Well, this is where the confession comes in - I pretty much failed at my eat from the pantry challenge. I wanted to keep our grocery spending under $100, and that did not happen - not even close. In fact, I spent $197! I fell off the wagon, big time. But, I don't really feel bad about it - maybe I should, but I don't :o) I knew that it would be very difficult for me to stick to a $100 budget and I'm not really surprised that I didn't make it.
I did succeed in cleaning out the fridge and freezer quite a bit (the freezer door actually stays closed now and things don't fall out when I open it!). I managed to go from 10 bottles of salad dressing in the fridge, to 5 (and 2 of those are almost gone). I also finished off lots of other odds and ends that were taking up room in the fridge and freezer: Hoisin sauce, maraschino cherries, marinated artichoke hearts (2 half full jars - what's my problem!), lots of cheese, BBQ sauce, sweet & sour sauce, 10 lbs of clementines, cranberries...and probably some other things that I can't think of at the moment. It feels good to clear out the clutter in there. So, in that regard, the challenge wasn't a complete failure.
In that regard, this challenge was really beneficial to me in that it changed the way I meal plan. I am much more conscious of what I have on hand and need to use up. It was fun to invent recipes that used ingredients that I had on hand - I haven't been that creative in the kitchen for a while - it was refreshing. For those reason, I'm really glad I took on this challenge.
I think I'll throw up a post showing everything I bought last month, just to show that some of the deals were just too good to pass up (and maybe justify my complete lack of self control).