Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge – Week Two

Boost Your Budget

 It’s the second week, and first update to the Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge series that I am participating in and posting about throughout the month of January!!

I am joining Shopper Strategy, Pary MoppinsThe Frugalista Chick, Matter of Cents, Coupon Pals, Thrifty Divas, Frugal Mom of Two, How About Free,, All The World Is Art, Sweeping The USA, Mommies Point of View, Mama’s Money Tree, Crunchy Frugalista, Fab Find Foodie, Making Time For Mommy, Adventures in Coupons, Full Price? NEVER!, The Frugal Navy Wife, Generations of Savings and A Savings WOW! and we’d love it if you’d join us as well.

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?

Last week’s winner of the Coupon Clutch gift certificate was Angela from The Testosterone Palace!!

I have quite a different goal than most of my other cohosts as I had started January with no food in my pantry or fridge and have set a goal of only spending $400 (rather than $500) on groceries and attempting to build a stockpile this month and ongoing.

The week started out on a bad note because my paycheck that should have come on Monday didn’t come until Tuesday, but I actually won a Paypal giveaway (first time ever!) for $25 so we were able to get a little something for dinner that night and then plan something a little more substantial the following day.

I also found out on Monday that I was going to be traveling for work on Wednesday and that always costs a little extra than expected.

We have used $320 of our budget on groceries (including pull-ups, dog food, toilet paper, and a really great deal that Hubby found on body wash and deodorant). I’m going to break it down into transactions for you tomorrow and will link it up. This shopping included coupon deals, meat markdowns (Hubby is a butcher for Brookshires), and shopping the ads for Brookshires and Kroger this week.

We also ate dinner at my dad’s yesterday (we do this every Sunday) and he offered us the leftover steaks and shrimp and had also bought us a markdown Tur-Duc-Hen (I’m a little timid about that thing, but hey, it was free!).

A couple of confessions – in addition to the $10.65 lunch I ate at Cotton Patch on my travel day, I also appeased my son twice with McDonald’s Happy Meals (that hardly ever happens..why this week, I don’t know) and we ate out three times (on Thursday after weighing in, on Friday at lunch, and again on Friday evening). It was like we set our budget and that made us want to rebel. We are so bad for each other in this aspect!!

On a positive note, we have a fridge full of lunch meat and turkey hot dogs (all on our eating plan as suggested lunches) and a freezer full of pork chops, fajita meat, roast, and of course, a Tur-Duc-Hen. 😉

We will probably only need to buy Apple Juice (for the boy) for the rest of the month and will only buy other groceries if they are on a really good sale to keep our stock up.

All in all, I would say that it was a good week, could have been better, but we are starting this week with full fridge/freezer and money still in my account and Hubby’s wallet. Bonus!!

How are you doing on your pantry challenge goals this week?  Remember to leave a link to your post or comment below about your progress in the pantry challenge and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Coupon Clutch gift certificate. One participant who either leaves a link to a challenge post or a comment about their challenge progress will win each week!

(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:

    So far so good, any progress is awesome. 😉

  2. Brittany @ Ramblings of a Southern Mama says:

    Sounds like a good challenge. If my kids weren't such picky eaters I think I would just eat from my pantry. But with toddlers thats just not possible. Stopping in from the Alexa Hop!

  3. Isra says:

    Sounds like a good week, and I know all about happy meal're doing great, keep it up. And turducken..will have to try it…someday. 😉

    • janet says:

      Thanks, Isra!! My son loves his Happy Meals and I love the Diet Cokes so it usually costs less than $5 which is worth it to me when I'm in a hurry and need something for him. Plus, now they have apple slices with every meal and my son is starting to like them!!

  4. Denise says:

    I overspent last week too but I'm planning to tighten up for the rest of the month.  Sounds like you've got a good plan – I'm sure you can do it!!  Always nice to have a full fridge 🙂

  5. carol says:

    Ah the turducken- been there done that! Great post!

  6. I have to say that I have a little meat envy right now between your hubby being a butcher and the turducken.  😉  Good luck on the rest of the challenge.

  7. Mama Does It All says:

    You made progress and that's what counts!  I can't wait to hear about the turducken!

  8. angela says:

    I totally need to do this. Our pantry is bursting at the seams!

  9. What a great challenge. We are trying to be money conscious in 2012 so I enjoy reading these posts. THank yoU!

  10. Dawn says:

    This is a really cool idea. I actually do have a pantry, so I will be looking through it later and seeing if I have enough in there already to join in this challenge…what if what I have it crammed with is canned food (I canned myself)…that work?

    • janet says:

      Absolutely!! Join in by linking up a post!! I had NOTHING in my pantry so anything should work. 😉

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