Patty Cake’s Pantry is welcoming 2017 with a 31 day pantry challenge. If you’ve never heard of a pantry challenge, allow me to explain. The goal is to eat the food you already have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge for a set period of time. We are embarking on a 31 day challenge. The motivation behind a Pantry Challenge can vary from household to household. Some people may need to save money for car repairs, or medical expenses. People who love to grocery shop may need to use up some of their stockpile of food before it goes bad. It can be easy to over buy groceries if you love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. I know one blogger, Jessica Fisher, who confessed that she liked shopping for groceries more than some women like shopping for shoes. I think that she and I may be kindred spirits in that way. I know men who own more shoes than I have in my closet. Some people may be motivated to undertake a pantry challenge simply because of a need to remove everything from the cabinets in their kitchen so they can be properly reattached to the wall because they seem to be coming loose. The space between the cabinet top and the ceiling appears to be getting bigger. They are afraid the cabinet will come crashing down one day. I may or may not know a family with this specific problem. They may also have a mountain of canned food piled on the floor which constantly requires dusting because of this cabinet problem. Of course, it looks like no one’s been dusting in the photo. Guess they will have to wash cans before opening them, but I digress.
I was primarily inspired to do this by the members of a couple of Facebook groups that I have joined as well as a couple of blog posts that I read on the subject of Pantry Challenges. One of the blog posts about the money savings that can come from a pantry challenge can be found at Kitchn. Another article about a Pantry Challenge can be found at Good Cheap Eats. I am also motivated to do this because I want to see how well we can do living off of the food that we have in our Pantry. It would be nice to know for certain that, in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster, or even a financial crisis, we would be able to continue meet our nutritional needs without too much difficulty as long as we had access to our camp stove and the food in our house.
This brings me to the rules for our pantry challenge. All challenges must have rules, right?
- For each member of our household, 19 of the 21 meals that we eat each week, must be made from food in our pantry, fridge, or freezer. This allows for a family night out or a lunch or dinner with a friend.
- There will be 21 dollars per week allotted to purchase fresh foods that we need to supplement the meals made from ingredients in our pantry.
- Purchases are to be limited only to fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, and bread.
- These items can only be purchased if they are absolutely necessary in order to keep the peace and harmony; otherwise, we will do without.
- We cannot purchase any canned, dry, or snack items for 31 days. (I don’t think my family realizes that this means when their sodas are gone, I won’t be buying more.)
- Any leftover money can be carried over to the next week.
- When the money is gone, no more groceries can be purchased until the beginning of the following week.
- Pet food, paper products, toiletries, medications, and cleaning supplies will not be purchased from the $21.00. These categories have their own budgeted money.
- I will publish our daily menu on the Patty Cake’s Pantry Facebook page.
- Once a week, I will publish our weekly menu from the previous week, and I will include links to the recipes if it’s something that I didn’t make up on the spot. If it’s something I made up, the recipe will eventually get published here, if it tastes good. Publication of new recipes may take a few months, but I promise that recipes that taste good will eventually be posted on my site. I will also give an itemized account of my grocery expenses each week.
- NO WHINING! This is more for certain members of my household than others. I’m talking about you Food Critic and Bus Boy. This is the challenge, and we will be sticking to it. Good nutrition is more than macaroni and cheese and cheese burgers.
That’s the plan. Check back next week to see the results of our first week. In the meantime, check back for our other regular recipe posts.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.