Supposedly I am completing a pantry challenge. I set this goal simply as: complete a pantry challenge – reduce my grocery bill by cooking and eating what we have. Here and there I’ve been making a few meals with random ingredients, but overall the items in my pantry have not influenced my meals. This weekend, I spent $331.99 in groceries. Does that seem like reduced grocery spending to you? Well, its not! Our typical budget for each bimonthly paycheck is $350 for two adults and two kids, one who eats a mostly vegan, gluten-free diet due to allergies. We typically try for natural and organic items if we can afford it.
After I spent what seemed like an enormous amount on groceries, I realized I forgot to buy sugar. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t “need” sugar, but I failed to convince myself. I decided to return some items to the grocery store and pick up sugar and baking power. This would also give me a little more wiggle room if I need to pick up some additional items later in the month. As I went through all my purchases, I realized I brought more groceries that I really needed! I even meal planned! Not sure where I went wrong, but I still have much to learn in this area. It is definitely awkward to return groceries but most stores allow for it. I got a few odd looks as I held up the line (not my fault that customer services closed at 7pm and it was 7:16pm). The cashier examined my receipt very closely for what seemed like 5 minutes. But in the end I received $22.81 back. With that money, I brought the items I needed. My husband got four sweet potatoes free that were leftovers from a camping trip he attended this weekend. I was able to make this delicious southern sweet potato bread adapted from this recipe!
Since I didn’t use any additional money, I am counting this as a “no spending day”. 9 down, 6 to go!