Frugal Living

Shelftember – a month-long Pantry Challenge

Welcome to September and one of my favorite frugal things, Shelftember! 

Shelftember is a month-long pantry challenge where we clear out the cupboards and prioritize shelf cooking. Originally created by Jordan Page from Fun Cheap of free.

While it’s not a ‘NO spend challenge’ it is a ‘spend as little as possible’ challenge. In Jordan’s original challenge, she has a set budget of $25/ a week but with the exchange rate and the cost of food here in Australia that is obviously not really achievable for most families of four or five.

So instead, we set our own budget and challenge ourselves to buy only the minimum that we need to complete a meal, plus fresh fruits and veggies and basics like milk, bread, and eggs.

Our usual grocery budget for the last 4 years has been $100/ week for our family of four, it’s been pretty easy to stick to and stay under, up until the pandemic and the shortages and inflation of prices we’ve been seeing in the last year. We have definitely increased and adjusted our budget in the last year to accommodate this and our changing dietary requirements.

So for this year’s, Shelftember I’m going to be doing $60/ week. I could definitely do lower and originally I was thinking $40/ week but being pregnant I want to have a little wiggle room for extra fruits and cravings.

Why is Shelftember such a great challenge?

It uses up all those half-open packets in the back of the cupboards and forces a little bit of creativity. Some of our favorite family meals have come from, pantry challenges. Save some money, waste less food and achieve your goals. 

Having a plan for your savings will help to keep you motivated and away from that takeaway menu. Our Goal for this Challenge is to Save $200, we will use this $200 to buy a bulk freezer meat pack. That way we can avoid having to go to the butcher after the baby arrives.

To learn more about Shelftember and how I prep and prepare for a pantry challenge like this, including my Pantry challenge basket hack, check out our Youtube Channel!

Are you joining in?