Meal Planning: Pantry Challenge Week 2

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We’re entering the second week of our month-long Pantry Challenge. Meal planning is key to making this thing work. So, I’ve been scheming and taking inventory, making lists and strategizing. If you build your meal plan from what you have, it will go well for you.

Last week I cleaned out the frig and wiped everything down. That felt good. Now that the shelves are emptying, it’s nice to see some clear spaces. It makes me feel on top of things.

I also inventoried the freezer. AND, I’ve been checking things off my inventory. May wonders never cease! I always forget to check off things as I use them. At least this week, I’m motivated not to have to take inventory again.

While I don’t always do a 3×7 meal plan, I am this month to better use up our resources in the pantry, fridge, and freezers. Here’s the plan for the week:






  • Ham and Eggs, Toast, homemade juice
  • Hot Dogs and Brats, Homemade Buns, fruit and veg
  • Vegetable Soup with Sausage and Pasta, Good Bread, Kahlua Brownies from the freezer (cookbook)



That’s the plan.

What are YOU having?

ย Check out Menu Plan Monday for more ideas!

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  1. Breakfast here was grits and waffles-both from the freezer. (We keep our grits in the freezer so that critters don’t get in them.) Lunch was left over turkey and gravy that we made rice and peas/snaps to go with. While the oven was hot, we cooked biscuits (from the freezer) for easy breakfast options this week. We also made a homemade pizza to pack in lunches since school starts back tomorrow.
    I actually have a nice hole in the freezer and nothing is falling out when we open the door ๐Ÿ™‚ Huge accomplishment.

    We did go by the store after church. We spent $45 on milk, cheese, bread, yogurts, etc… Hubs almost fainted at the total. He is learning that it isn’t cheap, although it is much cheaper than the 5 of us eating out.

    • @Harriet,
      I know. Today was a splurge as we took our daughter and son-in-law out for lunch as thanks for taking care of our fur babies while we were out of town for 5 days. Cost us $53 but 3 of us had leftovers for lunches tomorrow (dh is a clean plater, lol). Fortunately we already had it budgeted in our entertainment budget.

  2. I don’t know! But I do know that now I really, really want taquitos!

  3. Just worked out the dinner menu for the week – – Taco Lasagna; Homemade Mac & Cheese; French Toast Casserole w/sausage links; Taco Soup (in the crockpot); and Buttermilk Herb Chicken (from the freezer) with Twice Baked Potatoes (from the freezer); Chicken Noodle Soup with Grilled Cheese. Several of these dinners will give us enough leftovers for lunches at home or to pack to the office.

    • @Nancy, I love it when dinners do double duty. My kids are eating too much on the good nights for there to be leftovers they like, though.

  4. I don’t normally do a 3×7 plan but find during a pantry challenge, it’s almost necessary. Here’s our week:

    Turkey Rice soup (cooked rice/cooked turkey from freezer), crescent rolls
    Stuffed Shells (freezer), salad, garlic bread, peach cobbler (using peaches we picked over the summer)
    Spinach Quiche, salad or fresh fruit
    Homemade pizza, raw veggies, fresh fruit
    Sweet and Sour Chicken, brown rice (freezer), stir fry veggies
    Leftovers x 2

    Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes/Coconut Banana Bread, Oatmeal pancakes x 2, Whole Wheat Waffles, Baked Oatmeal, Cereal, Buttermilk Coffee Cake

    HB eggs, Turkey/Cheese roll-ups, PBJs, L/O Quiche, BLTs…most served with fresh fruit, pretzels or chips

    The challenge is going well…I spent $40 less this first week (was hoping for more like $75 less) and we’re out of staples. Sent hubs to the store with a list and $20…hope it goes well! Lol

  5. I’ll be out of town from Wednesday through Saturday this week, so chances are GREAT that my guys will eat out as frequently as possible. They’ve said they will surprise me, so we shall see.

    I am also finding that I need to plan EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL. and it makes me tired. But I know it will be worth it.

    So, Sunday – our standard breakfasts (eggs & bacon for dh, yogurt w/fruit & nuts for me, homemade hashbrown casserole for ds#3).
    Lunch: Pioneer Woman’s chili (family fave)
    Dinner: Hubs requested pizza, so I pulled some from the freezer. Not quite what he meant, but it’ll do! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Monday~ back to work
    Breakfast as above
    Lunch: dh out, I’ll run home from work to eat w/ds
    Dinner: Leftover chili, topping potatoes, or stuffed in peppers

    Tuesday~ students back at school
    Breakfast as above
    Lunch: lunchbox for ds, homemade wrap for me, sandwich & cookies for dh
    Dinner: Breakfast for dinner – grits, eggs, bacon, biscuits

    Then I leave, so we’ll see…

    • @Angela, I can’t wait to hear how THAT goes. LOL. Last time I left they ate out every meal. The kids were begging me to cook something when I got home.

  6. I don’t typically plan breakfasts as we all eat at different times so I just make sure there are plenty of eggs, bacon, cereal (hot and cold), bread products on hand. I typically eat 2 eggs w/beans and a clementine for breakfast or a protein shake.

    I cook things on the weekend that can be easily taken for lunch or reheated for those that eat here. I pack my lunch everyday unless there is a special occasion at work. I try to portion off soups, beans, chicken or the like in individual portions and freeze. Easy to grab to take to work.

    Hopefully the dinners this week will turn out like this:
    Sunday salad w/chicken
    Monday leftover lasagne or chicken (whatever people want to heat up for themselves)
    Tuesday sirloin steak, salad, french bread
    Wed. pumpkin chicken chili, crackers
    Thursday salmon patties, mango salsa, broccoli, couscous
    Friday leftovers
    Saturday Navy bean soup, corn bread, carrots

  7. Heather M says:

    Alas, no menu worked out for the week yet. Will get to that tomorrow after a dreaded meeting with the middle school teachers in the morning(11yo has never liked school, homeschooling probably would have been a good idea, but then he never would have learned to work with others, since he’s happy to be alone…). Breakfast and lunch are not worth writing about ever. Same basics every day for breakfast, leftovers/salads/sandwiches/soup for the parents for lunch, lunchbox fare for the kids. Dinner Jan 5: Thai beef curry over rice, steamed broccoli. Dinner Jan 6: out! It’s my birthday and I don’t cook on my birthday. Even if I’m trying to be cheap. So, $90 later, I’m a happy, albeit older mom. Plus the bday present came last month in the form of concert tickets, so I felt it was deserved. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m feeling pretty good about this. Inventory done, Fridge emptied and cleaned, menu for week planned. This is for the two of us empty nesters. Also trying to eat more “real foods”
    Monday: Red Beans and rice (from scratch)
    Tuesday: Italian sausage and peppers
    Wednesday: Liver and onions
    Thursday: Chicken cutlets, baked sweet potato
    Friday: Plaice(fish), Quinoa
    Saturday: Grilled steak, roasted carrots, mushrooms.
    Lunches: alternate between PBJ with bananna on whole wheat toast and grilled cheese sandwiches, leftovers when available
    Breakfasts : yogurt with walnuts, fruit and cheese
    Snacks: dried appricots, oranges(cutie), apples.

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