This new year of 2013 is going to be all about saving money, right? If you are like me, and I am sure you are, saving money on that ever-growing grocery bill is a priority. It seems like the cost of feeding the family goes up weekly as prices seem to increase over night. Two of my friends are working on saving food dollars by doing the pantry challenge.
Sometimes we do extra shopping because a frequently used item is on sale and we stock up. Then we end up not using the item and we do end up with extra on our pantry shelves…cans of whatever just sit there forgotten. The pantry challenge encourages us to cook our meals with whatever we have in the pantry. This often requires some creativity on the part of the cook! Obviously, there are items which we purchase weekly…fresh fruits and veggies and dairy products. But seriously, we all need to take a look at our pantries and see how we can make use of what we have.
While my kids were growing up, I would do leftover meals twice a week, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I pulled out whatever leftovers were in the fridge and let the children fix their own plates. It worked for us, and it was rare when food spoiled in the fridge. Well, ok, that did happen sometimes. But I do hate throwing away food!
My friends doing the pantry challenge represent 2 different family types. Stacey is married with 3 young children, and Rachel is a single middle-school teacher who enjoys entertaining guests when she can. Both of them often have crazy schedules, but they still need to eat! And both of them want to save money this year on their groceries. These ladies are keeping track of various recipes they create using items they have on hand and seeing how they can lessen their grocery bills each week.
Rachel has already created a curry dish! Here is what she said: “last night, I wanted a curry – had all the ingredients and spices, but I’d forgotten to thaw chicken. Usually, when that happens, I just go out and buy fresh chicken (money-waster because then I have all this frozen chicken that doesn’t get used for weeks!), but I decided I’d just go vegetarian. I had dried lentils and barley, so I used those instead of chicken. The curry was delicious, and I saved money!”
How are you going to save grocery money this year?