Summer 2013 Pantry Challenge: Day Twelve

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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.

salad with white sea bass

Today I spent two hours cleaning and sanitizing my kitchen thanks to an insect invasion. It wasn’t pretty. It also wasn’t what I planned to do. I had already been to the gym, but I got a second workout later.

The big boys were off at camp, so they couldn’t help. The younger set, minus the youngest, did a great job filling their shoes. I hurried them through their breakfasts of cereal and bagels so they could help me.

As a reward we went to Subway and used the last of a gift card. We even got chips. Whoohoo.

For dinner, I mixed up CousCous and a Spinach Salad with Homemade Croutons. I served that with Cranberry-Zucchini Bread and White Sea Bass that FishPapa grilled. Super yum!

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels

Lunch: Subway with Gift card

Dinner: White Sea Bass, CousCous, Spinach Salad, Homemade Croutons, Cranberry-Zucchini Bread

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. Day 18(?) 19 (?) whatever. It’s been insane! The hubs and I both have had ridiculous unusual schedules so its been everywhere. Today was 50% back to normal and tomorrow will be 100% back to normal. Also Jackson (the eldest pup) got into the muffins this morning!!! Grrr. Second time in two weeks!!! The bugger.

    Anyways to the food:
    Breakfast (Brian) muffin-before Jackson got into them. (CeCee) was supposed the be muffins, but I spent so long cleaning up a mess that I skipped bfast
    Lunch- Work paid for both of our lunches
    Dinner- (B) last of fajitas (C) last of freezer spaghetti

    Pulled out the last two chicken quarters and put them in the slow cooker, they will turn into chicken and dumplings tomorrow. I’m so glad to be rid of them. I bought 10lbs on sale a year or more ago for 69cents a pound. And we hate dark meat so I’ve had to hide it in food. I’m just glad to be done with it!!!

  2. I sympathize with you on the bug infestation. We have tried everything, but every spring we get ants in the kitchen for a couple of weeks. I am sure it is tied to something in the yard that blooms at the same time each year, but we have not figured out what it is yet. For us today was very ordinary. The older I get the more I appreciate these days without drama.

    Breakfast: muffins, grapefruit halves, skim milk
    Lunch: Turkey sandwiches, watermelon quarters and popsicles for dessert
    Dinner: Chicken fried steaks and loaded mashed potatoes. A family friend brought a tray of cookies by for the kids so dessert was covered.

  3. Hope all your critters are gone. What a good way to mess up a good day. Hoping to make zucchini bread and muffins today.

    Breakfast – Cereal w/blueberries
    Lunch – Mac n cheese and grilled hot dogs
    Dinner – Mushroom and pepperoni pizza, salad
    Snack – cupcakes

  4. Knock on wood, we have not been invaded by insects since we started spraying our home perimeter with a bug defense spray(last 2-3 years). We buy it at Home Depot or Walmart. We have sprayed it 2-3 times this year since this is the time we would normally see them in our home (we will probably only spray only 1-2 more times before winter). So far so good, no insects.

  5. Patricia says:

    Great comeback from an insect onslaught.

    Lunch: My day was same-old, same-old. Its been so hot and humid here that I just can’t work up the energy to cook anything. So my granddaughter Ellie and I went to a neighborhood coffeehouse for a shared BLT. Then we came home to a cool apartment to spend the afternoon. I used my remaining eating out money for July so didn’t touch food budget. After lunch we pulled out the watermelon and, I was furious, it was going bad on both ends of the 1/4 slice… we managed to salvage some middle slices for dessert. Late afternoon Ellie came into the kitchen to tell me she “just had to have a (yogurt) squeezer” – when I checked the refrigerator and found none, she just didn’t understand, for Gramma always has squeezers in there so she went into the refrigerator herself to check. I told her that it was on my grocery list for the next time I went to the supermarket but she was stunned. “Gramma you always have blueberry and lemonade and strawberry squeezers for Ellie, always.” So I must set aside $4 for a box of squeezers next week – that’s 1/8th of my weekly challenge budget.
    Dinner was simple, left overs of one ear of corn on cob, sandwich from pre-challenge ham and pistachio luncheon meat, grapes and a big bottle of icy cold water with strawberry crystal lite shaken in.
    Today I’m breaking my routine and going to the senior center (its ALWAYS fish or individual pizza on Friday’s) but then will have a senior bus trip to our village small market where I’ll buy milk and eggs before being dropped off.

  6. Today was an errand day for me including a trip to the grocery store. I have transitioned to a semi-pantry challenge. I bought groceries but I am trying to still use up some odds and ends in the pantry/fridge/freezer. I have a box of Orzo that I need to figure out what to do with it. Any suggestions?

    Breakfast: Oatmeal for me, leftover frozen pancakes for the kiddies
    Lunch: Sandwiches all around
    Dinner: Beef Stew (using leftover vegs in fridge) for everyone but me (I had leftover chicken casserole)
    Dessert: Homemade Choc chip cookies or ice cream

    • I’ve got orzo, too. I’m thinking either a salad or adding it to rice pilaf, which is what I normally do.

    • Heather M says:

      If you eat any type of greens, they are great mixed with orzo, garlic, and little olive oil. Cook orzo separately. Saute greens in olive oil and garlic, then mix them together. Then mix in a little grated parmesan (or similar), salt and pepper. I’ve had great success with spinach and with beet greens. The beet greens turn it a really interesting color…. pink. It makes for a nice side dish to any protein.

    • I use orzo anytime that I need rice and I don’t have the 25 extra minutes. Also when I make soup I put in a cup if orzo at the beginning. It cooks down to nothing and mysteriously thickens the soup. It’s how I make my beef soup so thick and everyone wonders how. So our secret 😉

      • Great ideas! For tonight I think I am going to saute some spinach and cherry tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and add some cooked orzo to that. I’ll serve it as a side dish to grilled chicken. If there is any leftover in the box, I will add it to my beef stew. Wish I had thought to add it to the stew I made last night but atleast now I know. Thanks for all the helpful ideas, I can’t tell you how long that box has been in my pantry!

        • I cook my orzo in chicken stock then add spinach, olive oil, garlic and finish off with some feta. I’ve also added sundried tomatoes. My husband prefers orzo to rice.

        • Just an update…The orzo was wonderful! Hubby wasn’t sure he would like it so he just took a small portion. That was gone instantly and he was back for more. Score! I ended up using spinach, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and capers in it. I also hit it with a little italian seasoning. Very flavorful and delish! And it used up all the orzo and the capers that had been in the fridge forever. Thanks for all the help!

  7. I gotta think that having less food in the kitchen was a boon to that process! Sorry it happened at all ;p

    • Amen! That’s exactly what I thought. If my pantry had been stocked, I probably would have cried. I think the only thing I chucked was a partial bag of marshmallows.

  8. Breakfast – skillet eggs
    Lunch – work provided for me, the kid finished beef and sausage stew
    Dinner – shrimp scamp on whole wheat thin spaghetti
    Dessert – finished off an ice cream

    I had to stop by Costco to replace my car battery, and while there found they had 4lb red skin potato salad with a sell-by date coming up in 5 days. They had it reduced to $1.97 to get it gone. They had 6 qts of lemonade (3 2qt bottles) with the same issue marked down to $2.97. Challenge or no challenge, those were SOLD! I can’t even buy the ingredients to make it myself for those prices. I’ll probably freeze two of the lemonades for later. I also caved and bought some yogurt, which I shouldn’t have done, but oh well. Life only comes around once, right? I’m still at only about half the monthly budget, and other than milk that I forgot to get when I was at Costco, I don’t really need anything else. I’ll be traveling most of next week, so I’m probably done buying any groceries this month. I shall be continuing the challenge when I get back, though, because some of the stuff in my freezer is just way too old and needs to go. I don’t think I need quite as many mouths as you have, but I surely wish there were a few more here to help me eat the food I like to buy and cook!

    • I have never seen markdowns at Costco. That’s amazing.

      • I’ve never seen the reductions advertised. They simply change the sign that lists the price. Once the nearly-aged-out product is sold out, they switch the price back to normal prices for any remaining product that has a further out date. You just have to be there at the right time and looking at the prices. 🙂 Several times I’ve found things on my own, but this time one of the sampler people I know told me about them.

    • Wow! I have never seen markdowns ar Costco either! Lucky you 😉

  9. Heather M says:

    Day twelve was a little back to normal, as the hubs arrived home around midnight the night before from Scout Camp, where it was sweltering and nasty and he slept maybe 90 minutes. Of course the week we have scout camp it’s the hottest and most humid week thus far. Our heat index was at 111 at one point yesterday, though actually temp was in the high 90s. This humidity is not for the timid. I HAD to cook him a nice dinner. That said, here is our day:

    Breakfast: blueberry coffeecake, fruit; daughter slept in til 11, so..
    Lunch: leftovers for hubs and I; frozen pizza for daughter
    Dinner: Gorgeous pork tenderloin(bought half off on Tuesday, part of small spending). I was very pleased with how it turned out, timed it just right; brushed with Dijon mustard and covered in a dried herb mix. Yum yum! Served with sauteed zucchini and rice pilaf.

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