03 March 2010

Pantry Challenge Results

Well, how to sum up the month? I spent a LOT less on groceries than I normally do, but not under $100. I realized within the first few days that one of my challenges would be that I'm too disorganized to keep track of what we spent! James stopped by the store after work to get some milk and I kept forgetting to ask him how much he spent.
I did learn that we have a pretty well stocked pantry at this point. Last year there was a month when there were more days than dollars and I was trying to just use what we had and shop as little as possible for a couple of weeks. It was a lot harder last year than is was this past month. My couponing/stockpiling is really paying off. But I also discovered that I've become more dependant on convenience foods than I'd realized. I justified them a lot when we first moved here because of being hugely pregnant and then having a newborn, but it's probably time to wean myself off those luxuries and get back to basics. We always had food to eat, but sometimes I just didn't want to prepare it!
I'm struggling with my meal preparation because James isn't home at least half the nights of the week and Elizabeth is a picky eater...oh, and Jeb gets fussy and wants Mommy all evening.
Anyway, I don't know if this really tells you how the month went. It was kind of a blur. I mostly bought milk and fruit. We spend a lot on both of those areas because James is a HUGE milk drinker and the girls (especially Elizabeth) are crummy veggie eaters, so I make sure they get plenty of fruit. I can't say that I made any thrilling, creative meals but the truth is that the girls would be happy with plain rice or pasta for dinner most nights. Elizabeth got upset tonight because there were sweet and sour chicken nuggets in her rice tonight.
I do feel good to realize that we are closer to having some home food storage. We have a really good supply of hot cocoa, popcorn, crackers, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, dryer sheets, crackers, and pasta, diapers, and wipes. Those are all things I've managed to get super deals on as well as a lot of drugstore items. Yesterday I was checking out at CVS and discovered that I'd left my wallet at home. Thanks to Texas' coupon-friendly tax laws I was able to just pay using ExtraBucks. That was a really good feeling especially since I was buying 2 gallons of milk.
So this is a lot of rambling, but by the time I get Jeb to stay asleep at night I'm too tired to think straight and I really should be cleaning. Today I keep thinking that if we were still in Pyote and my parents were still in Blythe I would totally be up for the drive. 2 years ago it was an impossible dream with 2 kids, but now I could do it with 3, so I guess I'm making some progress. It's strange to think that Amelia is now quite a bit older than Elizabeth was at that time. Sometimes it feels like I'll be overwhelmed like this forever, but I know it's not true...Jeb is almost half-way to a year!


mom and grandma of BOLTON BUNCH said...

Thanks for the update Christie- I was wondering how it worked out for you. I am amazed at some of your couponing deals- I never caught on to the whole concept of coupons and how to make the most of them. I toatlly feel you when you sound so exhausted at times- 3 young ones is a hard time and especially at the dinner hour(s) of the day (without daddy home too). But hang in there, you're doing a great job! Love ya

mom and grandma of BOLTON BUNCH said...

it's late, I'm not seeing straight- *totally*

Ashley said...

I know what you meal about relying on convenience foods! It is much easier to whip up, but it is usually more expensive and not as healthy as making something from scratch. But those late afternoons can get so crazy! I find that I have to know what I'm making for dinner the night before or else we end up eating mac&cheese or go out to eat. I'm trying to do more crock pot meals or at least meals that I can put together in the morning during Isaac's nap. Another problem I have is lack of cupboard space. I try to buy stuff ahead of time so that I'll always have ingredients for new recipes, but I just don't have enough space!

Anyway, good job on spending less on groceries! I still can't believe how much milk you drink! :)

Audra said...

Awesome! It is good to have challenges like that to "reset" habits. Like my fast food issues. Hopefully when it is all done I do not go back to my old ways!

I know what you mean about not being able to travel with 2 and then feeling able to do it with 3 kids. The more kids you have the easier it is. I guess you throw a lot of things that used to seem stressful out the window. I watch first-time moms with their grocery cart liners for their kids and their restaraunt high chair liners amd their sanitizers and what-not and just think, "You need a couple more kids and those little doo-dads will be on caigslist!"