Pantry Challenge Day 6: Ice Cream for Breakfast & A Shopping Trip

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This is Day 6 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 even had ice cream for breakfast.

This challenge is proving to keep me on my toes. In order to keep my family calm and orderly, I have to make sure that meals are timely and plentiful. Else, someone might suggest take-out. I know we have enough food in the house, so I want to make sure that we’re eating what we have as well as being intentional about eating out.

Here’s how it went down for Day 6:


We were out of eggs, milk, and cream when I woke this morning. But, I knew this already and I’d made a meal plan to accommodate that. I thawed energy bars and Breakfast Cookies for our meal. FishBoy12 made Hot Cocoa Mix. I only had to figure out a cream alternative.

I had no canned milk, so I did what proved to be a very tasty option: gelato. Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean, to be exact. It was the best cup of coffee I’ve had in months!


For lunch I served the chili that I made yesterday along with cheese and salsa for toppings and saltines on the side. The fam gobbled it down except for about three cups’ worth that we’ll use for chili dogs later this week.

I opted for a salad for me. Surprise! I just like salads. Ask my college roommates. I’d have a salad every night in the dorms.

Today I raided the veggie drawer and found remnants from the produce box TWO weeks ago: half a head of broccoli, a lonely green onion, the largest daikon radishes on earth. I also had a cucumber from Christmas. I added my usual: avocado, garbanzo beans, and you guessed it, bleu cheese.

I pickled one of the daikon radishes per suggestions on Facebook. Hopefully, it doesn’t smell as bad as folks are promising it will. Yikes!


Dinner was very tasty: Grilled Fish with leftover Almond-Lime Butter (cookbook),  TV Potatoes from the freezer(cookbook), Salad, and Roasted Delicata Squash (produce box from forever ago).

Some of my kids balked at the squash and there wasn’t as much fish as everyone would have liked, but it was “enough”.

It was a microfish supper. 😉 Sigh, only those of you older than the internet are going to get that joke. Yes, I am older than the internet.

Day 6 Menus:

Breakfast: Energy Bars (cookbook), Breakfast Cookies, Apples
Lunch: Chili with Toppings and Crackers
Dinner: Grilled Fish with leftover Almond-Lime Butter (cookbook), TV Potatoes from the freezer(cookbook), Salad, Roasted Delicata Squash

And a Grocery Trip!

Today I did end up going to Trader Joe’s. I had already made a week’s meal plan and made a list of the bare minimum:

  • 2 1/2 gallons milk
  • pint cream
  • 2 quarts kefir
  • yogurt
  • 3 dozen eggs
  • lettuce, carrots and cucumbers
  • pears
  • tortillas
  • sandwich bread

It was so hard to stick to the list! I know where everything is located at Trader Joe’s and I had to keep myself from going down aisles I didn’t need to go. Difficult! Trader Joe’s has such fun food.

But, I did do it. Well, except for the almonds, but those are FishPapa’s snack food. And I love that FishPapa.

FishChick6 and I had already spent an hour at the fabric store, so we really didn’t have much time to lollygag at the grocer’s anyway. We spent $52 on all this:

I know. I could bake the bread, but I’ve already got baking on the list quite a bit this week. I’ve decided not to tempt myself to exasperation. I bought some pricier yogurt as well as two quarts of fat milk to make my own yogurt, too.

(And, no, I’m not going to try making my own kefir. A girl has to draw the line somewhere. That’s my line.)

So, there we are. Six days down.

How’d you do today?

Tomorrow at 8 am I’ll have a linky for you to share your pantry challenge update. Be sure to link back here as a courtesy to your lovely hostess. 😉

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. Day 6:
    Scrambled eggs with cheese, toast and sliced apples for breakfast.
    Lunch was leftover hamburger barley soup and whole grain natcho chips.
    Dinner was a yummy meal of meatballs in barbeque sauce in crockpot. Smashed potatoes and fresh carrot sticks.
    So nice to be using up the things in the freezer. It needs to be defrosted and i would like to start fresh.
    Have already pulled out things for the next few days, planning, planning, planning makes such a difference with doing this challenge.

  2. Breakfast – Banana and chocolate chip pancakes
    Lunch – sandwiches and yogurt
    Dinner – Rice, broccoli and strip steak

  3. I got your joke….but I’m older than the internet too!
    We had eggs & toast for breakfast, leftovers for lunch and homemade waffles for dinner yesterday. Most importantly, I avoided the long line of resturants we passed as we left church yesterday. 🙂

  4. Marianne Parker says:

    We’ve been doing well as well. I am, though, going to try my hand at bread this week. I spent quite a bit at Costco and Harry’s (whole foods) last week. But, we had NOTHING. Had to stock up on supplies and fresh veggies. But, this week – it’ll be milk, fresh veggies, and orange juice only. I like this challenge. And, the family hasn’t complained too much. My re-worked food adverse husband even suggested that the left over roast beef from last night would make great BBQ later in the week (just not tonight). :)! Thanks for the inspiration. It’s just what we needed.


  5. Day 6: Good day here on the pantry challenge front.
    Breakfast – leftover zucchini honey loaf + fruit
    Lunch – leftover curry & rice from Saturday night’s dinner + cleaned out the last of the fresh salad fixings
    Dinner – Taco Lasagna, Applesauce and Pumpkin Snack Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting (pulled the cake from the freezer)

    The fam was full and happy and they’re starting to get in to the spirit of this challenge. I am going to have to make a shopping run this week in the next day or two as we are out of fresh veggies and I’m using the last of the cheese to make homemade mac & cheese tonight.

  6. Day 6 Menus:
    Breakfast: Cinnamon bread, yogurt and milk
    Lunch: Hot ham and cheese sandwiches and fruit salad
    Dinner: Slow cooker corned beef brisket and roasted veggies

    I made orange peanut butter bread today for breakfasts next week. I also prepped the leftover brisket for chili and barbeque sandwiches for later this week. The brisket yielded about 8 cups of broth, which I will use for vegetable beef stew.

    Week 1: We went through and cleaned, sorted and inventoried the pantry and our refrigerator freezer. I had made a loose week-long meal plan. For the most part we stuck to the plan. I realize we have certain highly perishable items that we tend to throw out because we only planned one meal needing that ingredient. In the case of week one it was sour cream. The recipe I made only called for 1 cup. The other cup was thrown out at the end of the week unused. I did bake chicken thighs and drumsticks resulting in 6 cups of chicken for future meals. I used the bones and a bag of leftover vegetable odds and ends from the freezer to make stock.

    One of my primary goals for the pantry challenge was to eat most of our meals at home this month. So far so good!

  7. We’ve been doing pretty well around here. Eating up bits of leftovers here and there…or freezing them. We spent less than budgeted for groceries last week so that’s great. I know what you mean about Trader Joes. Unfortunately, since we’ve moved we don’t have on close and I miss it so much.

  8. I am sadly older than the internet as well! And yes, I thought it was funny!
    I love your salad, except I am not a lover of bleu cheese.

  9. Breakfast-scrambled eggs with spinach, bacon, and English muffins
    Lunch-coffee(using Starbucks card) and an apple
    Early dinner-homemade split pea soup with the Christmas ham bone. carrots, and rye toast
    Dessert-ice cream with chocolate sauce
    There are just two of us and we have a late breakfast and early dinner on Sundays (hence the mini lunch) I had to buy milk and sour cream, but that’s the first grocery purchases this month. I traded my daughter homemade marinara sauce for some romaine that she had overstocked.

  10. Yeah, Im older than the internet too.. a lot older.. sigh.. 😉

    I did good yesterday but M’honey did not. Sometimes we live on a completely different planet & thats just the way it was..
    I had maple oatmeal & coffee for breakfast, then black eye peas & ham for lunch, and then for supper I threw together a sorta Hatch Green Chicken chili/stew in the pressure cooker & served it over fried rice… Yum. M;honey even loved it & said I should make it again.. I laughed & ran to write it all down cuz Lord knows I will NOT remember what I did and how I did it if I dont.. It was just one of those successful toss everything together & make sure you hold your tongue right. 😉

  11. After having 7 extra people in my house for the holidays (normal is 3) and spending quite a bit of $$ on food I was very eager to try this pantry challenge. In the last week I have been to Aldi’s once and only bought the necessities like milk, eggs, and cheese. I always have a stockpile of cereal so that was most breakfast meals. I had some cinnamon bread that I had made the day after Christmas and I didn’t think it was going to last much longer so I cubed it and made a french toast breakfast casserole. Dinner’s have totally been whatever is in the pantry or freezer. We had a couple meals of leftovers from the week after Christmas including chili and lasagna. We have a good supply of venison thanks to my dad so we had that one night. Other dinners have been spaghetti, polish sausage, hamburgers, and included mac salad, mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes. I do have to stop at the store on the way home tonight as we will not function without coffee. 🙂

  12. I’ve been “participating” w/o writing it all down. Joining got me to finally complete my freezer and pantry inventories though! I made lentil soup with lentils I didn’t even know I had!

    Oh, and I got the joke too…

  13. I did a complete pantry and freezer inventory in the days after Christmas (a yearly habit of mine) and I have to say, thanks to you, Jessica…I have done a better job this year of making sure that things get rotated through and used up! I do have to do a deep freeze defrost though so I’m plodding along with the challenge and using up what I can. Not a full on pantry challenge since I’m relatively “cleaned out” as it is…but by the end of January, that deep freeze will no longer sport it’s inch of ice! Lol. Best of luck…love reading all of your pantry challenge blogs.

    And oh, Lord have mercy, do I understand your love of Trader Joe’s. We just got one here and I have to restrain myself. That store is like an addiction!

  14. Like Kelly, I’ve been participating w/o writing everything down. My dh doesn’t eat breakfast, my dd rarely eats as, at age 17, nice looking hair for school holds higher priority (sigh) and ds was in Atlanta at Passion 2013 last week. I normally have a smoothie every morning. Lunches are invariably leftovers – for both dh and myself. Dd takes ham or turkey, cheese, crackers, carrots and/or apples. I’ made probably three meals last week and we are still working on leftovers – love those pots of soup! I did have to buy honey as I needed it for bread, apples, blocks of cheese, and more lunch meat. It really is difficult going into a store for ONLY one or two items and actually coming out with exactly, and ONLY, what you went in for!
    So far, so good!

  15. Hi Jessica,
    I know this is an old post, but you mention that you didn’t want to make your own kefir because it was too time-consuming. Would you believe kefir is easier to make than yogurt? Just mix it and leave on your counter overnight to incubate — super easy and delicious and healthy! You can find the kefir grains at, along with an incredible assortment of other fermented cultures. I was so tempted by the variety I wanted to buy everything to try it out!

    I love your cookbook and your sites. Thanks for all the work you put into them! My family and I have really been enjoying freezer cooking.

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