One of the best ways to save on groceries is to use what you have. Here's how to do a pantry challenge to save money and avoid waste.
How to Do a Pantry Challenge
If you are always looking for new ways to save time and money in your home, you may want to consider a pantry challenge. This is something you can do a few times per year to free up time and income for other, more necessary expenses.
What is a Pantry Challenge?
The idea of a pantry challenge is to use up all the cans, bags, boxes, and other containers of food you’ve been stockpiling – or just saving for a future recipe. There are likely little bits of pasta or a sauce in your pantry (or even your fridge – the rules are lax on this challenge) that you can use up before you need to go back to the grocery store. You probably have quite a bit of food in your freezer that you can use in meals instead of going shopping. During the pantry challenge, you will feed your family using what you already have on hand without doing extra grocery shopping! You will only buy what you absolutely need from the store such as milk or lettuce.
Benefits of a Pantry Challenge
By eating out of your pantry (and existing storage of food), you will:
- Save money by not wasting food
- Save money by not going to the supermarket
- Save time by eating what you have and not having to shop
- Find new, creative recipes without leaving the kitchen
Tips on How to Do a Pantry Challenge
While there are no hard and fast rules for a pantry challenge, you want to be fairly strict on yourself and your family. This ensures you stick with it and make the most of the food you have on hand.
Set a strict limit on your spending during your pantry challenge. You don’t have to rule out a quick trip to the grocery store, especially for your first challenge, but you need to set a budget of no more than $20 if you want the challenge to be successful.
Only purchase perishables that are needed to complement recipes. This includes eggs, milk, and fresh produce. That’s really all you need to pair with items you already have stocked in the kitchen for this challenge.
Find new, innovative recipes for your family to try. Maybe you don’t have all the fixings for a family favorite – get creative! The internet has a wealth of ideas for just about any food you are looking to prepare.
Decide how long you want the pantry challenge to last. Some families do one week at a time, while others do a whole month. I would recommend one week for your first challenge. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or feel the challenge is too difficult to complete, therefore never trying it again.
A pantry challenge benefits your home in a number of ways. Basically, it will allow you to reduce the amount of food and waste in the home. It also saves you time and money from making trips to the grocery store. Give a pantry challenge a try and see how beneficial it is for your budget and family!