I think the time is coming for a no-spend/pantry challenge month. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 113 Old 12-11-2006, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How about January 1st folks? I've got so much food and stuff. . .and no money. . .
It just has to wait until after the holidays though.
I figured we could start a planning to thread now and get up good numbers before the start. Maybe we could make it a little competitive. . .whoever makes it the longest without spending (needlessly) and without buying food (except produce, dairy, and meat, and maybe bread) wins????

Alright, Who's with me?

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#2 of 113 Old 12-11-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Hmmm... I have to think about it!
No, really, I am interested, because dh thinks I spend way too much at the store. But, at the same time, it scares me to think we might end up one night eating nothing but a can of creamed corn or something. And my kids are so picky. Tell me your secrets for making it work, and I'm in... I think.

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#3 of 113 Old 12-11-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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I'm thinking about it... Would need to really get myself committed though.

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#4 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 02:10 AM
 
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IM IN.... ive been doing a huge STUFF THE FREEZER this month...
generally we have great stock up sales here in december (baking goods espically) so January would be great
i will also be stocking up on turkey and ham in the next couple weeks....

dont worry you wont be stuck eating a can of corn and bread one night... the pantry challenge is about being creative with what you have on hand.
trust me if your kids are hungry they will eat whats served...

i have 6 kids and NO ONE gets special meals... everyone gets served the same thing... take it or leave it. .. ive always done this since my oldest was born... i guess its just kinda expected of them...

also its about un-necessary purchases... if you need produce then by all means you can get produce...

so january IM IN
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#5 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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I could do it...I think I have done it, on the weeks I have too much going on and don't make it out. I am well stocked for having a smaller kitchen here : . Have lots of frozen stuff as well!

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#6 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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I might do a no-spend january, but I think the pantry challenge would b ehard. I haven't been grocery shopping in weeks already we are starting to get bare. If it was just me, I could manage it, but the kids get ansy with no choices for breakfast and no snacks.

I definitely want to get on track for January though. New Year!

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#7 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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I will be in for sure! For me, its all about the challenge and being creative. Some of the best meals or creations I have ever done came out of the pantry challenges the last few years here. I have gotten recipes from other participants, given out ones and received great ideas.

For those on the fence on what to do:

Remember, its all about you, not everyone here. Everyone has a different goal so if someone manages on a gallon of milk for 10 days and your family consumes that at breakfast, get the milk!! But forgo on the sale on crackers, etc.

Some use this as an excuse to declutter their pantry. They will use that canned creamed corn, donate the extra baby food they dont need, make that weird looking pasta they bought that looked good on the shelf but you scratched your head when you got it home. Make a recipe that can use those extra crushed walnuts left over from the holiday...

Some are broke from the holidays or had an unexpected expense/event come up and need to cut back. They have to be creative with what they have and feed the family. Help them out and share ideas.

Some are in for the idea of cutting their grocery bill and seeing if it can happen.

So try it out and see what you can accomplish in a month. One thing I took away from the first challenge is we have more on hand than I ever thought and it forced me to be resourcefull.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#8 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1growingsprout View Post

dont worry you wont be stuck eating a can of corn and bread one night... the pantry challenge is about being creative with what you have on hand.
trust me if your kids are hungry they will eat whats served...
so january IM IN
You can always stretch the corn into some kind of soup though....But you wouldnt know that unless you joined the challenge!! :

growingsprout= did you finish all those potatoes yet??

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#9 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I'm in. I always stock up with yummy holiday hams and such. I should be good to go for Jan!

I do need to buy fresh fruit and milk every week but otherwise, I am happy to try and work with what we have!

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#10 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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I've never done one before but I think I may be in. My pantry is not very well stocked, tho, should I stock it now or just be creative with what I have?
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#11 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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I'm in! I've been restocking too after the last challenge I did. The Fresh Market by me had fresh ground turkey for $.99 lb the day after T'giving because they had extra turkeys. Plus I got 2 whole turkeys. I have lots of meat, cheese, and bread in the freezer and I just restocked canned tomatoes and beans in the pantry. So after the holidays, I will be ready to do just produce and milk shopping for at least a month!

Soup is so yummy and easy in the winter, plus it can use up so much pantry stuff. Anyone want to post some good soup recipes? I've been making this yummy chowder lately with whatever veggie I have on hand. I'll post the recipe later.
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#12 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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I definately want to join both the no-spend and the pantry challenge!! My husband is...well, a little loose with the purse strings (not loose enough to cause us any serious trouble, just loose enough to frustrate me from time to time), and the other day we had a "discussion" that ended with him saying, "Maybe you should handle the finances, then." To which I replied with that old favourite: "Fine!"

So, this will be my chance to show him that all my "penny-pinching schemes" are effective, and help us pay down our bills to the point that we can feed all 10 of us (2 adults, 8 children) on just his paycheck.

Help me out, mummas!
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#13 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! This is going to be a big one I can tell.

I'm not going to go out of my way to stock up between now then January 1st (other than to take home my fair share of X-mas dinner). I may buy a couple of toiletries before hand so I can avoid going to the store and getting tempted by impulse purchaces.

My goal is to use every can, box, and bag in my pantry, fridge, and freezer before having to buy anything else that comes in a can, box, or bag. This will clear out the old and make way for the new come stock-up-for-hurricanes season.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#14 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
My goal is to use every can, box, and bag in my pantry, fridge, and freezer before having to buy anything else that comes in a can, box, or bag. This will clear out the old and make way for the new come stock-up-for-hurricanes season.
Uhmmm Work it girl!!!!

I have to think what I want from this challenge. I also need to do a declutter challenge for JAn!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#15 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Uhmmm Work it girl!!!!

I have to think what I want from this challenge. I also need to do a declutter challenge for JAn!

I want to declutter too!

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#16 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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sounds like something we should do. we'll be able to cheat a tiny bit, because we'll be away the first three days of january, so we'll be eating meals with my ils and then on a train. but we get back here early the morning of the 4th and this sounds like a great idea. we'll also have a bit more time to stretch the wic vouchers, since we won't use them til we get back. that'll be good, too. we've got a ton of dry pasta and (before i even read this thread) bread flour is on a list of things to buy before we go..... we'll have to decide if we are going to forego deli turkey... that's our one consistent "luxury"....

i have a potluck or two to go to in january, i might make those meals exempt....
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#17 of 113 Old 12-12-2006, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we'll have to decide if we are going to forego deli turkey... that's our one consistent "luxury"....

i have a potluck or two to go to in january, i might make those meals exempt....
For me deli meats are going to be OK, because without their purchace we are much more likely to buy fast food for lunch.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#18 of 113 Old 12-13-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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I'm in. I came to this forum today to see if there was a pantry challenge thread. I've never done one, but we so need to cut back on food spending! (Well, all spending, but food's a start. )

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#19 of 113 Old 12-13-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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I am in!
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#20 of 113 Old 12-13-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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me me! our first (dh did it too!) no spend month was last year in Feb... we picked it because it was the shortest month. And we set rules for ourselves.

Mostly it came down to no spending (not even gift cards I had around the house), and groceries I could spend w/in our budget ($400 for hte month) but no junk food, no crap, no eating out, no fast food. We did get deli meat because I don't always make enough food for dinner for dh to have leftovers for work. Dd and I eat leftovers though.

I tried to use up my pantry stuff... now we have an apt. w/no storage space for extra food, so we really live w/in our needs and don't bulk up on dry goods or anything. Makes it harder to spend less on groceries, but we're doign ok.

I already have dd's bday gift, so I don't even need to buy that! Dh is packing every day, and we just got some new furniture when we moved, so we're trying to not spend anything anyway...

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#21 of 113 Old 12-13-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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I'm in! For a no spend month (minus fresh produce/dairy) However, my pantry isn't stocked well enough for a pantry challenge.

Actually we are going to try to do a three month no spend challenge, because we are planning to move to a location that is 30 miles from the nearest grocery store soon.

Since we live in an apartment, storage is crucial, but I have to carve it out myself. So I'm planning to buy some cheap bins to put on the balcany, for most of our unperishable food. I should be able to go 1 month with my itty bitty freezer.
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#22 of 113 Old 12-14-2006, 01:56 AM
 
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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!
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#23 of 113 Old 12-15-2006, 01:57 AM
 
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I'm in

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#24 of 113 Old 12-15-2006, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
I didn't even think of that!
I should make that a rule for me for the month- If I can't check out in that isle I can't check out.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#25 of 113 Old 12-15-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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yeah, i wasn't intending to, but i think that very well may become one of our rules too!
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#26 of 113 Old 12-17-2006, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought of another cool "rule"--- shop only the perimeter of the grocery store.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#27 of 113 Old 12-17-2006, 03:56 PM
 
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I thought of another cool "rule"--- shop only the perimeter of the grocery store.
You know, I always hear this from people (the perimeter thing). But my store's so small that all the baking goods (flour, sugar, etc.) and dry goods (beans, whatever) are in the middle. Same with bread (it's cheaper for us to buy than make). I think they do it on purpose. :

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#28 of 113 Old 12-17-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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Woo! This is a wonderful idea! I've been trying to work on reducing the food in my pantry since we've moved into this tiny apartment! (2 months) Barring produce, and tiny perishible things to round out pantry meals, I'm in!

It hasn't even started yet and I'm already cheating. I need my produce though!!

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#29 of 113 Old 12-17-2006, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


OH YEAH.
I put a link to this thread in my siggy. I want to make this the biggest challenge yet!

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#30 of 113 Old 12-17-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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joining.


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