August Challenge - No Grocery Shopping

In every single kitchen I have worked in, I've thrown out no less than 3 giant trash bags of expired foods.


Even the clients that told me they just went through their kitchen.

With the last pantry I posted, I issued that client a challenge. No grocery shopping for a month. I did that with the last kitchen too. Matter of fact, I do that in most stuffed kitchens I encounter.

We have too much food in our pantries and cabinets and we let it go to waste. Obviously we're not doing it because we want's just what's happened. Plus, grocery stores are employing habits to make you purchase more. (Readers digest - When given the option of 1 for $1 or 10 for $10, people will buy 10 for $10 even if they don't need it. It's a psychological game. Don't fall for it.)  

When you don't plan your meals or create a shopping list or stick to that list, you waste time, effort, energy, money and food. The first four because you'll end up with multiple trips to the grocery store for things you've forgotten or changed your mind or any other number of reasons that send you back to the grocery store. Or you may just give up and hit a restaurant or drive through. You waste food because  you're not eating what you already have, thereby throwing away your money.

So I issue this challenge to you - Don't shop for groceries in the month of August. There is one type of food you can purchase - whole, perishable foods. But nothing else. Take a little time this weekend to clean out and organize your pantry. Then for the month of August, at the beginning of each week create a menu plan first using what you've already got. I love this menu/grocery list download from Design Sponge. From there you can create your list of fresh, perishable items that you need to purchase. Stick to the list and you'll find that you save a LOT of time and money at the grocery store.

Have foods you know you'll never eat? Take them to your local food bank. You create space in your home and help feed someone who needs it. It's a win-win!

Need help or a little creativity with what to make from your pantry items? Leave a comment here or send me an email ( and I'll give you some easy recipe ideas based around what you've got. Take pictures and you may see them in an upcoming Food Geek Friday!

So who will accept the challenge?


I just saw a comment from someone that said they *should* do this but "August is a long month." Guess what? That is just an excuse to not take action. If you get towards the end of the month and actually have NO food in your pantry, then it's a success and you may not have had too much to begin with. Go buy some more food, but take the lessons with you - meal plan that starts with what you have, create a grocery list based on only what you need and then purchase only that. The challenge is to raise your awareness and connect you to how much you're needlessly spending and wasting on food and take action to correct that.