Pantry Challenge Day 28: Out with a Bang

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This is Day 28 and the final day of my (mostly) 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. Tonight’s dinner was awesome.

enchiladas with cabbage salad

Today was our last “official” day of the Pantry Challenge. I usually plan half our meals from what we already have, but I usually actively stockpile as well. This past month, I opted out of stockpiling and worked on using what we had.

I don’t know why I ignored the vegetable drawer the last few weeks. It was filled with yummy goodness. Those watermelon radishes? Awesome. I made a wonderful cumin-scented cabbage salad tonight. It was amazing. Recipe coming later this week.

I also made Cheese Enchiladas, reheated some beans from the freezer, steamed rice, and made some salsa. Let’s just say we went out with a bang. Dinner was amazing.

Breakfast and Lunch were kinda so-so. We started the day with Pumpkin BreadInstant Oatmealgranola,, and oranges. Lunch was leftovers.

And so it ends.

Day 28 Menus

Breakfast: Breakfast Bar of Pumpkin Bread, Instant Oatmeal, granola, and oranges
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Cheese Enchiladas, Rice, Beans, Cabbage Salad

How did today go for YOU?

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. Those radishes do look wonderful! And would love to read what you used to make the cabbage salad. Always looking for great veggie inspiration for those CSA weeks where you look at your share and say, “Huh?” Jessica, thank you for the inspiration and motivation to be a better steward of the resources we have to feed our families.

    I came upon your blog/site when I discovered your latest freezer cookbook and along with following the Pantry Challenge, I have been trying recipes and strategies from the book, so far with success. I will continue to think a few steps ahead by keeping the freezer stocked with quick and easy dinner solutions. An active teen and erratic evening schedules make putting dinner on the table a challenge and I feel better equipped to feed all of us without carrying in food or going to a restaurant.

    • @Julie, awww… thank you for your kind words. I knew readers were buying the book. But, how nice that book buyers have become readers! That just thrills me. Thanks for your faithful input on how it was going for you.

      The radishes are pretty wonderful. Grab them if you ever see them.

  2. Heather M says:

    Thank you thank you for this challenge. And for posting every single day. It must have been a trick for you, given your busy life with a large family, etc. It had been very much appreciated.

    Our day was good. Jan. 28 kids got to stay home from school because they thought there was going to be an ice storm all morning. Didn’t really materialize, but you can only do the best you can with the latest forecasts, and they called it around 5am. Meals:

    Breakfast: cereal, muffins, juice
    Lunch: 16yo at a friend’s house; 11yo had frozen french bread pizza(more still in freezer from Fall chorus fundraiser!) and pineapple; hubby took two small random leftovers to reheat at work where there’s a working microwave-so grateful to get those out of the fridge; I reheated the leftover chili from last week and ate it over salad.. a yummy taco salad.
    Dinner: Put a Chicken Paprikash in the slow cooker, loaded with mushrooms and red bell peppers. Served over rice with a side of oversteamed green beans. Forgot about them steaming the old fashioned way on the stove. I’m so used to zapping them in the microwave. They were still edible, just not bright green anymore, which is the way we prefer.

    I have planned dinners thru Thursday so far(Asian Curry Noodles w/beef; pork & veggie stirfry; salmon/rice/salad), and am being diligent about putting the protein in the fridge to defrost overnight. Also will keep this up as best I can this next month. But I have a feeling I’ll spend a little more than the past month, since I will have to purchase more proteins than I did in January. Hardly bought any at all.

  3. Menus:
    B: Amish Friendship Bread, bananas, and milk
    L: Grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup
    D: Crock-Pot Pasta E Fagioli soup, garlic toast and sliced strawberries

    It is time to hit the Mega sale at Kroger and restock, but the pantry challenge was worth all the effort. Thanks again for all the inspiration and encouragement!

  4. Jessica,
    Thank you f or posting everyday to give us a peek as to how you feed your crew. I think you do a good job feeding eight people on the budget you use. Judging by some comments, I think some readers forget that you feed your kids 3 meals a day every day. That makes a huge difference in the cost of groceries. I’ve been doing the pantry challenge too and have used up a lot of excess. It is a lot of work, but glad I participated!

    • I love it when someone pays attention. Thanks for pointing that out. It’s true. School lunches are all homemade here. 🙂

  5. We’ll finish up tomorrow. Found we used up right many things. I definitely did more baking. Discovered daughter will try new things with a little tweaking. Dollar wise we spent about 1/4th of what we usually spend. Not too shabby. However, in the interest of true confessions we had one day where we had to eat out on the road. One meal was planned and the other was because of a cancellation.

  6. Breakfast – Blueberry waffles and sausage
    Lunch – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sliced apples
    Dinner – Baked chicken, garlic red potatoes, corn

    We saved hundreds of dollars this month thanks to you and the pantry challange. We will also continue the challange until I can see the bottom of the freezer.

  7. I just wanted to thank you for hosting the Pantry Challenge and the daily postings. This was my first time participating, and I am so appreciative of the experience. I do plan to extend into Feb. with some modifications, I will defnitely do my menu planning based on what is already in my pantry & freezers. Thanks again!

  8. Yesterday seems so long ago
    I had oatmeal w honey w coffee for breakfast.. I like oatmeal I guess. 😉
    Lunch was cabbage roll soup with chips & an orange with a couple hershey kisses
    Supper was pork loin with onion, mashed potatoes & gravy

  9. I have a whole head of cabbage to make use of soon. I am looking forward tot hat recipe. Thank you for posting everyday during your pantry challenge. I look forward to these posts and do love to see the encouragement of how you are eating down the pantry. I do feel like it has made me more creative this month, especially with lunches for the littles!

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