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I’m pushing myself and YOU to step up for a new Wifey Challenge – Shop Your Pantry Challenge! If you read my recent post about my WifeLife Theme for the year, you know it’s about being intentional. I shared specific ways I want to be intentional in my life this year, but one big way I also need to improve is in money management. Not only that, some weeks, we have more days than paycheck left, amen? I’ve learned that it’s not so hard to just shop the pantry! What do I mean? Here are the details of the challenge, should you choose to accept …..
We’ll stretch ourselves to cook more and buy less but have fun with it, y’all! This is a community of Wives that are all on the same side of this life gig, you know. Don’t stress!
Let’s talk about what benefits we’ll have by completing this mission, shall we?!
- Waste less food
- Eat a little healthier
- Have more time to do other important things
- Enjoy the
lostart of cooking again (get yo’ kitchen mojo back)
- When improvising, we might create a new dish we love!
Shop your pantry challenge
Here are the simple rules:
- Cook meals (especially dinner) from a “shop” your pantry, fridge, or freezer mindset
- Only spend $20 a week to buy filler foods
- Everything doesn’t have to be cooked from scratch – just get food on the table, Sista!
- Only shop at the grocery store once a week – no matter what!
- If you don’t have an ingredient you need, improvise!
The days that you cook versus the days you eat out are completely up to you. My goal is to only eat out one meal a week and cook all of the other dinners. Of course, the more you cook at home and keep driving past the restaurants and drive-thru, the more money you will save. Up to you!
Here’s a month’s worth of easy delicious meals to get you started, plus the easy peasy pork chops recipe that I cooked just last night. See how far you can stretch $20 until a particular day of the week. For me, I see how far I can stretch meals and leftovers until Sunday night. Monday morning, I’ll start at $20 for a new week.
Here’s the key: As you think about the week ahead, decide how many dinners you need to make. First I search for the carbs I have since they are the cheapest and a wholesome filler (beans, rice, pasta, quinoa, etc). Next, I decide which meat I already have to put with that carb (using up leftover meat into another dish whenever possible). Next, simply mix in a vegetable into the dish or to the side and call it a meal. Once you practice this method, you’ll get better and better at it.
Shop your pantry secrets
Not sure how to come up with meals with the carbs, meats, and veggies that you have in the house already? My two secrets are #1) to look back over meals I frequently make that the family enjoys, and #2) to use the ingredient search on the All Recipes website. Simply put your ingredients into the search and it will suggest meals for you. Easy Peasy!
Now go have fun making old favorite meals and coming up with new ones in that kitchen sister while you save tons of time and money.