Monday, December 27, 2010

Challenging Myself

Last year at this time, I was challenged by a lot of other blogging friends to do a Pantry Challenge for the month of January. 

The challenge was for us to eat from our pantry and only buy necessities for the entire month.  We would be eating from our stockpile.

I took the challenge!

I set a limit last year to only spend $75 for the whole month at the grocery store.  This included milk, juice, fresh fruits and veggies, bread, and any other must haves.

I did very well, but decided if I did it again, I would give myself a budget of $100 for the month so I would have a little breathing room.

I will tell you that I have stocked my pantry, shelves and such for the past several months.  I canned a lot from our garden and put up lots of fruit in the freezer.  We also have half a beef in the freezer and have been blessed with two deer that friends have killed.

I am a coupon shopper and have been able to stock up on lots of food at good prices.  My shelves are full.

I will make one more run to the store to purchase a few more staples before the challenge begins.  I am also going to give my kids a small amount of money to stock up on certain things that they want to make sure they have for the month.

Then, on January 3, our challenge begins.

My husband loves this idea because of the money it saves.  I love it because I love the challenge of it and that I have to be creative in my meal planning and cooking.  I like thinking about things.   Does that make sense? 

I actually did this for about six weeks last year because I was having such a good time doing it and loved staying away from the grocery store.

My kids were going a little crazy by the end because there were certain foods they were missing having.  Don’t feel sorry for them though,  they ate great the whole month. 

So, that is my challenge and I can’t wait to begin.

What about you? 

Is this something you have ever done?

Would you consider taking this challenge yourself?

Let me know your thoughts or if you think you might want to do it with me.  We can hold each other accountable and help each other be creative with what food we have left on our shelves.  Maybe I could share some spaghetti noodles with you if you run out.

Happy almost New Year…



Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

This is great! I love doing this sort of thing, cooking from what's on hand. It is a challenge but if you stock up on the essentials you'll be amazed at what blessing your pantry will hold! I personally get a kick out of trying to beat last weeks grocery budget-- although since Honey retired--we don't shop weekly any longer.
I was just talking with him about shopping alternatives--seeking out ways to save and local places to shop instead of the National-well-known place/ WM...(the supposedly saving place?) ...don't like bashing. But really don't like shopping there.

Hope your January Challenge is as fun as it sounds!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures/Treasured Moments said...

I love a challenge, but this one is too hard for me. I am not a godo planner and I don't like planning so I would stink at this challenge and ultimately starve me and my family. I am in awe that you did and will do this again. I think you should do weekly posts of what you cooked for the week.

In the grand scheme of things said...

Hi Amy! I seen were you visited me and I wanted to come see what you was up to and I have to say wow! I cant wait to see what meals you come up with. I would love to try this also. I hate spending so much money at the store. I hope you keep us posted on your meals:)

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I am sooo proud of you- That is a tough challenge. I think I would have a hard time doing it because of my work shedule..and I am more of a European style shopper and take my own little tote bag and often shop for the meal after work on the way home. Good luck to you...I'm sure you will be saving a lot more than I do! xxoo Diana

michelle said...

What a great challenge! I could not do it though :( I do not like planning meals and I do NOT like grocery shopping! I have the perfect cookbook for you. It is about cooking with the things that you have, you stock up and then go to town! It was a nightmare for me. It is called The Stocked Host, if you are interested in it let me know and I will tell you more about it and if it sounds like something you would like, it is yours!!

Good luck!!

julie said...

We did something like this after Thanksgiving, and leading up to Christmas. We lived "out of the freezer". After noticing the meat and veggies I had frozen in the downstairs fridge I decided we would eat for a month out of the freezer and our pantry. I had lots of flour and I usually make bread, so keeping fresh bread wasn't a problem. I did have to buy a few staples for school lunches and some fresh fruit and milk. But other than that, it worked out great. We even tried some amazing new recipes working with what we already had. Enjoy your challenge!

Barbara said...

Good for you, God bless you and do have a wonderful week, Hugs Barbara

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Wow , what a good idea. My pantry is rather sparse right now so I don't know how I could do this challenge. I buy lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, sometimes on a daily basis. Maybe you could explain further. I am very interested in cutting back my food bill.

Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack said...

Great challenge! I think we overlook a lot of the items sitting in our pantry. I did "The Grocery Game" ,last year, which is a coupon savings game. It saved our family quite a bit and we always had extra. I like your post because it's challenging me to rethink going back to coupons. We were able to give a lot to our local food pantry that way, as well.

Happy almost New Years to you! :D xo ~Michelle

Kolein said...

This is wonderful Amy! I will read and learn from YOU! I move in and out of planning. We do not have a lot of storage. However I will be re-doing our pantry and the basement canned foods a bit more next month. So I'll be cheering you on and kind of working along side as well!

Fantastic idea!


Alicia said...

this is a great idea, amy! i am a coupon shopper, but i've been slacking lately cause i've been so busy...but this sounds like a project where i can totally redeem myself :) my pantry is totally stocked right all i'd need is veggies. thanks for the idea...i think i'll join you :) 100 bucks? i'm so in!

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

I really like this idea...and the fact that I wouldn't have to visit the grocery store that much is a plus...hmmm.

Debbie said...

I have done this before, and I love the idea. Unfortunately, I just recently noticed that my pantry was quite BARE right now and needed some stocking. Even I'M not quite oddball enough to go out and stock it today and start the challenge next week.

Though I'll admit that the though crossed my mind for a fleeting instant.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

This is a good challenge. But I have lost my ability to plan meals. I'm not sure what happened. I used to be really good at coupons too. I'd save at least 30 each trip. More on good days. But I don't get the paper any more so no more coupons. Good luck, I'll cheer for you!

Allyson Pecilunas said...

What a good idea! I am also a coupon shopper we are pretty low on inventory here with the holidays I got off track so I shall stack up again.