Are you ready to save money, prevent food waste, and bring some order to your kitchen? Take the Pantry Challenge.
The Pantry Challenge is something I practice once or twice a year as a kitchen discipline. In the early years my family groaned and complained about it, but now that we’ve been doing it for ten years, they don’t even notice that I’m handling things differently in the kitchen.
What is a pantry challenge?
A pantry challenge is a focused time when you use up what you have before buying more food.
In doing so, you waste less food, spend less time shopping, and save money by not overbuying. It’s a great way to save money and be a better steward of your kitchen resources.
Having done a pantry challenge dozens of times over the last decade, I find that during this 2- to 4- week, focused, time period,
- I use up what we have. Waste not, want not. I hate wasting food.
- I save money on groceries that month. Who doesn’t want a smaller grocery bill? This allows me to go over on other months during the year while still keeping a regular monthly grocery budget average.
- I learn what ingredients our family really loves. Or hates. And therefore, learn how to shop better.
- I save time because I’m not spending hours grocery shopping during the month.
I’ve been doing a Pantry Challenge every year since 2009. It’s become super successful for my family to offset our grocery spending and to refine our shopping habits to better suit our lifestyle.
Each time I set specific goals for the Pantry Challenge, like in December of 2013 when I spent 2-weeks cleaning out our cupboards to make room for healthier ingredients. And every time I do it, I help our overall grocery budget even out so that I can allow myself splurge months when the circumstances of life require it.
Learn how to Do a Pantry Challenge.
Are you interested in doing a pantry challenge, saving money, and making the most of what you have? Here are my best suggestions for getting started:
1. Read through my archives.
I typically keep a daily diary of how I feed my family of 8 during the challenge as a way of keeping record for myself as well as sharing with others some of the discoveries we make and lessons we learn.
You can read through the pantry challenge archives to get a taste of what a Pantry Challenge can be like. Read up on how to improve your Pantry Challenge experience in these posts:
- 7 Ways to Avoid Food Waste
- Tips for a Successful Pantry Challenge
- What You Can Learn from a Pantry Challenge
Here’s the video of the time I was on Good Morning America to talk about the Pantry Challenge:
I’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you do a Pantry Challenge on your own. You can purchase the instant download here.
3. Sign up for my emails.
During each challenge month, I send out specific tips and tricks to help you make the most of the food you already have in your cupboards.
Sign up for the emails here.
4. Follow along during this year’s Pantry Challenge.
The next challenge will run from January 4 to January 31. You can find more details here.
You can follow along via my daily blog updates.
We’re going to have a great time this time round. I hope you’ll join us for the Pantry Challenge!