Saturday, January 30, 2010
Eating from the Pantry Challenge Summary
It's been an interesting month of eating. For the most part, I'd say we ate pretty normally, we were more careful about how many eggs we used (which wouldn't have been an issue at ALL, if our chickens were laying....) and we didn't drink big glasses of milk as often as we might have had we not been trying to make it last.
Our total money spent on groceries for the month of January was $92. That's quite a bit over the planned $60, however, 15 of that was to replenish my son's lunch money account (he eats school lunch one day a week), and that doesn't come out of our regular grocery budget. That puts us pretty close to $15 over budget, which is how much we spent on wheat. After years of storing hundreds of pounds of wheat, we've finally used all of it up, and didn't pay enough attention to our supplies.
Some thoughts from this experiment:
I need to store powdered milk- if I used it in baking more often, I wouldn't need to buy as much milk, and also would be covered in case of emergency.
I also learned that it's really useful to have eggs around. I might look into powdered eggs for use in baking- as a back up for times when our chickens are not earning their keep.
Limiting trips to the grocery store made a big difference in how much I spent. I've been in the habit of going shopping every week, but have discovered if I buy an extra gallon (or even half gallon) of milk, that we do just fine going longer in between.
I've missed fresh produce. While I bought some at the grocery store (3 times during the month), it really wasn't enough. My parents shared some apples and pears that they received as a gift. But today as my Mister finished up a race, and approached the table with bananas, bread and gatorade, I had a "I NEED a banana moment". I'll be looking into joining a food coop again for fruits and vegetables, we've done one in the past and really enjoyed the variety.
I'm thrilled to have some extra grocery money this month to split between our camper fund (which is where the wheat money will come from), and The Road Home.
Our list of things that are needing some serious restocking has grown pretty long this month, so it will be interesting to try to resupply over the next couple of months without killing my grocery budget. (I admit to having thoughts of using part of our tax return to shore up our food storage....).