Saturday, October 27, 2012
31 Days:: Do a Pantry Challenge
This month, I've shared a lot of ways to save money on your food bill. One of the things I've talked about is stockpiling. When you hit a good sale/coupon combination, you should buy more than you need for the current week. If you practice this regularly, eventually you'll have a nice stockpile of food in your pantry and freezer.
If you stockpile a lot, you might get to a point where you can go a few weeks without going to the grocery store. I know, I know, you'll miss out on some good sales! But you'll be saving even more money just by staying out of the store.
A pantry challenge is just that: staying out of the store. Set a specific amount of time (2 weeks to a month) in which you will commit to not grocery shopping except for produce, milk, and bread. (And maybe not even bread, if you have some in the freezer.) See how long you can eat out of your pantry and freezer. Those practically-free cans of soup aren't really saving you money just by sitting on your pantry shelf...you actually have to use them.
The beginning of your pantry challenge will be easy, especially if you have a large stockpile. You'll have plenty of ingredients to choose from, so you'll have plenty of dinner options. The end of the pantry challenge will be tougher, especially if your family is kind of picky about what they eat! You might have to get creative and try some new recipes to use up some of your ingredients.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? But consider the savings. If you usually spend around $100 per week on groceries, you could potentially save $80 each week of your pantry challenge. And that's still giving you $20 each week just to spend on milk, produce, and bread.
Do you stockpile? Do you think you have enough to do a pantry challenge? If you started today, how long could you go without hitting the grocery store for more than milk and fruit?
This post is part of 31 Days of Saving Money in the Kitchen. We've learned a lot this month! If you're interested in saving money in your own kitchen, you can catch up on the old articles here.