Pantry Challenge Day 11: Pizza Night

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This is Day 11 of my month-long Pantry Challenge series  where we’re eating down the pantry (and freezer and fridge) to use up what we have, rotate stock, and save some cash.

I’m dancing that fine line with my family. I’ve mentioned the pantry challenge. I’ve bought necessities like milk and coffee. I’ve also put off buying things that they like to have, like cocoa powder and honey. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but I know that once I start shopping, I’ll have a hard time drawing a line.

Everyone knows we have the money to buy these things, so not buying them is a little weird to them. I just give a vague, “I’ll get that when I go to Costco” reply and then hope I don’t have to go to Costco too soon.

Today we did well eating at home again. Tomorrow might be another story. Hubs has to work and on those kind of Saturdays prefers to have a meal out as a family. While I think it’s good to avoid take-out when we can, I also value the importance of family outings, especially when our time together on the weekend is compromised.

Today’s meals

For breakfast I baked a Raspberry Baked Oatmeal that I made in last week’s freezer cooking. (Was that only last week?) The kids and I enjoyed that. Once kid also ended up making Instant as well. He really loves those homemade packets.

Lunch was leftovers for the kids: chili and brats. They like those things. I made a salad to take with us on our park adventure.

Dinner was pizza. I mixed up the Five-Minute Artisan dough before we left for the park. It was ready by the time I needed to start forming pizzas. Dinner was FishBoy8’s responsibility. The dough is too unwieldy for him to do on his own, so I got things ready for him and he topped the pizzas.

I made a chicken and spinach pizza for variety. Love putting greens on a pizza.

There were only three slices of pizza left, so my days of one batch of dough may be drawing to a close. I guess we’ll need to add salad to pizza night on a more regular basis. I usually plan to have a salad, but then I get too tired by the time I’m done baking pizzas.

Day 11 Menus

Breakfast: Raspberry Baked Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Pizza

This post is part of a month-long Pantry Challenge series. You can read more about my goals for the challenge here.

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  1. Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, ham, toast
    Lunch – Hotdogs, cut up cheese and apples
    Dinner – Meatloaf, noodles, green beans

    Last post for a while. Will be out of town until next Sunday.

  2. It is interesting how meals that worked when the kids were little have to be stretched as they grow. Our burrito night used to have 4-5 leftover burritos. Now it has 2 planned leftover burritos (for husband’s lunch the next day) and I make Mexican rice for a side. The rice usually doesn’t get finished the first day. I get the leftovers the second day with a scrambled egg and lots of salsa on top.

    • Isn’t that the truth? Last week’s Irish Stew used to last two meals and this time it barely covered everyone.

  3. Breakfast was fend for yourself
    Lunch was sandwiches or leftovers
    dinner it was ds2’s turn to cook he’s 8 so it was mac and cheese
    snack after school was m&m cookies and some crackers and cheese

    I’m with Heather M., on my pantry barely has a dent made in it.

    Chatted with MIL yesterday and mentioned the pantry challenge we are on and my issue with ds1’s meal tonight (we only shop on Sundays and I didn’t know that we needed lettuce) and she said oh I have that and it needs to be used come and get it. So I’ll go to her place and get a head of lettuce for tacos.

  4. so you need a fishboy to make salad while another tops pizza LOL

    I have been giving much thought to the ‘family dinner out’ – also usually when dad’s been working on a weekend – it IS so nice to all sit around the table for that extended period of time

    I’m thinking of trying to plan dinners in that pair with activities [like your movie nights in another post] but that are of necessity longer and maybe unusual foods [cheaper to buy something more expensive at the store than to take five people to a restaurant] It’s a work in progress LOL

  5. That sounds like my pizza from a few days ago. Basil pesto sauce, chicken, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and cheese. It was phenomenal.

    Yesterday, I tried 3 new recipes all in the same day, liked them all, and cleared out more of fridge. Success!
    Breakfast: yogurt and cinnamon rolls – the kid talked me into getting some of those Pillsbury canned things during holiday sales. He made them today to get them out of the fridge. I accidentally shut off the the timer, so they were a bit overdone. Oops.
    Lunch: L/O taco casserole.
    Snack: cranberry pumpkin bread (new) – used up cranberry sauce and pureed pumpkin that were both in fridge
    Dinner: chili lime baked sweet potatoes (new), chicken in mustard/ranch glaze that finished off bottle of mustard (new), frozen Normandy blend veggies

  6. Please tell me you’re going to have comparison photos of your pantry and freezer!

    • @Steph, I’m not sure if I took a before picture of the freezer. 🙁 Plus, some of those things like butter and cranberries, I won’t use up. But, we’ll see.

  7. Heather M says:

    Jan 11 was another successful day! The kids are getting my mantra now: “but don’t you want to have a fun spring break this year?” 16yo has even taken to spending her own hard-earned cash on treats for herself when out w/friends and not asking for anything.

    Breakfast: the usual
    Lunch: lunchboxes (in our house a combo of sandwiches, fruit/berries, carrots, crackers & cheese, popcorn, nuts, the occasional treat); Hubs took in leftover soup again(he LOVED it!), along with the inherited leftover rosemary bread; I was taken out to a belated birthday lunch with friends.
    Dinner: Huge success again! New thai sauce recipe I’ll be making again and again, as hubs declared “this is delicious!” Used it over frozen chicken meatballs from Costco and rice noodles that are old & were on the verge of being tossed. Also served salad with it(remember all that lettuce… I still have 4 1/2 bags prepped lettuce to use before it goes bad. Perhaps taco salad will be in order on Monday). I don’t like to spend tons of time in the kitchen on Fridays, as I’m often running kids and their friends around.

    16yo brought a few friends home after school and they were all starving so I made a quick batch of boxed mac n cheese and some frozen french bread pizza from her chorus fundraiser a few months ago. So glad I can make these kids happy at the last minute and not recommend a walk up the street to Chipotle, Starbucks, or Panera(yep, ten min walk).

    I’m also pulling the “when I go to Costco” line. Unfortunately that’s going to be this week, cuz we’re so low on TP.

    • @Heather M, ha with the Costco line. I have a feeling I have to do it this weekend. But, hubby suggested packing a picnic for after church tomorrow. That is huge. So, I need to oblige by making sure we have things to pack. LOL

      • Heather M says:

        @Jessica, The Sunday church thing is always a trick for us. ONe year we are out at noon, another at 4, alternating, and every week we are starved afterward since we don’t eat much beforehand on either schedule. If I don’t have something pretty much read to eat when we walk in the door, we end up picking something up or going out. I’m going to try to be better this year. Much better. We’ll see how it goes. Good luck to you, too!

  8. I’ve really got to learn to make pizza dough.. Well.. I really know how.. I just really need to DO it. 😉
    I havent made pizza dough or bread in years.. sigh.. I s’pose I could. 😉

    Yesterday I had maple oatmeal for breakfast, LO Chicken Cordon Bleu and broccoli for lunch and M’honey whisked me away after we were at a doctors apt and took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant. I am NOT going to say no.. In my mind, that equates to insanity.. haha.

    • @KimH, the artisan bread dough is super easy. Just stir and walk away. No kneading required.

      • @Jessica, Is this the basic 5 minute dough the authors of the book show on YouTube? Do you show how you use it, apply it for pizza here on your blog? I looked but I didnt find anything other than references.

        • @KimH, I make four pizzas from the master batch of dough. It’s sticky so I coat it with flour. But, it’s a nice change from my standard recipe that I use. I haven’t posted about it for pizza. At least not that I remember.

  9. Brandette W. says:

    I would love to know your exact recipe for the Artisan dough you use for the pizzas. That sounds like a wonderfully cheap and easy way to do the dough. Also, my biggest worry is trying to stretch and form the sticky dough. How do you do that? Please help Jessica! :0)

  10. I have the same intentions when making pizza – a salad to ‘healthify’ everything and ensure we get the veg in… but it usually doesn’t happen. 🙁

    So this week was interesting because I was out of town from Wed – Fri (I drove back late Friday night.). I’m so proud of my guys – they only ate out one night!!!!
    Breakfast – guys got a biscuit out, I spent $.85 on a granola bar
    Lunch – guys took their lunchboxes, and I bought a turkey & cheese wrap for $4.99. Yes, I thought, I can make 10 of these for what I’m paying. But since I can’t make it, it’ll have to do.
    Dinner – Hubs had the last leftover spaghetti in the fridge, and he made ds a frozen pizza I left them. YEA! I had leftover pizza when I got home.

  11. Yesterday, the hubs came down with a stomach virus of some nasty sort. Required a stop at the grocery store for ibuprofen and gatorade. While I was there I picked up potatoes, onions and diet coke as well. Add another $18 to the groceries for the month puts us at $83.

    Breakfast – fresh pineapple, clementines, bagels
    Lunch – leftovers
    Dinner – Finished up the leftover taco soup, grilled cheese.
    Snacks – Made a batch of bar cookies. That put a smile on everyone’s face!

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