30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge for National Preparedness Month! DAY 1.

30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge National Preparedness Month


In honor of September being National Preparedness Month, I’ve decided to challenge myself (and my poor unsuspecting family) to 30 days of eating only from our food storage!

Why? Because I love a challenge. And because I think it will be a GREAT way to assess what our realistic food storage needs are in case of an actual long term emergency.

Do we have enough cooking oil?
Do we have enough fruits?
What will we run out of?

We’re about to find out.

Starting today we won’t buy a single food item through the rest of the month. 30 days- no shopping.

We’ll eat whatever’s coming in from the garden (which isn’t much), whatever we have in the fridge and freezer, and anything our pantry is hiding.

I think it’s permissible to allow bartering and trading, since that would be something done during true hard times. So if any locals have extra fresh eggs to share… we might need them!!

I’ve got some work cut out for me in the menu planning department. Why do these brilliant ideas come at the most inconvenient times??

Today is Friday- the day we’re supposed to do our weekly shopping trip. Which means we’re out of pretty much everything…

Here. I’ll show you.

This is my fridge. Unedited. As I type this.

We’ve got some corn tortillas, hummus, a bowl of cole slaw, some leftover cooked rice, a thawing whole chicken, some muscadine grapes from our vines, a yellow pepper, and various condiments.

Told you it was bare.

(Some of you might be noticing that I’ve got a regular fridge again. Very observant. We’ve decided to go back to using a traditional stand up fridge vs. the solar fridge. But that’s another post for another day.)

I’m super excited about this challenge! Will we make it? What will we run out of before the month is over? I’m eager to take good notes and share them with you!

By the way, my husband thinks I’ve totally lost my mind. He’s worried he’ll starve. At least he’s willing to be a good sport though. He must love me a lot.

Anyways. I think this will be fun, so I’d love to challenge you to join me!!

Join us for a 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge and find out if you could survive a real long term emergency comfortably, or if there are food items you might need to store more of!

Here are the rules:

1.You don’t have to do the full 30 days. You might want to start with a 7-day or 14-day challenge instead. Cool. Do what you’re comfortable with!

2. No grocery shopping allowed for your set amount of challenge days. However, if an emergency arises and you absolutely must purchase a grocery item, take note of this event so that you won’t be caught off guard in the same way in the future.

3. Bartering and gleaning freebies is totally okay!

4. Make a daily journal of what you ate from your food stores. Take note of items you wish you had or any struggles you faced for the day.

5. Share what you’re cooking and what you’re discovering during the challenge either here in the comments section or on your own blog. Please link back here to share if you decide to blog the challenge with me!


Please feel free to use the graphic in this post on your own site, just be sure to link back so we can keep up with your challenge progress!

So since today is officially the first day of the challenge, here is what we’ve eaten today…

  • Breakfast: Amish Baked Oatmeal
  • Snack: Thrive Life Blueberry Muffins
  • Lunch: hot dogs and chips
  • Dinner: Baked potatoes (from the garden) w/ a little Thrive Life cheddar cheese and sour cream, fresh spinach and/or purple cabbage slaw
  • Snack: almond butter and jelly on leftover hot dog buns


We’re supposed to have a picnic tomorrow so I’m gonna have to get creative with our lunches!

What do you say? How long do you think you could survive off of what food you have in your home right now? Are you up for a challenge to find out?!


About Kendra 1123 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. I will definitely by following along to see how this works out for you! I’m not going to be able to join in, but will be taking notes:) I basically just wiped out a lot of our stores and am in the process of restocking. But if you do it again next year I will keep it in mind for sure! Plus, I don’t have any meat stored (good note to self) and my family would revolt, lol!

  2. Hey Kendra, Great idea. I missed the email yesterday and just went to the grocery store today, so I’ll have a little advantage of a day. On the other hand, we had planed to do some canning of tomatoes from our garden and some peaches from the farmers market, and there are a few things we were going to get for the canning like a few more onions than we were able to grow ourselves this year. But we can make do. The caveat for me would be that if a fantastic sale comes on during this month of some things we stockpile, I’m going to go ahead and buy it for our preps during this month, and just not dip into it until after the challenge is over OK?

    • Laurie, anything in our home is fair game. We’re treating this as if it were a real emergency and we couldn’t go to the store. We’ll focus on eating the perishable items first, but everything in our fridge/freezer/pantry/food storage is fair game. 🙂

  3. I can barter with some eggs and okra. Not much left in garden but that and bell pepper. This challenge will not be hard for me, because I am already trying to stay away from grocery store and eating out of my pantry. Need to save a lot of money for a newer car since I’ve been having to do a lot of driving to help my sick mama. Doing without a lot of stuff for that need.

  4. I am doing a different challenge right now but if you think you might do this every September I will totally schedule it in for next year. This is a FABULOUS idea. You’re right, you don’t know how much you have until you test it out. I am excited to see how it goes for you and I’d love updates along the way for everyone else who’s participating too!

    • I may do it again in a year! Who knows. 🙂 Maybe you could try next month if Sept. doesn’t work for you. I think it’s so important to be on top of our emergency stores. Glad to have you following along either way! It’s gonna be interesting for sure! Especially as we get down to the end of the month, lol!

      • I can’t sign up to take the challenge with you and there are no pics on here for me to see (like your fridge…) . I am joining you on the 7th of the month anyway. Thanks and I will link back to you.

        • Strange that you can’t see the pics, Kelly Jeanne. There isn’t really a sign up on the blog for the challenge, just an invitation to leave comments as you follow along or links in the comments section back to your blog posts about the challenge. See you on the 7th!

  5. Oooo, Honey!!! What a great idea!!! I just started another ‘challenge’ with a Naturopath for some health issues I have been trying to get under control, though! Being an OTR professional driver makes it a challenge. I have been preserving food for many, many years, and have a great storehouse, but my fresh fruits, veggies, and salads are what I must stick with right now, even if I were home more. You HAVE inspired me to do a major up-to-date inventory and possible reorganization of my stores, though, so specific things are more accessible when needed…WHEN I get home again. Good luck to everyone who takes you up on your challenge! I’m sure it will be an eye-opening experience to know what we have or need, as we shouldnt depend on the government or FEMA to provide for us in an emergency. Thank you for this!!!

    • It would definitely be difficult to follow a challenge like this from the road, Grandma Susan! It’s gonna take a lot of food prep and cooking to keep meals on the table. I think you bring up an interesting point though. What would people on the road long term do for food in an extended emergency? Very interesting. It reminds me of the importance of learning to wild forage. Now THAT would be a REAL 30-day challenge! Ha!

  6. Interesting challenge. For myself, I can do nicely on leftover supplies, but I’m not sure what would i do for my dog who eats a pound and a half of raw meat a day (hunting season doesnt start here til oct)? Any thoughts? Even my friend’s farm down the street doesnt raise enough to feed this hungry lad.

    • Good point, nan. Planning for pets is a whole other concept! We’ll still be buying pet food this month, but I definitely need to keep that in mind for our emergency preps!

  7. I’d love to do this but I’m leaving town in a couple of days for a week so it’s a bad month for me but when I’m back maybe I can jump in. I have to say I actually have a fully stocked pantry and fridges, yes, more than one, but we will miss enough fresh veggies so I love the bartering thing!! that i can do!!

  8. Let’s do it. We had eggs and toast for breakfast. Lunch was taco salad with freeze dried ground meat and canned beans fresh tomatoes and cheese. Don’t have any dressings so we used home made salsa. Dinner was chicken from our freezer with zucchini out of the garden and ice cream out of the freezer. I know ice cream won’t last long.

  9. we actually do this most of the time. shop only once a month and spend $350 for (4) adults. chickens and dogs eat all waste. We are stocked for one year and replenish as we use. Have a big garden and can

  10. Challenge accepted. I’m cheating a little since I went shopping today prior to reading this post. But, I hereby sign up for NO GROCERY SHOPPING in September. I think I could probably add October to the list as well.

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