Sunday, February 8, 2009

January Challenge

Well, January is over. I understand this is not a surprise since it is over a week into February now. However, I had challenged myself to no shopping during the month of January except for fresh veggies, eggs and milk. I wanted to clean out my freezer and pantry and see what I really ate. I also wanted to challenge myself again to not consuming things I really don't need in the first place. It is amazing after having done this a couple of times, how much I buy that I really don't need. It is also amazing to me how much I use "buying things" as an emotional crutch to feel better. In case anyone was following my January challenge, I'm posting an update on how the month went.
Surprisingly, the month went fairly well. I didn't have that many withdrawals (in fact, if I stay out of stores altogether, I don't even find the things that I didn't know that I always needed). I did have a few instances of running to the store, but that was mainly for convenience sake. I ran out of flour tortillas and that is just not acceptable in this house. We eat quesadillas at least 3-4 times a week and it is my standby, just picked up the kids and they must eat RIGHT NOW meal/snack. I also bought some lunch meat for Ryan's lunches. Again, this could have been avoided with better planning, but right now I am just trying to exist and get through the next few months with school.
I also bought a large sack of flour and instant yeast. I have been making my own bread, bran muffins and other yummy goodies since I'm on a baking kick. Also, making bread just tastes worlds away from the store bought stuff, is cheaper and is not considered purchasing. My trusty Food 4 Less down the street, doesn't carry large sacks of unbleached flour or instant yeast, so off to SaveMart I went. I haven't been in a one for a while and it was a little overwhelming. So much stuff! Where I used to go down every aisle to see what I might need and would spend over $100 a visit, in fact more like $200, I didn't even want to see what they had to offer. We didn't need it. But even sticking to the stuff on my list for things that Food 4 Less doesn't carry, it still cost $91!
I would like to reduce my need even further, but short of raising my own meat, I'm not sure I can right now. So, it is about using what I have and trying to plan my meals farther in advance! One of the things that I have learned from this challenge however, is that I really don't cook out of my pantry. Except for staples such as flour, sugar, rice and pasta, most of it is still in there.
Oh, I did make one major purchase this month - chicken fencing. Darrin built me a beautiful chicken run to keep the chickens out of the garden and off the patio (translation - no more chicken poop to step in). So far, the run is doing fairly well. We didn't put netting on top to see if the fence itself would keep them cooped up before we went to added expense. For the most part it does, but every couple of days one will fly over the fence and wander around waiting for the others to join her...

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