2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Fifteen

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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.

monkey salad pantry

It’s crazy to be walking into week three of the Pantry Challenge. So far it’s been pretty easy, and we’ve eaten amazingly well. I confess that I am getting a little weary of not buying what I want. I made a small trip to Sprouts yesterday just for necessities, but already I feel like we’re running low on things. I think tomorrow morning I need to reaccess and build a new meal plan.

Today the kids had granola and hot cereal while I made a Monkey Salad. I won’t be able to do this too many more times without buying more coconut chips and cashews, so it may not happen.

As it was Saturday and I made the kids do lots of chores and we hadn’t eaten out all week and we’re all still hacking away, I ordered Chipotle online which was a fun little celebration midway through the challenge.

For dinner I made a Sheet Pan Supper with chicken, Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms, and peppers. We had rice and Caesar Salad as well. I was craving something sweet for dessert so I took one of those Mix and Match Muffin Mixes and doctored it up with frozen fruit and sugar to make a Fruit Buckle of sorts. We will make it again with more fruit. We’re running low on lots of fruits and veg.

I’ll be back in the morning with the Week Two Update and a chance for you to share your progress. See you then!

Breakfast: Granola, hot cereal, Monkey Salad

Lunch: Chipotle

Dinner: Chicken, Sausage, Veg, and Rice, Caesar Salad, Fruit Buckle

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. I may try this for real next month. We have so much stuff in our pantry and some in our freezer, but I have such a hard time using it. It would do me good to run everything down though. And you have such creative uses for your stuff!

  2. Did make it to the grocery store yesterday. Total spent $71.76 for milk, dairy, produce, fruit and few goodies. Still under $100 for the month!

    Breakfast – Pancakes and sausage
    Lunch – Tortilla soup
    Dinner – Salmon, spinach and feta frittata
    Snacks – sliced apples and graham crackers w/peanut butter cup dip

  3. Guess it was a day for Chipotle… both the kid and I had to work yesterday, so we stopped at Chipotle for dinner. Free gift card, so no money out of pocket and not cooking after work made it an all around win. By the way, have you seen their new allergen information? It appears they have taken the soy out of the majority of their products. Only the flour tortilla and the new sofritas protein have soy in them now.

    Breakfast: toast for me, eggs and sausage for him
    Lunch: pizza
    Dinner: Chipotle

    • Yes! I saw that. I’m so glad they did that!

      They’ve moved most things to rice bran oil. Funny thing is that for a Whole 30, you’re still stuck with the same choices as before: lettuce, salsa, carnitas, guacamole, since you’re not supposed to have rice. Weird, huh?

  4. Check with your location before you go, then, as a sign last night told us that they were having trouble with the pork suppliers and no carnitas was available. There was no estimate given for when that might be resolved.

    • My kids ordered it yesterday, so I guess they are fine here. We order online typically. I wonder if they have that function turned off for the locations with shortages.

      • I ordered with the app once where I was told a location was out of steak but I could still order anything else. I haven’t looked at the online ordering, but I assume it would be the same thing. Glad (?) it is not a nationwide shortage.

  5. Stephanie M. says:

    Today was a good day for hubby and I but not a good day for the challenge. We have been planning all week to have a date night today.

    B – had so many errands to run so we got some breakfast sandwiches from the local deli which is ALWAYS crowded on the weekends.

    L – I heated up some mini bagel pizzas from the freezer that I made a month ago.

    D – We treated ourselves out to a nice little restaurant about 15 minutes away that we love. If it counts, we did not order dessert there. I had made a banana cake with chocolate icing and froze it in slices two weeks ago. Each weekend, we allow ourselves to indulge in a slice. I have enough for next weekend and that’s it. So rather than get dessert out, I defrosted two slices of cake in the afternoon and when we came home, we cuddled up on the couch in front of a movie, with our dogs and our cake. 🙂 (By the way, dinner out didn’t cost us anything; it was paid for with a gift card that hubby got from a client at Christmas. )

  6. Other than breakfast, our Saturday was a bust. Too much going on and not enough hours in the day, some of which was related to my work, some due to prepping our home for the painter that is arriving on Monday, some for social reasons.

    B: Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chip Muffins – no milk so I substituted with a can of evaporated milk.
    L: College girl ate at work, Hubby & I grabbed a burger on the way to my work function (didn’t have enough time to do anything at home because we were busy prepping the house for the painter)
    D: out with friends to celebrate a birthday

  7. Saturdays are usually busy here because my husband and I have judo for three hours in the morning, with an hour drive each way. My husband makes us breakfast and I pack a lunch for us to eat on the way home. When we didn’t pack our lunch we would be tempted to stop somewhere to eat because we were so hungry.

    B- veggie burrito and tea

    L- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apple and orange, chips and homemade granola bar, with water

    D- my husband made dinner: homemade macaroni and cheese with sausage in it and bruschetta

  8. Vanessa B says:

    Today was a good day. Started the day by baking some banana and chocolate chip muffins with some overly ripe bananas. Yay for not wasting. I had a $25 grocery store gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I made a plan and headed out. I also had 3 glass milk bottles to turn in for deposit reimbursement of $6 total. First I stopped at Dollar Tree for bread, English muffins and paper towels spent $3 on food items. At Hen House I grabbed 2 packages of porter house pork chops that were Buy
    One Get One Free. If you’ve never tried this cut of pork I highly recommend it. Also purchased lots of fresh produce, a loaf of sour dough bread, and a carbonated drink as a treat for myself. Total was $30.44 which came in under my $31 I started with. I win! Went to the park with friends again. Unfortunately my 6 year old spotted my drink and had a fit that he wanted one too. I bargained with him that if did a little cleaning up i would go get him one. After an hour of crying, begging, and attempted
    manipulations such as “you’re breaking my heart into pieces! ” he finally did the tidying and I bought him the drink. $2.50 at Walgreens. I’ll figure my Jan total soon
    Breakfast – banana and chocolate chip muffins
    Lunch – sandwiches, chips and I had some salad
    Dinner – pork chops and mac n cheese

  9. Monkey salad sounds awesome. And I saved your muffin mix, I’m going to try to with apples tonight. I am new to your blog and I love it! It’s very inspiring!

  10. Melissa F says:

    It was a nice relaxing day at our house. Did a few chores and we have been watching an old series on Netflix called Jericho.

    Breakfast – the last of the French toast from the freezer and bacon
    Lunch – I made a large batch of egg salad since we have so many eggs on hand and it was a special request from hubby, fritos and homemade onion dip – also a request from hubby.
    Snacks – sliced apple
    Dinner – seafood pasta salad, made with crab classic from Publix trip
    Dessert – homemade remake of Out Back’s Sydney sinful sundae – homemade magic shell and homemade whipped cream. It was delicious. I had made a packaged Ghirardelli brownie mix, hubs had gotten the ice cream and I had the coconut and strawberries on hand as well.

    When I did a look through the pantry the other day, I found I had plenty of pasta and needed to find ways to use it. The seafood salad is an old standby and family favorite – I just add green onion, green olives, sharp cheddar cheese shreds, jarred mushroom slices and mayo with some Cajun seasoning and regular seasoned salt blend. I have enough ingredients on hand to make another batch later in the week. It never lasts very long around here.

    Excited to see how everyone is managing as we have been at this for a few weeks.

  11. Heather M says:

    Day 15/Saturday wasn’t the greatest Challenge-wise. I knew this long weekend would mess with it, but it’s been a fun weekend so far, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

    B: son was at his campout. Hubs and I slept in. No breakfast
    L: son was still gone. Hubs was doing things around the house and ate late in the day only; I was at a fun baby shower where they served a delicious lunch!
    D: no cooking happened. Son’s friend was over for the night and all 4 of us went to see The Imitation Game (good movie) Saturday night. Beforehand, the hubs ate the rest of leftover Peruvian chicken from last weekend, the bits ate frozen pizza, and I ate some random snack food sitting around. We shared popcorn at the movies too (ugh, but with 4 of us…)

    Fun weekend so far, but not much food leaving the house— we’ll see how the rest of it goes.

  12. Back in my own home sweet home!
    I’m ready for some food from my own kitchen.
    The guys ate out today, which I don’t love, but I’ll make up for it in the coming week.
    I ate lunch on the road at Zoe’s Kitchen – a great little place I’d never been to. Think I discovered a new recipe to try (when the challenge is over!! LOL). Our lunch was late, so we didn’t stop for dinner – just drove on home.

    • Zoe’s is really good! Their chicken orzo soup is so yummy and comforting when it’s cold out. Great salads. We have (3) in our area including one downtown close to my office. I have tried to recreate their potato salad and have come pretty close.

  13. The day’s gone a little differently than planned. I, too, will have to do this again next month.

    Went to the Commissary for bread and non-foodstuffs. Spent $150. Still not bad. My whole month is usually about $800 for food/nonfood. So far I’ve spent approx $390 and shouldn’t need anything but maybe milk and eggs. So, less than half. Good thing too since the dryer broke and we have to pay a repairman.

    Good luck with the challenge, everyone!

  14. Could you post about your sheet pan supper. That sounds just about right for our family.

    Thanks. Live your blog!

  15. Today was tamale day for us! My mother in law and sister in law wanted to learn how to make tamales. We were going to do it over Christmas break, but between busy schedules and everyone getting sick, it didnt happen. But I had all the stuff in my freezer or pantry to make them, so while my freezer is now stocked full of tamales(more easy meals, YEAH!), I did use up the masa and husks from my pantry and the pork and chili verde from my freezer that I had saved!
    B-cereal and muffins
    L-I am guessing it was either pb and j or leftovers, I have no idea I was making tamales!

  16. Stephanie P says:

    I’m a little behind. Saturday (and Sunday) were pretty good pantry days, other than having to go to the grocery store for more produce! I made the pancakes and Mickey waffles for the week, so we are set there for Owen’s breakfast. I also made four servings of buffalo chicken chili for my lunches for the week. It smelled amazing so I’m excited to try it. With the other chicken I have dinner cooking for tonight in the crock pot. My plan for the week is to make lasagna rollups to use the ricotta cheese we have. We purchased it for a dessert we were going to make and then didn’t make, and I had lasagna noodles, frozen sauce, and the cheese so I figured I’ll make and freeze it. Only downfall is the recipes I found called for eggs, and of course we are now out. I’m wondering if egg white from a carton would work b/c I do still have some of that left.

    I don’t remember our exact meals but I know we ate at home, other than I bought DS a soft pretzel for lunch Sunday while we were getting the grocery party supplies for my sister’s 40th birthday party. Healthy lunch there!!

    I know I ate a LOT of oatmeal this weekend. Other than that it was mostly leftovers, and different for all of us. I used up the rest of the frozen shrimp, the boca burger, the rest of the regular burger in our refrigerator (from taco night), some turkey pepperoni, most of the rest of my frozen vegetables, and the rest of my big bag of frozen mixed fruit. Luckily I still have a bag of frozen strawberries and some frozen cherries. I did end up “having” to buy grapefruit and clementines. I hate to be without fresh fruit.

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