I saved nearly $200 on food in a single month with the 'no-grocery challenge'
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  1. #1
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Default I saved nearly $200 on food in a single month with the 'no-grocery challenge'

    This is something I need to do more often. We have way too much food in the house. Way beyond a few stockpiled cans and extra packages of bacon bought on sale.

    "We learned that was fun getting creative learning on how to combine what seemed like random ingredients into a dish. That even little bits of wilted vegetables can turn into a delicious meal if I got creative with what I had in the house."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-...-money-on-food
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

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    yes something I need to do too. so much money out in the spring but have lots of groceries except for the fresh fruit etc and milk.

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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    I get nervous if I have too much food in the house. (I live alone). I basically have one double upper cabinet, that's about it for food storage.
    Make America Kind Again.

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    really? I don't like not having a certain amount of food in the house just in case 2 to 3 weeks. at least basic pasta and sauce etc. so if I get sick or something don't have to worry about it. now with a family of course it is more. that is why I have a hard time with pantry challenges.. use it but then fill it up with next deal

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We've been slowly reducing food inventory here, in some ways. In some ways we really can't, because of making dog food. Since I bought 3 cases of ground turkey chubs this morning and a couple months ago bought several cases of cottage cheese at 4 lbs for $1, then was given several more cases free by the store, about 3/4 of our chest freezer is full of that stuff. The chubs have been $3/lb all winter but were on sale this week for $1.89, with an additional discount of .20 per lb. Can't pass that up. That will make about 3 months worth of dog food. That's the part I can't quit buying because when things come up like free cottage cheese, yes indeed, I will grab enough for the next year, instead of paying $7 for the 2 lbs of cheese per month I normally put in a batch of their food.

    I also could not pass up a good sale on shrimp lately.

    But overall, I've been making an effort to use up stuff we haven't been using in a timely manner, and also not buy as much of one item if we aren't likely to use it in a reasonable time. It feels pretty good to see more space in the pantry and know we're not going to waste the food that's been cluttering up the place. I rarely buy meat anymore either, in favor of chicken. So we've been using up the meat in the freezer, slowly. Once it's gone, the plan is to only buy what we can use without freezing it. We need to eat more fish, chicken, and vegetarian meals, cheaper and healthier, so we're slowly changing focus that way, too.

    I'm practicing for having a smaller house at some point. A more efficient pantry would help that goal a lot. One thing I'm doing is actively looking for and trying new recipes that can be made with items I keep on hand. I have so much more pantry space now that we don't buy much for mixes, salad dressings, breads, etc. It's a lot cheaper to make my own seasoning mixes, too. The latest thing I've outlawed buying is barbecue sauce, so we won't have a collection of those in the pantry anymore either. I love it every time I find a keeper recipe so I can make something instead of buying it.

    I used up 3 cans of outdated tuna today. It had gotten lost in the pantry. One of the cans was outdated in 2016. New rule, no more than 2 cans of tuna at one time anymore, no matter how cheap it is.

    Before I saw this thread, I had just crossed canned beans off the grocery list because I have a big drawer full of dry beans in need of being used. I quit buying pasta a while ago too, to use up whatever is on hand instead of buying something we don't need just to get a certain shape. Once that's all gone, I hope to start making it from scratch. That will save space and money and help use up flour and other ingredients faster so it's replaced more often and is therefore always fresher.

    I've been using up flour I don't use much, too, and will probably not replace most of it.

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    I'll do this for a few days at a time, not necessarily 2 weeks. This week I made spinach quiche Monday, we ate out Tuesday (free dinner put on by financial planner), lasagne-type casserole Wednesday, tonight I'm having spinach salad w/ HB eggs.
    Could have gone for a few more days with what is in the freezer and pantry.
    I'm going to the grocery store tonight because it's the last day of the sale cycle so any meat mark-downs will be on the shelf this evening.

  8. #7
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I've been saying for years that I want to empty the big freezer in the garage so I can thaw it. This might be the year. I instituted a new rule this year, if it does not fit in the small freezer then we don't need it that badly. Honestly, two refrigerator/freezers is enough. The third one is getting shut off as soon as I can manage it.

    I keep a lot of cans of tuna around. If it is under ~.79 I buy several. It's good for sandwiches in hot weather, and I was surprised to not see any Lent sales this spring.

    Need to cut back on sauces and condiments here, too. We're down to only 3 bottles of bbq sauce, and 3 jars of pickles open, but I've got 6 or more bottles of hot sauce....
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We have way too much hot sauce, too. Because we like 2 kinds of Tabasco best but for a while we kept trying others.

    I sort of have pickles under control. I decided recently I will not be canning them anymore. I can buy a pound or two of pickling cukes at WM or Aldi and make about 3 qts of pickles using an open crock recipe that was my grandmother's, either hot pickles or dill or some of each, and just keep them in the fridge. Less to store and way cheaper, plus we like them better than any we can buy. They're so easy and quick to make I really don't need to make big batches. I buy green olives in half gallon jars at WM and keep one of those in the fridge most of the time. That's about it for pickles.

    I keep targetting different types of grocery items and it's finally starting to show progress.

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