2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Fourteen

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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.

Oops! I totally forgot to take a picture today! I blame this grunge that we have going. But we’re two weeks in and surviving. The fam totally loved tonight’s grilled fish supper. They claim that they could eat Caesar Salad every night. We shall see….

Breakfast: Oatmeal Bar

Lunch: Leftovers from last night with Quesadillas

Snacks: Hard cooked eggs

Dinner: Grilled Fish, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Caesar Salad

We’re halfway through. How ya doing?

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. We managed again today. Hubby had to cook dinner tonight as I had meetings that ran long and out of town.

    B: fruit smoothie (ME – fruit from the freezer, yogurt, water, protein powder / scrambled eggs & toast for Husband)
    L: I was at a conference so they fed me, no idea what anyone else did
    D: pork chops with wild rice.

  2. Whooee! Three day weekend. We are helping friends move tomorrow and I think they are buying dinner.
    breakfast- egg muffin at home
    lunch- leftover stew, apple
    dinner-frozen tortellini, salad, bread
    The challenge seems easy this year. I still easily have enough in the freezer/pantry for next week. The last week will be more challenging. We are getting low on fresh-some lettuce, a bit of cabbage, one orange, two apples, carrots, onions, one shriveled green pepper and a few potatoes.

  3. I made chocolate muffins today and subbed some of the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips, because that was we had. The recipe called for a full cup of yogurt which was good because we had some that was going old. I’d like to make more soon to use up the rest of the yogurt, muffins were gone by about 2 pm, so I guess they were good. I didn’t eat any because I’m in a whole30. I have been doing well with using up my paleo leftovers.

    I had some of your pepita bars left and my parents said they were awesome. They polished off the pan.

    Sometime soon I plan to make a monkey bread recipe that calls for apple butter. Another gift from a friend that I don’t really know what to do with. We really don’t do bread things like toast, biscuits, etc, or if we do they have meat on them.

  4. So far so good. We were not overly stocked to start the month so we set a goal of spending 33% less than the typical month. With the month half over we have spent 49% of our reduced monthly budget. I have concentrated on using up our baking supplies and restocking the freezer with breakfast items. My children really enjoy baked goods for breakfast.

  5. Breakfast was coffee and applesauce and something else I grabbed on the way out but don’t recall what. I managed to pack my lunch today after all (was on the road for the majority of the day and was expecting to have to hit a drive thru) so had sandwich, 3 clementines/cuties, and a bag of chips I found from some other meal out that I didn’t eat. Dinner was leftovers from the Girls Night Out last night. That wasn’t much, I was still hungry, so I ate some tortilla chips. Kid baked a frozen pizza and noshed on that all day long. Not sure what other snacks he might have consumed. Not a great day for using up what I had, but then again was a great day in that I didn’t go buy anything except a drink since I’ve apparently used up all the water bottles I normally keep in the car.

  6. Okay ladies I have another pantry question for you. I live in a dry climate but every jar of onion powder I have ever bought has gotten hard, like it’s wet. It sticks together and I have to scrape it out of the jar to use it. Is there any way to avoid this?

    • tastycook says:

      Would a few grains of rice work? I have the same problem.

    • Demi, I also had this happen with commercial onion powder. (finally threw out jar and all :() So, I started grinding my own dehydrated onions. Seems to stay better and I don’t need to “dig” it out of the jar. lol I’m not sure this helps but it works for me. And I live in dry climate too. Teri

      • How do you make your own!?

        • I sometimes buy dried onions in #10 cans and grind them in my coffee grinder or small processor. Either way works. I’ve also done this with the onions I dehydrate (we grow a small garden and I dry extras). I use my powdered onions to cook with instead of fresh and I also make my own dry onion soup mix. It’s so nice to have on hand. And this past fall, I ground up dried garlic, onion, tomato, celery and celery leaves to have a veggie powder to use for seasoning soups, meatballs, etc. Hope this helps! 🙂 Teri

  7. Hoping to do a quick shopping trip today to pick up a few things but all in all still having an easy time planning meals and making them work.

    Breakfast – French toast
    Lunch – Pizza and cut up apples and cutie oranges
    Dinner – Leftover spinach lasagna
    Snacks – pretzels, honey graham crackers with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips, fruit roll ups

  8. Not a bad day, but I didn’t make my pita bread like I was going to, so dinner had to be changed. I already made falafels, so we’ll have that today or tomorrow when I get the pita bread made. All of the granola bars I made are gone, except for two that my husband and I are bringing for our lunch today. I guess I need to make more of those too!

    B-cereal and milk, tea

    L-the rest of the canned lentil soup and peanut butter sandwich for me, leftover tamale casserole and green beans for my husband. Kids had the usual sandwich, chips, fruit.

    D-I used up the rest of a carton of heavy whipping cream and noodles made fettuccine alfredo and salad.

    I have a list of 8 more dinners I can make with what I have, so not too bad.

  9. Melissa F says:

    Pretty good day, the rain was gone and it wasn’t too chilly out and I got to go out again to run 2 quick errands.

    Breakfast – Kind bar for me, banana for the husband
    Lunch – leftover beef stroganoff for hubby, leftover pizza for me
    Snacks – Cut up fresh fruit salad, chips
    Dinner – Grilled, marinated pork tenderloin (fresh lime juice, fresh garlic and cumin) and Bowtie pasta with spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta

    Food Lion – $30.11: (4) marked down pork tenderloins ranging from $4.18 – $4.88, (5) loose russet potatoes, a loaf of bread and (4) packs of store brand cheese that was on sale for $2 each (we are really cheesy people!). Could not pass up the pork tenderloins – the price has come down a little bit and they were marked down twice.

    Publix – $26.08: Toothpaste (sale w/a coupon only .44), (10) Yoplait yogurts (on sale .50ea & a $1 coupon), (2) Crab classic, produce, broth, sour cream (hubby wants homemade onion dip) and ice cream (hubby again, *sigh*).

    This all brings our spending total to $151 since starting the PC on 12/28 – I had wanted to budget $200 but hubby budgeted $300 so we will see how this all settles out. I guess we should probably stop buying marked down meat but it usually too good to pass up! And I must confess I have this overwhelming desire to always stay stocked up just well rotated to avoid waste.

    Hubs is back on the road next week so the food consumption will go down a bit. He was on vacation over the holidays then close to home to help me recover from surgery. I won’t be back to work until February sometime when I am cleared by my doctor.

  10. Vanessa B says:

    This was an excellent pantry challenge day! Little guy didn’t have school and Daddy came home at lunch time. We met a friend at the park because we are having unusually warm weather. While we were there the fire department had a water rescue training exercise and the boys loved watching them jump through the ice and rescue each other.

    Breakfast – cereal and yogurt
    morning snack – little guy had carrot sticks
    Lunch – L/O Meatloaf melt or PB&J
    snack – hulk juice (green smoothies)
    Dinner – Pioneer woman’s Fried chicken tacos OMG they were good! Husband was sooo happy. I had a 2 week old avocado that I had bought very green and it was perfect. The only complaint was that the kids would have preferred soft tacos. So next time I’ll fry fewer and save some meat for soft shells.
    Dessert – by the remnants in the living room I would guess that the husband and boys had candy and peanut butter with crackers for dessert 😉

    Planning a small trip to the grocery store Saturday or Sunday

  11. heather h says:

    cooked a turkey on Thursday. than had pizza last night, dh brought it home from Papa Murphys. he did a double stuffed so their is still a quarter left. Now to use up the turkey and its carcass (which won’t nearly be as yummy as the smoked turkey carcass). hmm thinking turkey stir fry tonight. that will use up the last of my garden stir fry. I still have plenty of food around here. But I did finally use up the strawberries that were in the freezer. I have so much still available to me from the freezer.

  12. This has really helped me realize that my family does not need to grocery shop every week. We used to go every Saturday because that’s when we had time, but now (as I’m not working), I can go just about any day I need to if I plan ahead.

  13. Tiffany R says:

    Freezer cooking was a success! I was able to put chicken parmesan, meatloaf and Chicken fried steak with gravy. Easy meals for the upcoming weeks! Win!

    Breakfast: Homemade waffles w/strawberries and bananas (the remainder went into the freezer for later)
    Lunch: Turkey sandwiches, chips & fruit
    Dinner: at a swim meet so not sure yet but something from home
    Dessert: Homemade Ginger cookies w/icing – yum!

  14. Joining in on an end of the month pantry challenge.
    Breakfast – waffles, juice
    Lunch – leftover pizza from last night
    Snack – cookies made with leftover Christmas chocolate as well as crackers and cheese.
    Dinner – Sweet and Sour meatballs with rice

  15. Kids and Dad ate up all the frozen pancakes I had made. Today I made more and tossed in freezer! I wanted to use up pancake mix! I Put a box of beef stock on stove and simmered leftover turkey and pieces of leftover ham in it altogether! Used up a jar of gravy, a can of cranberry sauce, frozen peas, three cans of corn, stuffing mix and instant potatoes. ALL items were from the pantry or the deep freezer! We call it Thanksgiving and I make it once a month from leftover turkey and baked ham I have frozen! We love it! On the menu plan I just write THANKSGIVING! Soooooo fun!! (My kids are 9,6 and almost 12. I imagine that when they get older they will remember that we had Thanksgiving every month of the year! Lol

  16. Stephanie M. says:

    Still having a good time emptying everything out but tomorrow morning, I will be going to do some food shopping for some essentials.

    B – Hubby had pancakes that I made a few weeks ago and put in the freezer. He also had some scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese. I had a couple of pieces of toast using up the last of a loaf of bread.

    L – Hubby had the last of the leftover rice with the last of the leftover General Tso from a previous Chinese run that I had in the freezer. I had a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.

    D – Hubby grilled two hamburgers and I had some appetizers leftover in the freezer from the holidays.

  17. Heather M says:

    Day 14/Friday. Not great, Challenge-wise, but not bad, either. I woke up not feeling great, though by late in the day was better (weird stomach pains. They left eventually, and there were no other symptoms thankfully). Son left after school on an overnight (and cold!!) scout campout so it was just the hubs and I. And we took advantage.

    B: cereal and turkey/veg sausage for son; hubs finished off what son left as he raced out the door running late; I had toast
    L: son had his usual sandwich, pistachios, clif bar, crackers; hubs was too busy to eat(too many days like that); I ate jello, toast, and a few samples at costco
    D: son ate at his campout; hubs and I went out for a late bite to eat at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant. So good. This place is zagat rated every year and is so cheap. Sit-down place 5 minutes from our house(we have this shopping center that is all Vietnamese and loaded with restaurants, delis, etc .— famous in the area and super close to us). We ordered 3 ( yes THREE— hubs was starving and their spring rolls and fresh rolls are to die for) appetizers, two entrees, and sodas. And this food is so so yummy. Total before tip was $42.

    I went to costco and spent only $75 on food, $20 of that was the bag of pistachios we have to have (lots more though; turbo tax, toiletries, etc). And a friend picked up a few things for me at Trader Joes for $7. I picked up stuff for her at costco. Our teamwork rocked. Total so far this month is around $156. Yay!! Now to see how the rest of this long weekend goes….

  18. Michelle Porter says:

    We had another crazy, busy week. Cheerleading and basketball all week long. Today is Saturday but since I went to the grocery to pick up a few things on Friday night, I thought I would post it here.
    This week for dinners we had spaghetti and meatballs, sautéed chicken breast tenders with broccoli and cheese and rice, burritos with refried beans and rice, chicken sandwiches, sub sandwiches with chips and fruit. Tonight (Saturday), we are having sirloin tip thin sliced steaks with onion gravy, red potatoes, carrots, broccoli with cheese and crescent rolls.
    After dinner we are going to have a baking party to get rid of all of the packs of muffin mixes and cookie packages that I have. We will be making chocolate chip muffins, mixed berry muffins, blueberry cheesecake muffins and pumpkin cookies with some chocolate chips thrown in the mix.
    At the grocery, I picked up a few snack type things since the kids were complaining of no snack food. I got Mozzarella cheese sticks, Colby jack cheese bars to be sliced for snacking, pepperoni, crackers, pears, oranges, bananas, ramen soup cups for a quick snack, French fries, tator tots, 3 lb. bag of frozen chicken tenders, green beans, bottled water, gatorades for the sports activities, shredded cheese, frozen broccoli, chicken lunch meat, bread, Spanish rice and refried beans, yogurt, juice and that is all I can think of off of the top of my head. I’m sure there were a few more items. I spent right at $50 so I am at $133 so far for the month. Still hoping I can keep it at $200 which is $100 less than normal. I have enough meat again for almost 2 weeks but if I see any reduced for a great price, I will buy it. Meat is what kills my budget. We are definitely carnivores in this house.
    Planned for next week is stir fry (either beef or chicken, or maybe both), chili, chicken and rice, pulled pork barbeque and not sure what else. Should (knock on wood) have plenty of snack items.

  19. So far so good for me. Monthly spending approx. $250, down from about $400. But tomorrow when I go to the Commissary, I only need basics like tp, bread, eggs, and something to send as snacks in my son’s backpack. I have to buy them because they have kids in his room with such severe allergies only a short list of prepackaged snacks are allowed.

    bf: kids–toast with jam, me leftover lawnmower taco bake and fruit.
    lunch: leftovers– a bunch of little things to finish them all off.
    dinner: leftover chili for most of us and leftover spaghetti for dd, paired with fruit and a slice of raisin bread (given by Mom) and pumpkin cream cheese (also given by Mom).

    I had the chili and spaghetti in the freezer but both needed a little meat so I used a pound of hamburger.

    Progress: I can see a little light in some places of my freezers. The kids have started to eat things they wouldn’t touch for a couple of months like cereal.

    Tomorrow: I will turn all the apples I have that are soft into 1. the pancake batter muffins, and 2. apple butter to put on said muffins. Hopefully, I won’t be the only one eating them.

    bf: I may turn that raisin bread into french toast so they’ll actually eat it. Grapefruit.
    lunch: leftover chili and spaghetti (finishes the spaghetti). Pineapple.
    dinner: miscellaneous seafood from the freezer. I’m bad, I haven’t inventoried yet because there’s still too much stuff. I know there’s shrimp, catfish, and haddock.

  20. B- muffins or cereal
    L- leftovers
    D- out with a bunch of cousins in town. We ate at my sisters house and I had to run to the store to get some lunch meat, but I was able to bring spinach, tomatoes cheese and bread that I had( we had a panini bar and everyone contributed items). I was glad that even without having dinner at home I was still able to use up some stuff I had on hand!

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