Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pantry Reset Update

I've been too busy cooking to blog. But I've found some time and here I am with a pantry reset update.
The last of the protein.

It's September! Can you believe it? In August we spent just about $500 on food - or an average of $125/wk or $16/day. We didn't decide to do the challenge until the 7th though - so that's a whole week of unemcumbered spending.

A search on my online banking allowed me to figure out what we spent this time last year.

August 2014 $1129
August 2015 $500
(I went to Costco yesterday the 31st and spent $118 on food that is counting towards September as we haven't eaten it yet)

I looked at May too, incase that insane number was a fluke, but no it wasn't:
May 2014 $1110
May 2015 $967

We had been spending about $250-$275/week to feed a family of four (plus animals). That's crazy! Not to mention we can't actually afford it.

The pantry reset has been time consuming. Mainly because it is still summer and the kids are home (snacking) all day - and once we ran out of the ready snacks (about a week in) it was time to make or bake them.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (use up canned pumpkin, cream cheese blocks which I had 4 of in my fridge for an unknown reason)

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies (use up Craisins, Oats, add pecans omit chocolate and they are amazing)

Copycat Golden Oreos (A HUGE hit, used up a bunch of margarine I had in the freezer from last Thanksgiving's homemade gingerbread house fiasco)

I've been baking bread, cookies, muffins and pies. I've made several crock-pot meals, and am eating lots of salad too. The quality of our food has gone up rather than down, even now when I'm getting to the dredges of what's left in the pantry. My personal problem is eating the cookies and popcorn I make the kids for snacks. I'm not a fan of goldfish, but these homemade goodies are hard to pass up!

Is this food revolution going to last forever? Have I bought my last loaf of HealthNut? Certainly not because I'm getting burned out. But I am happy to have found an area where we can greatly improve our spending habits, and eat a little healthier in the process.


  1. I'm very impressed and motivated to maybe try something similar myself.

  2. Congrats! I need to do something in this area of our budget. My problem is that as I work more at eBay and help the kids with homeschooling, I have no energy left to cook and tend to go for processed or take-out. I need to get my slow cooker recipe book back out and make a plan.

  3. I started paying attention to our grocery budget about 2 years ago. We went from about $1100-$1500/month for the 5 of us to about $700 a month. Sometimes I can keep it at around $500. But it's hard as my 3 kids are all boys and 2 of them are teens..one being 6'7" and the other already at 6'2". But there are months when I don't pay attention and don't budget and the spending goes up. I've found the easiest way to stay on budget is to take the $ in cash..once it's gone..it's gone!