My Low-Spend Plan for July & The Summertime Pantry Challenge Gang

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on July 4, 2011

I take a look at my pantry and freezers as we go into July, it doesn’t take long that a pantry challenge is in order here at our house! We have stocked up on different things over the past few shopping trips and it’s time we put it all to good use.

I’ve got lots of pasta on hand, along with canned tomatoes, different types of chicken meat in the freezer, along with some meats too. I also still have a 4 lb. bag of quinoa that’s been begging to be opened, ever since I used up the other 4 lb. bag recently. I hope to get some good quinoa experimenting done this month.

Also, the garden is coming along beautifully and I want to be the best steward of the harvest that I can be.  That being said, there needs to be some flexibility in my meal plan, both this month and next.

My Low-Spend Plan

So I’m hoping that between the stockpile and the garden, I’ll be in good shape to make it through the month spending less than $150 for the whole month.  I have to buy several half gallons of almond milk each week, and a few other things from the grocery store.

But otherwise, my main goal will be to get everything else from the farmer’s market. Everything…bread included! I’ll be sharing shopping posts, and a few recipes and concoctions throughout the month…so you can track the progress of this low spend month and summertime pantry challenge!

Here’s the rest of the gang participating in this summertime kitchen and garden fun…

Stop on by and tell them I said Hi! I’m off to the garden to figure out what needs harvesting and then what to make for dinner…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ Cents To Save July 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Hi, I have joined a pantry challenge as well. I am joining up with ND Chic! Good luck on your challenge!

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Aubree July 5, 2011 at 6:01 am

A great summer harvest/quinoa recipe…
Cook one cup quinoa (or do 2 in another night and set a cup aside), chill. Add chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, add maybe a third of a bottle of Newman’s Own Light Lime Vinegarette, enjoy!

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Kristia@Family Balance Sheet July 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

I’m in for the challenge. I went to look at my garden last night and I’ve got green beans galore that need to be picked. I also have tons of green tomatoes that will hopefully turn red soon.

My freezer has plenty of meat to get us through the month. I wonder how low I can go on the grocery budget this month??

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Tricia H July 5, 2011 at 7:54 am

This is a wonderfully smart plan! I’m with you. Since we are eating from the pantry and garden – to keep the fun level up we came up with a month of cooking fun for the children. They will be making the snacks and desserts :)

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Veggiemomof2 July 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

I just learned from a friend that she uses the notes section in the back of her planner to give herself reminders for the following year. Example: her Oct reminder always has the apple butter festival listed so she remembers it every year. I’m going to start this too & for Feb-May I’m going to add that I ramp up my deal shopping. I have such a hard time every summer shopping w/the kids out of school. We do alot of reading, swimming, fun stuff, so there’s not as much time for menu planning & deal shopping.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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Denise July 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

LOL – best wishes for your pantry challenge:) I did one of my own for 5 weeks, but it was because of truck repairs. I was really happy that I had stocked up on some things. It’s really encouraging when you realize, organized or not, how far you can make it on what you keep around. Other than milk and fresh fruit, we didn’t buy anything. I made all our bread too:)

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Alison July 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

What great timing for this post. I had my mother in law living with us for three months so I wasn’t able to stop shopping because we always needed something but she just went home. I said that I was going to do it last month and still did way too much shopping but I did keep it under $150 so I thought it was a win. I am going to try it for the next month and see if we can do it again to use up some of the pantry items. I told my friend that I need to find creative uses for pasta, tomato paste, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and mustard and I might be able to go through some of the cabinets :) She sent me two recipes to try so I am going to start tonight. I am going to have to have lots of time on the internet looking for new recipes (all that time that I am not shopping)!!! Thanks and good luck! Can’t wait to hear how your month goes :)

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JanaC2 July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I wish I could join you on the challenge. While our garden is really doing well, I have far too many food allergies (and preferences) to budget for. I am slowly learning how to lower my monthly bill by making my allergy-friendly foods at home such as vegan pancakes, vegetable purees (to increase nutrient density to our ground meats and baked goods), banana chocolate chip muffins (a very similar recipe to the one you posted) and rice/quinoa milk (which is a fun treat for my dairy-allergic daughter), but I still have a long way to go!
Thanks for the encouragement and motivation as I seek to keep lowering the bill!

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