Pantry Challenge: Day 1

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

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.

Icebox Cake Pantry 1

Let’s start out this Pantry Challenge report with the best thing I ate today: Lemon-Blueberry Icebox Cake. So very good. I made it yesterday. We enjoyed most of it with my mom but there was a bit leftover for lunch dessert as well as dinner dessert. Recipe and better pics coming soon because this dish rocks.

Muffin Pantry Breakfast

Last weekend remember when I did all that freezer cooking? I also made a bunch of muffin mixes. I dug one out of the pantry for today’s breakfast and used some cherries we had on hand. (I’ll be posting the freezer cooking plan on Life as MOM later this week.)

Pantry Lunch 1

Lunch was pretty simple: Meat Sauce from the freezer, pasta for the masses, leftover polenta for me, a chopped salad, and garlic bread made from leftover hot dog buns. Yes, really. It was all quite tasty.

Chicken and Rice Pantry 1

Dinner was simple, too, since I was coming off the heels of our Facebook Q&A. SO fun! I made chicken tenders, baked in butter and FishMama Spice, a salad with cranberries and feta, and red rice cooked in chicken broth. The red rice was a random bag that I bought to try. It’s a whole grain that cooks quickly; I found it at Walmart. It was all good, though FishBoy10 freaks out over anything strange.

Breakfast: Mix and Match Muffins made with fresh sweet cherries

Lunch: Pasta/Polenta with Quick Meat Sauce (freezer), salad, garlic bread

Dinner: Baked Chicken with FishMama Spice, red rice, salad

Pantry-Challenge-GCE-150x150This post is a part of the Summer 2014 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.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Vanessa B says:

    Got a great start to the pantry challenge. Breakfast zucchini chocolate chip muffins. Lunch was sandwiches, macaroni salad, chips and carrots. For dinner my hamburger patties didn’t thaw in the fridge so we had to go with plan B. We ate leftover brats and smoked chicken from Friday with mac salad, cucumber tomato salad and the kids had hot dogs. For dessert I added buttercream frosting to a few muffins, yum! I was so happy to finish every speck of the leftovers, it makes me feel like a good steward. While doing inventory and making party mix I came across several boxes of stale crackers that needed thrown out *sigh*. Hamburger patties are ready to roll for tomorrow.

  2. Today was our day 7. Breakfast for me was a chili burger with shredded cheese and red onion; for the hubs it was eggs and bacon with toast. Lunch for me was 4 ounces of leftover baked chicken and a plum; the hubby ate a little Korean fried rice. Dinner was fried pork chops, mac and cheese, and turnip greens. Then we shared a small piece of homemade chocolate cake for dessert with raspberries.

    As always the hardest part of the challenge for me is cutting down my cooking. I am a cook once eat 2-4 times type of person, especially with only two in the house. This leads to a LOT of freezer meals. When I am doing the pantry challenge and cook a new meal, I tend to over cook which leads to me just replacing the freezer meals I JUST took out with leftovers! So I am determined to eat all of what I cook before it has to hit the freezer (hence the chili for breakfast). Tomorrow will be an all leftovers day so that I can start over on Tuesday.

  3. Stephanie M. says:

    Today was a lazy day after having a July 4th BBQ and going to another one on Saturday. So no cooking involved.

    B – a late breakfast of home made Egg Mcmuffins from the freezer
    L- Skipped lunch since we ate a late breakfast
    D – Leftovers from July 4th; Ribs, burgers, potato salad, tomato and cucumber salad, and baked beans

  4. We started the Challenge on the 1st so we are a couple days in. For breakfast we had bagels with cream cheese and chives. Lunch was leftover chicken potpie and Dinner was Rib eye steaks and corn on the cob on the grill.

  5. Today is my day one due to travel and I am headed to the grocery store LOL we are out of milk and bananas which are definitely necessities.

  6. Day 1 was easy.
    We are coming off a week of wedding celebrations (son #1 was married on station in the fall so this weekend we had a big reception to celebrate…and all the festivities that come along with).
    No one was up early enough for breakfast – the reception was the night before and everyone got home late, then up VERY early to take son #2 to the airport.
    *leftover Italian from a huge family dinner on Thurs
    *leftover burgers from July 4th cookout (w 30 of ds’s friends!!!)
    And whatever munchies were needed after that. I didn’t cook at all 🙂

  7. For lunch yesterday, we dug into some tortillas and hard boiled eggs we had on hand and had egg salad wraps. Supper was The Best Fish Recipe ever, with some cooked grilled zucchini that I had frozen. Today’s breakfast will be oatmeal apple cake, lunch will be cauliflower soup, and I’m not sure about supper as we’re going to a late afternoon meeting.

  8. Heather M says:

    We are on Day 6, since we started the 1st (also buying fresh throughout the month!).

    Breakfast: none– we raced out the door for church- typical on Sundays
    Lunch: tuna sandwiches/fruit/chips & salsa for the teens; leftovers for hubs; Greek inspired salad w/tuna, feta, fresh veg for me
    Dinner: pierogies (2 kinds) bought on a whim at Costco a while back– total whim and the kids have never had them before, so risky. Luckily they liked them because there are more in the freezer! Also raw veggies and dip.

    Snacks included cherries, crackers and cheese (lots in the cupboard and lots of leftover cheese/dips from party we had a few weeks back and I overbought!), and the rapidly growing son’s ever- favorite bowl of cereal.

    Monday (today) I need to plan a bit because I haven’t yet. Just been winging it. So excited for the posts now that the Challenge is official.

  9. Yesterday we had fried egg sandwiches for bfast, ate at the Chinese buffet for lunch (we had a coupon) and ate homemade nachos and mixed melons for dinner.

  10. Today,is day one for us. We had bagels for breakfast, then we had a funeral, so lunch was there and now for dinner we’re having salads and pasta, gravy and sausages left over from the 4th. So far so good.

  11. Sunday was Day 1 … eggs and bacon sandwiches then a veggie salad. Dinner was ieftovers … bbq pork or chicken. I opted for Chicken with more fresh veggies. Easy day 🙂

  12. We started the challenge today. I worked today and have no idea what the Teens ate while I was gone, but I do know they ate at home – good enough for the Challenge & for me. I had leftover Chicken Tinga Tostada for late lunch. For dinner we had Malibu Melt Wraps, using pre-cooked chicken from the freezer. My menu plan for the week is posted on my blog:

  13. The last pantry challenge I just toyed with the idea, and barely did away with those old lurking ingredients. This time I got to work on the inventory portion and tried to pull meals from there using as many of those ingredients as possible. The challenging part for this week is trying to make sure we have vegetables and not just meat, starch, and dairy, but I was surprised at how many tiny bits of vegetables I have in the freezer. Also, I am out of olive and vegetable oil, but I’m using some old earth balance from when I was off dairy, and then butter after that. Also have some bacon fat in the back of the fridge, how long does that last? It’s several months old : /
    Breakfast- shared scrambled cheesy egg with baby, pancakes, and sausage from freezer, yogurt for husband.
    Lunch- sandwich with hummus, bell pepper, costco lunch meat, and bit of trader joe’s parmesan-gouda, husband ate last apple, baby had leftover rice and beans from friday.
    Dinner- shredded chicken breast tacos, leftover rice and beans, last of the salsa.

    This Thursday is my birthday but saving eating out until the weekend.

    • Not sure on the bacon fat. My mom had a perpetual jar of it under the sink when I was a kid. But, pigs are raised and processed differently these days, so I don’t know.

  14. Kirstin says:

    Have you posted your garlic bread recipe?

  15. My favorite thing about my Pantry Challenge this time is that I have finally made homemade pizza and pasta sauce. I have a ton of canned tomatoes that need to be used up quickly so it is all about the pasta and the salsa right now. It does take more time to make these recipes than to open a jar, but I am finding that the savings are worth it.

    • I find that the flavor and the health aspects more than make up for the lack of convenience. The time difference if you use a food processor and crockpot is pretty slim, at least in active time.

  16. Amy Barlow says:

    Is the Lemon-Blueberry Icebox Cake recipe posted somewhere??

Share Your Thoughts