Penny Pinching Pantry Raid: The home stretch

Friday, July 23
Breakfast: Special K Red Berries, milk and coffee/cream. Jeremy didn’t eat breakfast.
Lunch: I cleaned out the fridge. I had a little bit of leftover pasta from Thursday night, a little piece of leftover squash casserole and some salad. Jeremy played golf Friday, and got lunch somewhere along the way, paid for with his money.
Dinner: We went to a family cookout for Jeremy’s uncle’s 60th birthday. The food was delicious–hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, cake and ice cream. And lots of corn hole and horse shoes.
Snacks: I had a hard-boiled egg and 2 fresh peaches.

Saturday, July 24
Breakfast: I had some cereal and milk with coffee and cream. I made Jeremy two eggs, frozen biscuits and he had coffee/cream.
Lunch: I had some tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa and some pepper dip I made with 4 oz. of cream cheese I had in the fridge and about 1/2 a cup of hot pepper butter. I made the guacamole and pepper dip Thursday evening to take to the cookout, but I forgot it at home. The ingredients for the guacamole were orginally going to be for Jeremy’s birthday cookout, but I had to work so much, I didn’t get time to make the guacamole for that. Jeremy had the same. We both had water to drink.
Dinner: We finished cleaning out the fridge and made a grill pouch with potatoes, squash, onions, hot peppers, garlic, olive oil and a little splash of white wine. We also had a salad.
Snacks: more tortilla chips and dips. Also, we drank a bottle of red wine that my dad bought us for our anniversary.

Sunday, July 25th through Thursday, July 29th
Sunday morning, we left for Louisville, where I was attending a conference for work. Going into the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid, I knew this trip would pose a problem, as saving money on food is almost 100% dependent on eating most of your meals at home. Luckily, I receive a travel per diem AND I had signed Jeremy up as my adult guest for the conference. Having him designated as an “official adult guest” meant he could have access to everything that I had access to, including the continental breakfast and the social events in the evenings, which included two buffet dinners. With the free food, plus my per diem, I was sure we could both get by under budget on the rest of the meals that weren’t provided. So, how I approached it was that as long as I stayed under my per diem amount, I wouldn’t add the cost of the food we bought to the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid budget. If I went over my per diem, I would add the amount over my per diem to the budget. I don’t have the exact number in front of me, but yesterday I added up all the reciepts from food throughout the week. And the result is … about $20 under my per diem for the entire 4 days! We gauged it pretty much right on target.

Friday, July 30th
Breakfast: I had oatmeal with sugar, cinnamon and milk and coffee/cream. Jeremy just had coffee/cream.
Lunch: Yay! Vendors from the farmer’s market set up at the capitol complex on Wednesday and Friday. I bought a fruit salad with my own money. Jeremy bought lunch, too with his own money.
Dinner: we went out for dinner (booo!) but there wasn’t much in the pantry to make a dinner with. We dropped $29 on Mexican for the both of us, and brought home enough in a doggie bag for lunch tomorrow.
Snacks: a hard-boiled egg and an apple.

One day left, and I’m definitely feeling the “pinch.” I had oatmeal for breakfast because my milk is a little “blinky.” And the fridge is pretty much bare. It would have really been a stretch to find something for us to bring in our lunches today, although I do have 2 pieces of bread left. I suppose that would have made a good sandwich. I’m definitely looking forward to going to the store Sunday after the raid is over. But the Pantry Raid has been a success–and in perfect timing. We had two road trips this month and a birthday and anniversary. The money we saved doing the Pantry Raid was put to good use otherwise this month.

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