April Pantry Freezer Challenge

April is fast approaching and you know what that means?  Time to adjust the budget for all those little unexpected increases and decreases that occurred in the first quarter of the year.  We've had our share here in the Blue House, let me assure you.  I know that come this season of the year we have fewer holidays (that means a pay decrease), we've seen the effects of the tax credits that weren't renewed (another decrease), electricity usage will go up (increase), gasoline has gone UP (increase) and groceries, too (another increase).  Unfortunately all those increases are on the wrong side of the budget sheet!  The money coming in must be stretched just a bit tighter.  Fortunately I had some wiggle room.

However, we will have less of a cushion each month for the next three months.  My husband wants me to be more vigilant in stocking up our spare freezer (there's nothing in it and hasn't been since I filled the bigger freezer) and pantry.  Well the money must come from somewhere if I'm to stock up and so I've decided  the most fitting way to do so is to do a pantry freezer challenge.  This is where I take the regular grocery budget and buy foods for the pantry and freezer, keeping purchases for current eating to a minimum of produce/dairy items and pet food.  I'll be doing this challenge for the month of April.

Would anyone care to join me?  I'm sure ours is not the only household to experience increase/decrease over the past three months.  You may set your own rules.  Perhaps some of you would like a no spend or low spend challenge.  As I said, for myself, I think I'll use most of my usual budget to stock that extra freezer and restock the pantry.  After all we'll be feeding a few extra folks at the end of May when we open our home to our children while they search for a home on the Georgia coast.

As well, my pantry has gotten very low.  I've no more olive oil, have only 10#s of flour and 15# of sugar and our meats have been considerably decreased over the past three months with the lack of sales.  When I buy higher cost meats, I buy fewer of them and try to stretch them further.  We'll eat more cold and less hot cereals in the coming months so I need to stock up on those.  Condiments are running low, too.  And by the way not all of my stocking up will be done with things I purchase: I'll be making some of them, too.  Like granola, and apple jelly and strawberry preserves and putting up a few mix in a jar items for easy fixings in the summer months.

I'll start April 1...Anyone want to join in?


Anonymous said…
I'm in! We need to pay our tax bill soon and this will spur me to be a bit more creative in the kitchen. I'm craving warm foods before the heat hits for good for the summer. Beans and rice with some tomato jam sounds really good right now :) We have a lot of chicken and ground beef so can make a lot of meals that will stretch for a couple of days. Homemade bread with butter, cheese and jam makes a nice supper for a busy day. Maybe I will buy a couple of bags of apples and oranges from Aldi before I begin-- is that allowed LOL? Will also buy a small lamb roast for Easter, my but they are so pricey lately. Thanks for keeping us on our financial toes. Take care-- Hannah
Louise said…
Yes count me in.... I have been doing a freezer challenge most of the winter..One person doesn't use much groceries and yet I seem to always buy more and add it to the growing freezer or pantry... so in February I stopped buying any meats or canned foods... I did buy produce and yogurt and cheese... so I will just continue in this way and I think from now on I will just stock my freezer over the fridge and see how that goes.
IM said…
Thanks for the inspiration! I will definitely join in, and hopefully 'eat my freezer down'. We are trying to downsize and simplify all areas of our life. Since we are now empty nesters, we really don't need a freezer jam packed with everything under the sun in multiples! A good way to put a little money aside, too!
Stephanie said…
I'm in as well. The past few months have been so financially draining. It seems that for March, I simply forgot what my goal was...I'm a homeschooling mama who wants to keep it that way. That means if I don't want to have to re-enter the workforce or have my dear husband work overtime, then I need to get remotivated to save some money! I plan on making up a ton of "make it yourself" mixes. I found a bunch of recipes on Pinterest and I'm going to enlist the help of my main eaters (the children). :) Plus, my big freezer needs a major clean out and defrosting. Time to use up last year's tomatoes and strawberries before this year's harvest begins.
Kathy said…
Sounds good! I would like to join!
All that I have in my big freezer now, is a big turkey and ham, and I would so like to stock up...maybe even buy a side of beef if I can save the money. All the talk of 'pink slime' has made me rather sick to think of what I have been feeding my family.
Thanks for the challenge!
Sounds like you'll have plenty of company in your challenge. I've always liked making my own stuff especially granola.

We changed our diet back in November and we eat very little meat now. Actually I have stuff in my freezer that we don't eat anymore - I have to see you accepts frozen food donations. The food pantry I normally donate to only takes canned/boxed/fresh food.
a8383 said…
Count me in! We have lots of expenses coming up- first grandbaby due (out of state) and hope to visit Colo. to see newlywed DD and SIL. Must all be done without debting so... I am with you! Angela
Grandma D said…
I really do need to empty my freezer. It's very old but has been very reliable, but feel like I have pushed my luck for a long time. If I plan carefully I can make do with my freezer in the refrigerator. Also have tons of stuff in my basement stash of groceries. Good challenge. Now if you were only living next door and keeping me accountable!!
Hi - I have been reading your blog for quite some time, even when you were "Penny":) but have never commented. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and your writing. The pantry/freezer challenge is a great idea! Tax season is always rough for us, we run a small business and have a small hobby farm, raising beef cattle. Thanks for the encouragement. Shirley in Washington
Storybook Woods said…
Intersting idea. I have been stocking up on pantry items before they go up in price. This is going to be a hard summer and prices are already reflexting it!! Clarice

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