Meal Planning for a Pantry Challenge

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meal planning for challenge

This week is the official start of our Pantry Challenge. This weekend, FishBoy12 and I inventoried the two freezers (deep freeze and side-by-side). By taking a thorough inventory, I can better meal plan so that we use what we have instead of buying more.

To be honest, there’s none not much excess around here. If you’re curious what our starting points are in the freezer, fridge, and cupboards, you can check out the before pics over here.

Unfortunately, I had to toss a ton of little random things from the side-by-side. The freezer burn and ice crystals were a little too much. Apparently, folks are opening and closing that freezer a little too much. I can’t wait to use up what’s in there.

Good thing it’s Pantry Challenge time!

I spent about an hour constructing a detailed meal plan as well as a grocery list, based on the sale ads. I also found a few free product coupons the I received at a conference back in May. They were mostly for cheese, dairy, and healthy cereals, so I added them to my list. Free is good, I think. Especially when it’s something that fits our food goals.

I scrolled through the offerings at, but I found nothing that was on my list. Not really surprised, but thought I would give it a shot.

It’s imperative that I do a 3×7 meal plan for the week as well as plan out snacks. Without specific direction as well as a list of what I need to thaw, there’s little hope of this flying right this week.

Here’s the meal plan for the week:

Fresh Chive and Basil Lasagne



Zukes 8



Maple Vanilla Granola with almonds



  • Butternut Squash Pancakes, Fruit
  • Leftovers
  • Pizza Night


I’ll reassess on Saturday and create a new meal plan for the coming week.

That’s my meal plan for the week.

What’s YOURS?

pantry challenge sum 13This post is a part of the Summertime Pantry Challenge where we’re trying to save money on food by using up what we have. You can read more about it here.

I’ll be posting daily updates on how the challenge is going. You can read through the PC archives here.

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  1. We’re eating up the freezer stores this week, too. Maybe next week as well; I do have a few sale items I want to buy. Some of the raw ingredients (ground beef, whole chicken) that I put up from a bulk buy will be translated to casseroles and stews and single-serving lunches and put back in the freezer, too.

    Here’s our 2×7 plan (neither of us are good at breakfast, although sometimes brunch happens on the weekends):
    Sunday: leftover pasta; [DINNER OUT WITH FAMILY] / MAKE RICE
    Monday: beans & rice, fruit from work; leftover pasta w/ veggie sauce, broccoli / TAKE OUT MEATLOAF
    Tuesday: leftovers or canned soup; chili (beans & rice & tomatoes & meat & onion & green bell pepper) / GET PRODUCE BOX
    Wednesday: [WORK PROVIDES LUNCH] / leftover chili & rice; meatloaf, tater tots, brussels sprouts / TAKE OUT CHICKEN / BUY RICOTTA
    Thursday: leftover meatloaf, steamed zucchini, fruit from work; broccoli/zucchini rice bowl, pluots
    Friday: leftover veggies, chili; chicken breasts & rice / TAKE OUT BEEF RIBS
    Saturday: beef ribs, corn; tater tot casserole from the freezer, extra veggies / MAKE ZUCCHINI BREAD
    Sunday: eggs, orange sections; [TEA w/ FRIENDS]; stuffed shells

  2. I made a Thursday soup today with some veggies that were on their way out. So the meal plan is as follows

    Monday-Sunday: Breakfast leftover ham and biscuits with eggs or Leftover grits with leftover ham and gravy

    Lunches- always leftovers (Thursday soup, Baked Chicken, Pork Chops etc)

    Monday- leftovers
    Tuesday- slow cooker roast
    Wednesday- chicken pot pie
    Thursday- leftovers
    Friday- I work at night so the hubby will eat whatever he can find sometimes its just pb&j. I eat dinner at work
    Saturday- spaghetti
    Sunday- leftovers

    It might seem like we eat a ton of leftovers, but it’s just two of us and I normally cook enough for 4-6 meals in a setting. We stay busy with workout, gym time, etc. it’s nice that the hubby and I are both willing to always eat up what we have. I don’t think I will have to buy anything, but eggs and milk this week so fingers crossed maybe 10$~ in groceries

  3. Our schedules are too fluid to schedule an entire week at once. Breakfast today was granola, lunch was frozen taquitos, and dinner is going to be cheese ravioli with veggies both from the freezer. Tomorrow will be eggs for breakfast, lunch from Costco samples, and pot roast (freezer) with ginger carrots (fridge) for dinner. Tuesday will be cinnamon rolls for breakfast, roast turkey sandwich for lunch, and dinner will be a crockpot soup but not sure which of 3 recipes I will use since I have ingredients for all three in the freezer. I will have really long work days on Wed and Thurs so those will probably be leftovers from Mon & Tues. We’ll see about Friday and beyond when it gets closer. I know some fish will be involved at some point.

  4. I’m doing something similar this week cuz my husband and I are pretty poor until Friday. Here’s to hoping it works!

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