Oaty Maple Breakfast Cake

Bake up some maple-oat deliciousness in this easy to prep breakfast cake.

Oaty Maple Breakfast Cake - Bake up some maple-oat deliciousness in this easy to prep breakfast cake.

After living our entire lives in southern California, my husband and I had the crazy idea to uproot our family and relocate to the Midwest. We lived there for five years. There were lots of good things that came from that experience, as well as a lot of really hard things: finances, harsh (to us) weather, and a distance from anything familiar or comfortable.

My husband grew up in Santa Barbara with the ocean on one side of him and mountains on the other. Kansas isn’t like that. He’d always been able to orient himself with directions because the Santa Barbara mountains are north. There wasn’t a big landmark to help him in KC; it’s pretty much flat. [Continue reading...]

Pantry Challenge Recap

Did you participate in our Pantry Challenge? How did it go? Were you pleased with the results?

Pantry-Challenge-GCE-300x250

I’m thrilled to say that we spent $143 for the two weeks, down from a typical $400 for that same time frame. I think this is the first Pantry Challenge that I didn’t reach my goal of emptying the deep freeze.

Since we still have lots to use up, we could go on with the challenge for quite some time. However, I’ve got some recipes that need my attention, so I will need to shop a bit more. I will continue working from what we have at the same time. Hopefully, I can return to the challenge before we leave for Europe in the fall. It would be great to leave the freezer empty and unplugged while we’re gone and save more money for the trip.

One of the best parts of doing a challenge like this publicly is interacting with you guys. I absolutely LOVED our Facebook Party. That was super fun.

For me, the Pantry Challenge was a welcome respite from cooking. I was able to delegate the cooking to my kids since I wasn’t creating new and exotic recipes.

pantry pasta

This was a meal mostly prepared by my 13yo. This is an old standby good cheap eat: pasta with meat sauce, green beans, and rolls. Everyone gobbles this down with very little leftover. As it should be…

And I was thrilled to get feedback from different folks:

From Melanie:

Thanks for the motivation for the pantry challenge. I stock up on food (frozen and canned), and then have trouble using it all before it expires. We are preparing for a move, and I told my husband we were going to do a pantry challenge, which we’ve tried before and failed. I have been highly amused by his response. Where before he turned up his nose at many of the dishes I would prepare and would complain when we ran out of things he liked (like butter), he has now embraced the idea of not buying any groceries except milk, eggs, and bananas. I have been busy working and have no motivation right now to think about preparing elaborate meals from what we have, but my husband seems to enjoy the challenge. He told me today as he made breakfast that we must “have the motivation and the dedication to meet the pantry challenge!” Who knew I had to use the word challenge to get him on board?

From Hollie:

hollie's freezer

From Jackie:

Tips for preparing the freezer for a pantry challenge.

We’ll be doing another Pantry Challenge in January. I’ve got some really good ideas on how to help folks save a bundle of money after the holidays, so stay tuned!

How did the Pantry Challenge go for YOU?

Tell us in the comments about your general experience and how much money you saved.

Pantry Challenge: Day 14

granola

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. Today concludes our two week Pantry Challenge. I really wish I could keep on going. I have some recipe development projects, however, that I have to work on. I […]

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Pantry Challenge: Day 13

Zucchini Fritters for Dipping

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. My pictures from today are pretty sad, so I’m going to post a pretty picture of something that we ate: Zucchini Fritters. These are so easy to make and […]

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Pantry Challenge: Day 12

ham dinner

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. Sorry for the late update. I played the Ladybug Game last night instead of posting our update for the day. Let’s see if I can remember what happened. Oh […]

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Pantry Challenge: Day 11

mexibar

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. More iPhone pictures. Sorry about that. I need to get a different lens for my DSLR so that I can get more in the frame without taking it from […]

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Pantry Challenge: Day 10

pantry pasta

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. 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 […]

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Pantry Challenge: Day 9

lawnmower taco

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. Sorry for the weird picture there. For some reason, I was busy at mealtimes today so I didn’t take too many pictures.  Even though I bought some things at […]

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Pantry Challenge: Days 6, 7, & 8

pantry vacation

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. Hey there! I’m back. Did you miss me? Before I scheduled the Pantry Challenge, I scheduled a weekend away with family and friends. That means our pantry went on […]

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Meal Planning for Our Pantry Challenge: Week Two

Meal Planning for Our Pantry Challenge: Week Two

We’re heading into the second week of our pantry challenge. It seems like we haven’t made much of a dent in the freezers. Oy! I do enjoy the white space in the fridge, though. I focused first on the most perishable items, the fridge, and am moving toward the next perishable, the freezers, with the […]

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