A Pantry Challenge For Beginners
Day 1: A Brief Overview
As Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs readers and clients tend to be already tight on finances, this simple one week challenge is not meant to stress you. Rather it will EMPOWER you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
If you’ve never participated in a similar Pantry or No Grocery Buying Challenge, then this is a great way to be introduced to the idea. Once you’ve tackled this one week version, you could decide to try it for an additional week or the entire month. But, we are taking small steps here today. Now, just to clarify, one week of this challenge is to get you doing your Pantry Inventory and Cleaning. The second week is to have you eat the rewards of your efforts, by eating from your home store.
An Early Spring Challenge Is Useful
A challenge like this can be especially useful in the early spring for a number of reasons:
- grocery prices are tending to get higher as local harvest supplies from last fall are running low
- prices in stores are higher as fresh fruits and vegetables are coming further distances from other countries
- if you are unemployed over the winter due to seasonal summer work, you funds might be getting very tight as you wait for work to begin again
- it is a great way to get a jump start on spring cleaning
- a time to get rid of expired, rotten, or freezer burnt food items taking up unnecessary space
- use up long-forgotten items in the back of the cupboard
- great time to be creative and use your imagination in new meal preparation. BE INSPIRED!
- SAVE MONEY!
However, this is a challenge that is not limited to just the springtime. You can do it at any time of the year, or even several times a year if you decide. This can be quite a fun time of new recipes and more. Your children can get in on the fun and play a game of Name that Dinner. Look at this as a fun event, and you will breeze right through this challenge.
What Is A Pantry Challenge For Beginners?
A Pantry Challenge for Beginners is basically a time when you purposely decide not to buy any (or very few) groceries from the store and try to use up the food supplies you already have at home. This will include what is in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer. However, this is the Beginners One Week Challenge, so we are going to strictly look at focusing the MOST attention on what is in your cupboards. So, this challenge is Cooking From Your Cupboards. We will focus on the freezer and fridge in future, more advanced One Week Challenges.
Think of it as a time of spring cleaning your pantry, as well as, a time to inspire your imagination and creative cooking abilities.
Financially tight times and pantry clearing is where some of these recipes in the Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook came from, including:
- Spaghetti Pudding
- “Ten Minutes” Soup
- Emergency Pancake Syrup
- Always Changing Fruit Salad
- Fastest Salad
- Tuna English Muffins
- Mushrooms on Toast
- Rainbow Corn
- Souped Chicken
- Tuna Meatloaf
- Help Us Hash
- and even Macaroni Pizza
Preparing Your Ground Rules
Each family will approach this differently. If you purposefully plan for this each spring it will become easier. It might be a time when you and your family will look forward to it as new kitchen creations emerge. It may become your new family tradition.
However, you need to determine in your regular food budget situation, what is a need and what are the wants. For instance, when you have someone with specific dietary needs that requires you to still purchase some fresh items, then that will have to still be done. That is understandable and that is a NEED.
On the other hand, if you are wanting to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but you have some choices of these in frozen, canned, or individual serving sizes, then resist the urge to shop. Instead, use up what you have. In this case, the desire to go and purchase the fresh items is a WANT, not necessarily a NEED.
But again, back to your basic rules. Are you going to do this for 1 week, 2 weeks, or more? You have to decide. But for the purposes of this specific Pantry Challenge for Beginners, we are only doing it for one week of organizing and one week of cooking.
So it will actually be a 14-day process, which includes today, as some days are bite-sized preparation steps. Steps that will allow you to slide into your actual 7 day Cook From Your Cupboard section with ease.
These bite-sized steps will also allow you to do a quick grocery shopping if you need to before we begin. Perhaps you will need more milk, or cheese, or want to have some eggs on hand. You will have a clear picture of this by the end of Day 6 when you figure out your week of Pantry Meals.
We would love to have you join us on this challenge. We are a supportive group that shares insights, tips, and some participants even swap recipes. Join this challenge today. Tomorrow, Day 2, we’ll get started on the first step of conquering your cupboards which includes a FREE printable. Click here to join our special Facebook group for this.
When you have set your ground rules you are ready for Day 2: Organize Your Spice Cupboard