Monday, January 3, 2011

Month Long Pantry Challenge

I have read lots of bloggers who try to save money by doing a Pantry Challenge and use up what they have rather than buying more stuff and continuing to stock the pantry. I have often thought I can easily do that because we have way too much in the pantry, but I have never made the decision to just do it.

Here are the rules I am going to set for myself:

* Only grocery shopping for fresh produce, eggs, juice & dairy products as needed
* Purchasing my husband's pop (although if I start making coffee more in the mornings, he won't need the pop)
* Only eating out once a week (with the exception of a pre-scheduled playgroup to McD's once this month)

That's it really. I think I should be able to do it. And I don't think I have any parties or special events that I need to buy for.

I think the real challenges are going to be:

* Not looking at the sales flier and wanting to stock up on sale items
* When I run out of pre-packaged kids snacks and having to make up my own snacks (sounds like a good time to try out making homemade granola bars though)
* Planning far enough ahead to get meat out of the freezer to be thawed in time for dinner

I think this is do-able and my pantry & freezer could use to be emptied a little. Really what I am not doing is purchasing any non-perishable items (canned/boxed) or meats or frozen fruits & veggies. I plan to check in weekly and let you know how it went the week before. Anyone want to join me on this challenge?


Carrie and Kirk said...

I actually just started this too because I was tired of looking at some things that have been around FOREVER but I just have a hard time throwing/wasting things. I've had a box of All Bran for way too long and have made two things since Xmas with it. Next will be some sauces/liquids that need to go (although I should see if anything has expired, I'm not so good at that).

I've been using the crockpot more for meat, that way it can go from the freezer right in to the crockpot.

debbywhitehead said...

I am in! Although I've already been to the grocery store this year (only spent $13.87 and $1.38 on a coffee in the deli). I have plenty of meat in the freezer, some frozen veggies, and lots of canned beans. I also have lots and lots of pasta since my father in law gives us cases of it (he works at a food packaging plant and if a pallet gets damaged, he gets to take home some of the goods). My biggest challenge will also be not to look at the ads. Another hurdle will be finding lunch ideas for my boys for school. I keep a bin of non-perishable items under my bed (to keep them and hubby from eating them) with lunch items for them and I probably have enough to last the month-maybe. This will be fun. I've wanted to do it for a long time. Now I have a partner in crime!!!

Christina said...

I did a similar challenge last year and it was a good experience for me. I found that I really can't stop thinking about buying ahead... it was really hard to pass up some great deals. I learned to be more creative in my cooking and I actually lost 5 pounds because we weren't eating out as much!

Good luck! I think you have very realistic expectations of this challenge and I'm sure you'll do great!

skk521 said...

Ohhh, I might try this. I think not looking at the flyers would be the hardest part as well. Of course it may help me to stop buying the foods I only buy b/c they are on sale. I have tons of food I should use up. I'm in!

Lame Shrill Owl said...

Very cool that I have encouraged others to join me in this challenge.

@CarrieandKirk That is precisely why I decided I needed to do this too. Plus, once all the convenience foods are used up I will be forced to plan ahead and get back to cooking from scratch.

@debbywhitehead Yes, we too have lots of meat in the freezer since we buy it from my parents who are dairy farmers. And seems like I have lots of rice & pasta too. And an over abundance of cereal.

@Christina You were one of three bloggers I follow that did this challenge last year. And I kept thinking about it, but I would just make excuses to not do it. No more excuses, times to eat down the supply.

@skk521 I think we learned from mom to stock up. I think she should do this too.

Lame Shrill Owl said...

Actually, another challenge I think will be if I run out of chips for my husband. He likes them and snacks on them and usually the kids & I don't. But those chip bags seem to get smaller and smaller in size (even though they charge the same amount) and just don't last as long. Well, guess we'll see.

debbywhitehead said...

Does you hubby like popcorn? Mine loves microwave popcorn. The Popweavers brand is good. Otherwise, if you have popping corn and a hot-air popper, he's set!