Summer 2013 Pantry Challenge: Day 2

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cranberry muffins

Day two went over pretty well. Before I headed to the gym, I baked up a batch of Cranberry-Orange Muffins. There was a fair amount of complaining from two of the kids who think that cranberries are too tart. The fact that I swapped chocolate chips for the orange zest seemed to win them over.

My pre-workout breakfast was a banana and a Larabar (fruit and nut). After the gym, I had fried eggs on toast.

groceries day two

I picked up a few things at Ralphs yesterday and today FishChick4 and I went to Sprouts. I walked through the whole store with my calculator. Got all this for less than $24.

At lunchtime, the kids had leftover pizza and grapes. The grapes were 58 cents/pound and were supposed to be seedless. They weren’t. That was a slight inconvenience. Blech.

pulled pork saladCabbage was three pounds for a dollar, making it the cheapest salad base. I added carrots, green onions, cilantro, and some leftover pulled pork. I had some Asian ginger dressing that I mixed up last week that I used as a dressing. A handful of cashews topped it off.

For dinner, we had hamburgers. I had made the patties last week and froze them, we had lettuce leaves and sliced tomato leftover from the weekend. All I had to do was bake the hamburger buns. I used a 3-1 ratio for whole wheat to white flour since we’re running out of unbleached, all-purpose flour. The buns were “healthier” but no one complained.

hamburger buns

There was enough of the iceberg lettuce left for me to make my burger lettuce wrapped. I really wanted the bun, but I’m trying to cut the carbs a little. I ended up having two burgers with avocado, tomato, and lettuce. We’re out of ketchup, but we used the little packets that have been collecting in the pantry.

I’d say Day Two went down pretty well.

Breakfast: Cranberry-Chocolate Muffins, Banana, Larabar, Fried Eggs, Toast

Lunch: Leftover Pizza, Grapes, Salad with Leftover Pulled Pork and Asian Dressing

Dinner: Hamburgers with Homemade Buns, Cabbage Salad with Asian Dressing

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. You can follow along on instagram @jessicagfisher or follow the #pantrychallenge hashtag.

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  1. Those little ketchup packets came in handy! You are doing amazing, thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  2. Nice save with the ketchup packets!

    We have a ton of freezer meals to use up, so I haven’t done anything too exciting yet. But I did take some leftover pasta from last night and threw it in the fridge with some pesto I had made and frozen in the spring. I’m calling that pasta salad, and we’ll eat it with our crockpot roasted chicken tonight.

  3. Harriet says:

    The salad you made and pictured above would be at least $8-$10 on a lunch menu here. It looked very yummy!

    Ketchup packets have saved the day many times at my house.( And I pack them in school lunches when he wants to take chicken nuggets to school.)

  4. The ketchup packets were a great save, but you can also make ketchup farily easy with standard ingredients. I found this out this past winter when doing my first pantry challenge. I have made it several times since, and will only purchase ketchup now as a matter of convenience (I think I purchased one time for a picnic!).

    • I’ve heard that. We don’t need much ketchup around here, so I haven’t been in too much of a bind yet. I’m happy to use up all those packets, though.

  5. I started the pantry challenge yesterday by doing a baking night. We made 1 loaf of low-gat banana, blueberry bread; 1 batch of Jessica’s orange-cranberry granola (this has become a BIG hit at our house); 2 dozen whole wheat banana muffins; 1 dozen devil’s food cupcakes; 1 devil’s food cake for my husband’s birthday; 1 loaf of banana bread; and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread. That will take care of breakfast for the remainder of the month — a slice of bread and/or a muffin, a glass of milk and a piece of fruit.

    For lunch yesterday Dad selected Dairy Queen for his birthday lunch.
    For dinner: baked pork chops; au gratin potatoes; chili-apple-cranberry relish; and Devil’s food birthday cake and ice cream after opening presents.

    All in all, a good start for our pantry challenge.

  6. SO far so good! Love your posts, you are the most creative salad maker I’ve seen! Due to the freezer/pantry challenge I was able to meal plan for 10 DAYS! Went to Sprouts, spent $18 and King Soopers, spent $50! Told the fam I am only going to the store for milk for the next 10 days! WOW!

  7. Made blueberry turnovers for breakfast…berries right off the vine. Yummy. Lunch was kluski noodles and mixed veggies in chicken broth (from the freezer) and ham, cheesy scalloped potatoes and peas for dinner.
    Today will be cereal (with blueberries) for breakfast, pizza for lunch and pasta with chicken, mushrooms and broccoli for dinner. No shopping needed so far.

  8. Heather M says:

    You really make the greatest salads! This one really sounded delicious! Great 2nd day for us. I managed to inventory and clean out our pantry cupboards… ridiculous how much food we really have. Which will serve us well the next few months of eating at home. Also inventoried the freezer, though we only have the one atop our fridge so things rarely get lost for very long.

    breakfast: blueberry muffins/bagels/turkey sausage/cereal
    lunch: tuna sandwiches for us at home; i smeared avocado on mine.. sheer perfection that way!, fruit, etc.
    dinner: had some leftover half & half in the fridge that should have done bad already(we don’t drink coffee, so I only buy it when needed for a recipe), so I made pasta with a light garlic cream sauce and shrimp and peas(both from the freezer). It was SO GOOD. And easy. And lighter than other cream sauces.

    I’m off to put chicken in the crockpot, then to start helping my son get packed for Boy Scout camp. It’s not until next week, but they’re doing a pack check at their meeting tonight!

  9. I was planning to have pot roast for dinner last night, but realized about 2 PM – whilst not even at home – that I had forgotten to actually put it in the crockpot and get it going. Oops! Pot roast tonight instead. Last night was coined smoked sausage links, saffron rice, and broccoli. All were either leftovers or in the freezer, so still keeping on track.

    >>We’re out of ketchup, but we used the little packets that have been collecting in the pantry.<<
    I did that a couple of weeks ago myself! They usually sit around until I figure they probably aren't any good anymore and I throw them away. We use ketchup so very rarely that when we ran out, it caught me by surprise and I just forgot to buy more. Still haven't, actually, but we haven't needed any so clearly no big loss.

    • Yeah, hubs doesn’t like ketchup at all, and some of the kids have followed suit. So, packets are working. 😉

  10. Patricia says:

    Again, I’m in awe of you – I never would have thought to use ketchup packets – however, I’d never have collected them – I toss them out if they come into the house. I LOVE your salad, how creative you are. I’ve been craving romaine and iceberg lettuce salad with vine ripened tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers with herbed croutons and slice on top the end of the big chicken breast I made in the crockpot Sunday afternoon. Senior center had bus to Walmart’s today and we all went along. I spent $15 on groceries – just what was absolutely needed – what I bought will last me a month – I use so little of Newman’s Socaroni sauce that by putting it back in the refrigerator I can use it for eggplant sandwich rolls and spaghetti and meatballs – its all organic and healthy and only costs $1.88 a nice sized jar. Also got bananas, grapes, tomatoes on vine and a jar of pickled beets – couldn’t find a nice sized jar of roasted red peppers in olive oil. I use the peppers sliced thin in my salads, in cooking and in cucumber and red pepper sandwiches. The beets are my weak point temptation – at $1.35 they will be in my salads for this week and then the juice will be mixed with some balsamic vinegar to become a dressing over lettuce or shredded cabbage. Two small steaks are defrosting in my refrigerator and will go into the crockpot with potatoes and carrots for three meals. I wanted to buy ground turkey until I went searching in the freezer for the two small steaks and came across turkey burgers I made about a month ago and so scratched it off my list but am now searching for four different recipes to try out on the four burgers over July. I’ve never walked out of a supermarket, or Super Walmart with spending ONLY $15 and having no panic attacks about what I’d be making for meals. Loving this challenge and how its changing how I look at my food and the reasons why I buy it.

  11. Just made those cranberry muffins, except mine were mixed berries. I used strawberries, dried reconstituted cranberries and blueberry yogurt instead of plain!!! I love saving food that might get tossed!! Other than that same recipe. They were soooo yummy 🙂

  12. Jessica B says:

    I feel your pain! I’m also trying to eat healthy and clean out the pantry. It’s a challenge when you aren’t really eating baked goods, flour, packages of anything. Also, it’s been HOT in Massachusetts, and I don’t have central AC so we don’t turn the oven on or even cook on the stovetop for long. Makes for an even more challenging event.

    • Yep. I’d much rather eat cheese and bread. 🙂

    • Patricia says:

      Jessica – how about using a slow cooker – I live in a VERY OLD house and have only two 5000btu a/c’s – one in the living room and one up in the master bedroom. They work well but the kitchen is so hot – I just bought a new crock pot on sale for about $19 and its a life saver. I put the food in in the morning and with no heating of the kitchen I take out perfectly cooked food about 4 hours later. Uses hardly any electricity – about what a lamp would.

      • Jessica B says:

        Patricia, your house sounds just like mine! Plus the kitchen gets full sun. I have used the crock pot. The other day it was 85 in the kitchen, before cooking! I put the crockpot in the basement, because mine does give off some heat, and a veggie steamer on the deck! i could use some crockpot practice on non soup meals. If it weren’t the crockpot and the grill, it would be sandwiches or cereal! Lol. I love old houses and warm the winter. 🙂

  13. I was wondering how you get your buns so pretty. Also do you freeze them in dough form, thaw and then let rise? I have your book and was going to check to see if it was in there – but I am in bed and thought I would forget. PS – your pizza dough and your red sauce is the best. And my new present for all my pregnant friends is a cooking day where I come help using your book. Thanks!

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