31 day pantry challenge: week 4 report

The 31 day Pantry Challenge: Week 4 Report

I’m behind in my posts this week, but I wanted to give you our report from week four.  One more week has come and gone in the pantry challenge, and I’m still having fun.  We have decided that instead of resuming our regular grocery budget, we will  continue with the pantry challenge through the end of next week rather than stopping on Wednesday, the first of February.  This should be interesting for a couple of reasons that I will get to later.  Here’s the meal summary for week four.

Our Meals:


Pancakes, eggs, bacon or sausage



Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Huevos Rancheros

Frozen Breakfast Sandwich

Avocado Toast or Toast with warm ham slices


Tacos or Cheese Nachos

Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Chicken Noodle Soup

Penne Alfredo with chicken, cucumber and tomato salad (Leftovers)

Beef and Green Bean Teriyaki with Rice and cucumber salad (Leftovers)

Burgers and fries

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions and added carrots (Leftovers)

Mixed Fruit Salad with Tajin


Takeout:   Burgers and Fries

Parmesan Garlic Salmon, Caesar Salad, Rice Pilaf, and Broccoli

Beef and Green Bean Teriyaki with Rice and a cucumber salad

Buffalo Chicken Pasta–we had leftovers of this on a second night

Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Onions and Potatoes

Hot Dog Bar with Nachos





Cheesy Puff Corn

Apple Strudel

Money Spent on Groceries:

We began this week with $42.58.   (Technically, some of these purchases were made  last week, but I’ve already published that post, and I don’t want to change it.)  Bus Boy and I were out of town and we found ourselves spending Saturday night in an area that was subjected to flood warnings last weekend.  We weren’t sure if we were going to be stuck or not, so we got a few things at the store in case we had to spend an extra day or two.    Because we stayed in someone’s unoccupied house, we brought a few things to cook and eat with us, but that was only for one night.    If we got stuck, we wanted to just stay put at the house.  We purchased 1/2 gallon of milk, some cocoa mix, some hot apple cider mix, a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup, and a package of Oreos.   The total cost of these items was $10.10.  This was a lot of money for not very much food.  As you can see from the receipt, we also bought a few other things at the store, but the groceries totaled $10.10.31 day pantry challenge : Week 4 ReportSunday, after a white knuckled drive back home through flooded roads, I went to the store and purchased bell peppers, cauliflower, some lunchbox sized apple pies, and some sports chews.    The total at this store was $3.99.   I realize I wrote $4.00 on the receipt, but the total was only $3.99.    31 day pantry challenge : Week 4 ReportI also stopped at my regular grocery store and bought a gallon of milk, 2 packages of hot dogs, a package of hot dog buns, and 5 pounds of onions.  The total spent at this store was $8.91.31 day pantry challenge : Week 4 Report

Monday, I gave into temptation, and I purchased three bags of chips.  Total Cost was $4.00.

Tuesday, Baker’s Man discovered that we were out of butter.  He purchased 4 pounds at Costco for $10.49.

Thursday, I decided to take pity on Food Critic.  Bus Boy had a medical appointment in civilization, and I stopped at Aldi to buy some Macaroni and Cheese.  I confess that I planned to borrow from next week’s $21.00 to buy him an entire case of Macaroni and cheese.  This would have taken me over budget by $2.91 because the cost for 24 boxes of macaroni and cheese was $8.00.  Once I was in the store, however, I decided to go ahead and use the money for the coming week because I could get more for my money at Aldi than I could at my local grocery store.  I used up almost all of  week five’s grocery money, but in addition to an entire case of Macaroni and Cheese, I  bought celery, cantaloupe, 2 packages of Italian sausages, avocados, limes, 10 pounds of potatoes, and two loaves of bread.  The total cost was $20.32.31 day pantry challenge : Week 4 Report

I left the store with two bags loaded with groceries.   I was happy with my purchases, but this meant that I had only $5.77 left until the end of next week, which is also the end of the pantry challenge.    31 Day Pantry Challenge: Week four summaryWe decided to finish the Pantry Challenge at the end of next week rather than stopping at the end of the month.    We will resume our regular weekly budget the following week.

My total grocery expenses for this week were $57.81.  I spent all of my surplus money from the previous weeks plus all of week four’s money.   I also spent most of week five’s money, but I wasn’t worried.  The $5.77 was enough to buy two more gallons of milk during the week, and I didn’t anticipate needing anything else.

Saturday morning began with a reminder that I had promised a friend I would go to her church and try their second chance food program.     Now, before I get attacked for participating, this program is for anyone.  There are no income requirements.   The food being distributed is from warehouses, and is too close to it’s date to be distributed through regular channels before it is spoiled.  The idea is that it is better to get the food into the hands of people who can use it rather than sending it to the landfill.  Food waste in our country is a huge problem.  Some studies say that 40% of all food produced in the US ends up in landfills.  The program was pretty amazing.  I spent $3.00 and received all of this produce.31 day Pantry Challenge: Week 4I also received two loaves of bread, a box of cereal, some frozen apple strudel, and an 18 count of eggs.  I will definitely be telling every struggling family that I know about this program.

Heading into the final week of our pantry challenge,  we have only $2.77 left in our grocery budget.  Hopefully, all we will need is a single gallon of milk.  If we need something else, I may have to barter with the neighbors.

Check back next week to find out about our last week of the pantry challenge, and follow us on Facebook.

Thanks for Visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Click HERE to learn more about our 31 day Pantry Challenge

Click HERE for our Pantry Challenge Week One Report

Click HERE for our Pantry Challenge Week Two Report

Click HERE for our Pantry Challenge  Week Three Report

Click HERE for our Pantry Challenge Final Report

2 thoughts on “The 31 day Pantry Challenge: Week 4 Report

  1. I love how you’re managing such a great amount of groceries on a minimal budget! Great budgeting!! $3 on all that at the second chance food program? WOW! Incredible savings.

  2. It’s been fun. Every weekend, Baker’s Man and I are looking at what we have on hand, then we plan a menu around those things, using up the items with the shortest shelf life first.

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