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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

saving money on groceries

if you're like me... the Holidays can be a financial issue...  I have one suggestion for this:
the pantry challenge!!!  Melissa first initiated me to this... I tried it a few times and it does allow you to save some dollar on the short term!!!
I tried it once in the summer.... this was easy as I eat mostly raw fruits and veggies in the summer... so I didn't find it difficult... but perhaps it was not as rewarding financially!
I also tried it a month before my last 2 moves...  It resulted in having less boxes of food to carry from one apartment to the next!
I will do it again now in order to save money between now and the Holidays... because I am planning a few activities during that period and being unemployed makes it more difficult financially... but I still want to have some savvy fun!!!
So what is the pantry challenge?   It is quite simple... you actually do not buy groceries except from fresh produce until you run out of supplies...  By fresh produce, I mean fruits, veggies, nut milk, plant based butter and bread... Now you can make up your own rules... but I have items that I cannot run out off for health reason....  so on top of the fresh produce listed above, I never let myself run out of nuts and seeds.... With fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds you can go a long way...
For grains, legumes, pasta... I try and use up all I have before I buy more... of course I may eat lots of the same... but because I do not stock up too much, I usually go thru all my produce within a month....  therefore this typically do not run for too long...  and the one time I actually let it ran for longer the next grocery shopping was so expensive because I had nothing left...  to me it didn't make sense... Therefore I have learned.... and now I only use it to typically save about 50$ of groceries for week for a few weeks in order to use this money elsewhere...  it doesn't change much in my eating habit... or eating cost because most of my food is fresh produce but it does help a little...  and if I do it for 2 weeks, I have saved 100$ for my planned activities!!!  And if I can manage a month, it will be 200$!!!
The other advantage to doing this is allowing some rotations in your supply... unless you have a very well planned menu at home, you probably end up eating a lot of the same... and have some poor item feeling lonely in the back of your pantry... this will allow them to be used up!!! it will also allow for a rotation in the food you eat which is always good for your health! You will also probably end up creating new recipes... or discover new ones since you'll have to use what you already have!
Therefore, unless you are hosting an event during the Holidays, I will invite you to join me in the pantry challenge and share your experience!!!
Did you save money? and if so, what did you used it for?
Did you find it challenging to come up with recipes when you might always be missing an ingredients or 2?
Do you think I am completely crazy???  ;-)