Wow! I sure have missed all of you! Wouldn’t you know that as soon as the holidays hit, our entire family, (Yes, all five of us at once.) were hit with a ridiculously long-lasting and “knock-us-off-our-feet” bug of some sort. I am stir-crazy and still fighting the cough and congestion, but actually walking around and sort of functioning, today. David and the kids are still in various stages of recovery and we are all looking forward to phlegmless, coughless existences. Until then, I am feeling like I can at least see straight and hopefully write in a somewhat coherent manner; and since I have been anxious and very excited to share an idea with you, passed on to me by my good friend, Kay; it seems like a good day for getting back to blogging.
I heard about the “Eat From the Pantry Challenge” because Kay sent it to me on facebook. I am completely excited about this idea and I am providing the link, Money Saving Mom) and another. (Beauty and Bedlam) here for you, with this proviso, “You are not competing with anyone else. The point of this challenge is to help you save money, stir up your creative juices and in general, make you feel great about your frugal skills. Do NOT think there are fast and hard rules, that you must do it like me, or pattern your challenge after anyone else’s. My challenge to you is to simply DO it, enjoy yourself and stretch your winter food budget.” You might choose to do this for a week or two weeks. You might try it for 30 days. You may not go to the store for any food items or you may have a select list of things you will continue to purchase. You make the plan for your own challenge and then put it to work. The links provided above give two very different ideas for completing the challenge. Visit them both and get some excellent tips and strategies!
The challenge I read about was for the month of January. I love the idea of eating from our pantry for 30 days, but since we have spent the first third of the month crouping, I have decided our 30 day challenge will begin on Monday, January 11 and end on Tuesday, February 9. I intend to prepare meals from the ingredients we have in our pantry with the exceptions of fresh produce and dairy products. This should be a substantial savings over the weekly trip to the grocery store and put a large part of the grocery money back into the budget. I’ll need you all to keep encouraging me and spurring me on. Sometimes, it’s just so much easier to think of what we want for supper and then pick up the ingredients we need to fix it, but I have a well stalked pantry. I can definitely do this. The only thing I can see getting a little “difficult” before the end of the thirty days, is meat. However, I still have two good-sized turkeys in the freezer from the last big sale which should help. Plus, I will just have to get creative with non-meat meals and casseroles. I hope to do a pantry “inventory” for you over the next couple days and start posting menus and recipes.
I hope you will get inspired along the way to challenge yourself, for whatever period of time. It will definitely take more pre-planning and thought, but I am hoping the savings will be excellent. Please share your experiences and creative recipes as we make this 30 day journey. I’m looking forward to hearing ideas and progress reports from all of you and I will post our experiences along the way, as well. Happy saving and good eating!