The results are in! After cooking as many meals as possible from what I already had in the freezer and pantry, I managed to only spend $254 on groceries and household items in February. THAT’S HUGE! It leaves me roughly $150 to start my garden.
I think the biggest lesson I learned was how to open my mind beyond recipes and create my own meals from what I had. For example, one Wednesday night when we would normally eat at church, it was icy and church was cancelled, so I had to come up with a meal. I looked in my refrigerator and saw some leftover cooked chicken, leftover bacon that needed to be used, and homemade ranch dressing. I decided to make a chicken bacon ranch pizza. I had been meaning to try to make my own homemade pizza dough, which was so easy from my staples. The pizza was delicious!
So what does my pantry and freezer look like now? I still have quite a few items but my stock is much, much lower.
Yesterday I went to Kroger and Wal-Mart to get groceries for the next two weeks of meals. I was surprised to find that I spent almost as much in that shopping trip as I did the whole month of February! This tells me that stocking up when prices are really low is very important. While I did some of this in February, that wasn’t my focus. I need to get back to that if I’m going to stay on budget for March.
Overall though, I am very pleased and can see myself doing this again. I’m excited that I have a good budget to start my spring garden. Unfortunately, I’ll have to buy some soil because all this recent rain has made parts of my garden look like I’m growing rice! 🙂