2015 Winter Pantry Challenge: Day Twenty-Six

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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.

Pot Pie

We are getting close to the end! Oh my! And yes, we totally need it. So far, though, I haven’t bought anything since Sunday afternoon. I will need to go get powdered sugar for the birthday boy’s dessert, but we’re doing well.

The triumph of the day was finding two rosemary and pork sausages in the freezer to make a pot pie for dinner. I made it just like my Chicken Pot Pie but subbed cooked, sliced sausages for the chicken. It wasn’t as good as the standard, but it worked for dinner — despite two picky kids. One likes crust only and one likes filling only. Go figure.

For breakfast we had eggs. I made my famous Skillet Eggs; the kids had scrambled. Lunch was a fend-for-yourself venture. I don’t even remember what I had. Oh yeah, a quesadilla.

Breakfast: Skillet Eggs, scrambled eggs

Lunch: leftovers, quesadillas

Snacks: rice cakes, fruit

Dinner: Sausage Pot Pie

How YOU hanging on?

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. Breakfast: bagel and cream cheese
    Lunch: handful of trail mix – not very filling!
    Dinner: big Mediterranean-style salad for me, leftover chicken soup for the kid
    Late Snack: French cookie, hot tea, clementine

    I haven’t poked around on it much yet, but I think the microwave died this morning. It blinked and everything went dark and unresponsive. It acts unplugged, except it isn’t. (it also wasn’t just a tripped fuse) I rarely use it for cooking any more, but we surely do use it a lot for reheating leftovers. With a fridge full of leftovers right now, I most definitely need to be able to warm them up without running the whole oven for an hour, so steps will definitely have to be taken!

    • Sandi, Hope every thing works out with your microwave. Don’t think any of us could make it through a day with using it!

    • It might be an internal safety feature. Ours does this every once in awhile. After awhile it “reboots” itself and is good to go.

    • this happened to my micro last week and it turned out the GFI outlet it was plugged into needed to be reset. hope it’s easy for ya’ll!

    • So, what’s the verdict? I’m hoping it was the GFI. The GFI killed my freezer full of food once. It was very sad.

    • It did not reboot itself on its own. Nor even after I left it unplugged overnight and then plugged in again in the morning. It was not a GFI problem. The outlet itself is still working fine. It had a problem a couple years ago that my dad fixed, so I sent him the details about what had happened. (He’s about 5000 miles away so he can’t just pop over to check it out.) It does not sound encouraging. He’s also a 5-hour time difference, and my availability to Skype with him to try to check it out during hours that would be feasible for him is pretty much nil for the next few days. So… as this microwave is only 4 years old (!) I am happy that I stuck the old one in the garage. I’ve pulled it back out and am using it for a little bit. I had forgotten how yucky the interior had gotten, so I don’t want to keep using it long term. I’m not even entirely certain why I kept it at all, but for the moment I’m glad I did.

      What really bums me is that the whole point of getting the new one is because it was both microwave and convection oven. I do not have counter space to have both a toaster oven and a microwave, and as there are only two of us, it is sometimes (usually) an incredible waste of energy to heat up the whole big oven to bake one little pan for 30 minutes. There are so few options for this combo appliance, though. Word of caution: don’t choose the Sharp version.

  2. Breakfast – Oatmeal w/blueberries
    Lunch – Bologna and cheese sandwiches, yogurt
    Dinner – Baked chicken strips, mac & cheese, applesauce
    Snacks – rice krispy treats, made more to use up the cereal and marshmellows, chips and dip

  3. B- french toast (finished off the loaf of bread- minus enough for 2 sandwiches)
    L- grilled cheese and leftovers
    D- spaghetti

  4. Stephanie M. says:

    Like others, I will continue on with my pantry challenge even after it’s over. My pantry is no longer full; my kitchen freezer is empty. Now I am just focusing on my extra freezer which is definitely not out of control full. But I will continue to save money by using up what I have.

    B – Hubby and I both had cereal.

    L – Hubby had a shrimp salad sandwich from some salad shrimp I had in the freezer. I had a tuna fish sandwich.

    D – We finished up the leftovers of the casserole I made yesterday. I also made us each a side salad.

  5. Yesterday was a good day. I made home made corn tortillas for the first time. They certainly didn’t look like store bought, but they did taste good and that’s what matters.

    B-quinoa and oatmeal breakfast cereal with peanut butter for me, plain for my husband.

    L-I had the last of the falafels and home made pita bread with some fettuccine pomodoro and a banana crumb muffin, my husband ate out since he had a meeting, and the kids had their usual packed lunches. I also had an orange.

    D-I made spinach and black bean enchiladas minus the sour cream because I used all of that when I made biscuits the other night. The home made tortillas were kind of small for stuffing, but I just made them like soft tacos and stood them up in the casserole dish, topped with cheese and tomato and green onion. I served it with some frozen corn my mom was storing in my downstairs freezer.

    I will probably continue the pantry challenge into February too. I have some weird ingredients I need to use, like canned bamboo shoots in chili sauce, some red curry paste that I don’t know what we bought it for, rice noodles and spring roll skins. They all seem kind of related, so I’m sure I can find some recipes, just need to look.

  6. Melissa F says:

    It was a busy yesterday! I will be having a take it easy day today to recover!

    Breakfast – scrambled eggs and bacon for son and cheese grits w/bacon for me
    Lunch – Sonic since we were out. Chicken sandwich meal for son and a hot dog for me – I can’t believe that was $11.62! I guess we don’t get out much.
    Snacks – tortilla chips w/southwest ranch dip (ranch dressing mixed with salsa) and pumpkin bread
    Dinner – pork fried rice made from leftover pork roast that was in the freezer, rice I made last week and put in the freezer, along with carrot, onion and mushrooms. They ate every crumb!
    Dessert – WW ice cream bar

    It was shopping day and son came along as my driver. I think he enjoys it more than he admits and it gives us a chance to chat.

    Walmart – $13 – 5lb yellow potatoes, mushrooms, cream cheese, a large pack of corn tortillas, (2) bags of Tostitos and a free jar of queso dip!
    Publix – $13 – milk, sour cream, hummus, mayo, pickles, orzo, apples, rotel and English muffins (all on sale except for milk)
    Food Lion – $21 – marked down Jennie-O ground turkey ( a 3lb pack of the 85/15 and a 1lb extra lean = 3 meals for $7.62 total), small pack store pepperoni, bananas, broccoli, spinach, romaine hearts, limes, 5lb bag russets and an avocado. The produce deals were really good.
    Total spending for the day = $47

    I won’t be posting tomorrow so I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts for the PC and I wish continued success for those of us who are going to continue.

  7. Melissa F says:

    I almost forgot but I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, some chex mix with just the rice and corn chex which are our favorite and some tomato soup that we will be having tonite with friends.

    It was a busy evening of food prep and lots of dirty dishes!

  8. I haven’t been grocery shopping in 12 days. My bountiful basket order comes in tonight so I am going to stop by the grocery store beforehand to pick up some much needed staples- tortillas, milk, yogurt, frozen spinach, etc. Last night I made Franks and Beans and tonight I am making your refried beans and slow-cooker burrito meat. I need the tortillas and other burrito fixings to complete the meal. Not enough energy to make the tortillas from scratch as I recently found out I am pregnant with number 5! We are also running low on meat variety- just a bunch of beef roasts, round steak, steaks, and some canned tuna. My hubby thinks it is a sin to cook steaks on anything but the grill, but it is too cold for that. This pregnant lady wants her steak though, so he’s just going to have to look the other way I guess, lol!

  9. Another good Challenge day.

    B: cereal and turkey sausage for son; apple spice cake for hubs; protein bar for me
    L: son took biscuits, pistachios, clif bar; hubs had leftover beef veg stew and a biscuit; I had lunch at a friend’s house. Fun!
    D: lemon pepper mahi mahi (freezer + fresh lemon), Mediterranean couscous made w/whole wheat couscous, chopped kalamata, parsley, red onion, and halved cherry tomatoes plus a light homemade dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. So yummy! A nice summery meal to transport us away on a cold windy day! Dessert was some homemade blackberry sherbet
    Snacks: son had pineapple, chips, and chicken quesadilla; I had air popped popcorn and tangerines.

    Will definitely keep the spirit of the Challenge going in February but will buy what we need when we need to. By mid-February I’ll have to replenish proteins. I’m guessing we have at least 2 weeks’ worth.We’ll see how it goes. We’ve still got chicken breasts (probably 3-4 meals worth), 2lbs ground beef, 2 meals worth of shrimp, one meal each of salmon, steak(it’ll be a stir fry probably), breaded chicken tenders, and pork. We also eat a few vegetarian meals and have some stuffed pastas in the freezer. So we are doing well. Oh, and the next two dinners aren’t included in that list. We really are in great shape, so need to keep going.

  10. B- oatmeal and fruit from the freezer
    L- peanut butter and jelly, leftovers
    D- Chili (used up ground beef from the freezer, beans from the pantry) Plus I made a double batch to put in the freezer for next week!

    This was our last day on the pantry challenge. I am going out of town tomorrow, so I prepared a weeks worth of freezer meals and other easy meals for while I am gone- I guess that kind of counts as staying on the pantry challenge, but I wont be here to make sure it happens, so I’m not counting it! When I get back, I will keep the spirit of the pantry challenge alive and use up a few more things before I start restocking.

  11. My husband commented on the amount of empty space in our pantry and fridge. When he goes nosing for something to snack on, there’s not much there!! I’m going shopping on Friday after work (payday!!) to re-stock.
    B – For hubs, one leftover pancake, a slice of bacon-broccoli quiche topped with a fried egg. For ds, he didn’t like the quiche. So he ate what he wanted and I finished his slice.
    L – The very last of the Hawaiian chicken for hubs (and the last of the rice from the pantry). Small tossed salad, tortilla chips & cheese, larabar and trail mix for ds#3. Salad for me.
    D – Hubs has bowling so he went to eat with his team. Ds & I had baked potatoes topped with various things: he had a russet potato topped with butter, bacon, a sprinkle of cheese, and sour cream. I had a sweet potato with butter, bacon, and Swiss chard from our garden. It was enough.
    Ds#3 was begging for something sweet, and I don’t have anything to bake with left in the pantry… so I rummaged in the freezer and found a pumpkin roll that had been given to us at Christmas. He loved it.

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