Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge: Inventory Week

I’m super excited to announce the new Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge series that I’ll be participating in and posting about throughout the month of January!  The Challenge is being co-hosted by myself, Laura at Frugal Follies, Robbie at Going Green Mama, Crystal at Mrs. Happy Homemaker, and Rebecca Jean at Midnight Maniac, and I’m hoping that you guys will participate as well! 

When I got the email from Laura asking for people to join in the Cupboards Challenge I immediately said “heck yeah!”  What a great way to –

  • use up all the stuff in my currently overflowing stockpile and pantry
  • clear out my freezers before all the ‘Frozen Food Month’ sales in March
  • and BEST OF ALL – start out the year way below budget!

So here’s the deal – this January we plan to challenge ourselves to eat from our pantries – to use up all that excess food sitting in the backs of the cupboards, from the refrigerator door, from the stockpile and from the freezer – and limit our shopping to as little as possible. 

And we want you to join us, too!

The rules are simple: Make up your own rules, based on what’s best for your family.  But a few basic rules:

  • Eat!  This is not an eat as little as possible challenge.  Prepare healthy foods for your family, even if it means doing more shopping than you expected.
  • Don’t load up this week with a month’s worth of groceries.  Go ahead and do your regular shopping.
  • Don’t forgo buying groceries then eat at restaurants all month long.  Of course, feel free to eat out as you normally would.
  • If you need to stop the challenge mid-month, based on the needs of your family, do so.

As for the details of the challenge, it’s up to you!

  • You might want to purchase dairy and produce throughout the month; others might try to stretch what they already have.  
  • You might want to limit your challenge to food items, or extend it to personal care items, paper goods, and cleaning supplies.
  • You might want to allow yourself to purchase great deals; others won’t.  
  • You might want to use CVS’s Extra Care Bucks or Walgreens’s Register Rewards to buy free items, or not.  

Next week, we’ll kick off the challenge by posting our goals.  So figure out what your goals are – is it to save money?  to have more room in your pantry? to stop wasting food and thus help the environment?  Figure out why you want to participate in the challenge – I look forward to hearing what your goals are!  I’ll be spending tomorrow doing an inventory of my pantry, stockpile and freezers so that I’ll have an accurate idea of what all I’ve got on hand before we officially get started in January.

(Bloggers: if you wish to join us, we’ll have a linky each week where you can link to your challenge posts.  The linky will appear on the blogs of all four co-hosts!)


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  1. I will be planning to take part in your challenge. I need a month of major $$ savings and to clean out my excess.

  2. That’s awesome Jennifer – I’m getting started on my inventory right now! And I’m with you, I’m so looking forward to a month of bigtime savings 🙂

  3. This is something I SHOULD have done months ago, but after spending a bundle at Christmas, I’ll be DOUBLE HAPPY to take part in the challenge. I could use a little break in shopping expenses. Thanks a bunch for letting us know about this!

  4. I’m plugging along on cleaning out my “stock”. It feels so good NOT to waste food!


  1. […] coupon codes. This month, I’m getting back in the game—and I plan to win! I’ve cleaned out my pantry, organized what’s left of my stockpile and I’ll be regaining control of my coupon […]

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