Clean Out the Cupboards

Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge

Welcome to the Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge, co-hosted by Laura at Frugal Follies, Denise at Shopper Strategy, Robbie at Going Green Mama, Crystal (Me!) at Mrs. Happy Homemaker, & Rebecca Jean at Midnight Maniac.
This January, the four of us plan to challenge ourselves to eat from our pantries – to use up all that excess food sitting in the backs of the cupboards, from the refrigerator door, and from the freezer – and limit our shopping to as little as possible. 

And we want you to join us, too!

The rules are very simple: Make up your own rules, based on what’s best for your family.  But here are a few basic guidelines. 

  • Eat!  This is not a eat as little as possible challenge.  Prepare healthy foods for your family, even if it means doing more shopping than you expected.Don’t load up this week with a month’s worth of groceries.  Go ahead and do your regular shopping, though.
  • Don’t not buy groceries, but then eat at restaurants all month long.  Of course, feel free to eat at restaurants as you would normally do, if you wish.
  • If you need to stop the challenge mid-month, based on the needs of your family, do so.
As for the details of the challenge, it’s up to you!
  • You might want to purchase dairy and produce throughout the month; others might try to stretch what they already have.   
  • You might want to limit your challenge to food items, or extend it to personal care items, paper goods, and cleaning supplies. 
  • You might want to allow yourself to purchase great deals; others won’t.  
      Next week, we’ll kick off the challenge by posting our goals.  So figure out what your goals are.  Is it to save money?  To have more room in your pantry? To stop wasting food and therefor help the environment?  Figure out why you want to participate in the challenge & I look forward to hearing what your goals are!

      (Bloggers: if you wish to join us, we’ll have a linky each week where you can link to your challenge posts.  The linky will appear at the blogs of all four co-hosts!)
      I will be using these great inventory sheets for the pantry, refrigerator, & freezer for keeping up with the contents of each & helping with the menu planning process.  You can find a great menu planner printable here. Good luck!

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      • This looks like a great challenge. I just cleaned out my pantry the other day. I swear I do it regularly, but some of the things that seem to sneak back in baffle me. If it feels like I just cleaned it out, how was there a box of something that expired in 2008?
        I hope you ladies have a great time with this project.
        I’m in the process of building up a year’s supply of food. Sort of like the LDS tradition, but I’m not LDS; I just look to them for advice on that matter.
        Right now we’re at the we could eat for probably 3 – 4 months without leaving the house, but we’d definitely be tired of the repetition by the end of it.
        The hardest part of project is trying to find and stock up on foods we do eat on a regular basis so we can set up a rotation to keep anything from going to waste. Since our diet is usually weighted heavily in the fresh produce and lean protein department, this can be difficult.
        Good luck and happy New Year!

      • Vic

        this is an awesome idea and a great way to get everyone moving! I have an idea for cleaning out the closets but has nothing to do with food! lol:) enjoy the day!

      • Crystal, I did the “Eat from the Pantry Challenge” last year. What a success!
        I cut our food budget to $10 per week, for our family of four. I might join you on this and do it again!

      • Certainly would love to have you!

      • Great idea. My pantry has shallow shelves and it really limits my storing issues I have had in the past. I can see pretty much everything and so it all gets used. Fun blog…look forward to going through your posts!

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