Eat From the Pantry Challenge

One of my favorite blogs is Money Saving Mom, she has a great eye for deals. I have also enjoyed cooking up some of her great recipes. This last week she posted a new interesting challenge. I think my family and I are up to, so we’re going to dive in starting today.
Basically, the challenge is to eat from your pantry for the month of January. You know all of those mystery food items hidden in the bottom of your freezer, and the mystery cans hiding in the back of the cupboard, this is the time to use them up! It gives you a chance to be creative and save money at the same time. It’s a great idea to do something special with the money you’ll be saving from your grocery budget. We are going to stash it away in our savings account. We normally have a grocery budget of $350., so we should have a savings of $250. this month. We’ll see.


Of course, you’ll still want to include fresh produce and possibly fresh dairy products in your family’s diet. So set a small budget for these items. I have some gift cards left over from last month’s Earthfare deal that I’ll be using to purchase produce this month. My parents have a reputation for having an overwhelming pantry and freezers full of food. So they have agreed to the challenge as well.


By cleaning out your pantry and freezers over the next month, it will be a great chance to restock with healthy, whole foods. I’d really like to stop using canned food due to the concerns with BPA and I’m slowly making the change. I’ve started with my canned beans and now try to use dry beans. So far that has been easier than I expected, I just have to think ahead to cook the beans. After this month, I’m sure all of my canned beans will be gone. So it will be a good time to make that switch.


So make up your own rules and join us in the challenge. Here are the rules for our family:


1) Limit trips to the grocery store to 3 times this month.


2) Total grocery budget of $100. for the month. ( including Earthfare gift cards) purchasing only milk, eggs, cheese and fresh produce.


3) Be creative and use up all of those mystery ingredients lurking in my freezer and cupboard.


4) Still cook healthy and nutritious food.


I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. Would you like to join us?