Pantry Challenge 2017-7

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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.


We are 1/4th of the way through the month. That’s exciting! First week went by fast, didn’t it?

My people seem to be in good spirits so I think we’re doing okay. I’ve made a dent in the freezer, which is nice, but I still don’t know what all is in there.

I think I mentioned last night that the girls and I went to Sprouts, but I forgot to say what we got. Water and produce! My husband likes taking sparkling water to work; it helps him stay hydrated. We stocked him up for next week.

We also loaded up on the fruits and veggies that were on sale. Prices were pretty amazing, for example:

  • eggplants 3/$1
  • cuties $1.98/bag
  • grapefruit 2/$1
  • bell peppers (green AND red) 2/$1
  • organic apples $0.99/pound

I ended up spending $40, so our total for the month so far is $70. Boom. I bought four gallons of milk the other day at Costco, so that should last us the week, but we’re going through eggs much more quickly than I had expected.

Here’s how we ate today….

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 7

Breakfast: Pancakes, Grapefruit, Sausage, Scrambled Eggs

Lunch: Leftover Soup from yesterday, Pulled Pork & Slaw from the night before. Leftover Pizza Sauce from last night turned into Tomato Soup. Particularly thrilled because the girls and I were gone at lunchtime, and the menfolk took care of eating leftover soup. Girls and I had the other stuff when we got home.

Dinner: Stovetop Mac and Cheese, Roast Broccoli, Veggie Dippers and Homemade Ranch Dressing

Tomorrow I’m going to make a MONDO batch of Vegetable Bolognese with Eggplant and Peppers as well as some chicken enchiladas. (I hope. That’s the plan anyway.)

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  1. Jen in Colorado says:

    Day 3 for us:

    B – yogurt, 1/2 a mango that was on its way out (DS), frozen meal and leftover veg (my Dad – he isn’t much of a breakfast-food person), scrambled egg with onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomato, and sunflower seeds on top (me)

    L – leftover chili, raw veggies, cheetos, crackers, fruit

    afternoon snack (DS) – raw veggies, pepperoni, olives, cheese slices (he was headed to a birthday party and I wanted to make sure he ate some decent food prior to the cake!)

    D – pepperoni pizza and bday cake at party, followed by 2 taquitos from freezer when we got home (DS), me (late dinner) – nachos using lots of random bits – including last few spoons of chili, cheese on its way out, and last tiny drizzle of BBQ ranch salad dressing (a surprisingly yummy addition), not sure what my dad ate – DS and I were gone for close to 3 hours for the bday party

    Our fridge has lots of lovely white space 🙂 The freezers not so much. But it’s still early days.

  2. Sat 1/7
    B – cranberry walnut bread, yogurt
    L – L/O ham slices with L/O stuffing
    S – chips and guac, boiled egg
    D – L/O Pork chili – it finally got nice and cold so was actually chili weather! It’s only expected to last a few days, unfortunately. We’re having a really hot winter.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m jealous of your hot winter. We have 7 inches of snow on the ground and aren’t supposed to get above freezing until Tuesday. It is good weather for chili though.

  3. Those Sprouts prices are awesome-less than half of what the cost is here! I wish we had one nearby, but no.

    I had an easy cooking day.
    Breakfast-out with the husband
    Lunch-turkey salad with crackers, oranges
    Snack-applesauce bread-recipe off the King Arthur site
    Dinner-with friends, we brought wine

  4. WOW – your meals do sound delish! It was a snowy day here Up-on-the-Hudson and I went into complete comfort food mode. Breakfast was my daughter’s chicken eggs with 12 grain toast and coffee. Lunch was organic butternut squash and bacon ravoli with 2 strips of bacon and my last knob of kielbasa with iced water with lemon slices. Supper was a peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam (a product of my daughter’s company – Eleanor’s Best).. snack was a strawberry yogurt whip. My freezer isn’t going down. I may have to extend to mid Feb to empty it. But I’m having fun with the challenge. So far for this month only 17.34 for veggies, fruit and milk. I’m trying to stick to $50 for grocery items this month.

    • I have some butternut squash ravioli that I need to use and I really like it but the kid does not so I’ve been putting off cooking it. Serving it with bacon is a genius idea that will make him happier to eat it. Thanks for sharing that!

  5. Kathy in Denmark says:

    I feel like I finally got into the PC spirit today, lots of bits and pieces used up and we still ate really well 🙂

    B: Toast and freshly squeezed orange/clementine juice. Coffee for the adults.
    Lunch: We snacked on different things after having gone for a walk. I also made hot cocoa.
    Dinner: Tortillas with vegetarian filling, lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, salsa, guacamole and crème fraiche.
    Snacks: crackers, grapes, ice cream, Christmas cookies.

    I had some oranges and some clementines that were starting to go soft, so I squeezed them. It was really delicious and my kids couldn’t get enough 🙂 It had snowed during the night, so we went for a walk and pulled the girls on the sled. It was already starting to thaw, so this was the best we could do. Good exercisee for the adults and great fun for the girls!

    I used a dried vegetarian mix as the basis for the filling for dinner. I stretched it with soy protein and kidney beans. I also added some of the vegetarian bolognaise from wednesday, a tiny bit of salsa from a bottle, a little kechup and some spices. I added a can of corn for some colour and ekstra veg. This means I used up salsa, ketchup, some bolognaise and some soy protein that needed to be used up! It was really good and we have enough left over for another meal.

    Kathy in Denmark

    We also managed to finally drink the last of the wine left over from NYE 🙂 I made kir with white wine for DH and Prosecco for me. The prosecco was no longer sparkly, but still tasted good 🙂

    • Great job on finished all those little bits in jars and bottles Kathy! I did that making a sauce for mini sausages for Christmas!

      • Kathy in Denmark says:

        It’s so nice when you empty out those little bits and pieces! It frees up so much space in the fridge.

    • sounds like you are feeling better. good job using up the bits.

      • Kathy in Denmark says:

        Thanks, Sandi.

        I am feeling better, thank goodness! Not having the energy to do anything properly was starting to drive me a litte crazy 🙂

    • Heather M says:

      Hi Kathy!! Nice to see you here again!! I’ll have to try the clementine juice idea! We often buy the huge bags for only 3 of us and end up with several getting too soft by the end. What a great way to use them up instead of tossing them. 🙂

      • Kathy in Denmark says:

        Hi Heather!

        Nice to see you too 🙂

        The clementine juice is really sweet and delicious. I ususally mix it with orange juice, since I don’t like things to be overly sweet, my kids and husband would probably drink it without any issues 😉

        You can also freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. Then add a few cubes to regular orange juice to make it a little more interesting.

  6. Sue Diamond says:

    7th Jan

    B – Shredded wheat & hm granola then the last 2 cinnamon rolls from the freezer
    L – LO buckwheat burrito with poached egg & LO spinach
    D – Shop pies from the freezer, bought when on sale, mashed potato, broccoli and carrots
    S – Hm banana flapjack

    Doing OK. Currently trying to drink my way through a very full cupboard of various teabags. The whole family like trying different teas – black, green, herbal and fruit. Sometimes when I’m going away I put a selection of tea bags in a plastic bag to take with me. On my return I put the bag back in the cupboard which results in a random unidentified selection. Now playing “tea roulette”!!

    The other thing we are doing is to see how far through the year we can get without buying alcohol. We seem to have stockpiled loads and it is taking up far too much space!!

    • At our house we have the same issue with lots of various teas and we also have all my husbands random K-cups. We have an over-the-door shelf system in our pantry. Three of those shelves have nothing but tea and K-cups.

      • About a month ago I finished up all random teas. Had been several months of working on it. In late Dec. I bought 1 box of 100 tea bags and that is what I am using now. So good to start afresh on something.

        • Sue Diamond says:

          Well done! I must stop buying random teas. I can’t drink ordinary black tea so I always have Rooibos. I also have camomile to help my reflux but don’t really drink anything other than those two at home. I should save my experimentation for coffee shop trips!!

    • We drink a LOT of iced teas in my house and I make it mostly decaf black tea. I will add in a random flavored or herbal to mix up the batch and thin the supplies! When husband travels he always brings home hotel room supplies so that always adds to the varieties!

      • Sue Diamond says:

        Iced tea sounds nice! My problem is storage – all the cardboard boxes take up so much room. It’s OK if the bags are individually wrapped then I can dispose of the boxes and keep the bags together. This doesn’t work if they are not all wrapped though as the flavours all get confused! Handy if your husband is bringing some back as they will be wrapped and not in boxes!

    • Tea Roulette, I love it. Sounds like an adventure! I too have taken the unmarked tea bags with me in a plastic bag when I was working, but I put each flavor in a different bag and included a piece of paper with the name of the tea, or marked the bag. Your way sounds more adventurous. I do drink a lot of tea and like to have a variety to choose from so my cupboard has lots of tea choices also.

      • Sue Diamond says:

        From now on I am going to follow your example and put a piece of paper with the name of the tea in the bags!

  7. B: Chocolate bread, milk, apple slices
    L: One of my daughter’s friends was cast in a local play so we made a day of it. Before the play, we had lunch at Freddy’s Frozen Custard. The kids like it for the custard. I like it for its French Fries.
    D: I had 4 unexpected guests for dinner for the second night in a row. So I made pasta for a second night and served it with steamed broccoli and fresh blueberries. I love how far you can stretch a small amount of meat just by serving it over pasta. Since the extra guests are spending the night I need to figure out what to serve for breakfast. The only fresh fruit I have are a few apples and we are down to less than a dozen eggs.

  8. Saturday 1/7

    Breakfast – More cookies from the freezer

    Lunch – Hard salami & swiss sandwiches, veggies & dip

    Dinner – Confetti kielbasa skillet

  9. I finally managed to begin an actual inventory of my chest freezer. It’s not in bad shape or overly full…I’ve just lost track of some things. We are also at the point in the winter where it’s time to really utilize the harvest from last summer and fall. I have several gallons each of blueberries, shredded zucchini (in pints), broccoli, butternut squash and pumpkin purée (also in pints), and corn. Then some cauliflower, peas, cranberries and bell peppers – a gallon or less of each. I also have about 16 pounds of butter from a major sale last month and a load of chicken stock and homemade tomato soup. Random baking supplies and a bit of meat rounds it out.

    Last night while making chili I also made a big batch of sausage pancake muffins for easy breakfasts.

    Anyways, here’s what we ate yesterday:
    B- fried egg on a waffle, cereal, other odds and ends
    L- LO pizza, salad, veggie sticks, and hubs ate a sub on the road after his meeting
    S- snacks were popcorn, muffins, fruit, carrots, and coffee for me;)
    D- chili with corn muffins and toppings

    The produce drawers are pretty sparse but I think we will make it through the weekend since I can tap into the frozen produce. I did pick up apples, carrots, greens and milk at the farm yesterday along with ground beef for the chili and breakfast sausage that went into the pancake muffins.

    • What a bountiful freezer! You’ve got such a great variety in there!!

    • Your sausage pancke muffins sounds delish 🙂 can you share the recipe. please

      • Yes! The idea is not my own creation but here is the recipe I use.
        Pancakes with sausage
        2c flour (wheat pastry is my favorite)
        2tsp baking powder
        1tsp baking soda
        2-4 T sugar (sometimes I skip this and add a little maple syrup to the batter or I used sweetened vanilla yogurt)
        2c yogurt
        1 egg
        1/4-1/3 c water if batter seems too thick
        Mix wet into dry until just mixed, a few lumps are okay.

        Stir in one pound cooked sausage crumbles and spoon into muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes at 375F. These also work fine as griddle cakes and freeze beautifully!!

  10. I finally managed to begin an actual inventory of my chest freezer. It’s not in bad shape or overly full…I’ve just lost track of some things. We are also at the point in the winter where it’s time to really utilize the harvest from last summer and fall. I have several gallons each of blueberries, shredded zucchini (in pints), broccoli, butternut squash and pumpkin purée (also in pints), and corn. Then some cauliflower, peas, cranberries and bell peppers – a gallon or less of each. I also have about 16 pounds of butter from a major sale last month and a load of chicken stock and homemade tomato soup. Random baking supplies and a bit of meat rounds it out.

    Last night while making chili I also made a big batch of sausage pancake muffins for easy breakfasts.

    Anyways, here’s what we ate yesterday:
    B- fried egg on a waffle, cereal, other odds and ends
    L- LO pizza, salad, veggie sticks, and hubs ate a sub on the road after his meeting
    S- snacks were popcorn, muffins, fruit, carrots, and coffee for me;)
    D- chili with corn muffins and toppings

    The produce drawers are pretty sparse but I think we will make it through the weekend since I can tap into the frozen produce. I did pick up apples, carrots, greens and milk at the farm yesterday along with ground beef for the chili and breakfast sausage that went into the pancake muffins.

  11. I did hit the store for a few random things- Milk, Shredded cheese, a few items for this evenings supper with the inlaws, and frozen potatoes for dinner…
    Daughter and I had our first volleyball practice of this new league/season- she playing me as coach. Husband wanted to come observe ( so he could tell me what I should do differently no doubt!) but I informed him that he and the boys would serve a much better purpose in my life right now by cleaning the mudroom/basement! And they did! Which allowed me to straighten my pantry shelves in that room- I moved a lot of items upstairs to replenish my kitchen supplies and now I REALLY know how much I need to buy when I hit the stores tomorrow!!!(A LOT)

    B- made waffles for breakfast and leftovers for the freezer. ( used a whole box of bisquick mix doing that!)
    Made the last hot cocoa packet for the child who went out to take care of the chicken in single digit weather… Made up a batch of homemade cocoa mix to tide us over- used up the last of a box of dried milk, opened the last container of cocoa powder making this mix!
    L- home from volleyball- everyone fend for themselves.. using the remainder of the turkey and ham lunch meat, some fruits, veg and chips.
    D- made burgers out of a 2lb package of ground beef from the freezer, served with a jar of applesauce, leftover veggies from the fridge, leftover water gate salad, and a mix of tator tots and these buffalo flavored waffle fries( store purchases)…

    While I was making dinner I made a batch of buffalo chicken dip using the last brick of cream cheese, last can of canned chicken, the remainder of a bottle of buffalo sauce. This will be eaten with corn chips and fresh veggies!

  12. Stephanie M. says:


    We had our first major snow storm in New Jersey yesterday starting at 8:00 a.m. and not stopping till about 6:00 p.m. It looked beautiful while it was snowing and being snowed in is so cozy and nice. We were supposed to go to a family party but it was cancelled so the stew that I was going to make on Sunday and have leftovers on Monday ended up being Saturday’s dinner with leftovers on Sunday. So while the movies played on in the den, hubby cooked a large pot of beef stew; he does not cook inside; he does every bit of the outside grill cooking but I asked him if he wanted to learn a few basic things and he surprisingly said yes. He did a wonderful job and maybe when he retires in 10 years or so, he will want to get into cooking sometimes in the kitchen. Once he was out of the kitchen, I wanted to get busy too; I found a loaf of unseeded Italian bread in the freezer that has been sitting in there for a month with no possible plans for it so I decided to cut it into thick slices on the bias and make French toast out of it. We’ll see how that turns out.

    B – Hubby had cereal; I had a yogurt

    L – I took out my Panini maker and made a Panini for hubby with the last of the leftover deli roast beef, some roasted red peppers and some shredded mozzarella; he also had French fries; I had a salad and a multi grain wasa bread with a wedge of laughing cow cheese

    During the afternoon, we had some cheese and crackers and hubby had some chocolate covered pretzels from a gift basket someone gave us for Christmas; it’s amazing how much junk food and picking goes on when you’re snowed in! LOL

    D – Beef stew with dinner rolls

    Dessert/snack – Christmas cookies from the freezer

    • Heather M says:

      H Stephanie!!

      I’m back!! we were posting at the same time! My post is below yours a few. Missed you this year! Excited to get caught up! 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Hi Heather!!

        It’s so nice to hear from you. I actually wondered the other day if you would get back on the challenge. Hope all is well with you and your family! Welcome back!!! 🙂

    • My dad didn’t cook a single thing when I was growing up. Once he retired he got really into cooking and now cooks almost every night! So maybe your husband will do the same!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Hi Laura:

        My dad always cooked on the BBQ and cooked breakfast on Sundays in the kitchen and once in a while cooked a large pot of gravy and meatballs but once he retired, he did most of the cooking. I can remember him with the kitchen towel hanging over his shoulder and him humming patriotic songs while he had a martini on the counter next to him and my mother had one with her while she was enjoying a movie. This makes me smile and brings back wonderful memories of him. 🙂

        My husband loves cooking on the grill and I think he would like to cook inside too when he retires. I have to tell a funny little story: We try to do date nights when we can and sometimes I come up with a different idea rather than dinner in a restaurant. For example, one time our date night was to bake a few dozen oatmeal cookies and deliver small plates unannounced to several friends. That was fun. A couple of them gave us a glass of wine. How fun. Another date night idea I had was we had to go to the grocery store and split up. We each had 30 minutes to grab whatever we wanted without the other person knowing what we bought till we got home. Once home, we traded bags and opened them up; with the items he bought, it was easy for me to come up with a nice meal; He bought a pork roast and potatoes and salad items; with the items I bought, it would also have been easy for me but it was slightly challenging for him. So one of us cooked our meal on Saturday night and the other on Sunday. Without me knowing it, he got on the computer and found a recipe that would incorporate all of the items I purchased; it was a pasta and chicken dish with mushrooms, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, peas and bacon. He did a great job and even made dessert – pudding. I was so pleased that he got into this date night and he had fun cooking at the same time. So maybe when he retires, he might start to cook a little and learn to enjoy it. That’s my hope! 🙂 I love cooking very much but it’s always nice when you both share a common interest.

    • Glad you had a down day too Stephanie! They are wonderful things. Especially when the snow looks so pretty(for a short period). The snow has stopped here but it has been very cold. Like highs from 2 to 13, so haven’t been out much. Thinking I will try to do a grocery store run tomorrow or Tuesday since some timings need replaced and some are very low. Just planning fruit, bread and milk so should be an easy trip. I have a gift card to use so thinking it will be a freebie ?

      • Stephanie M. says:

        It was five degrees a few hours ago; now it’s almost 1100 and it’s up to 20 degrees. But the sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s really pretty outside. The roads are all clear; the towns around here are really very good about cleaning the streets. We heard the snow plows all night. But we’re still staying home today; no place to go so hubby is outside right now plowing the driveway and I’m finishing up cleaning the house – only one more room left. I read some of the posts and a couple of people mentioned that they were going to take pictures of their freezers before and after so I just did that. The only thing is my freezer looks like it’s so much more full than it is. It’s full but with containers of cookies. But I’m anticipating them being gone shortly. My meat/fish drawer is almost empty though. +

  13. We had Buffalo Chicken Chili for dinner, using up some pantry and freezer items. Our area was hit with 8+ inches of snow. Since I couldn’t go anywhere and because it was nice and cool I made jelly using berries from the freezer and I baked a cake.

    • I have several gallons of strawberries I froze. I made freezer jam, too, last June, but do you think I could use frozen strawberries for more freezer jam?

      • I’ve always heard you could!

      • Yes! And actually once fruit has been frozen it loses some of its moisture and makes for excellent jamming!!! We do this with our blueberries and raspberries 🙂

        • Thanks! We still have a few boxes of pectin. Now if I could trade brown sugar for white sugar. We have over 10 gallons of brown sugar . I don’t know how I over estimated our needs so much last winter.

          • You can also add some apples which have natural pectin and are sweet. Bummer about the sugar mix up though… I’ve never made jam with brown sugar.

  14. tastycook says:


    b – fruit, yogurt and a muffin for hubby, slice of coffee cake and yogurt for me

    L – l/o turkey soup from yesteday

    S- – Chicken salad

  15. Heather M says:

    Oh my gosh I missed you guys so much! I’m finally here, after a nutty 1st week of 2017. I couldn’t allow myself to read anything here until the 7th because, because. I spent ages last night finally reading all your posts and comments and I’m so excited to finally you all. So many familiar names I’ve missed and lots of new ones as well! Anyway, our 1st week: out of town at my in-laws on Long Island for a week, drove home (DC area) on the 2nd, with terrible traffic. Got home at 7pm and managed to throw together dinner out of the fridge somehow. We had random things I’d bought just before xmas that needed eating( ready made meal for 2, which ended up being for one, taquitos, salvaged a bit of lettuce, etc.). And I also had to toss a bunch of stuff. sad face. December is such a wild month and I had purchased too much of some produce, etc. Oh well.

    woke up the 3rd to a garage stinking of car gas. Not only did I have to deal with that clear and present problem, but research and a toilet since the kids one had died over christmas and 1st plumber visit the morning we left town only ensured our house wouldn’t flood while we were gone (even the water shut-off valve at the wall had broken, but he fixed that 1st). And deal with all the post-vacation stuff, including a run for fresh items (I always purchase fresh tiems produce, dairy, bread, OJ during a Pantry Challenge). Managed to make a red salmon and potato chowder for dinner, only to figure out 3/4 way through cooking we were out of canned salmon. Oh the perils of no inventory done yet. Replaced it with tuna. It was fine, just not the same.

    The 4th was brutal. busy morning morphed into an ENTIRE afternoon at the DMV to renew my license( no choice-8yrs, needed new photo and eye exam). Seriously it was awful.15 minutes to even park the car. 50 minutes in 1st line just to get my ticket/number. And another 2+ hours before I was called. Horrid. And after almost 3 1/2 hours there, I still had to buy a toilet and run by target for prescriptions. Called hubs nearly in tears (also having learned we were REALLY lucky because we had a fuel leak into our engine, that we drove all the way home from NY to DC with), and he basically ordered me to order chinese food while still out so i could pick it up on the way home. Was NOT hard to choose that. As it was, i got home at 7pm and was so done. So much for the Challenge that day, but my sanity was at stake by then. And it tasted so good.

    The 5th the plumber came and replaced the broken toilet, the car got fixed, and I finally got some things done at home that were desperately needing it. Although the list is still long, days later, the urgent things were done. We had the almost expired jalapeno cheddar sausages with 3 leftover and somehow not moldy whole wheat hot dog buns (well, the guys had those and I ate mine solo) with Trader joe’s frozen mushroom risotto I’d bought for maybe on xmas day, but never used. I really needed “fast” food since I was on such a good roll accomplishing things.

    The 6th was my birthday and no Challenge in sight. 🙂 Hubs took the day off and we had a glorious, relaxing day, including reading all morning in bed, a long leisurely lunch out, shopping, facetiming with all my siblings and their kids who live in Hawaii, out to the movies at night with my guys to see La La Land, then a late night dessert at a Diner (I had the best Smith Island 7 layer lemon cake, a la mode).

    That brings us to the 7th, I still haven’t inventoried, but I’ll get there soon enough. Now that I’ve read all the comments, I’ll also take before pics, even though its’ a little late. Now I can be all in with the Pantry Challenge. The 7th was snowy and cold here, so we mostly stayed in, which was nice. For those who don’t know us, we are me, my husband, our 15 1/2 year old son, and we have a 20 year old daughter who is in southern California doing a church mission since November 2015, returning in May this year. We can hardly wait-it’s been a long time since we’ve seen her, but it’s been an amazing amazing experience for her.

    B: nothing since we all slept in/lounged
    L: son had yogurt, baguette, banana, and more; hubs had the last of the leftover chinese food, I had cheese and crackers and leftover xmas goodies.
    D: made a spicy asian sauce for meatballs (frozen- trader Joe’s) over rice noodles (pantry) and steamed broccoli.

    I’m so happy to be back and to see all of you again! And, like someone else posted one day, it’s fun to see how other people live/eat. Curiosity can make for new things learned and new recipes or ideas tried. 🙂

    • Welcome back Heather M! Sorry to hear your Year started out so crazy but hopefully you have it out of the way and the rest of the year will be smooth sailing!
      And A Belated Happy Birthday To You?

    • So glad to see you back again Heather! You’ve had a whopper of a first week in January! Hopefully you’ve weathered the storms and can settle back into routine again!

    • Welcome back, Heather! You certainly rang in the new year with a gale force, didn’t you? Sounds like angels were watching over you on that drive back so your car did not catch on fire. Golly. Here’s hoping the insanity calms down and all is nice smooth sailing now.

    • Kathy in Denmark says:

      Belated Happy birthday, Heather!

      You had quite a week! Good that things are getting back in order now.

      I was wondering if you would do the challenge again this year. So glad you joined 🙂

      Kathy in Denmark

  16. Breakfast – sausage and grits

    Lunch – baked potato’s with chili (from the freezer)

    Supper – chicken taco soup (from the freezer) and chips, sour cream and cheese

    Snacks – I made Snickerdoodle cookies from a mix we had in the pantry.

    The snow storm left us snowed in because we have a nice layer of ice under it and we are not heading down the mountain until it is safe. Tomorrow should be another good day for using up the things from the freezer. We have low’s in the teens tonight, so I don’t think the roads will clear up. We will all be stir-crazy soon.

  17. Saturday, January 7

    Breakfast/Lunch: Nachos with salsa for both of us

    Dinner: Korean beef (made with ground turkey because that’s what we had!) Rice and edamame.

    Snacks: the chocolate!!! And some Christmas cookies. And popcorn. We also walked to the store for a slurpee, because #January and why not have a slurpee when it’s -2!!!! It was a bad food-choices day!!

  18. Inventoried just 1 shelf in the freezer. I am going to concentrate on using most of it up in the near future. Found 1/4 of a cake in there. Not sure exactly how old it is but we are having it today for a snack or dessert. Also will plan some menus using the meat I found. Hubby went to the store for milk this morning and came home with 6 items. Five of them I did not need! The small whole in the freezer is gone! He managed though to only spend $ 5.08 which is good for the whole first week of PC. I plan on getting a few items next week on Tuesday. Temps that day are suppose to be high 40’s. so it will be good to venture out. I need cheddar cheese from Sam’s and a couple of other things. My budget for the month is
    $ 132.50.
    B – L/O biscuits and sausage gravy
    L – Beef Stroganoff over noodles (had a lot left over), Squash
    D Knew we had 1 L/O cooked pork loin so decided to dice it and stretch it for a veggie soup. The soup started out to be just enough for 1 meal but grew on me. Then the meat turned out to be very small so we added 12 leftover meat balls to the soup. Now I guess we eat it for 2 days. Also made muffins which were good. I was able to really thin down my veggie supply.

  19. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Another good pantry challenge day.

    Breakfast: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal.

    Lunch: Hubby took the last of the Chicken Parmesan to work for lunch. I had kind of snacky lunch – crackers with port wine cheese, hummus, and popcorn. This time of year and weather mess with me, and the junk food sounded good.

    Dinner: Cheese Tetrazinni and leftover garlic bread. I also had a glass of wine. My aunt brought and left a huge bottle at Christmas. There’s not much left, but it’s taking up a lot of counter space.

    I did some organizing with the canned goods, but still haven’t really done an inventory. It’s a little overwhelming. I’m pretty sure we’ll be extending our pantry challenge into February. And there’s definitely a lot of chili in our future!

  20. A mixed day here Saturday.

    Breakfast/brunch Baked eggs, toast and tea.
    Supper: The last of the LO green bean soup, ham and cheese sandwiches, tea
    snack: chips and the last of some dip I bought and didn’t use for holidays.

    I’ve been organizing the freezers and identified some stuff to use up in the coming week. the weather here is warming but another storm front is predicted for next week. I did make it to the store yesterday for some produce, cabbage at $.49 a lb., a turnip, a bag of kale and one of coleslaw mix, some carrots and a loaf of bread. Definitely some soup in the future.

  21. It was a great pantry day here. I started cooking a large ham bone after breakfast that we had left from Christmas. Was able to use lots of veggies that were getting old in the frig to make ham bone soup. While that was cooking I cut up all the apples that we still had from our apple trees and made a rustic flat apple pie using some homemade pie crust from the freezer and baked the rest of them for breakfasts. We were going to go out for date night in the evening after milking, but it’s so cold here, so I told hubby why don’t we just make something and watch a movie in our nice warm house! I pulled a loaf of French bread, shredded mozzarella, banana peppers and some cooked spicy sausage that was left from last weeks pizza night out of the freezer , used some ham from the bone I cooked from lunch and a jar of homemade pizza sauce from the pantry and made french bread pizzas. Got out some stuffed banana peppers that I froze when our garden was producing them like crazy. It was delicious and super cozy. We ate on the couch while watching the movie with a good bottle of wine. So much better than going back out in the cold and I used up leftovers to make something delicious!
    B- everyone had something different; eggs, cereal, toast and fruit
    L- ham bone soup, warm apple pie with ice cream
    D- leftovers for kids, french bread pizzas, stuffed banana peppers and wine for parents

  22. Hi Jessica. Found you. I’ve added you to my reading list. Well my sloppy joe came from the pantry apart from the ground beef. I need to work on getting my housekeeping under £40 next week. Your blog will help. Thank you ? .

  23. Today’s menu b. leftover pancakes banana black walnut bread coffee juice.lunch was chili luncheon meal at church with corn muffins and salads yum. I am the cook for most of our church meals. I often Cook for 100 people.
    Dinner will be snacks.
    Made a trip to Walmart. Lettuce eggs limes bananas fillo dough for spinach pie , the recipe is super yummy!!! Spent 7.05 sure was hard not to buy a couple things I saw ,but I stayed firm with my list. It is so fun to read everyone’s post. I like some of you,can’t inventory my freezers because they are so full. Also how did I manage to get so much pasta in my pantry ? Yikes .good thing hubby and I both like it.

  24. Hello all! Good to see you Heather, happy belated birthday!

    Day 7
    B – hubs had yogurt, strawberry nut bread & a clementine and I just had a clementine
    L – homemade pepperoni and olive pizza
    D – Toscana soup
    S – homemade stovetop popcorn (1st time to do this & it turned out great) for afternoon football game
    Sesame sticks for late night football game
    Dessert – Jessica’s chocolate chip cookies w/coconut & walnuts ( very yummy, highly recommend)

    This was the first time I tried the Simple Truth (Kroger & affiliates) uncured pepperoni. $1.79/ 2.5 oz. very good and I had a little leftover for salad topping later. I also recommend the Goya brand salad olives, I keep finding these on clearance at publix stores. They have a nice flavor for cooking, peppery with the pimiento.

    I bought a huge bag of organic kale and used only a small portion for the Toscana soup – does anyone have a favorite way to use kale? I want to use the whole bag and not waste it.

    Glad to see everyone making it through the cold weather. Stay warm!

    Melissa in GA

  25. Christine says:

    Used up tons of freezer leftovers to make a random soup. I ate it yesterday and today. I loved it. We made cookies too. We had snow here yesterday, so it was a good cooking weekend.
    Spent most of today making muffins for the week (banana and blueberry). I made some squash soup too. We had sandwiches for lunch, eggs for dinner and are having chicken and potatoes for dinner. I am already planning my other meals for this week with the leftover chicken.

  26. Saturday
    B-tenderloin from freezer, blueberry pancakes & apleauce
    L-leftover white chicken chilli
    S- cleaned out fridge of leftover(not real sure what everyone had :))

    We are a family of 5-me, the hubby, an almost 21 year old son, 19 year old daughter, & an almost 16 year old son(less than a month). We live close to Roanoke, Va so just had like 7″ of snow friday nite & saturday morning! So feeling a little restless today (no church). blessings

  27. Jen in IN says:

    We had an early morning, had to be out of the house at 6 am for a swim meet.

    B: my husband made us egg sandwiches on seedy bagels to eat en route to the meet.
    S: I packed the boys each a pbj, lara balls, and cereal to eat during the meet.
    L: out for Mexican after the meet, 3 of us had leftovers to bring home.
    D: grilled pizza night
    The boys each made their own. I made 3 other pizzas that used up some random stuff in the fridge.
    #1 fig butter, pear, grilled onion, proscuitto, blue cheese and arugula
    #2 pesto, sausage, grilled onion, sundried tomato, spinach and goat cheese
    #3 ranch, bacon, grilled potato, grilled onion, spinach and mozzarella

    • Love those pizza combos! We are boring – usually pepperoni with veggies On one and plain cheese on the other. I’ll try to be brave next week and mix it up.

  28. Jan. 8
    Lunch: leftover soup
    Supper: steak from freezer, broccoli, salad from frig. and potatoes from pantry.

  29. Laurie in CA says:

    B – Bacon, fried eggs, toast and coffee
    L – No lunch because of the big breakfast. Hubs went to Mimi’s while I was fixing breakfast and got some Buttermilk Spice muffins so we each had one about 1:00.
    D – This is usually our date night but I was tired and didn’t feel like putting on makeup and getting dressed so hubs went to our favorite Mediterranean place and brought home chicken tahini, pilaf, fatoosh salad and hummus and pita chips. One order feeds both of us and we used a gift card. It definitely helps with the minimal spend month.

  30. Cleared out and organized the spice, baking and snack cabinets

    B- Eggs, hot links, avocado and leftover muffins
    L- snack lunch on the go, green juice
    D- ate out, while we were at the mall.

    We picked up our juices and milks at pressed juicery for the week. Its not cheap, but I just dont have the time to make them now, so its a price we pay. These juices are my meal replacements when Im on the go and one of the very few brands my carnivore hubby loves.

    After the first week -we spent about $190 ($75 for our juice cleanse), we are a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 teens, 1- 9 yr old) in Hawaii, we usually spend about $1400 a month on food.

  31. Saturday Jan 7th
    Breakfast –breakfast sandwiches with fried eggs bacon and cheese and cooked apples.
    Dinner–Honey chili baked chicken, cheesey potatoes and broccoli
    Snacks–christmas cookies and ice cream

  32. I am falling behind on my reporting already. I think the troops are on to me. Hopfully my trip to the store on Saturday will pacify them!

    Day 5
    B: Cottage cheese with pomegranate and pepitas
    L: Leftovers
    D: Shrimp stir fry over rice with egg rolls

    Day 6;
    B: Fend for yourself (cereal, bagels, fruit, yogurt)
    L: Leftovers
    D: Mac and cheese with chicken and mixed veggies

    Day 7:
    Trip to grocery store to buy produce and dairy: $30.14
    B: Homemade Egg McMuffins
    L: Leftovers
    D: Company holiday party for parents and frozen pizza for the girls

  33. Ooops. Got busy and didn’t post yesterday. I did, however, get a loaf of wheat bread, two loaves of banana-pecan bread (used up some bananas that were getting too ripe), and a batch of cranberry pomegranate compote (used up some of a huge bag of cranberries I bought during the holiday season) made.

    Saturday 1/7/17

    B: Mountain Man breakfast (eggs, potatoes, onions, olives, cheese), OJ, coffee for the adults.

    L: 1/2 peanut butter/pumpkin butter sandwiches, yogurt w/ honey and granola, apple and orange slices, water, milk, hot tea.

    D: LO Eggplant Caponata Pasta, grapes, apple and orange slices, water, milk.

    S: Pistachios, banana-pecan bread, hot cocoa

    Sunday 1/8/17

    B: The guys had the usual; I had peanut butter toast and coffee.

    L: Hodgepodge (last of the LO pasta, LO Mountain Man breakfast, grapes, apple and orange slices).

    D: Omelets, LO pancakes from the freezer, cranberry-pomegranate compote, milk, water, hot tea.

    S/D: popcorn, Christmas chocolates, peanut butter toast (Hubs), banana bread

    It’s hard to believe we’re already 1/4 of the way through the challenge. I feel like I haven’t even begun to make a dent in things.

    Does anyone have any ideas about how to use up jalapeño jelly? I used a little over cream cheese to serve w/ crackers as an hors d’oeuvre for a party, but now I’ve got an opened jar in the fridge . . . .

  34. Stephanie P says:

    Where the heck do you live that produce is that cheap? So jealous. Or maybe I just don’t know what sprouts is. Either way I am super jealous.

    I absolutely adore Saturdays – my favorite day of the week!

    B: A mixture for the family. I made pancakes, bacon, eggs, and an omelet (the omelet was mine)
    L: Another mixture. I have no idea with hubster had. We all ate late because of our large breakfast. I had a yogurt and I think pretzels. The boy had turkey and ham rolled up, and probably pretzels, and the 1 1/2 year old who eats like a teenage boy had cheese, clementine, raisins, an applesauce and water. She also helped herself to some of whatever the hubster had.
    D: We ordered pizza. This wasn’t a good decision financially since Todd’s birthday (the hubster) is tomorrow and we are going out again. It was good though!
    S: A mixture of popcorn (me), chips, sour gummies.

    Obviously Saturdays are NOT our thought out day.

  35. Breakfast-Woke up with quite the sweet tooth, so I made waffles, topped with sliced fruit for BF and I
    Lunch-Made up a snack style lunch to take to my mom’s (eating vegan all month so I have to always be prepared) of tortilla chips, vegan sour cream, LO pico de gallo and avocado. Also brought sliced fruit.
    Dinner-Sautéed veggies with crispy baked tofu and peanut sauce

    I did make a quick grocery store trip to pick up milk, raspberries, frozen corn and some canned soups for BF when I’m not home. Pretty proud of my restraint.

    Oh, I forgot on Friday night I picked up some chips (not the best choice, but I was in the mood)

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