I originally heard of the Eat From The Pantry Challenge almost a year ago on a friend’s blog. It was the same time I really started thinking hard about joining the blogging community. Fast forward 10 months to today! You might wonder…
Why am I doing this? To use of the stocks I have already, to re-energize myself to think about and prepare meals, and to have fun cooking again instead of it feeling like a chore.
Why am I talking about it? I love to plan, hate to follow through. I thought by writing about it, it would help me to be accountable for myself!
(a little background…)
I’ve kept a very well stocked pantry with all of our basic supplies for years now. When I became employed as a full time stay-at-home mom my secondary job duty behind primary care of our girls was saving money in any capacity I could think of. We cut down on pricey food items like multiple cuts of meat and pared down to really only using ground beef and boneless chicken breasts in our meals. Almost everything was prepared at home and I kept a strict budget. I still do today, and though I’m not always as strict as I should be I reign it in and get re-energized from time to time! I keep a general list of staples… pastas, sauces, soups, and veggies that get mixed in different ways to prepare meals. Using the same items in different ways helps to keep our costs down and help me to stock up on items when they are on sale. I used to go to the stores only 1 time a week to cut down on travel and impulse buys. I was fortunate to have access to a military commissary right down the road from my home that helped tremendously with food cost savings. We now live an hour minimum from the closest location. I would like to get back to consistent trips to restock on items at a discounted price. I also clipped coupons like a mad women and traded with others for what I needed and rarely bought an item if I didn’t have a coupon in hand for it.
(back to today..)
Over the last few months my shopping has become slightly sloppy and I find myself at the store every other day for something I need and multiple food items I don’t. I’ve also fallen behind on my coupon clipping and kick myself when purchasing items I know coupons are normally available for. My Eat From The Pantry Challenge is my way of re-energizing my goals and save money for restocking our pantry with fresh goods.
For me, the Challenge will work like this…
* Take full inventory of pantry and freezer items on hand
* Create 30 day meal plan to use as many items on hand as possible, scheduling around school and extra curricular activities to help stay on track
* Limit food purchases to dairy products, fresh fruits & vegetables, and a few packages of ground beef (towards the end of the Challenge), keeping to a $40/week food budget
* Money left over from our ‘normal’ food budget will be saved for ‘the big trip’ to restock the pantry in late February/ early March
* Weekly posting of new weekly meal plan and recap of prior week
So here we go!