2012 Pantry Freezer Challenge for January

One of the ways I like to start off a New Year is bringing my budget (which is stretched out of shape in December) back into alignment in January.  And it seems to me a good old fashioned pantry/freezer challenge is a nice way to do just that.  I like to sprinkle these challenges to myself all throughout the year, but most especially in January. So for our first challenge of the year, here are my 'rules':

#1  All meal planning starts with pantry/freezer items first.  I try to plan meals that will use only what is on hand.  If a recipe calls for an ingredient I don't have I have two choices: substitute or use another recipe. 

#2  Try to limit purchases to fresh fruit/produce/dairy products (bread too if you're not a baker) but truly try to use only items you already have on hand to make meals.

#3  Other purchases may include really good sales on items you are out of, or ridiculously low prices on standard pantry/freezer foods.

My pantry includes paper products, laundry/dish items and pet foods too.  Yours may not.  But we won't be buying new items of anything except necessities.

This is not a NO SPEND challenge, but you can certainly make it one if you choose.  My goal is to save as much of the grocery money I normally would spend as I can to use for future stocking up.

And that's it.  Just those simple rules....So who wants to join in?  We'll start January 1, 2012...


Tammy in NE said…
I'll join in the pantry/freezer challenge, Terri! Having my honey home for two weeks (paid, but no OT)is great, but definitely tightens the budget.
Rhonda said…
You know I am joining you. We pretty much did our shopping for the month today. Still need eggs, milk, and a few items that I want to get almost free with coupons. We did find some good food and some very good deals on some of it too.
We will also be adding at least 1 no-meat meal to every weeks menu, maybe 2.

I am also hoping that less shopping will save me time in addition to the money saved.
Dawn said…
I am definitely in for this challenge. My freezer is packed, and I need to get it under control. The cold makes me not want to shop too. Like Rhonda I want to add in one or two meatless meals per wek.
Grandma D said…
I sure need to do that! I have an old freezer and need to empty it before spring so I can get a new one. I have been promising myself a new one for I don't know how long now, and never do get it empty. Have a lot of stuff on the shelves that needs to be used up to. I'm in! How about a challenge to see how many new recipes? Grandma D.
Nancy said…
I'm in. I'm scheduled to do the regular shopping tomorrow. I need to do this so that I can get my freezer and pantry more organized. I also need to move some of the stuff out of the pantry so that I can put recent purchases in there.

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