2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Eight

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This month our family is participating in a Pantry Challenge. We’re focusing on using up what we have in order to save money and time as well as to reduce waste.

2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Eight

Sorry for the iPhone photo. Winter does that to me. No natural light, so I get lazy.

Today was my loafing around day. I slept in and let the kids play all day and cook breakfast and lunch. Just now I cut the littles loose with a jar of homemade brownie mix and the recipe. They had a blast. And there’s ice cream in the freezer if it doesn’t work out.

My big efforts came in when I headed to the grocery store. I got one of the itty bitty carts so that I was limited by what I could buy. I spent $70. Report tomorrow.

I had planned to make Summer Rolls for dinner, but just didn’t have the energy. I concocted Asian fake-out on the fly: Lime-Soy-Jalapeno Chicken, Stirfried Cabbage, and Coconut Rice. The chicken was too spicy for the littles, but the bigguns liked it.

I kinda wish there was a “weekend break” in the pantry challenge, don’t you?

Breakfast: fend-for-yourself

Lunch: pasta salad

Snacks: apples, bananas, carrots

Dinner: Lime-Soy-Jalapeno Chicken, Stirfried Cabbage, and Coconut Rice

Dessert: Cocoa Brownies

Im-Taking-Pantry-ChallengeThis post is part of the 2015 Winter Pantry Challenge. Read through the archives to catch up.

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  1. Ugh! I’m not doing a pantry challenge, but I know what you mean about weekend cooking. Tonight I HAD to deal with the chicken thighs that were thawing in the fridge–the ones I should have made last night before our plans changed. I’m currently out of homemade chicken stock (horror of horrors!) & decided I should skin and debone all the roasted chicken before I served it so that I could rectify that situation. Mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, sauteed green beans and then prepping tomorrow’s breakfast, plus clean up left me exhausted even though my daughter played sous chef.

    • Melissa, the same thing happened to me. I use the last of my chicken broth to make a risotto to go with the chicken. Kept all the bits and bones to make into more chicken stock.

    • Sounds yummy! And we are out of all kinds of stock around here. It’s so pricey to buy whole birds now that I’m creeped out by Foster Farms. I’m using these weird vegetable bouillon cubes I bought a year ago.

      • I’m currently ignoring the FF creep out factor. Our family downs 2 whole roasted birds in a sitting. I can’t imagine paying upwards of $15 per pasture raised bird. We do buy a grass fed cow every year from some farmer friends. It’s cheaper than store bought grass fed, but still a BIG punch to the gut when I get the bill. It’s really nice not to have to worry about greeblies in our beef, though. Thankfully, I’m still able to keep our monthly grocery bill a couple of hundred dollars under what the gov’t would consider a thrifty plan for our family.

  2. Stephanie M. says:

    I just have to share . . .

    Today was a great day, not only with the pantry challenge but it was a great mental health day. Hubby had to work all day (not usual for Saturdays but sometimes necessary). Daughter was in New York with her boyfriend all day so this left me home with a day all to myself – Yee Ha!!!!!! The house was clean and fully decorated for Valentine’s Day, the laundry was done – so what to do with my time alone? First up, I made a batch of homemade dog cookies. Yup, even the dogs are in on the challenge. No more overpriced, crumbly, stale pet store cookies for my dogs. Nope, they get the homemade stuff. I actually started making these during the last pantry challenge and so far, no complaints! 🙂 Next, I turned on a lifetime movie, poured a nice glass of wine and put on a big pot of chicken soup. It seemed like the right thing to make because of the very cold weather we are having right now. Within 30 minutes, the house smelled like heaven. While the soup cooked, I just lounged around waiting for everyone to come home.
    When everyone got home, they all said how good it smelled in the house. Daughter took a nap and then went out for the night. While it was cold and blustery outside, it was warm and cozy inside with candles burning, bellies filled with hot soup, and hubby and I under a blanket on the couch watching a movie with our sleeping dogs all curled up between us. Life is Good! 🙂

    B – Hubby had frosted mini wheats and a banana; I had two waffles and strawberries

    L -Hubby had leftover pasta with marinara from last night and I had an egg salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato using up one of three hard-boiled eggs from the fridge.

    D – We both had chicken noodle soup – so good!

    After dinner, we both had a slice of homemade banana cake with chocolate icing that I made last week and froze in slices for whenever we want it.

  3. Another great pantry day yesterday despite brown-bagging lunch on the fly!
    B- baked Apple French toast, chicken sausage, juice and coffee
    L- pb and j sammies, pasta salad, pineapple, pb ricecakes, cookies, carrots and hummus ( all grabbed last minute as we rushed out the door to go skiing and sledding and realized we’d be out for lunch)
    D- Chinese chicken over lettuce with carrots and cucumbers with soy sesame vinaigrette, soba noodles with spicy peanut coconut sauce (my toddler couldn’t get enough of the spicy noodle s – go figure!)
    For dessert there were a couple cookies left that were eaten and later in I enjoyed a shortcake with berries and cream

    Today I’ll be making sourdough bread and peppermint ice cream, along with black bean soup and squash corn muffins from the freezer.

  4. Stephanie P says:

    Yesterday was a great pantry day. I did go to the grocery store for some of the weekly stuff we need. I got oranges, yogurt, a donut for my son and husband (his birthday!) and smoked salmon. I need to add up my receipts for the month to see what I’ve spent, but I know it’s less than normal for sure.

    Then I prepped my food for the week so that will be easy this week. Now the meals will be much easier.

    B: My son had leftover some of the pancakes we made last week, my husband had cereal and his donut, and I had oatmeal.
    L: While I was cooking I was also playing with my son, and he was running around and had a “grab and go” lunch. He had applesauce, a cheese stick, and turkey pepperoni. I had a Lenders bagel with the smoked salmon, carrots and hummus, and some grapefruit. I have no idea what my husband had actually!
    D: We had planned for pizza from a pizza place my husband likes so that’s what we had.

    I was planning on making soup but didn’t. The meals for the week that I prepped ahead were oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, salads, yogurt snacks, ground beef for tacos, roasted vegetables, prepped the vegetables for a vegetable lasagna, and today I’ll be making chicken cacciatore and freezing it for later in the week.

  5. Still enjoying the Challenge! Think it’s because we did a complete kitchen remodel last month and I didn’t get to “play” in the kitchen much. Got my Greatnorthern beans in the freezer and pinto beans are cooking now and made a loaf of Banana cranberry bread. Will finish Band Sub for lunch today and there will be no leftovers in my fridge, which is very unusual here! Meat and fish pulled out to start prepping for this week. So having fun now and using up lots.

    Breakfast – Toast with Nutella
    Lunch – High School band sub, cheese tortellini soup
    with spinach and mixed peppers
    Dinner – Finished off the cheeseburger Mac and cheese
    Snack – Banana cranberry bread

  6. Saturday was an easy day. I met 6 mom-friends for breakfast at 9:15 and everyone else was on their own. What a treat! Something we’ve now decided should become a once-a-month ritual. Because it was later than I usually eat, I didn’t need lunch so about 2:30 I had a snack of pistachios and pretzels. Hubby was at National Guard drill so they fed him and the college girl made herself a sandwich. We had a 4:00 wedding which included dinner at the reception. So basically, it was a No Cook day for me! Woohoo!

    After my breakfast out, I did stop at the grocery store for a few things:
    2 dz. eggs – sale @ $1.25/dz, can’t pass that up
    baby carrots – college girl requested them for a snack. What mother could say no to that?!
    cottage cheese
    dryer sheets
    cat food
    I did splurge by picking up a loaf of take-n-bake cranberry walnut bread on the day old bread rack for $1.99. Our oldest college girl will be with us on Sunday AM for breakfast and I thought it would be a nice little something extra to have with our skillet scramble. Total spent $22.

    This afternoon I have some prep work to do for the coming week due to the fact that I have work related meetings on Monday and Thursday evening. Gotta stay on top of my game and plan accordingly.

  7. Vanessa B says:

    Ha, funny you should mention a weekend break! That’s exactly what has been happening at my house. We have had unexpected guest Friday and Saturday so the pantry challenge flew out the window. My brother’s birthday is tomorrow so I am making him a cake today and I’m sure people will be here for dinner. I’ll give a weekend recap of meals and spending a little later.

  8. I had to go to the grocery store on Saturday too.
    BUT… I’m not disappointed, because I will be out of town most of the week, and I had planned for hubs & ds#3 to mostly eat out. Hubs informed me that he did NOT want to do that all the time – maybe one dinner out – so I needed to have food in the house for them. NOT A PROBLEM! 🙂 Just had to stock up on a few things for them.
    As far as our meals today:
    Breakfast – our weekly breakfast date out.
    Lunch – Hubs & ds#3 had a planned lunch out to discuss serious baseball business (as in whether or not to play organized ball this year). I did not eat (because I was cooking & prepping for next week).
    Dinner – Hubs requested a veggie beef soup. Everything was on hand, and he will eat it all week while I’m gone. Easy peasy.
    Snacks – apple w/peanut butter, homemade brownies.

  9. Working 12 hour shifts all week so I worked out a meal plan for hubby and I with plenty of leftovers and still use what I have in the pantry.
    I did go grocery shopping for basics since I hadn’t been since before Christmas! Found round steak marked 1/2 price! Picked up 5 packages about 1.25 lbs each! $27.00 Planning on stroganoff for some and stir fry with it as well

  10. Day 8/Saturday. Not even sure what we ate. Was on about 3 hours of sleep… We went to sleep way late enjoying last hours w/daughter and had to get up at 5 to get her to the airport. The day was free form and a blur. The three of us left at home ate whatever suited our fancy. But it was food from home. Based on dishes/trash, we must have eaten leftovers, frozen pizza, random leftover holiday goodies, etc. I know I ate mostly snacky things, like cheese and crackers (still have good cheeses left from Xmas like cranberry goat cheese, Manchego, fontina). Dinner I wasn’t hungry because I went to the movies w/my other best friend (besides my hubs) and she treated us to popcorn and then she bought us auntie Anne’s pretzels while we waited for her daughter. So, a blur. But we ate what we had. And I had a good time with my friend. 🙂

  11. My weekend break came in the form of dinner at my mom’s. 🙂 Then I grabbed the leftovers and some stuff from her pantry. LOL.

    Went to the grocery store to buy fruits and vegetables, a few lunch snacks for the kids, milk, and Arborio rice because hubby REALLY likes the rice pudding we make in the pressure cooker.

    So far, so good for this pantry challenge. I am having so much fun with this.


  12. Is the chicken recipe in one of your books? Sounds yummy.

    • No, it’s one I created that night. I baked chicken tenders with sliced jalapeño and lime, drizzled with soy sauce and sprinkled with Chinese 5-spice powder. After the chicken was cooked, I mixed cornstarch and water into the drippings to make a sauce. However, it was a little, no a lot too spicy for half the family. My husband loved it, though!

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