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(Bee-da-bee-do … Bee-da-dee-dat-dado!)
Oh come on – admit it, you were already singing it! 

This is my final report from the “Eat from your Pantry” challenge. Shall we recap?

Wk 1 – In Key West, come back, need to restock after playing unknowingly in Dec, massive snowstorm, lots of pork – total $109.52
Wk 2 - More basics, couple other necessities - $57.22
Wk 3 - Talk with BFF, auto-pilot, lots of sales, epic fail - $92.63
Wk 4 - Busy, Stressed with work, another massive snowstorm, no trip to the store – $0.00

So my total for the month… $259.37.
Total savings … $140.63!

Ok so I missed my goal of $240.00 in savings. But I did reduce my total grocery savings by $140 bucks. That’s real money!! Over a year that could be almost $1700!

I also have discovered the following “shopping habits” that I have that may not be the best habits

1. I buy things on sale sometimes without thinking about what is already in the pantry. (Hello, 12 cans of stuff to make spaghetti sauce!)
2. The things that complete my pantry odds and ends can end up being forgotten amongst my regular routine on shopping.
3. I get coupons but I forget to use them most of the time.

So to learn from this little experiment I am making the following changes to my shopping routine. 

1. Think about what is in the pantry. I know some people keep detailed notes about what they have on hand. My problem is this. I make a list. I check it twice. I walk down the aisle picking up this and that, and then “BOOM” sale on an often used item. Do I have that? Am I almost out? And 9 times out of 10, I pick it up fearing that I will be close to on empty only to come home and find three of the item in the pantry. 

So what do I do? Take an inventory? I don’t have time for that! Instead, I am going to use a little technology. I am going to take a snapshot on my cell phone of my pantry and my freezer. Simple! I know that you can’t see all the labels, but it at least gives me a reference to jog my memory. 

2. Do a better job of managing the odds and ends. Instead of just looking for the regular things I am out of, I am also going to try to look at things that are missing their match. This happens less frequently. But I noticed when I was forced to eat from the pantry that I got more creative with what I had in there, rather than forgetting about it week after week. 

3. Manage my coupons. My problem with coupons is I have a nice lil place in the house to keep them. A little clippie magnet holds them on my fridge. Unfortunately, that is where they always stay. That is until my Blissdom pre-conference goody box had this super cute coupon organizer! Ah … now it and my coupons live in my enormous purse. Excellent!

So there you go! While I didn’t meet all my goals, I did save some cash and find some habits to improve upon. 

So what do think? If you tried it did you learn anything? If you haven’t tried it yet, do you think you might?

P.S.  Don't forget to enter my Giveaway!!  Three cute baskets in colors coordinated to your home could be yours.  Hop on over!

2 frugal friends said ...

Rachel Cotterill said... @ February 2, 2010 at 7:03 AM

I didn't do this challenge, but I do keep very careful notes of what's in my pantry and what's running low. I try to stock up when things are on offer, and then gradually work through it all.... it works for me :)

Anonymous said... @ February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Stopping by from SITS! I think you did a great job. I have been off my couponing game recently. It shows in my grocery bills.

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