Eat-From-the-Pantry Challenge

What?

The photo upload capabilities of my blogging software have gone the way of my energy–away.  I have a very talented man that can fix these things, but the blogging frenzy of a woman with a mission can wait for no man, not even the near-genius who will have this quirk eliminated about thirty seconds after downing his first cup of java.

December is nearly over.  I over-spent.  Part of me would love to bid farewell to Legos and babydolls and new slippers on Christmas, much as the Voskamp family has done, thus maintaining an even clearer focus and eliminating overspending.  The other part of me, however, loves watching my children thoughtfully plan, budget, sew, shop, wrap, relate the story behind the gift, and delight in the recipient’s joy, all in conjunction with Christ’s birth.  I don’t doubt that God similarly loves watching our delight in receiving The Ultimate Christmas Gift.

Regardless, December once again has seen me exceeding the budget by just a hair…or a hair ball, to be truthful.  Therefore, January is a perfect time to jump on board the Eat-From-the-Pantry Challenge sponsored by Crystal and FishMama.

The premise behind the challenge stems from the wealth of food most of us have stored up which we forget about and eventually toss.  No matter how inexpensively the goods were obtained, tossed food is a waste in more ways than one.  While we buy on sale, stock up, and rotate our supply, it is the latter part, the rotating, that will be heavily exercised this month.

My goal is to spend no more than $250 on groceries for eight people this month, while eating through our supplies.  Why so much?  We eat heavily from fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. Our garden supplies nothing, and our freezer is not currently loaded with enough produce to get us through the month. While I could rely on our canned supply, I simply do not want to. (Pout, stomp foot.) I should have enough in that budget to buy produce, milk, eggs, and cheese–hey, I’m from Wisconsin, and cheese is its own food group dontchaknow.

This cleansing will allow me a fresh start in February, as well as the chance to scrub out the freezer.  (Thanking God for the ability to scrub a freezer!) It will also free up a bit of the grocery money for debt reduction.

Normally something like this would tempt me to stock up in advance, but the purpose is not to merely succeed in January, but to succeed as wise financial stewards in general all the time. So…no cheating (Stern look, slapping ruler into palm of hand.)

If you wish to join this challenge, hop on board.  I think you’d be surprised how long you can go without really shopping.  Of course, this will require a bit of creativity, some exercise for the ol’ noggin, but we’re all up for that, aren’t we?

Look at that: he’s only halfway through his first cup of joe and he’s got the photo bug fixed already.  Let’s see if I can fix the budget as well as he can fix everything else.   Feel free to hold me accountable! In fact, please do.

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