Here’s a goal for you:

Do not buy any groceries during the month of January.

OK, it might be too late for January, but you could certainly do this for February (and it’s a shorter month!).  We did this last year, and we’re doing it again this year.

The goal?  First off it’s to eat through what you have stored away in your pantry and freezer.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes there are things in my pantry that go untouched….for a very long time….this ensures you eat a lot of that older stuff.

Secondly, it saves money.  If you are only eating what you have on hand, you aren’t spending money on your groceries!  We allow only the following purchases: milk, butter, eggs, apples, bananas, cheese, yogurt,  bread and lettuce.  Everything else….too bad.  No ice cream, no cereal, no pasta.  Out of cereal….we can eat oatmeal for breakfast instead.  Out of ice-cream…..guess we don’t need dessert after all!  Out of spaghetti noodles….well there are other kinds of noodles in our pantry.  So yeah, it makes for simple dinners sometimes, and we might not be eating a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, but we have lots of frozen veggies and fruits that are being used up instead.

Thirdly, it’s a fun challenge.  Makes you think outside of the norm for dinner planning.  It made me realize that I have a tendency of making the same things over and over.  Eventually I run out of the ingredients for those things, so then I have to come up with something else.  And because you are always digging through your pantry, you find things in there like jars of pimientos or artichoke hearts, canned evaporated milk,  garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.  so you look for recipes to use those things.  I made pudding yesterday.  Something I haven’t made in over a year.  And yes, the boxes were date-stamped as such.

Give it a try.  I bet you can shave your grocery bill to less than one-hundred dollars.

For the month (and we’re half-way through) I’ve only spent $38.00 and I’m feeding six kids lunch everyday, too!  And my own kids take lunch to school three days each week….and Jim takes a lunch every day (thus the reason it’s OK to buy bread, cheese, lettuce, yogurt, apples and bananas).

If you try it, let me know how you do!

(Follow up post can be found here)