Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summertime Pantry Challenge: Week 3

I can't believe it's already Week 3 of the Summertime Pantry Challenge; July is nearly over! Of the five goals I listed at the outset of this challenge, I think I have done a fair job of sticking to all of them.
  1. We have been limiting grocery spending to produce and dairy, with the occasional necessity: this week we ran out of canola oil and mayo, so I replenished the supply. {Fortunately, both were on sale. Score!}
  2. We have purchased the bulk of our produce from our local farmers' markets.
  3. We have cleaned out a lot of the freezer meals including some white beans and spaghetti sauce and used up some shrimp that I found shoved way in the back.
  4. And we have tried out some delicious new recipes including Grilled Gyros and Baked Eggplant Parm.
However, I still have some work to do. This week I need to:
  1. Reorganize my freezer
  2. Create a new freezer inventory
  3. Find a use for and use the 3 (32-oz.) containers of homemade chicken broth in the freezer
Still, the rewards of this challenge have been immense. I really feel like this pantry challenge has taken the pressure off me to hit all the sales. When I see things on sale that I would usually buy, I just tell myself, "We aren't buying that stuff this month." And I focus my attention on those items we are buying. This shift in my thinking has led to less stress and resulted in less time gathering coupons and working on my grocery list. Honestly, we are eating much healthier as a result. I'm not just buying stuff because I have the coupons and/or the items are on sale. I am making a much more conscious effort to purchase only what we absolutely need.

We are, however, spending as much, maybe even more, each week on groceries because we are buying more organic and local produce, which is more expensive than conventional, and there just aren't coupons for it. Yet, I feel good about what our family is eating, so I don't mind that we aren't saving the money that I had hoped.

If you are participating, how are you doing on the Summertime Pantry Challenge?

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