5 Keys to Saving Money with a Pantry/Freezer Challenge

One way to save money on groceries is to shop your own pantry and freezer.  Here are a few tips to help you whittle your grocery bill, while keeping your family fed during your own pantry/freezer challenge.

1. Go on a search and rescue mission in your pantry and freezer.  You need to know exactly what you’ve got in there.  Examine expiration dates, pitching what’s already past its prime.  Make a list of what you find. [Read more…]

Resolutionize Your Kitchen and Cooking: Organize Your Kitchen Storage

Resolutionize: verb Enacting a mini revolution on your New Year’s Resolution. Small action with big impact.

That’s my pantry after I spent some time organizing it yesterday.  It looks so much better (especially the floor) that every time the kids open it they comment on how neat it is now.

Here’s what it looked like before: [Read more…]

Organizing the Pantry – Quick Fix for Wire Shelves

I like my pantry because it’s big enough and it’s convenient to the cooking area in my kitchen.  But I’m not in love with the wire shelves.  Things tip over on them.   Things like small bottles and boxes of cereal.  And things spill, like molasses dripping onto boxes and cans, creating sticky puddles in the floor.

Paying for solid shelving was out of the question.  I found a cheaper solution with the shelf liners at Walmart.  [Read more…]

Pantry and Freezer Staples

I got an email from a reader named Missy, asking what are the must-have pantry and freezer items that I keep on hand.  The answer to that will be a bit different for everyone, but there are some basics that round out any pantry or freezer.

Produce Items

Garlic – I love having fresh garlic cloves to cook with.

Onions – essential

Potatoes – These can be stored for a while without going bad, so they are nice to keep on hand.  They’re also very versatile.

Carrots – These also will hold up for a while in the crisper drawer.

Canned/Dry Items

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce and paste
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Rice, white and brown
  • Spaghetti and other pasta shapes
  • Salsa

All of these items are commonly used in recipes.  If you have these on hand, you can throw together a simple Mexican or Italian meal or a quick casserole.

Baking/Cooking Items [Read more…]

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Part 4 – I saved $100

I had to go to the grocery yesterday to get some dairy and produce.  I’ve been doing this challenge to eat out of the pantry and freezer since Tuesday.  I hope to carry it through next week.

The good news is that I saved about $100 over what my usual grocery cost is.  I bought the normal amounts of dairy and produce that I usually buy each week, but nothing else.  The shopping took a fraction of the time it usually takes – another plus!

How have you done with saving money during this challenge?  Share in the comment section.

It’s not too late to join us in the challenge.  You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 at these links.

Do you have a super cheap meal that you like to make?

I’m working on a post that will list the cheapest meals on my site, as well as link to other blogs that have cheap meals.  If you have a meal posted on your blog, send me an email ([email protected]) with a link.  If you don’t have the recipe posted on your blog, or don’t have a blog you can still send me the recipe.  I love to hear from readers and highlight your ideas.

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Part 3 – Get Creative


Have you joined the challenge to save money by eating from the freezer and pantry?  You can catch up with Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Yesterday, I posted the contents of my freezer and pantry and also the menu I came up with.  But I have a few ingredients that have me stumped.  You can see in the photo above I’ve got chicken, rice, hoisin sauce and water chestnuts.  These seem to be a natural combination, but I’m not sure what to do with them.

[Read more…]

How to Find Money in Your Freezer/Pantry part 2 – Make a Menu


Have you joined the challenge yet?  If you missed Part 1, you can read it here

The other day I took an inventory of the contents in my freezer and pantry.  Here’s what I found.

[Read more…]

How to Find Money in Your Freezer/Pantry – Join the Challenge


Do you need extra money because of an unexpected bill or unplanned purchase?  For many of us, it’s possible to find that money hiding in the freezer and pantry.

I don’t do any kind of bulk shopping, but I still end up with extra food in my freezer and pantry.  I tend to pick up the same items from the store each week, whether we need them or not.  This is because of poor planning on my part.  I know I use frozen chicken, flour, sugar etc., but I can’t remember if I need it or not.  Better to buy than run out.  Or I buy an item with the intention of using it that week, only to neglect it and lose it in the back of the freezer.

Take the One Week Challenge with Me:

Commit to trying to cook only foods from your pantry or freezer for a week.  You will need to buy some fresh dairy and produce, of course, but try to spend as little money as possible on groceries.

[Read more…]

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