Cut back Your Food Budget, Raid Your Pantry
My friend Susan from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic
is an amazing cook, baker, and mom. The only thing about her that amazes me more than the beautiful wedding cakes she makes, is her ability to stretch her monthly food budget further than anyone else I know. I’ve learned a lot of things from reading her blog, such as, I can now decorate professional looking sugar cookies, but I have not mastered her ability to manage a food shopping budget.
Susan has shared her “Penny Pinching Pantry Raid” several times on her blog. During “The Raid”, Susan and her family of 3, eat for 30 days on the contents in her pantry, freezer, garden and $100. Now Susan’s first advantage over most people is that she purchases groceries when they are on sale. So therefore she has a stash of items in her pantry and freezer to begin with. Her pantry, while generously stocked, should not be compared to those seen on “Extreme Couponing”. The only things in my pantry are a case of toilet paper, a case of paper towels, a large can of oatmeal, and my canisters of flour and sugar. My freezer is full of frozen fruit and popsicles; thus I wouldn’t get very far on my food stash.
I’ve taken several lessons from this spending challenge, as I’ve become more aware of where my food budget goes.
- Buying a meal or snack on the go with little to no forethought is always more expensive than planning ahead.
- Purchasing meat and frozen veggies in bulk or when on sale, is a great way to save and have something on hand to cook at all times. Just don’t forget to defrost something for dinner before you leave for work in the morning.
- Fresh veggies can get expensive quickly. If you have the time and energy to plant a small garden, you’ll have access to fresh vegetables all summer long. In the winter months, get creative with frozen veggies.
- Special events and occasions are unavoidable. Being more careful about spending on the non-special days takes the sting out of the cost of the occasion.
- Planning your meals ahead of time and utilizing leftovers for another meal in the same week, can greatly stretch your dollar and prevent wasted food.
I’ve done my own little experiment over the past few weeks by putting the ideas of the “Pantry Raid" to use. While I haven’t been able to feed me and my husband and for under $100 in a month, I reduced our food costs below $100 per week. This is much lower than it has been in the past. Thanks to Susan and “She’s Becoming Doughmesstic” for the inspiration. If you are ever looking for an idea for something new to make for dinner, or for something decadent to make for dessert, check out her blog. You won’t be disappointed.
Post by Don BattisDon Battis
is the CEO of Pawntique.