Eating Down The Pantry Challenge
When is the last time you took a grocery spending freeze? It is as simple as committing for 1 or 2 weeks, or even a whole month to dining out in your home. There are many benefits to you and your budget to do this occasionally. In fact, once you’ve tried this, you will want to do it regularly. Twice a year is a great place to begin. Some families do it every couple of months. But the choice is yours.
After all, why are you stocking the freezer and pantry every week? To eat it, of course! But the question is “when”. Well, hopefully before the meats get freezer burnt and the cans expire.
So, as you can see, it is beneficial to cook it down a few times a year. This way it keeps your stock in the pantry and freezer fresh.
Helping Your Budget
When you struggle financially it can seem hard to find a break in your bills. However, by eating down the pantry a few times a year you can give your grocery budget a rest. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t do any grocery shopping. No, rather, just try to only buy the fresh food ingredients you need such as milk, fresh fruit, or even salad ingredients. Before heading out to the grocery store, check your cupboards and freezer first.
If you are looking for some budget relief, you need to determine when is your most difficult bill month. For many families it can be right after Christmas. So perhaps, like Barry and I, you might choose January as the month to relax your grocery budget requirements. Or perhaps, you prefer to choose a shorter month like February to do an eating down the pantry challenge.
Another time of year you might consider is autumn. Just before restocking the shelves with new canned goods for the upcoming winter.
As you can see, the choices are varied as to when to hold your own eating down the pantry challenge in your home. So, whenever a few unexpected bills threaten to overwhelm you, see what is in the cupboard.
Save money on your grocery needs that month and you will find the money to pay the unexpected bill.
A Time To Be Creative
This is a great exercise in being creative with your meal preparation too. Some of the best recipes come from experimenting and substituting ingredients. When you run out of one item, but you still have something else, give it a try. You and your family might suddenly find a new “accidental” family meal favorite! That is where recipes in the Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook like Raisin & Barley Jelly Dessert or Spaghetti Pudding were born.
Be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE in your kitchen.
So, when times of depression threaten to overwhelm, shake them off and get creative. Don’t let the February blues get you down—instead, start cooking up new creations. Lift your spirits and take the strain off of your grocery budget at the same time.
Try to be eating down the pantry challenge for all of your meals. From breakfast, lunch to dinner and even cookies and treats. Involve the whole family if you like in coming up with meal ideas.
Here is a FREE Pantry Meal Planning sheet to get you started on the dinner meals. Even just doing this for 1 meal a day during your first eating down the pantry challenge will be a success!
Makes It Easier To Clean
Think about it, cleaning the pantry cupboard and freezer is much easier to do when it has less items to move. So, immediately following a time of eating down the pantry, take a few minutes to clean the cupboards before you head back to the grocery story.
If you’ve never done a thorough cleaning of your kitchen and pantry cupboards, check out the Pantry Challenge for Beginners. You will begin in the spice cupboard, and before you know it your entire kitchen will be clean.
I put the Pantry Challenge for Beginners together after I realized something personally. I continually had areas in my kitchen I never seemed to find time to clean. As a result, I purposely broke this down into a 2 week project of bite sized cleaning projects.
In the past I had tried to clean everything in one day to well—run out of time. And then I never got back to it. So, if like me, you struggle with the overwhelming chore of cleaning the kitchen, try the bite sized Pantry Challenge for Beginners. Small daily projects that still allow you time to be with your family too.
So, Get Eating What You Already Have
Remember, before running out to the grocery store, check your home store first. What is in the freezer and pantry cupboards? This is a great time to use up canned foods, baking mixes, spices you don’t normally cook with, and of course the frozen meats. Don’t forget the frozen fruits and vegetables too. Even those items need to be used up and replaced with fresher items from time to time.
After all, you bought all these items to be eaten. Make this the time to try eating down the pantry challenge. Why not eat them now!