I am so pumped to be participating in my fifth annual January pantry challenge, in which I aim to spend half of our usual monthly grocery budget and donate the other half to a charity that's fighting hunger.
To get started each year, I inventory my cupboards, fridge, and freezers for random ingredients that need to be used up. A secondary goal is to use the items to clean out my pantry and hopefully avoid buying as many new items as I might normally.
With that in mind, here is the list of ingredients I hope to use up during this month--these items were free/super-cheap, about to expire, or they are small amounts that just need to be consumed:
*package of mulling spices
*instant mashed potatoes
*banana pancake mix
*chocolate cupcake mix
*cinnamon roll frosting
*black bean soup mix
*French fried onions
*vegetable soup mix
*cinnamon muffin mix
*several 2-liters of pop
*seasoning packets for carrot salad
*peanuts in the shell
*maple nut butter
And the following are things I have a ton of and just need to be persistent in using:
*canned garden green beans
*butternut squash puree
I love this month every year. Spend less, use what I already have, and challenge myself to be resourceful. I try to implement those principles all year long, but I make an extra effort in January. For example, earlier this week, I saw my favorite holiday ice cream flavor (peppermint!) on special at the store. I almost put a container in my cart, but then I challenged myself to think of an alternative. We have a big bucket of vanilla ice cream in our freezer already, and I remembered a peppermint milk shake I tried last year using leftover candy canes. I made that instead and patted myself on the back that I was using what we had on hand instead of adding something else. For me, that is one of the main goals of this pantry challenge.
I'll check back in at least once more with how it's going, and I'll be sure to let you know if I make the financial goal and where I send the remaining funds.