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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eating Out of the Pantry and Freezer for 2 weeks...

We have stayed under budget on groceries for the month of September! =)

Even though the past couple of weeks have been a bit over, that's okay. The first two weeks of September were only $20 or $30 trips, so it all balanced out to keep us under our $50 a week budget! You can see the full explanation here.

I will be honest, though. Money is extremely tight for us right now. Some of you who don't know me very well might not know that my husband is an artist (and an amazing one, too!). He does many different types of art, but his true love is sculpting. Over the past couple of years, he has fallen into a rather interesting business. He makes dinosaur fossils, dinosaur bones and skulls, and animal skulls. I love telling people what my husband does for a living. I am so proud of his accomplishments and his talent. He works very hard for us, harder than most people who have a normal 40 hour work week at a business job.

Self-employment has its pros and cons, however. One of the biggest financial giants we have to face is that we don't have a steady income every month. We never know how much we will make, which makes budgeting very difficult! I work a job with a set income, and my husband also works a part-time job at Starbucks (simply for stress-relief, a break from his hard work, and a little bit of extra steady income). Other than that, we don't know how much money will be coming in every month. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. My husband is chasing the dream that God has instilled in his heart, and he is using the gift he has been given. God has blessed us tremendously in that we have never gone a month not being able to pay our bills and have extra to give away each month.

Money does get tight from time to time, though, and we have to be very careful. This week will be one of those weeks. Even though we were under budget for September, we are going to try to be extra careful for the next couple of weeks. Where is the only place we can cut? You guessed it...groceries. The beauty of coupons is that we are able to cut the budget if we have to. We have such a huge stockpile of food! In fact, I often use our grocery budget for other unexpected expenses. For example, next weekend, we are going out of town for a day. We will have to pay for food and a hotel (sharing the expense with 2 other people). Because of this, we are going to cut our grocery budget down for the next 2 weeks to pay for this expense.

So join me in this "eating from the pantry and freezer" challenge for the next 2 weeks. We are going to cut our grocery budget down to $20 for the next 2 weeks. We will spend $20 this week, and $20 next week. That will give us an extra $60 to help with a few extra expenses. =) We will mostly be eating from the pantry and freezer. I will be buying very few items, and mostly just killer deal items that are almost free. It should be interesting, yet fun!

Couponing and stockpiling in grocery shopping is very common. To learn more, check out the Supermarket Secrets series. If you'd like more inspiring stories on stockpiling, here are a few:

Jessica over at Saving Money Living Life is going to use some of her almost-expired stockpile, and set a $50 grocery budget for the month of October!

Michelle over at I Heart Publix experienced a terrible storm about 2 weeks ago. She couldn't go anywhere because of all the flooding. No problem, though! Even though she couldn't do her weekly grocery shopping, she was able to eat just fine.

Check out this woman who has been eating off of a stockpile, a garden, and her own canning for over 2 years!!! Amazing!

Money Saving Mom does "eating out of the pantry" challenges all the time. Here's an example of one.

What about you? How is your stockpile coming??? Feel free to share!

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9 Comments:

Blogger Nicole said...

I don't have a big enough stockpile yet to do this. I wish! But, with two little ones, things go quickly! Hopefully as time goes on, I can build up our supply.

October 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

One quick question: Will you still be putting the weekly deals up for CVS, Target, etc... this week?

October 5, 2009 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous The Prudent Homemaker said...

That is a beautiful pantry.

Thanks for the link to my site.

We've been able to start restocking this year, and I'm canning applesauce this week.

However, I probably won't have any reasons to go to the store for the next month, unless there is a killer deal of almost free, like you mentioned. Everything else is looking pretty good; there are some things that I will restock in November (turkey, celery, and carrots for certain). I totally understand the self-employed income unsteadiness.

October 5, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

Nicole, I promise you'll build up your stockpile in no time! And yes, I will definitely still be doing the weekly deals! I'm still going to do a little bit of shopping myself, but only $20 worth each week. =)

Prudent Homemaker, I am happy to link to your site! Your story is an inspiration to all of us. I can't wait until we have a home of our own, so that I can begin gardening and canning! =)

October 5, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous The Prudent Homemkaer said...

You don't have to have a garden to can! My fruit trees aren't big enough to produce much yet. I buy fruit when it's at its lowest price, and can it then. Right now I'm in the middle of canning 400 lbs of apples (bought at .50 a pound).

October 5, 2009 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Deb ! Frugal Living And Having Fun! said...

love, LOVE, LOVE THIS ARTICLE!! I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF WRITING AN ARTICLE CALLED 'PANTRY SURPRISE' WHICH IS WHAT WE DO AROUND HERE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. PANTRY SURPRISE IS WHEN MY GIRLS GO INTO OUR PANTRY/STOCKPILE AND PULL TOGETHER INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A FULL MEAL WITH AT LEAST ONE VEGETABLE AND IF OIL IS CALLED FOR IT HAS TO BE OLIVE OIL. THIS KEEPS THE STOCK ROTATING AND THE FOOD BUDGET DOWN. AS WE SAY AT, 'FRUGAL LIVING AND HAVING FUN' "IT'S BETTER THAN FAST FOOD" MY THREE GIRLS DO ALL THE PLANNING, COOKING, AND CLEANING ON 'PANTRY SURPRISE NIGHTS' THEY LAUGH AND GIGGLE AS THEY HEAD INTO THE STOCKPILE AREA WITH THEIR BAGS TO GRAB INGREDIENTS ONE TIME I PLAN TO VIDEO TAPE THEM...IT IS SO FUN TO WATCH THEM. I AM GOING TO ADD PICTURES OF WHAT THEY MADE THIS EVENING. IF YOU NEED ANY MONEY TO HELP YOU OUT,,,,,YOU KNOW IT WOULD BE AN HONOR TO HELP YOU OUT!! DEB @ FRUGAL LIVING AND HAVING FUN!!

October 5, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Deb ! Frugal Living And Having Fun! said...

Also, if you need a CVS, or Target list, I have a great list on my site you can grab!!

October 5, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

Deb, You are too kind. =) I LOVE your idea of the Pantry Surprise! How FUN! You should definitely videotape it and put it on your blog even.

October 5, 2009 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

Prudent Homemaker,

That's so cool! I might have to try it! =) Thanks for the info!

October 5, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

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