Pantry Challenge Update

Last week we spent $27.50 for groceries.  Yeah!  Ironically, a large portion of that money was spent on meat even though we have plenty of meat in the freezer.  Why, you may ask?  My daughter is off of all dairy as we try to determine if she is dairy intolerant.  She is fussy about meat and actually got most of her protein through dairy.  There are very few meats she will eat.  I told the doctor she would eat ‘Lil Smokies, hot dogs and chicken or turkey on the bone (but NOT off the bone–seriously, who can argue with the whims of a 2 year old!) so the doctor said for now to get her to eat those things.  Hence, the meat purchases.

Despite that, I am still happy with the $27.50 spent, which is a little more than half of the money I had allotted for each week.  I am off to a good start.  I bought a nearly 8 pound chicken for 4.96, and we got three meals out of that!  (I will post about that later in the week.)  I have never bought a whole chicken before, but I will definitely do it again.  I don’t know why I waited so long!

If you are joining us in the pantry challenge, please leave a comment letting us know how you are doing so far.  Feel free to link to your post if you have written about your progress.


  1. You are definetely off to a good start! I spent more than double that. 😛

  2. I would LOVE to know how on Earth you are doing this. This is the one thing I am trying to cut down on and I cannot seem to do it. I read post after post on amazing blogs from amazing women who get all this and more for sooooooo much less than I do. I just went to Publix this morning. $158. For a week’s worth of menu planning. $250 last week. I have coupons. I stick to a list. I use what I have in the pantry. What is the secret? I really want to change this. I’ll do anything!!!

    • Hi. The first question would be how many people are you feeding? Also, how much are you cooking at home? Are there many convenience items?

      We bought 1/4 of a side of beef last December from my cousin’s husband, so we are still eating through the beef stockpile. Also, I just lucked upon one store that is always offering clearance meat. I also shop the loss leaders at a few stores to lower my cost.

      Any other suggestions from readers? Feel free to chime in!

      • omg! yeah, it is 2 1/2 parents (lol im in my 3rd trimester!) and a toddler. i homemake almost everything (minus breads and the few nights a month i get lazy and go for mac n cheese or something). i would LOVE to be able to do $100/month. i do my grocery shopping at publix. walmart and winn dixie here both have HORRIBLE meat and produce. i dont know where they are getting it from but it is BAD! i’m also a CVS shopper (but recently got into that).

        • Another thing we do is try to pay no more than .99 a pound for fruit and 1.99 a pound for meat. I love grapes, but we don’t usually buy them until they are below 1.50 a pound.

  3. My budget this year is $100.00 per month. So far, I have spent $27.36 and have saved $124.13. I love this couponing stuff. We are feeding a family of 6.

  4. I spent $47.86 and allowed $50. Got 6 gal milk, 1 lettuce, 20 cups yogurt, 2 gal OJ, 2 bags chick breast, 10 # potatoes, 3 jars pb, 2 pkg tortillas and 5 lb pkg lunchmeat. While most of this isn’t being used right now (still eating from pantry), the yogurt, lettuce, milk, OJ and tortillas are for the week, or two.

    I feed a family of 6, sometimes 7 when dd is home from college. I buy on sale and that is what we eat. We bought ground beef locally at a meat market. We asked how much for 100 lb and he gave us a great deal. It is almost gone, been almost a year. Our meals are pretty simple. I try to have fresh fruits and veggies on hand. I think some of the secret is eating what’s on sale. If chicken quarters are on sale, a 10 lb bag of those would feed our family all week in various meals. If canned peas are on sale, I buy those and we eat them. Sales go in cycles, so if you use lots of peanut butter (like we do) I buy a lot when its on sale, and it usually lasts until next sale.

  5. Thanks so much for the motivation to do this challenge! 🙂 I’m meeting my goal every week. Not beating it yet!

  6. wow i love all these tips and am keeping a notebook on them for next month. this month has already gone down the drain and its only the 12th! thanks 🙂

    • Don’t give up yet, Heather!

    • I have just come across this blog entry – my reading of blogs is sometimes sporadic.
      Your idea to keep a notebook of tips is a good beginning for you. You might also want to start keeping a record of what each meal costs to prepare, and then compute the cost per serving. Does part of the meal go into the freezer for a future meal? If so, from your notes you will already have the cost per serving.
      You might want to evaluate your menu planning. I know – all of this takes time, but if spending less money is the objective, then you may have to spend some time planning and evaluating in order to spend less money.
      Good luck in your endeavor.

  7. Years ago…my girlfriend and I used to do pantry challenges together. We called them “Forced Meat Cuisine”. It was fun doing it together and sharing our recipes and successes. We still periodically do them…to purge the extras and save some money.

  8. We’re doing pretty good. We’ve spent $182.55 out of our $300 for the month(which includes diapers, household stuff and any eating out). I only plan on buying a few small items this week like butter and eggs:o)

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