Pantry Challenge: Day 10

This month I’m doing a Pantry Challenge. For two weeks, I’m focusing on using up what we have to save money and time and to reduce waste.

pantry pasta

Happy Day 10 of the Pantry Challenge! I’m starting to see a little room in the deep freeze, but not too much in the small freezer. I need to get a bit more serious about these random bits.

Since we’ve been doing old standby recipes for many meals, it’s been easy to let the boys do the cooking. One handled the bacon and toast for BLTs today and another made the pasta sauce for tonight’s supper. I could get used to this!

It’s a nice bonus when they say “I don’t know how,” I can just direct them to a cookbook — that I wrote. Bwahaha!

Breakfast: Hot Cereal, Eggs

Lunch: BLT’s and baby carrots (Bacon and bread from the freezer)

Snacks: Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles (from the freezer)

Dinner: Rigatoni and Meat Sauce, Green Beans, Rolls (meat, sauce, green beans, and rolls from the freezer)

Pantry-Challenge-GCE-150x150This post is a part of the Summer 2014 Pantry Challenge where we’re trying to save money on food by using up what we have. I’ll be posting daily updates on how the challenge is going.

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  1. We are chugging along. Day 16…

    Breakfast- Me: leftover pizza Hubby: banana and protein shake
    Lunch- leftover chicken and dumplings
    Snack: spoonful of peanutbutter
    Dinner: Hamburgers

    I see chicken pot pie in my future with the leftovers from yesterday. I feel very fortunate that we weren’t allowed to be picky eaters growing up. So we are a leftovers eating family.

  2. Day 15 Breakfast – Oatmeal with blueberries
    Lunch – Leftover Chicken alfredo
    Cabbage rolls (crockpot), mashed potatoes, corn

    We too are see a little room in the freeze but we will keep chugging along until we can move everything in the fridge freezer to defrost the deep freezer. Might be a while…..quite a while

  3. Stephanie M. says:

    Our freezer is not far from being empty. We have spent the majority of the challenge eating all of the freezer meals and leftovers from the freezer. My husband took the last frozen leftover today for lunch and there are no more freezer meals. The meat is dwindling down too. All we have left in there are 10 chicken legs, 1.29 lbs. ground beef, 1 London broil, 1 lb. bay scallops, 1 15-lb. turkey and one small boneless leg of lamb that I purchased at Easter time because we all love lamb so much and it’s hard to get it during the year. I won’t be able to finish all of that before the pantry challenge is over but we will continue with the challenge as far as the freezer is concerned till all the meat is gone which should not be very long now. With that turkey, I’m probably going to get several meals. The first night we’ll eat it as is and maybe the second night too but after that I’ll be making turkey tettrazini with some of the leftovers which will make a large tray which will be maybe 5 more meals and we’ll see what I’ll do with the rest. When we cook the turkey, I’ll have my husband put it on the rotissieri outside so we don’t have the heat up the kitchen for hours. Maybe I’ll take it out today because it will take a few days to defrost. By the time this challenge is over, I will have cleared out almost all the meat from the freezer and maybe not reached my goal of having it all gone but certainly I am happy with the results as is. There won’t be much left and then we’ll have to start shopping again. During the last pantry/freezer challenge, which was my first, I had more meat in that freezer than anyone could imagine. It was a 4 week challenge as some of you participated in and it took me 5 months to get through it all. I made a vow never to let that happen again and I haven’t. We’ve been on this challenge for less than 2 weeks and I only have a few pieces of meat left so I guess I had about 3 – 4 weeks worth of meat and freezer meals in there. Not too bad, I don’t think and NOTHING like what I had in there last time!

    B – Hubby had cereal and a banana. I had a low-fat English muffin with 1 scrambled egg.

    L – Hubby had a ham sandwich. I skipped lunch because I was very busy today and not too hungry.

    D – Hubby had to work a double today so he took his dinner to work. He took the last of the frozen leftovers which was the last piece of a ham and noodle casserole. I had a tuna fish sandwich.

  4. Things are going great here. We had B&E for breakfast, Grilled Avocado/Bacon/Swiss sandwich for lunch, and Eggplant Lasagne for dinner. Freezer is emptying out!

  5. My main focus for this challenge was to make sure we eat our leftovers and bake snacks and breads. We have always had leftovers for meals, but lately we’ve been slacking with the boys fixing a sandwich instead. We only eat meat once per week so I don’t have meat in the freezer to use. I do have quinoa that I need to use more of. I have been baking: I made banana muffins last week with spotty bananas and this week I made hamburger buns that I’ll probably use some of today. The recipe makes 16, so half went in the freezer for later.

    Breakfast- eggs over easy and toast

    Lunch- I had an avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich, my husband had the rest of the leftover skillet gnocci

    Dinner- linguine with garlic and cheese with a spinach salad

  6. I love it when you do these. I have decided to do my own for the next two weeks. Our freezers are full!

  7. Used up a lot of shredded cheese last night with make your own pizza night and a tuna noodle casserole for hubs (kids and I will be gone for the weekend, so he can feast on something the rest of us won’t eat). Used the last of the red sauce for the pizzas. Used up the remainder of the chicken broth in a small batch of chicken and rice soup for my lunches today and yesterday. Baked a second batch of banana bread for gift giving. Getting there. Definitely in shape to defrost the full freezer while we are gone. Have a bit more work to do when we get back, but my main goal is within sight!

  8. BREAKFAST-HARD BOILED EGGS OR CEREAL
    LUNCH-BOLOGNA SANDWICH, BANANA AND PASTA SALAD
    DINNER-ZUCCINI STEW, GARLIC BREAD AND COTTAGE CHEESE

    I REORGANIZED THE FREEZER YESTERDAY AND IT’S HALF EMPTY SO THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. WE HAVE A TON OF STUFF LEFT IN THERE SO I’M GONNA TRY AND SEE HOW LONG WE CCAN LAST WITHOUT GOING TO THE STORE. I JUST WENT TO THE STORE AND BOUGHT THREE GALLONS OF MILK SINCE IT WAS ON SALE HERE FOR $ 1.88 A GALLON SO WE SHOULD BE GOOD WITH THAT FOR A WHILE. I’M MAKING MY OWN BREAD SO ALL I’LL HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT I’M HOPING IS THE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES.

    WE LEAVE FOR VACATION ON AUGUST 7TH SO I’M HOPING TO HOLD OUT UNTIL WE GET BACK….ONE CAN HOPE CAN’T THEY…LOL!!

  9. I did spend a total of $44.41 on meat, and groceries yesterday. I do a bogo with my friend when the store with the best meat in town has a good sale. I spent $30 for a box of chicken breasts and a box of beef sirloin burgers ( we love the taste of this one brand, and they don’t shrink). I also wanted a tin of OJ and then I saw Basa Fish burgers 8 in a package for $1.98 ( bought 1 package to try). and lastly a small bag of coleslaw mix. Last nights dinner was
    Basa burgers ( surprisingly good, will buy again). And Bacon coleslaw stir fry. We loved that and dh suggested several different ways he’d like to eat that ( this is a man who normally passes the vegetables!) . So watching and looking for recipes that are using mostly what I have on hand is a great idea and although I did buy some more meat for the freezer there was lots of room for the items purchased.
    Tonight is spaghetti and meat (cooked separately) and sauce. Green lettuce salad out of the garden. Lunch was a Basa Burger ( I cooked 4 last night and made cold burger sandwich for lunch, using up more of the whole wheat buns from the freezer).
    http://therealfoodguide.com/easy-dinner-recipe-bacon-coleslaw/ I hope it is ok to post the site for the bacon coleslaw stir fry, we really enjoyed it, once you have what you want chopped it is only 10 minutes from cooking to eating! Same with the Basa fish patties. good for a fast food night.
    I think I will only need eggs, milk and cream and a couple of vegetables before payday (end of the month). Much of the cupboards, freezer will be used up by then.

  10. Maureen says:

    Yesterday went fine, but I haven’t been very creative…I keep cherry picking the easy stuff out of the freezer. I need to work on the strange bits and things that we don’t really like. Dinner was two types of tacos from the freezer, using up some lettuce and tortillas that needed to be eaten. We are doing a much better job of eating up left overs and not wasting food, though, throughout this challenge. I am very happy about that.

  11. Heather M says:

    Day 10, another reasonably decent Challenge day.

    Breakfast: I was the only one who ate, since the hubs never does and the kids slept in. Had a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana, one of my favorite breakfasts!

    Lunch: after reading about all the people who had popcorn on Sunday nights for dinner, wow, the power of suggestion was strong for me! We had popcorn and eggs. Hubs took leftovers.

    Dinner: hamburgers (freezer), salad, and roasted garlic potatoes. I didn’t think we’d be eating any potatoes during the Challenge since we have plenty of other carbs (rice, pasta, couscous, etc) in the pantry and no potatoes. Then a friend gave me a bag of potatoes from their garden! Yes, homegrown potatoes in Arlington, VA. Three meals worth I think. So fun!

    Snacks included some of that yummy berry pudding cake, fruit, crackers and cheese. I also finished off the remnants of a bag of chocolate chips, since I was dying for chocolate and it’s all we had.

  12. Shannon says:

    Day 10:
    Homemade hummus using a can of chickpeas
    Homemade black bean dip using frozen crockpot beans from 2013 (!)
    Strawberry yogurt popsicles using 2013 picked/frozen berries
    Freezer soup left over from dinner last night was my lunch. Kids had mac and cheese with friends over.
    Dinner – roasted veggies – white and sweet potatoes from spring (starting to sprout and shrivel), green beans and zucchini from garden, fresh corn on cob and fresh fruit.
    Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream subbing evaporated milk for cream (have many cans of it from Christmas stock up).
    As much as I am putting some things back in the freezer (popsicles, ice cream), they are in a form that we will definitely be eating this month as hot weather treats. I also blanched and froze garden green beans.

  13. Tiffany R says:

    Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal (me) and last of the bagels (kids)

    Lunch: Kids are working their way through a bag of chicken fingers and french fries from the freezer. I had a BLT to use up some of the tomatoes from the garden.

    Dinner: The hubs and kids had Hamburger Helper, black-eyed peas and sautéed zucchini. The Hamburger Helper I had gotten for free to give to the food drive and forgot to donate it, so it’s been sitting in the pantry for a while. I also had a small package of ground beef to use up. The black-eyed peas were from the freezer and the zucchini was from the garden. Lots of zucchini! I had a free dinner at Zoe’s kitchen with my church small group. Yum!

    I also used up some M&Ms and misc chocolate in chocolate chip cookies today. I made 2 loaves of banana bread to use up some bananas that were on their way south.

    All in all, it was a good pantry challenge day.

  14. My freezer meals are about gone as it is VBS week. Next week I plan to start making a bunch of things for the freezer again. We’ll be having smoothies daily as I have lots of frozen fruit. It’s so nice when the kids can help. How cool to be able to send them to a cookbook you wrote!

  15. I’m off … darn it! The Costco shop Tuesday night was NOT necessary but as Hubby was traveling (for what I thought was 4 days, NOT the 10 he’s really gone!) and now I have too much food, yet again. For some reason, when I make the announcement, I don’t do well … when I do it on the lowdown, I do great! I still need to get the freezers cleaned and organized, same with the pantry so hoping to get to that this weekend while the Hubby is STILL gone!

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