The Great Pantry Challenge: Will you join me?

I love a challenge! We have one week left of the month of October and I have decided to take on The Great Pantry Challenge. I was reading about this "Eating From the Pantry" Week on another blog and I thought it would be a great learning and growing experience to try it. Truth be told I usually get creative at the end of the month with what's in our fridge and pantry anyway. This time I intend to document it.

The rules:
My last grocery store stop was last Monday, October 19. I've decided to make do with what we have on hand (in the refrigerator & pantry) until Sunday, November 1. The only exception is that we will buy our half gallon of raw milk at our local farmer's market. We're all out of juice and I think the extra five bucks is worth it to keep my family healthy. We will be gone to Los Angeles this weekend to hang out with my brother and his family so the real challenge starts Monday, October 26 for us. I thought I'd just give you all a heads up since many do their shopping and planning for the week on the weekends. In a nutshell, this challenge is not so much about being stringent but about using what we have and spending less. If you're joining me, you can make up your own rules.

Why I'm doing this:
Let's be transparent here. We crunched the numbers and we don't have any more money in our food budget (or any of our budget categories) until the new month starts. When my husband lost his job last December we had to reduce our living expenses quite a bit. I'm grateful for his new job but it pays significantly less so we're still figuring out how to cut costs but still eat healthy. I'm not trying to get you to feel sorry for me. I'm just sharing because I know I'm not alone in that. Times are tough for everyone. For me, that's an extra challenge to put on my game face and get creative. I'd rather pinch pennies now than at Thanksgiving or Christmas time.

What I hope to learn:
The bottom line is: we are spoiled. We can run to the grocery store or to a local market any day we please. We might say things like "We don't have anything to eat" or "We don't have anything in the house" when really we don't even understand what that truly feels like. I'm reading this book called CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. He notes that most of the world lives on $2 a day while we in America think we are poor when we are (on average) raking in $135 daily ($4,000 a month). I, for one, am not going to go around saying "I'm poor" or "I'm broke" anymore. Times may be tough but they could be tougher. I have a full closet and multiple pairs of shoes. I actually do have options in my pantry and a little in my garden. And most of all my husband has a job and I have many small ways I can earn a living while raising my two precious daughters.

What I hope to share:
I'll be blogging what we eat each day and our personal journey as we think through "making do with what we have." Everything is easier with a friend. I know at least one friend who has said she will join me on this challenge. I hope this week will be a chance to share more with my bloggy friends. We can share resources, tips and recipes. Even more I'd like to share encouraging stories and reflections.

Are you in? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.


AMHOFER said...

I'd love to join you. We try to do this at least once a month anyhow, but with this challenge it will get me to update my blog. I do need to get 1 gallon of milk because we are out, but besides that I am ready to go.

VM Family said...

Dorina! This is so crazy, I just made this pledge to myself yesterday. As we roamed the Target yet again, Dave said, "Have you been to the Target every day now this week?" Sadly, I had. For me, the pantry challenge is part of a bigger shopping fast I hope to have for the next week. And already today, it was lovely to take the kids to park and clean my house instead of "running errands." Good luck, my friend! I'll appreicate your guidance! :)

susan holman said...

I'm up for the challenge, but I did just make a major Costco run last weekend. My cupboards are pretty well stocked. I guess the only thing I would need is milk to keep the baby happy. I am also doing treats at school on Friday, so can I have permission to buy ingredients for that? I do need to watch the dining out and buying convenience foods. So it will be a good reminder for me :)

Anonymous said...

I finally have your Health-full blog bookmarked and I'm enjoying your vivid writing, colorful photos (including some perfectly darling children), and recipes. Dad and I will be joining you on part of the pantry challenge by default since we eat with you 3X/week. You are an inspiration and a blessing!


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