Before heading out on a nice, relaxing vacation, I always try to remember that I don’t want to return home to spoiled milk, dead lettuce, and mystery leftovers from who knows when. That's why a fridge clean out is always on my pre-vacay to-do list. However, I have become strategic about my clean outs because the last place I want to be when I’m coming down from my post-vacation high is the grocery store.
With a well-stocked pantry and a few longer-life fridge items, I can avoid a mad dash to the supermarket when I still have the sand between my toes. Instead, I can save it for the next day and still get a great meal on the table for my family shortly after I get back. Here are the strategies and pantry-friendly dishes I lean on to soften the return back to reality—no takeout required!