Monday, April 18, 2016

One Month Pantry Eating Challenge

I'm working on a series that will be posted in full this year.  As part of that series, I want to show how much money can be saved by using what is in the pantry.  I don't know about you, but my husband and I tend to buy things and forget them, and then they are so old we don't feel comfortable about eating them.  Combine this with the fact one of our favorite stores is an Amish close out store where they often sell past-dated foods.  I am careful what I buy there, but usually I think, "I'll use this soon," and sometimes I don't, which means I only wasted money instead of saving it.

Our furnace went out last weekend (during a snowstorm of 9 inches -- in April!) and we need to save up for a furnace so we can have heat next winter.  So, this is a perfect time for me to do a pantry eating challenge for us.  As it is, one of our favorite weekly meals is "vegetable medley".  This is us going into the pantry and picking out three various things that may or may not compliment each other.  We each can have something we want, and it helps clear out the pantry.  I expect a lot of "vegetable medley" for the next month.

I'll be honest, between my bargain shopping and visits to closeout stores, I think we have a very well stocked pantry, so I may attempt to extend this beyond a month, but I have a feeling I'm going to not do very good at this challenge, so this is an experiment you all get to witness if I succeed or fail.

Here are some ground rules I set up for us:

My husband can eat at work.  He can often buy lunch for 50 cents to $1 while one the clock.  You can't get much cheaper than that (other than Ramen).   He also earns points with these purchases for food for off the clock.

We will have to buy things like milk, eggs, vegetables, and guinea pig pellets.  I will give an accounting of what was spent each week and for what.

I can still use SavingStar and the Kroger app for free items.  In fact, I can use any free item coupons I already have or win or receive from rebates at any time during this challenge.

Because of where we live and having to go anywhere can take a full day, our eating out will be limited to places we have been given gift cards or I have won gift cards to those places.  This will still accomplish the same goal -- not spending money.

Anyone want to try a Pantry Eating challenge with me?  You could try it for a week or a month.  I'd love to hear how you do!


  1. It's a good idea. I try to go through and use up the pantry consistently, but I always find something thats about to expire or whatever. You doing a pantry challenge is a good way to make sure you don't have food expire on you! Hope you have fun and save a lot.

  2. I try to do this a couple times a year. It drives me crazy by wasting money and having to throw things out. You are so right, there are so many things that you forget that you even have and sometimes end up buying the same thing again.

  3. I have been wanting to do this but being vegetarians and our diet consists of mainly fresh veggie I haven't. Maybe when harvesting season is here. I rarely go shopping then!

  4. Wow! We should try to do that. I'll see how yours goes first! Good luck! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.