Eat from the Pantry Challenge

I am reluctantly going to enter the Eat From the Pantry Challenge. I say reluctantly because I am nervous about setting myself up for failure for yall to see. But, to be honest, it’s a month where we need to do this anyway. The budget is…tiny.

So, to start, here’s our pantry. Disclaimer: Our pantry is also the laundry so don’t judge too harshly!

IMG_3967 (What a mess. Hangs head in shame)



As you can see, we have plenty of food. Couponing makes this all possible. To be honest, I start getting nervous when it gets empty. I don’t know why. I just do. Anyway, the buckets have flour, corn meal and sugar. Some rice and plenty of dried beans. That sort of thing.

I wasn’t really going to bring this up to Hunter; I was just going to do it my own way. At the end of December, he and I took $200 to Kroger and did a mega trip. Just the two of us. I decided not to count that in my challenge since it was already bought. Instead, I started with this past week (January 4th). My weeks run Sunday-Saturday as far as spending.

Since I want to lower my grocery budget by $10 anyway, I thought I’d go with $60 per week. Then Hunter and I were chatting (yep, we chat via Google Chat a lot) and he brought up groceries. He wondered if we could do it for $10 per week. I said no way. Milk and bread alone would wipe that out. Then he said, what about $20? Doable, I said , with no frills. We settled on $25. I’m excited. I feel almost like Jen. Hunter is on board for this which is rare. The man loves his groceries! Being in it together makes it way easier!

My first step was to look at what we had in the pantry and 2 freezers downstairs. Once I kind of surveyed things I sat down and made a list of as many meals as I could think of that we had ingredients for. This is going to be a long post because of this list but here’s my list.

Hamburger Helper (duh…2 1 box available, one last week)
Chicken and rice
Dried Pintos in crock and cornbread, deer tenderloin (Thursday night)
Lemon Pepper Chicken
White Chili (TONIGHT)
Breakfast for supper
Mac-n-cheese with burger in it
Salsa Chicken in crock
Potato Soup
Pizza Casserole (Hunter’s birthday meal EVERY year)
Pork Ham in crock
BBQ from ham leftovers
Marlboro Man sandwiches
Veggie/Deer stew
Deer Roast in crock into BBQ
Pork Chops and Mashed Potatoes (last night)
Homemade Pizza
Chicken Spaghetti (in freezer already)
Mexican! (Tacos or fajitas…we have ingredients for both)

Whole chicken in crock (2 1 available, one in crock now). I’m putting this separate because I use the meat to make other meals if that makes sense. Like the one in the crock now will be the white chili I want to try for tonight. It’s a new recipe.

By my calculations, that’s about 20 meals and we have 22 days left in the month after today. That’s not too bad. We’ll end up repeating Hamburger Helper because I know us and it’s easy on a work night. And we’ll repeat Breakfast for supper on a work night too.

We also have a some bone-in chicken that can be grilled as well as a quick meal.

I think we can do this with some minor trips for a few things. $25 is tough when you add in diapers. I decided not to include animal feed in this challenge. I’m thinking of putting them in a separate category anyway since it’s only going to go up with the addition of Boone and his appetite. I had to buy last week for everyone and it was about $60. But, it should get us through the month.

I’ll do a budget update tomorrow since I know of a few things we are completely out of and will have to pick up today.

This might be my longest post ever. Sorry!

Anyone else doing the Challenge? I’d love to hear how you’re doing if you are. Do yall buy in bulk, surplus or stockpile using coupons like I do?



2 thoughts on “Eat from the Pantry Challenge

  1. Wow, you are organized and ready for this challenge! I am just kind of winging it week by week. 😀 It is great that your husband is on board – makes it so much easier to have support. FWIW, I have a separate catergory for diapers and personal hygiene, cleaning supplies, and animal feed. I try to combine coupons with sale prices and then buy items in bulk. One week it might be 6 boxes of oatmeal, the next 8 boxes of cheereios and 4 bags of rice, etc. My husband and kids are still humored by what I bring home, because it rarely matches what is on the menu, since I am always kind of cooking from the pantry instead of from the grocery store. I hope that makes sense. Good luck on the challenge!

  2. I do the same thing. Hunter used to be baffled when I came home with huge amounts of strange items but now he gets it! I'm usually cooking from the pantry too. But this month, I've committed to NOT going to even do the coupon shopping unless I can make it fall into the $25 budget (hard). I've just always kept feed and household/groceries together. But adding the chickens and then Boone has really made that go UP. Now Hunter wants to raise a hog. Lord have mercy!

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