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Pantry Challenge Day 3

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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!

parfait

These days just fly by in a whirlwind. They’ve been weird days, too. Woken by an earthquake and surprised by pouring rain and some backyard flooding, I realize that it’s the California I grew up in showing itself after months of drought. Rainy days seem to go by faster for some reason.

Breakfast: Raspberry Baked OatmealGranola Yogurt Parfait

This morning I made a Raspberry Baked Oatmeal for the kids and a Granola Yogurt Parfait for myself. The granola has been around awhile and I worried that it might not be crunchy enough, but it was fine in the parfait. Super yummy breakfast.

veggie tray

Lunch: Snacky Lunch

I’ve been really good about packing my husband a lunch every day this week. Today he took leftover casserole from last night. Those at home had a snacky lunch with some random cheese, meats, and veg in the fridge. We also had a new pack of hummus leftover from New Year’s. My 9yo made the veggie tray. Love it!

Dinner: Potstickers and Rice

Tonight was date night, so FishPapa and I went to Chipotle. The kids had potstickers and rice at home.

costco pantry

We also cruised by Costco for gas and a few items to help us get through the month. It was so hard to be in Costco and not fill the cart! But, we did okay. This is almost my smallest Costco trip ever. (I’ll report on my shopping so far on Saturday.)

Overall, we’re doing fine. I’m seeing a little space on the pantry shelves, but it’s the freezer that really needs to get moving. Sigh.

How did your Pantry Challenge go today?

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Comments

  1. Breakfast: Breakfast burritos
    Lunch: Leftovers or cavatini from freezer, fruit
    Dinner: Pasta primavera with ham

    As expected, tonight was a mad dash. The girls inhaled their dinner before heading out to their evening activities (upside: no time to complain about a pantry challenge!) Dad did dishes-BONUS!

  2. B-kids are breakfast and lunch at school
    Dinner-shaped pasta and jarred sauce with salad and garlic bread, frozen pizza later for my husband.
    I also made beef broth in the crockpot and made 3 loaves of Cinnamon Banana Bread from Jessica’s Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead & Freeze Cookbook.

  3. Breakfast- toast and fruit
    Lunch- homemade chicken nuggets, pears
    Snack- popcorn
    Dinner- spaghetti

  4. Breakfast: Oatmeal for the girls. Oats and milk for DH before work. Rolls and coffee for me 🙂

    Snack: apple

    Lunch: Rye bread with cold cuts (leftovers from New Years) on some and cream cheese on some. Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in the side. Packed lunch for DH.

    Snacks: apples and cookies. My 4 year old ate a total of 4! apples. They aren’t in season, so we haven’t had any for a while. I guess she’s missed them!

    Dinner: Spinach and mushroom quiche with mixed salad and rolls. I substituted some of the butter in the crust with yoghurt. This makes it less flaky, but it still tastes great and it also cuts down on the fat content. I used 3 eggs for a really big quiche. Also used up sour cream and a little cream in the filling. The star of this quiche is feta cheese. I used 150 grams, and it makes alle the flavors come together. So good!

    Late snack for mom: kransekage (a special cake, which is usually served at midnight on New Years Eve but also at other occasions)

    I am not listing what we drink with meals in general, but our kids have milk with breakfast and lunch. I also have milk with lunch. We mostly have water with dinner and if we get thirsty during the day, we also have water.

    I baked a special cake with some of the pasteurized egg whites I had leftover from NYE. They were originally purchased because I made Tiramisu for dessert on NYE and I needed to use them up! This cake is made with marcipan, almonds, sugar and egg whites. It is very good but also quite heavy, so a little goes a long way. I packed up some of it for my husband to take to work. He works in a small firm, and I know everyone there will appreciate him bringing some to share 🙂 I froze the rest, except for 2 small pieces which we will eat in the next few days. So I guess I have the same issue of putting things BACK in the freezer, as some of the other ladies here.

    Kathy in Denmark

    • Heather M says:

      Kathy, the quiche and the cake sound delicious! I love the idea of replacing some butter with yogurt. 🙂

  5. Jessica S says:

    Kids were made Egg and toast sandwiches yesterday for breakfast-2 with cheese 1 without.. I had 2 fried eggs a banana and toast before I left for work. Husband- fends for self( works from home)
    Kids packed lunches were salami sandwiches- 2 with cheese and mustard, 1 without. Grapes, water, random cookies, cheese curls, fruit snacks etc.
    I took a dish of grapes, water, hot tea and 2 mini bagels with cream cheese for my work grazing. Husband ate his typical turkey sandwich, hummus/veg/pretzel I’m sure

    Dinner was a lasagna I made last week out of pantry and freezer/fridge leftovers. Served with a box of frozen garlic bread. The child who hates cheese on all above mentioned foods also hates lasagna.. tear inducing hate. so she was given the option of the planned meal.. OR a quesadilla made with the last of the poached chicken and mozz-the only cheese she eats! She took the Quesadilla. The last of a large jar of applesauce was offered as *dessert*

    The partial loaf of banana bread from the previous day is no longer around so that became husband and after school snack.
    The white space is getting whiter! That is fabulous!
    Frozen peaches.. Bought them on a great deal and they are not that sweet so not doing anything in the smoothies. off to find a bread/muffin recipe.. or maybe we will have peach cobbler this weekend! GOAL!

    • LOL to tear-inducing hate! that’s my middle child. feeding him involves a lot of drama! good idea offering another option.

  6. Stephanie M. says:

    Pantry Challenge was kind of set aside today. Hubby left at 5:00 this morning for an overnight business trip to Boston. That’s about a 5 hour ride from New Jersey. Our oldest daughter and her fiancée are on Winter break from school right now so my mother invited them and our grandson, our other daughter and me for dinner. Too bad for hubby; he missed out! 🙂 So there wasn’t much opportunity to use up anything today.

    B – Hubby just took a banana and breakfast bar with him. I had two multi grain waffles and strawberries

    L – I had a salad and a banana

    D – Ate at my mom’s. (She made Greek Chicken Soup and then we had macaroni and meat sauce). When I came home later, I had some pineapple.

  7. Tastycook says:

    It was a strange eating day here yesterday.

    Hubby had an early morning appointment so grabbed the last cinnamon bun with his coffee and had lunch out.
    Having no bread and wanting a change from cereal I had some of the leftover blackberry crumble with yogurt. I too was out for lunch and by supper time was still not hungry. Eventually I has a sandwich – I had made bread in the morning before going out for lunch – and hubby had some of the aforementioned blackberry crumble!!!

  8. We today was weird, but it definitely used up some pantry stuff. I made chicken stock with a carcass from the freezer. Then I got hit with a cold so I decided to just make rice with Chinese sausage and vegetables for dinner. My husband came home and said the sausage smelled bad (I couldn’t smell anything!) so I had to whip up scrambled egg, tortilla, salsa, cheese thing. I ended up using all sorts of pantry odds and ends by the time I was done.

    Oh and we had smoothies and hard boiled eggs for breakfast and spinach salad plates for lunch.

  9. we have our own meat, besides chicken,,,,,,,,,,,& our own eggs & milk……..so that keeps are grocery bill lower…….sometimes thats a challenge in itself 🙂 I usually make breakfast ahead so it consists of muffins, casseroles, pizza, burritos, etc. that we can just heat up & eat. lunches is packed leftovers or lunchmeat for the children (1 works & the other 2 in school senior & freshman). hubby( dairy farmer) & I eat at home, leftovers (I pack on the days I clean houses).

    supper this week: monday- soup, Tuesday-my version of Lawn mower taco, Wedensday- tenderloin & limas, tonite not sure yet…….got some refried beans that needs using……………….

  10. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Yesterday was another good day.

    Breakfast: Peanut butter and honey sandwich for me. I’m pretty sure hubby had popcorn. He’s transitioning from working nights to start days this weekend, and always eats weird stuff then.

    Lunch: Leftover enchiladas.

    Dinner: Spaghetti made from a hodge podge of canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes from the freezer, and some Italian salad dressing that was set to expire tomorrow. I was hoping for “okay”, but it actually turned out really good.

    I also started in on our tea stash last night. We’re southerners and addicted to sweet tea. I also buy specialty teas as some sort of consolation prize during the colder weather, so we have way too many random boxes of tea milling around. I made a gallon of sweet tea using 3 small raspberry tea bags and three small plain tea bags. It’s delicious! And it’s helping me put off a trip to the store to buy more of the “family size” tea bags I normally make sweet tea with.

    • Glad I’m not the only one with some extra tea lying around! 🙂 Thanks for the idea of mixing a flavored tea with regular for iced tea- I love iced tea as well, and that sounds like a great way to use up some of my random ones!

    • Heather M says:

      Love the creativity with the pasta sauce and tea! Gotta love it when it turns out better than expected. Maybe you’ve created things you’ll make again. 🙂

  11. The freezers are my focus also. Honestly, I have no idea what is in the back/bottom half of them. I’ve gotten a better grip on my pantry in the past year or two, thanks to this challenge.

  12. Harriet Dodson says:

    Yesterday was waffles, bacon and scrambled eggs for dinner. So far, we are still eating out of the pantry and freezer. Then again, it is only day 3.

  13. Our meals have been a bit odd also, glad some of the others have those days. I fixed a large pork shoulder pot roast on Sunday, and we have been eating it up all week first with the leftover veg from the pot roast and then with baked sweet potatoes.

    Due to scheduling we often eat at different times and I usually make larger meals a couple times a week, so he can just reheat leftovers. He does cook and can bake the sweet potatoes in microwave. Last night I also made a batch of what I call ‘N’ can soup. This is a college math reference to calculations for one to ‘n’ values. The number of cans used varies based on my mood and how much soup I am in the mood for. It basically starts with a can of green or wax beans and a can of tomatoes, then grows from there. Last night I started with some hamburger I need to use up from freezer, the beans and tomatoes, some broth left from the roast, then canned potatoes and cream style corn. The broth had chopped onions and lots of flavor from celery and garlic, so I didn’t add any of them this time. Sometimes it also includes carrots, canned broth, and navy, pinto, or great northern beans. It is seasoned to taste as needed. This produces a pot of vegetable soup that comes in handy in winter weather.

    Husband takes fruit, grape tomatoes and a peanut butter sandwich or two for morning snack and lunch at work. I breakfast on varied things. Today it was a container of yogurt and some frozen meatballs heated in the microwave that needed to be used up and one of the halos oranges that need to be used up. I tend to eat larger breakfasts and smaller suppers than many of the ladies reporting, but it evens out.

    I enjoy hearing how others are doing and their inventive ways of meeting challenges. I went to the store the other day and only bought bread and bird seed. Friday I will have to buy some more tomatoes for lunches next week and a few things, but we have very full pantry and freezers. I have not inventoried the freezer, but tend to keep stuff organized in the chest freezer using paper grocery bags. We have lots of meat, vegetables and fruit in the freezer, so I am just using up the older stuff for now.

  14. Wednesday:
    Breakfast: kids had cereal and milk. I had coffee – forgot to eat breakfast! Ugh :/
    Lunch: leftover chicken alfredo with peas and I had a dairy free egg sandwich that I made for the freezer.
    Snack: Graham crackers, apples, oranges
    Dinner: kids had Mac n’ cheese with fish sticks, peas, and blueberries on the side. We had date night!

    We have so much food in our freezers & root cellar I was easily able to make a month of meal plans and could probably add another two weeks. Oiy!

  15. Hello!

    Today:
    B: oatmeal
    L: one kid and hubby- leftover spaghetti, 2 kids school lunch, me-free lunch at work.
    D: pizza from scratch.

  16. Jessica,
    It’s funny that yesterday you talked about Stone Soup and today my students read a version of that story! I’m a reading specialist and my group of 2nd graders had that as their story for today.
    Also, really enjoyed that scope—so funny about the chocolate covered cherries!
    Pantry challenge is going well. My husband said to tell you that last night when he was looking for a block of wood he realized he had “pantry challenged” all his scraps!!
    Have a great day. Hope you don’t float away with all the rain!

  17. Melissa F says:

    My pasta throw together for last nights dinner consisted of a quarter onion chopped fine and sauteed in EVOO, then a pkg of baby Bella mushrooms sliced, a pat of butter and a clove of garlic crushed. I added another pat of butter then a can of baby artichoke hearts halved. I finished it was a bit of cream, Mediterranean salt blend and fresh cracked pepper. I had a quarter box of mini Penni pasta that I cooked then mixed in with the sauce. Topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It was really good with the caesar salad. I have enough left for today and tomorrow’s lunch for me at work.

    We will finish off our pineapple and strawberries today so I will need to supreme cut some grapefruit. I bought a case in December from a local HS band.

    We are doing well with either eating leftovers or canned soups for lunch. For some reason we have a canned soup overload in the pantry. With the cold weather, hoping to put a dent in that!

    Tonight’s dinner will be a simple baked chicken breast and steamed fresh broccoli.

    • Heather M says:

      Your pasta dish sounds like the kind of thing I’d throw together! It’s quite amazing how creative one can get and how delicious they can end up. Your particular combo sounds sooo good!

    • That pasta dish sounds great! I make something similar every once in a while, the combination of mushrooms and cream is just divine.

  18. Vanessa B says:

    Breakfast- kids had eggs with cheese, I had oatmeal
    Lunch – leftover enchiladas and pineapple
    Snacks – cereal, yogurt, finished a box of crackers, banana, the kids basically grazed all afternoon
    Dinner – Chicken Gyros, hummus
    Dessert- i think the kids had a nutty bar

  19. Ohhh I read your comments and you are all doing so good and I went to the grocery store yesterday $145? But I am not giving up. I mostly bought fresh veggies for the dr oz diet I’m on. We had hamburgers steamed carrots and pasta for dinner last night. Oatmeal and smoothies for breskfast.

    • I have also been to the grocery store and I have actually spent about half of what I am hoping to spend in january.
      For some reason, things I have been waiting for to go on sale, actually go on sale in january! So Pantry Challenge or not, I am stocking up!
      I am actually quite good at rotating things in my pantry, but my freezers are another story. So I am focusing most of my attention on planning meals that use up things from the freezer so I can hopefully defrost them at the end of the month.
      I am also trying to cut my budget by a third this month, I’m not quite sure how realistic that is, but let’s see.

      My (very long) point is that you make your own rules. So don’t feel bad about buying groceries if you need them. I know I don’t!

      Kathy in Denmark

  20. I’m loving this challenge! It feels so go good to use things up and see some white space 🙂

    Breakfast – Hubs made himself bacon, eggs and toast. I’m still working on the pan of baked oatmeal and had a piece of bacon too.

    Lunch – Hubs made a burrito out of the leftover taco meat from the night before. I had leftover homemade lentil soup

    Snack – apples

    Dinner – I pulled a couple small pork sirloin roasts out of the freezer and put them in the crockpot in the morning for pulled pork. I made Jessica’s sub roll recipe and we had pulled pork sandwiches (we put the rest of the shredded napa cabbage from taco night on them). We had carrot sticks with it and chips for the guys (my son and grandson stayed for dinner).

  21. Breakfast: cinnamon raisin oatmeal
    Lunch: chili for me, sandwich for kid
    Dinner: veggie curry (used up some potatoes, carrots, and peas)
    Dessert: ice cream bar

    I had finally created a few bits of white space in the fridge, so pulled some things out of freezer to thaw. Bye bye white space. LOL. Still have a ton of cheese in the house. I might need to make some cheesy mac or something. That’s one of the kid’s faves, so I know there will be no complaint from him. 🙂

  22. Tonights dinner will be pasta from the pantry, with meatballs from the freezer (I made them a while back when the meat was on sale) and a sad package of chopped spinach that’s been kicking around the freezer and needs to go.

  23. Breakfast was porridge for us both
    Lunch hubby had cheese on toast and I was out so had a cheese toasty. Circumstances meant I went out later than planned so wasn’t back in time for lunch at home.
    Dinner we are having home made pork burgers and chips both from the freezer with some left over salad bits from the fridge
    Snacks mixed nuts left from Christmas.
    I had to go shopping today for fresh veg and some milk yoghurt and cheese but only spent £15. 93 so that’s quite a saving to normal.

  24. I cleaned out my 3/4 size deep freeze yesterday and only found one surprise – a container of homemade applesauce from 2014. Not bad at all!

    We always have oatmeal with either raisins or cranberries and I have a couple eggs as well, so breakfast will stay the same during the challenge.

    For lunch we had pb&j with homemade bread and some crudités. For dinner I used leftover roast beef to make beef barley soup (used up the last bit of barley in the pantry) and had some rather old French bread from the freezer on the side.

  25. B: Cereal (w/ frozen blueberries for me); toast w/ jam; OJ; coffe

    L: PBJ on whole wheat, trail mix, cheese stick, grapes, clementine for son–the usual; chef’s salads for hubs and me (additional clementine for me and half a peanut butter sand. for hubs).

    S: Homemade banana-pecan bread. (Had to use up several very ripe bananas, so I made two loaves–and of course one had to go into the freezer. There was a bit of space though: In the process of looking for the pecans, we found two bags of embarrassingly old turkey that had to go into the trash. I hate wasting food, but I don’t want to jeopardize our health either! This will teach me to plan to eat up the leftovers before they get forgotten. I hope!)

    D: Leftover soup and salad; Christmas goodies for dessert

    Have a great day, everyone!

  26. I’m excited to report that yesterday was a great day eating down the food in our house 🙂

    Breakfast: Cereal for the kids (I am making it my goal to stop buying so much cereal once we use up what’s in the house), toast with jam for myself, husband doesn’t eat breakfast

    Lunch: Son had packed lunch at school (peanut butter on tortilla, baby carrots, banana, wheat thins), the rest of us used Tuesday night’s leftovers (refried beans, toastada shells, diced tomatoes) with the addition of an avocado, tortillas and some salsa to make tostadas and burritos.

    Dinner: Son had pasta (veggie bowtie with butter and garlic powder). The rest of us had oven baked chicken, roasted spaghetti squash and salad with homemade croutons. It was my first time making spaghetti squash. I had to bake it longer than the PInterest recipe called for but it was really good. It was also my first time making homemade croutons. I used Jessica’s cheese and garlic crouton recipe. They were so easy and delicious! Definitely something I’m taking off my “pantry staple” list for buying at the store!

    During the course of yesterday we used up the leftover refried beans, a pack of chicken spice that had been in the pantry for years, and 3 sets of bread ends from the freezer. It felt great to use those things that I likely would have just tossed in the past!

    I also want to say thank you to everyone who commented yesterday with advice for helping my picky son start eating more foods. My husband and I had a long conversation on the matter last night after the kids went to bed and we are going to start implementing some new table rules this weekend. I imagine it will be a rough start, but hope it will have a happy ending.

    • Jessica S says:

      I feel you on the cereal! For the longest time kids devoured cereal.. then they did not so I got out of the hait of it only to have it come back into fashion. I couponed and found great deals and stocked up! Only to enter dry season again.. UGH! SO I was able to donate at the holiday times and now I am back to NOT buying.. when its gone they have to prove they really want it! lol

  27. Angela B. says:

    B-cereal
    L-1 kid ate at school and the other at grandma’s house, hubby and I both took leftover taco salads
    D- BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches and 1/2 bag of fries from the freezer

    I look forward to reading everyone’s posts each day. Always looking for inspiration!

  28. Pulled 3# of ground beef out of the freezer to make spaghetti and lasagna sauce. Used a few containers of frozen tomatoes that needed to go and finished it off with a few cans from the pantry. Spaghetti was for dinner. Lasagna will be for Saturday. Ended up putting 5 meals of spaghetti sauce into the freezer and will have one meal of lasagna to add after Saturday. Feels like a productive cooking day…and spaghetti is a family favorite that will “save” me about once a week (both in time and complaints about some odd food from the pantry challenge). So, all is good.

    My daughter and I were invited to a freezer cooking workshop at her friend’s house next weekend. She really wanted to go, so I’ll end up shopping for that and adding 10-20 meals to the freezer. That’s not really helping the challenge, but she was very excited to go. So, hoping she’ll try a few new foods that she’s helping to prepare. I’ll just be sure to only use about one a week while we are still working our way through the older items in the challenge. But, I also need to buckle down to make sure we have room for all of it to fit into the freezers. The same doughtier helped me finish off two slightly larger containers from the freezer, though, so seeing progress.

    Tonight’s dinner will be chicken taco filling from the freezer. Lunch was planned to be out with my Grandmother, since she’s visiting. I am planning to thaw some frozen milk for crepes for breakfast tomorrow, though, too.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Hi Maureen:

      I have a question. You mentioned that you are thawing some milk from the freezer. I have never frozen milk before. Do you just take the store bought plastic gallon and put that in the freezer? How long does it take to thaw? Do you thaw it in the fridge? Does it still taste good and have the same consistency? No worries about the container exploding from the pressure? Let me know, if you can, because I waste a lot of milk around here. There is only hubby and I. Daughters are grown and have flown the coop! Hubby enjoys cereal in the morning and sometimes I like oatmeal but I also make him eggs, waffles, and other things and sometimes the milk just ends up going bad. Any info is appreciated.

      • Hi Stephanie, I thought I would tell you how I freeze milk. First off, it tastes the same and is better to freeze it than waste it. I pour my milk into several quart containers, leaving an inch or so at the top. (I use plastic containers since I have had several glass jars break in the freezer, even leaving “head space”). It is possible to freeze the whole gallon (the jugs are designed for expansion) but then when thawed, it needs to be used. Since I’m the only one using milk (other than occasionally cooking with it) I can’t use a gallon at a time. I thaw my milk in the frig several days before using (which is a quart sized container). A gallon of milk will take longer to thaw. Taste isn’t effected in my opinion and I just shake it up a bit. I usually freeze 1% milk. I also freeze half and half sometimes but the cream separates a bit. A good stir solves that.

        Also, one added tip, when baking cakes, breads, muffins, etc., I use powdered milk. I just add the dry milk to the dry ingredients and the water to the wet ingredients. Hope this helps! Teri S

        • Stephanie M. says:

          Thanks so much, Teri, for the info on how to freeze milk. Just one more question. You mentioned that you freeze your milk in plastic quart containers. What kind of containers do you use? I just want to make sure I do this right. Thanks again! 🙂

          • Your welcome, Stephanie. I use several different kinds but most of the time I use clean mayo jars. However, I have used the rectangular plastic freezer containers (I’m not sure of the brand, they were passed down to me from my mom and aunt) and I also use clean cottage cheese containers. I don’t freeze my milk for more than 3 months but this saves me from wasting the extra.

            I hope this helps! One other thing I do is reconstitute powdered milk. This way, I can make a quart at a time (I add a little sugar to help the taste). I use this milk to make white sauce, gravy and to use in my coffee. This helps if I don’t have any milk thawed and it saves a trip to the store. (I live in a rural area and our closest grocery store is 7 miles away and expensive). So having powdered to use dry or reconstituted saves me time and money. Teri S 🙂

      • I really only freeze milk for baking. I pour it into 2-4c portions into plastic containers for the freezer (leaving some head room). I most often do this when I notice we won’t finish the gallon before it’s going to go bad.

        I’ve read a number of people buy milk in bulk and simply put the full gallon in the freezer, then thaw it in the fridge for a few days, shake it up, and drink. They say it tastes the same, but I haven’t really tried it myself. Some people pour off a cup or two for head space, but most people I’ve talked to just pop it in the freezer.

        • Stephanie M. says:

          Thank you Teri and Maureen for your help with my questions. I really appreciate you both taking the time to answer me and for giving me such great tips. I have some extra milk that I’m going to freeze today. Thanks again! 🙂

  29. We had to have our oldest daughter to the clinic early this morning for a consult. To bribe all the kids
    (including dad 😉 to get up early and out the door, I made a big breakfast today.

    B: Homemade Egg McMuffins, bacon, sliced strawberries, juice and milk.
    L: The kids eat at school. My husband and I had a cheap lunch out.
    D: Chicken cutlets, tossed salad, applesauce and carrot sticks.

  30. Heather M says:

    Day three we did not Pantry Challenge, since it was my birthday. 🙂 But it sure was a yummy day!

    Breakfast: cereal and leftover sausages from christmas for hubs (still have a few more days worth of those!); son goes to an religious class before high school every morning, and once a week a family signs up to bring breakfast, which makes for a fun class..eating while learning. It happened to be Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday. Usually it’s bagels or donuts, but the family that provided it this time loves to do these things. they had quite the spread of eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit. Insane, really. I also drive a carpool from the church to the school once a week on Wednesdays so stick around waiting. I went inside to talk to the parents who provided the food and they invited me to have some, since there was a ton. So, long story there, but I got a fabulous hot cooked breakfast for my birthday! Just lucky timing. I chose, eggs, a few bites of hash browns, a sausage, half a bagel, and some blackberries. Delicious plus fun company.

    Lunch: son took usual snacky lunch, hubs ate at work, a friend took me to lunch where I ate a beautiful salad called the “Fat Willis”. chicken, bacon, avocado, feta on a bed of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion. Huge, too, so leftovers!

    Dinner: the guys took me out to a new trendy chinese place we’ve been wanting to try, Peter Chang. Delicious and super spicy! Hubs and I had Double Cooked Pork Belly and Peter Chang’s Duck in Stone Pot. Son had a spicy garlic Shrimp veggie thing. We all sweated a little, but the food was delicious! And, leftovers!

    Needless to say, I still haven’t inventoried. Too much fun on Day 3 to do that.

    I’m loving reading everyone’s posts. Love the variety! And Jessica, hope your house is surviving and not having any water issues! My parents (who are in hawaii visiting other siblings of mine) have had to continually siphon water out of their pool (or really, my brother who is there). So far that’s the worst of it for them. Hope you guys are faring just as well!

  31. Suze Clark says:

    Hey Jessica, This is my tally for the Pantry Challenge this week. I plan Thursday thru Wednesday. Our new budget is $150 per week including pet food, cleaning supplies, and paper products. Total was $138 ( round the amount). That included $68 at Trader Joe’s. Have planned my menus for the next week. We are facing a possible ‘reduction in force’ . The Pantry Challenge is helping me more than you know. Blessings

  32. It has been an absolute crazy day!! Watching 3 grandbabies, MIL back in hospital, been in and out for the last 3 weeks. Running all kinds of tests. So we will see…..thinking its that “age thing” So hubby is at hospital and I am running babes to school and dance class and playing with cars and trucks with my little man! Thinking I got the better end of the deal! Still getting everyone feed so on to our meals of the day nothing fancy but we ate from the fridge, freezer and pantry.

    Breakfast – Cereal, toast w/nutella or cinnamon butter, orange juice, coffee
    Lunch – Hard salami and/or turkey and cheese sandwiches, mac & cheese
    Dinner – Chili cheese dog bubble up bake, baked fries
    Snacks – Finishing off cookies, cut up fruit, cashews (the little guys favorites)

  33. Stephanie M. says:

    Hi Mona:

    I’m sorry you’re having such a stressful time right now. I’ve been there with my father and it’s not easy at all getting through the days when someone you love is in and out of the hospital. I am glad you have your grandchildren to keep you busy. Keep your chin up and look forward to happier days ahead. And don’t worry about the food. My father always said, “it doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as your stomach is full.”

  34. We are doing well. For breakfast we had left over muffins with peanut butter. Everyone took peanut butter plain or with jelly to school. Finishing up holiday cookies and treats from freezer. I look left over soup from Monday’s supper. Really utilizing what we have. No fruit left as of Thursday night. I have two proteins in freezer and eggs. Will have to buy a good amount of food, but hope to keep it under $100.

  35. Somehow missed day 3. For breakfast husband and I had eggs hashbrowns and toast. Boys ate breakfast and lunch at school. For dinner we had sloppy joes and homemade mac and cheese. Snacks were apples popcorn and the last of the cookies

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