Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Eat from the Pantry/No Spend January

Last year my sister and I decided to go for one month with no spending above the minimal needs of our family.  We each had different reasons for wanting to do this but both of us decided make a commitment for the month of January.  My goal was to only spend $150.00 on groceries for the family, mainly purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy.  This is not much considering our monthly family grocery budget is about $700.00.  

I have decided to do this again for January 2015.  Would you like to join me?

Eating from the Pantry means that we eat the food that is already in our pantry and freezer, while only purchasing the bare essentials.  No spending means.... no eating out, picking up Starbucks, or buying that cute sweater that only costs $5.00 with a sale and coupon. 

The things that are NOT included in our no spend month are:

·                     Rent/Mortgage
·                     Utilities
·                     Tithe
·                     Insurance
·                     Gasoline
·                     Education (both my husband and daughter are in college)

Last year when I mentioned what I was doing on Facebook, some of my friends replied that they would starve, that there is no way that they could eat from their pantry.   I may have an advantage over someone who does not enjoy shopping, cooking or using coupons to save money.  Since my sister and I both have larger families, I have 5 kids and she has 6,  we normally buy things in larger quantities at SAM's Club or even stockpile for our families anyway.  While I keep a cupboard full of things we eat in the kitchen, I also have pantry in the basement.  I always have an extra one or more of many items in my basement pantry.  For example, while I have ketchup, mustard, PB and jelly in my kitchen, I also have at least one more in my basement pantry.  This is just how we roll.  I never want to be stuck without something I might need.

Here is a picture of my basement pantry.  I organized it just for you

 You may be thinking there is no way you can do a month eating mainly what you have in your house.  Let me challenge you to try a week.  If you normally spend $100 on groceries a week, try getting creative with your meals, digging back into your cupboard and using things that you didn't know were there and only spend $25.00 on your groceries.  Also, see how long you can go without buy stuff.  You know what I'm talking about, not needs but wants.   Pepsi at the Dollar Tree...Starbucks coffee...Papa John's pizza....Chinese takeout.  I guess you can see where we like to put our money (though I am not the coffee drinker in our house).  

I will begin this challenge on January 1, 2015, just a few days away.  As I look at my freezer and pantry, I will probably make a run to the store to get a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and a few more pounds of chicken before Thursday.  If my kids want to spend their Christmas money during January on something, I won’t stop them as I am not forcing them to participate in this challenge with their personal money, but don’t ask me to go out to lunch or shopping, as I’ll have to ask you to reschedule until February.

Happy Saving!!