Monday, January 31, 2011

Pantry Challenge Wrap Up

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.

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