I must admit that when I started the challenge, I was a bit cocky in my ability to pull it off, and a bit skeptical about the rewards of such a challenge.
Boy, did I learn a few things.
The Eat from the Pantry Challenge taught me that I can’t resist stockpiling. While we still made most of our meals from items we already had in our pantry and freezer, I could not resist stocking up during some key sales. Yes, I could have survived without these purchases, but because I am always looking ahead to what my family will need, I felt it was more important for me to take advantage of the sales than it was to be a superstar at this challenge. I was more than a little worried about depleting my stockpile, too.
Eating from the pantry had a significant impact on my monthly spending. Eating out is by far one of my biggest spending challenges. I love eating out – it doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy restaurant, a pizza place or a fast food joint – I love them all. When I tallied up our eating out expenses this month, I realized we spent $300 less than we had last month. Seeing that number is enough to motivate us to eat at home more often! I’ve also been more aware of ways to save money when we do eat out.
Eating from the pantry helped me lose weight. This was the biggest surprise of all. I made no significant changes in my diet and barely exercised this entire month. Eating meals at home helped me to lose 5.5 pounds in a month! I knew all those meals were unhealthy for us, but seeing the numbers on the scale really made me think about how much healthier it is to make meals at home.
Eating from the pantry helped me change my mindset. For those of you who know me, and for those who regularly read this blog, I am constantly grappling with the issues of eating better, losing weight, and saving money. This particular challenge showed me that I am capable of making minor changes in my life that will have a major impact on my family’s health and wealth.
My husband and I are motivated to continue to eat more meals at home. We’ll still eat out, just less often. And I know we’ll enjoy it more.
Did you participate in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge? How did you do? What did you learn about yourself?
About Christina Brown
Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.