Summer 2013 Pantry Challenge: Day Nine

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I’m taking the Pantry Challenge, eating what’s in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, and trying to save some cash.

breakfast day 9

The day is gone already? This summer is just flying by!

Today I grabbed a rice cake with sunbutter before I headed out for the gym. When I came back I had Skillet Eggs while the kids had cereal, my one concession for my little guy when we were at Trader Joe’s yesterday.

chili day 9

Yesterday I had sorted and soaked the last of the pinto beans we had. They were pretty old as many were split or losing their skins. Bummer. I cooked them overnight and then mixed up homemade chili in the slow cooker this morning. We had lots leftover so I’ll freeze what’s left to have another night.

pork chops day 9

At dinner I cooked up the eight pork chops I had thawed from the freezer. I made Curried Potatoes with the last of the potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower with a bag I had frozen from the produce box in the spring.

The freezer is dwindling, as is the pantry. This could get interesting. And I still haven’t gotten around to baking yet. Need to do that soon. Granola and zucchini baked goods are on the list.

Breakfast: Cereal, Skillet Eggs, Rice Cake and Sunbutter

Lunch: Chili

Dinner: Pork Chops, Curried Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower

How is the Challenge going for YOU?

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. I have about 3 pounds of peaches/nectarines that are going mushy. Any suggestions as to what I can do with them other than throw them in smoothies? I’ve been doing the smoothie thing so far but there is way too many and only 3 of us. Not sure we can finish them before they go bad and I really want to save them! Thanks 🙂

    Other than that, I am happy to report that I am finally seeing some empty space in the fridge and attached freezer. Our chest freezer is still full to the brim, but I will work on that this week!

    • I’d make popsicles. Add a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning. My kids love them.

    • Heather M says:

      You can also just cut them into chunks and freeze them for smoothies at a later date.

    • Also, cook them down with a little maple syrup or honey and a dash of lemon juice to make peach butter. Delicious on fresh rolls or in plain yogurt! It freezes well too.

      • Thanks for the suggestions! Will be trying them all. Diana, what ratios of peaches to syrup would I use and are there any particular steps I should take? Never made that before and it sounds delicious!

        • I think my recipe said 5 lbs peaches and 1 cup maple syrup. But since you’re just cooking it down into a thick butter, precision isn’t super important. With your 3 lbs, you might use around 1/2 cup of syrup, depending on the sweetness of the peaches. And maybe just half a tablespoon or so of lemon juice? Pulse the skinned, chopped peaches in a blender for a few minutes to get a chunky puree; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or so (it bubbles and splatters a lot!). A lot of the water will steam away and you’ll have a nice thick spread 🙂 Hope that helps and hope you like it as much as we do!

  2. I feel like our freezer is filling up instead of paring down. I told the hubby today we are extending the challenge through Labor Day even though our birthdays fall between now and then. So we are going to make a bday dinning budget and eating ourselves out of house and home other than that. I’m guessing its really hard to make a dent with just two people ( one of which eats free lunch at work)

    Food for day 15-
    Breakfast- muffins muffins everywhere and we aren’t tired of them yet 🙂
    Lunch- last of the chicken pot pie (Brian) and food at work (CeCee)
    Dinner- fajitas with freezer meat, freezer tortillas, and peppers I got for a quarter a piece!!
    Dessert- homemade chocolate chip cookies 🙂

    Luckily we are almost out of leftovers!!!!! We have a little bit of fajitas to cook and then home cooked meals again!!!!

  3. We are continuing to eat good with lots of blueberries and zucchini now on the menu from our backyard. Will be baking some zucchini muffins and breads to join the blueberry ones in the freezer.

    Breakfast – Oatmeal with blueberries
    Lunch – Salad with lots of veggies
    Dinner – Baked salmon, honey lentils, zucchini
    Snack – Blueberry loaf

  4. I am sort of doing the pantry challenge for my small family of three. I have been to the store for milk, eggs, fruit, and candy for the movie we went to this month. And I shopped for our 4th of July family barbecue. But I’m not buying any other meats or canned goods, I cooked up a big batch of rice and beans in the slow cooker, using dried beans and brown rice that I had on hand along with the last of my canned tomatoes. I used the leftovers to fill enough enchiladas for three dinners. I had the tortillas in the freezer and the enchilada sauce in the cupboard. I freeze bits of bread and rolls that have gone a little stale, so I thawed some out and made bread pudding and some panko-style bread crumbs for the casserole that’s on my meal plan for Friday. For that casserole, I will use up my last can of tuna and some of pasta that I”ve stocked up on when it goes on sale for 99 cents a package. What I have NOT done that I should do is add up what I’ve saved and stick it in the savings account.

  5. Heather M says:

    Day 9, the beginning of a really hot and humid week here, and I stayed nice and cool inside my house. Even managed to cook a meal without getting too hot. Son is at scout camp, so only 3 of us for meals.

    Breakfast: Blueberry coffeecake, and the daughter slept until close to lunchtime, so none for her
    Lunch: Leftovers for hubby; I ate breakfast for lunch, minibagel and bacon, pineapple; daughter dug up a single serve frozen pizza(she usually goes for hummus, turkey sandwiches, etc, so…).
    Dinner: Made a salmon noodle(I used small shells) casserole, an updated tuna casserole really. So good. I used 2 types of mushrooms, celery, onion, a can of deboned wild alaskan salmon that I buy in a 6pack at Costco(makes yummy sandwich salad too), and a homemade sauce w/parmesan where I replaced whole milk with nonfat(all we have) and it turned out beautifully. We had a nice green salad on the side and some homemade blackberry sherbet for dessert.

    I won’t be cooking much at all these next two days, as the hubs has gone to scout camp. We’ll likely scrounge. Daughter’s almost 17, so pretty good at that. I’m only hoping she doesn’t try to talk me into Chipotle. That’s her most favorite takeout of all.

    • You sound like us this week! Except my daughter is 11 but she also sleeps to noon if I let her. We are doing a modified pantry challenge since it is just me and dd this week. Son and hubs are at Scout camp too. Eating what we can find in the pantry/freezer.

      We had frozen pancakes for breakfast, leftover chicken nuggets and vegs for lunch, homemade cookies for snack and homemade pizza for dinner (using odds and ends from the fridge).

      • Heather M says:

        Yay! I’m not in this boat alone! Today’s meals will be interesting, to say the least. The daughter is eating interesting food that she’s digging up…

  6. breakfast – cottage cheese
    lunch – protein bar
    snack – brownie bites
    dinner – leftover bean & sausage stew

  7. Tracy Morrell says:

    My husband caved and went shopping yesterday for chocolate chips so my daughter could make pumpkin muffins, she did use up more of the pumpkin though so that is great. He also bought stuff to make homemade saag that he wanted to try. He made a lentil dish last night for dinner with rice that was pretty good. We have so many lentils both red and green. I do not know why I bought so many when we don’t even like them that much. This morning I made up a triple batch of burrito mix which used up the left over taco meat and kidney beans from previous meals. I will freeze this for later because we do not have tortillas and we still have not mastered making them. My husband spend hours with the masa and the press this weekend and every attempt was a failure. We are not sure what he is doing wrong. We have a whole bag of masa so I will probably have to give it a try next. He insisted on following the package directions. I will follow Jessica’s step by step with pictures directions when I make mine. I have to say this has not been as difficult as I thought it would be, and it is great having my husband on board.


    • Jessica says:

      We initially followed the package directions 20 years ago and it was always too dry. On a trip to Honduras we got a chance to feel what the texture should be and that helped a lot. I’d call it a soft, but not sticky cookie dough texture.

  8. Harriet says:

    Breakfast-we ALWAYS eat at home
    Lunch-2 packed lunched from left overs and 2 kids ate at camp
    Supper – crock pot appleasauce bbq chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and the next to last bag of last years corn we froze.

    I need/want to make a dessert. But it is really hot here and I do not want to heat the oven. Maybe a peanut butter pie.

  9. I am doing fairly well at cleaning out the refrigerator/freezer/pantry. I want to cut way down before we leave this Sunday on our two week camping trip to Yosemite (900 miles each way with our travel trailer). That involves a whole different type of groceries, but comes out of our vacation fund. I have an abundance of kale and have made kale quinoa quiche, kale and eggs, sauteed kale and am running out of ideas. Our tomatoes are going to start ripening while we are gone so our daughter will get to enjoy those.

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