Monday, January 14, 2013

January Pantry Challenge Update - Half Way Done

I've been following along at Good Cheap Eats with the Pantry Challenge that she is doing and have been very inspired by it.  I've been trying to be extra mindful of shopping and using what we have, but I've already spent more than I intended for January, which doesn't bode well considering this is only the 14th.  Anyway, purchases so far are:

1/2 - Costco - $185.10  *coupon item
chicken base, 6 lbs. bananas, 5 lbs. cornbread mix (impulse buy but a closeout price), 3 lbs. celery, 5 lbs. organic baby carrots, 4 lbs. powdered sugar, 20 lbs. sugar, #10 cans of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, 3 lbs. sour cream, 4 lbs. turkey lunchmeat*, 3 - 26oz. bags Tostitos*, 18 ct. eggs, 6 gals. milk, 5 lbs. organic frozen green beans, 5 lbs. organic frozen mixed vegetables, 2 giant boxes of diapers*, 1120 baby wipes*.

1/10 - Costco - $8.99
take and bake pizza since it was one of those days and my husband was already stopping at the pharmacy

1/12 - Bountiful Baskets - $61.50
40 lbs. Junami apples, 2 conventional baskets which included apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, oroblancos, celery, variety colored carrots, grape tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and mini peppers

1/13 - King Soopers - $22.01 out of pocket, also used a gift card
2 lbs. super lean ground beef, 3 gallons milk, 10 deodorants (my husband's preferred kind was on a super sale so I bought a supply to last the better part of the year), 2 pkgs. bacon (1 Coleman nitrate-free), 10 jars baby food, 2 small boxes baby cereal

1/14 - Costco - $13.00 - there again to visit the pharmacy
4 lbs. butter, 18 ct. eggs, 1 gal. chocolate milk

Total for January to date: $290.60  (of which $104.67 is non-edible)

- We have not had food going to waste and I'm glad to be using up little bits of this and that.
- I've made 3 big batches of bread (5 loaves each) this month.
- Impulse purchases have been limited.

Other observations:
- Careful shopping and cooking and planning takes time and mental energy, which are sometimes in short supply around here.
- At this point I'm not really willing to do without key ingredients unless our situation was more dire.  Case in point, today I bought butter because we were completely out and I'm not willing to go another 16 days without it, especially when we are eating lots of whole wheat bread.
- I really don't like running out of some important things (i.e. diapers!) so I would rather stock up when they are on coupon at Costco or when I am already at the store and not "have" to get to the store when I'm down to the last diaper.  Same goes for milk, butter, eggs.  At some point using up all of what you have of an item becomes a real pain. 
- We have had a dinner out at Costco when we took the whole family to look at a couch, and a couple lunches out with just my husband and our 2 year old on the day our other kids attend school.
- Aside from Costco coupons and loading offers to my Safeway card, I think my couponing days are over, or at least on hiatus for this season.
- I'm disappointed that I haven't done better with this, but I have cooked a lot.
- Aside from a quick trip with a very short list, shopping with kids is not beneficial for our budget or my sanity.  Thankfully, my husband is in full support of me shopping alone.  :)

But, all is not lost.  I'm still going to do my best to minimize expense for the rest of the month.  I'll continue to follow the menu plan from the month, improvising as needed to avoid more trips to the store.  I'm pressing on.

1 comment:

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Hey Rachel...I'm commenting here bc I coudn't respond to your comment on my blog about Epipens!

Do you generally find that prescriptions are cheaper at Costco? Does it matter even with insurance? I need to look into that further!

I did know that about cashews and pistachios. Mangos are actually in the same family! I got a referral today to an allergist and am going to have her tested. I'll have to pay to meet my deductible so it may be a double whammy if I still need to keep refilling that script, BUT at least I'll know that it's necessary instead of feeling like I'm wasting good money.

Hope you're well! Thanks for your input on that post!