2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Thirteen

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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.

pancakes pantry challenge

We are still battling the grunge that hit our family before Christmas. My husband was home today, feeling unwell. But, sweet man that he is he said yes when the girls asked him to make pancakes, one of his specialities. It was a group project as the girls and FishBoy10 all helped prepare, cook, and flip the cakes.

Their favorites are snow men with chocolate chips and powdered sugar.

It was a tasty day, even though we’re all coughing up a storm.

Breakfast: Pancakes!

Lunch: Chicken Curry with Brown Rice, leftover salad from last night

Snacks: Hard cooked eggs, smoothies

Dinner: Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Thyme (from the freezer book), Chili Bean Soup, Baguette from freezer

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. Seriously, what is going around SoCal? My kids rarely get sick and now both of them are under the weather!

    I may have to make them snowmen pancakes to perk them up 🙂

  2. Thankfully, we are healthy at our house. Lots of people in WA state sick with flu too.
    Another good pantry challenge day!
    breakfast -out, french toast, bacon, and an egg. I’ve been going to this restaurant forever so we get a good deal.
    lunch-left over curry chicken with broccoli-yum
    dinner- baked cod, brown rice, peas

  3. Stephanie M. says:

    Another great pantry/freezer challenge day. This weekend I will finally be going food shopping for the first time since this challenge started. I will only be picking up what we need for one week.

    B – Hubby took museli cereal and a banana. I had a multigrain English muffin with the last of the low fat cream cheese.

    L – I played a joke on hubby and gave him Chef Boyardee mini raviolis and a tiny juice box which I normally keep on hand for when our young grandson comes to visit but the joke was on me because he loved it. 🙁 He is the boss where he works and had to eat this in front of everyone in the lunchroom and said he felt like a schoolboy. His guys had a good laugh and he ate all up, like a good boy. Darn it. I always play jokes on him and we are like the Abbott and Costello team. He is like Abbott who is always serious and I am like Costello who is always joking around. Only this time, he had the final laugh. Oh Well. I had the leftovers of kolbasi, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.

    D – Hubby had some leftover rice from a couple of nights ago and some General Tso from the freezer from our last Chinese run. I had a salad.

    • Heather M says:

      What a fun joke to play on your husband. Love your relationship! 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Oh Heather, this was a mild joke. The poor guy has certainly had to endure a lot of them from me. He told me he’s usually afraid to open his lunchbox for fear of what’s in there! He eats with his guys and not too long ago, I put a brown paper bag in there with a men’s depends and a note telling him it was his last one and to pick up more on the way home. 🙂

    • Stephanie P says:

      Yup that’s exactly how my husband would be too! Except he doesn’t like the ravioli. But if it was spaghettios and meatballs – so happy. You are just super nice to pack his lunch!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        He actually told me that if I ever give him this kind of stuff again, he would also prefer spaghettios and meatballs! Ha Ha.

  4. Another good day around here. Hubby helped me in the kitchen tonight. As we were prepping dinner I thought to myself how fortunate (spoiled) we are that we can do a pantry challenge and still have so many options as to what we prepare. Then while dinner was in the oven and we were sitting on the couch together, I said, “Did you know that I’ve been participating in a Pantry Challenge this month?” He was shocked and had no idea! Yes, apparently, I am that good *wink, wink*

    B: bananas, yogurt, oatmeal
    S: pretzels
    L: we splurged – hubby had Wendy’s and the college girl and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. She’s been craving all of break and since she leaves in 4 days, I told her I would treat.
    D: oven chicken fajitas (used green and yellow pepper strips from the freezer + the last of the mushrooms in the crisper), and cilantro lime rice.

    I’m going to have to go to the store this weekend for some fresh produce – – I’m down to 1 onion, carrots, limp celery and potatoes for veggies and 1 apple, 1 lime for fruit.

  5. Breakfast – cinnamon oatmeal
    Lunch – sandwiches
    Snack – soft pretzel (bought it while out, was supposed to be a treat for the kid for helping me with something neither of us wanted to do, but we will not be bothering with that brand again)
    Dinner – impromptu Girls Night Out with some friends for me, leftover red beans for him

    I’ll be on the road tomorrow for about 6 hours, so I’m anticipating some drive-thru in my immediate future unless I get up early enough to pack a lunch. It’s already 1:30 AM and I’m supposed to leave in 7 hours, so…

  6. Put off grocery shopping till the weekend. 2 sick grandbabies here and a possible third one will be here tomorrow. PA is getting hit hard with the flu now that school is back in after Christmas break. So just lovin’ up babies here for a couple days. We are still eating good so its not like I can’t wait a couple days!

    Breakfast – Toast and dry cereal, grape juice
    Lunch – Alphabet noodle soup
    Dinner – Chicken alfredo with peas and mushrooms, garlic toast
    Snacks – oranges, apples and pretzels with peanut butter cup dip

  7. Day 13 was another good one around here.

    B: son had cereal and veg/turkey sausages; I had toast w/PB and banana; hubs had raspberry mini muffins
    L: son took his usual turkey sandwich, pistachios, clif bar; hubs took leftover Asian ground turkey over rice w/steamed veggies; I had that yummy salad w/cranberry goat cheese and cottage cheese w/tuna and tomato.
    D: hubs had another work dinner (unusual that he has any let alone two in one week!); I had leftover noodles w/sautéed veggies; son had a tuna sandwich.
    Snacks: nachos and a banana for son; I had air popped popcorn, an egg, raw cauliflower w/a light dip, raspberry mini muffins, and a packet of oatmeal(an entire box leftover from a scout campout– we need to eat these up! Was a great “dessert” for me).

    Last night I also made up a box of chocolate pudding and a box of jello. I don’t know why I even buy the jello. So I need to use them up. The pudding is yum though.

    Also, it might sound like I eat a lot. I just eat frequently and very portion controlled. All the food I ate yesterday amounted to about 1200 calories. Trying to drop those pesky 10 holiday pounds and so far so good. 🙂

  8. Yesterday was pretty good, but I did have to go to Aldi again. I spent $40 and bought salt, olive oil, lettuce, ketchup, frozen vegetables, cheese, two gallons of milk, wasabi almonds (treat for husband), cookies for the kids, and chips, drinks, and lunch meat for lunches. I stuck to my list, at least. I made four loaves of bread yesterday too, three for the freezer.

    B- cereal and milk

    L- husband had a leftover black bean burger and chips, I had some lentil soup from a can that needed to be used up. Kids had their usual packed sandwich, apple, chips, and cookies with a drink.

    D-Tamale bean and corn casserole and salad

    Finally got my car back last night, ended up being close to $600. Hopefully it will be ok for a while now!

  9. Tiffany R says:

    Going well around here! The part came for the oven so my very sweet husband put it in for me last night. Woo hoo! Bake to baking!

    Today, I have a pretty open schedule so I am going to tackle some freezer cooking. I am planning on making chicken parm, meatloaf & cube steak w/gravy for dinner and waffles for breakfast/dessert. I am also going to use some frozen strawberries to make jam. Should be a productive day!

    Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal w/apples, blueberries & pecans along with clearance coffee (me) and 1/2 bagel & juice (kids)
    Lunch: Leftover 1/2 grilled chicken sandwich that one of the kids didn’t eat for dinner, baked chips & grapes
    Snack: 1/2 apple, banana w/almond butter, Ghiradelli chocolate square
    Dinner: Grilled chicken quesadillas (kids) w/leftover rice and grilled chicken salads w/toast (me & hubs)
    Dessert: 2 cake balls frozen from Christmas (me) and ice cream (kids)

  10. I had planned a grocery trip today, but kiddo woke up with a stomach ache. ????. The good news is that we still have enough food, I just wanted some fresh veg and brown sugar, neither of which she needs while sick. We finished the leftovers from the fridge yesterday and joined inlaws for dinner.

  11. Vanessa B says:

    I’ve been trying to cut soda from my family’s diet. Yesterday there was nearly a mutiny. So I mosied over to Walgreen’s defeated by the masses for a 2 liter of root beer and some candy. Spent $3. This pantry challenge is about to become involuntary. We are a one income family and work/cash flow has been sporadic the last 6 weeks. The money coming in is covering bills and gas but not much else. I am grateful for gas and heat, we’re not in a dire situation. It just chaps me when we run out of trash bags and laundry soap when money is tight. We are staying healthy here, praise the Lord. The second meatloaf I made on Monday was re-incarnated as deliciously ooey gooey Meatloaf Melts. My people are cheese people. No breakfast again.
    Lunch – Fish filet sandwiches for my dad and I, chicken bites and carrot sticks for little guy, turkey wrap and salad for my husband
    snack – candy :/
    Dinner – Meatloaf Melts, Tator tots, and carrot and cucumber sticks.
    No dessert

    • Use a bit of shampoo or body wash in laundry to tide you over. For trash… dump straight into big can.

    • Trash bags and toilet paper make me crazy. So expensive!!

      • When I visit my mom in Florida I can’t get over how expensive toilet paper and other household stuff is there. Also oranges are expensive which is odd because they practically grow in peoples backyards there. I live in Ontario Canada and though diary is more here. I have to say I can get a lot of other items less then I can in Florida.

  12. Stephanie P says:

    Sorry about the sickies!! The Influenza A and stomach bug are EVERYWHERE around here. I just keep praying we stay healthy, but for a germaphobe….not a fan of flu season 🙂

    I’m definitely going to try that chicken recipe, even if it’s just for me!

    I went grocery shopping last night instead of tonight, and got the typical fruit, veggie, milk basics. I spent around 30.00 I think? I do have all my receipts so I’m going to add them up today. I guess one good thing about citrus being one of the only “in season” fruits is I don’t really seek out to buy organic since I typically do that mostly for the dirty dozen.

    Last night was the “leftover” night since I was out in the evening, but not tonight! Well tonight is the boys pizza night as always but I’ll just be glad to be home.

    B: Overnight Oats, coffee
    L: Turkey breast, roasted veggies, quinoa (leftovers), orange
    D: Had some veggie pizza at book club

  13. Hope you guys feel better soon! Feeling nostalgic, I made snowman pancakes for my teens last weekend and they loved them. I even got an, “Awww, thanks, Mom!’ Fun pancakes are great for eveyone.

  14. Melissa F says:

    Sickness seems to be everywhere – everyone be careful and vigilant with hand washing! Whew!

    Yesterday was a really good day! I finally got out of the house for a bit with a trip to Walmart. I had not been out of my house since returning home from my surgery on New Year’s Eve afternoon but to go to my doctor’s office once. I was like a kid looking all around!

    I had a Kind bar before venturing out and hubby had some fried fresh eggs.
    We got lunch out since I was feeling pretty good – we each got a sandwich from a local Italian place – again, nice to get out and be human again!
    For dinner we made homemade pizza – used the dough recipe from my bread machine booklet and it turned out really good. We had picked up some Oscar Mayer old world style pepperoni and boy was it spicy! Since everyone talks about sauce, I wanted to share that I use the 8oz can of Hunts tomato sauce, the one with basil, garlic and oregano – I think it has a nice flavor and I can pick it up on sale here and there.
    Snack was pineapple and apple fruit salad
    Dessert was some chocolate my daughter gave me for Christmas.

    Our trip to Walmart – bananas, apples (best price around this week so we got 10), green onions, OM pepperoni (way spicy), avocados, milk, heavy cream (they didn’t have the 8oz cartons for some reason, so I had to get 16oz), jarred sliced mushrooms, chips (4 bags – this happens when hubby sees a sale) and a pound of dry pinto beans. We did get a free jar of queso blanco for purchasing 2 bags of Tostitos! Spent about $7 after using the $25 gift card.

    Observation – OMG on the price of dried beans!!! $1.52 for Great Value brand!!!! I plan on making “refried” bean in the crockpot and portion for the freezer. I did notice they were .03 cheaper at Publix today which really surprised me – in the past they have been higher.

    Y’all stay healthy out there! I know that’s hard with young kids around – I so remember those days!

  15. Thursday is day 3 on the road.
    Breakfast for me was a Clif Bar. Hubs & ds#3 ate at home.
    Lunch out was a nuts & berries salad for $8, and Hubs ate leftovers from home, while ds#3 ate the lunchbox items I prepped for him – turkey sandwich on a roll, tortilla chips & salsa, and a homemade brownie.
    Dinner out for me was a bunless burger with portabella mushrooms & manchego cheese for $13. Hubs had a stressful day at work so they went out to eat. :/ Ah well, when I get back, we’ll make up for it.

  16. B-muffins and juice
    L-leftovers or pb and j
    Dinner-I decided on pasta with red sauce, so I pulled out my big #10 can and started crockpot red sauce, then realized I had some creamy tomato soup in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I froze all the red sauce I made and turned the tomato soup(that no one wanted to eat) into a creamy red sauce that everyone loved! I also added ground beef from the freezer and odds and ends of vegetables that needed to be used up! Score one for me! Not only did I use up something no one wanted to eat, but I also set myself up for 4 super easy dinners in the future with the sauce I made in the crockpot!

    • Tiffany R says:

      I did the same thing this week! I made homemade tomato soup with frozen summer tomatoes and I was the only one eating it. So I made it into tomato sauce and put it on top of chicken parmesan. Now, everyone will eat it and no one will know that it started out as tomato soup. Glad to see I’m not the only one who had that idea!

    • Heather M says:

      That is awesome! Love “wins” like that. Sometimes repurposing food ends up better than one ever imagines! 🙂

    • Awesome!

  17. Love the map on your wall. We have one in our dining room, too. Lots of great conversations start with it being there.

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