A few months ago I did a 30 day pantry challenge. I prepared our meals using only foods that were already available in my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, with a few exceptions. I purchased fresh fruits and vegetables as we needed them, and also dairy products and baked goods. I’m quite capable of baking all the breads and rolls that we might need, but I have dietary restrictions on carbs, so I do have to purchase low carb breads and other baked items. During the challenge I learned that we can easily live on the foods we’ve stocked up on when they were on sale. I also learned that my pantry has been missing some items that would have been good to have on hand. I made no special preparation or purchases before starting the challenge.
I thought about putting a well stocked pantry checklist in this post, but really, everyone has different needs and items they consider essential. So instead I’ll just suggest that you make your own checklist of necessities. If you’re adventurous, try taking the pantry challenge yourself. If you’d like to know more about how to do a pantry challenge, I think you could Google it and find more information. There’s a yahoo group called Pantry Challenge that is full of meal planning, shopping and recipe tips.
My Pantry Challenge/Frugal Living advice is to stock up on items you normally buy when they’re on sale. Use coupons, especially store coupons, when they’re for items you’d buy anyway. Shop at places like Aldi where you can get amazing deals on everyday groceries. You already know all these things. Let me know if you do a pantry challenge and how it worked out for you.
Even if you don’t do the challenge, take a look at what you have on hand, and calculate how long your family could live on what’s in your pantry , fridge and freezer. With the crazy winter weather we’ve had, lots of folks have discovered that they can’t get to the store and should have been better prepared.