My 30 Day No Shop Challenge



With a new year, lots of changes are happening in my family. Doors are closing while new ones are opening.  I consider myself frugal as it is but I am stretching my pennies even more. I decided to challenge my family – I am calling this challenging the 30 day no shop challenge. 


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I have made it a bad habit to get all kinds of great bargains and stocks up until my pantry is busting out at the seams and then these deals get shoved to the back of the pantry long forgotten of and wind up expiring and then I have to toss them out!  Over the weekend my husband and I cleaned out our pantry and unfortunately cleaning out two garbage bags full of food that were expired and no longer good. How could we allow this to happen?  It is so wasteful.  I cannot allow this to happen again.


The 30 day no shop challenge will force my family to use what we already have and not wasting.  So how do you get started? 


Clean out the the food in your  pantry, refrigerator and freezer and get rid of old food.



Organize the food you are keeping. My husband separated the food in the pantry for instance – all baking on one shelf, soups on one shelf, etc.  A few years ago my husband made me a pull out pantry on the side of my refrigerator which gives a nice amount of storage. Plus over the weekend we added an over the door shoe organizer on the inside of the pantry door (when it’s closed you cannot see it) All of our Keurig coffee and kids snacks are in these pockets.

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 One final shop for meats, fruits, eggs, veggies before you get started. These are all musts in my home.  Even though I say no shop, I am on the Paleo diet so fresh fruits, veggies and eggs will the ONLY things I will purchase if we run out.  Without them my diet will fail. That being said I will not go shopping unless it is all gone.



Plan by using the ingredients you have but in doing so you can come up with whole new recipes! Be creative! 



Homemade is the way to go. When the bread and other boxed baking goods are gone I will be making items from scratch.  I have never made bread before but I am excited about this new opportunity.  I purchased a 25 lb. bag of flour and yeast so I am ready to go.  Homemade is so much better because I will now the ingredients plus I can pronounce them!  


 My 30 day no shop will include not shopping for food, clothes, beauty items, etc. We will use what we have!   I look forward to this challenge and using what we have.  I am hoping this challenge will help me to use self-control on spending even more.  It also gives our family the opportunity  to get rid of the processed foods and when it’s all gone making more homemade foods from scratch which is a healthier option anyways.   So what about you? Do you stock up and stock up and then wind up wasting or do you use what you have before shopping again?


Stay tuned for the update at the end of the challenge and during for some new recipes! 



  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    That sounds like a fun challenge. I don’t know if I could pull it off because I don’;t have any place to store all that food.

  2. I was just thinking about doing the same thing. Our shelves and fridge our full but we keep getting different things.

  3. I know I have cabinets that are just as full! I would love to take a challenge like this, it is such a great idea.

  4. I hate having a busy pantry, fridge or freezer. I try to get by without shopping weekly.

  5. Great time for a challenge like this. I am also trying to cut back on our pantry waste. I found 4 partially eaten bags of tortilla chips in there! Ugh. I am not fond of waste either. Meal planning helps me a bunch.

  6. I need to do this too. I have so much food that we really need to use up before I shop again.

  7. I’ve stocked up on way too much in the past, too, and felt terrible when we threw out so many things that had expired. What a waste. This is a great challenge and I wish you luck!

  8. This sounds like a great challenge! I’ve been using a lot of food out of my pantry lately just to get it all used up, opposed to just grabbing stuff at the grocery store. It’s really helping to make more room in my pantry and I feel better about not potentially wasting food.

  9. I love a beautifully organized pantry.. ours is NOT! We try this challenge and I always ruin it because I have to go to the grocer for milk and then I just HAVE TO HAVE that new snack at the end cap.

  10. I have troubles not buying bargains too! That seems to be a definite challenge. I have so much food that should be made first too!

  11. What a great sounding challenge (I don’t think I would manage it – I just don;t have the room to store) but looking forwar to seeing how you get on 🙂 x

  12. I could definitely do a no shop challenge. I have plenty of food in the pantry that needs to be used up. We try to do several days a week just on pantry food.

  13. What a Challenging challenge for me. I am not sure I can do it but I try to shop once a week and cook homemade so it helps a lot.

  14. This sounds like a great challenge and a huge learning experience. A big goal for me would be not allowing things to expire.

  15. The only way stockpiling works is if you have a great system to track what you have and can be diligent enough to rotate your stock. It’s a project in and of itself.

  16. This sounds like a great challenge. No way I could do it with us always running out of everything but when my kids are older I could do this!

  17. I have always been a sucker for a good bargain too. It looks like you are prepared in the event of a snowstorm. 😉

  18. This definitely sounds challenging! I’m not sure I could do it, but good luck to you!

  19. Bargains are amazing! Though I do try to limit myself so I don’t overspend & under use 😛

  20. We have found ourselves in similar circumstances with food spoiling because we forget it is there. I like this challenge and I think it would help us all learn how to not waste food.

  21. This is a great challenge! I am curious to see if you end up saving even more this way

  22. I have a great and easy roll recipe that you could absolutely do!! I wish I had such a well stocked pantry!! I think you can take this on and excel with your challenge!

  23. Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays says:

    A great way to use up all you have Nicole! Stockpiling is great as long as it all does not get lost in the great abyss, we have had that happen too. Would love for you to link up to our 34 Weeks of Clean series showing your pantry- it is a great motivation t o see others at work too!

  24. I know how you feel; my diet consists of meat, eggs, vegetable and fruits as well; nothing else for me. The only carbs I eat are oats; they are the best form of carbs for your body!

  25. That’s going to be an interesting challenge to follow along with. I imagine a lot of good will come from it. Good luck. 🙂

  26. I would love to try this. I get so tired of going to the store for items I seem to always forget!

  27. I do this challenge every so often. When I go grocery shopping I shop sales and quick sales in the meat department. So my separate freezer gets overloaded. So, I’ll plan meals around that, only buying produce and such when we run out.

  28. That is a huge challenge! I just cleaned out my Pantry (and fridge of salad dressings) and gave the new items to my son to use – The pantry is soooo much better now – it’s like when we have storage, it feels like we have to use it all up, right? Great post and photos to remind us

  29. This is a great challenge. I find that I have had to do that same thing when I cleaned out my pantry recently. It made me sad to think there was so much food I never ate. I’m also working on that for the stuff in my freezer.

  30. I have realized over the last few months how many things are just sitting around. This is a great idea, it also helps you put things in perspective. I may give this challenge a try as well.

  31. I recently cleaned out my pantry and realized how much extra food we had but didn’t realize. We are still making creative meals with those ingredients and just buying fresh fruit and veggies.

  32. I may need to join you on this challenge. Spring cleaning for sure!

  33. This is interesting. So often baegain hunting turns into excessive purchasing of things that spoil before they are used. When that happens whatever sabings took place initially are lost.

  34. Chrissy Mazzocchi says:

    Kudos to you because I could never do it! This is simply amazing!

  35. Oh I so need to do this. My pantry is stuffed lol

  36. Oh my gosh, I will truly need to work on this myself – to lessen my expenses too!

  37. This sounds like an amazing challenge. I look forward to reading how you do on the challenge.

  38. I used to stock up and only have to shop ever 4-6 weeks aside from perishables (Although we do garden and can so we can get through), but then they opened a new King Soopers a block from my house and no I am there daily. My pantry is looking very similar to yours 🙂

  39. That is an awesome idea for a challenge. I’ve tried having no spending freezes but was never that successful. Thanks for the idea!

  40. would really like to try it..I have the same bad habit as well 🙂

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