Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Pantry Challenge: Can It Be Done?

Since it's the first of the month and since Shane is all but laid off right now (he worked 1-1/2 days last week and 1/2 a day this week so far), I've decided it's time to dive into another pantry challenge and to limit the money we spend on dining out.

December doesn't seem a likely month to challenge myself, considering the holidays and festivities that will take place. I was going to try to do this in January with the beginning of the new year, but I've decided to go ahead and begin the challenge this month, with a few exceptions.

  • My birthday is this month:  I have a restaurant mystery shop planned for my traditional meal out, so that meal will be reimbursed, but I reserve the right to buy a treat, or the ingredients for a treat, to have here at home.
  • Christmas Eve:  We will be eating breakfast out with my in-laws (existing tradition) and dinner out with my daughter Jean and her husband (hopefully, a new tradition).  These meals will come from our Christmas budget.
  • Christmas Day:  We will have all manner of appetizers, finger foods, sweet treats, etc. throughout the day.  I won't hesitate to buy what I need for these goodies.
  • New Year's Eve:  If we stay home, the food will be much like at Christmas.  If we go to our friends' house, I'll be taking a dish or two.  Again, I'll not hesitate to buy what I need for these treats.

Otherwise, I'm going to try to buy only the grocery items we really need and to stay away from the fast food joints.  I need the accountability, so I'll be posting the tallies at the bottom of my daily posts like I've done in the past.  My weekly menu retrospectives will show what we've been eating during this challenge.

We're well-stocked on meat, frozen veggies and frozen fruit.  Mostly, I'll just need to buy milk, eggs, flour, sugar and those kinds of staples.

I won't invite anyone to participate because I know December can be hectic enough as it is.  On the other hand, joiners-in and cheerleaders are always welcome and appreciated.


Groceries* Purchased Today:   $0.00
Total Groceries* Purchases for December:  $0.00
Money Spent on Dining Out:  $0.00

* Edible items only.


Sheila said...

I too buy special things for our holidays--we have one meal of nothing but appetizers and a few other special things. I have to replenish our pantry after donating most everything we had in it. I don't mind doing that though because I know so many families need the help. My freezer is pretty much full so I really just need the staples. Take care.

A.Marie said...

OH yeah! I'll be your cheerleader!! *Rah Rah* lol

I have also donated quite a bit, so I am going to be looking for deals to replenish my pantry. Otherwise, I have a freezer full of meat (Thank you Lord!) and plenty of canned goods. I plan to make a big pot of chili for my guys (teen daughter is not a fan of it) and then freeze some for later on. I am also going to make some turkey rice soup with leftovers and try to stretch my food dollars until Christmas so I can splurge on items for my family!

Annie Jones said...

Sheila: We haven't had any food drives lately, but at our grocery stores we can "buy" donations to our local food pantry at the registers. I try to purchase several of those throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.

A.Marie: You are an excellent cheerleader!

slugmama said...

Well if I can find my pom-poms I'll get em out and shake em at you...oh, that sounds so wrong suddenly.lolol

We have a birthday this month too plus possible travel plans for Christmas and the return of the "Carnivore Eating Machine"(aka #1 son)so I'm looking at finding frugal, easy meals if I can, since I don't want to spend $(after seeing Nov. food totals)and I don't want to spend all day in the kitchen.

Lisa B. said...

I've tried to stockpile ahead of time to be able to keep food at a minimum this month. There is still a few things I will have to buy also.

Price Chopper has flour, sugar and cream cheese on sale this week.

ND Chic'c Cents said...

Good for you. Holiday grocery shopping is always hard for me because I tend to completely ignore my budget and buy whatever I want. Good luck!

Mayet said...

we rarely dine out--maybe once a month,just to reconnect and have our special time together but we still have a long way to go about grocery shopping compared to you. ;)

SonyaAnn said...

I'll say a prayer that it picks up quick for Shane.
And I know that you will make magical meals with almost nothing. You're Annie Jones all things are possible from your pantry!

McVal said...

Oofda! I'm not organized enough to join in, so I won't... Too much going on this month for me as well.
But so far, we've only used leftovers for meals! From Thanksgiving and the weekend. With any luck, I may be able to hold off on groceries until this weekend... But I doubt it. Milk is almost out..

slugmama said...

I'm with Val....I need milk too....and I need to start building an ark! Sideways rain is so much fun but at least it keeps me home and out of the store!lol

I can't even seem to get together a meal plan this week! We are out of Turkey day leftovers too....except for a bit of leftover turkey fettucine alfredo with veggies that used leftovers, making it a double

Frances said...

I will be cheering you one. Actually, grocery shopping wise, December is just another month for us. I stock up throughout the year on baking supplies and stuff needed for holiday dinners. Then in December, I just shop like I always do. If we want something special, I will get it, but chances are we already have it in the freezer, pantry or the ingredients to make it. LOL!