Pantry Challenge, Day One (Summer 2015)

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This is day 1 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 Challenge, Day One (Summer 2015)

The kids don’t like the idea of a pantry challenge, but they ate just fine today. I’m not sure what they’re thinking. Maybe it’s just the idea of not buying more. Because, trust me, we’ve got enough.

Dinner was particularly good tonight. The items are a little monochromatic but the flavors together were really delicious. The Asian Slaw added a nice crisp, tartness to the dish. I ended up chopping a lot of it up and mixing it together. So good!

Here’s what we ate today:

  • Breakfast: oatmeal and random toast items with jam
  • Lunch: quesadillas and veggie dippers; salad for Mom
  • Dinner: grilled fish, rice, steamed carrots, and the Asian Slaw from my freezer book
  • Dessert: Indoor S’mores

How’s YOUR pantry challenge go today?

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  1. Stephanie M. says:

    B – Hubby had a slice of Irish Soda Bread and butter from the freezer leftover from St. Patrick’s Day, and a Greek yogurt with homemade granola and strawberries. I had a Greek yogurt and strawberries.

    L – Hubby always takes his lunch. He had a whole wheat wrap with roasted chicken and thin slices of cucumbers. I had a grilled chicken burger and a side salad. (Hubby grilled the burger for me the night before.)

    D – We each had a piece of lasagna from the freezer leftover from a couple of weeks ago. Two more pieces to go. We also had a salad.

    Snacks throughout the day for hubby were: banana, breakfast bar, and swiss almond ice cream. For me, they were a plum. a banana, and a couple of crackers. I have so much fruit, tomorrow I’m going to make fruit salad.

  2. Vanessa B says:

    I got my inventory lists ready and have indicated which items are “must use”. I have so many bits of things. This will be my main goal of the pantry challenge. I see a unique, never to be duplicated party mix in our future!
    I see a problem with my inventory ; there are very few “like items” that will easily make a complete cohesive meal. Bread and tortillas will have to be on my shopping list. Creative foods would be fine with me, but I’m the only person that would eat fajita chicken pasta! ?
    Day 1
    Breakfast: Cereal
    Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit and leftover baked potato
    Dinner: Tuna Mac with peas and bread and butter
    Dessert: still working on the brownies with berries from Father’s Day

  3. Tiffany R says:

    Breakfast: Oatmeal and coffee by the campfire (we were camping for Father’s Day)
    Lunch: Almond butter and banana sandwich, chips
    Dinner: Grilled chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans (from garden)
    Dessert: Homemade Sorbet using the watermelon that is starting to get soft

  4. Thanks to your post yesterday I have an up to date fridge/freezer/pantry inventory and I actually have a lot to work with! I’m working from home at the moment so I don’t put too much planning into breakfast and lunch since I can just grab whatever needs to be used up. Still, it’s been helpful to know what I’m planning on using for dinner so I can use up some of the lesser used items for those breakfasts and lunches. I think I’ll need to make some small grocery trips for fresh vegetables, fruit, and some dairy, but otherwise I have a ton of meat, fish, and grains that will take me pretty far. Excited to see how you use up your stock!

    Yesterday for dinner we utilized leftovers to make bratwurst sandwiches with grilled onions, peppers, and pepper jack cheese. Served them with some baked beans that were leftover from last week. Glad those stay good for awhile! The sandwiches were amazing and used all leftovers.

  5. B- chocolate milk for ds, sliced tomatoes and bacon for me (yes, I know…I’m not a breakfast person)
    L- leftover pizza for ds. Leftover takeout (Greek veg with chicken -added tomatoes from our garden) for me
    D- chili in the crockpot
    Homemade macaroons for dessert. Yum!

  6. Breakfast–homemade bread, orange slices, and milk
    Lunch–assorted leftovers from the weekend. The four of us all had something different
    Dinner–Hamburger stew, drop biscuits, fresh cherries

    I did my inventories last night. We have very little in the way of protein so that will be the biggest challenge. My husband doesn’t think a meal is complete without meat.

  7. Harriet says:

    Day number one went well. We had taco salad using meat from the freezer, and fresh produce that someone gave to us last week. This morning, the crockpot was loaded with a pound of beans that will be used to make freezer burritos. Our 14 year old son is a bottomless pit. It is very hard to keep him full, and he loves those freezer burritos. I suppose that sounds like I am defeating the purpose of a freezer challenge. But, he cooks his own lunches and snacks every day while I am at work. These are quick, easy, and filling.
    I also made a loaf of bread for said child to eat with peanut butter. I should buy stock in Jif with the money I saved on a pantry challenge !
    Bring on day two!

  8. Maureen says:

    Not motivated to take inventory, make a plan, and do this properly. I think there’s just too much going on right now. But, I think I can make decent headway because of all of the stock that we have. So, the plan is to stay out of the stores. As long as I do that, we’ll figure the rest out. Everyone did their own thing for breakfast. I had promised my son lunch out. We used up some bits for snacks. Dinner included a sausage that I needed to get rid of and a few veggies on their last leg. Dessert was s’mores cookie bars to use up an open box of graham cracker crumbs. I’ll call it a success.

  9. I also am having a forced pantry challenge. We just had 3 teen missionary boys stay with us, plus our normal 6. And several church teens coming and hanging out with the missionaries. Since my kids are still young, I sorely miss calculated just how much we would go through! The whole month budget is depleted. So pantry challenge it is! Except my pantry and freezer look more like the end of one! Just gotta make it one more week. I have plenty of baking items, a garden for salad, and lots of beans! And plenty of pbj for the kids that complain

    Tonight’s dinner is tacos with leftover taco meat from the freezer, and chocolate popcorn for a treat. ?.

  10. tastycook says:

    Another warm sunny day – another salad, this time tuna, egg and cheese and no special purchases!! Dessert was a yogurt, fruit and granola mix. No cooking required!

    Breakfast was no memade jam on homemade, toasted bread and lunch was the last of the bacon on homemade buns. Too much bread for my liking but sometimes that happens.

  11. This could not have come at a better time for us. We are empty nesters having a hard time adjusting to shopping/cooking for only two, and have ended up with a crammed freezer and pantry, and a sudden financial shortfall due to medical bills. This is such a great idea, and I plan to utilize most of your tips here! Thanks!

    • Welcome! Stephanie M. is a great one for advice. She’s in a similar situation as you are.

    • LeslieT says:

      I’m an occasional empty-nester. I’ll be home alone at the end of the summer when the kids head back to college. One thing I do is pick up small foil tins (3 for a dollar at Dollar Tree) and make some of my regular recipes (casseroles, enchiladas, rice, mashed potatoes, whatever) but instead of cooking it in a 9×13 pan I divide the recipe into two or three of the smaller foil pans and freeze them.

  12. Angela B. says:

    We’ve been doing a sort of unplanned pantry challenge this month because my husband has been out of town a lot and I have been running kids here and there and don’t have the energy to make a lot of stops at the grocery store. I’m still getting our bulk food deliveries, though — we order from Azure Standard and a bulk food/local fruits and veggies coop every month. And I did our monthly Vitacost order for gluten-free pasta. (I like Tinkyada and can only get it at Whole Foods here, which is not close or cheap. Vitacost is cheaper, especially in the quantities in which I have to buy pasta with 8 kids.) So far, even with our bulk orders, and some convenience buying early in the month, we should be able to hit our lower budget total for the month. We’re having to tighten our belts a bit since our oldest will be headed to college in the fall, and we’re doing some work on our kitchen. The goal for the rest of the month is to use the dry goods that I have and the remaining meat and fish in the freezer. We will definitely have to replenish our proteins at the end of the month, though.

    Breakfast — scrambled or fried eggs, with fried bananas for me (My 18 yo made himself some oatmeal.)
    Lunch — leftover mac and cheese for the kids, a chicken and black bean salad for me using canned chicken
    Dinner — Crockpot maple pork and beans (using the ham hocks that have been sitting in the freezer for a while), homemade GF biscuits, and a veggie mix.

    Kids weren’t enthused about the beans, but I thought they were really good.

  13. breakfast – fruit for me, granola for him
    lunch – pizza
    dinner – leftover rice bowl ingredients magically turned into nachos

  14. Crystal says:

    B- kids had cereal while I slept in!
    L-salads and french bread from the freezer
    D- stir fried chicken, rice, salad and broccoli
    We have a lot of food in the house!

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