Pantry Challenge: Day 4

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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.

pasta supper

QUICK update tonight since I’ve just spent the last four hours on book edits. Whew. It was a fine day.

Breakfast was a bar for the kids: granola, blueberries, cereal, yogurt, milk, and bananas. I made another round of scrambled eggs, onions, and feta cheese. Feta is one of my splurges and I definitely don’t want it to go to waste.

The kids had quesadillas for lunch with apples. I had a phone call over lunch and someone burned the quesadillas, so I ended up having a breakfast bowl from the freezer. One of the ones I reviewed here. Very tasty.

For dinner, I used a bag of bread crusts to make croutons to top homemade Caesar Salad. I also combined two different tomato recipes from the freezer (chicken tikka masala and a roasted vegetable sauce and just put it all together over pasta. It was good and no one knew about my Indian-Italian mashup.

Breakfast: Breakfast Bar

Lunch: Quesadillas and Apples

Dinner: Pasta and Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

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.

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  1. Day 10 for us. I’m finally getting to that burn out point. All day at work I was dreading dinner that I knew was cooking in the crockpot. Then I got home and it smelled so good I quickly got over my apprehension.

    Breakfast: Me- almond butter on toast/ Hubby- donut peach, banana & boiled egg
    Lunch: Me- chicken and dumplings (leftover)/ Hubby- Korean fried rice (leftovers)
    Dinner: Both- pulled pork (freezer) sandwich with fried onion strings and jalapeños.
    Snacks: plums and muffins

    Tonight the hubby said he was in the mood for some of my (aka goodcheapeats) amazing muffins. Luckily I had exactly enough milk and eggs to make it happen. Also it gave me an opportunity to clean out the baking cabinet. I consolidated a ton of baking ingredients, and I’m now feeling refreshed with the challenge

  2. Stephanie M. says:

    I love this challenge; it keeps me so motivated and out of the store unless absolutely necessary and I’m seeing some real progress in my freezer. I promised myself that never again would I have as much in it as at the last pantry challenge and I’ve made good on that promise but there’s still more in there than I would like and it’s liberating to watch it all going.

    B – Hubby had the last home made breakfast bowl from the freezer; it had layers of roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, ham cubes, and shredded cheddar. I made some a few weeks ago and they froze beautifully. I did not have breakfast today due to too many errands to run and not enough time.

    L – Hubby had turkey and swiss on a hard roll; I skipped that too; got very busy in the afternoon.

    D – Hubby had to work very late tonight so last night I cooked him some roasted chicken, leftover pasta, and corn on the cob to take with him. I had chicken/veggie stir fry over rice that I cooked today, using up 2 of the last 3 boneless chicken breasts from the freezer and most of the veggies in my veggie drawer.

  3. Vanessa B says:

    Breakfast – cereal and bananas
    Lunch – hotdogs, peanut butter and jelly and strawberries
    Snacks – pickles and bananas…. but not together. …that would be weird
    Dinner- grilled pork chops, oil and vinegar coleslaw, sweet potato fries and a handful of remnant potato wedges, and a weird bag of steamer seasoned broccoli

    I had planned to make pork tenderloin sandwiches but delegated grilling to my husband after working on canning 6 jars of pickles. The kitchen was hot, I was tired, he was willing. Happy to use up the bits of randomness. Not so happy about the weird mushy broccoli, my husband didn’t even try it. I think my days of buying pre-seasoned steamer bags of vegetables are done and over.

    • When I buy frozen veg (unseasoned), I cook them in a skillet (frozen) with a bit of oil. I’m able to control the mushiness factor better. Not sure about the pre-seasoned kind….

  4. Breakfast – Bagels and cream cheese
    Lunch – Turkey sandwiches, yogurt
    Dinner – Ranch chicken quarters (crockpot), pierogies, peas

    Snackies: still picking fresh blueberries, apples with peanut butter or caramel dip, grapes

    Will be doing a pick up run today for milk and bread and farmers market for fruit and produce. Still going strong for day 10.

  5. Maureen says:

    I got to have a lunch date with DS11 and we were out a chunk of the day. Popped into the store for milk and yogurt, but didn’t buy anything else. Dinner was a quick pasta using some frozen veggies before DD’s softball game.

  6. Please imagine me watching the pantry challenges like one would watch a reality cooking show. Mesmerized.

    Yesterday I had my own “pantry challenge” because I got locked out of the garage and couldn’t go grocery shopping. Coffee without milk is not my favorite, so I will be shopping today. 🙂

  7. Day 3 was an improvement over Day 2. And, I figured out the mystery of what my Teens have been eating during the day – sandwiches, and LOTS of them. Here’s what we ate:
    Breakfast – cereal for The Boy, eggs & toast for The Girl, toast for me
    Lunch – turkey & cheese sandwiches
    Dinner – ham steaks & GCE’s Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese (ham from freezer, pasta from the stash)
    Snacks – mango smoothies & cherries (mangoes from a Costco freezer bag)

  8. Here’s what we’re eating:
    B – Hubs was up early & running errands so he got breakfast on the run. I had an apple & cheddar sandwich on homemade bread. Ds#3 opted for no breakfast. :/
    L – Hubs & ds ate at the bowling alley (bowling camp provides lunch) and I snacked while I made brownies.
    D – Spaghetti. Had planned to serve a salad with it, but I wasn’t feeling great, so I opted for the bare minimums.

  9. June Combs says:

    Hi jessica ~ i spent $32 at grocery store yesterday milk eggs etc. But i have 3 food events coming up 2 friends for lunch tomorrow basketball team picnic and a facial and food party next Tue. But i think i have them covered because of my happy box (produce box). Green leafy salad with grilled chicken breast and ill make individual cheesecakes for dessert. Bball picnic ill make a big salad homemade macncheese and 5 loaves of your zucchinni bread, meat is provided by the school! My party i have a lb of frozen bacon and who doesnt like bacon i can make appetizers with it and then individual peach crisps for dessert i will buy the peaches and carrots and celery for veggie tray and maybe coookies? So i feel good about my progress! My families lunches will be tricky next week? I will make pancakes for breakfast for 3 days with sausage the other 2 days next week ill make smoothies and peanut butter on toast. Dinners i usually simplify, our lunch in the summer is our big meal with lots of fruit and veggies and deli meat sandwiches whiich i will buy? Dinnefs will de grilled hamburgers and chicken breasts i think i will buy a watermelon they go a long way and ill buy apples? I think i will make bread and maybe mayo next week? Sorry for the long comment?

    Thanks jessica for your inspiration! Ill pray you cntinue inspiring us, i need it!

  10. Day 3:

    Breakfast- rice with milk, raisins, and sugar (eat like a bowl of cold cereal)

    Lunch – cheesy ham and mushroom pasta, vegie sticks, and fruit

    Dinner – sloppy joes on homemade buns, broccoli, iced tea, and pudding for dessert

  11. I started late, like yesterday on this challenge. I’m trying to go till the 29th on $100. for grocery money.
    I do have lots of groceries in the house, just need to get my act together and do it.
    Yesterday we had leftovers for brunch ( we normally have brunch about 10:30 or 11 and not breakfast and lunch.) Brunch was left over chicken thighs oven cooked with fresh mushrooms and undiluted mushroom soup, baby new potatoes, and corn. ( I think it was even better as brunch than it was at supper).
    Coffee during the morning, Black for me … helps my breathing when I get up….. cream and sweetener for Hubs. This is everyday, so will post once.
    Supper, Ham ( from ham cooked Monday) almost shaved it is sliced so thin ( with the electric meat slicer, best extra kitchen appliance I bought about 15 years ago!), onion sliced the same and tomato also sliced with machine very thin. Hot dog buns ( on the large size , width I mean) then make your own sandwich. I fried an egg to go on Hubs sandwich) coleslaw left from the night before. Oh, those sandwiches were good , love the ham when it is so thin it folds over on itself! Snack, another sandwich for dh and a yogurt cup for me.
    Tonight we are having a white fish fillet , with a butter sauce and capers ( bought a jar 1/2 year ago and never opened them!, found doing an inventory for this) , Last 2 large potatoes will boil them and serve with butter as they are new potatoes too. cauliflower and broccoli ( part of a cauliflower left, and need to use up the broccoli before it turns yellow), and the last of the coleslaw. Oh, I forgot to mention we both drink milk with supper. 12 oz. glass for hubs, and 8 oz. glass for me, this too is a daily thing and I will just post it once.
    Snack in evening yogurt cup. ( bought on sale 1/2 price) me and bowl of ice-cream for Hubs.

  12. Forgot today’s brunch is omelets, with mixed veg in it. I am sautéing tomatoes, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Will put some inside and the rest over the top, slice of whole wheat toast to go with it. and of course coffee.

  13. Yesterday went rather smoothly…..

    Breakfast-string cheese and toast

    lunch- salad and icecream (the kids ate breakfast and lunch at my mother-in law’s house while my husband and I were at work)

    dinner-chicken tacos and california medley

    Nothing too inspiring but I just wasn’t feeling it yesterday since I’ve been having trouble with my siatic nerve the last couple of days. I was just glad that I had the taco meat all prepared so all my husband had to do was heat it up and get all the fixings out. I look forward to your blog everyday thanks for all the hardwork you put into it!!

  14. We had pasta with meat sauce and a big salad.

  15. Kimberly says:

    We did one 2 weeks ago but started again since our freezer was packed. So this is day 2 for us:
    B: leftover roasted broccoli and cauliflower scrambled with eggs and cheese.
    L: homemade corn dogs from the freezer and fruit slices
    D: taco salad with ground beef from the freezer and the lady of the sour cream.

  16. Heather M says:

    Day 4:
    Breakfast: bacon, strawberries, blueberries, cheese; kids slept in till close to lunch time (teenagers!)
    Lunch: kids had quesadillas and snacks things; hubs took leftovers and watermelon; I had eggs with the leftover roasted asparagus (yum!!) and celery w/laughing cow cheese.
    Dinner: found shelf stable whipping cream that needs to be used up so started to use it in a healthier shrimp Alfredo over pasta. Healthier because I made the sauce with 1 1/2tbsp butter/flour, then added nonfat milk until it thickened a bit and then just 2tbps of the cream for richness. I sautéed garlic in it too, delicious! Shrimp was from freezer, pasta the pantry. We also had steamed broccoli and asparagus (last of both fresh items!)

    Also made a half-batch of my banana oat chocolate chip mini muffins since I had two overripe bananas. They were snacks, along with watermelon, pretzels, etc.

    Pleased, too, because I went through a bunch of recipe ideas and set a pile aside to choose from during the challenge. A step in planning, probably best I’ll do since summer days/evenings are moving targets it seems. Like for tonight (day 5), it’s almost 4pm and daughter may have dinner plans but may not. Don’t know yet. What I make will be determined by whether she’s eating with us or not. Luckily not every day is so unpredictable, but still. Some days I can decide in the morning what’s for dinner, others will depend. 🙂

  17. Oooh, homemade croutons are the best! They taste so much better than the boxed version. Tonight we’re having Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas with ingredients from the freezer.

  18. Stephanie M. says:

    On Day 1 of the challenge, Emily announced that her birthday was on Thursday. I was waiting for her to post but since she didn’t as of yet, I just wanted to do a shout out and say Happy Birthday Emily. I hope you’re having a wonderful day today.

  19. Breakfast: finished off the english muffins with tea

    Lunch: leftover ravioli di funghi

    Dinner: pineapple tofu stir fry with rice

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