Pantry Check In

Good post today about the “Pantry Eating Adventure” over on Money Saving Mom. I went grocery shopping today – my list was not the best it could have been, my menu plan is still a bit jumbled up, and I think I’m really still in “stockpile” mode. For instance, a yogurt that I like (and the Lorax likes) was on sale – buy 1 get 2 free, already a score. And I had a coupon for $1 off 6. I ended up with 9 yogurts for $1.25, or 14 cents each. Score. But I still bought the Lorax her own yogurt (on sale and with coupon). I can see that I really need to adjust my thinking. Also, shopping with a toddler is not the best situation to be thinking about meal plans / prices / discounts / coupons / etc. Next week she will not be with me on the grocery trip. I spent less than I usually do, but still more than I wanted. I did get a coupon for $7 off $50 future purchase (and I’ve got a coupon coming for $10 off $50 in the mail) so that will be a benefit as well, and I might actually stay under $150 for the month. Hm.

What’s in your cupboard?

I spotted this idea on the web – Pantry Challenge – so from January 1-31, 2010, the challenge is to attempt to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible and will be blogging what we’re feeding our families, creative recipes we’re concocting, and how we’re pulling this whole thing off. The “We” being MoneySavingMom and FishMama.

I am so curious about this idea. I think I could do it, I really do – Crystal’s goals are simple: (straight from her blog)
“Now, let me say right upfront that I am not going to completely avoid buying any groceries for a month. We like to have fresh eggs, milk, and produce, so I plan to buy those at least three times during the month.” And then she goes on to post the goals for her family.

I think this would be so interesting to try. Maybe I could do it as a lurker? If I were to do it, and really commit to it, I would love to give myself / this home the following goals:
1) Stop at the store a maximum of three times in January.
2) Spend a total of $150 or less on groceries during the month of January.
3) Make more (so, buy less) bread / treats that could be for breakfast or snacks.

Off the top of my head I made a list and I’ve got 10 go-to-meals, ingredients are already in my pantry / fridge. I’ve tried menu planning for the month of December:
You can see there are many rearrangements (lucky for me hubby doesn’t mind Annies Mac & Cheese in the middle of the week). Due to life, toddler tantrums, my own personal whims. Thursday’s are crossed out because I go off knitting then. On the weekends usually hubby cooks.

I’ve got the tools:
How To Cook Everything (AKA Bittman Bible – I love this book – had it out on near permanent renewal from the library and now have my own copy!), 6 o’clock Scramble, Make It Fast, Cook it Slow (another Christmas Gift – I haven’t given up on my slow cooker!), 30 minute meals from Better Homes and Gardens, and a cookbook that was a hospital fundraiser but has been used in my family forever!

We’ve got a decent stockpile of food, and I try to shop the deals and use coupons, but it’s tricky with a little one. Sometimes she’s great in the store – will take her time eating the treat, will walk next to the cart. This week – she finished the donut before we were even out of the produce aisle. She was walking away from me. Oy.

May any trip you make to the grocery store this week be productive!