Another week has gone by for the pantry challenge! I can’t believe how challenging this week was. We are so spoiled in the Dutton house. It took a lot of discipline this week to eat the things that “we don’t prefer.” However, I am happy to report that we did not make a single trip to the grocery store this week (except to Walgreens for non-food items). It was a battle of the wills, but we stuck to our guns.
For breakfast, we finished off our tangerines, apples, and blackberries. We’ve made it through 3/4th of our blueberry waffle mix. We also cleared out another thing of oats. Whoo hoo! The breakfast portion of our pantry is beginning to thin out, finally!
Lunches were probably the absolute most challenging for us. We each took something one day that we weren’t too excited about, but I made sure to make a good dinner as a reward. 🙂
I think the most inventive thing we had was a bruschetta & avocado sauce on our sandwiches. Someone had given us bruschetta as a gift, and I never got around to eating it. It was about to go bad. We, also, had some avocadoes that didn’t have a purpose. So, I mixed the two together to make a dressing of sorts. It looked HORRIBLE, but it actually tasted pretty decent. I don’t know that I’d ever do it again, but hey…we made it through.
Finally, dinners were a lot of fun. We used up the rest of our pre-made (by me, not store bought) freezer meals, and got a lot of canned food and frozen veggies off our shelves and out of the freezer. Mark opened our freezer today, and said, “Whoa! Whose freezer is that?!? It can’t be ours!” So, that is proof that I truly am taking the challenge. 🙂
We’ve now entered a new week, and we made a trip to Kroger today to stock up on fresh fruit/veggies, bread, eggs, and a other odd and end necessities. We’ve eaten ourselves out of the fridge and freezer.
What we’ve spent this month out of our $200.00 budget minus the $100.00 that we spent at Trader Joe’s as the exception.
- Kroger today: $100.00
- Walgreens (non food items that come out of our grocery budget) – $11.97 and got back $6 in Register Rewards
- Earthfare today: $10.75 – $10.00 Gift Card = $.75 out of pocket
- Kroger earlier in the month: $21.89
- Total: $134.61
Still under budget, and I don’t plan on buying anymore food except various dessert/snacks for gatherings we are going to and required to bring food. 🙂
This challenge has really taught me a lot about the way I choose my meals. I’ve learned that we truly prefer fresh food, and it’s a struggle to get the pantry food down at times. I’ve learned that I don’t have to always follow a recipe, as I’ve been pretty creative with our meals at times. I’ve made up my own soups, and dressings. I’ve also been more conscious of how much of certain food groups I tend to buy. I lean towards veggies and grains, in case you were wondering. It’s been fun to look up alternatives for things that I don’t have on hand, such as maple syrup substitutes for vanilla extract just fine.
Truly, this month has been a challenge, and there are times that I want to throw in the towel. However, it’s been great to persevere, because it’s been so rewarding to say, “We made it! We didn’t buy any food all week!” It’s rewarding to meet the challenge.
Hopefully, this enthusiasm will help me finish out the rest of this month. Stay tuned for “Menu Plan Monday” tomorrow to see what I’m making from the pantry this week.