I’m on a Pantry Challenge! Care to join me?

by on January 4, 2013 in Food Storage

Pantry Challenge

As part of my 2012 State of the Snob, I took a look back at 2012 and then created a forecast for 2013. I examined goals I made and set new ones in the areas of personal, website, social media and resources. One of the goals in my personal life was to do a Pantry Challenge. Have you heard of this before?

A Pantry Challenge can mean different things to different people, but the underlying goal is to do all you can to eat exclusively from your pantry for a defined period of time.

I wanted to do a Pantry Challenge last year, but I always felt like something was coming up that prevented it. One month would be a birthday party, another month would be a visit from family, or another month I would just plain forget.

January 2013 is my Pantry Challenge month!

Even though I am just now telling you about this, I did start this journey on January 1st. My definition of a Pantry Challenge might be a bit different than other people’s, so these are my goals with this project:

  • Pare down the large stockpile of items in my pantry.
  • Do not buy new items for the pantry or other stockpiled food areas.
  • Eat up some of the beef and pork from the deep freeze that is nearing the end of its freezer life.
  • Reduce the amount of pre-packaged and convenience foods in my home, so I can begin working toward a Real Food kitchen.
  • Save money.

In addition to those goals, I also recognize that I will still be grocery shopping each week for the following items: bread, milk, yogurt, fresh produce, eggs and any item that is essential to a meal I am cooking and can’t substitute.

Here’s what I did to prep for my Pantry Challenge:

I made a list of everything I had stockpiled in my refrigerator, indoor freezer, deep freeze and pantry. I wanted to know exactly what I had on hand so I could do my best to create good meals during the month. Without knowing what I have, it would be hard to use it! Even though I just made and released FREE printable Pantry, Freezer & Household Inventories, I haven’t actually put new ones in place in my own home!

I told my Husband about my plan. He knew I had been wanting to do this for a while, but I wanted him to know that this was the month! I hope by the end, when I am scraping together some odd recipe I’ve never tried before, he’ll still be supportive! He really is though, especially since he knows one of my end goals is to try to transition to a more Real Food style of cooking.

I reviewed my Go-To Recipes and looked for new ones to try. I mentioned in my 2013 Forecast that my recipe box needs serious help, and that is really an understatement. But, I do have my Go-To Recipes pretty handy, so I at least have a place to start with this challenge.

Do you want to see my starting pantry, freezer and refrigerator stockpile lists?

I decided to put my starting list of items on one sheet rather than listing them here in this post, because that would take up too much space. If you want to peek at my lists, you can click here to download a PDF of everything, or click the image below. I tried to categorize things in a semi-logical way.

Coupon Snob pantry challenge list

My plan is to update you all each Friday and let you know how my shopping trips were, how my meals are turning out, and how things are going. I’ve already had two small mis-steps, but I’ll share those next week.

Would you like to join me on a Pantry Challenge?

I would love to hear from anyone doing this, getting ready to do this, or who has already done it, so post a note and let me know how it’s going!

I’ll keep you all posted!


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