My Meal Plan Monday includes our first week of the Pantry Challenge where I went $1 over my budget of $25/week…gasp. 🙂
Even though the Pantry Challenge officially started January 1st, I am already one week into it. After I posted our family’s outlandish intentions to only spend $100 on groceries for our family of seven, I honestly decided to just begin…that day.
Why go shopping one last time and stock up?
The goal is to use up what’s in my freezer, pantry and fridge, thus saving money, being creative and appreciating the abundance that is there (even when kids claim…”there’s nothing to eat.”)
I went shopping today for the first time this week and 99% of it was from the “reduced meat, produce and bakery” items. The total spent was $26 for an entire cart of produce, five gallons of milk, marked down rotisserie chicken with a few rolls and tortillas mixed in for good measure. My husband said I need to show the receipt right here. I told him you’d believe me. 🙂
We are feasting on apples, pears, fresh pineapples ($1/piece), organic bananas ($0.29/pound) with salad from Sam’s Club (just in case you were concerned we aren’t getting our fresh fruits and veggies.
Swedish Pancakes, Homemade waffles without butter – because I need to save it for later), cereal (we only have ten boxes left and they’ll be gone by next week), Breakfast burritos using what we have in fridge, homemade bread.
Tortillas, sandwiches, smoothies, cheesy noodles, leftovers from dinner, Mini biscuit meatloaves with choice of toppings
Taco bake, Asian Citrus Salad, Spaghetti, Homemade Pizza, Asian Pork Tenderloin and TBD
Desserts? Who says I have to be a martyr?
I found these fudge covered oreos in the discount Christmas items for 75% off. YIPEE….$0.66 for the whole box. 🙂
Check out the one minute dessert delight I made with it.
Have you started yet?
Remember, it’s not a contest. Do what is right for your family and be the best stewards of what we have been given (or stockpiled :).
Some of you have requested that I post very specific details of what I am doing. Does that interest you? Let me know and I will.
Added: Don’t miss my entire category of Saving $$ without using Coupons. There are so many unique ideas.
You know what I love most about your blog? You are so real! And super uper cheerful! Reading your blog is like a visit with one of my sisters!
I really love this idea…I am not sure I am brave enough to do it! But man oh man I really need to give it a shot! And you are right…making a big shopping trip then starting would feel like cheating to me!
I’d love to hear how you do this! We’re trying for $60 per week for a family of 4, & if you can do it for way less, then tell, sister, tell! 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas & beginning to 2010, friend!!
Please do share more details about how you do this – groceries and meal planning are areas we still need to master. And the more details I have on how to do this, the more I’ll be able to convince hubby it can be done! Thank you! MIKI
I started last week as well, and I went over by $1.24, so I guess we’re about even! I mainly have Target and Walgreens to shop for deals, with a few at a local grocery store from time to time. Looks like HT gave you some pretty great buys. Good luck this week!
I am comforted by the fact that your 10 boxes of cereal will be gone so quickly. My family of 6 goes through nearly as many, and aim trying to work them away from cereal for breakfast. I also started this challenge last week and have spent $36 so far.
I would love to hear how you are doing. I am on bored. With 8 kiddos(2 being teenage boys) and a meat lovin’ husband, I am looking forward to the challenge. Thanks for a great blog!
I want to know how you did it. Just the 5 gallons of milk would’ve cost me $16.
You’re right, Emily – I have been doing a crazy thing with buying milk for ten years. My dairy manager marks down all the milk that’s within 2-3 days of the date and I freeze it. A detailed post will come about that. Some people are very specific about their milk, so I totally understand that, but when you buy the higher fat content milk, it stays past the date. When I buy milk in bulk, what we don’t drink goes right in the freezer and freezes wonderfully. Once it thaws, you can’t even tell it was frozen (exception…skim…you can. 🙂
So a gallon of organic milk? I paid $1 instead of $5.65.
Wow! I’ll have to ask at my small grocery store if /when they mark the milk down b/c the five of us already drink a lot of milk! And my kids are very small!
I would LOVE to know the specific details of what you’re doing!
Yes, please. You could always give a spoiler warning: “Danger: Super-specific details ahead. If you’d like to read a less detailed post, click here” or something like that. But I’m betting that most of us are alike in wanting to know just exactly what you’re doing!!
Spill it sister! : ) I am wanting to know how you do it too with a family of seven to feed. You rock! I would love to be able to save some money like that. The hubs would love me even more for it.
Is there a certain time that you shop to find all the markdowns?
Way to spoil yourself with markdown Oreos- what a steal!! Way to go on your pantry challenge too, that is awesome! I love seeing how creative everyone is!!
This is definitely something I’d like to see the details of! I enjoy reading your blog and I am thankful for all your insights!
I love this. Thank you for sharing. So inspiring. I love when someone does the “impossible” with joy. Your attitude is positive and makes me smile. Love it. Love it. I am going to try this!!!
I love this idea! I’m going to start this week and see what I can go through at home and find on sale. I’ll have to up the limit a bit…I live in Hawaii and groceries are EXPENSIVE!! Just saw yesterday at the grocery store that a can of cherry pie filling was over $7. Plus, not too long ago I ALMOST paid $10 for a cantelope! Eeeek! Insane! But, we have a Costco and Walmart here (regular one, not grocery one) so that does help.
Thanks for the awesome thoughts!
Happy New Year!
You make this food pantry challenge seem like it’s a breeze!! 🙂 I am very impressed with what you bought for $26!! I need to check out the discounted foods a little more carefully!
Please share details!- especially where and when to shop. I have Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and other local grocery stores. I just stumbled onto your blog and loved it immediately because it doesn’t seem to sacrifice the foods we eat for the thriftiness. I’m buying these same items just apparently paying way too much for them- especially milk!!
WOW what a awesome shopping trip! I saw a couple with two small children in the store the other day. There buggy was full and I overheard the husband ask his wife how much they had spent. She said, oh a couple hundred dollars, I almost gasp! I wanted to tell them about coupons so badly. She acted as if a couple hundred dollars was not much. I can not even recall spending no more than $50 with my buggy full!
Wow! That’s awesome. And thanks for the to-each-his-own comment about just doing what you can and being “good stewards” of what we are given. I’m not participating in the challenge, but I will take up my own challenge and try to improve my and my husbands habits of not eating our leftovers. I know by now that we won’t eat them, so my challenge is going to be to work out smaller recipes for just the two of us so we aren’t wasteful 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!
Way to go! You are certainly a super shopper!!!
Thank you for the updates! We too are trying to cut our food bill and there are only 4 of us! I would love more detailed posts as well! By the way what is TBD? Just curious??
Do you happen to know when Triple Coupons will begin at Harris Teeter. I live in Madison, NC not too far from Greensboro. Thank you for sharing your faith and your family with us! God Bless! Jennifer Roberts
hi Jennifer – Sorry, I should have written it out – I was being lazy…TBD (to be determined).
Get coupon clipping – Super Double (doubling up to $1.98) will begin on Wed). I have the post finished, but didn’t want to put up so many posts in one day. 🙂 I’ll have some of the best match-ups and links to specific coupons tomorrow. Start printing the $1 ones from my side bar now before they run out.
Thank you so much!! Have a great day! Jennifer
This is an amazing goal, and an amazing post ! I am seriously so inspired by you. I’m definitely looking forward to your progress !
Happy New Year !
YES!!! Be specific, post 100 times a day, if necessary! I think it’s safe to assume that your blog readers are craving money saving ideas. You’ve inspired me to make a change in our family’s spending habits this year, and this morning I took inventory of our freezer and pantry. I’m working on a few more meals but so far am up to Jan. 22 (my goal is to plan out meals for the entire month of Jan). Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your tips with us.
God Bless you and your family!
Oh my…pleez share details! I finally got you site switched on my blog. It wouldn’t do it for the longest time. Can’t wait to see the menus you come up with.
Way to go! Good grief. You’re a die hard. =) Awesome.
Please, please share! I’d love to cut back on grocery bills.
Yes! GIVE ME DETAILS! LOTS OF THEM, PRETTY PLEASE!
That’s so awesome! Our grocery stores don’t offer those deep discounts. I need to learn how to freeze milk. Heck, they don’t even double coupons…ever! 🙁 I’ll be watching for more posts. 🙂
One word: WOW. I just cleaned out my cupboards recently or I’d have loved to participate in this! I got out of the habit of shopping and cooking after friends brought me dinners for a month once baby #3 arrived in October and I’ve had a HORRIBLE time getting back on track. So my freezers are practically empty and my pantry is bare. I haven’t been out of cereal in years, until now. But our grocery bills have been so low that my husband stopped complaining about the crazy things I’ve been serving. 🙂
Okay, I sooo need this! However, we also have dietary allergies to dairy, eggs, and wheat in my breastfeeding 9 month old, so that means I can’t eat those things, nor can I serve them as finger foods for my baby. I just spent $100 on fresh veggies and fruits, but it probaby won’t last us two full weeks. We have none of those super discount stores here, and one grocery store has a very limited double,triple coupon policy. On a side note, how do you incorporate your HG meals into this? I’m about to join under a friend and would love to use it to bring down my grocery bills!