Pantry Challenge Days 20 & 21

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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!

rincon drive

Sorry for the quiet over the weekend. We actually took time out of the Pantry Challenge to go visit family. My nieces had a birthday party yesterday so we drove to Santa Barbara to spend time with Getskows. Then we kept driving another 30 miles to my in-laws to spend the night. We got home this afternoon at lunchtime.

We had beautiful weather up and down the coast, and not so crazy traffic, either. For a whirlwind trip, it wasn’t too bad!

Needless to say, other people fed us, including the lovely folks at In-N-Out where we picked up our traditional Sunday meal to go.

Tonight we grilled tri-tip, the last of the protein from the freezer. I also stopped at Trader Joe’s and got some small basics to get us through. Need to do a whole new meal plan for the week, and hopefully use up some more random things. But for the termite tent, I would be done! At least mentally!

Saturday Pantry Challenge

Breakfast: Bagels and snacks in the car

Lunch: My sister’s cooking

Dinner: Pizza with my inlaws

Sunday Pantry Challenge

Breakfast: My inlaws’ cooking

Lunch: In-N-Out Burger (our regular Sunday meal)

Dinner: Grilled Tri-tip, Potatoes, Salad.

How’s the Pantry Challenge going for YOU?

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  1. First, exciting!

    Late Breakfast-Italian sausage, scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa-husband cooked-yeah!
    Lunch/Dinner-lentil soup and bread

    We went on a hike at the beach then visited a friend getting home at 4, so soup was all we wanted after the big breakfast. I was going to cook my next to the last package of frozen shrimp, but it’ll wait until tomorrow.

  2. B: Strawberries & cream, chocolate bread (all from freezer)
    L: Hot dog sandwiches, tater tots, carrot sticks. I didn’t have any buns so I butterflied the hot dogs before broiling them and served them on toast. We used a loaf of bread we got free from Kroger’s free Friday downloads.
    D: Sub sandwiches, potato chips and sliced strawberries.

    Extras: my daughter is on the prop crew for her middle school play. They were at school from noon to 9:00 pm. The parent’s were asked to deliver dinner. They had plenty of volunteers expect for the specialty meals. The teacher asked if I would bake a gluten-free and a vegetarian option.

    I made a gluten-free ham and potato quiche. The crust is made with shredded potatoes. I made a gluten-free chicken and rice with vegetables. I make this just like you would make fried rice but skipped the soy sauce, which usually has gluten. For the vegetarian option, I made a black bean, corn and cheese casserole. I usually make this as a hot dip for chips, but to make it a bit healthier and more of an entrée, I brought carrots, celery sticks, and broccoli and cauliflower florets. The only things I had to purchase were the disposable pans and some fresh vegetables, which didn’t cost much.

    I think the only thing we have to buy to get us to Feb 1 are eggs. I still have plenty of baking supplies so I plan to make some treats to make up for the less than inspiring meals.

    • Heather M says:

      Nice work on the food for the kids!! Winning all around!

    • Jessica S says:

      Your donations sound deelish! And THANK YOU! My sister has sever food allergies so I was raised super attentive to the cause.. and as an admin in a preschool and an exc Bd member of my schools PTO I am always aware of ensuring the alternative is available. It is ALWAYS appreciated and noticed! So thank you for ensuring those kids/staff were well fed with flavorful options!!!

    • You are awesome. How nice to be able to cook something special on a pantry challenge!

  3. Over halfway thru and we still have plenty of food. I did go to the store to pickup milk, eggs,and fruit.
    I’ve only spent $145.00 this month so I am really pleased with the results of this challenge. We should only need some milk and bread to finish out the month!
    Day 20
    Breakfast was pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and clementines .
    Lunch for me was a ham sandwich
    Dinner was hamburgers, hot dogs, rosemary roasted potatoes and green beans.
    Snacks were popcorn or chips and salsa

    Day 21
    Brunch was eggs hashbrown potatoes bacon and cheese in one pan with tortillas for those who wanted them
    Dinner was roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy and California blend veggies
    Snacks were brownie mint cookies and popcorn

  4. Laurie in CA says:

    Sounds like you had a great albeit brief trip Jessica.

    Day 20
    B – lemon raspberry muffin from the freezer, milk
    L – Almonds and cashews for me, angus burger for hubs
    D – We had gift Christmas gift cards to our favorite steak house. Hubs and I both brought half of our meal home.

    Day 21
    B – fried eggs over sauteed green and toast for me, fried eggs, toast and milk for hubs
    L – leftover chicken alfredo
    D – we had the birthday party/dinner for our 1 yo granddaughter. Hubs bbq’d burgers and we had chips. Our son and dil brought a cake and we bought ice cream to serve with it.

  5. Heather M says:

    What a fabulous whirlwind weekend you had, Jessica and family! The opposite of ours: snowed in! We got a good 27 inches at our house in Arlington, VA in this weekend’s crazy east coast blizzard. So much snow, they’ve canceled school through Tuesday already. Moving all the snow is an issue, so only main roads are passable right now. I’m not even going to try to leave until at least Tuesday. I cooked up a storm this weekend. So fun. Day 20:

    Brunch: strawberry-guava pancakes (and plain ones, but who wants those?), maple sausage, fresh pineapple (pancakes used the last of a mix I had, plus a pouch from Hawaii)

    Dinner: Chicken with balsamic-fig sauce, corn and goat cheese spoonbread, steamed broccoli (pantry/freezer mostly, except the fresh broccoli– also used some of the huge amounts of soon to expire goat cheese I have!)

    I also baked a loaf of buttermilk yeast bread for Day 21’s brunch. FIrst time I’ve made this recipe and it turned out delicious! Will be making this one again! Used some of the aging bread flour I need to use up, too! Day 21:

    Brunch; Overnight caramel french toast; fresh berries; bacon (homemade bread; items from baking pantry, and fresh)

    Dinner: Loaded nachos, including a “spoon taco” mixture I made with ground beef, refried beans, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, and seasonings (total Challenge win!), lettuce, chopped tomato, avocado, and green onions, pickled jalapeno (from the pantry– don’t know why I ever bought that jar; now it’s open and will get used up!), sour cream. So delicious! And perfect for dinner while watching the AFC-NFC finals.

    Kind of happy we’ll be stuck inside for a few more days. I’m going to keep at this creative cooking through the end of the month. I think we won’t need to buy anything except milk. If we even need that. We did a brunch-dinner thing over the weekend. We’ll see how it goes the next day or two and see when we go back to B-L-D. Hope everyone who got hit with the snow fared as well as we did!

  6. Jessica S says:

    Heather M- sorry you are trapped but your positivity is working off in your favor! I love the extra heat that snowed in baking puts into the house!

    Saturday was a fend for yourself breakfast and lunch. I was nice enough to whip up a super fancy Kraft Mac and cheese for my son and his friend who was over.. they promptly decorated their bowls with kettle potato chips and ketchup..Ewww.. boys!
    Dinner- I pulled out a few jars of homemade chili from the freezer and some of us had that for supper. I had made a batch of homemade pizza dough and made 1 large pepperoni pizza and a batch of pizza rolls- which I tossed into the freezer for lunch boxes!
    * Before pizza went into oven I had whipped up a batch of scratch brownies for snacking on. So yummy!
    Saturday also was spent with the crock-pot simmering 4 quarts of chicken stock.. so that is frozen in portions .

    used the last of a box of cake flour to make Pancakes (Pioneer woman recipe and it is FAB!)
    Lunch was leftovers and randomness in the fridge
    Dinner- I was tired and just not in the mood to cook. Had pulled a bag of chicken breasts out to thaw and told husband I really just did not want to cook today… Soooo… In the end, I cooked.. because none of our gift cards sounded good! lol
    I marinated the chicken in some bottled italian dressing, grilled it ( taking advantage of the fact that our part of ohio has no snow! Baked the bag of sweet potatos that needed used anyway, half a bag of frozen peas and a roll of honey butter biscuits that were in the fridge. Smooshed some cinnamon sugar into soft butter for the potatoes…

    • Heather M says:

      Hey, at least when not in the mood to cook, you figured out something easy and yummy! Total win! We aren’t minding the snowed-in thing. I think our house is finally free to escape from, as of late this afternoon (Monday). But so many side streets are untouched, so life is still at a halt. We’ll stay in as much as possible until we need to leave. 🙂

    • That all sounds delicious!

  7. Stephanie M. says:

    So happy you had a nice weekend with your family, Jessica. Your landscape looks quite a bit different from ours. We are completely white as you know. My hubby is going to Los Angeles next week for a four day conference so he will be out of this cold weather for a few days but I will take the time every day to send him some pictures of home so he won’t miss it too much!!! LOL.

    Our weekend was good challenge wise.

    Day 20 The Day of the Storm

    B – Hubby had oatmeal and I had two pancakes from the freezer and strawberries and blueberries.

    While hubby was outside snow blowing, I was inside making a quiche for lunch and some brownies.

    L – Zucchini and mushroom quiche and salad

    While hubby was outside snow blowing for the second time, I was inside making a huge pot of lentil soup with chicken sausage and spinach soup.

    D – Lentil soup, salad, and dinner rolls.

    Dessert – Brownies

    Day 21

    B – We had Taylor Ham and cheese on sandwich size English muffins, using up the last of the Taylor Ham from the freezer.

    L – We had leftover quiche from yesterday and salad.

    D – We had soup and sandwiches, using some of the leftover lentil soup.

    Dessert: More brownies

    • Heather M says:

      How much snow did you get, Stephanie? I imagine there was quite a bit! Lucky hubby getting to escape. 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        We got somewhere between 18 and 24 inches. I think you got more thought right? Our roads are clear especially the main ones and highways. Side roads are okay but not wonderful. No school missed for the kiddos. Too bad. When I was a mom of school going kids, I was just as happy as them when they had a snow day. It really was very beautiful when the storm was going on. I really can’t imagine why hubby would be happier in the warmer weather of Los Angeles than the cold weather of New Jersey!! LOL

    • You should come with him! The weather is lovely right now!

  8. Tastycook says:

    Nice weekend Jessica. Wish we had family close enough to be able to do that but that’a not the case for us. Nearest is our son, 150 miles away other than that, the rest of the family is the other side of the ocean!!

    Wow, some busy w/es were had in kitchens, making good use of snow days!! Lots of baking and inspired cooking. We are still going strong here altho I do have to admit to buying stuff ‘specially for last night’s supper. Some friends are going away for 6 weeks so wanted to have some time with them before they left. We provided the main course and they brought dessert and a fun, lively evening was had by all.

    Day 20
    Breakfast: PBJ for hubby, yogurt and a piece of coffee cake for me.
    Lunch: we were out all day so stopped into a fairly new in the area Panera for lunch. Not cheap by any means but it was good – and filling.
    Supper: Neither of us was hungry so no cooking here. Later on we snacked with pate & crackers and cheese.

    Day 21:
    Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and cheese on toast
    Lunch: Hubby made tuna sandwiches for us, with canned beets from the fridge on the side. It emptied the jar so this was good!!!
    Supper: Coq au vin (with white wine, not red) – so good. Lots of onions and mushrooms in this and veggies – fingerling potatoes (bought specially), broccoli from the fridge and carrots from the freezer. Our friends brought a fruit gallette and ice cream

    • Heather M says:

      Dinner and fun with your friends sounded awesome! Yummy meal! One must buy the extras in situations like this! 🙂

    • We actually drove 180 miles EACH WAY. Crazy. But, my sister has been so good to come for my kids’ birthdays, I really wanted to do the same in return. I turned a blind eye to the gas costs.

  9. East coast and west coast ocean views look so different bot both are so beautiful. Glad you had a nice weekend!

    Fri 1/22
    Breakfast: oatmeal
    Lunch: leftover stir fry
    Dinner: finished tortilla soup

    Sat 1/23
    Breakfast: granola, yogurt, mixed berries thawed from freezer
    Lunch: snacky bits of this and that
    Dinner: finished potato soup

    Sun 1/24
    Breakfast: omelet
    Lunch: Costco samples – last day of sale, I wanted to pick up a couple of things, stuck to my list and only got what I went for. Foodwise, I only bought milk and frozen veggies. Kid also bought a piece of food court pizza.
    Dinner: leftover chicken alfredo, mixed veggies, chocolate pudding from a box of unmentionable age

  10. Jessica, your trip sounds great. Glad the challenge has gone well and wishing you luck and inspiration for this last week.

    Glad to hear from those who were in the storm. Wishing all a safe storm recovery.

    Weekends we also just do brunch and dinner. This weekend brunch was whole wheat blender pancakes both days using the recipe from Mel’s kitchen Café website and some whole hard white wheat from the pantry. I used my pancakes for making sandwiches with sliced turkey Sat. and egg and cheese Sun, but hubby does the traditional syrup thing.

    Saturday I fixed mac & cheese and added diced park, kale and mushrooms with peas as a side dish. This used the cheese and kale from the frig and mushrooms, pork and peas from the freezer as well as the rotini from the pantry.

    Sunday I fried up some ground pork from the freezer with some frozen stir-fry vegetables.

    I also have small snack meals when I take medication that needs to be taken with food. The timing doesn’t work to always take at mealtime, so I’m snacking on small portions of leftovers, usually.

    I am seeing some improvement in the freezers but still quite a ways to go since there are only two of us.

  11. We had a wonderful weekend attending the US National Figure Skating Championships in MN! So our PC was also somewhat on hold.

    Day 20
    DD2 and I went to the all day skating event (so fun!) and ate concessions/stadium restaurant food. HH and DD1 were home and had to fend for themselves. Based on the dishes they left in the sink (lovely), this is what I think they ate.

    Breakfast: Pancakes
    Lunch: Food court at mall
    Dinner: Leftovers

    Day 21
    DD1 and HH went to the skating event late morning. They stopped for a fast food lunch on the way and ate at a fun local restaurant between skating events. DD2 and I stayed home.

    Breakfast: French toast
    Lunch: Leftovers
    Dinner: Turkey chili and cornbread muffins (They chili was too spicy for DD2 so she also made a microwave meal. )

    • Day #24 found me still using up the 1.5 cups of ham that I found in the freezer from which I was able to make:

      a ham and potato patty served with fried egg;
      ham and cheddar cheese waffles;
      ham and lentil soup;
      a ham with broccoli quiche

      When I use meat as an accent feqture, it sure does stretch how far the meat can be used in recipes.

      I had no broccoli for the quiche but I found a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables in my freezer. In the package contained…yes, broccoli! I picked out all the broccoli for my quiche and saved the remaining vegetables for dinner.

      B – Kroger’s “Simple Truth Organiic” apricot/coconut granola and decaf coffee
      L- ham and broccoli quiche w/cup of tea
      S- brie cheese with apple slices
      D – stir-fry leftover rostisserie chicken breast with vegetables over rice. Choc pudding for desssert!

      I discovered that cooking with fresh eggs that had been frozen does work but the resulting product is not as “fluffy” as if the eggs were not frozen. Anyone else have a similar experience when freezing eggs?

      • I love that you pulled the broccoli out of your frozen veg mix. I have so done that! Once I pulled all the lima beans out of the mixed veg, because who likes those?

        • OMG – Lima beans! I think there is a reason why in 38 years as the family cook I’ve never served them! LOL!

    • Heather M says:

      What fun to attend that!!

    • Based on the dishes…. haha! Love that! My 18yo stayed home over the weekend and I was thrilled that we did come home to a clean kitchen.

  12. Your picture looks so nice while we are in the throes of winter here in Ohio. Supposed to warm up here this week though. We’ve been doing very well the last few days. I’m proud of all we used in a super busy weekend. It would have been so easy to put the PC aside.
    B-homemade bread with eggs or peanut butter, grapefruit
    L-leftover pork chops and green beans for hubby, salad for me and we both ate some sweet potatoes from the freezer that needed used
    D-chili from freezer, pumpkin bread and apples
    B- quick breakfast of pumpkin bread and cereal before family butchering day
    L-sloppy Joe’s from the freezer for the whole crew, everyone else provided sides, used up the rest of the Christmas cookies (yay!!)
    D- really didn’t feel like cooking after a full day of butchering and farm chores, so made a frozen pizza that had been shuffled around in my freezer too long. Wasn’t enough for everyone so I made a batch of nachos with some of the chili that was left over. Pure junk food, but it was easy so no complaints from me!
    B-no time for parents, kids had granola
    L-made subs using some leftover steak for hubby and chicken for the rest of us. They were delicious and I got the last of the French bread out of the freezer. Also used up some cheese that had to go. Apples for dessert.
    D-leftover sloppy Joe, homemade fries from the freezer, carrots and some candy that was still left from Christmas

  13. Melissa F says:

    I agree that being housebound by the weather offers a wonderful chance to cook without the normal time constraints – so much fun.

    We did go out to Walmart on Saturday after our snow melted, Hubs needs something from the automotive section so I was able to grab a few things from the spices aisle that I was out of and some sliced almonds that I needed. I was out of ground ginger that I needed to make the honey garlic wings that night for dinner. I had not made them in a long time and had forgotten how good they really are – super easy to make and clean up.

    Sunday hubs had some applesauce muffins, I had cheese toast and we shared some fruit salad of mango, blueberries, banana, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with a little coconut. Lunch was leftover chili – I made nachos with mine. For dinner we had salmon cakes ( I have quite a few cans in the stockpile), the free box of Annie’s butter and parmesan pasta and green beans. Snacks for the games were chips and dessert was a WW ice cream cone.

    Hubs is back to his travel schedule – he had a yogurt for breakfast and I had an applesauce muffin and a banana. I have a can of soup for lunch and if hubs doesn’t eat it before he leaves today, I will have the rest of the leftover chili for dinner. If he does eat it, I will probably have a grilled cheese using up the last of the bread in the basket.

    Our inside fridge freezer has alot more wiggle room and the outside freezer isn’t crammed packed anymore. Still working on using up all the canned goods I have that I keep for emergencies that need to be rotated this year. I had my son go through it last year and clearly write the expiry date on the tops for me. I will have to get creative on some of it because I just don’t want to throw anything out. As with others, there is only 2 of us, so I will continue the abridged PC that I have been doing – still shopping the sales but not getting as much and trying to use up what I have to keep the rotation going.

    And Jess – that view on the coastal highway was so pretty.

    Melissa F in SC

    • Those wings sound delicious! As does your whole weekend. Great job!

    • honey garlic wings sound different but yummy. you have a recipe for that?

      • Melissa F says:

        Sure do! And I cannot remember where I got it from and I changed it a bit for our tastes.
        I used 2 regular packs of wings they had 7 whole wings in each. We cut them into pieces and discard the tips. I place them on a large foil lined sprayed with cooking spray. I put them in a 425 degree oven, turning once to get them crisped up a little bit – they will never be crispy like frying though just kind of browned. Then I place the sauce on and cook until the sauce is thickened to my liking, turning to baste. This whole process usually takes an 1-1 1/4 hours.
        Sauce: 1/3 cup low salt soy sauce, 1/3 cup water, 4 Tbsp honey, 5 garlic cloves crushed and 2 tsp. ground ginger.
        The wings were so tender and flavorful. yummo!

        • I like the crispy from fried but the no guilt from baked. 🙂 I’m usually more of a spicy wing girl, but the kid prefers the milder/sweeter flavors so I think he’d really like this. I do believe I’ll give it a try. Probably not until next month, though, since I don’t have any wings in the freezer. They’ll hopefully go on sale for the superbowl, too.

  14. Michalene says:

    This weekend was a pantry challenge win! Saw some major progress in the freezer

    Breakfast: Ceral, I didn’t have anything since I got up late
    Lunch: Veggie Lasanga, with Meatballs and Brocoli all from the freezer. We had three extra people for lunch, which helped us eat up some of this food.
    Dinner: Pot Poast with veggies. not a lot of it was eaten, because of the bug lunch.

    Breakfast: Again we had family over, so I made pancakes and eggs for everyone, blueberry and bananas for kids, and Strawberry compote for adults.
    After sledding, we had a snack of Hot chocolate and Munckins leftover from breakfast
    Lunch: none, since we had a late breakfast and we’re going to have an early summer
    Dinner: Watching the Patriots game made me crave party food. So for an early dinner (4:00) I made a sandwich platter with rolls I found on clearance at grocery store, roast beef leftover from last night; nachos, which used up more cheese and guacamole from the freezer, and chicken wings which I bought when I went grocery shopping.

  15. Melissa F says:

    Forgot to add that I do make food and give food to our 3 adult kids that live nearby. One is in her last semester of college.

    Yesterday I made granola, pancake mix and oatmeal. Part of the granola stays with us. The pancake mix is a buttermilk powder, half whole wheat/half AP flour and low sugar mix. And the oatmeal is a creation – quick oats, a little sugar, vanilla powder, sliced almonds and pomegranate flavored dried cranberries. I make different flavor combos all the time depending on what I have on hand. The kids love it.

    That all kept me really busy yesterday along with the usual laundry and cooking!

    Melissa F in SC

    • Heather M says:

      LOVE that you do this! Your kids must love it! We are only 3 for food, so it takes awhile to get through the pantry/freezer, too. Going to keep going like you, to rotate out the aging food, but buying whatever needs replacing or is fresh. Hoping it will keep costs down for another month. 🙂

    • That all sounds delicious. Could you share those recipes? I’ve been looking for a bulk pancake mix.

    • Awesome mom!

  16. Saturday
    B – egg, 1/2 bagel with cream cheese
    L – Cowboy Beans and oatmeal chocolate chip muffins
    D – finished off the bbq chicken on hot dog buns, and LO couscous (enough left for 1 more time)
    B – oatmeal
    L – same as lunch yesterday
    S – biscuits and homemade turkey burger sausage gravy and fried apples from 3 apples which were getting pretty old. Tasted really good fried with cinnamon and sugar.

  17. Andrea Haschart says:

    Can you give some suggestions about how to avoid the temptation of buying great priced stock up items during a pantry challenge other than not looking at the sale ads? Thank you!

    • I think it really depends on your motivation for doing the Pantry Challenge. For me, I’m trying to reduce our food storage in anticipation of the termite tenting. But, you might have different reasons. You might want to consider what constitutes as “enough” for your food storage comfort and how great the sale is. If it’s something that is really a screaming deal, I’d buy it.

    • I agree with Jessica about your motivation. Mine is to use up older stuff on hand, and things we have too much of.

      My suggestion is a bit involved, but I recommend you store stocked up items in a separate area from the day to day stuff and keep a list of what you have on hand . I use a spreadsheet with a column for what the item is ( green beans), a column for unit (15 oz. can) and a column for quantity on hand. I organize it in groups such as fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. and a total for each group. Then when there is a sale I can check to see how much I have and decide if I need more. When I transfer items to my day to day shelves, I update the spreadsheet. This means I don’t have to update each time I cook. I call it shopping the pantry, . I’m thinking about making a spreadsheet for the freezer when I get it used down some more, to help avoid those items that get overlooked for far too long.

      I like to keep certain things in stock and only buy them on sale. So, I went ahead and bought diced tomatoes last week because the price was so good and I didn’t have that much on hand. They mostly go on sale in the winter with beans for chili and such so I try to buy extra then while they are on sale for less than half price. But, I have been passing up the sales until I got on hand used down and have been ignoring the pasta sales as we still have plenty. The list and totals really help me pass up the bargains because I know how much I already have. Maybe just looking at what is on hand would work for you.

      The main thing I have learned is to b e aware of how much I need to have on hand and when they will be on sale. I have also learned not to stock up on something if I haven’t tried it in the brand that is on sale. There have been things that I celebrated using the last of from the pantry or freezer.

      • I’ve been doing my PC for 18 days in DEC and all of JAN. My stockpile is non-existent for some things and very low for others.

        Today, I found a mark down on chicken leg quarters at .37/lb. Since I’m very low on that item, I did buy the 10# bag which means the freezer fills up again. But it fills up with somethings that I’m going to need within a few weeks. Who knows when I’ll find .37/lb leg quarters again in the near future?

        Otherwise, if I see a good sale but my stockpile is ample, I pass up the sale.

      • Thank you for your advice and detailed suggestions. I do use spreadsheets to track my freezer and pantry stock. I was low on cheese and canned tomatoes so I stocked up on them at low prices but then I felt guilty because I was doing the pantry challenge and trying only to buy produce, milk, eggs and bread.

  18. Ugh, my freezer space filled up again. We did a great job using up leftovers on Saturday, but that filled us up without any real cooking. Sunday was a birthday party for lunch and a dinner party for work, so our meals were covered. We hosted the dinner party. Much of what was served was purchased for the event, but I knew that would be the case. DH got 3 containers of ice cream for dessert. We ate less than a third of each, so they are all sitting in my freezer, now. The kids are happy to have more options. I’ll still work on getting the older desserts worked into the meal plans, though. That ice cream will probably last quite a while.

    Plus, I converted a few freezer items into meals and lunch options, so they are taking up much more space than they did originally in the freezer. I’m hoping that by the end of the week the freezer will show some white space again.

    I think the weekend was mostly a success, it just doesn’t really look like it. I’m trying to ignore that and stay focused with my meal plan for the week. Planning to use up a few snack items from the freezer this week, too. I really haven’t been shopping much, except for a few fresh items to intersperse into the plans, so I must be making headway! Wishing we had gotten snow in Michigan. I’d love to be snowed in for a few days. Glad to hear that those of you who are snowed in are doing well.

  19. It sounds like you had a fun weekend.

    Yeah my freezer is empty and all defrosted and cleaned ready for moving next Monday, gosh just a week to go now!

    B cereals for hubby and granola with yoghurt and a slice of toast for me with a hot drink
    L grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes carrots and courgette
    D grilled bacon with potato waffles, strudel and yoghurt
    Snacks home made rock cakes

    B I had cup of tea, hubby had weetabix and cup of coffee
    L fruit smoothie
    D boiled eggs and toast
    No snacks today as it is our diet day

    Very little left in the fridge now too and not many tins in the cupboard either but that’s fine and how I wanted it to be. We will be eating out and at friends a couple of times before we go and we will manage with what we have left the rest of the time. I’ve found this challenge so helpful to ensure we have eaten as much as possible from our supplies. I have to confess to having done an online supermarket shop to be delivered the day after we move in to our new home to keep things easy while we unpack.

    • Heather M says:

      So awesome that you have so little to move!! Yay!! I think you were wise to pre-order food to be delivered the day after you move in. It will make life so much easier at the beginning when you’re unpacking and will help you avoid the take-out temptation! Good luck with your move!

    • I can’t remember how far you’re moving, but I’m so glad for you to be ready! Yay! And I’m so glad you’ve already planned a grocery delivery for your new place. YAY!

    • Scheduling a delivery for right after move in makes a lot of sense to me. That’s a hassle you won’t have to deal with along with all the boxes and chaos and will help curb the urges for going out or ordering delivery. Plus, grocery unpacking in a new place is more fun than unpacking the tools for the garage!

  20. I see holes, but not enough of them

    Shared this month so far on my blog

  21. Glad to hear that everyone is ok in the snow 🙂


    Bruch: Softboiled eggs, rye bread, rolls. Milk for the girls coffee for parents.

    Lunch: none, were too full from brunch

    Dinner: Boiled meatballs in a curry sauce. Same for DH, only with vegetarian “meat”. Leftover stew from the freezer. Served everything with brown rice.

    Snacks: Banana bread, apples and oranges. Popcorn later.

    Dinner was a real freezer win, since I used up lots of odds and ends from the freezer. I was very happy with that!


    Breakfast: Softboiled eggs, rye bread, rolls. Milk and coffee.

    Lunch: Attended my nephew’s bithday party and were served rolls, hot cocoa, coffee and 2 kind of cake around 2 pm.

    Dinner: make your own sandwich at the birthday party. It was a delicious dinner!

    Snacks: crisps

    It was a really good day with great food and great company. My 4 year old insisted on bringing one of her own toys as a gift for my nephew. It was really sweet to see her hand the toy over to her cousin, who turned 16 LOL. Of course, she changed her mind when we were about to go home and didn’t want to leave the toy, but it was still precious. By the way, we have only known this young man for a few years (he is the son of my brother’s girlfriend), but he has really stolen my kids’ hearts and so has his sister. It shows that family is really how you feel, not if you are actually related by blood.

    Kathy in Denmark

  22. So glad you had a wonderful family weekend. We spent most of ours shoveling, shoveling and shoveling and there is still a lot that should be shoveled but we quit, for today any how. 19 inches goes along way when you run out of places to put it…. Atleast it was pretty….the first day. lol
    I got brave this weekend too and pulled out a 10 lb bag of chicken quarters so guess what we will be eating most of the week. It opened up some space in the freezer so that feels good.

    Breakfast – Hot cereal, and hot drinks before heading out in the cold snowy world
    Lunch – Baked omelet w/bacon
    Dinner – Ham with cabbage and noodles (freezer)

    Breakfast – Bacon, eggs and toast before starting another day of the snow adventure
    Lunch – Beef pot pies (freezer)
    Dinner – Baked chicken thighs, garlic buttered noodles and Brussel sprouts

  23. Suze Clark says:

    Jessica, Good to hear y’all enjoyed time with your family and friends. We are Socked in on the East Coast but doing well. Spend most of these past days of snow to snuggle and cook. We were a bit over budge but doing well. Blessings

  24. Yesterday was a win as far as using up leftovers. After a day full of sledding and farm chores I was wiped out. My upper body is still sore from shoveling. Win on the free workout. Haha. My poor husband spent 85 percent of his weekend at work. I guess the bad snow didn’t keep people from heading into the hospital.
    Saturday all the kids’ activities were cancelled due to the weather. Breakfast I can’t remember. Lunch was tuna sandwiches. Dinner was homemade chicken noodle soup. Sunday morning was pancakes and bacon with mango smoothies. Lunch I can’t remember. The kids had hot chocolate and whipped cream after they froze sledding. Dinner was a potk tenderloin glazed with maple and Dijon along with garlic skillet green beans frozen from my garden and little mashed potato cakes. (Really simple, just leftover mashed potatoes to which I added an egg, some chopped frozen chives from the freezer, and some super sharp cheddar) I pressed them into a well greased mini muffin tin and baked for about 39 minutes at 375. They were crispy and delicious and everyone liked them. Win for not tossing the old mashed potatoes. I’m running very low on fruit so I might have to make a store run tomorrow. I’m debating coscto or aldi. Coscto I can’t seem to leave without spending $100. Aldi I can spend $35 and really stock up.
    Boy. Kids eat a lot. lol. My husband and I were just laughing the other day about how a pound of pasta would sit in the fridge years ago. Now it’s gone before it hits the fridge. Haha. I always wanted a big family to feed and I feel blessed to have them. Even if they do drive you crazy sometimes. Lol

  25. Plugging along. It was a hectic weekend, so we ate out way too much. Oh well.


    B-Waffles w/ blueberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream; yogurt; OJ; coffee

    L-The guys had pizza after working all morning on an Eagle project for Scouts; I munched on hummus, crudités, pita chips & trail mix

    D-Out (and I can’t even remember where . . . .)


    B-Leftover waffles, cereal, OJ, coffee


    D-OYO–some had PBJs, others?

  26. Saturday:
    Breakfast: Eggs and Toast for me, ham sandwich for the hubs
    Lunch: late lunch – veggies and dip, sausages, cheese and crackers
    Dinner: Can’t remember! Probably just fend for yourself!

    Slept In – Late lunch: Nachos
    Dinner: Chicken Puttanesca from Stephanie O’Dea’s 365 Slow Cooker Suppers – turned out way better than I was expecting!

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