The first step in preparing for my “No Eating Out” Budget Challenge (which I am beginning November 1) is to make an inventory of what I already have on hand so I can plan my menus.
For anyone trying to effectively spend less on anything this is ALWAYS the first step. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, start by focusing on what you do.
I know many of you are joining me on this journey but perhaps not with food. The principal is the same.
If you are trying to go a month without buying new shoes the first step is to take an inventory of your shoes. You may have many pairs you forgot about. If it’s books, you need to organize your books (and renew your library card and check out my Free Amazon Kindle Books). If you are trying to cut down on gas by eliminating necessary trips then you need to take inventory of the places you will go this week.
I like to have worksheets so I created this “No Eating Out” Inventory Sheet you can use. On the left side goes the quantity. In the middle is the item. On the right side I have a blank for “Recipe Number.”
When I find recipes I like I always pin them on Pinterest but I also tend to print them. Each one I print I write a number in the upper right hand corner. Then I put the corresponding number under the “Recipe Number.” They stay in a binder and help me prepare my shopping lists. This can be done just as easily using the notes function on a cell phone or a dry erase board- whatever works for you!
Of course, some things don’t go in recipes. I have turkey dogs in my freezer. I intend to just eat them on a hot dog bun with ketchup- nothing fancy!
Here is what I got after a few minutes of looking in my pantry:
Since I am starting this challenge in a few days I didn’t include any pre-made food (like leftovers in my fridge.) I will concentrate on eating that stuff first and creating a brand new menu beginning on November 1st. I have also created a special Pinterest Board where I will put just the recipes I am using this month and all the posts I do. I have just a few of my favorite recipes on there already- they will make me not want to eat out because they taste so good!
So whether you need to take an hour to clean out your closet, organize your books or inventory your pantry take some time in the next few days to do that. I will be making my inventory and menu.
And keep an eye out in a few days for the last step before I start my challenge (gulp)- looking at past month’s spending!