Eating from the Pantry means that we eat the food that is already in our pantry and freezer, while only purchasing the bare essentials. No spending means.... no eating out, picking up Starbucks, or buying that cute sweater that only costs $5.00 with a sale and coupon.
The things that are NOT included in our no spend month are:
I can't resist a sale, especially if it's on a product I know that my family will use and it's even extra sweet if I have a coupon. Let me just give you an idea of what I have on hand, so you understand how this is possible. Like I mentioned earlier, my sister and I shop at SAMs and when I need to purchase something like sugar, flour or rice, the smallest quantity I buy is 7 lbs, but I usually buy at least 25 lbs. at a time. I keep a cupboard of things we eat in the kitchen and then a pantry in the basement. I always have an extra one or more of things in my basement pantry. For example, while I have ketchup, mustard, PB and jelly in my kitchen, I also have at least one more in my basement pantry. This is just how we roll. I never want to be stuck without something I might need.
Here is a picture of my basement pantry.
And yes, I have over 20 packages of chicken from the sales I hit at the Commissary last year. I also keep a small chest freezer stocked as much as possible. You may be thinking there is no way you can do a month eating mainly what you have in your house. Let me challenge you to try a week. If you normally spend $100 on groceries a week, try getting creative with your meals, digging back into your cupboard and using things that you didn't know were there and only spend $25.00 on your groceries. Also, see how long you can go without buy stuff. You know what I'm talking about, not needs but wants. Pepsi at the Dollar Tree...Starbucks coffee...Papa John's pizza....Chinese takeout. I guess you can see where we like to put our money (though I am not the coffee drinker in our house).
Today is January 8th. We have 23 days left in the month. To date I have spent $20.35. It is sooo hard for me to have coupons in my binder and not to use them. When I realized we needed milk, I sent my husband to the store so I would not be tempted to shop and buy things we didn't NEED for the week. The other day my teens wanted to spend their Christmas money ( I am not forcing them to participate in this challenge with their personal money) so I had my husband take them to the mall. What girl wants to shop with family or friends and not spend money?
So if you ask me to meet you for lunch in January, I will have to say no, call me next month.