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Pantry Challenge Day 28

This month we have been eating down the pantry to save money and reduce food waste. Today’s the last day of my Pantry Challenge.

So here we are — at the finish line! I’m not sure that today really counts as a “Pantry Challenge” since most of the food we consumed was not in my kitchen at the beginning of the month. However, I did use some PC tricks tonight.

We had a generous 2 cups of pizza sauce from Friday night. My girls wanted tomato soup. Guess what?! Our favorite tomato soup recipe is really close to my pizza sauce recipe. I thinned it with water, added cream, and voila! Tomato soup.

I also did some baking so that we could eat better quality rolls with our sandwiches. 😉

Breakfast: cereal, fruit

Lunch: INO (It’s a long story; I had a different plan originally but the day got away from me)

Dinner: Deli Sandwiches on Homemade Rolls, Tomato Soup

How did the Pantry Challenge go for YOU?

Remember if you’re carrying over into February, you can still chat with everyone here.

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Comments

  1. Laurie in CA says:

    It was a cold, rainy day here. It felt good to hunker down in front of the fireplace and read. Soup for dinner? You bet!

    B – hubs and I both had fried eggs on toast with avocado
    L – we ate our leftover italian food from last night
    D – Aunt Sandy’s soup (from this website), french bread from the freezer
    snack – organic popcorn (so fun to pop it on the cob in a paper bag)

    • Laurie in CA says:

      I forgot to add I’m putting up two quarts of the soup for the freezer. I also made a big pot of pinto beans and will freeze most of them (I used different size containers as I know I’ll be using them for different purposes. It was a productive weekend.

      • Heather M says:

        awesome productivity! I need to make several batches of beans for the freezer. We’re virtually out. Motivating. Thanks!

    • I love it that you made Aunt Sandy’s soup!

      And yes, I’m almost caught up on old comments. You’ll forgive me, right?

  2. Breakfast: yogurt, granola
    Lunch: tomato soup, prosciutto and mozzarella cheese, handful of nuts
    Dinner: Dinner out – we had a use-it-or-lose-it coupon for one of the kid’s favorite places that expired today and basically amounted to a BOGO free meal, so we went. We have enough leftovers for 2 meals, so it was money reasonably spent (basically 3 meals for *each* of us for the cost of just 1).
    Dessert: finally finished the platter of baklava from Christmas!

  3. Just wanted to say, I realised this time round what’s held me back from completing Pantry Challenges in the past – it’s been my fear of making “odd” meal combinations!! I think I’m too set in my ways about what a plate of food “should look like” 😉
    This time around I told my husband up front what the pantry challenge is all about, and that by mid-month it might lead to some slightly weird combinations on our plates, and he was fine with it. As a result I did much better this time around – white space in my grocery cupboard, fridge and freezer, that I literally haven’t seen for months!
    Thanks for teaching us how to do this!

  4. Day #30 for me looked like this…

    B – finished the last 2 squares of ham/broccoli quiche and cup decaf coffee

    L – banana with peanut butter

    D – deconstructed chicken fajita.

    Bedtime snack – an avocado

    Bring on February!

  5. Stephanie M. says:

    I am still not buying any meat at this point. Not only have I made a huge dent in what we had but we are nearing the point where we are almost done. Never have I ever had my freezer as full as I did about two years ago during another challenge. I vowed never to let that happen again and I didn’t. It literally took us about 5 months to get through it all by the time I made up my mind. We went through a month long challenge and I continued on for four or five months after. In my freezer now I have 5 thin chicken cutlets, 5 boneless pork chops, 1 package of chicken sausage, a bag of flounder, 2 small bags of mahi mahi, an eye round roast for roast beef, a bottom round for pot roast, a turkey breast and a butt portion ham. The smaller things will be easy to get through. The roasts will provide us with several meals each. This is why it takes us a little longer to use everything up. Even though I was hoping to have a completely empty freezer by the end of this challenge, I’m still satisfied because I used up so much more than what I currently have. I’m sure the end of February will find us done once an for all. My problem is I have a hard time resisting a sale or sometimes I let my taste buds steer the ship and wind up with things I don’t need and end up doing this over and over and then I’m stuck with a full freezer. I really have to change that mindset. Maybe during the next challenge, I can just sit back and watch. LOL

    B – Hubby had cereal. I skipped breakfast.

    L – English muffin pizzas using the last of the leftover pizza sauce in the refrigerator.

    D – Baked Ziti and New York garlic bread sticks.

    Dessert: Ice cream

  6. To officially cap off our pantry challenge I did some baking. I made 2-dozen orange-pineapple muffins. I didn’t have any fresh orange peel so I used dried instead. I made 2-dozen banana chocolate chip mini muffins. I also made a batch of Jessica’s cranberry orange granola. The baking used up the last of the canned crushed pineapple, milk chocolate chips, and walnuts along with the bananas browning on the counter. I think the kids sometimes purposely don’t eat the bananas so I will have to make banana bread or muffins ?.

    We saved $300 compared to our typical month, but unfortunately we had to spend our savings on new tires for my husband’s car. At least it was $300 we did not have to spend from our emergency fund.

    Since my schedule for the rest of the week is crazy, I did my restock grocery shopping this afternoon. I stuck to meat, produce and dairy. I want to try and save enough to replenish the emergency fund after buying the tires. With some careful planning, I think it is doable.

  7. I will be continuing on through next month, but am happy with how things have gone so far.

    Sunday
    Brunch whole wheat blender pancakes and oven bacon with hot tea. Hubby had his with syrup, I just made a sandwich with mine.
    Supper: Sausage and Rice with peas.
    In the afternoon I baked two loaves of bread and baked up some slice and back chocolate nut wafers that I had been hanging around in the freezer. That is the last of the nut wafers for now until I mix up some more. My evening snack was a sandwich with the fresh bread. The second loaf went in the freezer, which at least now has room for it.

  8. Day 30

    Breakfast – Scambled eggs, sausage and toast
    Lunch – I took my oldest granddaughter out for a late lunch, Chinese, her choice, for getting the lead in her next local Theatre production! Go MG!!
    Dinner – Breaded chicken strips, perogies and green beans MG’s request as we watched Grease Live!
    Desert – Ice Cream, guess whose request
    Great day with my little lady?

  9. Saturday:

    Breakfast; Muffin & yogurt for me, toast and marmalade for hubby
    Lunch:Totally forget
    Supper:
    Pan fried cod, oven baked ries and peas, Ice cream for dessert

  10. Heather M says:

    Day 28 was not our last day with the Challenge. Super happy about the chatter page, Jessica! Thank you!

    Sunday, Day 28:
    Breakfast: nothing for any of us… typical sunday morning rush out the door

    Lunch: hubs had random snacks-i didn’t pay attention; son had the last leftover piece of pizza and a chicken pepperoni quesadilla; I had leftover chili con carne and a slice of bread

    Dinner: made a nice spicy sweet and sour chicken over rice, using chicken and bell peppers from the freezer, onion, various items for the sauce (almost out of ketchup- we rarely use it, but my parents were here for 3 1/2 weeks this Fall and i bought a large bottle and dad used A LOT of it; guess i’ll have to buy a new bottle soon). One sad thing- had planned to use pineapple from the pantry in this dish. Pulled out a can (i had 2 left, plus 1 can of crushed pineapple), and discovered it had expired in 2011. can was in fine shape, so I opened it, and it was off-color and mushy. Tasted it and it wasn’t awful, but so mushy. Tossed it and the other, then inspected the crushed-expired in 2009 and the bottom was bowing. Clearly bad. THIS is why the pantry challenge. To rotate things out before they expire/go bad. Luckily dinner was still yummy without the pineapple. 🙂

    See many of you over on the Chatter page!

  11. Jessica S says:

    Great use of food!
    Over the last few days I have been on a mission to utilize the last few random things lingering.
    Saturday daughter and I turned the 4 eggs white ( left from the homemade chocolate pudding) into a few pans of coconut macaroons!
    I took a container with a few cups of beef tips and gravy from the freezer and tossed into the crock pot with a can of pureed diced tomatoes, and some water. I added the last of a bag of frozen peas, a cup of frozen corn and O cut a huge pile of frozen green beans into bite sized pieces. Since soup is not a favorite around here.. I enticed them with a pan of brownies.. made with zucchini!!!!

  12. Sunday

    B-The usual for the guys; nothing for me.

    L-Mexican food out

    D-None of us were super hungry, but son had some toast w/ peanut butter, yogurt, and some Girl Scout cookies and hubs had some salad. I didn’t have anything.

    We will definitely be going into February. The fridge looks pretty good and I’m starting to see some space in the pantry, but the freezers are still stuffed.

    We will have to buy a few things in February though: Bread flour and whole wheat flour; yeast; olive oil; dairy; some fresh produce; peanut butter; some nuts; and hopefully salmon will go on sale during Lent. I’m really going to try to be more strategic about my purchases, however, and keep costs to a minimum.

  13. Breakfast: Banana nut muffins
    Lunch: Turkey wild rice soup and ciabatta buns
    Dinner: Chicken, mashed potatoes, and salad

    I proclaimed the end of the pantry challenge at dinner. DD1 said she didn’t even know we were doing a pantry challenge. Mom for the win!

  14. My husband is soo picky about food I would literally have to divorce him in order to do a pantry challenge. Sounds like a great idea, though.

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