2015 Winter Pantry Challenge, Day Three

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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.

day three pc

Today is Day Three already? Wow! Cool. Seeing as I started early, I’m not sure how that benefits me, but we’ll see.

I was very happy to have one of my favorite breakfasts this morning: Greek Eggs. One of the keys to making it prettier than here is to cook the vegetables and the eggs on opposite sides of the pan. Once the eggs are cooked, fold in the veg. Super yum. I ate my breakfast early in the morning before the kids awoke. They had Corn Pancakes for breakfast. I took the Oatmeal Pancakes recipe from Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook and subbed in corn flour for the oat flour. Worked very well.

For lunch most of us had turkey sandwiches. My eldest is becoming a chef all on his own and made fried rice. I snatched a bite. It was amazingly good.

FishChick8 helped me make Lasagna and Salad at dinnertime. I had planned to make the Turkey and Spinach Lasagna with Feta Cheese (from Good Cheap Eats cookbook) with Beef, but when the time came, I decided to make a vegetable beef lasagna with a béchamel sauce instead. That recipe is also in the Good Cheap Eats cookbook. Yummy. We had Poorman’s Caesar Salad with  Homemade Croutons and the dressing made with Homemade Mayonnaise.

My husband asked where I got the croutons and I gloatingly said, “From stale bread in the freezer.” Booyah!

Breakfast: Greek Eggs, Pancakes

Lunch: Turkey Sandwiches, fruit

Dinner: Beef and Spinach Lasagna, Poorman’s Caesar Salad (without the chicken but with Homemade Croutons)

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. Heather M says:

    Today was “interesting” in that we did start the Challenge, but, well, here: Had to shop since we were out of town and out of most fresh things. So hit up trader joe’s for milk & other dairy, bread, fresh produce, tortilla chips, and a few indulgences like turkey and prosciutto (hubs has recommitted to bringing lunch to work, after months of buying lunch most of the time, he’s ready for healthier and more affordable fare; need sandwich fixings for days there aren’t leftovers he’ll want at work). Spent $60. Also spent hours at the dentist with daughter (unexpectedly long), and son came home from school with what appears to be the flu (ugh!). So I didn’t get my inventory done. Another day.

    B: waffles (freezer), turkey sausage, pears
    L: son took snacky lunch of crackers, pistachios, apple, etc; hubs took nothing & didn’t eat (!); I had leftover enchilada and rice/beans from last night’s dinner out; and daughter had her reward of Chipotle after WAY too long at the combo dentist/orthodontist plus only a few more days till she’s gone again.
    D: pasta w/Alfredo sauce, salad, leftover Xmas treats for dessert

    • Oh I also hard boiled the older eggs. Combine that with all the stuff I froze before we left on vacation (cooked ground turkey and chicken breast, open can of retried beans, homemade chicken stock, small batch of homemade tomato sauce, ripe bananas) and I feel like I prepped and planned well. Even though I NEED to inventory and plan meals. 🙂

  2. Went shopping on the only-produce-and-milk plan today. This may result in us eating more/better fruits and veggies than normal! Picked up potatoes and carrots for roasting with game hen later this week, and yellow squash, avocados, brussels sprouts, shallots, frozen chopped spinach (to go with the huge brick of paneer in the fridge), and cherries. Under $25 even at Safeway prices (it was the only place open nearby). With a certain amount of supplementing from the office fruit basket, we should be good for a couple weeks.

  3. Stephanie M. says:

    I made a roast turkey breast on Sunday so we are using that for leftovers for dinner and lunches.

    B – Hubby had some mini corn muffins from the freezer leftover from Thanksgiving with a Greek yogurt; I had a mini bagel with L.F. cream cheese

    L – Hubby had a turkey, tomato, and lettuce sandwich; I had a salad.

    D – We both had leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and dinner rolls.

  4. Another good eating day here!

    Breakfast – Bagels, nutella
    Lunch – Leftover chicken spaghetti
    Snack – Popcorn
    Dinner – Chicken and sausage jambalya

  5. Started the week off right…
    B: egg on toast
    AM snack: yogurt
    L: salad with tuna, olives, craisins, havarti cheese
    PM snack: skinny cow mocha latte (free w/coupon)
    D: creamy avocado pasta and steamed asparagus

    This morning (before I head to the office) I am cooking rice to use tonight in fried rice. For me that’s the key – – plan ahead!

  6. Stephanie P says:

    Our week started off ok. Mondays are a little different as my husband isn’t home at night because he bowls. He also works overnights, so I have no idea what he eats for breakfast and he doesn’t eat lunch. My son’s lunch is included in his preschool tuition.

    Breakfast: My son had cereal and I had a sf latte. This is NOT normal but it was a day we were running late and had a dentist appointment and just no time.
    Lunch: Baked sweet potato with broccoli, mushrooms, tomato and mozzarella, mandarin oranges.
    Snack: Almonds
    Dinner: Pancake night! My son loves helping me make the pancakes and I’m happy knowing he’s eating whole wheat home made pancakes, so it was a win. He had applesauce and a cheese stick with his and I had yogurt with grapefruit.
    Snack: Air popped popcorn. Funny story – we were at Sam’s club last month and my husband thought it would be fun to buy a 50 lb bag of popcorn! It was fun, and we’ll be eating that for the next year !

  7. We will be doing this during Lent. We got the idea from your blog, did a Pantry Challenge twice last year. We decided to make it an annual Lenten tradition (already doing meatless Friday, great season for soups, why not?)

    Hubs likes the savings in the food budget. This is such a great idea and I really thank you for blogging about it and introducing it to our family!

  8. Going good! Its a learning curve, and I need to re allocate my time, but its definitely worth it! Can’t wait to see all my progress at the end of the month and the changes I will continue with thru the year! 🙂

  9. Vanessa B says:

    We’re on Day 4 at our house. I needed milk desperately and we were very low on fresh stuff. My husband was asking for tacos…. no surprise there. So I took a solo trip to the grocery store for just the essentials; milk, bread, $0.28/lb bananas, salad stuff and I found a manager’s special on 85% lean ground beef $3.99/lb (I think this is as good as it’s gonna get folks) spent$20. My husband’s taco request already monkey wrenched my meal plan, but I can adjust. We had a fun outing before the kids went back to school. They jumped, they ran, they wanted fast-food, and I caved.
    breakfast – kids had apples for a late breakfast
    lunch – leftover brats and the kids had Wendy’s
    Dinner – Tostadas, rice and beans, and the kids had soft tacos
    Dessert – pear cake and chocolate chip ice cream

  10. It’s going pretty well. I spent almost 2 hours in the kitchen yesterday prepping lunches for my son, packaging some snacks for the kids’ lunches, and prepping a few meal plan items. My 4 year old helped, but it went really well…glad it will save me some time over the next week or more. Added a few leftovers to dinner last night and will eat up more today for lunch and dinner. Trying to clean out the fridge a bit. So far the family is happy with meals, too.

  11. Tiffany R says:

    Day 3 or 4 for us, I think. It all starts to blend together. I went grocery shopping and did buy more than I thought I would. I am hoping it all evens out over the month since I have been using several things from the panty/fridge/freezer to complete meals.

    Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal w/apples, blueberries & walnuts (me) and bagel & juice (kids)
    Lunch: Grilled chicken wrap w/hummus and goat cheese (free with coupon – yay!), tortilla chips & grapes (me) Turkey sandwiches, chips, fruit and gogurt (had it in the freezer, we will see how it tastes) for kids
    Dinner: Hubs is out of town this week so easy dinners. Grilled cheese & fruit (kids) and Grilled Chicken salad (me)
    Dessert: Homemade Ginger cookies from the cookie dough in the freezer

  12. B:Banana Bread and leftover ebelskivers
    L:Tuna sandwiches and leftover enchiladas(Thank you for introducing me to homemade enchilada sauce!)
    D: Tamales, beans, broccoli

  13. B: Hubs – cereal, wheat toast, orange juice and coffee; English muffin, mandarin orange and coffee for me
    Snack: Hubs – banana
    L: Hubs – tomato basil soup and spinach salad; vegetarian chili from the freezer and a kiwi for me
    D: Chef salads and grilled pimento cheese bread
    Dessert: sliced apples

    The Costco run that did not happen last weekend is definitely in our near future !

  14. Day six here and things are going great. Trouble is i don’t seem to be crossing many items off my inventory lists… I suppose that as long as I’m not buying more we must be using stuff up?! Took one trip to the grocery store Sunday afternoon for dairy and produce (and anchovy paste of all things) and spent $60 which is less than half our normal weekly budget. My daughter has almost eaten all the fruit already though so I see another produce run in the near future!!

  15. At the end of last month my hubby and I went through the pantry and freezer and inventoried everything. Then we made a list of things we like to eat. We have 2 nights a week we barely get home for dinner so we planned out a months worth of meals using that list and making sure that the 2 busy nights we eat leftovers or crockpot meals.
    So far, so good.

  16. Monday’s menu for us:
    Hubs & I went back to work today.
    B: Eggs, bacon, & monkey salad for hubs, ham & broccoli quiche w/hot tea for me, hot chocolate and quiche for ds#3.
    L: Hubs used a gift card for lunch with a friend. I came home & discovered ds#3 had eaten most of the tortilla chips that I was hoarding for taco night – he made nachos for lunch. :/ I had leftovers – turkey and apple-cherry chutney.
    D: I found some remnants of roast beef in the freezer. I thawed them, tossed them in the crockpot with some beef broth and a little red wine, then added carrots, celery, leeks, diced tomatoes, and some shredded zucchini (also discovered when I was cleaning out the freezer!). I tossed in a can of corn that was languishing in the pantry, and we had dinner. And it was yummy. And free!

  17. Started yesterday, so far so good. Overall as a combo between all of us we had:
    B: bircher muesli and oranges L: veggies, apple, hummus, choc almonds S: southwestern salad, veggies &/ or smoked salmon with GF crackers (volleyball nite for my daughter so dinners need to be faster)
    B: toast L: apple, plantain chips,veggies, rice, pretzels S: GF pasta with venison tomato sauce, chicken, roasted veggies
    D: chocolate cake

    Already running low on fresh veggies. Might make one more day without a shop.

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