Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge – Goal Week

Boost Your Budget

 Welcome to the new Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge series that I’ll be participating in and posting about throughout the month of January!!

Here’s the plan: 

During January we plan to challenge ourselves to eat from our pantries – to use up all that excess food sitting in the back of the cupboards, hiding in the refrigerator door, in the stockpile and from out of the freezer – and limit our shopping to as little as possible.

This is not a “no spend” month, this is a “make do with what you have on hand and spend as little as possible” month. 

Everybody’s personal goals will be different and we can each set our own rules – the point is merely to challenge ourselves and start off the new year with a boost to our budgets! We’re also giving away a $25 Coupon Clutch gift certificate each week to one participant who either leaves a link to a challenge post or a comment about their challenge goals. Won’t you join us?

I have quite a different goal than most of my other cohosts (at least I think so, I haven’t read all of their posts yet ;)) and it will force me to be a little more transparent than I have been in a while on here. Please don’t judge!!

Hubby and I are complete fools with our money…there, I said it!! 

Before we met we were frivilous with our money and it really hasn’t improved all that much since we’ve been together. Don’t get me wrong, we pay our bills (most of the time) and we provide for our son absolutely first, no questions asked, but we’ve done without food in our house (except for the boy) at times because we decided to buy a new toy or go out to dinner…well, you know…

My family spends about $500 in groceries every month for a family of three right now. That most likely includes going to dinner once or twice per week and possibly ending up eating scraps and scrambling at the end of the month. I make quite a bit more money per month than my husband and I get paid once per month. I pay the majority of the bills and we do a “big” grocery shop at the beginning of the month. He is paid weekly, pays a weekly daycare payment, and then we “live” off of the rest of his money for additional groceries and necessities. We have no savings and don’t use any type of credit. We usually have something in the pawn shop or owe somebody something, but we’re actually heading into January 2 (payday) with nothing owed…woohoo!!

So, here’s my goal:

We want to attempt to spend under $400 this month on groceries, toiletries, household items!!

This will definitely be using coupons combined with sales ads, shopping strategically (;)) at the stores in our town, cutting back on our dining out, and tracking it all in spreadsheets and here to help with accountability. That will be a 20% savings from our “normal” shopping and we will continue it as far as we can go in order to build a true stockpile.

My long term goal:

Next January, I will be TRULY eating from my pantry/stockpile just like my cohosts!!

I’m pretty sure that if this works for us, you all will be reading about this throughout the year, rather than just in January. 😉

Today is Payday for me and the day that Hubby and I always look forward to doing our biggest grocery shop of the month. I made sure to buy a newspaper with all FOUR inserts (we’ve been slacking in the coupon collection department) and I’ve cleaned out all of the expired coupons from my binder. I think we’re ready for this and I would LOVE some encouragement along the way!!

I feel blessed to have been asked by Denise to help co-host this challenge and to have the benefit of such fantastic cohosts to challenge me and help me on stay track.

We want you to join us, too!

Each Monday during January we’re going to post an update of our goals and how we’re doing at meeting those goals through the linky below.  So figure out what your goals are – is it to save money?  to have more room in your pantry? to stop wasting food and thus help the environment?!!

Figure out why you want to participate in the challenge – I look forward to hearing about your goals too!!

(Bloggers: if you wish to join us, we’ll have a linky each week where you can link to your challenge posts.  The linky will appear on the blogs of all of the co-hosts so your post will get quite a bit of exposure!)




  1. Jen says:

    I am looking forward to reading how far you've come! You can do it!

  2. Heather s says:

    I'm with you Janet! I know you can do it! If you feel weak, email me or find me on FB and we can all support each other through that and our blogs!! Power in numbers and money in our pockets!

  3. Heather s says:

    I'm with you Janet! Before I even saw this post this was one thing that my husband and I were going to do. If you feel weak and need some support you know you can find me on FB!

  4. kat j says:

    I do not really have a pantry but I would like to know more on how to start one. I tend to shop on an as needed basis. Is it actually cheaper to build up a stockpile? If so how do I even begin?

  5. Clarinda Olenslager says:

    I decided to shop from my pantry too. I even am putting off shopping for a few days while I organize everything-just did the freezers yesterday and the pantry today. Then I'm going to make a minimal grocery list. And I'm hoping to really cut our spending.

  6. Christine SD says:

    We are a family of four and I don't think we spend more than $250 a month. And believe me, my two brothers eat like a pig!

  7. Can't wait to read more. You can do it! We spend about $350/month for a family of 4 that includes two teenagers. I'd love to get it lower.

  8. Sarah BB says:

    Good luck with your challenge!  I am not a couponer at all but wish I were!

  9. What awesome goals! I can't wait to see the results. What a fantastic idea!!

  10. I know you are going to do great and I am looking forward to your upcoming posts!

  11. Yankee Texan Mom says:

    Honey I'm right there with you!  2011 was all about learning more about being frugal and my journey still continues.  I am participating int he challenge as well (as Mama's Money Tree) and I already had to remind my hubby on January 2 that we agreed no restaurants in January.  I'm hoping this is going to be as long of a month as I think!

    • janet says:

      I have a feeling that’s going to happen to us as well because my paycheck is not in the bank yet (bank holiday, I guess) and we’re going to feel like we “deserve” a dinner out by tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll stay strong!!

  12. Rosemarie says:

    Best of Luck to you… I have also had a busy last few months so have slacked on my coupons also and have challenged myself to reorganize the binder and start putting the saving into a separate bank account so that when the holidays come around we will be set to do whatever needs to be done…

    • janet says:

      Isn’t it funny how the holidays inspire us to start saving again? We are scrambling to pay for gifts so we think “not next year”…let’s just pray that 2012 is a starting point for us all!!

  13. Nikki says:

    I'm really looking forward to reading about how awesome you're doing on your goals!! You can totally do this!

    • janet says:

      Thanks, Nikki!! I need all the encouragement I can get!!

  14. Gena says:

    This is fantastic!  Good luck!

    • janet says:

      Thanks, Lady!! I’m gonna need it…

  15. Good for you! I don't have all that much in my pantry, I've been eating out of it when we run out of food lol. What I need is a no takeout month but my husband wouldn't be able to do it. Good Luck!

    • janet says:

      Hubby and I are unfortunately always on the opposite sides. When I want to spend less, he wants to splurge and vice versa. We are bad influences on each other!! But I think it comes from not spending wisely because it usually happens after we’ve run out of money for the month then when one of us gets paid, we feel like we “deserve” the special treat.

  16. GreenIdMama says:

    You should try the Dave Ramsy Class! Its really great, well worth the 100$ for the class.

    • janet says:

      I’ve listened to the CDs and was totally psyched, but getting Hubby on board was a different story…

  17. This blogging thing keeps you on your toes; it's good to have accountablility isn't it?  😉    Thanks for being so open about your situation and way to go starting the year off owing no one!  That is truly a blessed start to 2012! 

    • janet says:

      Thanks so much!! I’m looking forward to the challenge and know you all will help/encourage/scold me when needed. 😉

  18. Denise says:

    Way to go Janet!  Those are excellent goals, and I really dig your long term plan 🙂  I know you can do it and can't wait to hear more!

    • janet says:

      Thanks, Denise!! With your support, I’m sure I can do this!!

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