Pantry Challenge Days 5 & 6

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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!

many pizzas

You know how sometimes during a Pantry Challenge I forget to post an update? Well, yesterday was one of those times! I climbed in bed at 7:30 last night. Yep, true story. It’s only 8:20 right now and I’m ready to do the same, so this will be a short and sweet recap of the two days.

I honestly feel like all I do is Pantry Challenge or exercise, my two goals for the month. Oy! At least that’s all I’m photographing, it would seem!


Breakfast: Chocolate cookies from the freezer (true story), Oatmeal

Lunch: Kids had tamales from the freezer; parents had a date lunch.

(When you husband emails to invite you to lunch, you always say YES!)

Dinner: Pizza night!

meatloaf dinner


I knew I would be busy in my office today so I did a lot of today’s meal prep yesterday.

Breakfast:Β It was a fend for yourself day. Most people made eggs or ate cereal.

Lunch: Lasagna that I made last night, Salad

Dinner: Meatloaf from the freezer, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Carrots, homemade Sourdough Rolls (The meal needed gravy and a green vegetable, but oh well. Real life, people!)

I hope to give you a livelier update tomorrow because it’s my rest day! I’ve already pulled tomorrow’s lunch from the freezer. πŸ™‚

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  1. Ham bone in the freezer so we had ham and barley soup with a dinner roll for supper tonight. Returned the ham bone to the freezer after the soup was made to use for another pot of soup in the future.

    Been doing the pantry challenge since early DEC and apparently there is a light bulb in the freezer?? πŸ˜‰

  2. Why do weekends go by in such a blur? I thought when we retired things would be slower. NOT!!!

    Breakfast – Baked oatmeal for me, eggs and toast for DH
    Lunch – leftover white chicken chili for me, hubs had a frozen angus burger
    Dinner – I baked two whole chicken breasts from freezer (mom and I split one), baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli
    Breakfast – warmed up biscuits and gravy from the freezer for dh, I had scrambled eggs with a biscuit
    Lunch – we both had leftover pulled pork for lunch. I had carrots with mine
    Dinner – used up frozen bolognese sauce and italian sausage to make lasagne (had plenty of mozzarella in the fridge and noodes in the pantry), made a loaf of dutch oven bread.

  3. Yesterday:
    Breakfast was banana bread
    Lunch hotdog, grapes and bread
    Supper was leftovers and my husband had to fend for himself, I crashed early too, it was a long week!

    Breakfast we had you guessed it, banana bread, lol. It’s almost gone.
    Lunch was snacky stuff at my Grandpa’s house while I sorted his pills, paid bills and did laundry for him.
    Dinner, McDonald’s after we left Grandpa’s and the evening with my in laws. Cooked smoked sausage and green beans for hubby and I after he got off of work. He asked what was wrong with the scalloped potatoes from Thursday night, I told him we ate it all! The one time we didn’t have leftovers…lol, it was really good.

  4. Breakfast: pumpkin bread for me, PBJ sandwich for kid
    Lunch: Clif bar, couple random snackies
    Dinner: planned outing to Chipotle with a gift card
    Dessert: leftover Christmas dessert thing

  5. I’m not sure I can remember back to Friday morning! Let’s see…

    B-smoothie for me, eggs and waffles for kids?, dh had LO quiche
    L-pbj for kids, LO pork and tofu for me, not sure what dh had
    S-fruit and random bits
    D-pizza and salad

    B- cereal with fruit for kids, smoothie for me, not sure what dh had
    L- LO pizza, veggie dippers, fruit
    S- trail mix and cupcakes at daughters friends birthday party
    D- potato squash curry soup, grilled cheese, fruit, veggie sticks

    We have another kids birthday party today…doesn’t seem like much is moving from the freezer or pantry in these recent days. I Gus’s it must be though as I haven’t bought anything besides fresh produce and dairy and we seem to be eating just fine.

  6. Jessica S says:

    Friday- I believe I did oatmeal and mini bagels for kids.. I think I had oat meal too…
    Lunches – packed for all 3 kids- the basics, sandwiches, fruit/veg, whatever chip is around.. bottle water.
    Dinner- I pulled a bag of frozen chicken breasts out and they were defrosted. Made a chicken stuffing casserole using the meat, a canned soup and a box of stuffing.. used all the open cheese!
    Served with a frozen bag of green beans steamed then sauted in garlic butter. Found a baggie with maybe a tablespoon of slivered almonds so tossed in with the beans.

    Snack- baked a cake with a box of butter cake on my shelf, also had a can of fudge icing. I usually don’t keep too many cakes and usually never canned icing,, must have been a purchase to make a kid happy.. they are happy this weekend!

    Breakfast was FFY- 2 flavors of cereal to be eaten
    Lunch- the girl went errand/grocery running with me and she was treated to Subway( her pick).. the men folk cleared out the leftover chicken and stuffing and lasagna from the shelves!
    Dinner- Taco Bar- used a bag of frozen/precooked meat from freezer, container of pre cooked pinto beans, made a pot of rice, opened and seasoned a can of black beans.. served with some chopped romaine, diced tomato, cheese and sour cream!

    Grocery shopped to refill the fridge/produce piles. Still wanting to use down the protein in the freezer.. but since I have been in *challenge mode* since before Christmas.. I had very little left to supplement the protein!

  7. Stephanie M. says:

    We’ve had a good couple of days with the pantry challenge, using up quite a few things from the freezer.

    B – I made hubby eggs benedict and hash brown potato patties (McCain Baby Cakes – so good.) With those, I finished up what was left in a bag and now I have only one more bag in the freezer. They go fast – we eat those for breakfast and dinner. I had two multi grain waffles and strawberries.
    L – Hubby was at a business luncheon. I had salad and a banana
    D – Hubby had the last of the leftover tortellini with sausage from the other night; I had the last of the leftover chicken/veggie stir fry. All leftovers gone!
    Dessert: We each had an ice cream sandwich

    B – Hubby had a mini roll with butter and cereal. I had the last two waffles and the last of the pineapple
    L – We both had BLT’s using up the last of the bacon from the freezer; hubby also had mozzarella cheese sticks and a hard boiled egg.
    D – We had filet mignon, homemade stuffed potatoes, and salad. The filet mignon and potatoes were what we ate on Christmas Eve. When I made the potatoes, I made extras so we could enjoy them at a later date. I still have three left and when they’re gone, I will make more; these are nice to have in the freezer. We still have two more vacuum packed packages of filet mignon.
    Dessert – We finished the ice cream sandwiches

  8. Friday:
    Breakfast – Cereal, toast, coffee for me, tea for hubby
    Lunch – Cheese and crackers, yogurt
    Dinner – Spaghetti & meatballs, salad, garlic bread
    Snacks – Popcorn

    Breakfast – Ham, egg and cheese English muffin, coffee, tea
    Lunch – High School band sub, yogurt
    Dinner – Leftover Spaghetti and garlic bread
    Snacks – Finished off Chex mix

  9. Tastycook says:

    Pantry challenge just keeps ticking along.

    Breakfast was bacon and eggs for both of us.
    Lunch – cheese sandwich
    Dinner – LO pork cassoulet from the freezer
    Snack – the last little bit of Christmas cake.

    Breakfast – hubby had oatmeal, I had home canned pears and rhubarb with frozen garden raspberries and yogurt.
    Lunch – beans on toast
    Dinner – cauliflower soup with Stilton, French bread. For dessert, the end of the current tub of ice cream with home canned pears and chocolate sauce.

    The fridge is definitely showi g some empty space, not so much the freezers

  10. Friday
    B: eggs, bacon, toast, and skim milk
    L: My husband and I went for a lunch date; kids ate at school
    D: Penny Supperβ€”once a week we clean out all the leftovers in the fridge and set-up the kitchen counter like a buffet. Tonight the β€œbuffet” included 1 barbeque pork chop, a couple servings of beef stroganoff, buttered noodles, 2 hard-boiled eggs, a cup of apple-cranberry relish, and an assortment of leftover fruits and vegetables. I had LO beef salad with pita chips.

    B: Muffins from the freezer, bananas, and skim milk
    L: Ham and cheese noodle bake (ham LO from Christmas), orange slices and sliced carrots
    D: Brats, tossed salad and assorted fresh berries. We had a couple of extra kids for dinner so I made myself a chef salad in order to have at least one brat for each child.
    S: We spent the evening watching the football playoff games on TV. For snacks we pulled out LO chocolates from Christmas, assorted potato chips and crackers (we had four or five bags each with maybe one small serving in each), and a large bowl of buttered popcorn. Nothing healthy (sigh), but the kids devoured every bite. I love clearing out the boxes and bags with just small bits left. I now have a bit of white space in the pantry!

  11. I’m ticking along nicely with the pantry challenge, it’s Sunday afternoon here in the UK
    Saturday we both had cereals for breakfast
    Lunch I was out with my crafting friends, hubby finished the chicken and avocado from Friday with the leftover bread too
    Dinner was home made pizza using up the last of the mozzarella left I’ve from Christmas plus some left over pineapple and ingredients for the pizza dough from the cupboard.
    We had a few chocolates during the evening and hubby had a piece of Christmas cake
    Hubby had cereal for breakfast and I had toast and marmalade
    Lunch chicken casserole, I only have enough chicken left in the freezer for one more meal now
    Dinner will be bread and cheese using up some more of the left over cheese and part baked rolls from Christmas
    Hubby has just finished the last of the Christmas cake for a snack before going off to take the evening service ( he’s a vicar) hence having our main meal at lunchtime n a Sunday it just fits our life pattern best.

  12. So I finally feel like the Challenge in on in our house. First part of the week was reheating frozen meal/10 minute convenience food, then my birthday meals that made thursday’s meals too. Day 5, Friday, I finally started cooking for real. I had discovered that i bought way too much fresh stuff on christmas eve morning, sort of forgetting we were leaving town a few days later. Needed to figure out using limp, random almost dead items. And have to say, the weekend has been a huge success of reducing throwaways.

    Breakfast: cereal, leftover sausage from christmas, OJ for the guys; i had banana bread that was a christmas gift

    Lunch: son took his usual snacky lunch; hubs took leftovers but was way too busy to eat, so they’re waiting for him for Monday; I had cheese and crackers and a grapefruit.

    Snacks: christmas gift snack mix, son’s usual chicken pepperoni quesadilla

    Dinner: why did I buy packages of deli ham and of deli turkey the day before christmas? oh, so my son could make a sandwich the night we got home from traveling, which made for me HAVING to use it up asap. So I made fried rice with ham, turkey, the salvageable celery (had to toss some outer yellowed stalks) carrots, onion, green beans from the freezer, and a sauce made of a hibachi sauce mixed with sambal oelek to spice it up. Yum!

    Saturday We all slept in (as in the guys materialized around noon. even the hubs. We got way too little sleep this past week!). so only two meals:

    Brunch: scrambled eggs, the other leftover sausage from christmas (not from the rest of the week, which is pork), the chicken maple breakfast sausage, rest of the banana bread.

    Dinner: Also, why did i buy a huge bunch of broccoli when I had no plan for it and then left town? Naturally it was pretty limp and needed some trimming, but it left me with a huge chopped pile to make a delicious broccoli cheddar soup! No cream, so I used the skim milk on hand and a little butter. Happened to have a bag of shredded sharp cheddar in the back of the fridge. We had tuna avocado sandwiches with it.

    Snacks; ice cream, oranges, tortilla chips, cheese and crackers

    I also finally did the pantry/freezer inventory. Now I’m planning out meal ideas. Also realizing we have way too much canned creamed corn, plain greek yogurt, goat cheese, various jams, lentils, and dried figs which i need to come up with ideas to use. Regardless, we have piles of food, though i think I’ll have to buy salmon, since we only have one filet and we eat it at least once or twice a month. We’ll see if we can make it to Jan. 31 without buying any. We only have one dinner’s worth of shrimp, mahi mahi steaks, and mahi mahi burgers. and we eat seafood (not including canned tuna, which i could eat every day, but don’t) at LEAST once a week, often more. Feeling very motivated and inspired by everyone, and by knowing what we have on hand now!

  13. I have been lurking for the past week, but not participating in the pantry challenge since a pantry challenge didn’t even cross my mind before I went grocery shopping last week, so I didn’t want that to go to waste! Technically my pantry challenge started yesterday, but I’ll use the same day as you that way no one gets confused πŸ™‚

    Day 6, Saturday
    Breakfast: English Muffin and Cereal For me, English Muffin and Two eggs for Dad
    Lunch: Granola Bar for me, Crackers for Dad
    Dinner: Chicken Parm, With Pasta, Salad, and Garlic Bread (only thing I had to buy was bread for Garlic Bread! never knew I had all the ingredients for chicken parm until now!)

  14. Friday:

    Breakfast: Oats and milk for DH and DD1 before they left for work/preschool. Oatmeal for dd2. Homemade rolls and coffe for me.

    Luch: Packed lunch for DD1. DH had second breakfast at work, so he skipped lunch. Rye bread with cold cuts and vegetables on the side for DD2 and me.

    Dinner: Hotdogs. I had a special condiment to use up, and we always eat it with hotdogs. I had everything we needed, so it was a good meal in a pantry challenge πŸ™‚


    Breakfast: Rolls, softboiled eggs, jam and cheese. Coffee for the adults and milk for the kids.
    We always have a big breakfast as a family on the weekends. It’s nice to have time to sit and relax while we eat together πŸ™‚

    Lunch: Birthday lunch at my inlaws. It was my father in law’s birthday. They served “smΓΈrrebrΓΈd”, which is the fancy version of rye bread and cold cuts.
    Dessert was a cheese platter and when we had coffee in the afternoon, they served a lovely traditional Danish apple cake.

    Dinner: None, we were too full!

    Evening snack: We gave the kids oatmeal before bedtime. They never eat very much when we are out, so they were hungry.
    DH and I shared a small bag of crisps after the kids were in bed.

    Kathy in Denmark

    • You have me curious about the special condiment…. also love hearing about your Danish PC!

      • The special condiment is called “Remoulade”. It is basically a mayonnaise to which is added spices and pickled vegetables. It has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, which is good with hotdogs. We also eat it with chips (french fries) and with pan fried fish fillets (which have been breaded first).

        Come to think of it, I think McDonalds have a burger with fish and remoulade. My trips to McDonalds are quite rare (once every few years, lol), so I could be mistaking.

    • Heather M says:

      I was also wondering about the special condiment!

  15. Pulled a couple of leftovers from freezer yesterday for DD and I to have for lunch after church today – a lone beef & bean burrito and chicken enchilada soup. All gone now! And why do I think of you when I use up the last bits of things? ??

    Meals planned for the coming week:
    Homemade chicken tenders, roasted potatoes and peas;
    Homemade pizza – sausage, pepperoni;
    Cheese tortellini with sauce, steamed broccoli

  16. Friday

    B-Cereal (w/ blueberries for me), toast, OJ, coffee

    L-The usual PBJ, etc., for son. Hubs and I ate out while running errands (grilled veggie burrito f/ him; chicken taco for me)

    D-Souplantation for all of us.

    I was originally thinking that Friday was a “fail,” but after reading Jessica’s post, I’m revising my opinion. Lunch was a “date” with my husband, and since dinner followed a visit to my oncology surgeon (where I got good news) I’m counting that as a celebratory meal!


    B-The usual cereal, etc.

    L-Egg salad sandwiches on whole wheat, green salad, clementines, yogurt.

    D-Quesadillas, green salad, steamed broccoli, clementines. Homemade banana bread for dessert.

    Nothing fancy, but no complaints either.

  17. Breakfast – YOYO is the usual philosophy in our home. I had 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread with Swiss and Mozzarella cheese; banana with peanut butter and decaf coffee

    Lunch – leftove slices of chicken breast and a pear. Decaf coffee

    Snack – bowl of leftover ham/potato/barley soup from dinner last night

    Dinner – Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs in Cranberry Sauce/BBQ sauce with broccoli – rice casserole and dinner roll.
    Leftover broccoli – rice casserole will be transformed into broccoli cheddar rice soup this week for lunch! YUM!

  18. I can’t even tell you what we are this weekend. I know we had chicken tacos for dinner tonight. That was totally a pantry win. Odds and ends of shells and tortillas and I just heated up shredded chicken breast with salsa for the filling. Added cheese, salsa, and retried beans and called it good.

    I spent a big chunk of time doing food planning and prep for the week. My brand new childcare infant last week made lunchtime a disaster. This week, I’m ready!

  19. Love reading everyones’ successes!! Following along and trying to eat down the freezer and pantry… both are packed!! Spent today making meals for the week: chicken stroganoff and enchilada stuffed peppers, meatloaf, and the makings for our stirfry tomorrow with rice or noodles…depends on what kiddo wants πŸ™‚ I take leftovers for lunch and kiddo either takes leftovers or already made lunches in the freezer. It’s nice to have a bit of freezer space (haven’t found the light yet though) LOL!! The only thing that I will be getting this week is fresh produce and maybe milk.

    • Heather M says:

      Love that you pre-made food for this week! Certainly makes dinnertime much less stressful. Great work! πŸ™‚

  20. michelle porter says:

    Today breakfast: cereal for all
    Lunch: leftover chicken and noodles and green beans
    Dinner: spaghetti and meat sauce
    Snacks:blueberries and hot chocolate

  21. Friday Breakfast was eggs and toast . Lunch was lo sloppy jo sandwich and a banana for me. Boys had free meals at school and husband has meeting with free lunch. Dinner was scrambled eggs and sausage and pancakes. Saturdays breakfast was cereal or leftover pancakes. Lunch was eggrolls from the freezer and fruit. Dinner was pizza

  22. Today was a good day to use up a bunch of pantry and refrigerator items!
    B: yogurt, granola, bread
    L: veggie packed turkey meatloaf with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes
    D: snacky type dinner with 3 different types of cheese, crackers (I found 5 different open boxes when I did my pantry inventory, yikes!), veggies, dip, apples, hard boiled eggs, and nuts

  23. Breakfast/Lunch: Up later on the weekend, breakfast usually turns into lunch! Hubs had french toast, and I had LO Shepherd’s pie from the freezer. I’m not a lover of most breakfast foods, so he gets that kind of stuff, and I use up the left-overs!

    Snacks: Various chocolates and such from Christmas. Not the healthiest!

    Dinner: Slow cooker pork chops and gravy, mashed potatoes and broccoli.

  24. Friday
    Breakfast: muffins, smoothies, or cottage cheese with oranges and a side of beef stick? (Ha-don’t ask me! She liked it:)
    Lunch: leftovers
    Dinner: Dairy Queen for Mom and Younger Daughter, leftovers for Dad, dinner out with Gma for Older Daughter

    Breakfast: muffins or cereal
    Lunch: leftovers or tuna and cheese wrap and grapefruit
    Dinner: Pizza bagels and cup of chili

  25. Do you have a good gluten free pizza crust recipe? I used to make homemade pizza all the time, but since going GF, I haven’t found a good recipe for homemade crust. So now I make it for the kids and hubby and eat a salad instead. Although my waistline may like that, sometimes I’d like to indulge too πŸ˜‰

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