Pantry Challenge Days 10 & 11

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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!


Sorry for no update yesterday. Date night and a family viewing of Hotel Transylvania 2 was all I had the mind for. So, today you get a twofer! If I can remember what we ate yesterday….

Day 10 (Wednesday)

Wednesday was on the boring side, actually. The fridge is looking bare and the fruit and veg supply are dwindling. FishPapa and I picked up two gallons of milk while we were out as well as a bag of rice. I resisted everything else at Trader Joe’s!

Breakfast: Granola, fruit

Lunch: Tamales from the freezer, leftovers

Dinner: Date night for the parents; Pasta with Red Sauce, carrots for the kids

PC11 (2)

Day 11 (Thursday)

I had thawed some frozen pumpkin the other day and realized I needed to use it up. So, I took a pancake recipe from the new cookbook and adapted it for pumpkin instead of banana. There were a few leftover which probably means the kids didn’t love them as much as other pancakes, but they ate them! The Nutella helped.

Lunch was Nachos! My kids love nachos. We didn’t have everything I would normally put on them, but enough to make it work.

Tonight was dinner with Dad so my husband and one child were gone. I made a Minestrone Soup and snuck in a jar of mystery sauce from the freezer. Turns out it was a vegetable-beef bolognese. Score. I made cornbread to go with. Child who doesn’t love tomato had leftover ground beef and beans from lunch.

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes

Lunch: Nachos with Ground Beef, Cheese, and Pintos

Dinner: Pantry Challenge Minestrone Soup, Cornbread

Snacks: Snowball Cookies from the Freezer

How is YOURΒ pantry challenge going?

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  1. I’m on Day #14 of my pantry challenge.

    B – banana and hard boiled egg
    L – bowl of broccoli-cheddar soup (made from leftover broccoli-rice casserole)
    D – Shredded Crockpot BBQ chicken breast, black beans, sweet potato.

    I returned a glass milk bottle and received $2 deposit refunded to me.

    I purchased a pork butt for .99/lb to restock my freezer but went over my weekly budget by $1.08.

  2. Tastycook says:

    Day 10
    Still going strong here

    Breakfast: fruut and yogurt for me, toast and poeanut butter for hubby
    Lunch: cheese sandwich and coffee cake
    Supper: leftover pot roast with mashed potatoes and broccoli

    Yesterday morning i made your raspberry cream cheese coffeecake, Jessica. I was close to your recipe – I had no oranges so used lemon zest, no Neufchatel cheese but good ol’ Philly worked quite nicely, thank you frozen raspberries and a sprinkling of slivered almonds on top of the streusel. OMG, that is one good coffee cake. I think next time I will use almond essence instead oif vanilla, but it is so good. Needless to say, most of it is FROZEN or it would be gone!!
    I knew when you shared it back in November, that I would be making this but this was the first chance I’ve really had.. I’ll bet that lemon and blueberriues would be great too.

    Day 11
    Breakfast: fruit and yogurt for me, bananas for hubby
    Lunch: grilled cheese
    Supper: leftover turkey stew from the freezer
    After curling snack: cheese and crackers (can you tell we likje cheese?)

  3. Yesterday DD had breakfast at school, DS had cereal, I had coffee with cream
    Lunch, DS had pancakes from the freezer
    Supper was pork fried rice from leftover pork lion, yummy!

    Today kids are breakfast at school, me, coffee and cream, hubby had pancakes from freezer.
    Dinner was choice of leftovers, still have lots left, so leftovers may be on the menu tomorrow too!

  4. We have two refrigerators each with a top load freezer. The basement refrigerator is empty and the freezer is down to an apple pie, two loaves of sandwich bread, and a couple cartons of cream. The fridge and freezer upstairs fridge are showing a fair amount of white space.

    Day 10
    B: Raisin bran cereal, skim milk, and grapefruit
    L: Mexican chili from freezer, rice, and carrots
    D: Family night at restaurant

    Day 11
    B: Strawberries, skim milk, and toast with peanut butter
    L: Hot dogs, hummus with pita and carrots, and blueberries
    D: Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, green beans and blueberries
    S: Apple pie

  5. My stress level has been so high with the remodel at the rental (my daughter lives there). I’ll be so glad when it is over!
    Day 10
    B – Two scrambled eggs w/quinoa/kale
    L – lentil soup (freezer), pear
    D – last of the leftover lasagna, small loaf French bread (freezer), green salad (veg delivery) w/bleu cheese and balsamic dressing

    Day 11
    B – Scrambled eggs with quinoa/kale for me, dh had fried eggs and toast
    L – Green Salad (left from last night) with avocado, bleu cheese and kidney beans for me and my daughter. DH had a frozen Angus burger
    D – Roast chicken, baked potatoes for dh and mom, quinoa/kale for me, steamed broccoli
    Snack – pear

  6. Day 10 Breakfast eggs and hashbrowns
    Lunch bbq beef sandwiches and applesauce
    Dinner chicken fetticine alfredo with broccoli

    Day 11 Breakfast eggs and cheese
    Lunch nothing wasn’t home until 4pm
    Dinner leftover prime rib from the freezer, baked potatoes and green beans

  7. Stephanie M. says:

    Well, I am happy to say that my refrigerators are both looking a lot like a bachelor’s refrigerator. All I need to put in there is a six pack and a Chinese food container! LOL

    Day 10
    B – Hubby had a mini roll with butter, yogurt, and melon. I had all bran cereal with strawberries
    L – Hubby had a business luncheon today. I had a salad and an orange
    D – Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn

    Day 11
    B – Hubby had a bagel with Neufchatel cheese leftover from a dish I made last week. I had low fat pancakes and strawberries
    L – Hubby had a business luncheon. I had a salad and a banana
    D – Leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn from last night.
    Snack – Hubby had some melon; I had an orange

    One funny thing I wanted to say: Tonight, after dinner, I was making up my menu for next week because tomorrow, I have to run to the grocery store. Not for much but I need a few things. The freezer is not as full as it was and we are definitely seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The first week’s menu was easy to come up with. This week’s menu was also easy. Next week’s menu is somewhat easy. And I’m sure the following week will be a real bummer. πŸ™ While I was deciding what I wanted to eat next week, I remembered that hubby and I were talking about the bratwurst and pierogies that our local Polish butcher makes and how it would be nice to get some. So I asked him to come and take a look in the freezer and help me decide on our menu. He saw the pork chops and suggested them. But I told him no because we just had them. Then I said, “how about I go and get some bratwurst and pierogies?” He said to me, “Stephanie, this is a pantry challenge, not a variety show!” So, it was him that kept me honest. All I can say is I will refrain for now, but those bratwursts and pierogies are on the horizon. πŸ™‚

  8. Day 10
    Breakfast – Toast, coffee, tea
    Lunch – Turkey, Salami and/or ham w/cheese sandwiches, chips
    Dinner – Popcorn chicken, baked fries, applesauce
    Snacks – Fruit & cheese

    Day 11
    Breakfast – Toast, coffee, tea
    Lunch – Pancakes and sausage
    Dinner – All leftovers – Wahoo….they are gone, atleast for a few days….lol
    Snacks – Popcorn

  9. Dinner last night was not a family favorite, but it used up a couple of freezer items and there really wasn’t much complaining. I was surprised. I pulled an old bag of shredded zucchini from the freezer for muffins and used apple butter instead of the oil. The muffins are really dense, so I don’t think I’ll do that again, but I guess it was a good try. Smoothies for snack saved the day (and helped the challenge).

    I need to work on a meal plan for next week. And I’m going to flag a few freezer items for snacks since we will all be home quite a bit this weekend…more mouths means more progress.

  10. Jessica S says:

    Weds.. I was off work and babying a huge tension headache but I got a lot of kitchen work done.
    B- kids had scrambled egg sandsiches and toast*
    L- basic lunch stuff- no actual memory of what I put into 3 boxes
    D-roasted a turkey breast during the afternoon and cubed it up, peeled and chunked all the carrots in the fridge and cooked until al dente. Used 2 container of previously frozen chicken stock to make a thick gravy. Mixed all items with a bag of cooked egg noddles and topped with a mix of crushed Ritz and the last of the sharp chedder in the fridge. KIDS LOVED IT.. which they hate casseroles but had no problem with this…SCORE.

    Turned the previous nights leftover meat and tomato sauce into a vat of chili with cumin, cayenne and chili powder. used a can of chili beans with sauce and a can of black beans. Froze in individual portions for husband and I.
    Took 2 rolls of cookie dough ( killer store clearance sale topped with pillsbury coupons!) and pressed into a half sheet pan and stocked myself with cookies for the weekend!

    Thursday- super lazy day!!!
    Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast with a piece of fruit
    Packed lunches!
    Leftover casserole from the night before

    *We never run out of eggs because we have 4 chickens and they are still laying 3-4 eggs a day!!!

    • Isn’t it great to have an ongoing supply of fresh eggs? I wish our hens would start laying again. I guess they’re still recovering from their last molt, plus the days have been so short; I think they need more light. Do you provide supplemental light during the winter for your girls?

    • Great job with the casserole — and chickens that are still laying. yay!

  11. Thanks for putting the day of the week with the challenge day. I was struggling yesterday to figure out if I’d gotten behind or not, and I almost asked you to include the weekday.

    Brunch: sausage egg biscuit at a work function
    Dinner: spaghetti squash and meatballs with red sauce and baguette – in the challenge spirit of “use and get rid of”, I also finished off the sangria πŸ™‚
    Evening Snack: finished off choco chip cookies, orange

    Breakfast: gouda and sliced tomato on leftover piece of baguette, banana for me, think kid skipped it
    Lunch: Chick-Fil-A calendar card got me free grilled nuggets, he got something at school
    Snack: yogurt
    Dinner: shredded pork (from a new crockpot recipe that is nowhere near “the best ever” it was advertised to be), couscous, spinach
    Dessert: ice cream to make up for the pork

    • Stephanie M. says:

      So funny Sandi about finishing off the sangria. I had the same feeling when I finished up the bottle of white wine we had in the fridge the other night. But just like food, they have to be replaced!!! LOL

    • Cheers! Love it. And yes, sorry for getting behind. I’m getting weary, quite honestly.

  12. Heather M says:

    I’m loving everyone’s updates. It’s so fun to see what people eat and to be inspired by you all! So far we are eating really well. I’ll head to the store today for a few fresh items and lunchbox needs. I expect I’ll spend under $50. I hope. πŸ™‚ Day 10 we had a surprise delivery of Graeter’s Ice Cream, a thank you gift. Luckily our freezer (we only have the one kitchen fridge/freezer) has plenty of space right now, so it was no problem to add 6 pints to it! Yay for the Challenge, and yay for plenty of dessert for the foreseeable future! Day 10 also included hubs calling from work saying he felt awful and wanted a spicy soup for dinner. Perfect, because this week I haven’t really planned at all, have been winging it and had to start using a package of costco rotisserie chicken they had in december. I bought the 2 1/2 lb bag of cooked, pulled from bone rotisserie chicken when I saw it, thinking it would help with crazy december, plus i’d never seen it before and wanted to try it. Never got to it (way overbought in december!) and it needed to get moving, with a use by date of late january. It tastes fine, is certainly convenient, and saves me from precooking chicken, but I won’t buy it regularly.

    Day 10:

    Breakfast: cereal and bacon for the guys, nothing for me as I had a morning dr. appt.

    Lunch: son took usual snacky lunch; hubs took the last of the leftover fried rice and an orange; I had lunch out with 3 good friends-we’ve known each other 15+ years. Super fun!

    Dinner: threw together a delicious spicy thai inspired chicken noodle soup. Turns out we are out of fish sauce and have no green onions, but I made do with the rotisserie chicken, 2 opened packages of rice noodles (gone!), chicken stock from the freezer, yellow onion, last of the celery and multi-colored carrots, thai curry paste, ginger, dried cilantro (when i’m desperate!), etc. Delicious!

    Snacks: son had chips and a hot dog from 7-11 (he gets this treat once in a while and sick dad day seemed like a good day for it); I had air-popped popcorn.

    Day 11:

    Breakfast: son had cereal and bacon; I had a bowl of cereal; hubs slept all morning (he never calls in sick…)

    Lunch: son took usual snacky lunch; hubs had leftover chicken soup from last night and OJ; I had a tuna sandwich and an apple.

    Dinner: needed to keep using that rotisserie chicken, so I threw together a quick skillet sautee of red onion, the chicken shredded up, and green beans from the freezer (we LOVE the trader Joe’s french green beans). I whipped up a mustard vinaigrette (dijon, red wine vinegar, olive oil, S & P) and diluted it with a little chicken broth, added it to the skillet and warmed it all up. Served it over whole wheat couscous. Oh gosh, you guys, this was delicious. Some days my cooking instincts really work, and the past few days it has served us well. I’m making this one again sometime! Also, super fast!

    I shredded up the rest of the chicken and froze it two quart sized bags. One is earmarked for my son’s usual afternoon chicken quesadillas– I pull a little from the freezer as needed and nuke it for a few seconds. The other, we shall see! On to Day 12, when I actually thought a little about dinner beforehand, and also need to grab a few things from the store.

  13. Danielle L Zecher says:

    I made a huge crock pot of chili last night, which will also be my lunch today, and hubby’s dinner at work today. The rest will likely end up in the freezer tomorrow. That seems kind of backward for a pantry challenge, but it at least got some of the canned goods opened up and gone.

    I’m considering waffles for dinner tonight, since I’ll be on my own, and there will be leftovers. One of the cats has an early vet appointment tomorrow, and my M-I-L gave us a ton of waffle mixes, so waffles tonight with leftovers for an easy breakfast tomorrow is sounding like a win.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for using canned goods? We have way too many cans of things like corn and rotel. I know canned goods last a long time, but it would be nice to have some more space. Can you substitute canned veggies in recipes that call for frozen?

    • Melissa F says:

      I used a can of Rotel in my chili and it made it a little spicy but not too bad. Hubs thought it added a nice flavor.

    • Heather M says:

      I often use canned corn in place of frozen. It works out quite well. Rotel can be used in place of anything that calls for diced/canned tomato, as long as you’re looking at a spicier recipe. Like Melissa, my husband has loved it when I use Rotel in place of regular tomato. πŸ™‚

      • I made a bacon potato corn chowder last month that really was good and I also have a recipe for a chicken corn chowder tbhat uses both regular corn and creamed corn. Haven’t made it in a while – guess what will go on our menu soon as I have lots of tinned corn to use!!! Thanks for making me think oif it.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      You can take the can of rotel and mix it in a bowl with a lb. of velveeta cheese for a spicy and delicious dip. You can also brown some ground beef, chicken, or turkey; drain the fat. Add a can of corn and a can of rotel and heat and serve over pasta or rice. With the corn, you can mix that with a can of red kidney beans, chopped celery, chopped onion, salt and pepper, and oil and vinegar for a colorful bean salad.

    • Rotel also works well in Mexican dishes. You could add it in when you are browning your meat for the the tacos, or mix it into beans if you use those. Or a multi-layer bean dip. There are Super Bowl parties coming up, if you ever do that, where the dip could be useful. I put it in my tortilla soup that I made a few days ago.

      On a whim, I checked their website and there is a whole section for recipes: I have no idea the quality of any ingredient suggestions, but the two I clicked to open (one with salmon and one with eggs and avocado on toast) sounded pretty good.

    • I get you on the filling the freezer, but it’s still making for easier meals in the long run! Sounds like you got some good suggestions for canned goods!

  14. Melissa F says:

    With Hubs return from the frozen tundra of MN yesterday we had pork chops that I did in the oven with lime Ponzu sauce, the last of the broccoli/steamed and a rice made with an envelope of Lipton’s onion mushroom soup mix. Hubs liked the rice alot.

    I am going to stop by Food Lion on my way home today for a small steak (hopefully on mark down) to make us a grilled steak salad. I will go to Publix after dinner to purchase a few fresh/sale items.

    We too have a bunch of canned items I have been meaning to work into this challenge. I am planning on some pear muffins to use up canned pears. Just about all of my tomato products are gone and I’ve eaten soup a couple times. You can use corn in cornbread, corn casserole and in soup.

    I haven’t had to much creative work or planning either with such a large stockpile, but I anticipate it will get harder week after next.

    Good luck in the coming weeks everyone! πŸ™‚

    MelissaF in SC

  15. for you ladies w/ a ton of canned goods…………..rotel, corn, beans,can make a nice taco soup…….a bunch of other veggies open & make a veggie soup…….& YES canned can be substituted for frozen…..hope this helps πŸ™‚

    our usual make ahead breakfasts & lunches here. Monday nite: baked potatoes w/ a salad, Tuesday nite: veggie soup, Wedensday nite: baked chicken w/ salad, Thursday nite: meatloaf, mash potatoes, greenbeans, tonite Lawnmower taco w/ refried beans added ( they were on a markdown several months ago & I got gobs so now trying to figure out a way to use them up :)) thought this might stretch it. Also making one for a neighbor who just had surgery πŸ™‚

    • Refried beans added to a beefy vegetable soup is a great way to add some extra goodness as well as thicken the brith some.

    • I’ve also added a can of refried beans to chili, gives it that long cooked taste without the long cooking. I also do something called quesadilla grande that is just a crust in a pie shell with a layer consisting of 1 cup of refried beans and a layer of ground meat cooked with half a package taco seasoning and canned green chilies then topped with grated cheese. The original recipe called for using a package of crescent rolls to make the crust in a 9 inch pie pan. I have also used canned biscuits, bread dough, or a large flour tortilla for the crust. You can top with any of the usual tostada toppings such as chopped tomatoes, lettuce or more cheese; or you can eat it as is like we do.

      You could also just heat the refried beans up and use them as bean dip with some seasoning or cheese.

    • I always add in a can of beans when I make the taco casserole. Sometimes regular beans, sometimes refried, but I figure it adds flavor and bulks it up without using a ton of meat.

    • thanks everyone for the feedback πŸ™‚ We all really liked the casserole w/ the beans so will probably be doing that from now on :)We now have nachos on the menu & will try the beans in soup the next time….they are still Ok date wise so if they dont all get used this month Im ok w/ that.

  16. Wed. was:
    B. egg and mini bagel with cream cheese for me. DH had cerel.
    L. LO ham casserole from Tue. and finished a peach pie from several days ago.
    D. Spaghetti and sauce(mixture of 1 canned sauce, 1 can tomato sauce, spices, 4 oz. of mushrooms and 1/2 # turkey burger), salad alas with no tomatoes, and grilled garlic hot dog buns. Didn’t have any french bread or hot dogs to use my buns with. It worked ok
    B. same as Wed.,
    L. Same as dinner last night. That’s all gone now
    D. ate out with a groupon that was about to lose it’s 50 % off value. Three of us had a great Mexican dinner for $ 13.00 and that included the price of the groupon and tip. Not bad!
    So far this Jan. we have spent about $ 10.00 on groceries to replace some staples or because it allowed me to use a bunch of other pantry items..

  17. Michalene says:

    Day 11 was a complete disaster but My family and I managed.
    Breakfast- Cereal, I made an English muffin with old butter, but the butter didn’t taste right so I threw it out.

    Lunch – a friend forgot lunch, so I gave her my lunch and bought a sandwich.

    Dinner- Less of a fail, homemade chili which used two cans and a bell pepper from the freezer and an onion from the fridge. I usually make cornbread, but I didn’t have corn meal so I made muffins using cream of wheat, which was delish! since we have a bunch of cream of wheat in pantry, I’ll be using that to make instead of cornbread.

    • Interesting use of cream of wheat. What did they taste like?

      • Michalene says:

        They were awesome! They had the texture of cornbread, as in the crumbly ness and were a little sweet. Here is the recipe:
        Cream of Wheat muffins
        1 cup flour
        1 cup cream of wheat
        1/2 cup applesauce
        1/2 cup sugar
        3/4 cup of milk
        1 tsp salt
        1 tsp vanilla
        1 Tbsp baking powder
        1 egg

        Mix all together and bake for 16 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 12 muffins

    • Sorry it was a hard day. Hope they’ve shaped up better since then!

  18. Last night was stuffed peppers over cauliflower rice. I snuck chopped spinach, grated carrots, zucchini, into the meat part. My picky five year old didn’t notice so score! We had mixed veggies from a giant bag of organic mixed veggies I had in the freezer from coscto. They’re actually not too bad.
    Yesterday’s lunch was leftover Portuguese kale soup. Very tasty and so hearty for a cold snowy day.
    Today’s dinner I think will be vegetarian shepherds pie with lentils instead of meat. Or, homemade pizza since we usually have pizza, salad, and popcorn on Friday nights. The kids like it and it gives us a chance to relax together. We’ll have a spinach salad with that.
    I am going to bake some pumpkin muffins today.

    • Would you mind sharing the recipe for the Portuguese kale soup? Hubs had quite a bit of kale growing in the garden, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

      • Sure! It’s easy, hearty, cheap, and very healthy.

        Portugese Kale Soup: Soak overnight 1/4 c. chickpeas and simmer until tender. (or use 1-2 can precooked ) Cut up 1/2 # potatoes into 3/4 ” cubes and simmer 1/2 hr in 2 qt. chicken stock with 1/4 tsp pepper, a dash ground cloves, a dash ground alspice, 1 clove minced garlic. While this is cooking, fry 1/4 # hot sausage and cut into 1/3″ pieces. (loose sausage can be fried as bitty meatballs) Break or cut kale into bite size pieces (4-5 cups or as desired). You can break it into pieces, leaving the larger ribs. These then can be cut up and cooked a little longer. After the 1/2 hour of simmering the potatoes, add the kale, chick peas, and sausage and simmer for 1 more hour. Add 2 c. (dry) precooked tubular pasta just before serving. Garnish to taste liberally with romano or parmesan cheese.
        I also have used collards, escarole, and Swiss chars in lieu of kale. Admittedly kale is my favorite though. This freezes pretty well too!
        I like to serve it with rosemary garlic focaccia.

        Hope you like it.

  19. It’s Friday here in the UK and it’s day 14 of my pantry challenge.
    Breakfast we both had porridge
    Lunch was a corned beef sandwich and a bag of crisps
    Tonight is date night and hubby and I are going out for a carvery at the local eatery

    • What is a carvery? I’m curious.

      • A carvery is where you pay a set price and then choose your meat which is carved in front of you off a large piece and then you help yourself to as much vegetables as you want from a large selection plus your gravy and condiments. Oh and you also get a Yorkshire Pudding which is a savoury batter pudding that is cooked in a very hot oven where it rises and goes crispy

  20. Just realised I didn’t list what we ate yesterday but it was a diet day so not a lot actually.
    Breakfast hubby had cereal and I had a cup of tea
    Lunch we both had soup, I finished off what was in the fridge and hubby had a can from the pantry
    Dinner was beans on toast

  21. Wednesday

    B-The usual cereal, etc., for the guys. String cheese and trail mix for me since I had a morning dr. appt. and had to get out the door.

    L-The usual packed lunch for son (we are such creatures of habit!); leftover pulled-pork, applesauce, cranberry sauce, and pickles for hubs and me.

    D-Leftover lentil chili and cornbread muffins.

    S-Yogurt, string cheese, and Christmas cookies for son before swim; trail mix for me; not sure about hubs–probably trail mix.


    B-The usual cereal (with bluberries for me), etc. Yawn.

    L-Packed lunch for son; cheese sandwiches, clementines, bananas, and yogurt for hubs and me.

    D-The last of the lentil chili and cornbread muffins. Yahoo! It’s really good chili, but it makes a ton and there’s only three of us to eat it up. Clementines.

    S-Banana bread. (I *had* to make up two more loaves before the bananas would only be good enough for the compost bin. Note to self: When you buy bananas, be sure they get eaten up first! Now we have two loaves in the freezer. sigh)

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Hi Roberta:

      Just in case you didn’t know, you can freeze bananas so you don’t have to hurry and eat them before they go bad. I do it all the time. They are not good for eating once frozen, but they are great for making banana bread, cake, muffins, shakes, etc. Just throw them in a freezer bag and that’s it.

      • Yep. I do that too. The problem for us is that we already have a bunch of frozen and dried bananas in the freezer. I think I just need to stop buying fresh ones for awhile. (wry grin)

    • We have bananas to use to, but only because they went from green to brown with not much yellow in between. Happens often with Costco bananas, unfortunately.

  22. the1chery says:

    All of you with emptier freezers and pantries yay! I am still eating food from December! ( I way over bought in December) I look forward to the day when I can start on the freezer and pantry contents. I’m a single person living alone so I can only eat so much. Anybody else sometimes feel like they’re being held hostage to the food in their house?? Today I got a chance for a free sandwich for lunch but I declined because I had to eat the leftovers I brought with me!

  23. I’m single too and I’m finding it hard to empty the freezer. I’m seeing space in my pantry and my fridge is looking very skimpy. But the freezer… wow! I really have it packed full! It was good to do an inventory of all that I have on hand. I love the pantry challenge! So far I haven’t been to the store since right after Christmas… which is why my fridge is looking so bare. I’ll have to go on Saturday to buy cat food, so I’ll be tempted to buy all kinds of things I don’t need but are on sale and such a good deal. I’m making a list and checking it twice so that I only buy what I need. I’ll let y’all know if it works.

  24. Getting more room on pantry shelves.
    B-found some mini bagels in freezer, so peanut butter or egg bagels, everyone’s choice and oranges
    L-leftover veggie soup for hubby and I with crackers(we got so many gift baskets from businesses at Christmas with assorted crackers and cheese), kids had lunch at school
    D-Mexican casserole concoction using up leftover chili, corn, black beans, cheese and 3 opened bags of tortilla chips(seriously how does this happen?), it was a winner, the kids devoured it. Apples and Christmas candy for dessert
    S-kids used up some of the crackers
    B- kids finished bagels, hubby and I had eggs with homemade bread
    L-salad for me, leftovers for hubby with oranges for both
    D-made another concoction of Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, peppers and onions roasted with a spicy seasoning and chunked up Brats that were getting older into it . Kids loved it and are requesting again soon. Salad and apples for dessert.
    S-kids had some crackers

    • except for having russets instead of Yukons, I have all these here as well. Did you chunk up the brats and roast that with the veggies, or did you cook them separately and then combine?

      • I partially cooked the brats first on another pan to remove the excess grease then tossed them with the veggies to finish. I think it was about 15 min.

    • My kids love it when we have stale chips because I’ll make taco casserole then. ha!

  25. Goodbye, random bag of frozen spinach that I’ve been moving around the freezer for ages.
    Goodbye, old boxed brownie mix from the depths of the pantry.

    We aren’t doing 100% freezer/pantry meals, but I’m making a concerted effort to use up things when I can. : )

  26. Wddnesday

    Breakfast: Oatmeal for kids. Oats and milk for DH. I don’t remember what I had, but I always have breakfast and coffee πŸ˜€

    Lunch: Packed lunch for DH. Rye and lunch meat for the girls and I. Vegetables on the side.

    Dinner: Ham from the freezer (leftover from DD2’s Christening), vegetarian “meat” for DH. Boiled potatoes and carrots. Warm broccolli salad. Hollandaise sauce (from a box).

    Snacks: Grapes and apples.

    I have a hard time making sure we eat broccolli, whenever I buy it and I was wrecking my brain to come up with a way to cook the head og broccolli I had bought for some reason. It suddenly dawned on me that I sometimes make a warm salad with green beans and cherry tomatoes. I simply used broccolli in stead of green beans and it tasted great! Huge win for me πŸ™‚


    Breakfast: Oats and milk for DH and DD1 before they left for work/preschool. Rye porridge for DD2. Rolls and coffee for me, after I put her down for a morning nap.

    Lunch: I don’t really remember, but probably rye bread or rolls with lunch meat. Packed lunch for DH and DD1.

    Dinner: Burritos with guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Mixed salad.

    Snacks: grapes and bananas.

    Filling for the burritos was from the freezer and is all gone now. I only had a little bit of lettuce and it was in quite a sad state, so it was a very small salad. At least we used up all of it!

    Kathy in Denmark

  27. Suze Clark says:

    Hi Jessica, To participate in the Pantry Challenge have adapted the process a bit. Set my PC weekly food budget at $150.
    Week 1 – spent $138.04 Savings $11.96
    Week 2 – spent $73.42 Savings $76.58
    Total Saving $88.54
    This is for 2 adults. My sweetie is home for lunch most days So PC includes three meals a day for 2 adults minus 2 lunches. My sweetie has lunch out with his boss and we a date lunch out.
    Thanks Inspired Blessings

  28. Hello,

    B: waffles for ds 3, eggs for ds 2 and dd, egg for me and hubby didn’t eat.
    L: pbj and fruit for dd, school lunch for the boys. Veg refried beans, an orange, and carrots for me. Hubby finished the ribs from a few days ago.
    D: beef roast in cream of mushroom soup gravy over rice for all four of them. I had an orange and will have quinoa kimbap (korean cooked sushi roll). (They all adore that cream of mushroom soup gravy but I think it’s nasty, and I’m pre-diabetic so I try to avoid rice.)

    So, here we are on Day 9. I’ve bought milk, eggs, fruit, seaweed sheets, and bread. Tonight I go for more veggies for my kimbap.

    Anyway, I didn’t do the math but I didn’t make a big shopping trip to the grocery at the beginning of the month at all, only two small trips. I estimate I spent about $100 and save around $250-300 so far. I do need to go this weekend for some of the same things and a couple of non-perishables. But I was so stocked up I still have plenty of food, except maybe meat. So I’m trying to make less of that and stretch it.

  29. I feel like I am extending my challenge to nonfood items like toiletries etc and trying to use things that have been hanging around. Everything seems neater.

    We have had a few cheats. We had a chance to eat dinner out with no kids on Wednesday, so we did! Breakfast has been toast and peanut butter, homemade granola, cereal. I have not purchased any new cereal because we have been mixing breakfast up a lot. I have been eating oatmeal. Typical lunches (pb and j). Dinner last night was chicken soup, which is NOT that popular in my house. I made rolls and that helped it go down. I love soup and one of the kids like it too, but that is it. Was home with a sick kid yesterday and did a quick store run for fruit and bought a few snacks. Spent $20.00.

    On the plus side I have used almost all of my oatmeal (making granola) rice, flour, and yeast. We have really been utilizing what we have. Now I have to plan for next week and shop tonight or tomorrow. Not sure it will happen tonight.

  30. Today was:
    B: homemade bread with pb and raspberry jam I canned this summer
    L: baked potatoes with toppings, yogurt
    D: chicken teriyaki with zucchini and frozen mango over rice

    Freezer is looking better but I still have a whole chicken and a turkey in there to use up.

  31. No one here can remember what we had on Wednesday night. Is that sad? I guess it wasn’t that great, or that bad. Suffice it to say we ate at home and used what we had (whatever that was). πŸ™

    Thursday night we had a friend over for supper. (Her husband was my husbands close friend. Hubs was diagnosed with cancer the year before Mike was. Anyway, they became even closer through this struggle. Mike passed away in October. We are trying to include his wife in our meals once a month or more.) So, I let her choose what she wanted me to cook. She chose breakfast food πŸ™‚
    We had cheese grit casserole, bacon, buttermilk waffles and fruit. It was yummy and something she said she wouldn’t cook just for herself.

    Today I made 7 freezer meal for the weeks to come. We have enough room in our kitchen freezer now to store them, so no one has to go outside to the cold garage to get one out. Yay for freezer space!

  32. I’m a little tardy to the party, but want to catch up!
    Day 11
    Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs and toast
    Lunch: Leftovers and Chipotle (forgot my lunch at home-boo!)
    Dinner: Chicken nachos
    Day 12
    Breakfast: Cottage cheese and fruit or hard boiled egg and fruit
    Lunch: Leftovers
    Dinner: Mexican restaurant
    Grocery run for produce, eggs, yogurt, water, bread: $24.55 (total for month $53.31)

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