Pantry Challenge Update

You may recall that earlier this month I decided to take part in the January Pantry Challenge that Jessica was hosting @ Life as MOM. I had every intention of eating out of our pantry and not spending more than $100 on groceries this month. HA! Let me just tell you right now, it's not even the end of the month and the financial part of my goal didn't happen. We have been really good about eating out of the pantry/freezer, my pantry is now organized (which means I know what I have and don't have), and I am drinking a lot more water - yay for me!

The newly organized pantry

However, the $100 was almost gone before I hit "post" because I ended up doing some stockpiling, for example:

I currently have 30+ bottles of off-brand vegetable juice which I got for $1/each - we drink V-8 daily thanks to the South Beach diet. If you walked into the pantry right now you would probably think I have a problem - but seriously? ONE DOLLAR!!

On a "quick" trip to my normal grocery store, I ended up coming home with ten boxes of pasta because we can only eat one kind (low carb) and I've yet to find a coupon for it and it was ON SALE. So I loaded up even though the sale wasn't great, but it was better than paying full price for it later.

I also did some damage in various dairy departments (no photos - sorry). At Kroger I was able to get several packages of shredded cheese, as well as four bottles of half-half cream for our coffee. Has anyone else noticed how much dairy has gone up?? If I want to buy a store-brand half-gallon of half-half at Ingle's, it's $4.11. I purchased two quarts of the Kroger brand for $1.47/each, bringing it in at $2.94 for a half-gallon {happy dance}. However, Ingle's had a good deal on their larger blocks of cheese, so I grabbed a few of those this month as well.

{BUST} goes the budget goal, but I'm still pleased with three out of four goals met and the stockpile I have been able to build with sales and deals. What steps do you take to keep your grocery bill from going sky high? Check out how Jessica and others did this month over at the Pantry Challenge link up!


  1. Wow, you guys must really like your veg. juice. Hopefully the store brand tastes as good as V8. Your new stockpile should help keep your grocery bill down for months to come.

  2. Wow! Great job on 3 of 4 goals. Isn't it nice that you won't have to buy vegetable juice for awhile now? We coupon too. For awhile I had to try to explain to people why I had ten bottles of ketchup or salad dressing or boxes of pasta when they looked in my pantry. Now when friends open my pantry they laugh and ask me if I got it all for free :) We are pretty lucky to have a farmer's market grocery store near us that has really good deals on fruits, vegetables, and meats. They have double ad Wednesday where they honor the sale prices for the previous week and the current week. It is really cool!

  3. That was quite an epic shop! I know my family was living out of the freezer for a few months prior to moving, but unfortunately I never seem to have a food stockpile... or any food at all!

  4. Gosh, I wrote a whole big long comment one time on someone else's blog of things I do to cut down our grocery bill... but I'm not going to go back and find it. So I'll do a summery here:

    Making a grocery list is important. I make a list of the dinner I'd like to make, then a list of the ingredients I need, then go shopping. Afterwards, I keep the list of the dinners, so I know what ingredients I have on hand.

    Another important thing is stretching expensive ingredients across a few meals. For example, it's easier to buy a large package of chicken, and split it into two, then buy lots of little thing. If a recipe's ingredients are too specific, or I can't find something else I can split it with, I'll (usually) skip it.

    Eating vegetarian meals helps a lot as well. We don't consider ourselves vegetarians, but about 2/3 of the meals I make are. This is intentional - meat is expensive! However, my mom and sisters are vegetarians, so the switch wasn't to drastic for me. If you grew up eating meat, you'd probably miss it a lot.

    Also, prioritize! We care a lot about what dairy we get, so we spend more money on that. But then we won't buy juice. Things like that.

    Ok, I'm done!

  5. a well-stocked pantry indeed! Hopefully you won't have to live completely off juice and pasta at any point in the future otherwise you'll be searching for bizarre and creative recipes!!

  6. Your stockpile is impressive, wish mine looked that organized!

  7. Sometimes you just have to get that great deal!


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