CLOSED! $250 Grocery Store Gift Card Giveaway

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 22, 2009

Well, which grocery store?

That’s for you to decide!!!

Up until recently, I was not a fan of canned foods! Not until this online briefing I attended sponsored by the Canned Food Alliance. Food expert Roberta Duyff shared about the nutritional and cost benefits of canned foods. I chimed in the chat and asked about sodium content and sugar/syrup that can be found in many canned food products. She shared that the “no salt added” and “in pineapple juice” labelled canned foods offer the same nutritional content as the fresh counterparts.

Although I prefer fresh fruits and vegetables, I am no longer opposed to buying canned foods that have no added salt or are stored in fruit juice (not syrup)! So this winter, when great fresh produce is sparse, more canned foods will be showing up on my grocery receipt!

The Canned Food Alliance wants to help families get through this difficult time by equipping shoppers and cooks with the tools needed to prepare healthy meals “at home.” They hope that by teaching others about kitchen organization, meal planning basics, at home cooking skills and food storage practices, they can feed their family healthy meals, without breaking the bank!

They have created a website, www.mealtime.org, where you can find all the tips, tricks and tools to organize your kitchen, plan and cook your meals at home, and store your food!

So after I was sold on the canned food concept, the folks at the Canned Food Alliance challenged me…and YOU…

To a Pantry Makeover!!!

The $250 gift card (to the grocery store of your choice) is to makeover your pantry!

(Still with me?)

I’ll give you a peek about what they mean by pantry makeover!  They were generous enough to send me a $100 gift card to the store of my choice to do a pantry makeover at my house, too!  And what fun I had doing it! (Remember, TOTAL Type-A here!)

I went to Kroger and bought a few organizational tools (a few lazy susans, a few large containers, a drawer organizer), as well as a slew of “no salt added” and “in fruit juice” cans!  Of course, I did use coupons and did choose the sale priced products to stretch that $100 as far as I could!!!

Below is the transformation that occurred in my kitchen and pantry last weekend…

pantry-before

Cupboard/Pantry BEFORE

pantry-after

AFTER

snack-before

Snacks and Medicine BEFORE

snack-after

AFTER

food-stockpile-before

Food Stockpile #1 BEFORE

food-stockpile-after

AFTER (Notice my new stockpile of canned goods for this makeover! No salt addeds, only in fruit juice, and some organics!)

food-stockpile-before-2

Food Stockpile #2 BEFORE (Yes, that is all on the floor!) {blushes with shame}

food-stockpile-after-2

Food Stockpile #2 AFTER (Looks like we won’t be needing to buy cereal for a while!!!)

bath-stockpile-before

Toilletry Stockpile BEFORE (Notice my “shove it on the shelf and hope it doesn’t fall off the edge technique!)

bath-stockpile-after

AFTER…in a new closet!

kitchen-tools-before

Kitchen Tools BEFORE

kitchen-tools-after

AFTER

tupperware-before

Bowls and Storage Containers BEFORE (Also known as little kid chef shelf…note the Thomas lunchbox from when they were “getting their picnic ready” earlier this day!)

tupperware-after

AFTER

OK.

So now that I’ve bared my cupboards and stockpile to you all…I hope you can see the transformation from “ugh” to “sigh”.  My previously unorganized and unsightly cupboards are now clean, organized and much more functional than they were.  I really do feel better about life when my kitchen is organized!

Please note: This kitchen and pantry makevoer and reorganization project spurred me on to reorganize and purge the rest of the house.  The Hubs did ask if I was “nesting” (far TOO EARLY for that), to which I replied…”After cleaning out the kitchen, I can’t stand to have all this “stuff” in the house.”  So I purged.  I donated.  I threw away.  So beware.  A kitchen and pantry makeover COULD turn into a whole house reorganization event!  This all happened last weekend…and I’m still tired from it!

Back to the giveaway…Because this is a high dollar value giveaway, the entry stakes are a bit higher than the norm…but there are 10 chances to enter!!!  Plus an option for 2 bonus entries!

I want to see what you think you can do in your pantry with $250!

Giveaway Details

1. Contest ends Saturday, August 29th at noon EST. Winner will be announced back here on this post, and notified via email with further instructions.

2. Entry #1: Leave a comment with a list of at least 5 ways you wish to makeover your pantryHow would you use this gift card? Be specific!!!

3. Entry #2: Leave a SEPARATE comment telling me in what way you promoted this contest (i.e., posting it in a forum, posting about it on your blog, Tweet about it, emailing all your friends, and/or subscribe to my feed by email or in a reader).

4. Entry #3-10: Upload a photo(s) of the areas of your pantry that need a makeover to your favorite online photo service and leave the direct link to your photo in the comments.  You may enter you link a total of 8 times, in 8 separate commentsfor 10 total entries! (I realize this is tedious, but the 5-10 minutes it will take will be well worth the $250 if you win!!!)

Photo Uploading Instructions can be found here

5. 2 BONUS ENTRIES: Hop on over to Mealtime.org and find a new favorite recipe, sign up for their newsletter, or learn a new ktichen trick.  Come back and leave 2 more separate comments for 2 more entries into this fabulous contest!

6. Winner will be selected by Random.org, and will choose from which grocery store they wish to receive the gift card.

**NOTE: If you receive the email newsletter and wish to enter this giveaway, click on the title of this giveaway to get to the site and leave a comment on the site with your name and email address to be entered!  Responding to the email will NOT enter you into this giveaway!

*Disclosure: I did receive a $100 gift card to makeover my pantry.  I was not paid or compensated in any other way.

{ 1444 comments… read them below or add one }

BusyMom August 29, 2009 at 7:48 am

A picture of my troubled pantry – can’t you see that I really need help!

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2394473680105517535KNrdEi

link #8

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Susan August 29, 2009 at 7:59 am
Susan August 29, 2009 at 8:03 am
Susan August 29, 2009 at 8:04 am
Susan August 29, 2009 at 8:04 am
Karen Gonyea August 29, 2009 at 8:21 am

Great Prize – I could really replenish my pantry :)

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:31 am

1. I would love a pantry. I do not have enough room for the stockpile I would love to build up, so I hope to a. have a pantry built in the dining room area. b. get a roll out pantry to store between the wall and fridge or c. do both! That would be nice=)

2. I have been saving the cases that DD’s nutritional suppliments come in and they are the perfect size for can storage. Woohoo!

3. To store my spices in a neat, contemperary way, I want to find small jars to transfer the spices to. Go to Lowes and buy little electrical boxes (think the silver metal boxes that go in the outlet/light switch holes) and collage them in an area on the wall. Then fill them with the spice jars. And of course label with a label maker.

4. Add more shelves to our bedroom closet. We have 2 closets, one for hanging clothes and one is specifically shelves so that is where I keep most of my stockpile.

5. Since it is easier to mount shelves then to full out build a pantry or closet, I want to add shelving to my laundry room over the dryer for laundry needs and cleaning supplies.

This is so exciting I hope I win. We just bought this house a few months ago!

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:33 am

ENTRY #2

I subsribed to you emails!

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Nadine L August 29, 2009 at 8:41 am

1. I would buy a carousel for my spices. I have so many, I love to cook and am always buying a new spice for a new recipe I am trying.
2. I would buy reuseable containers like the Ziploc Twist and Lock to store my dry goods like sugar, flour, beans, rice etc…. getting rid of the big bulky boxes.
3. I would stock up on canned fruits, vegetables, soups, bottled juices, condiments such as marinades and BBQ sauce, bottled pasta sauces and canned tomatoes such as paste, puree, sauce for making my own sauce. Cereals, mixes ( cake, muffins etc…)
4. Organize and label everything for easy access. I am forever having to empty half my cabinet to find the one thing I am looking for, I really need to organize it all better.
5. I would like to get an Aero Garden so I can have fresh spices and herbs all year round.
iheartsweeping@aol.com

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Nadine L August 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

I follow you on twitter and I tweeted http://twitter.com/eyzofblu63/status/3624898139

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:50 am

ENTRY #3

I just signed up for the mealtime.org newsletter.

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:54 am

ENTRY # 4

I enjoyed the pantry checklist on mealtime. org. It is nice to have a guideline of what I should have on hand, especially in the winter months when I hate getting the kids out in the cold and go to the grocery store.

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:57 am

ENTRY #5

I would love to have this area boxed in with shelves. One for storage, but two to cover up that duct work.

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 8:59 am

ENTRY #6

I need to buy more shelves for this cabinet. I started this project of switching all my can goods to this cabinet. As you can see, it isn’t finished yet.

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:01 am

ENTRY #7

I would love a roll out pantry, but they are like $90! So I am thinking about taking the white cabinet in the previous photos, putting wheels on it and a handle on the side and sliding it in between the fridge and wall.

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

Ignore the remaining yellow wallpaper that I haven’t gotten off yet. Yet another unfinished project.

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:02 am

ENTRY #8

These are the boxes I will cut and use to sort the can food!

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:03 am

ENTRY #9

Current food storage situation. These are can foods and condiments. Box foods are in cabinet on the wall.

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Ron Newhouse August 29, 2009 at 9:03 am

Oh… can’t YOU just come over and makeover my pantry? And living room? And bathroom? and my basement while you’re at it??? I never know where to begin… maybe I just need to get a dumpster and throw it all away and start over!!
In all seriousness…. I really need to get rid of stuff that’s been in there too long… and put everything together that belongs together.. not jam it full like I’m playing Pantry Tetris!!

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:04 am

ENTRY # 10

Box food situation….not including cereal on top of fridge. (didn’t take a pic of that)

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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amy delong August 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

5 things
would need some organizing under my sink
also something to organize my POTS!!
go through all plastic contaoners&THROW out ones that dont have lids!
stock up on canned veggies
organize my snack closet AHHHH it is messy,I would show a picture but you would be SCARED!!
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:06 am

ENTRY #11 (uploaded pic entry’s last)

Another place where I would like to add shelving. Would come in so handy!

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Felicia August 29, 2009 at 9:08 am

ENTRY #12 (uploaded pic entries last)

This is my embarrasing closet. *oh the shame* But in my defense, most of those target bags are full of toys that are getting donated on Monday! Yeah I have no more excuses for the rest of the stuff=(

http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1253471017/PictureID=48416929017/a=142945974_142945974/

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Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:18 am

I am definitely challenged in the areas of pantry space and organizational skill (and/or motivation!), so my pantry could use a lot of changes and improvements, such as: buying storage containers for cereal — and limiting myself to buying only a few boxes at a time (right now I have an overflow “row” of boxes on top of my fridge!); investing in a good spice rack and either buying fresh herbs and spices or smaller containers; getting more space-efficient containers for items like bags of popcorn or oatmeal, to save space (and make the pantry look better!); finding a storage solution for the hundreds of coffee discs that I have for my single-cup coffee maker, such as a small sliding drawer with easy access (right now they’re all over the place, including my counters); and stocking up on more dried beans, canned soup, and canned fruits/veggies to add to the pantry. It would also be nice to have a recycling bin with biodegradable bags close to the pantry! Thanks for the giveaway – it was a lot of fun to go through the pantry and consider changes I could make to spruce it up!

gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

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Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

I promoted the contest by tweeting about it: http://twitter.com/guettel78/status/3625364757

I’m also following you on twitter (@guettel78)

gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

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Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:22 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:23 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:25 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:26 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:26 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:27 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:27 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:28 am
Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:30 am

Bonus Entry 1: I’m going to an Indian-themes potluck this weekend, and I found a terrific recipe for Curried Chicken Pockets with Mango Chutney on Mealtime’s site that I’m hoping will be a new favorite:

http://www.mealtime.org/recipe_details.aspx?id=1546&query=curry&page=0&sortexp=Title&sortdir=0

gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

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Geoff K August 29, 2009 at 9:32 am

Bonus Entry 2: I also used Mealtime’s pantry checklist to add to my shopping list some necessary staples missing from my pantry.

http://www.mealtime.org/content.aspx?id=110

gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

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dorothy l August 29, 2009 at 9:56 am

first I would clean out my pantry. then I would restock my herb and spices rack. stock up on some can foods. get some new storage containers. buy some products that I never tried before.

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Theresa August 29, 2009 at 10:04 am

I would love this to makeover my pantry.
1. Plastic containers for flour, sugar & such
2. I love the lazy suzan for vitamins
3. Containers for snacks
4. Buying more canned items
5. Stockpiling more items

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Jane August 29, 2009 at 10:05 am

1.) Better organization, esp after shopping
2.) Buying more of what we need only
3.)Separate canned goods form all the rest
4.) a lazy susan can provide more room
5.) labeled canned for all the non-packaged goods.

Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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BusyMom August 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

I think the beefy potato volcano sounds like it would be great.

bonus 1

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BusyMom August 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

I think the beefy potato volcano sounds like it would be great.

bonus 2

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Maggie August 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

This looks great! I would:
Buy more whole grains with which to makeover my diet.
Buy containers to store and organize them in.
Get more organic canned goods to rebuild my stockpile
Reorganize my spices – On a 2 tiered lazy susan, if possible.
Create a snack center – snack size baggies of great snacks to grab & go

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Sarah Z August 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

1) canned goods organized
2) baking items together
3) pots and pans more organized
4) dog “stuff” together
5) grab and go items together
I would buy some of the canned good organizers and a label maker so I know where everything should go on the shelf!

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Sand August 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

1. I need to stock up on staples: pasta, rice, flour etc…
2. Organize by categories: Italian, Asian, Mexican, Baking, Breakfast.
3. Purchase containers for items purchased in bulk.
4. Purchase drawer organizers.
5. Purchase a label maker.

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Cherie August 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

Ok, so since this is the last hour before the end of the drawing and I have just stumbled upon this, I am only going to enter once, but oh I hope I win b/c my pantry is in serious need of a makeover! Some changes I would make is getting some containers that I can label for my flour, sugar, rice, noodles etc. I would then stock up on some canned essentials for my family, being that I live down South and this is hurricane season it is a must! I would also probably invest in a lazy susan or two. There is probaby a ton more I could do but I have so little time. Good luck to everyone!

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Heather C August 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

1. Gluten-free crackers
2. A bit more fiber
3. I’ve heard they have great squash in a can. Gonna try that!
4. Fruit without the HFCS. Gross!
5. Organic cereals for the kinder in the morning.

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