Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Four

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This month I’m doing a Pantry Challenge. For two weeks, I’m focusing on using up what we have to save money and time and to reduce waste.

Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Four

Today was a very tasty day, if I do say so myself. Hubby worked today, so it was just me and the kids.

I did a little bit of prep toward future meals, created a new type of granola. It’s low on the sugar which I kind of like. The kids had no complaints so I guess we’re good. Recipe coming soonbut mostly just made our meals and moved on.

The highlight of the day was probably taking the leftover chocolate cookies and the leftover homemade ice cream and putting them together for ice cream sandwiches. Yay!

I’m slowly but surely checking things off the freezer inventory. It’s so NICE to know what I have!

Breakfast: Cranberry Bread, Not-Too-Sweet Granola

Lunch: Sunbutter Sandwiches, Smoothies, and Carrots for the kids; Salad for me, using up last night’s leftovers

Dinner: Homemade Pizza, Carrots, Ice Cream Sandwiches

Pantry ChallengeThis post is a part of the Pantry Challenge where we’re trying to save money on food by using up what we have. I’ll be posting daily updates on how the challenge is going.

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  1. Breakfast: mochas and french toast (I only make that 2 or 3 times a year, but I had some bread going moldy so this finished off the useable parts of the loaf)
    Lunch: cheese quesadillas
    Dinner: 15-bean and ham soup with leftover baguette
    Dessert: Christmas candy

    It seems a little counter-productive to take a small bag of beans and a small packet of frozen ham bits to then produce a huge crockpot full of soup that will require us to either eat nothing but bean soup for the next several days or to take up space in the freezer that I am trying to clear out. 🙂

    • Trust me I feel the same way! Sometimes during the pantry challenge I feel like the things I cook add as much to the freezer as I take out. Especially because it is just the two of us so I freeze leftovers often so we don’t get tired of them. If you do the full month though you will be glad you saved some of those beans for later just for the sake of variety.

      • Right there with you CeCee, this weekend I made homemade cinnamon rolls (twelve of those delicious things) and lasagna with whole wheat penne that could have fed eight. And there are only two of us, so back in the freezer leftovers go. Although those cinnamon rolls might be gone soon.

    • Ha! Ain’t that the truth?! It’s seems odd to create more food, even if it’s just granola.

  2. Day four: my hubby cleaned out the fridge for me and I didn’t supervise at all (due to injury). I’m normally a hover-er during things like that, but I just didn’t have the physical energy. The boys all went to the park while I rested. I slept through breakfast due to pain medicine.

    Lunch: turkey sandwich with spinach
    Dinner: brought to us by a good friend- Chili -it was yummy. My hubby baked a potpie I had premade and frozen so we don’t have to be in the kitchen tomorrow at all.

  3. Boy I must still have been under the weather last night as I commented under day 3 not day 4. I am trying not to put anything back in freezers so no major pots of anything to be made! Anyway. See day 3 for day 4 eats 😉

  4. Your salads always looks so tasty! I posted my first weekly update here:
    Feels so good to be cleaning things out of the inventory!

  5. Day four:
    Breakfast – Nutella toast and coffee
    Lunch – Hubby’s uncle passed away so we ate at the luncheon after the service
    Dinner – Hot pork roast sandwiches, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas Yeah!! the end of the leftovers

    Did make a grocery store run for milk, produce and cheese. $30 spent for the month

  6. Vanessa B says:

    Day 4
    B- homemade cinnamon rolls out of the freezer
    L- pigs in a blank, cottage cheese and pineapple
    D- cornflakes chicken tenders, oven fries, cheesy vegetables and apple pie
    Snacks- Hulk juice, cheese and crackers

    Notations: The pineapple was past it’s prime so the 5year old didn’t eat it. Why do little ones insist on taking the pig OUT of the blanket?
    Hulk juice is my version of the green monster smoothie that my superhero obsessed boys gobble down. The basic ingredients are spinach, pineapple and banana, then I add any juice I may have on hand, additional fruit and sometimes yogurt. The kids go crazy for this stuff, which I used as leverage when we were driving home from the store and passed a McDs. Crying started, I mentioned hulk juice, the rest is history. We avoided a meal out, YAY! And the pineapple that left something to be desired got used up without a single bat of the eye.

    • We had green smoothies yesterday, too! My kids love them (heck, so do I). I cut up a pineapple a few days ago and froze it. That has been a great addition to our smoothies. I also successfully added a carrot to ours.

      • Vanessa B says:

        I’ve been thinking of adding carrot but I don’t think my blender could handle it. Should I grate the carrot first?

        • I didn’t but I used my immersion blender. If I was going to use my regular blender (I don’t have a vitamix or anything fancy), yeah I’d probably grate it and blend it with the greens and liquid before adding the fruit.

    • Love the Hulk juice!

  7. B: eggs & bacon (leftover), kids also had muffins from the freezer

    L: kids had trail mix, Goldfish (a Christmas gift from my grandma), bananas that are getting pretty spotty, and green smoothies. I have a bunch of fresh spinach and frozen fruits and kale. I had some smoothie, too.

    I was out most of the afternoon running errands so I grabbed Chipotle on my way home for a late lunch/early dinner for my husband and I. That comes from a separate category than groceries.

    D: I made the kids pumpkin pancakes with the last of the open can of pumpkin. It wasn’t quite enough so I threw in some leftover roasted sweet potatoes from dinner a few nights ago and used my immersion blender to purée everything together. We are out of maple syrup so I added a few chocolate chips. I’ll use the leftover pancakes to make them sandwiches this week.

    I had one pancake and some cheese as a snack. My husband didn’t eat anything else after the Chipotle.

  8. Day 4:
    Breakfast: last of the muffins from the freezer; milk; apple slices
    Lunch: Panko Spicy Brown Chicken Tenders with asst. fresh berries
    Dinner: Had a planned, late Christmas celebration with family friends at Longhorn Steakhouse

    If the weathermen are correct, today will be an inside day so I am planning on an afternoon of baking to restock the freezer with breakfast items — muffins, bread, granola.

  9. Stephanie M. says:

    Day 4:

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Jessica. I’m so happy to be part of your “team”. It really helps me stay motivated to empty out my freezer once and for all. 🙂

    Breakfast: Hubby had: Scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, and clementines; I had a low-fat English muffin, 1 scrambled egg, and clementines

    Lunch: Hubby had a roast beef sandwich; I had a salad and a multi-grain wasa crisp

    Dinner: We both had bean soup; it’s so cold here in New Jersey. Hercules just passed through and now we are bracing for Ion in the next few days.

  10. It was so cold here, nobody wanted salad!!
    Breakfast: Saturday morning date out with hubs, then homemade hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls from the farmer’s market for ds.
    Lunch: leftover lasagna
    Dinner: grilled steaks & sausage, roasted potato wedges, super-fresh French bread.
    Our progress here:

  11. Day 3:
    Breakfast – cream of wheat with brown sugar and coffee.
    Lunch – Toast with tuna salad and glass of ice water.
    Dinner – Chili from freezer and homemade corn muffins.

    Opened freezer and pulled out 1/2 chicken breast to defrost while I figure out what I’ll do with it.

  12. Brunch: same as yesterday, so very easy on me, as I only had to heat up rolls and pancakes 🙂

    Dinner: Leftover vegetable lasagne for Hubs. Leftover potato salat and schnitzel for daughter and med. Salat for everyone.

    In the weekend, we usually skip lunch and just have two large meals. My daughter has a few snacks as well, typically apple slices (or whatever fruit we have) and almonds.

  13. I finally inventoried the deep freeze! (It’s in the garage and the temps are below freezing, but I’d put it off long enough)
    B baked oatmeal with pear (don’t add pear, it gets mushy!)
    L various leftovers
    S shepherd’s pie and rolls from the freezer

  14. Day 4: Breakfast was veggie burritos with eggs and cheese, using bell pepper and onion from the freezer. Lunch was leftover falafel in pita with tomato and avocado with tabouleh, and dinner was roasted cauliflower with Indian bbq sauce, baked sweet potatoes, and leftover ham for the kids.

  15. Heather M says:

    Day 4: We all slept in again. Getting back on track is proving to be really rough.

    breakfast: Those of us who were awake before noon had Cheerios w/milk and bananas,
    lunch: a scrounge/on your own affair. I had turkey sausage, cheese and crackers, and yogurt. I know, random. No clue what the others ate… I was busy looking through recipes for new ideas, doing laundry, etc.
    dinner: pasta with chicken and a creamy herb-garlic sauce made from light alouette cheese & broth. So easy and good! side of green beans (pantry/freezer/sale items)

    Was happy to look through recipes finally. Have some great new ones to try in the coming month or so. Only need a few fresh ingredients to pull them off. Plus I’m going to attempt some really new items (a soufflé.. I think I’ve only made one my entire life, and falafel, which I’ve never tried to make). I also had a good workout and watched my son play really well in an indoor soccer game that was scheduled for 9:20pm on a saturday night! All in all a good and productive day. 🙂

  16. Stephanie M. says:

    Day 5

    It’s freezing here in New Jersey and there’s so much snow and ice on the roads so we’re all pretty locked down for the weekend.
    Breakfast: My hubby had homemade waffles, sausage and clementines
    I had 1 lowfat English muffin, and clementines

    Lunch: We had no time for this today; hubby was busy cleaning the garage and I was busying cleaning inside. What else is there to do when the weather is so crummy? 🙁 We are working on a puzzle that we started last night.

    Dinner: I had so many lemons in the fridge from several dinner parties over the last few weeks for lemon water so I used them up and made lemon chicken, wild rice, and roasted brussel sprouts. For dessert, I made crème brulee. Now I am starting to prepare breakfast and lunch for my hubby since he brown bags both meals everyday. My pantry is in the garage and my olive oil froze out there. I had to put the bottle in warm water to bring it back to life. You’d think we live in Alaska. Ha Ha. 🙂

  17. It was a cold day so a good one to eat from the freezer!

    Breakfast: Cereal for kids, frozen pancake & banana for me, eggs and toast for hubs
    Lunch: Sandwiches made with leftover homemade Rosemary bread, chips, fruit
    Dinner: Chicken Parmesan from the Freezer, leftover broccoli & black-eyed peas, homemade Rosemary bread
    Dessert: Trying to clear out some leftover cake from the fridge before I make anything new

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