Pantry Challenge Day 8

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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!


Quick update because 1. there’s not much to report and 2. the fam is getting ready to watch Sherlock. Turns out it wasn’t live streaming last night, but it’s available tonight.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit

Lunch: Snacky Lunch – I packed FishPapa a spinach salad with chicken and forgot the dressing. Oops.

Dinner: Chicken strips, Roast Vegetables, Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli.

I pulled some things from the freezer: quick oats for breakfasts, lemon juice for lemonade, pumpkin puree for baking. We’re starting to see some space in there! I’m finding that there’s very few starchy/carb stuff I want to serve, but it must go! Working on it!

How’s the pantry challenge going for YOU?

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  1. Every day I see progress. But together I’m going backwards a little. Food4Less had whole chickens for 66 cents a lb. I haven’t seen it that low in a looong time (cheapest is usually 79 cents a lb.). I bought the max of 5 and those puppies are 5-6 lbs. each. I’ll cook two of in the next week but the other three will be processed for the freezer. Oh well, at least I have room now 🙂

    B – Protein smoothie for me, eggs and toast for dh
    L – Burrito bowl again for me, chips and pulled pork for dh
    D – pan cooked chicken tenders, quinoa sauteed with kale and onions, broccoli and french bread for the fam (I try not to eat bread except on Saturday). Son and grandson stayed for dinner
    Snack – pear and raw almonds

  2. B: oatmeal and bagels with fruit
    L: leftover meatloaf and potatoes, kiddo had a tortilla with cheese
    D: chicken fajitas
    I had to pick up a few random produce items, milk, and toiletries today but only spent $16 total! So far I’m way under budget for the month!

  3. B-oatmeal with dried cherries and almonds
    L-leftover sweet and sour chicken
    D-split pea soup with a ham bone. I forgot to plug in the crockpot, but hub saw and did it. Yeah!

  4. Not a bad day today – very busy at work, so I didn’t really stop to eat the lunch I brought. Good thing it will keep till tomorrow!

    B: Coffee and a croissant – hubby ate leftovers from last night’s pork and mashed potatoes
    L: Me – nothing! Hubs, leftovers carried him through the day until dinner
    D: Chicken wraps – had planned on rice, veggies and chicken, but wanted something super quick and easy due to the crazy work day!

  5. Breakfast and lunch was mostly snacky stuff had to go to the store today and found whole wheat pastry flour, finally! And still forgot the eggs, oh well, lol, next time.
    Supper, pizza delivery for the kids and I and crockpot pork loin meal for hubby, I wasn’t hungry.

  6. I was able to make rolls to go with dinner (a budget meal) and tapioca pudding for dessert, all with ingredients I already had. The rolls we’ll eat for two nights. I was hoping to use up more of the tapioca, but a little goes a long way…. maybe by July, haha. : )

  7. Dinner tonight was all-pantry! Meatloaf, corn, mashed potatoes and dinner roll!

    Score of the day – used instant savings from Sam’s Club promotion to purchase a rotissiere chicken for $1.98.

  8. Stephanie M. says:

    It was cold here today in the 30’s but I still walked in it. I try to walk every day three times a day, one mile each time. During the spring and summer months when it stays lighter later, hubby and I walk together after dinner and then we usually do three miles at a time. But the leftover chicken soup for dinner was very welcoming, more so than yesterday when we had 60 degrees! What kind of winter are we having here in New Jersey?

    B – Hubby had no time for breakfast; he had to leave early today for a meeting at work. I had a poached egg on a half of an English muffin and strawberries.

    L – Hubby had a roast beef and swiss cheese sandwich and Christmas cookies and I had a salad, wheat thins and a banana.

    D – We had the leftover chicken soup and leftover homemade bread.

    • It is so hard to exercise when it is cold. Good for you.

    • Very impressed you walk in the cold. I have to hit the gym. Exercising in cold air is no good for my asthmas. We’re having the same crazy weather in DC area. Freezing one day, warm the next. It’s insane. 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        I wish I could like the gym. I tried it earlier last year and hated every minute of it. I had a trainer that showed no mercy. The only thing I liked was the treadmill which I did before it was time to go see him. I just rather walk in my neighborhood. But right now, I’m not passing any other walkers or joggers. It’s lonely out there. 🙂

  9. breakfast-we had smoothies and now we have no bananas. I am going to have to replace them.
    Lunch-everyone brought sandwiches, snacks, leftover baked goods, fruit
    Dinner-It was a crazy night with basketball thrown in, and I wanted to go to the gym. Take out would have been perfect, but I stayed strong. I did a quick baked omelet with cheese and some linguini. I ate after the gym and used up all the left over veggies in the fridge as well.

  10. Jessica S says:

    Winter finally arrived in Ohio! SO COLD yesterday morning!
    Made kids oatmeal packets with toast, I had 2 fried eggs and toast they did not eat
    Lunches- packed them salami sandwiches, sliced cara cara oranges, sliced cukes and carrots, water, almond cookies. I took an apple and yogurt to work( was supposed to be my day off).. ate the apple then grabbed a burger with a coupon when I had to run to office max! Oh well!

    Dinner- I had pulled out a pack of boneless pork chops. Too cold to plan to grill so I quickly browned them and made a roux gravy with the drippings and some of the chicken stock I made last week. Set those on low to simmer while we did homework. served with canned corn, wheat rolls from the freezer and some instant mashed potatoes. rounded out with homemade applesauce and berries lingering in the fridge.

    I had a work meeting and I took a pan of boxed brownies I baked while making dinner. Made a peanut butter frosting since we cannot have Nuts during the work day due to allergies!

    The score is no dinner leftovers in the fridge!

  11. Breakfast – Toast, coffee
    Lunch – Sandwiches and yogurt
    Dinner – Chicken teriyaki
    Snacks = taco salad and tostitos

  12. Tastycook says:

    Another successful day.

    Breakfast – homemade bread and jam

    Lunch – quiche that used the ham and mushrooms from the fridge that needed using

    Dinner – soup from the freezer with homemade bread.

    Snack – cheese

  13. Tiffany R says:

    Breakfast: son & I shared a bagel, daughter had cereal, hubs is on his own
    Lunch: LO Minestrone soup & crackers, kids packed snack lunches, hubs grabbed a sandwich at work
    Dinner: Grilled chicken salad using up the last 2 grilled chicken breasts for hubs and I. Kids had Chick-fil-A after school.

    Normally hubs grills the chicken because I don’t have the patience to wait on it. He wasn’t home a few days ago and I decided to grill it myself. It became a dried out charred mess. So, dinner tonight was the last of the grilled chicken with the crispy parts cut off. This is the same reason I don’t make pancakes. Not enough patience.

  14. Going well!

    Breakfast- eggs and leftover veggies for me, kids had pumpkin bread from the freezer and sliced apples.

    Lunch- I munched on fruit , kids had pizza pockets from the freezer

    Dinner- We had company and I intended on using a small box of lasagna noodles and ricotta that was close to expiring but it was already gone bad so we had baked pene instead. Still used a box from the pantry and sauce from the freezer.

    I went to Shaws and they had some amazing sales I couldnt help myself. Annie’s Mac and Cheese for $1 a box, bananas were $.29 a pound and Thomas english muffins were by 1 get 2 free. I got milk and other produce, After a $5 off coupon and my Ibotta rebates I spent $67 for a lot of food so we should be good for a while without another trip to the store.

  15. We are slowly using down the freezer and pantry. I’m not good at reporting every day, since over half the time it would just be to report we had leftovers.
    Brunch – Chicken sandwiches to use up chicken from freezer with some Halos orange we need to use up.
    Dinner – Shrimp in vegetable broth used some shrimp from freezer and the carrots and celery from frig with an onion. This is a recipe from More Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin.
    Sun: Brunch – Amish Breakfast Casserole with bacon, eggs, cheese and hash browns. We are still eating leftovers.
    Dinner – Cavatapi pasta with ground pork, kale and an onion mushroom sauce. Served it with Brussels sprouts and Broccoli. We are still eating leftovers from this too.
    I am planning to use up 2 or 3 cans of beets making refrigerator beet pickles and take a pint of them to my daughter-in-law this week as a thank you. She really likes them.
    But the pantry and freezer are slowly showing an improvement. With just two of us it takes awhile and I will probably continue into February. I will need to go to the store later this week for bread and dairy.

  16. So far so good! I made an Aldi run for fresh veggies & a little dairy – total was $22. Having the pantry & freezer inventory sheets in front of me and making a 2 week meal plan has helped greatly. I have a feeling that we are going to be clucking by the end of the month with 15 packs of assorted chicken pieces to eat! :o)

    Breakfast – Oatmeal with brown sugar & cinnamon, boiled eggs
    Lunch – Leftover Salsa Chicken w/ dollop of sour cream, olives, side salad
    Dinner – BBQ Pork Chops, black eye peas, slaw

  17. Went to store for cilantro, only to find there wasn’t any as it had been recalled for some reason. Change of dinner plan… but sadly ended up buying a few things that were on sale while I was there. Still on track for my reasonable expenditure goal, but the lofty goal is now highly unlikely thanks to K-cup purchase. Since I was there, I decided to get some yogurt since I did not have any left at home and can’t make my own without some starter. The Fage cups were on sale so it actually was a better price for me to get a handful of the cups than one large tub. Isn’t that funny? the use by dates were later on the cups as well. I even splurged and got two of the flavored ones to go with the plain. (plain is healthier and is 7 oz instead of 5 so really a better plan, but I know the key lime is yummy and blood orange just sounded good)

    Breakfast: toast and coffee
    Lunch: leftover veggie curry
    Dinner: since dinner plans were foiled, I asked the kid what he would like. usually, his answer is the oh-so-helpful “food”. This time, he said he would like some bulk sausage with the queso dip he had bought to make nachos. I figured we could do a little better than just that, so I cooked up some assorted peppers and onions along with the sausage, then added in some black been refried beans and Rotel from pantry and some rice from freezer. I melted in some queso with some seasonings. I was thinking it would be more like a pre-mixed rice bowl, but it sort of ended up more like a dip. Since I was watching the College Football Championship game, it sort of seemed appropriate. Kid loved it and said he hoped I remembered the ratios because “he wouldn’t mind having this again”. The other half of the sausage roll is going in the sausage potato soup as planned so he’ll have to be content with the leftovers for now. This whatever-it-was used a number of ingredients all in the house and from all three sections of “pantry” so I’m pleased with it. More pleased than I was with the game results!

  18. I never post what we eat for breakfast or lunch. I have to leave for work at 5:40, so everyone is still in bed. Therefore, I don’t know what they eat or pack for lunches. I only know that we never eat those meals out. NEVER!

    Supper- we had crockpot beans w/ ham (frozen from Thanksgiving), and homemade cornbread. My children were not thrilled. Not their favorite meal, but cheap and filling.

    Bad news: our ice maker has decided to stop working. Hubs had us take everything out of the freezer in the kitchen so he could turn it off, let it thaw and try to fix it.
    Good news: I had room in the outside freezer, thanks to this challenge, to store it all.

    Unfortunately, the ice maker is not repaired. But, I now know everything we had stored in that freezer and they are being added to the meal plan first!

  19. B: leftover breakfast burritos.
    snack: a brownie I found stuffed in the back of the freezer.
    L: leftover yakimandu for my dd, school lunch for the kids and I, leftover ribs/mashed potato and carrots for hubby.
    D: Tortilla casserole (tortillas layered with leftover bits of scratch nacho dip, taco meat, misc cheese bits, and the few remaining bits of french fried onion.)

  20. Another good day, the freezer is looking decidedly empty now.
    B cereal and yogurt or cereal and milk
    L I made broccoli and Stilton soup using up stock from the freezer and broccoli, onion and Stilton from the fridge
    D burrito bowls using leftovers from last time we had this that was in the freezer.

    I had to buy bread today but only spent £1.28
    I need to go shopping tomorrow as need some milk and fresh fruit. Must resist buying fresh veg so we use up the veg in the freezer

    • Heather M says:

      I’m trying to resist too many fresh veg too, for the same reason. But salad fixings really don’t freeze, so those are the exception for now. Not sure how long I can go without others though. We’ll see.

  21. B-Oatmeal w/ maple syrup & whipped cream, toast, OJ, coffee

    L-The usual for son; chicken bowl f/ me; quesadilla and taquitos for hubs

    D-Lentil chili, homemade cornbread, salad (Used some home-grown bell peppers I had in the freezer in the chili; all the other ingredients for dinner were from the pantry/fridge. We’re starting to see some space in the pantry, but the freezers are still packed.)

    S-Yogurt, cheese stick, Christmas goodies for son; nothing for me; don’t know what hubs may have munched on

    Did have to make a quick stop by the store for eggs, red cabbage, lettuce, and celery. Paid $14.76, over half of which was for the eggs–yikes! It annoys me to have to buy eggs, but our girls aren’t laying at the moment. :}

  22. Breakfast: yogurt and fruit, muffin
    Lunch: leftovers
    Dinner: chicken soup noodles

    The refrigerator is looking pretty bare, probably a good time to clean it-sigh. I’ll need to get a little more creative in order to use up bits of frozen sauces.

    Produce, egg, and cheese purchase: $11.28 (total to date 28.76)

  23. Breakfast: Yoghurt with homemade granola for DH and DD1. Oatmeal for DD2. Rye bread with butter and jam for me. And coffee, as always!

    Lunch: Rye bread with much meat and vegetables on the side.

    Snacks: Grapes and crackers

    Dinner: Homemade pizza (store bought dough). One with tomato sauce, onion, red pepper, corn and mushrooms. Topped it with some havarti and parmesan cheese which had to go. The other pizza was with thinly sliced potatoes, olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Topped with manchego cheese.
    Both were very yummy, but the one with potatoes is my absolute favorite!

    I’m behind on reading comments. Can’t wait to see what the rest of you are serving!

    Kathy in Denmark

    • Lunch meat, not much meat lol.

    • Heather M says:

      Those pizzas sound amazing! And, thank you for the lentil idea on yesterday’s post. I have both red and green. I am not well-versed in which is more appropriate for what, so you really helped me out. Thanks!

      • You’re very welcome ?
        I had the last of the potato pizza for breakfast today. Pretty sure I’m making it again next week lol.

  24. today, brunch , egg salad sandwich ( using the hard boiled eggs), snack, yogurt, tonights supper, fried cabbage ( onion and bacon bits fried together), salisbury steak done in small patties. and Kraft dinner. Later snacks , left overs from supper.
    tomorrow, stuffed chicken breast, rice, and green salad. Lunch soup, made up of items cleaned out of the fridge. ( left over salisbury steak broken up, left over veg, and rice, and tomatos stewed.

  25. Heather M says:

    Day 8 another great Challenge day!

    Breakfast: cereal, OJ. and leftover sausage from Christmas for son and hubs; protein bar for me.

    Lunch: son took usual snacky lunch; hubs ate the leftovers he didn’t get to on Friday; I had a serious crunchy munchy mood going on after a really good workout, so had a sunny-side up egg (need that protein!) and air-popped popcorn.

    Snacks: son had usual chicken-pepperoni quesadilla; we all had leftover christmas sweets and fruit.

    Dinner: used the oldest package of pasta in the cupboard (it’s been there forever, for some crazy reason) and half a jar of marinara doctored up with goat cheese and additional herbs. Super yummy mixture for pasta sauce! Also had a side salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado.

  26. I went to Costco, Trader Joe’s and a local grocery store today. Yes, you can hear the sounds of Pantry Challenge (and budget!)fail from across the country.

    The winter is always a really busy time for us and I was feeling really pushed for time today which I’m sure contributed to the “I need some easy things for dinner” mentality. And I hadn’t been to Costco or TJ’s since the beginning of December.

    That said, all of our meals today were mostly from the current stock or a freebie lunch out.

    Breakfast: cereal, granola, yogurt/fruit/hemp seeds
    Lunch: leftovers, snack lunch, free coupon lunch out
    Dinner: chicken in the crockpot, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe (from today’s Costco shopping trip)

  27. Breakfast–hubs had fried eggs with cheese-I had peanut butter toast around 10:30. Boys had breakfast and lunch at school. I skipped lunch and hubs probably did too. Dinner was crockpot chicken bacon tator tot casserole. garlic bread made from some hot dog buns from the freezer and applesauce.

  28. Good pantry challenge day.
    B-cereal or eggs with homemade bread toasted
    L-leftovers for hubby, salad and crackers for me, kids lunch at school
    D-chili from the freezer, venison hot dogs that my brother in law gave us awhile ago, oranges, cookies from freezer
    snacks-leftover treats from the holidays

  29. I’m on day #12 of my pantry challenge and going strong….

    B – Pear and Granola Bar
    L – 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich, free Vanilla Frosty Jr at Wendy’s
    D – homemade spinach and Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts from my freezer, corn, black beans and rice

    Last night I took leftover broccoli-rice casserole and made broccoli-cheddar rice soup. It will be enough for lunch later this week for me! Yum!

  30. Another no spend day. I’m liking looking at my bank balance!
    Breakfast-eggs with peppers and mushrooms on tortillas
    Lunch-left over split pea soup
    Dinner-bacon burgers with home made fries
    Snack-oatmeal cookies

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