Pantry Challenge Day 8 (Summer 2015)

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

This is day 8 of our Summertime Pantry Challenge. We’re trying to eat up what we have and not go over budget this month, despite all the craziness we’ve had going.

pantry 8

We’re in the home stretch, folks! I am really thankful for this pantry challenge, even if it’s shorter than we’ve normally done. I’m feeling really good about going into the new month having stayed UNDER budget this month. Yay!’

I realized this afternoon that tomorrow’s our family celebration of my oldest high school/homeschool graduation. We’re heading north to gather with family at a favorite restaurant. I’m bringing dessert. Oops. Forgot about that. It was a question between buying dessert up there at a bakery or baking this afternoon. I chose to bake — and stop at Trader Joe’s. 

I ended up making 1 1/2 batches of this Cheesecake, baked into two cookie crusts I had in the pantry challenge. Works for me! Especially when I’m exhausted. Hopefully they transport well tomorrow.’

Even with the stop at TJ’s, I think we’ve still got $20 to $30 to go. Yay! Again.

Here’s what we ate today:

Breakfast: Oatmeal (again)

Lunch: Pulled Pork Tacos – the kids gobbled these down. Super good in crunchy shells.

Dinner: Burgers, Potato Chips – I cooked them myself this time. 😉

How’s the Pantry Challenge going for you?

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Breakfast – breakfast cookies
    Snack – watermelon, yogurt – Sheesh, can you tell it’s watermelon season? At least I got it at Costco so it was only $4, but it was so big that it feels I’m never going to finish it!
    Lunch – andouille chicken sausage, smoked gouda cheese
    Dinner – corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage – beef was from freezer, potatoes were relatively new but the carrots and the cabbage have been in the fridge for much too long so this was a good way to use some of them. I cooked a lot of the veggies for the size of the corned beef, so I foresee a soup in the near future.

  2. Stephanie M. says:

    I am still going strong with this challenge and have used up as much as I would have expected in the days the challenge has been going on. I will be continuing after the challenge is over because at the start, I had enough things in the freezer for 21 meals including leftovers. Each day, I cross off another meal on my menu plan and I get a real sense of accomplishment. I don’t want to break the momentum that I have going on, so even though the challenge may be just about over, it is not over for me until the last meal on the menu is eaten and the freezer is void of meat. That should be in another 9 or 10 days.

    B – Hubby had the last piece of quiche that I made on Sunday and some homemade turkey sausage that I also made on Sunday. I had fruit cocktail that I made on Sunday with greek yogurt and homemade Granola. Sunday was a busy day in the kitchen!:)

    L – Hubby had a ham sandwich and I had a tossed salad.

    D – We both had ravioli with the leftover sauce and sweet Italian sausage that I had in the freezer from a few weeks ago. We also had garlic bread and stuffed clams for an appetizer. It was such a beautiful cool and breezy evening, we ate outside. 🙂

  3. I have also been participating in the Pantry Challenge…just not posting updates every day. My most successful was yesterday. I found a box of Toaster Strudels buried in the freezer that my younger kids enjoyed for breakfast, while the older kids and I had fruit/yogurt parfaits. Lunch was PBJ and apples and some juice boxes I had been hiding in the garage fridge. I got busy in the morning and forgot to make the dough for the hamburger rolls that I needed for dinner. Rather than throw in the towel, and go out for dinner after all 6 of us had our dental check-ups, I swapped days on my menu plan. I made the chicken that was on the menu plan for today instead, and we will just have burgers tonight. A snack was homemade brownies that my two younger kids helped make.

    I had to chuckle when I read Sandi’s comment about the neverending watermelon. In my house, a whole watermelon will be gone in a day! Five kids can plow through one like nothing…and then ask me if there’s anymore! 🙂

    Even though I get paid today, I am going to try to keep going a few more days (a week maybe?) to see if I can go under budget for this pay period, too!

  4. Crystal says:

    B- freezer waffle and cantaloupe
    L- french bread from the freezer, spice dip and olive oil, cheese, vegetables and fruit
    D-chili, chips and fruit
    Dessert- leftover lemon blueberry parfaits

    We used up a lot of stuff in the freezer and I am starting to see white space! The chili was made entirely with stuff I had on hand, the freezer and pantry are a little lighter because of it. It was 100 degrees yesterday, chili maybe wasnt the best choice, I will definitely save the leftovers in the freezer for a cooler day, it may be a couple of months. I will be continuing the pantry challenge for a while, but kind of halfway. I feel like there is a lot of “summer stuff” I need to buy- we eat very seasonally, so I am evaluating that and maybe I will need to do another mini pantry challenge come fall.

  5. The only food blog that I actually enjoy and one that helps even clueless cooks like me. What makes it even harder is that now there is just my hubby and me to cook for and we are on a limited SSI budget……..God help me! 🙂

    • Tastycook says:

      We each had yogurt and rasp/blueberry muffins for breakfast. I had an egg salad sandwich for lunch and hubby had a cheese sandwich. Supper was some leftover pork tenderloin in gravy from the freezer, with a small pack of apple sauce from the pantry which needed to be used, along with potatoes and broccoli. Leftover fruit crumble for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Another successful day!

    • Thanks for chiming in, Joyce. Let us know how we can help!

  6. Tastycook says:

    Another good day here.

    We each had yogurt and rasp/blueberry muffins for breakfast. I had an egg salad sandwich for lunch and hubby had a cheese sandwich. Supper was some leftover pork tenderloin and gravy from the freezer, along with a small container of apple sauce that needed to be used, with potatoes and broccoli. Some leftover fruit crumble with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

  7. This pantry challenge was hard. We had several house guests for a week this month-all teen boys! Plus youth from our church. Our budget and cupboards were depleted. By Gods provision and inspiration, we made it. Breakfast fast was more cereal/oatmeal. Lunch was more odds and ends. Dinner is simple spaghetti and salad. I did manage to find enough baking stuff for some brownies!
    I have learned/realized how good we usually do eat. I learned my kids do like potatoes if there is enough ketchup or ranch. And God is good.
    Tomorrow the food budget is replenished. Never been so excited to go shopping!

  8. Alice E says:

    I haven’t been posting every day, but have been trying to use up stuff from pantry and freezer. Did buy some seasonal fruit on sale, bread, and some chicken thighs on sale that went in the freezer. But I used up the chicken thighs that had been in the freezer awhile. Also cooked up a pork roast in the crockpot today. I tend to cook major meals several times a week, and we eat leftovers the rest of the time. Since the leftover days are scheduled on days that I am doing volunteer work so not home to cook, and my husband doesn’t mind leftovers this works well for us. I also lets me bake chicken in the oven once for more than one meal, cutting down on the days we have the oven hot. I baked chocolate bar cookies using a quick cake mix recipe yesterday, so we have cookies for hubby’s lunches and evening snacks.
    This has been interesting, both using stuff up and reading what others were doing. I would be lost without my pantry and freezer. I blame it on my country upbringing, when the store wasn’t close and you only shopped once a week, at most. I do try to rotate stuff, but found it useful to have extra emphasis on it for this period. I don’t think I would be comfortable completely emptying the pantry or freezers, but liked the idea of using them down and being sure nothing was being overlooked. I like the idea that if times get tight, I have them to rely on.

    Thanks for inviting us along on this journey/experience, and a big thanks also to the others who shared their journey with us.

  9. Congrats to your grad! I recently wrote a post called: 5 Promises for the Graduate, if you’re interested.

    Thanks so much for the reminder that I need to begin another Pantry Challenge. I think I’ll start planning one tomorrow.

    Hope you and yours are enjoying your summer!

  10. A little late on this but here we are:
    For Monday…
    B – no one ate (this is becoming our summertime routine – hubs is the only one who really loves breakfast, and since he’s away at grad school, we are skipping it…)
    L – pizza for ds, salad of lettuce, cukes and tomatoes from our garden for me. Ds ate all but 2 pieces of pizza. So I left it out for a snack. Because teenage boys.
    D – Leftover bbq chicken (on a bun for ds) and baked beans (I finished off a gorgeous beefsteak tomato instead of the beans).
    Ds had a hitting lesson, so quite naturally, we needed a post-lesson meal, which was chicken tenders from the freezer.

Share Your Thoughts