Pantry Challenge 2017-25

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This month we’re avoiding the grocery store and shopping the kitchen. Here’s how we’re eating. It’s like reality TV, for food.


It’s hard to believe that we have less than a week left in the challenge. Wow. That went by quickly.

Thanks for all your well wishes. My husband went back to the doctor today. Got another round of antibiotics, an inhaler, and a heavy-duty cough syrup. We are hoping this does the trick!

As for the challenge, it turns out that my detailed meal plan really is the way to go! It’s been incredibly helpful to consult each day and I don’t keep hearing, “What’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner?”

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 25

Breakfast: Breakfast Bar of toast, granola, fruit, yogurt

Lunch: In-N-Out Burger because it was quick and easy

Dinner: Lawnmower Taco, Caesar Salad, leftover Quinoa Salad

How’s the Pantry Challenge going for YOU?

P.S. The Pantry Challenge is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what you can accomplish if you set out to conquer all your clutter this year! Check out the Ultimate Conquer Your Clutter Bundle – one of my organizing/planning ebooks is included, a great way for European readers to grab one of my books and a ton of other organizing resources for one great price. Thanks for supporting this site.

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  1. Laurie in CA says:

    Wow, hubby must have been hit really hard with the crud! Hopefully he’ll be on the mend quickly.

    I’m for sure going to continue the PC into February. For health reasons, I eat a ton of fresh vegetables so made a trip to Sprouts today and also picked up my organic veggies from the CSA. We have lots of protein and pantry items so if I continue the challenge, I’ll average my spending over the two months.

    B – hubs had the last breakfast burrito from the freezer, I had almond butter and celery and a slice of roasted chicken
    L – hubs ate two nut packs while golfing, I took out a quart of roast veggies and homemade chicken stock from the freezer and made roast veg soup. It was delish! Also had some hummus and cauliflower
    D – pork chops, butternut squash and kale (French bread for hubs)

    • Laurie,

      I’m also going to continue the challenge through at least mid-February. I had expected to clear out more of my freezer but still have a month’s worth of meats and veggies in there.

      I’d love to continue it with you. I’m trying hard to eat more veggies, thus it cut down on the amount of meat I’ve had to cook for meals. I looked the other day and have about 12 chicken breasts, 3 pork chops, 5 Italian sausages, 3 chicken maple apple sausages, a small thick rib eye steak and a package of chicken wings. Plus peas, green beans, chopped spinach and sweet corn in there.

      Love your menus – I’m going to roast some vegetable this weekend and that would be a perfect way to use up the leftovers. I’m having them with a chicken breast. So left over chicken in salad and the soup – sounds yummy (lol).

      • Laurie in CA says:

        Patricia, that would be great! Maybe Jessica can set up a separate page for those that want to continue like she did last time. Either that or keep the existing page open and send out the link for it again.
        I kind of did a freak out when adding my grocery costs this month and then realized I was counting some receipts twice. Obviously that isn’t a task I should do early in the day when the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet 😉

  2. Another busy Wednesday. Nothing exciting on the food front.

    B: Yogurt bana splits or craisin bran muffins
    L: Leftovers
    D: DD1 and 2 ate at church. HH and I had chef salads.

  3. Another busy Wednesday. Nothing exciting on the food front.

    B: Yogurt bana splits or craisin bran muffins
    L: Leftovers
    D: DD1 and 2 ate at church. HH and I had chef salads.

  4. Wed 1/25
    B – he probably skipped it. I had the sausage pancake muffins and grapefruit I brought to the hotel with me
    L & D – I ate on the road, I left him with 6 meals so he supposedly ate those

  5. Day 25
    B: Cereal, boiled eggs, grapefruit
    L: Using leftover pulled pork and some slices of provolone cheese I made grilled sandwiches served with tossed salads
    D: Meatballs in LO Bolognese sauce, chocolate pudding, apple slices

    So glad we are in the home stretch of the PC. The downstairs fridge has been empty for 2 weeks. In the main fridge 2 of 4 shelves are empty and the other 2 have plenty of white space. We still have a good supply of canned goods, but we are out of pasta, rice and a long list of pantry staples. On the other hand, we never seem to run out of condiments. The door of the fridge is always full.

    • Heather M says:

      Why IS the door of the fridge always jammed? It never lightens up, ever, in my house. And I’m trying not to add anything extra (except required like Milk/OJ/sandwich meats/salad fixings/eggs/fruit) because we’re getting a new fridge soon and I’d like this one as empty as possible beforehand. Not even buying many fresh veggies so we eat up the stash in the freezer. But that door, it’s as full as it was on Jan.1st. 🙂

      • My door is the same! Just never seems to decrease! I currently have 4 open jars and bottles of mustard, all different types! Time for some mustard glazed meat dinners!

    • Y’all are doing great!
      Melissa in GA

  6. January 25

    Breakfast: BLT bagel for me, Hubs woke up later and ate the lunch I’d left him – ham and cheese sandwich, olives, veggies and dip, pickles.

    Lunch: Me, tuna sandwich, crackers, Xmas cookies, Xmas chocolate, diet Pepsi. Hubs had chips and salsa.

    Dinner: I had a late meeting at work and one of the staff brought a huge tray of curried chicken nachos so I ate there! Hubs had a PBJ sandwich and we walked to the 7-11 for a slurpee.

    • Heather M says:

      Curried chicken nachos! That sounds so good! 🙂

      • They were remarkably delicious! Potatoes, fried onions, red peppers, curry spiced chicken and cilantro. With cheddar and parmesan cheese. Served it with roasted garlic salsa,.guacamole and sour cream on the side. Sounds very strange, but it was so, so good!

  7. Stephanie M. says:


    B – Hubby had toast with PB&J and some pineapple; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had a tuna fish sandwich

    D – We got take out from a local pub because of my cold, I didn’t want to cook; so hubby had a cheeseburger and I had half a turkey club

    • Heather M says:

      Ugh, hope you’re feeling better? I know how you feel though. Hope you’re able to rest, rest, rest, Stephanie.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks so much Heather! I’ve been resting for three days now; I can’t sit around anymore! I’m all caught up on my soaps! 🙂

    • Sorry to hear you have the cold crud, it is indeed awful. I have the cough from time to time, still. Get some rest and hang in there!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks so much Melissa! 🙂 Pretty name; that’s one of my daughter’s names.

        • Awe, thx. I get to see another Melissa every now and then, not too popular. And on occasion, someone will sing “sweet Melissa ” 🙂

          • Stephanie M. says:

            That’s so sweet. Everyone one of us calls our daughter Missy. It’s been that way since she was little and now she’s almost 30 and it’s still Missy. I heard that name the first time many years ago on a night time soap opera type of show called Picket Fences and I’ve loved it ever since.

  8. I hope that whatever is attacking the husband is quickly eradicated!

    most of the days was meals made with items recently purchased… PC wise dinner was a success though! I had not planned ahead and husband was so wishy washy about going out to do errands or stay home.. I made the call and grabbed my dutch oven pot and then grabbed the container of recently made chicken stock- cleanout of freezer stock bags, chicken parts and a recently acquired manager mark down of chicken legs. I found a bag of dark chicken meat from stock making… Set that to defrost and went to pick up son at chess club.. Ran into ALDI and grabbed a bag of frozen mixed veg and a bag of golden potatos… ( definitely not back up to full stock levels)..
    Diced a few taters and tossed in the veg.. chicken veg stew for supper!

    I had a partial bag of shredded cabbage that needed to be used so I grabbed the 3 spicy sausage I had defrosted and browned down the pork and added cabbage, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil for a wrapper-less egg roll! OH MY that was some spicy meat! Enough food from both creations to fill all bellies…The broth served over the sausage and cabbage was REALLY tasty too!

    dessert was leftover cupcakes I made for a friend at works *gender announcement*

  9. Wednesday 1/25

    Breakfast – Granola bar

    Lunch – Hard salami & swiss sandwiches, peach slices

    Dinner – Leftover chicken alfredo w/pasta, garlic toast

    Calling for the snow to start falling by lunch time today

  10. tastycook says:


    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – hubby went out with golfing buddies, I had baked beans from the freezer

    S – hubby had egg salad, I had fish and chips

    Our soup supply in the freezer was down to almost nil so I made 3 new ones.
    In the process, I used all the fresh carrots and celery that were in the fridge, 2 huge bags of turkey stock, a small pack of ground beef and a couple of leftover pieces of chicken from the freezer, a can of corn, 2 jars of home-canned tomatoes, a carton of l/s beef broth, peas and lentils from the pantry and numerous odds and ends from the fridge. Now we have about a dozen containers of soup ready to use. Definitely a win for the PC.

    • Heather M says:

      Good work on all that soup-making! Even if it adds to the freezer, you’ve used up so many different items and you have easy meals ready to go! Such a great Challenge win!!

  11. Jen in IN says:

    B: egg and avocado toast

    L: cabbage salad and orange for me and my youngest, black bean soup for my husband, my oldest took a pbj, banana, and tortilla chips

    D: leftover mac and cheese with broccoli

    S: husband finished the peach cobbler, I had some chocolate, boys had cereal

    I broke down and ordered some stuff from Costco through Google Express. Our nearest Costco is an hour away, and we’re not going to be down there anytime soon. It was nice to have that 40 lb box show up to my door. I bought coffee (their house blend is fab), ultragrain flour, honey, and oats. These are all essentials in our house.

  12. So sorry your husband had to go back to the doctor! Hopefully this round of meds will help him.
    Jan 25
    Breakfast–Husband had his eggs and I ate a couple of banana muffins later in the morning.
    Dinner was leftover enchilada or egg bake and toast.
    Snacks were muffins, fruit and/or cheese and crackers.
    It’s hard to believe that there are only 6 days left of the official Pantry Challenge. I have plenty of empty spaces in my fridge and my pantry. I am thrilled with the money I will be able to put in savings!
    I do plan to continue this challenge. There are several things I will have to restock to continue. I will buy limited quantities unless it is a rock bottom price.
    Have a great day everyone!

  13. Heather M says:

    Gosh I hope your husband gets back on his feet soon. No fun at all.

    So remember how in the 23-24 report I said I’d not get to inventory my cupboards? Well. I changed my mind. And good thing. Spent several hours yesterday cleaning them out. We don’t have a pantry, but tall cupboards and the main canned/jarred cupboard (4 shelves) is deep. It’s a corner opening and fans out on either side so I can’t see things well and have to dig. It helps to inventory every so often so I know what I have. I actually checked each item and found that I had things in there that EXPIRED IN 2010, and one item that expired in 2006! Those are just too old to keep. Sadly a garbage bag full. A lot of old hot chocolate xmas gifts over the years (we always forget about them). milk based that expired in 2010-11-12. Sad. Anyhow, lessons learned in a big way. And now there’s space in that one cupboard (the others- normal opening tall wall cupboards) didn’t have the same issue, so most waste came from that deep one. I cannot let things get buried and need to add to the inventory list when I put something new in there. That way I’ll know what’s in that hard to see place.

    On the flip side, the freezer is not full anymore and more plans to keep eating things up from it so it gets pretty empty for that new fridge. In fact, I’m not buying many fresh veggies (except salad fixings, onions, etc) until the frozen veggies are gone. I also did a little baking while in the kitchen- homemade cornbread (cornmeal in the pantry!) to go with dinner, and banana oat muffins to use up those mushy bananas. On to Day 25:

    B: son had cereal, turkey sausage, and OJ; hubs had cereal; I had a bagel thin with cream cheese
    L: son took a turkey/cheese sandwich, clif bar, and pistachios; hubs took a turkey/salami/cheese sandwich, pretzels, and a banana; I didn’t really eat lunch – was so busy in the kitchen all afternoon. I had some christmas candy in between cupboards)
    D: son had tacos with leftover turkey taco meat from Saturday, refried beans, and cheese, and some cornbread; hubs and I finished the Mexican chili from Saturday along with the cornbread. The guys loved the cornbread (I need to remember not to buy the box of mix- they like this homemade better!) and ate a lot! Helped that dinner was fast and easy- son & I went to the gym together at 5!

    • Good for you for tackling those cabinets! Even though it was painful to throw away the expired food, I would guess that you feel relieved at knowing exactly what is in there now. Nice job!

    • tastycook says:

      Always feels good to get a job like that done with.

    • Great job with your pantry!!

    • I had to go through all my stuff before moving and throwing anything away just kills me, so I feel your pain.
      I had one of those corner cabinets in my old house and it is a difficult thing to keep organized. In the very top, I kept my extra bags of sugar. The other shelves had large spice containers from Sam’s, all my oils plus extras and all my spices – I had a lazy Susan on the bottom shelf for all my small spice bottles. I still had to stay on top of it to keep things from being buried but sugar wasn’t a big deal. My cornmeal was up there too as I recall.

      Melissa in GA

      • Those corner cupboards are killers. Problem with ours is it’s huge, so a lazy susan would waste a lot of space. Space is a premium in our house (we live in a fairly small place, by choice-it’s so expensive where we live and we’ve chosen less commute/closer to city over larger home and never seeing hubs/dad or enjoying the perks of DC). But I really do need to stay on top of it better. This exercise really taught me that. I’ll have to be good about keeping a running inventory on it, since it’s so hard to see everything. 🙂

        • Understand completely, my house was small too. I had that corner cabinet packed high and deep, lol. That small lazy Susan helped me keep track of all my small bottle spices. We moved into a yet smaller house and I was just complaining to hubs this morning because now all those spices from my lazy Susan are in a small see thru tub! I just drag it out when I need something in there. Commuting is one thing I do not miss! And I don’t blame y’all for living close in.
          Melissa in GA

          • Heather M says:

            Tonight was a prime example of why we stayed close-in. Hubs got home at 10pm. On a Friday night. with a 10 minute-ish drive home (also about a 10 minute walk to his car). The only way we see each other and while the kids were growing up (they’re 15 and 20), he could see them during the week. Granted, it’s not usually this late, typically 7:30ish. But then he might have to work from home. At least though, he’s home.

  14. Day 25-
    B- Quick yogurt/granola parfaits and muffins before leaving for a funeral
    L- We were going to eat at the funeral luncheon for our good friends father, but they had such a big crowd and we felt like we shouldn’t take up extra space since we weren’t family members, so it was leftovers for a late lunch. Hubby had burgers, fries ad an apple. I had egg roll stir fry and a grapefruit.
    D-We finished a lot of our appetizers that were left from our party Saturday. Meatballs, nacho dip and chips and salads for everyone.
    S-We had ice cream and finished off 2 started containers. Yay!!
    Still trying to use up freezer items because I have to clean out our second freezer today because we are doing hog butchering this weekend. I cleaned out my garage frig and washed all the shelves and drawers before picking up a few groceries that I needed for the big weekend ahead. Such a good feeling to see clean shelves again. It was sorely over due! It was the emptiest I’ve had the frig in a long time! Spent $40.00 on groceries, but some items were for the butchering crew, so I’m only adding $25.00 to my monthly budget.

  15. I had ! $ 11.00 to spend on the rest of the challenge. I went to the grand opening of our Sprouts. Oh my! Guess what happened? I spent $ 19.00 but $ 5.00 was for olive oil which was half price and I have not had any since Nov. That store may change my buying habits! Mostly bought fresh veggies, $ .39 of barley, and one sack of lemon snaps. I could not pass them up. Want to make soup with the barley.
    25 th
    B egg and bagel with cream cheese
    L. creamy cheese chicken alfredo, fresh baby carrots (one more lb. to go.), had some small dessert but can’t remember what it was
    D numerous .l/o’s Everyone ate whatever they wanted from the containers. I think we emptied 6 of them. Also had apple crumble.

  16. Our freezer is looking pretty empty, just a few popsicles for the kids and some proteins left, yay! I’m hoping to clean it out this weekend and start fresh, till I have to clean it out for the next pantry challenge in July. 🙂 We are all still sick here. So tired of this never ending sickness. But, we always get sick in January. So, at least I know what to expect. Lol!

    B – Homemade granola, milk, tea

    L – Sloppy Joes, baked beans, french fries, and fruit. This was a birthday meal that didn’t end up getting made when planned due to sickness.

    D – PBJ’s, crudités, and chips. I had a salad. Most of the kids skipped Awana, we didn’t want to share our germs. Our oldest was feeling good, so we took him but the rest of the fam stayed home for the evening. Lots of that lately.

  17. B: I had the last yogurt with some granola, kids had waffles or cereal.
    S: I had an apple with almond butter, kids were at school
    L: turkey, provolone, and spinach sandwiches for all, kids had pretzels and pear cups. I also had leftover tomato basil soup
    D: sloppy joes on homemade buns, the last of the frozen hash browns, corn
    S: son and I made a chocolate cake from a box and spruced it up with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

    I need to spend some time making treats for the family in order to get us through the rest of the challenge. Meals have been great, but we are snackers/grazers, and we have run out of prepackaged everything. Having treats to munch on helps everyone’s moods, so I’m planning to make a couple different kinds of cookies, some granola, and maybe pop some popcorn.

    • Heather M says:

      Popcorn really is great for that! When we are low on snacky things, my son LOVES it. And even when we aren’t. Plus side, it’s also super healthy! 🙂

    • I’ve run out of snacks too! I like to have at least a little variety to add to my lunches for work and right now we’re nearly all out!

  18. I have to think harder than seems reasonable to remember what we ate yesterday…guess that’s means it wasn’t very exciting!

    B- pancake sausage muffins and fruit
    L- LO sesame noodles, ham and cheese sandwich, last of the tortellini with sauce (who knows who ate he what!)
    D- pork tenderloin, attempted potato cauliflower gratin…put into the oven after karate and it wasn’t ready in time so potatoes weren’t creamy, also applesauce

    Snacks were fruit, cheese, crackers, yogurt with granola, and granola bars (it was a hungry kid day!)

    I froze the last two servings of onion soup and cheesy bread and I made baked oatmeal which no one else really likes but me so I will share some with my mom and then freeze half of it for next week. I also went grocery shopping and spent a lot:( I have been able to use up lots of odds and ends but we eat a lot of fresh produce and probably too much dairy. That being said, even if I go to the farm for a CSA share on Saturday I’ll be under budget for the month, so there’s that. It much else to share, just so glad the end of January is in sight!!!

  19. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Breakfast: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
    Lunch: Leftover Baked Ziti
    Dinner: We went out. Wednesday is free pie day at O’Charley’s, and the temptation was just too much to resist.

  20. We were on the road Tuesday. I made homemade pizza for dinner – so nice to eat home cooked food again.

    Wednesday, 1/25
    B – made a sausage & Swiss quiche. LO cooked sausage from freezer & free duck eggs from a friend
    L- LO pizza
    D – crockpot country ribs w/bbq sauce (LO from freezer) & a can of greenbeans w/potatoes
    S – nuts, olives, cheese & crackers
    Dessert- Christmas chocolate & fresh strawberries
    We had some errands to run, spent $8.26 @ store for bananas, strawberries, shallots & a bag of tortilla chips
    I do believe that I cannot live unless I have tortilla chips in my house! Lol
    Still have to add up my spending for the month. This has been a learning experience in that we moved into our new house over the holidays so being in a new place, retired and traveling some w/hubs we have to adjust our habits. We have decided to cut our budget from $400 to $250 a month, that includes paper goods & health & beauty. Taking what I have learned from the PC over the years to make the most of what I have & cook from scratch. We will add chickens and a garden come spring as well.
    Hope everyone gets better soon.
    Melissa in GA

    • Heather M says:

      Wow, you have ambitious plans re budget, etc. I’m impressed! But then, if it enables travel, SO WORTH IT!! Good luck with adding chickens and a garden to your home. 🙂

    • We also cannot live without tortilla chips in the house! And salsa! Once we’re down to one jar on the shelf the hubs starts to get a little wild-eyed!

  21. Made fried rice for breakfast from rice left from last nights dinner. There was a little left in the pot I fed to the chickens. Made sausage potato soup in my instapot for lunch. The dollar store here has 10 oz chubs of Farmer john sausage for 1.00. I browned the outside of the sausage to get enough oil for my fried rice then used the sausage roll to make my soup using an onion 2 potatoes a little water and some leftover country gravy mix plus 2 cups of milk. It was plenty of soup for both of us for lunch with enough left for tomorrow. I took a 12 pound turkey out of the freezer. I have everything in the house to make thanksgiving style dinner down to squash in the garage and cranberries and pie crusts in the freezer. Told hubby I want to plan grocery budget this year for 50$ per week. Whatever I don’t spend goes into a vacation fund for a trip to the coast. We have made this trip several times. We can spend a week away for 600$ if we camp in our trailer and eat at the campground. Hubby is on board so my pantry challenge is going to be for the entire year to use up what I have and spend as little as possible. Anybody else???

    • I’m also on the spend as little as possible bandwagon. Mine began last year and plan to continue this year. In NOV and DEC, I was able to stock up on some meats and pantry items. It’s just two of us these days so I’m hoping on $25/wk for perishables. That is problematic tho when some months have 5 wks in them! BTW….I have a turkey or two in my freezer too! 😉

      • tastycook says:

        I will certainly be doing the PC for quite some time to come. I have enough meat in the freezers to keep us going until at least well in to May!!

    • I’m in too!
      I will have to restock some things but my goal is to get the meats I have in the freezers used up.

  22. Today
    Corn beef hash eggs leftover strawberry shortcake coffee for hubby. Scrambled eggs Greek yogurt banana chocolate chip muffin and coffee for me. Lunch was Bbq pork sandwich Cole slaw and corn chips hubby had last of the coffee ice cream made into a shake.very filling meal.
    D hubby will have burger and fries on his way to a concert.I.ll have left over flat bread pizza before my scrapbook bingo event.
    I’ve spent a little more than my goal this month but if I subtract the party we gave my husbands coworker . And other entertaining I am under my goal. But I think I may have set my goal too low we don’t eat out very often and we eat 3 meals a day at home.i also share with my kids. I set my goal for 150.00 and have spent 163.00 oh well I still spent less than I
    usually do and I am enjoying meal planning more. Have a good evening everyone .

    • Carlene,

      Could you post your recipe for banana choc chip muffins? I’m thinking of bringing them over for my grandson on Saturday as I have some bananas in the freezer that I could use up!

      • Felicia,
        I started with a muffin mix I had in my pantry and added 3 mashed bananas,2tbsp oil 1 cup Greek yogurt and 2 eggs then I added chocolate chips and walnut baked at 375 til done about 18 to 20 min. You can use plain or vanilla yogurt . They are nice and moist. I have also used a cake mix in a pinch to make these but added3 eggs and baked at 350 like a cupcake. Hope you like them. They don’t last here very long. They are also wonderful made with dark chocolate and black walnuts Carlene.

      • Heather M says:

        I also make banana muffins: I set out a stick of butter to reach room temperature. Then mix it with 1 cup sugar and three-ish mashed bananas (sometimes 4). Then mix together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, dash of salt, a little nutmeg to taste (I grate my own with a microplane from the “seed”, right into the bowl) and mix it gently with the wet mixture until it’s just mixed. Then I add 3/4-ish cup of rolled oats and if I feel like it some chocolate chips. Mix it up briefly, just to incorporate. It makes at least 12 generous muffins. I typically do 12 normal sized and put the rest in my mini muffin pan- usually about six of them. Bake it at 350 until they’re done. We love them!

        • Thank you both for your ideas!! I have some mini-choc chips so next time, I’ll have to include them! I kept them plain today as I’m bringing them over to my 3.5 y/o grandson so not sure he’d like the texture of nuts.

  23. B: Whole wheat toast with cream cheese and homemade strawberry jam and tea. Used last of the milk so will be drinking instant cocoa and instant cappachino until I get more milk on Saturday when I run errands.
    L: Yogurt Flip
    D: last of the steak sliced thin and mushrooms – sautéed and put over egg noodles with a bit of beef gravy I had in the freezer. Had iced water with cranberry juice.
    S: Two kettle corn/rice cakes.

  24. Thursday – Jan 26

    Breakfast – Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal, decaf coffee

    Lunch – tuna fish, cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwich

    Dinner – Meatloaf, tossed salad, rice and brown gravy.

  25. Wow, our deep freeze and fridge, along with the canned staples are wiped out! Thanks Pantry Challege! I had to go to TJ’s today to start the re-stock ing of the shelves and fridge/freezer:) I only have some chicken stock in the freeze to use when we get sick, but, otherwise, I’ll be able to start fresh now! Ready for Spring! Hope you all feel better very soon!!! Time to bake some bread!

  26. Wed. 1/25

    B: The usual.

    L: Guys–packed (turkey sandwiches, string cheese, trail mix, yogurt w/ compote, apple sauce/grapes/clementine, water). Me–LO turkey w/ mashed potatoes, carrot sticks, hummus, clementine.

    D: LO turkey w/ mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad.

    S/D: Pistachios, hot cocoa, popcorn.

    Like others, I’ll need to continue on into February (perhaps beyond that).

  27. Last night was leftovers from our bfast out at Perkins that I turned into what Hubby calls a Big Egg.This morning’s bfast will be what is left. We aren’t eating as much as we used to and that means more leftovers and less food coming out of the pantry. We have decided to do the pantry challenge for next month , especially when I went through the mudroom frig freezer and had enough in there to make 28 meals.

  28. My sausage soup yesterday was a big hit. Hubby who eats very little ate three bowls full. Three! I’ve never seen him eat three of anything! He commented he has been hungry for grilled cheese sandwiches so I have fresh bread started this morning. Used the whey from making yogurt plus the last of a sour cream container. Hubby offered to break down the turkey I am thawing and offered to smoke the back and wings etc so I can use them n beans instead of having to purchase ham hocks. Since he is setting up the smoker he will also smoke one breast for sandwiches. So nice that he is on board with this. While trying to dig a small turkey out of the freezer I realized just how much food is left in the freezers. My garden was bountiful last year. I still have several gallons of apple juice as well as about 100 pounds of applesauce plus tomato sauce etc I put up last summer. I always process everything we produce or share it since gardens and fruit trees aren’t guaranteed every season. So while I am happy to do a pantry challenge I am also thankful to have it full! Counting my blessings!

    • I understand completely. While we do have some white space in two of our freezers, the chest with the beef hasn’t been touched. I’m mostly ok with it since the steer just got delivered in October. I know we’ll get to it eventually.
      I have 2 huge gardens so I feel you on all of the produce! Like you I am so thankful though to have freezers full! I’m always thankful too, for a good garden year.

  29. Well, sorry I missed a few days guys. Things have been crazy in our neck of the woods. Tuesday night we bought a new car…2016 Chevrolet Suburban. I haven’t had a new car in 10 years and the technology is astounding. The first night I made my husband drive the kids home in his truck just so I could concentrate on driving. Lol. So far, so good.
    Wednesday night we had BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches on egg buns out of the freezer, also coleslaw and French fries. Steamed and buttered some beets too but those are still leftover.
    Last night we had mustard glazed salmon (from the freezer as I stock up every king salmon season). With that I made red and white quinoa pilaf and a big green salad.
    Today I need to make squash muffins (yep the purée is still in the freezer!). Also planning some type of cookies.
    Tonight will be either homemade pizza or leftovers. I have plenty of stuff in the fridge. 2 salmon fillets, polish beef buns, white bean soup, BBQ chicken, cole slaw…it’ll be quite the buffet night.

    I’ll definitely be continuing into February and possibly march wigh our pantry challenge.

    I did shop yesterday since we were out of lots of fresh produce also sugar, coconut milk and mustard. Who runs out of mustard?! . I spent $110 at Trader Joe’s and $89 at Aldi. I hadn’t gone in 2 weeks so for 5 people I don’t feel like that’s a terrible amount. Or maybe I’m just making myself feel better. lol I’m at $436 for the month.

    • Heather M says:

      I feel you with the mustard. We have plenty of dijon type mustards, but the standard yellow? Almost gone, and we use it a lot! Putting it on my list!

      Your gardens and freezers full of meats sound amazing. We don’t have the room for any extra freezer or 2nd fridge(no attic, no basement, a one car garage that barely fits my car and also gets steaming hot in the summer), so can only stock what fits in the kitchen. We clearly live very different lives- it’s so fun to have a peek into how other people live. 🙂 Enjoy your new car! So fun!

      • You know what’s funny, is that your situation sounds a lot like ours before we made the jump to the farm. We lived in the middle of a good sized city, very urban, 4 minute ride to work, in a 100year old rowhouse with no extra space to speak of lol. Over 10 years we completely remodeled the inside while keeping all of the cool features (5 fireplaces, back steps for hired help, brick walls, etc) my favorite part was the kitchen. We made it just perfect the way we wanted it. It was a joy to cook in, complete with a 60 inch Viking range. It was hard to move to a kitchen with a regular stove after that. Lol
        Before baby number2 was born we just decided we had had enough of city and we wanted space and room for the kids to run. So we jumped and bought a 60 acre farm. Lol. The decision was partially made when the house across the street was burglarized in broad daylight while I picked up our son from the bus stop.
        City living def has its perks! I am so in love with my farm though that I don’t think I could go back to the city. Next move from here will be when my husband retires.. then bring on the beach. Lol

        • Heather M says:

          That’s awesome! I bet it’s so so great. I’ve never experienced that kind of living at all. Have always been in large metropolitan areas, or when I was a kid, on islands for a few years. We are kind of the opposite– we go into the city itself and drool, thinking how great it would be once we don’t have to worry about good schools anymore. But then, living here is better tax-wise, and we get better services for our tax dollars. And we’re super close-in, just across the river. But retirement, a beach sounds awfully good. We both grew up super close to the beach and miss it, and love to vacation at a beach. 🙂

  30. Hubby commented late last night that he was hungry for grilled cheese so early this morning I started two loaves of bread using up the last of a container of sour cream and the whey left from making yogurt. I took a package of skirt steak out of the freezer. Chopped it up and put it in my pressure cooker with two containers of French onion soup from the freezer. After the meat is done I will add carrots potatoes and celery from the fridge and finish with a little brown gravy mix….since it is snowing again stew and fresh bread sounds like a good idea

  31. Wednesday night we had ham, scalloped potatoes and baby lima beans. (The ham was something I did buy as the special was Shank Ham for $0.88 lb. last weekend. I bought a large one!) We cooked the ham in the oven and it made 8 meals worth that are now frozen in portions.
    Thursday night we had Quiche and cut up fruit.
    Tonight hubs and I will be without kids so we are having 2 steaks. Not sure what I will serve with it since we are out of salad fixings.
    We started walking this week and have been every afternoon for a 30 minute walk. Sure makes you feel better mentally!

    I am sure we will continue this PC for another few weeks. We have come a long way, but can go so much further. Plus, if I commit to stick with it, I am more apt to stay organized in the kitchen. Happy weekend everyone!

    • Dry Lima beans you cooked or frozen?
      Asking cause I have several pounds of large limas and I need something to make with them besides baked beans!

      • I chop an onion and add chicken broth and a bag of frozen Lima’s.
        If I had dried ones, I would cook in the crock pot after I soaked them overnight. I add ham and onion to them.

  32. Friday – 1/27/17

    Breakfast – Cranberry walnut oatmeal, decaf coffee

    Lunch – leftover salad from Thurs night topped with chicken bits from carcass stock and a mini-banana muffin

    Dinner – Toasted turkey and provolone sub sandwiches,

    Made 2 doz mini banana muffins today by defrosting 4 bananas from the freezer. Also made a 3 x 5 loaf of banana bread and 3 can loaves of Boston Brown Bread – yum!

  33. Stopped at the store yesterday for catsup toilet paper shampoo etc. Ended up finding a great buy on whole chickens plus the 1.00 frozen sausage chubs. Bought 4 of each plus everything else on my list for just over 25.00. We have very little meat in our freezers other than turkey. Fried breasts and leg quarters…made mashed potatoes out of baked potatoes , cream gravy out of the pan drippings and added Cole slaw. The rest of the chicken went into the pressure cooker. There is enough broth and chicken bits for two batches of soup. The animals got the bones and scraps. Hubby loves cold fried chicken. The leftover potatoes will be potato patties for breakfast. The gravy will go over homemade biscuits. We get a lot of mileage out of a whole chicken. I’ll make homemade noodles today for chicken noodle soup. At least one bag of chicken and broth will go to the freezer…starting out the week with a big smile on my face and still 50 dollars under budget for the month

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