We’re 10 days into the Eat from the Pantry Challenge, and I don’t know if this means I had too much stuff in my pantry or not, but I feel like we’re doing just fine.
When I started this challenge, my primary goal was to break myself of some bad shopping habits. I’d gotten used to heading to the store to pick up “just one thing” for a recipe, only to come out with $30 worth of stuff. I had also become reliant on more quick convenience foods, which I know isn’t very frugal or healthy.
I have been putting a lot of effort into planning my weekly menu based on the items we have. I’ve paid special attention to using up items that have been lurking in the pantry for awhile. They’re still perfectly good items, just ignored or forgotten things like pasta or beans.
I’ve been much more conscious of our fresh fruits and vegetables, too. I’ve been working to use what we have and only buy what we absolutely need (and no extra). It’s been a refreshing change not to throw out liquid lettuce and moldy green peppers from the back of the fridge. I actually noticed the brown bananas on our counter and turned them into two loaves of banana bread before they were unusable.
The pantry challenge has also helped me step up my couponing game. I’m more focused than ever on getting grocery and household items for free or cheap using coupons. It’s taken me a bit more time to plan my shopping trips, but so far, the effort is paying off.
The Eat from the Pantry Challenge has also helped me recognize problem areas in our grocery budget. I’m just realizing how much pop and snack items we buy each week. I’m working to trim some of those costs and substitute some of them with healthier choices (hello, water).
So far, I think we’re doing well. I definitely appreciate our ample stockpile more than ever, and I look forward to seeing what more lessons I learn from this experience.
Your turn: How are you doing with your Eat from the Pantry Challenge?