Grocery Challenge | September Shelf Shopping

Hello, Monday! I’ve decided to challenge myself this month when it comes to grocery shopping and meal prep. We recently found out our last day in the Army and we will be moving sometime in the next 40 (or so) days! Yeah, it’s quick!

In general, when grocery shopping, we try to buy as much as we can in bulk—allowing us to shop less and save more. The down side of buying in bulk means that our stock pile of dry goods, paper goods, and frozen items will need to be consumed in weeks instead of months.

In the past, we have moved from house to house and have saved as much food as possible—dry goods, baking goods, sauces, condiments, etc. This time we will not be moving from one house to another. Our stuff will be in storage for a few months and our cars packed with necessities, leaving no room for food.

The easiest way to consume what we have is to stop buying other items. This month, we have challenged ourselves to shop our shelves and supplement with grocery store items.

What will that look like?

Let’s go through each food area in the kitchen and then I’ll tell you what we are going to do with the extra food.

Start—September (9/1/17)

Poultry/Red Meat/Fish
Chicken—2 breasts; we will buy a few chicken breasts at the next trip
Red meat—stew meat (1) and ground beef (5 pounds) This is enough to carry us through the next 4-5 weeks, having red meat once a week.

Freezer—5 (10 oz. bags) broccoli/cauliflower, 2 pounds of green beans, and 1 pound of asparagus
Fridge—peppers (10), lettuce (1 head), and carrots (2 bags). The fresh (refrigerated) produce will be bought at the midpoint shopping trip, in significantly smaller amounts.
Cabinet—8 baking potatoes, 6 red potatoes (for stew), 2 sweet potatoes, 3 bulbs of garlic, 2 onions, 6 tomatoes

Loaves—1 in the freezer, 1 in use
Hamburger buns—2 bags
Biscuits—25 from the 40 count bag from Costco

Cheeses—12 oz shredded Pecorino Romano and Parmesan, shredded cheddar (40 oz) and mozzarella (40 oz), 1/2 a small block of cheddar for crackers
Butter—2 blocks for baking/cooking, and 1 container of spreadable butter
Milk—2/3 a half gallon
Eggs—10 eggs

Dry Goods
Pastas—8 boxes of plain pasta, 10 boxes of Mac & Cheese
Snacks—1 bag of popcorn, 3 bags of pretzels, 1.5 bags of tortilla chips, 2-3 boxes of crackers
Cereals/Granola—half a container of cereal, 2 half bags of granola, 15 granola bars
Flour—2 (5 pound) bags of white, 1 pound of whole wheat flour
Sugar—white (1 pound), brown (2 cups)

Sauces, spices, condiments, etc.
Drinks—36 cans of seltzer, 12 bottles of water

Tip: We will write out the above list, in greater detail, in order to keep track of what is left

End Estimates—October (by/before 10/9/17)

Poultry/Red Meat/Fish
Red meat—1 pound of ground beef

Freezer—0.5 – 1 pound of green beans, and less than a quarter pound of asparagus
Fridge—peppers (2), carrots (0.5 bag)

Loaves—enough bread for 4 sandwiches
Hamburger buns—2 bags

Cheeses—8 oz shredded Pecorino Romano and Parmesan, shredded cheddar (36 oz) and mozzarella (10 oz)

Dry Goods
Pastas—3–4 boxes of plain pasta, 8 boxes of Mac & Cheese
Snacks—1 bag of pretzels, half a bag of tortilla chips
Cereals/Granola—15 granola bars
Flour—1.5 (5 pound) bags of white, 1 pound of whole wheat flour
Sugar—white (1 pound), brown (2 cups)

Sauces, spices, condiments, canned goods , etc.
Drinks—5 cans of seltzer, 4 bottles of water

During the next 40-ish days, I will only buy a small amount milk, chicken, and veggies. With the remaining meats, dairy, and baking goods, we will probably host a Make Your Own Pizza party.

I will be updating you 3 times—the midpoint of September, the beginning of October, and the day before we leave the house. The final update will be what our meals were for these 40-ish days.

After that, I will pull out what we want to travel with—granola bars, sandwich bread (PB&J), pretzels/crackers, any fridge veggies, humus. This will cut down on snack and lunch stops when driving.

Whatever remaining food we have left, I will call up friends in the area. They’ll come over, raid our shelves and take the remaining. If we have anything left over, we will decide if it makes sense to travel with it—if not, it’ll be donated or tossed (if half eaten).

By the time we are ready to move, our kitchen will be empty!

While we are doing this now because of the move, we have done this in the past to clear out items that will expire, that we aren’t regularly using anymore, or that we simply have too much of.

This is a great way to cut your food budget down on tight months, avoid going out to eat, or maybe just to give you/your family a challenge!


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