quite cutting it, our network of more than 900 food pantries and programs can help. Find out where to get groceries near you.

How You Can Help:


  • Volunteer at one of our Centers in Geneva, Rockford or Park City sorting and packing food
  • Donate to help us solve hunger in your community – every $1 donated helps provide $8 of groceries.



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