Pantry Challenge 2011: Day Six

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This was Day Six of my Pantry Challenge. If you want to join me, go check out the details and sign up here.

Here’s what I served my family today

Breakfast – Rice Pudding, Cereal

At the kids’ request, I made rice pudding. I had plenty of half and half and some arborio rice that I bought last January or February. Unfortunately, they didn’t really like it. It was only the second time I made it — ever. So, I’m not quite sure what went wrong. I am out of vanilla, so that could be the culprit?

They filled up on Cheerios, instead.

Lunch – Cheese, Turkey, Crackers, Veggies; Tamales for Mom

I let my 13yo pull together lunch. He chose cheese and crackers, turkey, and veggies. Works for me.

There were a few frozen tamales left from when I packed FishPapa’s lunch this morning. So, that’s what I had with some veggies to munch on the side.

Dinner – Roast Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Popovers

The chicken had been thawing in the fridge since Monday. It took that long! Seasoned it and let the crockpot do its work. Served steamed broccoli, twice baked potatoes from the freezer, and popovers on the side.

I’m feeling the need to get a little more creative and pro-active with our lunches. Need some quick fixes based on what we have. I’d like to get back to packing them ahead of time, but that might entail a big shopping trip. This could prove to be a challenge.

Are lunches a challenge for you?

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  1. Angela Shrader says:

    My 2 big kids are at school for lunch and they eat there. However lunch for myself, hubby, and 3 year old ARE a challenge. Hubby wants a meal cooked… no. He can have left overs or a sandwich of sorts. Although we do eat dinner super early (about 4), b/c my 5 year old is always starved after school (he may not be eating quite all of his school lunch, too distracted). But alot of nights where the leftovers are just enough for the 3 of us that need it, I freeze it just for lunch left overs and that helps. If I were in your shoes tho. B/c I was trying to dwindle down the pantry, I would cook to get rid of what you wanted to before getting back on the pack the sandwich bandwagon. May be more work, but it will help with the first task.

  2. nooooooo! Eat up the pantry before you do anything but a shopping for basics trip!!! Make the most of what you have 🙂 we have been shopping – but only for produce and free stuff. I take an ingredient out of pantry or fridge and USE IT!! We have bourbon brats, lentils and feta, carnitas salad, all sorts of interesting things. Make crockpot lunch if you need to for time’s sake. Just do it!

    • @Brandy, well, I am not passing up screaming deals. But, the screaming deals I found today were not lunch related. Oh well. 😉

      • @Jessica,

        I read what you bought this week. I would have planned some breakfasty lunches (cereal and bananas, oatmeal with bananas, yogurts and bananas) and had cheese stick and carrot sticks for snack. I buy bananas for 18 c a lb onclearance (they are sometimes just ugly looking and still not ripe) so when I score those we eat a ton of bananas! Anyways, just my ideas. It depends on your dinners etc to make a balanced day of meals so it will be different for everyone!

  3. YES!!! Lunch is my biggest meal stressor. I want something healthy, warm and filling! Soup is out as it barely passes as a dinner around here. I am looking for new ideas and I feel the need to plan better for lunches. I do a dinner meal plan for the month, I think it is time to do the same for lunch. I support you entirely on staying out of the store with the exception of dairy and produce but you may have to do what needs to be done when facing the lunch debacle. Best of luck!

  4. While browsing I found your lovely website and links to others too.
    I live in London, UK. My husband and I are retired but still manage to get through loads of food as I love cooking. We dont exactly sit down and eat ‘a proper’ lunch, but usually graze from the fridge during the day if we’re both in, and eat our mail meal in the evening. My husband doesn’t cook (!) but does love good food.

  5. I plan our lunches and breakfasts when I do my weekly meal plan. Just taking those extra few minutes to think it through, help me when it comes lunch time. Sometimes we get caught up in the “what’s for lunch?” more than the “what’s for dinner?” when we plan dinners all the time. It has helped tremendously!

    Look into bento lunches, they look fun and easy too.

  6. yah, lunches get interesting, for sure. We don’t always have leftovers from dinner the night before and Dh dislikes soup. So we often make grilled cheese, turkey and cheese roll ups, sandwhiches, chicken salad, ect. We like to have fruit with lunch too..more filing then snack type foods. Things like celery and peanut butter, raw carrots/broccoli w/ranch on the side, grapes and raisins, ect.
    I usually buy a rot. chicken from Costco and we use it for our lunches..lasts us all week (family of 3). Less then $5 for it also and it’s HUGE. So we make all kinds of things with it..chicken salad, chicken tortilla wraps, chicken salad..great for lunches.

  7. Yes. I find lunches harder to plan than our evening meal. We homeschool, and many days hubs is able to come home for a quick lunch. Some weeks, like this one, it works out great with leftovers, but other times not so much. I try not to serve lunch meat sandwiches too much for frugal and health reasons. Like Candi said it helps to plan lunches when I do my weekly meal plan. I would love to hear any of your suggestions! Thanks.

  8. I am not a big lunch planner. I have soup or chili most days for lunch. It’s the only time I can, since I am the only one who likes it. I make big pots of it and freeze in single serve portions to pull out for lunch (I use all my 16 oz sour cream containers for freezing). I do not like sandwiches at all, so I never eat those. If we have leftovers, I might eat those as well. Or I just mix up a quick protein shake with milk, protein powder and fruit. Salads with left over meat from the dinner before are good too. Everything from BBQ to taco meat is good on salad!

    As for my hubby he usually packs homemade frozen burritos, chicken wraps, or muffin bites (pizza dough in a muffin tin with toppings and cheese…everything from pepperoni pizza flavor to bbq bacon cheeseburger). Also with fruit, homemade granola bars, and yogurt. Similar things go in my son’s lunch for school. None of us like sandwiches except for grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly.

  9. Denise C. says:

    I have a question about lunch “snacks”, snacks in general. My kids (4, 2) love things like goldfish, string cheese, apple sauce, yogurt etc. The only vegetable they like is broccoli (yes I was shocked too, it has to be steamed though.). I am in a snack rut with them, any ideas what I can do to change it up a bit?

  10. I’m really enjoying this challenge and series. Yesterday I was all set to make some baked goods, only to discover the honey was … not so much. And who thought honey went bad? Oh well.

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