I confess that I am a week late in delivering my final report on the Pantry Challenge, but my life outside of cyberspace has been a bit crazy. Here’s my summary for the final week of my pantry challenge.
Sausage Gravy on Toast
Pancakes, eggs, and bacon
Waffles with Peanut butter
Leftovers–Buffalo chicken pasta, hot dogs, nachos
Mason Jar Antipasto Salad with a small jar of mixed fruit
Leftover Sausage and Peppers, Penne, and Brussel Sprouts
Dinner out to celebrate a birthday
Tilapia Tacos with Spanish slaw and sautéed squash with onions and garlic.
Sausage and Peppers with Penne, Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Burgers, Fries, and Tacos from the Drive Thru
Chow Mein with rice, and crunchy chow mein noodles on top, with Asian Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Chocolate covered mango slices
Mangoes and Strawberries
Chocolate covered almonds
Money Spent on Groceries:
If you recall from my week 4 report, I began the final week of the 31 day pantry challenge with only $2.77, but I wasn’t concerned. All I anticipated needing was a gallon of milk which, the previous week, cost $2.49. I wasn’t worried. We had everything that we needed. Unfortunately, Baker’s Man went to the store and bought milk on the same day that I stopped on my way home from work to buy milk. So, we both bought milk for $2.69 per gallon. This miscommunication took us over budget by $2.61. All in all, that wasn’t too bad, but my overspending didn’t stop there. On Thursday, February 2, I met a friend at the Farmer’s Market. I had told myself that I wouldn’t buy anything, and I was being good until she stopped to talk to someone. I wandered away, and ended up at the table of a citrus grower. He was giving away samples of blood oranges. They were sweet and juicy, and I couldn’t help myself. Did I mention that I love blood oranges? I bought a bag of blood oranges for $3.00. I ended the week over budget by $5.61. I plan on punishing myself by only allocating $60.00 for groceries next week instead of the full amount. Actually, Baker’s Man is concerned that I may have a nervous breakdown if I get to go to the store and spend our full budget on food. Have you seen Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson? Do you remember the coffee scene? He doesn’t want to get that call. I’m fine with this amount of money. I actually get to spend nearly 3 times as much money as I have been. I think I’ll stock up on meat.
Reflections on the Pantry Challenge:
I believe that this challenge was good for our family on several levels.
- We significantly cut down on our spending in the month of January. Even with my overspending, we saved $309.39 on groceries. That’s a significant amount of money.
- Being on such a tight budget made me carefully consider every purchase. I frequently decided to put impulse items back on the shelf.
- I found that because I wasn’t spending much on groceries, I didn’t spend as much money in other places, either. It was as if the strict grocery budget changed my mind set in the other areas of spending.
- After going without sodas for most of the month, we have decided that we don’t need to have them in the house. Instead, we are drinking iced tea, homemade vitamin water, and other drinks we mix up at home. Sodas are now a special occasion item.
- I used up a lot of my stored food, but I still have what Baker’s Man referred to as “too much” stockpiled food. This challenge has encouraged me to fully inventory what we have, make a list, and use it. This will help us to better rotate through the food stored in our pantry and prevent waste due to food spoilage.
- The restrictions on dining out were a good thing. They allowed for a lunch meeting at work or to meet up with a friend. It also ensured that the family could go out together. No one felt deprived. Maybe Food Critic felt deprived. He loves fast food, and kept hoping that I would stop and buy fast food.
- Did I mention that I lost 5 pounds during the month of January? I wasn’t even dieting. I think that perhaps my weight loss was due to the fact that I wasn’t buying as many snack foods, and we were didn’t eat as much fast food.
That’s about all I have to say regarding the 31 day pantry challenge. (I think I just sounded like Forrest, Forrest Gump.)
Have you undertaken a pantry challenge like this before? Did you have similar experiences? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Thanks for Visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.