Eat From the Pantry Challenge: I’m Game!

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One of my favorite bloggers, Crystal, from Money Saving Mom is holding a “Eat from the Pantry Challenge” where she's encouraging others to participate in a month-long stint with virtually no grocery shopping. The object of the challenge is to use up items you have in your pantry while saving money at the same time.

I have to say, I've done shorter versions of this a few times in the past, but back then it was out of necessity as opposed to fun. I went ahead and took some pictures of my pantry and freezer today. From my initial outlook, I'd say it's going to be fairly easy. My pantry and freezer are full, to say the least. I know better though- eating out of our pantry meal after meal, week after week is tough. Having food on hand is one thing, but creating healthy meals from it all is quite a different story! I'm also a bit worried about missing out on a fantastic sale or coupon!
Here are some ground rules I've placed for myself:

  1. Only grocery shop a maximum of three times in January, spending a total of $60 or less on all items.
  2. Try to only buy dairy {milk, eggs, cheese, etc.} and produce {fruits/vegetables}. If a great deal on diapers or other non-food items comes about that I can't pass up, that amount will come out of the $60.
  3. Set aside the money I save by participating in this Challenge and apply it to an existing debt.
  4. Stay on track with my monthly budget for February {and March, April, etc.} as well. I don't want to scrimp and save during January only to backlash the next month.
  5. Eat out only 3 times during January. I don't want my savings to be negated by dinners out.

So wish me luck! I'll be keeping you all posted about what items I buy and how much I'm spending. If you're not a friend of mine on Facebook, you might consider adding me as one, as I plan on doing more-than-daily updates there! I'm looking forward to cleaning out my pantry a bit and applying the savings to our car payment. We've been very aggressively trying to pay it off and we're so close! If you've been couponing a while and have a nice stockpile, this might be a challenge you want to join me in as well! Here goes nothing…{and yes, those are real pics of my pantry & freezer from today. I know, I'm crazy.}

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17 thoughts on “Eat From the Pantry Challenge: I’m Game!

  1. Suzie LeCheminant says:

    Looks like fun! I'm just getting started so I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge. I'll add you on fb. I love your blog.
    I found a great deal today if you feel like sharing. The chocolate oranges that are out for Christmas are on clearance at my local Fresh Market (ft. union) fo 49cents….I had a $1/1 coupon (11/22 SS)…so I made a 51cent profit! LOVE THAT 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    I have always wondered about freezing milk. Does that work well? Do you freeze eggs too? This may be a challenge I could do if I could freeze those. BTW Nice organized stockpile!!!

  3. Erin says:

    Wow, you can freeze milk? How does it taste after being thawed? How soon do you have to use it all after thawing? Nice job on the organized pantry and freezer!

  4. The Prudent Homemaker says:


    You don't need to freeze eggs. The American Egg Board says that they are good for 4-5 weeks past the expiration date. I always buy 13 dozen when they go on sale, and I don't buy them above the lowest sales price.

    Also, powdered milk and powdered eggs are good things to have on hand. I use both in baking.

  5. suzyk74 says:

    I would love to know what you can freeze and not freeze. Maybe some people could make suggestions.

    Do I see butter in your freezer? What are the green things in the upper right hand side?

  6. Alice says:

    I've very nearly been doing this for the last couple of weeks- mostly just to avoid stores around christmas!

    I think I still have enough in storage to do it.

    This month, I'll take my usual stock-up trip to Costco (we didn't go last month and are running low on lots of basics), other than that, I'll only shop 3 times in Jan, spending no more than $60 for the month. (I will still shop at Rite Aid since I don't spend any "new" money there). I'll donate half of the grocery money I save to the Road Home shelter in Salt Lake, and the other half will go to boost a savings fund. Should be fun!

  7. Hyde Family says:

    Jessica, I'm just ending a month of eating out of my pantry! I decided december would be a good time because of all the "extra" other things we'd need (like presents!) With all the parties and get-togethers it wasn't so bad, but now I'm definately ready to shop! Have fun, it's worth it!

  8. Ginger Harvey says:

    Can't wait to hear the answer to this frozen milk question… I knew that you could freeze it, but I don't know how it tastes afterwards, and how quickly it needs to be used once thawed. My tiny/young family of 4 goes through about 3 gallons a week, that's about 12 gallons a month! I tend to go to the store just to buy more milk and end up with tons of stuff in my cart. It'd be nice to throw a jug in the freezer.

  9. Utah Deal Diva says:

    I hope everyone's questions were answered in my latest freezer tips post!

    The green things in the upper right hand corner- Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie packs! We get $1/1 coupons all the time and we LOVE them!! My hubbie and I use 1 of the 100-calorie packs with a taco/ enchilada/ flauta dinner and they're perfect.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don't think that you will have a problem at all! That is a pretty well stocked pantry and freezer. I have about half that and we have a family of four adults and four children. God bless you as you endeavour to save your family money

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