Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Pantry Challenge

Note: I've been out of town visiting family who had no internet connection.  So I wrote this, but wasn't able to post until today.

I love the annual Pantry Challenge!  Each January I attempt to spend a minimal amount on groceries while using food items I have on hand.  Some years I even extend this into February depending on how big my stockpile of food is.  This year I’ll aim to spend $20 or less on perishable groceries each week.  Sorry kids – it’s oatmeal all month so I buy less milk.

Here’s what I love about the Pantry Challenge:
  • I spend way less on groceries.
  • I start the year off with low weekly totals helping my overall average when I go back to normal spending.
  • It helps me use stuff that’s been aging in my freezer or collecting dust on my pantry shelves.  Waste not, want not. 
  • I enjoy getting creative with random bits of things that have been hanging around for too long.  Homemade mac’n’cheese with sweetened, condensed milk?  Sure!
  • I don’t spend a lot of time in January at the store which is great when DH and I are working hard trying to get ourselves and the kids back into regular routines.

What will be hard this year:
  • I’m doing a detox all month requiring more produce than normal and things like guacamole or deli turkey that I don’t usually buy unless I find a screaming deal.
  • I’m low on tortilla chips which are kind of a staple at our house.  Nachos are such a quick, easy GF lunch.  I’ll be hoarding those for emergencies.
  • I didn’t do much canning this fall being so pregnant, so not a much canned fruit for breakfast.
  • I didn’t have a garden this summer also being so pregnant so no canned/frozen veggies.

 Here's what my messy pantry looked like at the end of December:
Full Pantry

Close-up of Top Three Shelves

Close-up of Bottom Three Shelves
Love, Katie

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