Pantry Challenge: Something I’ve never done before

Earlier this week my friend Ashley who writes the blog The Crunchy Frugalista asked me if I was up for a little challenge. A Pantry Challenge. See, we’re both facing back to school and changing budgets so we need to see if we can save a little money. I don’t even want to think about what the back to school shopping lists are going to do to my bank account so I was up for it!

pantry challenge

So what is a Pantry Challenge?

It’s a way to save money in your budget, clear out your cupboards and get creative with meals!

Ashley challenged me to spend $50 or less next week feeding my family – only using the items in my cupboards, freezer and refrigerator. This means all the random cans of tuna, pasta sauce, boxes of pasta and jars of peanut butter will get used this week, somehow.

But… let me be honest here, I’ve already killed that with my milk delivery and CSA. That’s about $50 each week. So I might have to do $75, but we’ll see. I was also planning a trip to Costco this week to get yogurt for my husband and a few staples, so I’ll have to see how trim I can make that. The trick will be not buying any of the typical treats I do (like peanut butter cups, instead, I’ll make something from, well, my pantry!)

I’ve already been eyeing my pantry (and using some leftovers creatively) this weekend to strategize my meals this week.  It’s time to get creative because I know a week of pasta and peanut butter and jelly isn’t going to cut it!

In other news, my friend Alison challenged me to do at least two recipes I haven’t tried from my Pinterest boards this weekend, and I can’t think of a better time to do it.

Will you join Ashley and I in the Pantry Challenge?

Want to join the Pantry Challenge? Link up on The Crunchy Frugalista! We’ll see you there! I can’t wait to see what you come up with and how much you save!



About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cats and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.


  1. So glad to have you on board! Can’t wait to see the recipes you come up with this week!

  2. I haven’t had a chance to write about this, but I have been playing along with you guys! We’ve done a pretty good job at using up what’s in the cabinets and freezer, and I’ve only been to the grocery store once this week instead of my usual 2-3 times. I think it’s a good idea to do something like this every couple of months – better to use stuff up than realize it expired and have to toss it.

  3. Richard Hicks says:

    It is amazing how much stuff spoils before it is ever used. We try to go through our pantry and use up stuff every 6 months.

  4. My husband and I will try to pretty much clean out our whole pantry (except for kitchen staples, like flour & sugar obviously) every few months & it saves SOOO much money for that week or two!

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