Pantry Challenge Link-Up #1

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As you know, I’m “eating down the pantry” this month to save money and be a better steward of what we have. Every day I’m blogging how we’re eating and cooking as a family. And I do mean “we.” My four oldest children are responsible to be chief cook one night a week.

You can read through my past week and how the challenge has gone for us here.

This is the first of four link-ups where you can tell us how the challenge is going for you. If you’ve blogged your update, leave the link below, being sure to link back to Good Cheap Eats in the content of your post. If you just want to share your experience in the comments, please do!

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  1. I no longer blog but have been eating down the pantry. I did buy necessary ingredients for a baking day and only item in excess. So far so good here.

  2. I don’t remember if you follow Pioneer Woman or not. She posted a butternut squash and kale quesadilla recipe today. Since I recall you have a boatload of squash and you like kale, I thought you might be interested.

    I’m doing well in my quest to thin the ranks here at the house. I haven’t purchased any groceries at all since Christmas. I really need to get some milk, and I’m pretty low in eggs, but I’m postponing that as long as possible. There are only two of us (although the teen boy eats double my food if I let him) but I rarely cook for two, I cook for 4-6, so it takes a while to see much difference in the fridge/freezer since there are almost always leftovers. I did make the kid cook dinner from start to finish while I observed to make sure everything went smoothly. The chicken and mushroom alfredo was delicious and boosted his confidence that he really can cook something besides eggs, popcorn, and pizza. Nice!

    • @Sandi, thanks for the tip on the recipe. I wish my family liked squash and sweet potatoes — other than baking. Need to work on that.

      Sounds like the kid did a great job!

      • Emily Davis says:

        Try sweet potato wedges with cinnamon on them. You could do a little brown sugar too.
        Super good for a fun snack.
        Good luck.

  3. So far I’ve done well on the pantry/freezer challenge. I spent $54 at the grocery store yesterday, but that included toilet paper and paper towells, as well as fresh produce and milk. I have realized that I am quite the food hoarder, so this challenge will be very good for me to get rid of the excess food I’ve bought and/or frozen. I’ve also printed recipes for things I know I have in stock. That will help when I’m staring at my pantry wondering what I can make. Thanks for hosting this challenge!

    • @Laura, I’m a recovering food hoarder, so I get that. My dad hoarded food, too. This year now that I put emergency supplies aside, I feel like it’s okay to really eat up what we have.

  4. Tonight I thawed a container of soup, a container of beans, a piece of cornbread and 3 slices of Italian bread. All of it was in the big freezer. It fed all 5 of us (I did without bread) and we cut up fresh fruit to serve with it. Hubs ate the last piece of cheesecake that was in the fridge from New Years Day.
    I found a small container of soup and I am letting it thaw for my lunch tomorrow. The hole in my freezer continues to grow, as does the hole in the pantry. I am excited every night as I see us using what we have,
    Tomorrow we are having double crust taco bake-using the already made and frozen taco meat. We will use the toppings we have in the fridge (lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, etc..). I am fully into this challenge!

  5. I joined the challenge – I was already on my own. But misery loves company! 🙂

  6. Well, I have taken an assessment and figure at least for the next three to four weeks, beyond milk & eggs, I literally don’t have to grocery shop. That is, of course GREAT news.
    Yesterday I found squash in our 2nd fridge that needed cooking and I baked it with bread crumbs and cheese – layered like lasagna. It was awesome all browned up.
    I love that it makes me be creative.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s blog. Blessings!

  7. I tend to thin it down in December since we travel, but definitely focusing on only eating out intentionally (I liked how you put that).

    Made a double batch of a huge recipe for TexMex Chicken on Sunday for our small group gathering. Monday was left overs as NO one every complains about this left over. Last night I put about 1 1/2 cups left over in the fridge and was dreading dealing with the dibs for lunch. It came to me late last night to try a soup out of it due to something a friend had commented on. So, I used the base to your Cheddar Cheese soup (the one from your cookbook with veggies.), added a touch of taco seasoning, a bit of frozen corn, and some black beans & broth from the freezer to boost it up. It made just enough for lunch for the four of us and no arguing. 🙂 1st time making a cheese soup with real cheese. (I have some great recipes but they call for Velveeta or american–look forward to converting those recipes). 🙂

  8. I suppose I’m a food hoarder too. But we’re also gardeners and chicken-growers and thrifty shoppers. Even so, it is what it is. Food hoarder. Hmmm. I’m not sure I want to live with that label very long! We’ll be eating down those freezers this week again!

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