Pantry Challenge: Day 9

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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.

lawnmower taco

Sorry for the weird picture there. For some reason, I was busy at mealtimes today so I didn’t take too many pictures. Even though I bought some things at the store yesterday, it was like scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of meals.

Before yoga class I had a rice cake with sunbutter. Afterward I made some eggs with leftover grilled vegetables. The kids had bagels.

At lunchtime, I made mac and cheese and steamed green beans. The kids split the last apples in the house.

For dinner, my 17yo made the Lawnmower Taco. I had stale chips in the freezer that I was saving for just such a dish. It’s a HUGE favorite at our house. The kids demolished the entire pan themselves as it was date night. FishPapa and I used an expired Groupon at a local burger place. In California, the amount you pay never expires. Then we cruised by Trader Joe’s to restock a few things.

TJ Pantry

I got 2 pounds of pasta, 3 dozen tortillas, 3 romaine hearts, 3 dozen eggs, 1.5 pounds of carrots, 3 bell peppers, a tomato, a quart of buttermilk, and a partridge in a pear tree. I spent $23. That brings my Pantry Challenge total up to $83. Hopefully, THIS lot and our produce box this week will get us through.

Breakfast: Bagels, Eggs

Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Apples

Snacks: Popcorn

Dinner: Lawnmower Taco, Burgers with a Groupon

Pantry-Challenge-GCE-300x250This 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. Breakfast – Bagels and cream cheese
    Lunch – PB &J sandwiches, yogurt
    Dinner – Chicken alfredo with mushrooms, bread, salad

    Snacks were last of the rice krispy treats, blueberries, apple and banana slices

    Continuing to eat very well!

  2. Been meaning to post, my ONE goal this year is to clear out the deep freeze so that I can defrost it. We leave Friday for the weekend, so I am unplugging it before I go. Using up gobs of random odds and ends but pitching stuff that’s been in there for over a year. YIKES! Made a double batch of banana bread to share with neighbors and friends (we don’t eat it, but I bake it for gifts and such), making to refreeze an apple pie today with a leftover frozen GF pie crust, slowly but surely clearing put 8 cups of chicken stock, trying a new recipe to use up from filets.

    Slowly but surely. Now, what to do with the 200 freeze pops left over from the GR 5 promotion picnic (which was moved in doors due to rain), I’m not sure. 🙂

    Thank you again for doing this again. Keeps me level over here. Appreciate it much!

  3. Maureen says:

    Monday went well. I finished the meal plan for this week. We finished up a few items that were on their last leg (bread, lettuce, etc). Lunch was primarily leftovers. And dinner was from the freezer. We are home today, so it should be much the same. I am also hoping to pull some snacks from the freezer.

  4. Breakfast – german pancakes
    Lunch – candy apple sandwich (bought a loaf of bread for this; had apples and PB on hand)
    Dinner – Indian Spiced Salmon, frozen corn for hubby and son, dill pickles for me
    Snack – Brownies

    We are eating our way through the freezer and I am feeling quite a sense of accomplishment!

  5. June Combs says:

    I have learned alot! Its about time? Never have a party during a pantry challenge! I also learned to change my expectations to not expect to eat the same as we do w/o pantry challenge??? I can say my freezer is looking good but i have bought way too much stuff? And the upstairs frig is full? Ugh! I think i will extend my challenge a week sort of giving myself a second chance, im so good to me. Lol

    I have made 2 batches of your 5 loaf zuccini bread! Yum! Gave alot away. I wish i had a lemon tree in my back yard 🙂 for all the peach pies im baking.:-) making lemonade today! I love summer 🙂 have a great day!:-)

    • Heather M says:

      June, I’m going the entire month. You’re in good company. Only buying fresh produce/milk/bread/absolute necessities. Heading out iof town for 6 weeks and want to clear out as much freezer/pantry storage as possible (the one week we’re home in the middle of travel will be more of the same). Good luck!

      • June Combs says:

        Heather you are so sweet! Wow 6 weeks of travel FUN! You inspire me to do the whole month!!!!:-):-):-):-):-):-)

    • I need to make a lot more zucchini bread, too. I think we’ll have zucchini waffles tomorrow. I had forgotten about the recipe.

  6. My dinners for the week
    Monday-BBQ chicken /green beans
    Tuesday -taco bar
    Wednesday-spaghetti with meat sauce
    Thursday-grilled chicken,vegetables,cous cous
    Friday- various meats from freezer, salad

    Everything is from the freezer with the exception of lettuce/condiments for tacos and pasta/cous cous are in my pantry.
    I’m so excited to see bare spots in my freezer.

    I feed 2 adults 5 teens and 1 8 yo so my 54.00 this week for dairy/produce is amazing.

  7. Monday….

    breakfast-dry cereal
    lunch-leftover chicken
    dinner-brats and hotdogs on the grill, potato salad, chips and cut up pears

    I got up early this morning and made Zucchini stew and rice crispy treats for tonights dinner. I won’t be home from work until late so I wanted the meal to be all read for the family…..

  8. Heather M says:

    Another stellar Challenge day!

    Breakfast: protein bar on the run for me; hubs never eats breakfast, daughter slept until 12:30(not a lot of sleep over the weekend), son had a bowl of cereal.
    Lunch: hubs took leftovers and fruit; i had scrambled eggs, raw veggies w/spinach kale dip, and one ounce of double cream Gouda cheese(still random leftovers from the party we threw in June… This particular cheese is delicious!!).
    Dinner: Found a 6 ounce spicy calabrese salami that was a gift at Christmas and needed to get eaten! So I doctored a pasta sauce from the pantry with the salami and fresh bell pepper and onion. It was delicious! I also had likes of fresh blueberries that needed to get eaten so I found an old recipe I haven’t made in a few years a berry pudding cake and threw that in the oven (calls for 4 cups of berries of any type/mixed or otherwise). So good and completely from scratch. 🙂

  9. Breakfast- (which is only for my husband and me because my oldest sleeps too late and the youngest doesn’t like to eat breakfast) Veggie breakfast burritoes

    Lunch- leftover chipotle mac and cheese, boys fix their own leftovers or make sandwiches etc.

    Dinner- we ordered pizza, so the boys were happy

    I’m hoping to have time to make hamburger buns today.

  10. Sandra Price says:

    Is there any place to get a good deal on a freezer door gasket?
    Our cabinets and pantry are looking bare, but the freezer is still needing a LOT used out of there. Had to shop for a few things to go with the stuff we already have, like bread.

  11. Stephanie M. says:

    We’re continuing on and doing well.

    B – Hubby had two mini buttered hard rolls. I had a low-fat English muffin with apricot preserves

    L – Hubby had leftover grilled pork chop, rice, and cucumber salad. I had a grilled cheese sandwich.

    D – Hubby worked late so he took the last leftover piece of lasagna from the freezer and I had the same thing that he had for lunch.

  12. I have wanted to try that Lawnmower Taco and keep putting it off! It looks so good there baking away in the oven. I am adding it to my grocery list next week:)

  13. Day 15 for us! Yay! Half way there. We started the challenge a day early so we could finish a day early to celebrate the hubby’s b-day. Mondays are always a little hectic, but baked chicken was perfect to throw in the oven and get other things done.

    Breakfast- Me: Rice cake and almond butter Hubby: Homemade Muffins
    Lunch- Me: PB&J Hubby: Leftover Fried Pork chops and Fried Shrimp with greens
    Dinner: Baked Chicken with brussel sprouts.

    We also cleaned out the last of the remaining leftovers. We only had to trash a little bit of sautéed cabbage and a few bites of broccoli. We have managed NOT to put any leftovers back into the deep freezer.

  14. Just started following you and I love the idea of a pantry challenge. We were on vacation last week at our cabin. Sometimes I wait and shop when we get there, but the last few times I’ve been packing almost everything we need from our home freezer and pantry. Since we got home I did go to Aldi’s to get some produce, but mainly I’ve been planning pantry meals. With fresh beans, dill, cucumbers, zucchini, and raspberries from the garden, the simplest meal is still special. I hope this challenge makes some space in the freezer for upcoming tomatoes.

  15. If I lived close to a TJ’s, I’d want to go there on date night, too! 🙂

  16. Day 8 for us.

    Breakfast – cold cereal, milk

    Lunch – leftovers

    Dinner – lawnmower taco, green salad, fruit salad

    Our freezer is getting bare, our pantry has white space, but our fridge is overflowing! Lol! Time to figure out a use for leftovers besides eating them for lunch!

  17. Nia Hanna says:

    Found another delicious way to enjoy popcorn. We followed Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon toast recipe and mixed 2 Tbsp of butter with 1/4 C sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla and melted all together. Instead of using it for cinnamon toast we poured this over a double batch of popcorn and stirred to coat. So good.

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