Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back from a Break & Pantry Challenge

I had no intentions of being gone so long from this blog but life got in the way. Thanks to numerous holiday events and then a sick baby, there was little computer time left. During the break I cleaned out our office though so I now have a place to work on my Tupperware and blog. I'm still not sure how things will work out once my husband starts back to school in a few weeks but this is his last semester so the end is in sight!

I'm going to start off the year participating in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge that Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom are hosting. I actually was planning on doing something similar before I saw them post the challenge so this was the boost I needed to follow through. My challenge will be to eat from the freezer though. For my long time readers, you will remember that we receive a quarter of a beef every year for Christmas from my in laws. For the past few months I've been trying to eat more from the freezer in order to have space for the beef. Thanks to my husband emptying out the freezer and our other two smaller freezer spaces (more on that in a minute) we had plenty of room but we came across several bits and pieces of meals and random items that really need to be used up.

Back to the extra freezer space - A year and a half ago, we had a flood in our house when the water line broke on our fridge. Insurance did not cover the cost of the fridge and we did not have the money to fix it or buy a new one at the time. Fast forward to November 2009. We had decided we wanted to replace the fridge rather than fix it because there is no lock on the ice/water area and our oldest thinks it is fun to play with. We had been saving money towards this when an appliance store in town sent us a flyer advertising a one day sale. We went on a whim and wound up with a fabulous deal on a new fridge. We put the broken one in the garage as there have been many times we wanted an extra fridge. So, when we cleaned out the deep freeze, I put all the random items I want to use up in the garage fridge/freezer. Having it all in one space makes it a ton easier to find what needs to be used and motivates me to do something with it.

I will have to go to the store for fresh produce, milk and some pantry items this month as my pantry is only well stocked with barbecue sauce and beef broth. Somehow I don't think those two things will get me very far. My plan is to only shop the sales though and make do with what I have in my pantry. My goal is to only spend $100 this month. My normal budget is $200-250 so we will see how it goes.

We ran to the store for milk on New Year's Day and I spent $16 but I do not anticipate needing anything else this week so I'm off to a good start. I will keep you updated on how we do this month, as well as share tips and recipes using our pantry items.


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