Penny Pinching Pantry Raid: Days 1 and 2

Yesterday was my first official Pantry Raid day, and I’m off to a smokin’ start.

I decided to start yesterday, rather than July 1st, because I was in Chicago last week with my mom, and I knew there was no way to plan part of the trip be the Pantry Raid. My mom’s birthday was friday, and I took her out to dinner. I almost would’ve blown the budget on that meal.

But, that’s okay. Four weeks from yesterday I’ll be done and hopefully RICHER. Kind of.

You may recall my inventory from a few days ago. In Chicago, I found a Trader Joe’s, and bought a few more things: coffee, peanut butter, 1 lb of roasted almonds, 2 5-oz containers of hummus, a bottle of wine. We also bought a 12-pack Big K green tea for the car ride, and we have several of those left.

Yesterday, for breakfast, I had 2 slices of leftover Gino’s East pizza that we brought back. Don’t worry, it was in a cooler… Jeremy had Burger King for $4.24, which I was nice enough to buy him with my money, cause I didn’t want to start out that way on the Pantry Raid, and there was pretty much nothing at our house to eat.

By the way, I wasn’t planning on counting anything we buy with our own money on the Pantry Raid. We each give ourselves an allowance every payday to cover things like if I want to go out to happy hour with my coworkers or buy some clothes at the Gap. It’s never much. Last month it was $70 each, and mine is pretty much gone until next payday.

For dinner, we ate at his parents’. They made a “beer can” chicken, green beans, pasta salad and blackberry cobbler.

Then, we went to my mom’s house, and I ate again. This time grilled scallops and grilled veggies. We stayed all night at my mom’s.

This morning, I had an egg sandwich at my mom’s. Jeremy had leftover pasta salad (since he slept until 11:30). For lunch I had leftover pasta salad, and he had leftover cobbler. For dinner, I’m going to make fish poached in white wine with some boiled new potatoes.

To celebrate America’s birthday, we went four-wheeling with Jeremy’s sister, brother-in-law, uncle and his family yesterday. It was a lot of fun, actually. AND I took along a 3-gallon bucket to pick blackberries. I was about a week early, but I still got about a gallon. I also got about 2 cups of red raspberries. I gave half of the blackberries to my mom. As we were leaving his parent’s house, Jeremy’s dad gave me 3 quarts of frozen blackberries from last year to make jam with, a pint of black raspberry jam, and a grocery bag of hot peppers and cucumbers.

Today, I made a much-needed trip to the gorcery store. It was so hard not to load up the buggy with good sales, but I diligently stuck to my list. I only spent 48.55!!! Yes, this is almost half my budget, but it’s such a novelty to me to spend that little!

I got: 1 box Cheerios, 1 box of Special K,  2 boxes of yellow cake mix, 1 box of Kroger-brand Nutri-grain bars, pearl onions, 1 can tuna, 1 Cali Pizza Kitchen, 2 boxes of lean Buffalo Chicken bites, 2 boxes of breakfast lean pockets, 2 containers of Oikos yogart, 1 4-pack of yoplait yogart, 1 jar of Miracle Whip Lite, 6 oz of fresh mozzarella, organic mushrooms, 2 ribeyes (boo, Monroe Market is out of steak!), 1/2 gallon of skim milk, a loaf of bread, chips for Jeremy’s lunch, and tortilla chips.

Not too shabby for $48.55. This should last me 2 weeks for the most part, some items for the whole month.

Looking back, it might seem like mooching meals at my mom’s and in-laws, and not counting my own money is a little bit like cheating. But in all honesty, I knew we’d be having dinner at his parents before I even got read to start, just like we do just about every weekend. It’s just our normal routine. And, the rest of the month is not going to be a walk in the park anyway. I am going to be super-busy this month, but I know I can do the challenge with a little planning ahead.

Money left: $51.45.

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