Monday, May 15, 2017

Watching Eating Down the Pantry Challenge Videos and Thoughts

   So, while I have been laid up for the most part with this virus, I have been watching videos on YouTube on more ways to save money.  I found some  "Eating Down Your Pantry Challenges" and that, for the most part, is what Jeff and I have been trying to do lately.  Let me tell you, some of the people who did these videos did an excellent job and others...well, they spent way more money than I do on a normal month where I am not challenging myself to save money. 😬

   For the ones that did a good job, they took inventory of what they had on hand and needed to be used up ASAP and made a menu plan from there.  Their meals looked really good and healthy.  This is the way that I try to menu plan on a weekly basis so it is very familiar to me.  They also utilized leftovers and made them over into other dishes...another great way to save money and not become bored with eating the same thing for several nights in a row.  I tip my imaginary hat complete with flowers and feathers to them. 😉

   Now to some of the others.  Oh my, where to start...  First of all, if your goal is to save money and eat out of your panty, then shouldn't the majority of the food you consume be coming out of your pantry, fridge and freezer and not from the grocery store?  I totally understand supplementing and buying things like fresh produce and milk as needed but do you really need to spend upwards of $300 on those things alone when you have canned and frozen fruits and veggies at home that you could be using for even half of those meals?  And if you are buying lots of fresh fruits and veggies, at least buy things that are in season and not those expensive items that have to be shipped in from South America that are going to cost you and arm and a leg.  Look, I am all for buying a treat now and then, even on a challenge, but do you really need to be buying lots of chips, packaged cookies, snack cakes, etc. when you are trying to save money and claim to be in desperate need of cutting your food bill?  Mind you, these items were not already in their pantry, they went out and bought them while doing their challenge.  

   I think what it comes down to for me is this...why are you doing the challenge and how much do you want to save on your grocery bills?  If you are just wanting to clean out your freezer, pantry and fridge and have a clean start, that is great.  Go ahead and buy whatever else you want.  But, if your goal is also to drastically cut costs for the month so you can pay that upcoming tax bill, a medical bill, contribute to a much longed for vacation fund, a car repair or something else and you have to find that money somewhere, then for goodness sakes, attack this challenge like you mean business and do it!  One woman, who I thought did a great job, had spent $400 on Christmas gifts for her children so she decided that she needed to cut $400 off the food bill for that month.  I like that.  She moved funds from one area to another and made cuts where she could to do so.  She had a family of 6 with 3 of them being bottomless pit eating machines, also known as teenagers. 😉  I could relate to her because I had 3 teenagers and all their friends here eating on a regular basis for years and boy could they pack away that food!    She buckled down and did it all while feeding her family really good meals mainly from the food she had on hand for the most part.  This woman set a goal for herself and met it.  Bravo!!!!  ðŸ‘   These are the kinds of people who inspire me and encourage me when I am trying to challenge myself also.

16 comments:

  1. I sure hope you feel better soon! I'll say a healing prayer for you. We primarily eat from our food pantry & freezer. I only go shopping when I'm pretty much getting close to running out (like down to 2 loaves of bread, etc.). I shop for the month & only get what we need. Saves money & spoilage. This is a good post!

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    1. Thank you Carol! I think you are very wise in knowing how you can save the most money on your food bill.

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  2. We've been eating from our pantry, fridge & freezer quite a bit. A few fresh produce items and some milk are what has been on the grocery list lately. I find that what I think constitutes a challenge and what others do varies quite a bit. Like you I tend to attack it like I mean business - ha, ha!

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    1. Your posts on your blog and your comments here on mine always bring a smile to my face. It seems like we think along the same lines quite a bit of the time. :)

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  3. OK, so you had me laughing out loud with your description of teenagers in the house and their impact on the food budget. I could always tell when I had something extra special cooking by the numbers hovering in the kitchen before dinner.
    Glad you could make it to your Mother's day celebration and were feeling better. Yea!
    I should explore YouTube more I suppose. I'm always up for new ideas. With the recent vet bills, I've been working harder at using up what's in the freezer and pantry. Every now and then Wendy's has been calling my name, however. I go there some days for lunch and their 'senior' (free soda).
    It's been raining like crazy for most of the last few days. We're supposed to get a break on Wednesday and I'm looking forward to time in the garden. Cheers, SJ

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    1. Hi SJ, does your Wendy's have the 4 for $4 menu? Our's does. You get a small chicken nuggets, a burger, french fries and a drink all for $4. My Chris and Heather do two of these deals and feed their family when they are caught in town and the little boys are melting down.

      We are getting the rain here too. Today it is super gloomy and really wet! I am just thankful we have not gotten any snow with it at our place. Friends who live not too far away from us were hit with snow.

      Be blessed!

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  4. Hope you are on the mend, Debbie! those YouTubers can be pretty amusing. My pet peeve are the thrift ones that show how much they "saved" by buying all sorts of junk at the thrift stores then tally up what it would cost at a regular store, as in "I saved $80 buying these beanie babies for only $20 at the Goodwill, they would have cost me $100 at WalMart." I want to shout at them through the screen. You could have saved more by just not buying all that junk to begin with! Some of those grocery challenges boggle my mind! Do people really spend $700-$800 a month on groceries and consider it frugality?

    Hugs
    Jane

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    1. Hi Jane! I will admit to buying some things that we do not need at the thrift store but I also find lots that we do need too. ;) My favorite deals though will remain the free "treasure hunt" items that I have found recently.

      I don't understand how people can spend $700-$800 a month on groceries and think it is frugal either. It honestly boggles my mind! I always have to wonder what it is they are buying. I know that part of the reason our bills are so low is because we rarely buy meat since we have hunters in the family, but even before we had that, I still kept the budget really low and only bought at rock bottom prices for meat.

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  5. Hi Debbie,
    It's really good to hear you sounding more like yourself again. It must feel good to be getting on top of the nasty virus and knowing that you will be able to give that Grandbubby a big Granny cuddle when he makes his way earthside.
    I recently read a newspaper account of a young, self made property tycoon. Getting onto the property market in our major cities is very difficult. This young man agreed it was difficult, but he also said it was not impossible. Make savings goals and stick to them. He said give up wasteful spending, like buying $4 cups of coffee. He is so right.
    We are having a careful spend month. We have had some unexpected Vet and Dental bills come in. I'm grateful for a well stocked pantry and a garden that is now pumping out the most delicious veg. We are topping up a few things as we need them. We still have some delicious snacks in the form of homemade cookies and cake. I bake our bread and we have all the ingredients necessary for this for at least another month or two. Whilst we are having a careful spend month we are still eating delicious fresh homemade food.
    Enjoy your pantry challenge.

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    1. Aw thank you Jane! I'm at the coughing up the junk stage but hey, that means I am on the right track for getting this all out of my system. It typically takes me a full 3 weeks to recover after something like this.

      That young man is right, it is amazing how much money you can save IF you cut back on other things. I just got off the phone with my son Josh and we were talking about how much it costs to eat out on a regular basis, something that he, as a busy single guy, has been doing a lot of. He is determined to cut way back on that. ;) I'm sorry to hear about the unexpected bills coming in but I know that you can buckle down and get them paid off since you are prepared and determined. Be blessed my friend!

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  6. Hi Debbie, it seems you're feeling better! Yay!:D
    I can't believe that people spend so much money in food, when trying to save money on food. What???
    We try to have a stocked pantry here and take advantage of promotions and cupons, every time we go to the supermarket.
    And I would love to grow vegetables, but since we live in an apartment, it's a little bit harder!
    But I once had lettuces, tomatoes and peppers growing in pots on our balcony!
    Have a wonderful week!
    :)

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    1. Hello Paula! I am starting to feel better, thanks!
      I shop like you do and build my pantry with things at rock bottom prices. Yesterday I watched a video where someone planted a hanging basket with salad making plants like cucumber, lettuces, cherry tomatoes and basil. I thought that was so smart and would be something that someone who lived in an apartment could do as long as they had a window with good light or a small balcony. Maybe that could be something that works for you too. :) I hope you have a wonderful week also!

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  7. Interesting! I've watched and like haul videos. I'll look these up.

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    1. Hi Rhonda, they are fun to watch! I also enjoy watching thrift store and Dollar Tree haul videos. It seems the only way I know what is new at the Dollar Tree is through those types of videos. ;) Be blessed!

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  8. I am sorry you've been sick. Hopefully, you have taken a turn for the better!

    I recently watched a video of a woman's grocery shopping. While she did a good time shopping, it was unclear how she was going to make meals out of the random items she bought. She must have had a large stockpile. Also, she sounded so monotone, and actually bored with the whole thing. I think it takes a certain kind of enthusiasm to make a video! Fun to watch some of them, though!!

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    1. LOL Becky, people with monotone voices tend to lull me to sleep. ;) I guess that is one way to deal with my insomnia. ;) I think people might say the same thing if I did grocery haul videos, the what are they going to make with that part. I tend to buy just what I need along with great stock up items at rock bottom prices since I pull from our freezer and pantry a lot for meals. I hope that you are not getting rained out in your part of the world right now.

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