Challenge Your Refrigerator

Every sometimes, we'll put out a challenge for you to try something new, think differently, or save money.

We buy groceries, we use them, and we buy more. Every day, every week, or every other week.

We pack lunches, we eat leftovers, we cook instead of ordering in. We do this to save money. But we can also save money by reducing the volume of what we stock and often let expire.


Next time you're ready for the big grocery shopping... don't. Yes, don't do it. Stretch to get through all the food you already have. Eat through everything you've got in the fridge and pantry.

Eat through to the back cans of beans and soup you can't remember buying. Be creative and use those jars of jam in the top shelf of the fridge. Finish the salad dressings, eat every piece of fruit, defrost every meat, vegetable, and leftover you've got in the fridge.

I take it back. Sure, go the store and replenish the milk, bread, and a few fresh fruit. Plan your meals for the week and get the few things you need to complete a recipe. But keep it to under $25.


We did this and managed to stretch two more weeks before a big shopping again. We saved $200! I had fun getting creative with the things we had on hand. But the best part, was the view of the empty fridge and pantry shelves. Funny enough, an empty fridge feels like a real accomplishment. It feels efficient.



  • Snacks of celery with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Cobb or taco salads using the last of the eggs, canned beans, sour cream, and cold cuts
  • Tomato or bean soup with pureed vegetables
  • Freeze juice in ice pop molds
  • Tuna salad sandwiches for dinner
  • Crock pot meals
  • Give the kids a taste of every salad dressing and condiment in the fridge as a taste test. Discuss if it's sweet, savory, spicy, or sour. Talk about what foods it could pair with. This is how my kids met and started liking soy sauce.


Extend this challenge outside the kitchen. Refuse to buy new unless you've completely finished all of your...

  • Spices
  • Make-up
  • Lotions
  • Perfumes
  • Nail polish
  • Wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon


Mable Hoffman's Crockery Cookery
Every recipe I've made is delicious and so easy. I was skeptical each time and she delivered! Our favorites are the beef ones. Directions are: throw everything in the crock pot and come back in 8 hours. Dinner is done and smells amazing.

365: No Repeats by Rachel Ray
She's the everyday chef for simple, common meals. Most recipes call for a can of something. Everything is easy and already within your pantry.



Weber's Time to Grill by Jamie Purviance
Yes it's the book that came with my grill but it's great. We've used so many recipes and I'll recommend it to anyone who loves grilling. Even has dessert recipes.

Post a comment below of how much you saved and your recipes!