Summer 2013 Pantry Challenge: Day Six

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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.

parking lot

Fridays are when I have a hankering for fun food. But, I resisted going out or buying something more. It wasn’t an easy Friday to do that.

My plan to take kids to the library got derailed when the left rotor on my car broke while I was driving. I heard a loud POP and then some dragging. Instead of getting on the freeway, I found a parking lot to call hubs. My knight in shining armor!

We switched cars so I could bring the kids home. He checked a few things, figured out what was wrong, and called a tow truck. He replaced the rotors on another vehicle earlier in the month, so he knows how to fix this.

The tow truck brought him home and I fed him a rather creative Meatball Salad. Yes, really. Meatballs were the easy to serve proteins I had in the freezer, so I made an Italian-style salad to go with. It wasn’t bad, though to be honest, the salad would have been better with salami.

meatball salad

But it was healthy! (And cheaper than grabbing the fast food that was tempting me.)

I took the kids to the pool after he went back to work, so that left us all feeling hungry and lazy. That made it tempting to ask hubs to go get Chinese Takeout. But, no, since I decided to bump pizza night to Saturday and my chicken wasn’t thawed for tonight, I leaned on a back up plan: make a bunch of homemade onion rolls and thaw taco meat. We had Taco Joe’s!

Yay for ingenuity!

taco joe's

I mixed the taco meat with tomato sauce and spices. For toppings, I shredded cabbage, cheese, olives, green onions, and made a homemade pico de gallo. We had sweet corn on the side.

Breakfast: Pancakes with Nutella, Melon, Cottage Cheese, Milk

Lunch: Meatball Salad, Nutbutter Sandwiches for the kids

Dinner: Taco Joe’s, Sweet Corn, Homemade Pico de Gallo

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. Heather M says:

    MIdnight here on Day 6 and we just got in from a drive in DC, because we decided we want to go to a concert tomorrow night and the fees to purchase online were so hefty, it seemed easier and more fun to drive thru the happening parts of town to pick up the tickets at the box office. The 80s kids that we are, we’re going to see OMD at a fantastic music club. It’s gonna be a fun date tomorrow night! Back to the Challenge.

    Love how your day got turned around from your planning and you still pulled it off. Just like Tuesday was for us. It’s great when improvising works so well.

    Breakfast: cereal, blueberry coffeecake, fruit
    Lunch: turkey sandwich & banana for hubs & son/cheese & crackers & berries for me/hummus & pretzel chips for daughter
    DInner: loaded nachos, with stewed pinto beans (old can I needed to use asap!) and fresh guacamole. So yummy and a fun Friday night dinner.

    I’m thinking tomorrow night’s dinner will need to be light so we can be ready to get our groove on at the concert, where it’s SRO. Maybe chicken caesar salad. We’ll see… the weekend is sort of play-it-by-ear, but lots of good food to choose from. 🙂

  2. Day 12 was a tough one for us as well because on Fridays the hubby works the normal 9-5 and I work 5-10 or 11, so we are strangers in passing. We both had another one of those delicious cranberry orange muffins for breakfast. I’m not sure what the hubby had for breakfast (maybe leftover pot pie?) I had a cup of soup at work for dinner (I work in a restaurant and eat for free most of the time).

    I’m trying to get in the grove of baking again. The muffins were a good start but I would like to everyday or every other day. Sometimes it can be hard between work, furbabies, gym time, housework, etc. I’m determined to clean out my baking cabinet this weekend!!!!

  3. Julie H says:

    I thought for sure you would have taken your family to Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a! We enjoyed free lunch there yesterday. 🙂

    Glad hubs could fix your car…we’ve had flat tire issues 3x in the last month (of course when I’m by myself with the kids). Construction near our house and we keep getting nails in our tires.

    • Jessica says:

      I thought about it, but I’ve kind of crossed CFA off the list since I started reading ingredients labels. I honestly avoiding reading the labels for a long time since I didn’t really want to know. 🙁 Then, they got rid of my favorite salad, so there’s nothing I like there now.

      Glad you enjoyed the day! It’s a great thing to do with the fam!

      Three flat tires? Bummer! Can you talk to the construction company? That’s not right.

      • Julie H says:

        Yes, I have had to stop eating their grilled products b/c of MSG…it gives me terrible migraines. We enjoy eating there with coupons but eat mostly at home. I prescribe to the 80/20 rule most of the time…80% fresh, homemade foods….20% processed.

        Construction is by the TVA at a steam plant across the street…it’s a big production. :(. Thanks for the encouragement though. 🙂

  4. Great job making a bad day good and what a great idea for dinner. May have to borrow that one since I have 3 bags of taco meat left in the freezer. Big baking day here yesterday. Made blueberry muffins, blueberry cake, blueberry loaf. Filling up the space we have made in the freezer.

    Breakfast – Toast with nutella
    Lunch – Chef salad
    Dinner – Chicken parm with pasta, salad

  5. Any hints on how to work bread baking into your day on a regular basis? I have 8 kids (the youngest 2 are 3 and 3 months) and we’re gluten-free, so if I don’t make bread (buns, tortillas, etc.) we usually don’t have it. GF baked goods are SO expensive in the store and really, they’re usually not very good either. But I struggle with keeping homemade versions around.

  6. Genius! I wanna be you when I grow up! Last night lasagna roll ups. I got rid of two opened boxes of lasagna noodles, one more to go!!!

  7. Kathryn says:

    I am inspired by the creativity of meals! I am doing my own pantry challenge the rest of the month out of neccessity – had a few extra bills to take care of this month…. Plus my freezer is clear full and really needs to get cleaned out over the summer so I can freeze some of my extra garden produce.

    Yesterday we had chef salads for lunch. Dinner was baked fish (from the freezer), frozen mixed veggies, and a fresh loaf of garlic bread.

    Breakfast: french toast
    Lunch: had a frozen cheese pizza that I added some pepperoni, onion, red bell pepper, and ham too. We finished a small bit of garlic bread off that we had left from last night.
    Dinner: grilled pork chops from the freezer, leftover mixed veggies, and salad. I might make some corn muffins to go with it too. (I am cooking extra so I will have leftover pork chops for lunch tomorrow too)

    I do have a lot of frozer meals and bits and pieces that need used up and my pantry is really full of canned goods. I think I will mostly attack the freezer meals this week to clear them out. I straightened out the freezer this morning – there is lots of chicken and pork. I also have some miscellaneous fish. The only beef is 1 pound of hamburger and a few precooked items.

  8. My husband is just finishing up week one of a 12 week special eating plan that is similar to your 30 day one you did recently. To accomodate, we have had to buy tons o proteins and more produce than usual, but i am still determined to use what we have wherever I can and save in other ways. Also, we won’t be eating out probably at all during those 3 months so that should help balance out our budget. (Even though my cravings have been insane lately and I may just have to take myself out once or twice during his diet. I’m 6-7 weeks pregnant and i am not following his eating plan exactly)

    I am working on using up meals from the freezer and using up pantry items that have been there way too long and will be expiring soon. Looking forward to seeing how you do the next few days, you’re doing great so far!

  9. breakfast – skipped. not intentionally, just overslept and had to skip it in order to not be late for something.
    lunch – burgers
    dinner – chicken potstickers, sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese

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