Monday, October 1, 2012

October Pantry Challenge

It's a new month!  Yay! I have been waiting for this.

Don't you just love a well-stocked pantry?
A little into last month I read a couple of blogs (here and here) about women who challenged themselves to feed their family for $100 a person for one month.  However, I intentionally place large orders to Azure in August and September to stock up my pantry for the next few months as I will be working part-time and don't know when I'll be able be able to pick up an order again in the near future.  No way could I stick to $100 a person last month.

One of my best cost-savings strategies on groceries is to buy staple ingredients in bulk at a discounted price.  (They don't typically make coupons for raw nuts and grains.)  This means that some months my grocery bill is higher than others, but it should balance out over time, provided we eat what we have on hand instead of buying other food to eat instead--not that we would ever do such a thing... (Avoids eye contact.)

Enter "The October Pantry Challenge."

We have four kids, but they are only with us half the time, so I will say $400 for groceries for our family for the month of October.  This number is for food only.  In August and September I spent bought $600 from Azure to stock our pantry.  I am guesstimating that these items will last around 6 months. Some may last much longer, while other items we may end up using up way before then.  I also ordered Salmon which I expect to last around 4-6 months.  We order beef and chicken through a coop, but that normally balances each other out as we order them every other month, respectively.

Here's a break down of the fuzzy math:

Food budget:                                     $400 500
Azure (averaged out over 6 months):      100
Salmon:                                               16
Milk and eggs:                                      40
Coop:                                                 150                                          

Balance:                                             $94 194

Hmmm.  I honestly think I could do it on $400, but it would mean a big spending month again the following month.  Plus, I wouldn't be able to order chicken this month which would create problems and higher spending later.  I'm thinking that $500 for the month is a little more reasonable and possibly sustainable over the next few months.  I also am thinking my Azure number may be on the high side as a lot of what I bought is probably going to last us closer to 9-12 months.  (Getting a better idea of how long my bulk items last is on the to-do list.)

During this month I am going to ATTEMPT to post updates more regularly--every day or at least every other day.  I'm thinking this may give more of an idea of how we eat real organic food at a reasonable price.  However, I am not going to be estimating the cost of each individual meal because I am not going to make myself that crazy.  (If you follow via Facebook updates, I am planning to post blog updates for this once or twice a week, not daily, as that seems that it may get a little annoying.  If you're interested in reading the in-between posts, you may want to subscribe via e-mail so you don't miss one.)

Over the course of this month, my goal is to be more watchful of my grocery spending and to get a better idea of what we're spending.  I also hope to prove that eating healthy food doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.  Then again, I may be coming to the realization at the end of the month that we do spend more on our food than I thought.  Wish me luck!

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