Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Two

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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 Two

Today was hubs’ first back at work since before Christmas. We’re slow getting back in the swing of things. While I tackled some desk work, the kids took down the tree and tidied the house. All by themselves. It’s awesome when your kids get big enough that they can help out. Wow! Blessed.

We started the morning with a big breakfast. I find that if I make things that the kids really like during a Pantry Challenge, it makes the funky stuff a little easier to swallow.

That doesn’t mean that they all fully embraced all of the leftovers that were presented, but still. They can’t say that every meal was difficult. I have a 4-day rule on leftovers. That’s why a written meal plan/record is so helpful. I know when it’s time to dump something.

Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Two

I also did some baking with the squash puree I found in the freezer. I honestly don’t know when it was from, but it tasted fine, so there we go. Egg-free Pumpkin Bread. I also made some Vanilla Cranberry Bread with berries from last Christmas that were in the freezer. Both recipes are in my freezer cookbook.

While I had all the baking stuff out and the oven hot, I made an adaptation of this recipe for Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies. I just made the dough to bake later. If they turn out, well, it will be impossible to recreate. I used leftover Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from yesterday so I used that in place of some of the butter. Then, instead of melting chocolate chips, I used cocoa powder. Lastly I opted out of the toffee since FishChick5 is allergic to peanuts and walnuts and it’s hard to find toffee that might not be contaminated with those. I will keep you posted on that experiment.

Hubs and I went out on a date tonight, using a Groupon that was going to go bad. The kids had Chili, cheese, and crackers, apples, and carrots.

Twasn’t a bad day at all….

If you’re still gearing up for your own challenge, check out my tips for preparing for a Pantry Challenge and making it a success.

Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Hashbrowns

Lunch: Leftovers

Snacks: Squash and Cranberry Breads

Dinner: Chili, Cheese and Crackers, Apples, Carrots for kids. Date night for parents.

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. I will be making your Vanilla Cranberry bread from your book tomorrow. I have cranberries from the fridge that needs to be used. Our trees are still up. My house is still a disaster from the holiday season. My kids are 5,3 and 18months. Part of me wishes they could take the tree down and part of me wants them to stay little forever!

  2. We’re joining you! Actually, after taking inventory of the pantry (and gaining a few leftovers from the neighbors’ new year’s party), I think we can go the whole month without buying groceries for the two of us. It’ll be a good start for our new project and its very strict budget.

  3. I am eating my cranberry bread from my freezer right now. I’ve found the same thing to be true….if I make the things they really like w the crazy odds and ends they eat it w less discussion…

  4. It was ‘bean day’ at my house 😉
    We had smoothies for breakfast
    Leftover bean dip from NYE for lunch (bean dish #1)
    and 15 bean soup with ham for dinner (bean #2!)
    In other news, I think my dishwasher is broken. 🙁

  5. mommy-2-2 says:

    Hi! Love your website! and your pantry challenges! I did one last year and now doing it again. YEsterday I cleaned out the pantry. … dumped and organized! Freezer — dumped and organized too! Haven’t been to grocery all week 🙂 Still cooking away ! will hit it this weekend for milk and produce… I like knowing I can go to the grocery but that I am more organized about it and knowing exactly what to get to make meals!
    Thanks again 🙂

  6. Day 2 Pantry Challenge:

    Breakfast: cream of wheat with cinnamon and coffee.
    Lunch: Leftovers from before challenge began – from frig – left over stuffing, turkey gravy, corn, steamed broccoli and cranberry sauce.
    Dinner: 1/2 chicken breast diced in alfredo sauce with noodles and lettuce/red pepper salad.
    Snack: End of a bar of cheddar cheese with an apple stored out in my back hall.
    Peppermint tea and a slice of ginger cake given me by a friend.
    DOING THE PANTRY/FREEZER INVENTORY TODAY! (Even I don’t know the extent of what is in the back and bottom of my freezer or behind the front cans on the pantry shelves.
    Tell me something – I’ve stored pasta and rice in containers on my shelves. When I open the rice I get a bit of a “tinny” smell – is it good or has it gone bad? The same with my vanilla granola and pasta. Am I doing something wrong? How do I store these items so that they don’t get “wormy”?

    • Grains can go rancid, particularly if they are whole grains (not white flour or white rice). Do you know how old they are? I store my granola in the freezer if we won’t eat it within the week.

    • I store flour, cornmeal and any other grain in the freezer or fridge. My mother did that when I was growing up and it was to deter any bugs or going rancid. I just kept doing it when I got on my own. I have never had a problem in 20 years of marriage.

  7. Day 2

    Breakfast: strawberries, banana muffins and orange juice
    Lunch: Crock pot BBQ beefsteaks with rice
    Dinner: My husband had LO spaghetti; my daughters had LO Mac and Cheese; and I had a grilled cheese sandwich. Also had a raw veggie tray with carrots, radishes and celery.

    All in all not a bad day, we had some fresh fruit and veggies and used up several leftover odds & ends.

  8. Day 2 of the pantry challenge for us was good. We had eggs and toast for breakfast, leftovers for lunch (bean soup for me, a twice baked potato and orange for my husband, and sandwiches for the kids) and for dinner I made falafels with chickpeas and zucchini from the freezer, served in pitas with sliced tomato and avocado, with tabouleh.

  9. Still using up what we had but I did get in a trip to the grocery store to round out some meals. My goal was to reduce grocery spending, not eliminate it, so I am happy with the amount I spent. I want to take the amount saved on groceries and buy a membership to Costco so I can stock up on some stuff. Just realized that I am reducing my stockpile so I can build up my stockpile. Funny.

    Breakfast: Pancakes from freezer (son), homemade oatmeal (me), eggs with pepperoni (hubs, he ran out of bacon)
    Lunch: Pigs in a blanket to use up some little smokies from Christmas (daughter and me), Grilled cheese (son)
    Dinner: Spaghetti (using meatballs from freezer) for most of family, grilled chicken salad (me) (using leftover chicken)

    And I am off to bake a cake for dessert this weekend using a cake mix from the pantry. Fun!

  10. Heather M says:

    Day two involved a big grocery shopping(necessary and I’m doing my own adapted version of the Challenge). Breakfast: a variation of cereal, bacon, and apples/grapefruit (depending on who)
    Lunch: kids were back in school and took lunches (leftover rolls, cheese, pistachios, fruit, etc). Hubs off from work and I have no idea as I was working out/grocery shopping. I had a protein bar and cashews, plus an afternoon snack of an unearthed low fat bean, cheese, rice burrito from the freezer (Costco).
    Dinner: pan-grilled salmon (wild alaskan sockeye, on special at the grocery), rice pilaf(pantry), and a green salad with greens I thought wouldn’t have survived since I bought them xmas eve morning. Somehow they were still good. I was happy, less waste when I cleaned out the fridge from being out of town.

  11. Will be running out tomorrow for milk, produce and some dairy products but that should be all that is needed this week.

    Breakfast – Ham, cheese and tomato frittata
    Lunch – Loaded nachos
    Dinner – Leftover pork roast, mashed potatoes, green beans

  12. Day 3 of our pantry challenge, bacon, eggs, leftover home fries and toast for an early dinner. We plan on leftover pork roast sandwiches or cheese and crackers if we get hungry later.

  13. We are doing well so far!

    I have been able to turn a big pot of lentil bolognaise (made in the slow cooker) into various dishes and have also used leftovers from the Holidays these past few days, so I am making sure we eat the leftovers in stead of tossing them!

    I have done some shopping, mainly pasta and rice, since they were at rock bottom prices which I have not seen for months! The rest of the shopping was a bit of milk and youghurt.

    I am soaking beans and planning to make a few things for the freezer, so I will have something to fall back on if (or when!) I loose momentum.

    Tomorrow we are visiting my inlaws, so no cooking dinner. Works for me 🙂

  14. Angela B. says:

    Had a good second day:

    Breakfast: cereal for myself and the kids

    Lunch: the kids were at my in laws and I had leftover BBQ from New Year’s Eve

    Dinner: chicken and rice (made with leftover chicken)

    and the kids and hubs had icecream as a snack…all in all I think it was a good day!!

  15. Breakfast – eggs and bacon
    Lunch – cheese and crackers (my kids love a snacky lunch)
    Dinner – Roasted Chicken Breast, garlic couscous, and yellow bean, green bean, carrot blend from the freezer

    Trying to “eat from the pantry” for the next month. I have enough bags/boxes of pasta to feed a 3rd world country so a month shouldn’t be a problem. I will however have to shop weekly for fresh produce, milk, bread and lunch meat for the kids lunches. Well not bread if I make my own hmmmm…
    And everyone tried couscous for the first time tonight and loved it!

  16. Jenny from the MItten says:

    Day 2
    Breakfast-Oatmeal & Coffee
    Dinner-Calzones from day before
    Supper-Ham & Egg Burritos

    I think this is going to get the better of me soon.

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