We are one week into 2016, how are you doing with your resolutions?
I’m finding that when I make my goals and projects that working on come first in the day- the other stuff seems to happen automatically… but, if I try to do the other stuff and squeeze in the goals somewhere…it just doesn’t happen. Know what I’m talkin’ about?
If you are just catching up on this month’s challenge, go ahead and read how to get started and, please, join us! You are very much welcome to share your successes or ask questions here on the blog or in the CREW.
Throughout this pantry challenge, I’ll be reporting our meals, how much we’re spending, and most importantly, what we are learning about our eating habits and shopping habits to make sure that we are making progress.
I’m working on learning to love spreadsheets. Right now, spreadsheets and I are like, to-o-o-o-o-tally, in a bad high school relationship… Like, we start out all clean and pretty, things are organized and look pristine, and then like, he goes all psycho on me and what I added up isn’t coming in correctly. It’s like, he’s not even listening to me. Jerk. And so, like, this girl starts saying things she’ll probably regret later but feel, like, really good to say in the moment.
Because, really, that’s what all this is about: Progress. If we’re not improving, what are we doing? And if we don’t keep track of where the money is going then how on earth are we going to know where to make changes?
And sadly, there are so many people in life living like that. Stuck in autopilot mode. They don’t even think about it. I know this simply because we were there.
Monday I went to the store and purchased fresh vegetables for dinners & snacks, MiO (my husband loves that stuff, I like the Crystal Light packets and stock up on those when they are on sale at Target) and some bread. You can see the receipt here total spent was $34.67. We had some steak meat leftover from New Year’s Eve, and we have still been able to use it until last night.
We have made that into steak fajitas one night, and fajita quesadillas the next. Side note: this was an excellent time saver for us, too. Coming home from swim lessons means that we come home hungry. Quick, easy meals are becoming a big, big bonus.
Here is the beginning of my new attitude on spreadsheets. I’ll be keeping a running total of where we are for the month with the goal of staying under $150. And, in case we don’t make that number, we still have funds in the budget to keep us going. This is a personal challenge. That’s all. Which should be the reminder for all of us. This is a chance to really cut back spending at the store and use what you have in house. If you decide to do a pantry challenge for a couple of months and re-stock again with fresher ingredients all around. Cool.
But here’s the thing.
I had to go back to the store for orange juice and milk on Wednesday. Dangit! If I would have planned and bought those ahead of time we wouldn’t have had to turn around and go back. After discussing with my husband, we will be a 2-gallon purchasing family from now on. That’s kind of a big step. Practically another level of commitment here.
So here’s the spreadsheet. Again.
The goal, for us, is to spend $150 for the month. That should be about $37.50 per week. Total spent is $40.73. We are pretty close to staying on track. I can see how we have the components for meals and I need to start cooking a bit more.
My friend, Claudia, from Two Cup House, has a really inspiring blog and has been cheering us along in our journey. She mentioned she’s made “Cupboard Stew.” That is definitely on the books for us. What’s cupboard stew? You load up everything from the cupboard that seems like it would be deelish and see how it comes out! My husband loves that kind of cooking. I’ve always been more of the “Stick to the recipe for maximum flavor…” but I think it’s time to get crazy!
How about you? How is the pantry challenge going? What are some cool results I must hear about? What kinds of new food combinations are you coming up with? I’m delighted to hear all about it! Tell me now, friend, I want to cheer you on!