Each January, I eagerly await the opportunity to clean out my freezer and pantry as a way to expunge the excess of the holidays and begin the new year with a purged kitchen. This year was not exception. I participated in Jessica's pantry challenge last year at Life as Mom and was hoping she would host again. I loved the accountabilty and reading about how everyone else got creative in their kitchen. I was thrilled to see she was hosting the challenge again on her food blog, Good Cheap Eats. I jumped on board, posting my goals for this year's challenge.
Goal #1 - Prepare meals from the pantry and freezer exculsively beginning January 1 and ending January 31st.
All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner originated in my freezer or pantry this month. I purchased very few items. We only ate once as a family, on the go where there was just no other option. I also ate lunch out one time, but this was a celebratory occasion and well worth it! We even discovered some new favorite recipes.
Goal #2 - Only buy dairy, bread and fresh fruits and vegetables during the month of January.
We were successful with this goal as well. My trips to the grocery were $10 - $15 and all of it was fresh food. I did not even stock up on one deal the entire month of January, eventhough I was very tempted.
Goal #3 - Utilize leftovers more effeciently.
Super Success on this one! I made planned leftovers several nights for dinner and actually used them! I also planned my lunches around our leftovers. I threw out soooooo much less food than in previous months. I am hoping to continue this good habit.
Goal #4 - The only "out" I am giving myself this month is for my Bunco night. I am hosting and may have to buy some items to fill in the menu.
I served a full dinner with appetizers and dessert for 12 ladies and only spent $50, which included 2 bottles of wine. This is great! I saved over $50 off my usual Bunco Budget. I even hosted another dinner party for 8 for $14.oo, only buying a bag of potatoes and 3 bunches of asparagus.
We are continuing with a modified pantry challenge for the next couple of weeks. I have some items in the freezer that still need to be used and I want to save some money for some special events at the end of the month.
Thanks for hosting Jessica, it's been fun and so very useful.