23 responses

  1. krantcents
    12/05/2012

    My wife occasionaly does that with a soup although it is using what is in the fridge. My wife is pretty good about just buying what she needs so we don’t have a huge inventory of items.

    Reply

  2. AverageJoe
    12/05/2012

    I shouldn’t have come here before dinner!

    While I’ve never done a full fledged “pantry challenge” yet, I have taken over the grocery buying in our family and I’m on a mission to use about 1/2 of each meal from the pantry and the other 1/2 from the store each time to solve our problem. I think your idea makes a WAY more creative meal!

    Reply

  3. Kim@Eyesonthedollar
    12/06/2012

    I never used to do this, but since I’ve been playing the grocery game with Canadian Budget Binder, I usually get to the last week of the month and have to scrounge, but it has been such a good experience. We hardly throw any food away now. Funny, when I first saw this I thought is said panty challenge!

    Reply

    • Lena
      12/06/2012

      Oh my gosh! You had me looking for typos! That would be a pretty big one to make. I would have been mortified. :)

      Reply

  4. Money Beagle
    12/06/2012

    We keep a pretty stocked pantry (actually we have a small pantry upstairs and then a shelving unit at the bottom of the stairs in the basement to hold the rest. We rarely throw anything away. Once a month, I re-organize everything, making sure to group like items together and put the stuff that expires first toward the front. If anything is near the date, I’ll let my wife know and she’ll start to plan things that include that. It is nice that if we want to cut our spending for a week or two that we usually have enough on hand to use. The long term issue is that eventually you do have to restock what you use.

    Reply

  5. Kathleen, Frugal Portland
    12/06/2012

    My pantry is so small that I’m not really able to do this. HOWEVER, sometimes when I really don’t want to go to the store, dinner is “eggs and whatever” so I get your point! (I, too, have a hard time with the word pantry!)

    Reply

    • Lena
      12/06/2012

      Yes! I make sure to always have an extra carton or two of eggs on hand for nights when I don’t feel like cooking yet we still need something nutritious and delicious. I also pick up extra bacon or sausage when it’s on sale to freeze for the same reason.

      Reply

  6. Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin
    12/07/2012

    Great concept my wife and I will definitely have to try this out. We coupon as well so this would be perfect!

    Reply

    • Lena
      12/07/2012

      Yes, if you coupon, it’s a great way to use up all the random stuff you might have gotten on sale. Another version of the pantry challenge is to buy everything on sale when you see it, then hit the pantry and freezer when you’re planning dinner.

      Reply

  7. Catherine
    12/08/2012

    We did this so well earlier this summer we actually pretty much ran out of food! That’s the point though, right? I now try and only buy what we need to we don’t have much in our pantry.

    Reply

  8. Greg@ClubThrifty
    12/11/2012

    We are currently participating in a fridge challenge, I suppose. We are going to be out of town, so we need to get it all eaten up before we leave. Wish us luck!

    Reply

    • Lena
      12/11/2012

      That’s the essence of a fridge challenge! It can get boring real fast, so stay motivated!

      Reply

  9. mbhunter
    12/14/2012

    Ahhhh! That’s cool! Don’t think we’ve tried that yet, but we do check the contents of our pantry more regularly than we used to.

    Reply

  10. Elizabeth @ Simple Finance
    12/15/2012

    My husband is a pro at this! He regularly does this with our fridge/freezer – but not so much with our pantry. Our pantry is VERY small so we tend to only stock it with things we plan on using in the near future in the first place!

    Reply

  11. Steve Stewart
    03/27/2015

    I think we all kinda know this but WOW, you presented it in such a cool way.

    I shiver whenever my wife throws out something that went bad. I feel I would be a more efficient shopper if left in control of the kitchen – but she’s so creative and amazing that I’ll gladly forgo the savings for her awesome dishes.

    Well done Lena

    Reply

    • Lena Gott
      03/27/2015

      Thanks, Steve! I know it seems simple, but I clearly recall the days when we threw out quite a bit of food on a weekly basis. It makes me shudder to think of it now! LOL

      Reply

  12. Kara
    03/27/2015

    This is kind of how we live. We only go to the grocery about once a week, when we are out of fresh produce and milk and such. Most of our meals are cobbled together out of whatever we dig out of the refrigerator and cupboards. Admittedly this lifestyle is much easier when you don’t have kids. :)

    Great post! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Lena Gott
      03/28/2015

      Oh wow, yes if I didn’t have kids, I could rock the pantry challenge almost every day!! LOL

      Reply

    • BeckyJo Middlebrooks
      03/28/2015

      I grew up much like you live and therefore live my own life much the same. My Mom always had a well-stocked pantry and refrigerators/freezers as do I. Some people come to my house and upon seeing my food supply tell me that I have more food in my home than some small grocery stores. Although living out in the country/rural setting as we do, we only need to grocery shop when milk,eggs, produce items are getting low. And when it’s just my husband and myself here we can get by for approximately an entire month w/o shopping. But I do like to catch the weekly sales. My kids are grown and have lives of their own however I recently let 2 (under 30yrs each) individuals move in, to help us care for our home/farm and they can certainly go thru. a LOT of food. So most days/nights there haven’t been any left-overs. Plus no food ever goes into the trash.

      Reply

      • Lena Gott
        03/28/2015

        That’s wonderful, Beckyjo! We go through a lot of food, too, and my kids are still little, so I can only imagine how much food we’ll burn through in the coming years!

        Reply

  13. Sara
    03/29/2015

    We have a leftover day as well. Usually I bake potatoes and we put the leftovers on the spuds with cheese. It works well for my family. :-)

    Reply

    • Lena Gott
      03/29/2015

      I like that, Sara – a standard way of using up leftovers! We’ve done that with chili before. Sometimes the sum of the random parts is better than the original dish(es). :)

      Reply

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