Pantry Challenge Day 14

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This month we are eating down the pantry to save money and reduce food waste. Join me every day for the Pantry Challenge!

salmon caesar

Hey! We’re at the halfway mark. Whew. Usually this is when I call it quits because I’m too worn out. But, seeing as I really don’t want to bag up a ton of food when the house is tenting, we’re keeping on keeping on.

Today I crafted a new meal plan for the week and did a little grocery shopping for produce, milk, and a few packaged items that we were out of like coffee and olive oil. We should be set for the week, but I have a fairly sizeable baking list to knock out.

As a halfway celebration today, I chose to splurge on baguette at the French bakery for breakfast. We made a nice homemade lunch and topped off the weekend with our regular In-N-Out Burger.

Twas a good day!

Breakfast: Petit Dejeuner

Lunch: Grilled Cajun Salmon, Couscous, Caesar Salad

Dinner: Sunday night burgers

How’s YOUR Pantry Challenge going?

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  1. I skipped posting yesterday, since I really couldn’t remember what we ate.
    Breakfast: Rye porridge for the girls. Toast and coffee for DH and I.
    Lunch: Sandwiches and pirogues with cucumber and carrot sticks on the side.
    Dinner: Egg salad sandwiches.
    Snack: Homemade cupcakes and fruit.

    We spent the day at the railway museum with the parents and children from the mother’s group I was in with my first daughter. We had a belated birthday celebration for all the kids. It was a pot luck and I brought coffee and cupcakes.

    Kathy in Denmark

  2. Tastycook says:

    We only ate supper at home yesterday. Had to be out early in the morning so decided to have breakfast while we were out. Our local place in the village is closed ( for the month, I think) so we went to the same place iI went with friends on Friday and they do super breakfasts. I almost always have farmers sausages with 1 egg, hash browns and toast and gallons of coffee and yesterday was no exception. Hubby did the same, except he had 2 eggs!!

    Supper was roast chicken with roast parsnips and a mashed potato mixed with caramelised onions and grated cheese. That used up the last of the fresh veggies as well as the l/o mashed potatoes from the other night and a very small piece of havarti! Gotta like using up those odds and ends.

    I do need a run to the store for milk and veggies but that may wait until tomorrow as it is very cold here this morning.

  3. Another good day. I got some dinner rolls made for the week, like they might last that long..

    Day 14
    Breakfast – Bacon, eggs and toast
    Lunch – Cheese & sour cream tortillas, fruit
    Dinner – Pot roast, mashed potatoes, honey carrots, dinner rolls

  4. Breakfast was eggs for us and cereal/toast for the kids. Lunch was various sandwiches. It was my birthday so we went out. Half way there. Although I have been shopping because we needed to, I see this impacting my shopping for the future. Thanks!

  5. Stephanie M. says:

    I’m so excited because I’ve never seen our freezer this empty! Pantry is emptying out too. We still have a ways to go but by the end of the month, we should just about be empty altogether. It helps that both hubby and I are on track with this challenge.

    B – Hubby had bacon and fried egg on a toasted bagel. I skipped breakfast.

    L – Hubby had some leftover French bread pizza from yesterday. I had leftover salad.

    D – We had ravioli with meatballs, getting the last package of ground beef out of the freezer.

    • Heather M says:

      Love how well you’re doing! We still have piles of food in the freezer and pantry. We’ll see how much more goes these next two weeks.

  6. FYI. .large flake oats does not make good oatmeal. Blech, what should I do with a whole bag?

  7. Sunday we always have a big family sit down breakfast. This week was Greek omlets with homemade home fries and Canadian bacon, and smoothies with some strawberries I found in the bottom of one of my freezers. They were older than my 2 year old! But since they were food savered they were fine. They tasted good and I didn’t have to add any sweetener to the smoothie. I call that a win.
    The kids had leftovers for lunch. Husband had one of the last servings of the kale soup. I was still kind of full and had an apple and some almond butter.
    I baked breakfast cookies 2 batches. One with dried tart cherries and dark chocolate chips and one with chopped dried apricots and coconut. I also made a batch of pumpkin muffins. Sneaky healthy ones for my picky middle child. They’re good though.
    Dinner was requested by said picky middle child who never requests things so I jumped on the chance. She asked for meatloaf. I load up my mini glazed Meatloaves with shredded zucchini, carrot, and chopped greens. She happily ate all on her plate and asked for seconds. Win! We had leftover mashed potatoes that I heated in the oven and garlic lemon broccoli. My fridge is starting to look a little bare but my freezers are still packed.
    I did stop at coscto on Friday for some essentials; diapers, almond milk, 3 bunches of bananas, oranges, and something else I can’t remember. I spent $86. So far my spending this month isn’t perfect but it is better than some months. The last coscto trip with my husband was the culprit $355! I should be able to finish the month on less than $100

    • Heather M says:

      Love all your baking! Those breakfast cookies sound delicious. What a win with the strawberries. And yay for picky eaters requesting something you can doctor up so nicely! You had a fabulous Sunday!

    • Sneaky mama, making your daughter eat veggies when she doesn’t know it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say the difference in Costco visits is quite substantial! Good job.

  8. Another question. what should I do with a large amount of shortening

  9. Melissa F says:

    Haven’t posted since Friday. I was able to find a small steak on sale for our Grilled steak salad for dinner Friday night. While at Food Lion, I picked up a couple sale items: bag of potatoes, bag of onions, tostitos, marked down chicken wings and a chunk of cheddar cheese.

    Saturday I did a trip to Kroger and Publix to catch some freebies, sale items, marked down bread & produce, fresh produce and dairy. With all 3 of my store visits I spent $100 – more than I wanted to but still feel the purchases were good.

    I made English muffin breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs for lunch – dogs from the freezer on marked down buns from Kroger and for dinner I made a chuck roast on sale at Kroger. We haven’t had a chuck roast in forever since they were so expensive. My stepdaughter and her BF were there for dinner – roast, carrots, and mashed potatoes with cut up fruit for dessert.

    Sunday I made 2 large loaves of pumpkin bread for breakfast and snacking, Homemade pizza for lunch and we had a big family dinner with my 2 stepdaughters and their BFs. Grilled marinated chicken breasts, fancy mac n cheese from Pioneer Woman and sauteed green beans. I made some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We have leftover chicken and mac N cheese for lunches and future dinners.

    For lunch today I have leftover pizza and hubs will probably eat the mac N cheese. Tonite we have Philly cheese flavored chicken sausages from Publix found on sale last week, along with my free box of Annies pasta and sauteed mark down spinach both from Kroger.

    I have to say, if you can get to Kroger first thing in the mornings the marked down produce and meats are usually a pretty good deal. I’ve never been there early enough to get the marked down bread before so that was a real treat – I put 2 loaves in the freezer. They have Freebies each day for a whole week right now so I got (4) items free which 2 were organic, 1 was a candy bar and the other a greek yoplait single yogurt. Kroger really isn’t a normal stop for me because it isn’t close to home.

    Love seeing everyone’s post – let’s soldier on! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Melissa F in SC

    • I have been getting Dillons freebies all week Kinda a nice deal. Haven’t picked them up yet but will tomorrrow. Love that they are doing a whole week of it!

    • Thank you so much for pointing out the week of freebies, just loaded today’s coupon. Don’t always go to Smiths (our Kroger affiliate) but I will stack these up and then go get them all at once ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Heather M says:

      You really had some fun in the kitchen on Sunday! Love it!!

  10. Sunday
    Brunch: Brought strawberries to brunch with my sister’s family and mother
    Dinner: DD1 and I were shopping and ate at Culvers (one freebie and one snack pack), HH had butternut squash soup and bread, DD2 ate a a friend’s house
    I did very little (if any)cooking this weekend. I am hoping the little break will give me the energy to push through to the end of the month!

  11. Sun 1/17
    Breakfast: l/o angus beef patties with cheese, Nutella coffee – seriously, I put a scoop of Nutella and a splash of milk in the cup, then used the Keurig to make the coffee into the cup, then stirred it up until the Nutella was fully incorporated. Wow, that was delicious.
    Lunch: chicken alfredo
    Dinner: dinner party for me for a friend moving away, sandwich for kid – the dinner party was a bit pot luck with the host telling us what type of item to bring. I was happy to be assigned a salad, as that helped me use up some of the fresh produce that needed to go. I just had to buy the greens for it.

  12. We are carrying on here. On Sunday I cooked up a small turkey and was reminded that cooking turkey is quite an all day affair if you want to get the most out of it. I made broth and picked all the bits of meat that had fallen off the bones. We’ll be having a few turkey meals this week to use it up. I did break down and go to the grocery store and Costco yesterday, spending $66, putting me over my $100 goal for the month. I’m hoping this will last until the 31st. We were down to 1 total cup of oils and butter, so if I’m going to bake and use up grains, we needed some, plus 7 gallons of milk, torta rolls, tortilla chips, onions, jalepeno, sour cream, ham for sandwiches, and 5 doz. eggs (just $6.25!). Breakfast was steel cut oats. I put them in the pot of water before I go to bed so they cook faster in the morning. We had a snacky dinner of chips and homemade salsa, summer sausage, cheese and pineapple. We still have a good amount of food left, just not much variety, and less fresh stuff than I’d prefer to have on hand, but I want to get to the bottom of the crisper drawers before restocking. Pantry challenges a couple times a year are always good reminders of our abundance throughout the year and helps my perspective as too much food is quite a blessed situation.

    • Christine says:

      Too much food is a good situation. You are so right! Sometimes I get annoyed when the fridge is over crowded and then I realize that is not a real problem.

  13. Finally it was Sunday so things could slow down here.
    B-Always a rush on Sunday to get to church after morning milking. Everyone grabbed a quick slice of zucchini bread while getting ready.
    L-Made brunch after church. Waffles using a bag of baking mix in the freezer, hubby made hash browns using up a little spicy crumbled sausage and onions with a spicy seasoning(these were amazing), meat grits from butchering and fruit.
    D-Late day smorgasbord of leftovers after evening milking. Pizza, venison hot dogs, summer sausage and cheese and fruit.
    S-Misc. Christmas candy. Almost gone thank goodness!
    Used a lot today but didn’t have to cook much. Yay for mom!!!

    • Heather M says:

      Always nice, even if we like to cook, to have those days with little cooking but decent eating at home! YAY!

  14. Sunday
    B: Oatmeal raisin muffins, skim milk, and raspberries

    L: Chili, sourdough bread and butter, and strawberries. My husband bought me the bread machine a year ago and I have really enjoyed it. Itโ€™s amazing how a simple loaf of warm, fresh bread served with sweet butter can elevate a meal to something special. My daughterโ€™s friends are always lobbying me to bake bread when theyโ€™re here for sleepovers.

    D: We were watching the NFL playoff game so I made something we could all eat in front of the TV โ€“ sausage pizza pockets, carrots sticks and cherry tomatoes. I used a ยฝ pound of breakfast sausage and crescent roll dough from the freezer for the pizza pockets. I also had some marinara sauce in the freezer, which I doctored up with a bit of minced sausage and mozzarella for dipping sauce.

    S: Slices of double chocolate bread, which I thawed from the freezer

  15. Well, this week I don’t have to do as much meal planning. We had so many LO’s last week that I did not cook everything that I had written down. I bought self rising cornmeal a year ago by mistake and it has been sitting in my freezer. Last week I made cornbread with some of it and it tasted pretty bad. Don’t like the recipe on the bag. Anyone have any other ideas to use it up? I have several pounds of it.
    B – was egg and bagel for me. DH had cereal.
    L – LO ham and scalloped potatoes, peas and small slices of pecan pie. Local fast food place gave out free pies with every gift card bought in Dec. NICE!
    D – LO ham and beans with said cornbread. Also a few fried potatoes. My DH peeled too many for the lunch menu and I couldn’t fit them in our pan Also had a cookie. Ham is almost gone. We are tired of it so will leave the remaining piece in the freezer for a different week.

    • For when you can face that ham again….maybe a quiche? I also have a recipe for a pasta dish with diced ham, diced tomatoes, and a sauce with cream and feta cheese.

      • Thanks! I had not thought of those two ways to use ham. I like quiche and pasta. Win win.

        • My favorite way to use bits of leftover ham is ham salad. Put ham, a dill pickle, mayo, some onion and celery if you have it into the food processor and pulse. We love it on crackers or dinner rolls. Salty goodness. I’ve never used a real recipe, just toss stuff in.

      • Recipe for the pasta? ?

    • I have seen lots of recipes for the self rising cornmeal, but since I don’t buy it I never save them, sorry. You might compare the recipe with your usual cornbread recipe. You would need to leave out or reduce the salt and leavening. The proportions of flour to cornmeal and amount of sugar can really make a difference. If the recipe on the bag has a lot more cornmeal, you might need to just reduce the salt and baking powder or soda. You might also try Google and enter self rising cornmeal and recipe and see what you get. My favorite ways to use up ham are in breakfast casseroles and when I cook green beans and potatoes with onion and ham. I start the green beans first with onion and ham because I want them very soft, then add potatoes towards the end of the cooking. We eat this as a soup. My husband likes to add a glug of cream or half & half to his bowl. Good luck with the cornmeal.

      • Audrey Larsen says:

        I too like breakfast casserole and using ham with green beans. I think I will check my favorite cornbread recipe and see what I can figure out there. Thanks for the input. There are lots of good cooks out there who seem to be so helpful. Much appreciated!

    • red beans and rice is another way to use up leftover ham without actually feeling like a slab of ham on the plate

    • michelle porter says:

      I used it for fried cornbread. SO not good for you, but tastes Oh, So, Good. It’s just 2 cups of the self rising cornmeal, 1 cup of water. Fry in oil. Yummy!!!! There are a lot of recipes out there that have extra add ins for the recipe also.

  16. Freezer sloppy joes for us tonight! Made when ground beef went on sale.

    Need to use up some of our random pantry items and 4 boneless pork chops in the freezer….I’ll try to include them in next week’s meal plan.

  17. After a fun long weekend with friends (that had several meals out) I am back on the pantry challenge wagon. Already today I’ve made banana chocolate chip muffins, homemade marinara, and my bread maker has just about finished the dough cycle for cinnamon bread and rolls. And it’s not even 9 am!
    Later today I’m making baguettes to go with our marinara and pasta. I’m out of salad ingredients so we’ll have roasted broccoli with that. Since we had a fairly expensive weekend, I’m looking forward to working on the freezer and pantry again for the rest of the month.

  18. I re-inventoried the freezers yesterday. DH was surprised at how much protein we still have left so he has agreed we need to carry on with the challenge until we use up the majority of it. I went to Trader Joe’s Sunday for milk, eggs, bread and a few veg items (they finally have cauliflower back in stock, yay!).

    B – scrambled eggs, broccoli and quinoa for me, fried eggs and toast for dh
    L – I had leftover salad from Saturday’s dinner, dh didn’t eat lunch (too busy playing a computer game)
    D – I made a big pot of stew (one of dh’s faves) and he had crackers with his. Plenty leftover for another dinner.

  19. Yesterday was an easy day.

    Breakfast: Leftover waffles and bacon; finished the last of the orange juice
    Lunch: Needed to finish up a tomato and bell pepper so I mixed that with some mozarella and noodles to make pasta salad. We ate that with some of the HIckory Farms set my husband got for Christmas. Found out that my son will eat the veggie enriched pasta (what I cooked for the pasta salad) and whole grain crackers!
    Dinner: In-laws came to town and took us to a local pizza and pasta place.

    Since the pantry was finally starting to show some glimmer of white space I went ahead and (finally!) did an inventory and got it organized again. Had to throw a few things, was able to fit the last of the flour and sugar from their bags into the canisters on our counter, and made a list of items not to buy again because they are approaching their expiration date and we still haven’t cared to use them. I’m loving how pretty and organized the pantry is so much that I have no intent of going crazy stocking up on things that can’t fit in our spare “pantry” space in the garage.

  20. Hi its continuing very well here.
    It’s Monday here in the UK
    Breakfast hubby had cereal and I had cup of tea
    Lunch WA soup made with the left over casserole from yesterday without any meat
    Dinner was boiled eggs and toast

  21. The weekend was pretty lazy. Saturday Morning husband used leftover baked potatoes – diced and fried them in a saute pan, then we added in beaten eggs, seasonings and the last of the cooked bacon and cheese(from the night befores baked potatoes). Served with melon and toast.
    Lunch we snacked on whatever was in the fridge after we got home from buying a new car…
    Dinner was *christmas* with his sister.. ordered pizza and game myself a break!

    Sunday- DIY breakfast
    Lunch- leftovers- clean out fridge!
    Dinner- MIL said she wanted to bring over dinner… that did not happen.. ended up ordering out chinese.. (and they did not pay! :0).. I am done with take out for a while!

  22. We are chugging along on the pantry challenge. My pantry has white space but the freezers are still pretty full. My husband does catering and brings home leftover meat(prime rib, chicken and ham) so I get space in the freezer and then fill it again. There isn’t any catering until the last weekend in January so hopefully I’ll make some progress using up the older things in there.
    For breakfast yesterday we had breakfast burritos filled with scrambled eggs, diced ham, hashbrowns and cheese. We also had cut up oranges.
    For lunch we had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and sliced apples.
    For dinner we had prime rib or chicken, mashed potatoes and gray and corn with dinner rolls.
    Snacks were popcorn and cookies.

  23. Sunday

    B-Cereal, toast, coffee, water (still haven’t been to the store for OJ)


    D-Odds & ends: grilled cheese, yogurt, grapes for son; Greek yogurt w/ homemade cranberry sauce & homemade granola for hubs and me.

    S-Popcorn and/or banana bread

    I made granola and trail mix on Sunday and was able to finish up opened bags of flax seeds and Christmas M & Ms and use some dried apples that were in the freezer.

  24. Sunday
    B: the usual oatmeal, fruit, used up the last of the mini bagels and cream cheese
    L: leftoverso
    D: ham and navy bean soup with a ham bone from the freezer and bread
    Snack: no bake cookies
    Also made two loaves of English muffin bread for future breakfasts and snacks

    B: oatmeal, toasted English muffin bread
    L: leftovers
    D: ham and potato hash with eggs and fruit

  25. Heather M says:

    Day 14 was fun. Rush out to church in the morning meant no breakfast. Hubs stayed home to sleep and continue recovering from being sick. Not much Challenge eating happened, but that’s ok.

    Lunch: Tuna sandwiches for hubs and I; chicken-refried bean-pepperoni quesadilla for son. We tried to eat light, since we had early Sunday dinner plans.

    Dinner: up at my cousin’s son’s home an hour away (and his wife). We ate at 5 pm and she cooked a fabulous meal. We brought fresh fruit salad of pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Miraculously, all the fruit was sweet and perfect, as if all were in season. So fun spending time with them. We stayed for hours just visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Yesterday was a sleeping in late, staying in because it’s too cold lazy day. Everyone slept in so cereal and pancakes were breakfast /lunch. Snacry stuff through the afternoon and grilled cheese with carrots and grapes for supper, I had the last of the leftover pork fried rice. Kids had Klondike bars for dessert.

  27. The two younger ones helped me clean our freezer and spice/codiment cabinet. I had so many “freezer burned” foods, nearly half of the meats we found, we tossed. Made a big pan of fried rice using the meats that were still good, topped with over-easy eggs. My kids favorite. Baked some mix&match muffins- Cinnamon-Sugar for this week’s breakfast for kids. Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with fresh fruit for a sweet treat and leftover ice cream from the birthday parties we had this week.

    We really need to detox from the sugar fest we’ve had this christmas and celebrating 3 birthdays in the past two weeks…

  28. Weekend dinners were full of left-overs and easy meals for us. Way to go ladies for all the hard work and creativity!

    B/Early Lunch: Ham Sandwich and Chicken Noodle Soup for the hubs, left over chicken taco soup for me
    Dinner: Fend for yourself – sausage/cheeseball/crackers, pickles, veggies and dip, leftover shepherd’s pie

    B/Early Lunch: Oatmeal for both of us, few slices of cheese, tea and juice.
    Dinner: Chicken sandwiches, because I had to cook up the chicken that had been in the fridge for a few days. Veggies and dip, crackers

    B/Early Lunch: Pork tacos from the freezer, including the homemade tortillas! (Tried my hand a while back at both flour and corn, the flour turned out great, the corn, not so much. I believe I made them too thick.)
    Dinner: Sausage, KD, crackers, veggies and dip, various and sundry bits and bobs leftover in the fridge.

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