When I go grocery shopping, I fall into this trap pretty frequently: OH, it’s on sale?!? I’ll buy a ton of it and keep it in the pantry or freezer!
Ok, so that’s not always a terrible idea. For things you use often it makes total sense and can bring down your grocery budget significantly. But it’s not foolproof. All food has a shelf life or freezer life. Also, some foods are harder to incorporate in everyday meals. So the problem is that if you aren’t careful, you may stock your pantry and freezer with way more of something than you actually can use, or want to use. This leads to a waste of food and money. If you’re like me, you’ll open the pantry to find 30+ cans of chickpeas. That seems a bit excessive doesn’t it?
Hence, a challenge. Eat as much of the food in your pantry and freezer as possible this month, while buying the fewest new groceries possible.
My wife and I are already tackling the challenge. We have quite a bit of frozen meat for multiple meals, and lots of beans! I think the tricky party will be minimizing meat purchases, though I expect we will still buy a fair amount of produce. There’s a decent amount of food in our pantry that isn’t super healthy, so I imagine we will spread out those meals far apart throughout the month, or hold onto some of that food for later.
Obviously you don’t want to lose track of eating healthy by doing the challenge, so you’ll probably need to incorporate fresh produce, but I bet you can keep grocery purchases down quite a bit. Our goal is to spend less than $250 on groceries this month by focusing on eating what we already have. It’s going to be a close call, but I bet we’ll make it!
I’ll keep this short and sweet, but in 2018 we will be doing a challenge each month. We piloted this idea last summer with the challenge to turn off cell phone data for a month. And this year, we will have 12 such challenges to save you money and make your financial life better optimized.
I hope you’ll join us, and share your feedback and progress along the way!
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