Pantry Challenge Week 1

Yesterday, I reviewed our family’s budget and realized I needed to get back on track with my grocery spending.  My jeans are also telling me I need to cut out the Christmas cookies and find some more healthy snacks.  

So, this month I invite you to join me in the Pantry Challenge hosted by Life As Mom. This challenge can take many forms determining on your family’s situation:

How is your meal planning?  Does it need a tune-up? 

Do you know what’s in your pantry? Maybe, you can clean it out and donate the odds and ends to a food bank?

Or, maybe like me, you need to replenish your pantry with healthy staples?

What does your freezer look like? Does it need a make-over too?

Here are my goals for the month of January:

1. Plan a rotating weekly menu plan.

2. Start baking bread, and healthy snack alternatives from scratch.

3. Build a Pantry to reflect my new menu plan and baking efforts.

4. Do this all, in with keeping my weekly budget of $100 for food and consumables.

So, are you up for the challenge? 

Join me on Tuesdays this month as I share my menu plans and recipes.



About Mary @ a simple twist of faith

I am: a rookie at blogging, just started my blog in May 2010 when I became a full-time Mom. a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, a listener of the Holy Spirit, and a Catholic. Pro-Life, , Pro-Woman and an adoption advocate wife to a wonderful husband for 12 years proud and grateful mother to two beautiful daughters ages 5 and 3. a coffee drinking fool, so I can keep up with my little girls a home schooling novice using my kindergartener as a guinea pig a runner, it keeps me sane and in my size 8 pants an avid reader , now of Beatrix Potter's books a former workaholic & fashion follower a lover of chocolate, and wine, and the finer things in life, although I cannot afford them anymore!
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15 Responses to Pantry Challenge Week 1

  1. Sharon O says:

    Sounds like a great idea even with two of us here we get off track in the menu and budget.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I need too do this also. I just spent $371 at the commissary yesterday. My cart wasn’t even full! I did notice that when you choose healthy foods, the prices are higher, unfortunately. It could be where we live. Fruits and veggies are crazy expensive! Last year I spent $8 on a mellon. It was a hot day, so that day, it was worth it at least! I cleaned out one drawer and found crackers that have been in there for over a year! Good luck ladies! I will join the challenge.

  3. Kyooty says:

    Do this all, in with keeping my weekly budget of $100 for food and consumables

    OMG! that’s cheap!!! We spend about 250-320 twice a month on Groceries and TP and PT!!! It’s undoable to spend only 100.00 on food here unless you buy KD and no veggies.

    Lean Ground beef-cheapest 1.69/lb at the cheap place.
    Chicken? 3K is 29.99 regular price, and rarely down to 19.99 Kg box. (5 people in my house that’s 10 breasts and we use 5 per meal)
    Pork chops? Cheap weeks 2.99/1b

    factor in potatoes, carrots, as cheap veggies, lettuce lowest? 1.50 in the summer, 3.00 a head in winter.
    Apples? 3lbs can run us 5.00 a bag,
    bananas 89cent/lbs
    onions? 3lbs 3.00
    Bread? 2.00 cheap place a loaf
    Cheese (cause kids like cheese mozzerella or cheddarish? 5.99 or as I saw a sign this week, 8.29 for 500g)
    Milk, that’s my big spend 6.00 for 4litres, (almost a gallon)
    yogart? 7.00 for 16 mini cups but this week I went frugal and bought 1.99 for a litre tub.
    I’m jealous of your lower prices.

  4. Popping in from the Pantry Challenge 🙂 I am also a Catholic mom of children who joined our family through adoption. I forgot to list this in my blog post, but I also would like to build up some freezer meals so on those crazy days when I don’t feel like making dinner, I can pull something out of the freezer ready to go! Good luck with your challenge.

  5. Wendy says:

    I’m pretty good about eating healthy food on a budget. We go meatless several nights a week, no problem. I’ll try to share some ideas. What kind of stuff does your family eat? It’s not that hard to substitute healthy ingredients to get same “flavor” you are craving. You just have to break some paradigms about traditional dishes.

  6. Jenny says:

    I am participating in the pantry challenge too. I hope to really limit all food purchases with the exception of dairy, bread and fresh fruits and veggies. I hope to spend no more than $25/week – hopefully less.

  7. I am looking forward to seeing what you make and buy… I hated grocery shopping when I lived by myself, mainly because I don’t like just feeding me. I like feeding other people. But now that I live at home, my parents do most of the shopping- so one thing not to think about until later! 🙂

  8. Wendy says:

    So tonight we had shredded chicken burritos. Put a full boneless skinless chicken breast in a crock pot with a jar of organic salsa on high for 2-3 hours. Break the chicken into pieces with 2 forks and let cook for another hour. Shred chicken all the way, turn crock down to low and add a can of drained and rinsed organic canned black beans (79 cents at Trader Joe’s) and add a drained can of organic canned or frozen corn. When warmed through, make into burritos using whole wheat tortillas, plain yogurt, shredded cabbage, avocado, green onions, cheese and whatever else you like. This makes more than 6 large healthy, filling and delicious burritos. Very inexpensive and easy too. It only took 1 chicken breast to feed myself, 3 adult men and 1 male teenager.

  9. Bridget says:

    I subscribe to E-mealz (even though I abhor businesses that misspell the name to be cute). It’s fairly inexpensive and most of the recipes are quite yummy. We’ve had a few that we didn’t care for or never even tried, but there were enough that we loved from other weeks that it all works out.

    Check it out at! (I sound like a spokesperson, but I’m really not. )

  10. Wendy says:

    I have to add that I have enough burrito stuffing to have them again tonight.

  11. Theresa says:

    There is a ton of information about this topic out on the web. You can drive yourself crazy trying to read it all. Some of the ideas I have picked up along the way are.

    1. Compare. Compare. Compare those prices. So you can spot a good deal when there is one. Alot of times our local stores advertises a sale…that I know is regularly cheaper at the commissary. On the flip side I find deals that beat the commissary. For example the Dollar Tree will (sometimes) have the bread that I like but it is $2 at the commissary. The drug stores offer sales and reward dollars for a future purchase.(used with a coupon..this can be a good deal)
    2. Coupons. Get them. Use them. Farm Fresh will double them. (offers 5% off to military on Monday) Harris Teeter has triple coupon days. The commissary accepts as well. Works great on consumables.
    3. Be Flexible. This is where I struggle. Determine when you can use the store brand or off brand…it is often cheaper. I have switched pasta sauce to a cheaper item…but I stick with my name brand shampoo(and I use a coupon).
    4. Healthier. A nutritionist told us to shop the perimeter of the store. A good snack is yogurt…get plain or vanilla(less sugar) and add fresh fruit etc. My eldest likes to add Cherrios. Pop corn. Almonds. Homemade Oatmeal cookies(with 1/2 sugar).
    5. Avoid the chips, soda. We don’t buy these. And we save because of it.
    6. Finding the best deal is very very time consuming. I spent alot of time reviewing the weekly ads, doing coupons etc. And in the end I go to the Commissary. Don’t want to drive to a ton of stores to get the job done. Consider the value of time/car gas vs the potential savings.

    I will look for your shopping list next time. And see how the prices compare at the commissary. This should be interesting….

    Happy Budgeting.

  12. Kelly says:

    If I only I had a pantry! I have very limited storage space in my kitchen-and whole house for that matter-so I can’t really stock up, but we don’t eat much in the way of processed foods anymore, so most food is in fridge or freezer until we need it.
    Sounds like a fun challenge though!

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