Pantry Challenge Check-In Week 3

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It has been a fun week in the kitchen. I will say that. My family really doesn’t know that I’m not doing major grocery shopping. I’m still shopping one day a week, but I’m trying to limit it mentally to under $100 a week and so far, so good. You can see what I bought this week in my Grocery Geek post for the week.

We’ve eaten well every night this week AND we’ve even stuck to my meal plan, something that is amazing! I’ve felt creative all week long and have made some new creations that I will be sharing in the coming weeks. Here are some of our highlights thus far:

Back to Bread

I’ve returned to Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. After a disastrous attempt at bread baking awhile back, I figured it was a sure thing. I made a double batch of dough (about 8 loaves) and have been serving bread every other day or so with our meals. I tweaked it a little and use part whole wheat flour because I have more of that than unbleached, and it seems to be working okay. At least, there are no leftovers, if that is any indication.

Baking Oatmeal?

Thanks to heavy discussion with my friend Lynn about Baked Oatmeal, I took the plunge. I was worried that it would be mushy. And I don’t like mushy oatmeal. I ended up tweaking her recipe into Raspberry Baked Oatmeal. I served it with unsweetened whipped cream and it. was. so. good. Recipe coming soon.

Watching My Weight

Since my wardrobe and I aren’t getting along, I’m watching what I eat, even during this pantry challenge. As a result, I’ve been eating more salads. And they’ve been really good, like this Salade Nicoise.

Reinventing Leftovers

I’ve also done a fair job of reinventing leftovers. The rest of a Chicken Dinner became Chicken Noodle Soup the next day. Small batches of leftover meat, beans and rice that I’d been stashing in the freezer became Beans and Rice Soup. Leftover sausage from a dinner one night added to scrambled eggs a few mornings later.

Hello, Old Friend

I also resurrected an old favorite from our “deep-in-debt” days: Bean and Cheese Tostadas. Five out of six kids did a happy dance over these babies, made with Homemade Pintos. The oddman said he’s never liked them: 1. We ate them too often “back in the day.” 2. They don’t have meat, and he doesn’t like many meals without meat. However, the other five did another happy dance when I said that we’d be eating them more often since they were so popular with the majority. Poor big brother.

Chick Food

I had a friend and her children to lunch one day. I made chick food. So fun! I pulled a Roasted Vegetable Quiche and a few soups from the freezer (all from the upcoming cookbook) and we feasted. I love girl food. Sigh.

Those are the culinary highlights of the week. We still haven’t really made a dent in the freezer, so I’m wondering if this challenge will continue into August.

Come by LifeasMOM tomorrow to see the meal plan for next week. And you can head here to read what really goes down the hatch.

What are the girls up to?

A wonderful group of ladies is accompanying me on this journey. We don’t all have the same goals for the challenge, so it will be extra fun to take a peak into their kitchens and see how they’re making things work at their houses. Be sure to bop around and see what’s cooking over here:

How are YOU doing?

If you’re doing the Pantry Challenge, tell us how it’s going. If you’re struggling, let us know. Maybe we can help you trouble-shoot. That’s what friends are for.

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  1. Lindsey says:

    Great job!

    FYI-The link to $5 Dinners does not work.

  2. We have been trying to clean out our pantry and freezer for the past month. I promised my daughter that I would make a different bread for her every day in July, so it seems like the freezer has more in it than it did when I started. We are also eating lettuce from our garden. Gardening sure saves money! It is amazing how much good food a freezer can hold!

  3. That comment about no meat made me laugh 🙂 I’ve got a son who is really pretty much a non meat eater (he’s getting better) but for him to insist that a baked potato bar is NOT a meal because there is NO meat to go along side it was really funny to me. That was when I found out he had recently acquired the taste for steak. Huh. Imagine that! Need to update my PC too … been doing so every Tuesday. I was thinking that I may need to extend mine in to August too … I still have lots of stuff in the pantry and the freezers …

  4. We ate out of the pantry/freezer with limited shopping for June and July and I am really thinking of extending it to August too. I spent less that $150 on groceries and other household things (including diapers) for each month. It gave me a chance to clean out the fridge all the way to the walls and shelves on the doors!!! YEAH!!! I still have a full freezer and can’t defrost it yet so I think that I have to go another month. It will be great for the budget and I will really have to get more creative to try to use the rest of the pantry. Is there a book for 1001 uses of pasta???

  5. We have been clearing out our fridge and pantry and now we’re down to a lot of pasta and rice left…. With only a few pounds of chicken left in the freezer, it’s going to be tricky to be creative! I think I have two weeks left of food and then it’s back to the grocery store!

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