Reorganize Regroup and Regain Your Grocery Budget

by GettingFreedom on December 30, 2011

It’s hard believe that 2011 is coming to a close and 2012 will soon be upon us.  I have to admit, I’m ready for a new year and a fresh start. This past year has been really hard on us, between the ups and downs of my mom’s cancer and then her passing, to tying up the loose ends of our major home addition and the chaos of 2010 that spilled into 2011.  After almost two complete years of upheaval, I’m praying {and doing everything I can} to ensure that 2012 is our best year to date.

To help start anew, we’ve been on a major declutter and reorganize binge over the last few weeks.  Through this process, I’ve gathered 5 black garbage bags full of old toys, clothes, and household goods that our family no longer has use for–in addition to the 3 extra bags of trash!  When I started, I had no idea there was going to be that much stuff!

Not only did our rooms and closets need a declutter, but our cupboards, pantry and freezers do, too!  So through the month of January we’ve made it our goal to be more intentional with our menus and snacks and attempt to eat more from our pantry.

Why Do a Pantry Challenge?

Regain your Grocery Budget

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, the grocery budget is the easiest place to cut your overall outgoing expenses.  Due to our circumstances over the last two years, our finances are not where we want them to be.  Thankfully, we’re no where near where we were a few years back–but we’re headed there if we don’t tighten the strings and regain control.  A short break from our normal grocery budget of $250-$300 a month {for our family of 6} to closer to $150-$200–would be nice.  The additional $100-$150 would be used to pay off some of the unforeseen expenses we had over the summer and at the beginning of December {when we dealt with losing 2 family members in a span of 3 days} and to help rebuild our emergency fund {as you can imagine, this has been hit hard!}.  The busy holiday months of November and December have us a coming in a little higher on our average grocery spending–this challenge should help us regain our normal spending {and possibly lower it by $20-$30}.

Reorgagnize our Cabinets/Freezers

I’ve failed to be as intentional, not only with our grocery spending–but with using up our excess, as I would like–and our cabinets, freezers and pantry are proof of that!  Our freezer inventory is out of date, so I really am clueless as to what is in there.  Monday I will clean them all out {one chest freezer, and upright, and the one on our fridge}, update my inventory and use it to plan my menus for the rest of the month.  This will not only help with my overall organization {which we all know helps our homes run smoother} but I should be able to consolidate my 2 deep freezers–saving me money on electricity.  Whoo-hoo! More money saved.

Refocus. Re-evaluate. Regroup.

The whole organization process is a true eye opener to me.  It really helps me to see what we use {and consume} and what we don’t.  It seems as if we go in spells with certain things, and other things I think we like–but the continue to sit there un-used.  I hope that this pantry challenge will help me to see what I need to continue to buy and what I can scratch off of the list.


I know you’re probably thinking “You’re trying to clean out, not re-stock”.  Which is true.  But I also hope to use this time when I’m already cooking with my on hand ingredients, to use up some of my grains and beans{both of which I purchase in 50 pound increments} and fill my freezer and pantry back up with homemade breads, canned beans and other homemade convenience foods.

You wanna join in and help start 2012 off on the right foot? 

Visit these other bloggers who are also participating::

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
The Finer Things in Life
Tammys Recipes
Good Cheap Eats

You can share your Pantry Challenge Goals {and see what others are shooting for} over at Good Cheap Eats.


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