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I think the time is coming for a no-spend/pantry challenge month. - Page 3

post #41 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snuggly mama View Post
Count me in for my first pantry challenge and no-spend month (which sounds incredibly intimidating, but I can't wait to try it!)
It's not too bad-- in a one month period of time I usually only miss out on a couple of things My bank account thanks me at the end of the month and that is a huge reward for not buying fast food or that chapstick I wanted or whatever.
post #42 of 113

Why now.....

Just when I was all set for a no-spend/pantry challenge, I found the sweetest china hutch in re-sale shop. (For only $425, plus delivery : ) It's perfect.....

Help me to resist. How do I tame the "I want it" beast?
post #43 of 113
Thread Starter 
How to tame the beast. . . That's a toughy. I want to say- hey, the challenge isn't official until the first so go ahead and get your hutch, even though that's not in the spirit of the thing and is kinda like eating a dozen doughnuts right before starting a diet.

May the force be with you, cause it isn't with me at the moment
post #44 of 113
So, I've basically already started, because we are in freak-out mode moneywise. But we've done great this last week, using everything we already have on hand. I think we can last through at least mid-January just buying produce, dairy, and bread. So I guess that's my rule - buy only produce, dairy, and bread. And I'm going to allow us 4 times of eating out and/or takeout until the end of January. May seem like a lot to some, but for us it will be a LOT less than normal (sadly).

These are the meals we've had in the last week:

1. Turkey breast (frozen from Thanksgiving), frozen broccoli, mashed potatoes, and green chile (also from the freezer) - this made enough for two nights.

2. There were still mashed potatoes left (dh made them for his work potluck), so he pulled bratwurst out of the freezer and cooked them up. Simple meal, but very delicious.

3. Last night we had whole wheat spaghetti, jar of sauce from the pantry, and Italian sausage from the freezer. Also had a salad and used half a can of garbanzo beans from the pantry - need to use the other half soon.

4. Today I made a huge pot of black beans, and am planning on having chicken from the freezer, cilantro lime rice, and avocado.

We did eat out once this weekend because we were out Christmas shopping, but we split a burrito at Chipotle and the kids had their usual quesadillas and side of meat, and we drank water, so it was just under $10 for all four of us. Not too horrible.
post #45 of 113
Ugh. Just found out toddler erased my BBT this morning on the thermometer!!!

Regardless, I ACTUALLY did do an inventory of the fridge, freezer and pantry.

I will have to buy perishables (butter, meat, a tidbit of cheese, fruit and vegetables) to get me through.

Other than that I've come up with about 30+ meals to get me through.

I have a weird releationship with food. I could just buy tons of it to feed the pantry and freezer - I always worry about not having any. SOoooo emptying out the freezer, pantry and fridge might be stressful.

I'm up for it though!!

Liz
post #46 of 113
I am in as well, feeling incredibly thrifty as of late. I am liking some of the other rules posted, so will be trying them as well. I have a freezer full of meat and a ton of eggs, plenty of bread, so I am good there, I also have a boatload of frozen veggies. So, my main needs will be: fresh fruit, milk for dh, cheese, butter, some fresh veggies. I have a ton of lentils and beans in the cabinets and some rice, although not a lot.

1) 10 items or less a week
2) no unnecessary purchases ie no picking up a drink or snack in the store
post #47 of 113
Me, but I will need to do a big grocery trip first.

Seriously, I've been pantry challenging for so long that I am out of everything - flour, oats, oils, raisins and other dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, tofu, baking soda and powder, pb, liquid aminos, beans, rice, nuts, canned tomatoes, spices... all those things are literally down to either nothing or the last Cup or so.

I am figuring on spending about $75 stocking up on staples, fruits and veggies after Xmas and then I will hopefully be good for at least a month.
post #48 of 113
I'm in...Sounds like fun. We have a load of freezer inventory to chow down on.

I'm not really sure how this works. What is our no-spending rules? What's okay to spend on (dairy, produce, etc)?

I love to cook and at first I wasn't going to do the challenge because I didn't want to take away my cooking, but it might just spur some new recipe ideas.
post #49 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamablair View Post
I'm in...Sounds like fun. We have a load of freezer inventory to chow down on.

I'm not really sure how this works. What is our no-spending rules? What's okay to spend on (dairy, produce, etc)?

I love to cook and at first I wasn't going to do the challenge because I didn't want to take away my cooking, but it might just spur some new recipe ideas.
I think the rules are personal to you. My rule is that I will spend no more than $20/week on fresh fruit and veggies.

Yeah, you do learn to get very creative. And if you are in my house, you learn to like beets and creamed corn.
post #50 of 113
I can try...but right now we don't have much here besides junk. I just had kind of one of these months this month (or rather the past two weeks). But I can always try again. I have 5 POUNDS of egg noodles from BJs bulk...so there's something to eat lol.
post #51 of 113

I'll join

I definately need a no-spend month! I have had numerous car repairs to pay for lately, and my bank account has taken a major hit. So, it's no spend and eat out of the pantry for us for the next couple of months. I always say this at the beginning of a pantry challenge, and then don't know what to make with the things in my cupboards, so I go to the grocery. : 2007 is a new year, though, and this time I will stick to it! (Since I know EnglishRose IRL, we'll be partners for this little project. )

I know that I will feel much more secure when my bills are caught up and there is a comma in my savings account balance, so I can use all the support I can get.

MY RULES

1) Make a meal plan each Friday evening for the following week, based primarily around what is already in the cupboards.

2) Budget $50 per week for everything. (Groceries, toiletries, et cetera) Shop with a calculator, and anything over $50 goes back on the shelf.

3) Pay tithing, bills, and savings. SPEND NOTHING ELSE.
post #52 of 113
I'm in! dw just lost her job (the week before Christmas!) and we ARE broke. So mine starts now!! I may buy a few things (produce) for holiday treats but otherwise, we're well stocked...I just need your creative ideas!!
I will post my list later when I have time!
post #53 of 113
okay I`m really getting excited about this. We have a quite a well-stocked pantry and our freezer is a resounding okay. The holidays are the best time for me to do this, 'cause I find as a WOHM it's really challenging. One blip might be that we may do a freezer cook-off with friends over the holidays, which will definitely entail buying other food.
All that to say, mine will be a pantry-crockpot-freeze-make ahead challenge!!
I will post my list (really!) probably tonight. I'd love suggestions for meal planning websites, recipes, your creative ideas etc.

Thank you !!!
post #54 of 113
I'd like to join in, too! I have taken on Christmas dinner for the first time-- which around ehre means Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner. : This added up to way more than I thought it would!!
I am in. MY rules:
Spend as little as possible, keep track of grocery $ outflow (I am so bad at this- I have no idea what to budget for groceries!) eat from leftovers from Christmas and from the freezer raw, feed the freezer with leftovers when possible.
post #55 of 113
We NEED to do this... we've been mostly on pantry-mode during December, but we're going to be painfully poor in Janurary while we're waiting for the new semester (and new financial aid) to start. We're going to be paying the rent and then counting our pennies for Gasoline. Plus, we're moving cross country in May and have something like 3 chickens, 2 leg of lamb, 2 hams, a turkey and most of a Cow in the deep freeze that MUST be eaten before we go, not to mention all the canned goods and a 20 pound bag of rice, so it's about time to start clearing it all out rather than giving it all to the food pantry.

My Rules: Meal Plan, and write it on the Calendar every week. Buy only perishables and actual necessities which can't be substituted out of the meals for that week (and toilet paper...) and read the circulars and plan around sales. Pack lunches and snacks, no eating out of the house.
post #56 of 113
Count me in!!! We are gonna move in Feb, so we need to use what we have, and also need to save$$$$$
post #57 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
2) no unnecessary purchases ie no picking up a drink or snack in the store
OoooOOoh, this is the killer for us. Well, more for my DH. If I don't pack a lunch FOR him he buys lunch, and even then he likes to have a pop here and there, or he buys candy that he never eats.... some of you already know that story though!! I try to take a bottle of water with me wherever I go and a snack in my purse, even if it's just a peice of cheese or an apple.
post #58 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazerific View Post
i'm in! i'm especially excited b/c we're signing up for an orgainc produce delivery service, so hopefully i'll be in the "10 items or less" line all month at the grocery store!!! woo hoo!
yeah, we have a winter produce share at the local csa and i am hoping that will help us out, too!

[QUOTE=Synchro246;6784118]While at the store today I bought some extra shaving cream and deoderant for dh, a big thing of hand soap, plenty of tooth paste, and toilet paper so that I don't end up going to the store for one of those things and getting tempted by impulse purchaces. I know it kind of defeats the purpose, but it's all stuff we use all the time and I think if I have it on hand I can avoid going to the store I will be more successful.

[QUOTE]
i sort of wish we could do this -- just have a bit of time to prepare, but we are out of state until jan. 4, so i think we're going to have to really wing it -- we'll see how it goes!
post #59 of 113
Hey! Here's a couple ideas-

PUDDING! Seriously, don't we all have boxes of cornstarch in our pantries? That pudding recipe on the back is GOOD. And simple and tasty. Uses up cocoa powder too.

And I just made chile cheese polenta tonight and it was DELICIOUS. It's the recipe on the side of the rice dream rice milk container. I've been staring at that recipe for years and just decided to make it. It calls for 4 cups of rice milk, but I used half rice milk, half cows milk.

I've got a 30lb bag of cornmeal I've got to get through so yay, a start! I had a fresh jalepeno, but be warned, if you don't like spicy food, or if your kids don't, remember to deseed it!

Kat
post #60 of 113
Count me in!

I'm new to this forum though, so someone explain exactly how it works. Can you buy bread, fruit, and other perishables?
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