In the third week of No Spend Month, I spent $50 on groceries. With 21 days down and 10 days left to go, we’ve spent $90 of our $250 budget.
I don’t expect to have any leftover money by the end of the month, I’ve just been holding out on grocery shopping in case something unexpected happens. Plus the longer I wait, the longer we make do and come up with just one more meal from the pantry.
Doug looks for a snack, and he settles on a can of pears. “These pears aren’t very good,” he says, and I answer, “I know, that’s why we still have them.”
We’ve been finishing the canned and boxed food that we were never going to eat as long as better choices were available. Random ingredients for recipes we don’t make anymore. New foods we tried but didn’t care for. It’s pantry clutter.
Pantry clutter can happen to anyone. It’s when you look at a shelf full of food and think, “There’s nothing to eat.”
- Most people underestimate just how much food they’re storing.
- Most people would prefer to eat something fresh from the fridge rather than something canned from the pantry.
I’ve become much better at making dinner from the assortment of remainders. What do you make with rice, frozen broccoli from the bottom of the freezer, and two lonely chicken tenders? Stiry fry of course! You can add anything to rice in a skillet and call it stir fry. (Update: No, no you can’t, and last night’s dinner disaster proves it. I’ll be at the grocery store this morning!)
I’m paying special attention to what we still have in our pantry so I can know what not to buy next time. This week I started restocking some of the pantry foods that we will actually use. I bought a litre of olive oil, flour, baking powder, tea, and coffee. I also bought some of our favorite foods to enjoy on the weekend, to keep our spirits up while we ate the foods we didn’t want to.
Some of our meals and snacks this week: banana muffins, broccoli salad, beans and rice, stir fry, eggs and salsa.
This month has been easier in a way than past No Spend Challenges. Maybe we’re more practiced at it, but I believe the main reason is that I’m more home-centric than I was before. It’s easier not to spend money when you keep busy at home. We’re also grateful that a few months ago when we decided to move, we chose an apartment surrounded by fountains and parks, instead of the glamorous one that was surrounded by restaurants and stores. This one suits us better.