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 }

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead August 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Here’s the link to my picture:

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg160/mommy336/pantry004.jpg

(link entry #6)

Reply

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead August 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Here’s the link to my picture:

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg160/mommy336/pantry004.jpg

(link entry #7)

Reply

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead August 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Here’s the link to my picture:

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg160/mommy336/pantry004.jpg

(link entry #8)

Can you tell I really wanna win??

Reply

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead August 28, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Okay, so I checked out Mealtime.org’s “Kid’s in the Kitchen” section. The Easy Cheesy Green Beans recipe sounds so yummy, and really easy for my 5 yr. old daughter to help me make! This would be a great way to get her and her little brother to eat their green beans!

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Sara August 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I subscribed to your feed, promoted this contest by posting it in a forum and emailed my closet friends.

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Kendra at New Life On A Homestead August 28, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I also checked out Mealtime.org’s “Simple Shortcuts” section. I LOVE the idea they gave about making the canned fruit popcicles. How fun!

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Diane Baum August 28, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I need the remake to- have more room, to have a better way to reorganize my canned goods, be able to know when I have to toss my expires stuff, have large shlves for pans, to have more electricla outlsts and finallyso that my kitchen will look cleaner, sleeker and more up to date.

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Melissa O. August 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I loved the Getting Kids to try new food section of mealtime.org
my favorite tip was:
Get kids involved with cooking. They’re more likely to eat foods they help prepare. Pick kitchen tasks that match their skills.

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Jessica Young August 28, 2009 at 7:50 pm

5 ways to update my pantry.

1. Buy some spices that I haven’t gotten around to trying yet.
2. Try some different flours- amaranth, spelt, etc.
3. Get some good bulk storage containers.
4. Add a little decorations- maybe art.
5. Get some organizational tools to keep things looking need. Can stackers, lazy- susans, labels.

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Julie August 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I liked the simple shortcuts section.

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kelly August 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm

5 ways I would make over my pantry

1. I would fill it with some food!!! :-) The stock has gotten very low lately.

2. I would stock up on some toothbrushes – my kids are ALWAYS losing their toothbrushes, I just can’t seem to keep enough.

3. I would stock up on cleaning products – dishwasher detergent, detergent for the washer – with 8 people in our house – it’s always running out.

4. I would stock my freezer (an extension of the pantry). Food Lion had a sale this week in my town for hamburger for .99/lb and I was wishing I had a little extra to stock up while the price was so low. It’s been a year or more since I’ve seen it at that price.

5. I would stock afternoon snacks for the children – wow how much food they can go through. Fruits always seem to be so expensive. A great stock of pineapple, raisens, peaches, pears, fruit coctail would be a great help in spacing out the fresh fruit.

:-) Great giveaway!!

Kelly

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Sara August 28, 2009 at 8:05 pm

What a wonderful opportunity to donate, share and clean up our act. Here is what I would do :

1. Donate items that I have not used.

2. Stock up on canned goods and dry goods.

3. Finish our pantry that is an efficient storage space and command central for all of our meal planning.

4. Add recycling receptacles for glass, plastic and cans.

5. Use my pantry to show how much money can be saved by using coupons and helpful websites such as 5dollardinnersc.om thus helping others stock up and save.

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Kimberley Winston August 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I have tall cabinets, but only two shelves per cabinet. I would add a third shelf to each cabinet so I dont have to move things around all the time. Next, I would stock up on all the things I have not been buying since both myself and my husband were downsized from our jobs. With a special needs son in the house, I have not been able to buy him the things he usually likes to eat.

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susan p August 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I would stock up on canned goods, stock up ob healthy snacks for my toddler, buy food for the baby, definitely get fruits and veggies and storage containers to cut back on disposable products, thanks!

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Gloria August 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

1. First I’d clean everything out of the cupboards (I don’t have a pantry). Get rid of the expired items if any at all. Put the older stuff in the front.

2. I’d like some of those pull out drawers so you can see what you have in the back of the shelf.

3. I’d stock up on canned food for the winter.

4. I’d buy some laundry detergent when on sale.

5. I’d stock up on some soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.

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j brown August 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm

My small kitchen was full BEFORE I started stockpiling so . . . there’s plenty to reorganize! 1-Get a couple of baskets for the bottom of the pantry for the potatoes and onions-they now live on the floor or in a roasting pan. 2-Put in those extra shelf things (that sit on existing shelf to make another shelf) for the canned goods so I can have twice the space for them! 3-Stackable storage containers for the dry goods! Wanted those for a long time-my current solution (zipper bags) doesn’t stack and wastes space! 4-Baskets and/or tubs for the chest freezer-yikes-it’s scary in there! I have to dig for everything! 5-Hang some of the holders on the door of the pantry for plastic wrap and foil-will free up drawer space!

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j brown August 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I am posting this to my Mops yahoo group!

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Cheri August 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Let’s see…
1. Get back to stockpiling! Right now I only have one pasta item in there!
2. Designate and stock a “lunch box” healthy food area!
3. Finish up replenishing my spice area. We passed on so many spices last year when we moved back to the states from Italy, not realizing how much it would cost to set myself back up!
4. Try different organization baskets in my pantry closet. It’s so much easier to pull out a basket than to move a bunch of things to get to the back!
5. Stock up on disposal plans and containers! It seems like everytime I help someone out with a meal I have to beg for my pans back!

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Cheri August 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Signed up for the newsletter!

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Cheri August 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

The very first recipe that caught my eye was the Black Bean and Avocado Salad. For some reason, we’ve been loving recipes this summer that include black beans or avacados (I’ve been loving avocados in my sandwich wraps too!

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Cheri August 28, 2009 at 8:52 pm

I just finished blogging about this (and I’ve subscribed to your blog in Bloglines for a while!)

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I went to mealtime.org and checked out their ideas for “Quick Recipes for Making Meals from Leftovers”. Great reference tool!

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I went to mealtime.org and signed up for their newsletter.

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Sharon Seneker August 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

-I would remove all the food from my pantry.
-I would share the extra food with those in need at the Bread Basket.
-I would make a list of things I need to buy to replenish the pantry
-I would check to see that millworms or any bugs was in boxed goods like flour, cereal etc.
-I would take inventory of foods I have to make dishes for future meals and save money.
-I would arrange like items when replacing in the new clean pantry!
*This great giveaway would help me buy groceries for Back-To-School! Thanks! senekers@comcast.net

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Grace from Mansfield OH August 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm

5 things to revamp my kitchen:

1. I would like to donate all unused cleaning supplies and get spray bottles and ingredients to make my own natural products.

2. I would like to stock my pantry with all-natural/organic foods and snacks that I never was able to afford before.

3. I’d like to purchase aluminum foil pans to make freezer meals.

4. I’d like to purchase some racks and storage tools to organize my medicine cabinet in my kitchen.

5. I’d like to get some large storage containers for the dry goods such as beans, rice and flour.

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keli August 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

i signed up for the newsletter on mealtime.org

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Daniel Vice August 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm

New spices, organic pasta, coffee, tea and sugar

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keli August 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

found an awesome recipie for using up some peaches leftover. mealtime.org – french toast fingers with [peach] dip. yum!

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Beth August 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm

1. Milk milk milk! It runs out amazingly fast since we have 2 adults, 3 teens, and 3 pre-teens under one roof!!!
2. Spices and sugar! We don’t have either.
3. More veggies and fruit!
4. Wheat bread.
5. Donate canned items that no one’s eating and buy some canned items that will be eaten.

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Charity August 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm

1.Take out any old outdated food.
2.Organize powder,cans,and beans
3.Add a spice rack
4.Take out old shelves..replace with new ones.
5.Go shopping for some up to date pantry items.

Thanks

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Charity August 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm
Michelle H. August 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I would stock up on baking goods such as flour, sugar, cocoa, chocolate chips, etc. I would also restock my pantry with spices.

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Charity August 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I went to Mealtime.org..and I liked the Georgia Peach Cobbler. Thanks

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm
Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm
Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm
Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm
Christy August 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm

5 ways to make over my pantry:
-buy large glass storage jars for items like oats, sugar, etc.
-pull everything out and really clean those shelves!
-then put everything back in straightened up and reorganized.
-re-assess what’s in there; use up the old, buy necessary new items.
-buy some storage bins for some of those small items that would be better housed together in larger containers.

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm
Charity August 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Mealtime.org.. I learned-In a glass bowl, layer shredded iceberg lettuce; halved cherry tomatoes; chopped red onion; flaked, drained canned tuna; and drained, canned sliced ripe olives. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a layer of light mayonnaise mixed with chopped fresh basil, and sprinkle with minced parsley.

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm
Erin Hepner August 28, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Wow! What we couldn’t do with $250 to reorganize our pantry! My husband is working and going to school, I’m the resident mom-in-chief, and we have little money to spare and even less cupboard space, so here’s what I would use the money for:

1. Get some organizational food shelving to put in the scary spider closet, thus making it more friendly for our long-term food storage items.

2. Get long-term food storage items – the good stuff, like canned fruits and veggies, and cleaning supplies and hygiene items. Just in case we don’t want to live off of cracked wheat and oatmeal with hairy legs and a dirty clothes for months on end should we ever come to it.

3. Get some meat! And fresh fruit and vegetables! These are the things I often put off buying until my next visit to the store because they can be very expensive.

4. Stop being such a loser and start cooking healthier for my family (or just start cooking regularly, period)!

5. Get organizers, particularly for the spice cupboard of doom that, more often than not, threatens to dump one or more spices on my head when opened.

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Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:13 pm
Marisa A August 28, 2009 at 10:13 pm
christopher h August 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

my pantry makeover

1. new liner paper
2. sealable storage containers for flour, sugar, etc.
3. lazy susan for spice rack
4. replace all out of date spices
5. all new containers for leftovers that all use the same size lids (our biggest frustration)

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Auriette August 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

We haven’t been cooking at home very much, and I really ought to throw out everything in the cupboard, foodwise, and start fresh.We could save a lot of money by eating in.
1. Restock the staples: flour, sugar, rice, etc.
2. Buy better-sealed canisters for the staples.
3. Stock up on canned goods, we could use more for hurricane season anyway.
4. Buy stacking recycle bins to free up floor space.
5. Find a storage box for keeping all the hurricane supplies in, like batteries, flashlights, radio. They have taken over the kitchen cabinet.

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Michael August 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

I would BUY a stand alone pantry (assembly required, but you can get one for ~$100 at WalMart) and stock it with canned fruit, vegetables, juices, and dry goods. That’s called “updating the pantry from scratch.” ;)

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Pamela S August 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

1. Something to hold small items such as gravies, sauce mixes, etc
2. Something to hold canned item with a first in first out system
3. Adding “easy to fix” items for those nights I’m looking for something at the last moment.
4. Add healthy fruits and veggies.
5. Get rid or items I’ve had but not used by donating them or throwing them away.

Thanks so much!

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keli August 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm
keli August 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm

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