Monday, January 30, 2012

Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge Recap



Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge


Here are our assets, challenges, and goals for this challenge.

My goal was to spend less than $100 this month.  Since our grocery budget encompasses more than just food, I was hopeful but not going to beat myself up if we didn't make it.  We spent a $97.82 this month and that included me going to out to eat for lunch one day, an unexpected prescription, cat food, a library fine, The Grocery Game (which I haven't been using so I cancelled) and various other sundries that cropped up.  Plus we fed many extra mouths over the course of the challenge. 

I am fairly pleased with that total and Engineer is ecstatic.  The money we saved from our normal grocery budget has a greater purpose - getting us ever closer to a debt free lifestyle.  It also helped to balance out various things that cropped up this month - new windshield wipers, oil change, etc.

We are going to continue eating from the pantry and freezers until we can see the bottom.  :)  However, we will lighten up on the spending a little.  If there is a super good clearance deal I may go for it but I am going to intentionally not restock until we get down to a reasonable level.

The things I've learned and will take away from this exercise: 
  1. Although couponing/stockpiling is fun and a great tool, I had lost track of just how much was available to me.  I need to keep better track of the food that is already in house before I buy more.
  2. We waste very little generally but throughout this challenge I found myself using every last scrap of food, sauce, or ingredient to make us a zero waste household.  That has been a pretty cool byproduct of this challenge.
  3. I have felt like I am living on the set of "Chopped" every day.  This goes along with being zero waste.  Even though I have a menu plan I have to look at the ingredients I have, find a recipe that sort of comes close to using what I have and substitute or wing it for everything else.   It has been mostly fun but sometimes mentally exhausting.
  4. No matter how much I like to be in the kitchen, sometimes, I need a break a.k.a. thank you Lord for Subway gift cards from Christmas.  
Thank you Shopper Strategy for putting together this challenge.  It has been fun and eye opening.


8 comments:

  1. We're working on the "no waste" habit. It's hard when there is so much in the pantry you feel like a king.

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  2. wow spending less than $100 is pretty awesome! I have a very large family so that's very out of reach for me but I am very happy with how much I have cut from the budget this past month. I am, however, disappointed to say that for every nickle I saved I think my husband felt that gave him permission to spend a dollar! Friday he went out to eat and spent over $25 on his meal, yes it was only him that went out. Sigh!

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    1. It's all about the baby steps. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm not sure that I could do $100, but with a 1/3 cut in our income this month I think I'll have to give it my best shot. At least there are only 29 days LOL.

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    1. Aww Ms. Cricket, spending less than $100 is easy. Here is the secret: don't set foot in a store! ;)

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  4. Wow! That is impressive! I laughed at your "chopped" comment as that's how I feel too. I'm hoping to see the bottom of at least one of our freezers so we can give it back to hubby's day. Congrats on your achievement with this challenge!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! And I do love "Chopped" but I'm not so sure that I would want to live it every day forever. :)

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Your turn! Let me know what perfectly practical comments you have.

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