Save $100 – $200 a Month by implementing a pantry week

Implementing a Pantry Week

I will not waste food. I will not waste food. This is what I tell myself ALL. THE. TIME. Hence implementing a pantry week.

A pantry week is an easy way to save a weeks worth of groceries, usually anywhere between $100 – $200.

Wasting food is so easy to do. In the midst of “life,” that bundle of kale got slimy in the bag, the pineapple rotted on the counter or the extra loaf of bread got moldy on top of the fridge.

I often even find myself throwing away expired canned goods. How does this happen? Most canned goods have a self life of over two years! Does this sound familiar?

According to CNBC, the average American family throws away up to  $2,200 per household, annually!  That’s insane, but I totally believe it.

Somewhere in between drinking Arbor Mist in college and having kids, having a stocked pantry became sexy. 

You know, those “housewife goals.”

So, as I shop, I pick-up extras here and there and special sales and they end up in the “pantry.”  (I don’t have a real pantry, but one day I dream of having a big butler’s pantry)

A pantry week is the best way to help curb all of that waste, save money, and really use up those stocked up items. Not to mention a pantry week is perfect for meal planning. 

P.S. If you don’t have the Ibotta app, download it now  (it’s free) to save more money on your groceries. And you get $10 bucks after your first qualifying rebate. (Cha-ching)

Related Post: 49 Ways to Save Money on Groceries & Food

The pantry week is an easy way to skip a weeks worth of grocery shopping and save money.

What is a “Pantry Week”?

A pantry week is when you avoid the grocery store and “shop” your pantry, fridge or freezer to come up with  meal plans or a menu for the week.

Related Post: 4 Mistakes that Sabotage your Meal Planning

It’s so easy to get in the habit of going to the grocery store, dropping $100 – $200 and stocking stuff in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Time passes and the next thing you know, the foods spoiled, and it’s time to be tossed.

On a pantry week you create your whole menu plan with stuff you have in the pantry, freezer or fridge. If you do this once a month, you can save on one weeks worth of groceries. Which for us can be anywhere from $100 – $200.

Related Post: How Frugal People Save Money on Groceries

How to do a “Pantry Week”

On a Pantry week, you will probably have to get creative. But there is a good chance you have plenty of stuff to get your family through the week.

Some people say absolutely NO spending during the pantry week.

Sometimes that is not always practical. We are going for what works. If you absolutely NEED something, I would say set yourself a very small “pantry week” budget, like $20.00.

When you go shopping, go in with $20.00 cash and a list. You can’t spend what you don’t have.

Remember the goal of a pantry week is to save a weeks worth of groceries for us thats anywhere between $100 – $200.

Here are 5 things to help make your pantry week work.

Related Post: 49 Ways to Save Money on Groceries & Food

5 Things to Make a Pantry Week Work and Help you Save Money

Search for Recipes by Ingredients

Search for Recipes on Here you can input the ingredients you have on hand then the site will pull up recipes for you.

Try Making a Soup or Chili

If you have vegetables on hand you can make a veggie stock that can be used to make a soup such as Minestrone or Potato Soup. Soups are great because they can feed large quantities, freeze well, and make awesome leftovers.

As a bonus, most vegetables are cooked down so if  they are a little past the due date, texture won’t be much of an issue.

Try Making a Bake 

Try making a bake or casserole. A bake is a great way to throw a bunch of ingredients in the oven and bake until delicious. Casseroles seem to be a lost art, but they can be so easy.

Shepherd’s Pie is something I frequently make. The large pan lasts us a couple of days.

My favorite versions is “lazy’s shepherd’s pie.” I made it up. I brown ground beef with jared garlic and salt.

Then I add in A1 sauce, like 1/2-1 cup depending on how much I make. I may add in some dried herbs and seasonings, I may not. I always add in at least one can of mixed or frozen vegetables.

Then I make the mashed potatoes and bake like usual. So easy.

Use Fruit and Veggies for Smoothies

Use the overly ripe fruits and veggies for smoothies. Once in the smoothie form they will be delicious and you don’t have to worry about weird textures. These make for a yummy treat.

Make Something with Eggs

We are starting to get a lot more versatile with eggs in our house. Eggs are usually super inexpensive and are great because you can do so much with them. You can make egg salad, potato salad, omelets, egg bakes, or a family favorite, German Pancakes.

Do you have a great tip for making your groceries last a little longer? Leave it in the comments below!

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I’m Chanele. Housewife, Mama, and Chief of Household Management. I love charm, simplicity, and getting organized.

I‘m always on the hunt for inspiration
and love the creative process. All of the tips I share are for busy moms managing a household and family.

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