Pantry Challenge 2017 – Days 11 & 12

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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.


So sorry for the delay, you guys. I got a cold/flu that my eldest brought home from campus. Headache, cough, aches and pains. Good times. Here’s a quick update. Sorry for no picture!

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 11

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast; smoothie for me

Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches for kids; bowl lunch for me

Dinner: Burritos for kids; date night for parents

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 12

Breakfast: Eggs and fruit

Lunch: Sausage and Tater Tots for kids; leftover soup for me

Dinner: Tonight was the youngest’s dinner with dad. Since she has a peanut allergy, that is the one night every 6 weeks that we get Chinese take-out for the rest of the kids.

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  1. I love Chinese takeout but haven’t had it since I moved in June. I keep saying, “Oh I’m going to walk down to the Village and pick up Chinese” – but never do. I may do that this weekend. I’m going to my daughter’s for a sewing afternoon and may ask her to stop at the Chinese restaurant so I can pick up my dumplings, ribs and beef and broccoli. There will be left overs for next day lunch. Since I really haven’t spent much money on groceries, this will be such a treat!

  2. Jessica, that is rough. I hope you are back at 100% soon!

    Yesterday was burgers and oven fries mainly to use up some potatoes starting to sprout and use the rest of the zucchini yeast rolls from Tuesday’s soup… until my 5 year old decided that I just have to make fresh rolls and it won’t take that long momma. Lol. I obliged and we were a tad later than usual but hey, how could I say no? I had the burgers with the usual toppings along with Carmelized onions and some crumbled blue cheese, oven fries with fresh rosemary and garlic, as the biggest excitement for the kids was the vacuum sealed bag of corn on the cob I pulled from the freezer. It was from 2015 but the corn tasted amazing. Score mom.
    I can’t remember what yesterday’s breakfast was. I think it was toasted English muffin with a smashed avocado for everyone. Lunches were leftovers and smoothies.

    Today’s breakfast was again, pretty boring. Pb and J toast with milk and some fruit for the kids. I was super nauseous and ate a banana around 10. Lunch was leftover skillet pasta

    Dinner was mixed greens with homemade lemon vinaigrette (like first watch cafe dressing, if any of you have been there), frittata using up last nights caramelized onions, sundays roast beef, and 3 small zucchini from the fridge. Also made some sweet potato hash as well as fried applies to go along with. It was a tasty dinner and no one realized it was using up tons of leftovers. I made a double batch of buttermilk waffles to go with so that will be tomorrow’s breakfast for the kids.

    That’s it for me today. Glad everyone is doing so well! I am probably going to head to the store for a butter stock up tomorrow as well as some fruit and vegetables. Time will tell. I only spent $27 this week at the store but I am
    Ok with spending some more to keep us in fresh produce

    • Heather M says:

      love that you made the homemade rolls. I never do that. Your kids are happy campers! 🙂

      • They are a really quick and easy recipe honestly. I can give it to you– From simply in season page 89 I believe. They’re quick. It’s just a 10 minute rise initially then form into rolls and let it double. I use the frozen shredded zucchini and summer squash from my garden and it works really well. The have a subtle sweetness that is really good. Sometimes I add some shredded steamed carrots too for my picky middle child.

  3. Laurie in CA says:

    Jessica, I’m so sorry to hear you are sick. Take care of yourself!

    Day 11
    B – I had a toasted English muffin w/ollalieberry jam, an orange and pepitas. Hubs got up late and fixed himself fried eggs, sausage and toast
    L – I had l/o white chicken chili and hubs had a chicken burrito after we got home
    D – I had a chicken burrito bowl with l/o chicken, black beans from the freezer and assorted produce, hubs had l/o white chicken chili
    Day 12
    B – We both had baked banana nut oatmeal
    L – Hubs had a chicken burrito using the l/o chicken, I had chicken, carrots and red peppers dipped in hummus
    D – Baked bone-in chicken breasts from the freezer, I had the last sweet potato from the pantry and hubs had a baked potato, steamed broccoli, toasted sourdough bread (bread from the freezer)

  4. Get better soon!

    Today was hubby’s birthday- it was quite a challenge to not just go out to dinner. Im trying my best to NOT spend $$ since we are traveling to New Zealand soon so the challenge will empty out our freezer/cabinets and save us $$ for ther trip.
    B- Fruit and egg whites for me, cereal for kids, Almond M&Ms for Hubby (its his birthday… haha)
    L- Salmon Salad for me, cup-o-noodle for the kids ( icant stand the stuff, but they love it, it was a break I needed from making school lunch today)
    D- BIRTHDAY DINNER- Ribeye steaks, potatoes, rice, strawberry/goat cheese salad, rolls. Cake & Ice cream

    I did run to the store to get the ribeye and strawberries- $32, but everything else was from our freezer/pantry- so I felt good about that. I made a yellow cake and used Jell-o chocolate instant pudding for frosting. We are also “overstocked” on ice cream. We won a year-supply of gelato at a fundraiser- 4 pints per month, we are on month 7 of 12, I havent gotten this months pints yet….

    I’d love to say we are following our meal plan exactly but we aren’t. Sometimes one of us looks at the menu and would rather eat tomorrow’s meal today, so we just go with it. Im just happy to be eating down our pantry/freezer.

    Tomorrow is my daugher’s birthday, we will go out to dinner with her friends– so we’ll see how I do on spending :(.

    • Stephanie P says:

      I’m impressed you held off on going out to eat! We went out this week for my husbands birthday (the 10th), but luckily he’s a cheap date and wanted pizza. I hope you have a great day with your daughter for her birthday!

      • Awe thank you. I think i found a way to save some $. I made hubby go to costco and buy the bucca dibeppo gift cards that they sell for 25% off. So $100 for $75 since thats where we are goong to dinner.

    • Heather M says:

      Nice dinner you made for your hubby! I haven’t been to New Zealand but one of my siblings who lives on Oahu (3 do, with their families!) just went last March with his wife and two young kids (he’d been years before, when single), They rented a camper van and spend two weeks driving all over and had the time of their lives. It’s so beautiful there! You have a great vacation to look forward to! One day…

    • I’m thinking a trip to NZ would be really good incentive for saving at home! Seriously, with the meal you made for his birthday, who need to go out? That sounds amazing.

  5. Di in Aus says:

    Day 11
    B creal and milk
    L: snacky for the kids cheese crackers saltanas
    D: noodels and soup asian style for hubby and i using ftozen stock frozen browned pork, and a few frozen did weet bix and left over pizza saved from a meal a few weeks back.

    Day 12
    B: creal and milk
    L: snacky using up odds and ends
    D:chips an nuggets. ( friday night treat )

    Havent been to the shops in a bit hubby cooked and shopped for dinner. Not quite pantry challenge but he has been rather patient with my random meals.of late so cant begrudge him to much

  6. Christine says:

    I hope you feel better.

    Breakfast was homemade muffins, sandwiches and snack brought from home or left over pizza from night before. I was at work late, so dinner was take-out chicken parmesan, salad and bread. We had a gift card to a local restaurant so that take-out was free. Great Bonus.

  7. Sending your kids off to college is a bit like sending your kids off to day care — a whole new set of germs. Feel better soon!

    Day 11
    B: Cereal, boiled eggs, bananas
    L: Grilled cheese sandwiches and left over chicken noodle soup, orange slices, and homemade Arnold Palmers (trying to use up our large stash of tea bags)
    D: Potato soup, drop biscuits, grapefruit, bananas

    Day 12
    B: Cereal, boiled eggs, bananas
    L: Hamburgers, LO beans, orange slices
    D: Bacon, eggs, toast, grapefruit
    S: In addition to the pantry challenge, we have been saving our restaurant budget this month. Dad decided the kids needed a treat so he took them out to get an ice cream treat. We had a couple of gifts cards with small balances left on them so the out-of-pocket was less than $6.

    Do other people start to get anxious and nervous when the fridge and pantry start showing a lot of white space (we do not have a deep freeze)? It happens to me during every pantry challenge. Even though we could easily eat for another 2 weeks using only what is on hand, I am fighting the urge to rush to the store and restock. I have never gone hungry due to a lack of available food yet I seem to have a deep need to have full cupboards at all times.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      I don’t get nervous. I get giddy!! I’m always so happy when pantry, fridge, and freezers don’t look like I’m running a small store out of my home. When my freezer gets very low on meat/fish which it is now, it makes me happy that I can now eat some things I may not have bought while my freezer was so full and I don’t have to feel guilty about it.

    • Yes, though I cognitively know that there is intention behind it, it still makes me a bit twitchy. I take great pride in providing good, wholesome food for my family and start to feel the anxiety creeping in when we’re down to pasta. Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

    • I did up until a year ago Janet! We do have a deep freeze and a second fridge (it holds beverages and the freezer is used for baked goods and bread products) and I would still panic if we were out of some thing. Last year I decided to keep going with the PC and I found that we do not need to run to the store just because there is an empty space or I used the last of some thing. There was always more than enough to make a meal. Now I love when I see more white than food! We are still, after this long using up things that were in the freezer last year but I have picked up things that we are out of but I have learned I only have to buy one and not load the freezer since when it was so full I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was really excited when I put a lot of fruits and veggies from the garden in the freezer this year and still saw white and knew what was in there and where it was! Now it is organized in crates and some odds n ends in bags but I was actually able to defrost it for the first time in a couple years last summer.
      Don’t panic cause the stores are always there when we need them. Best thing we can do is use up what we have and not panic! There is always enough in the house to make a meal. Even if its cereal. lol

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’ve actually never successfully completed a pantry challenge, largely for that reason. I love grocery shopping. The reputation that most women have for clothes and shoe shopping? That’s how I feel about grocery shopping. I get genuinely excited over grocery store sale ads.

      I also use food/cooking as a coping mechanism. I’m one of those people who heads into the kitchen the minute something bad happens. (The day my grandmother died I left the hospice house, went straight to the grocery store, and then went to my parents’ house and proceeded to cook a ton of food. My parents had leftovers for days.)

      I pride myself on being able to make and take food to someone with practically no notice, so I tend to stock up (overstock) for that reason, too. I never know what to say to someone when something terrible happens, but I do know how to take them a meal.

      I don’t really know what the answer to that is. I end up throwing away a lot of stuff that just never gets eaten, and I know that’s really bad – financially, environmentally, you name it. I’m trying to tell myself that it will save us lots of money, and that we live really close to a bunch of grocery stores, so I can always go out and get what i need.

      Honestly. we’re not even low yet. It still looks like I’m running a neighborhood grocery store, so I haven’t panicked yet.

      How does everyone else make themselves feel okay about using everything up if your usual MO is to stockpile?

      • Oh my gosh Danielle! I am the same way. I don’t need shoes or clothes but boy howdy I can get excited about grocery store deals and then way overstock. In fact right now I’m trying to do the pantry challenge and the guys have been great about it since of course we are still eating just fine and dandy off the overstock. But when I went to the store to get another gallon of milk for the growing boy, there were a couple of deals I couldn’t pass up and came home with three bags. Spent $25 instead of $4. Sheesh! But that $25 is still better than the $75+ we normally spend each week.

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          I’ve been trying to avoid the stores for that reason. The Harris Teeter sale ad goes to an email I don’t use as much, and I just haven’t allowed myself to check that email this month. I don’t think I could resist the temptation.

      • We could be best friends Danielle. That is exactly how I am. I love food shopping. We have an international market that is 1 1/2 hours away that is huge. It takes me at minimum 2 hours to go through and I get almost giddy driving there because I love that kind of shopping. Regular clothes shopping I could care less about. I always say it’s a good thing I don’t live near grocery stores or I would really have a stocked pantry. I too could feed a small village for a good amount of time with the amount of food here! I have been very vigilant since doing the pantry challenges with Jessica so I don’t buy more than I really will use though.

    • Stephanie P says:

      I usually like to have the “white space”, but I noticed that I almost have a tendency to stock up over the winter months, which is kind of ridiculous (for me). I could honestly see if I lived far from a store and would be having to drive in snow or ice, but I could truly easily walk to an Aldis, Target, Chinese restaurant, Subway, and of course my person vice…Starbucks (any coffee really), so I should not feel the need to stock up. That’s just within easy walking distance – I’m also about two miles away from several grocery stores and a Walmart.

      I definitely don’t share the love at the same level as you though…I’ll take shoes over grocery shopping any day 😉

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        I think I’m definitely worse during the winter. The cold weather gets to me a little bit, and grocery shopping and cooking make me happy. I’m also terrified of driving in the snow/ice. I’m from South Carolina, and we just don’t go out in it. I live in western North Carolina now, so there’s a lot more snow/ice, but I’m still not comfortable going out it. The Weather Channel says go to the store, and I go!

        My shoe size is 11, which is really hard to find, so shoe shopping really isn’t my thing. The grocery store almost always has what I want. 😉

    • My husband does! He’s very insistent on having lots of food. Once he added up how many calories of food we had in the pantry (not the fridge or the freezer, just the pantry) and it was something like 60+ days. We can walk to two grocery stores. And at least one coffee shop. And a donut shop. I think we’re ok…

    • Heather M says:

      I know how you feel! I was always taught to keep a good amount of food stored, in case of emergency (that would be anything from weather trouble to illness to sudden financial shortfall/job loss, etc)- rotating what you keep. So when my cupboards start emptying out a bit, I get a little jumpy. And a month never empties them anyway, especially since I insist we eat fresh produce, etc. I use the Challenge to use up things that have been sitting a while and need to be rotated out, and I do feel a sense of satisfaction when I have room in the cupboards. If they were to get empty, though, who knows how I’d react! Probably lots of stock up shopping asap! 🙂

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        I like your approach. I may try to treat the PC like that. I don’t think I could ever let everything totally empty out, but rotating and making a little more rooms sounds reasonable.

    • I am on the ‘must have supplies in the pantry’ side of this question. I blame it on the country background where the nearest store was over 20 miles away! That said, I do think it is a good idea to be well stocked in case of emergencies and I concentrate on making sure things rotate and figuring out how much is enough. If the freezer and pantry were really empty, I would probably have a nervous breakdown and I know my husband would probably beat me to it since we are both former country kids.

      That said I have learned to keep track of what I have and not overdo the stocking up too much. Last year and this year have taught me that I was definitely overstocking some items such as pasta. But we are using them up and not restocking until we really need to do so.

    • Unfortunately I have not gotten to the empty space in the pantry in a very long time, but I do know it does make me a little nervous, yes. Space in the fridge (which I have now) is making me a bit uptight as well. I have to keep reminding myself to look at what I DO have instead of what I do not. And what I do have is plenty. I like having an assortment of items so I can throw together meals if I have not planned and shopped specifically for certain items, but I am trying to learn that I can have just a couple of those items and not a huge collection of them. (since I get most of my food from Costco now, that is really a difficult thing to manage, and I have to let myself run out of some things before I buy more because otherwise it is just.too.much.) You are not alone!

    • I get a bit nervous too. Still glad that I’m emptying things out, but last week we were down to our last pound of ground meat and it was driving me nuts! Even though I planned our meals anticipating that we would run out, actually running out of items is still hard for me to handle!

  8. Rest up and feel better soon!!!

    B- yogurt smoothies and English muffins with pb
    L- Snacky lunch of berries, taboulleh, crackers and cheese for kids, LO taco salad for me
    D- soup from the freezer with fresh bread and oranges, pineapple upside down cake
    Snacks were random and ongoing for the kids:)

    B- oatmeal for kids and I, breakfast sandwich for husband
    L- LO mac and cheese for one kid, ham and cheese sandwich for the other and fruit
    D- French toast, bacon and fruit
    Snacks included blueberries, peanuts, tomatoes, taboulleh, oatmeal cookies, juice and goodness knows what else.

    Side note: I am trying (and failing miserably) to wean my grazing son off of constant snacking. He’s just turned three. He loves to munch throughout the day and we have enabled that. Typical snacks include things like sliced fruit or grapes, string cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, graham crackers or goldfish, yogurt, or occasional juice popsicles. Now trying to limit snacks to a reasonable between-meals refuel is tough. He usually eats his meals too! I have tried to prepackage his lunch and snacks in a lunch box so that I at least can limit the quantity of food but he usually has eaten everything by 1:00 and then is ‘starving’. I know this is a ‘mama-made’ problem and it might take some tough love. Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks:)

    • Stephanie M. says:

      As long as he’s eating his meals, I myself, wouldn’t worry about it. Of course, I’m a grandmother so I’m a spoiler of my grandson. Ha Ha. The snacks he’s eating sound like reasonably healthy ones and since he is eating his meals, I wouldn’t upset the apple cart by limiting his snacks. He might be going through a growth spurt right now and needs more food. If there comes a time where he’s not eating his meals, then I would worry about it. At that point, I would give him a mid afternoon snack and call it a day until dinner time.

    • I agree with Stephanie. As long as he is eating his meals, don’t worry about the snacks too much. Especially since you’re providing better choices for snacks. Just wait until he is a 12 year old boy with a growth spurt. My son grew over six inches in one year. I didn’t think he would ever stop eating!! But it was all to support his growing body and like your son he was eating the better choices for some of the snacks!

    • Stephanie P says:

      I do limit my daughters snacks (she would eat nonstop), but if I can tell that she is truly hungry I will definitely give her a snack. I also encourage drinking water first to make sure the problem is actual hunger. One thing I will also do is to try to engage her in playing or something so that she’s not bored-eating. If that doesn’t work then I know she’s probably actually hungry and I let her snack.

      Snacks in and of themselves are not bad when healthy I don’t think. It’s the eating out of boredom that is an issue. And NO judgement b/c I am absolutely a bored-eater (and sad eater and happy eater) when I’m not in control, and I hate it. Because of that I’m trying to not encourage it in my kids.

      That said – kids can eat a LOT. My son never did, so I’ve been constantly shocked by my 1 1/2 year old (not even) daughter who eats like a grown adult. But they move all.the.time, so they do get hungrier. She’s small for her age, so until the Dr. is concerned he said let her eat if she’s hungry.

    • Laurie in CA says:

      He might have a high metabolism and need the grazing. If he is eating his meals, let him snack away on healthy foods. My two boys were grazers and ate all day and then big portions at meals (and would clean my plate!). They were very active and burned it off.

    • Thanks for the feedback:) he is very active and has been a big eater since birth!

    • Children are very capable of knowing their bodies and regulating their food intake. You are offering healthy choices as snacks, and he’s eating meals regularly, so I would say that you don’t need to be too concerned. Eating due to boredom or because there’s nothing better to do can be a very real thing, so if anything that’s where I would recommend you watch. But, if he’s active and has always been a big eater, he’s meeting the needs of his body at this stage of his growth and development.

  9. Rest up and feel better soon!!!

    B- yogurt smoothies and English muffins with pb
    L- Snacky lunch of berries, taboulleh, crackers and cheese for kids, LO taco salad for me
    D- soup from the freezer with fresh bread and oranges, pineapple upside down cake
    Snacks were random and ongoing for the kids:)

    B- oatmeal for kids and I, breakfast sandwich for husband
    L- LO mac and cheese for one kid, ham and cheese sandwich for the other and fruit
    D- French toast, bacon and fruit
    Snacks included blueberries, peanuts, tomatoes, taboulleh, oatmeal cookies, juice and goodness knows what else.

    Side note: I am trying (and failing miserably) to wean my grazing son off of constant snacking. He’s just turned three. He loves to munch throughout the day and we have enabled that. Typical snacks include things like sliced fruit or grapes, string cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, graham crackers or goldfish, yogurt, or occasional juice popsicles. Now trying to limit snacks to a reasonable between-meals refuel is tough. He usually eats his meals too! I have tried to prepackage his lunch and snacks in a lunch box so that I at least can limit the quantity of food but he usually has eaten everything by 1:00 and then is ‘starving’. I know this is a ‘mama-made’ problem and it might take some tough love. Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks:)

    • Di in Aus says:

      could you try offering water or distraction With Another activity?
      My kids did this when bored or thirsty. This kinda worked for us.feel your frustration.

  10. Stephanie M. says:

    Feel better soon Jessica! This is that time of year and it’s tough especially when your life is so busy like yours. Try to get in some naps this weekend. )


    B – Hubby had cereal; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had a roast beef sandwich and a yogurt

    D – Hubby had a business dinner; I took one chicken cutlet out of the freezer ( I always take the meat out of the store packaging and wrap each slice into individual saran wrapped packets and place into a freezer bag so I can defrost only what I need), and with that cutlet I made chicken parmesan and spaghetti – just for me! LOL


    B – Hubby had some toast with cream cheese; I had a cheese omelet with turkey sausage crumbles, finishing up the bag

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had a salad and a multi grain wasa bread with a laughing cow cheese wedge and a yogurt

    D – Tuna Casserole, using up the last two cans of tuna, a can of mushrooms, a can of cream of mushroom soup, the last of a bag of peas from the freezer, and a bar of cheddar cheese. So pantry getting lighter! 🙂

  11. Stephanie M. says:

    Good morning everyone!! 🙂

    I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their responses to my posting about my recent car accident. Never did I imagine I would receive such a huge outpouring of care and well wishes. It makes me feel so good to know that every morning when I wake up and sit in front of the computer with my coffee, I will be talking to some wonderful women who, I may not know if they were standing in front of me, but nonetheless feel like friends.

    I am happy to tell you that I feel back to my normal self. I am not experiencing any pain or stiffness. I do, however, have an appointment today with my chiropractor who I called the day of the accident and he advised to me put ice on for two days and call him yesterday which I did. He said now that the pain is gone, any inflammation would be too but he still wants me to come in today (Friday) so he can see if I need any adjustments which I might but then that should be the end of it. After I’m done with him, then I’m taking my car (Hyundai Sante Fe) to the auto mechanic that I chose from the preferred list from my insurance and the process will begin to replace the door.

    Thank you all again for your wonderful words. You’ll never know how much I appreciated all of them. 🙂

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m glad you’re going to the chiropractor! Aren’t they awesome?

      Good luck with the car repair. I ended up in a rental twice last year due to being hit. I knot it’s not fun.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks Danielle. I took the car in for the estimate and it’s going in on Monday, January 30. My insurance will pay up to $20/day for a rental car so that’s what I’m going to have to do. I’m home; I don’t work but the car is going to take a week to a week and a half and that’s too long to go without a car.

    • Heather M says:

      Yay! Glad you’re bouncing back so quickly!! So grateful for you that it was minor in the scheme of accidents. 🙂 Hopefully the car will get fixed pretty painlessly.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks so much Heather. I took the car in for the estimate today – over $4,000 damage – glad I don’t have to pay for it. It’s going in on Monday, January 30. So I’ll get a rental car paid for by the insurance company up to $20/day. Now please take care of yourself. 🙂

  12. Hope you feel better soon Jessica! Hubby and I had it right after Christmas and took about 5 days to feel some what normal again. Just rest as much as you can and take care of yourself.

    Wed 1/11

    Breakfast – Bacon & egg bagels
    Lunch – Salad w/ranch dressing
    Dinner – Smothered pork chops, sweet potatoes & broccoli

    Thursday 1/12

    Breakfast – Granola bar
    Lunch – Nacho & cheese (had to use it up from Christmas)
    Dinner – Leftover beef roast, carrots & potatoes

  13. tastycook says:

    Jessica, hope you’re over your flu. It’s miserable this year from all I’ve heard.

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, granola for me

    L – we ate out at Panera

    S – pulled 2 different, one serving soups from the freezer and used up the last of the salad greens with tuna

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, toast with lemon curd for me

    L- chili for hubby, chicken curry with rice for me – all leftovers from the freezer

    S – cauliflower cheese w/fresh homemade buns

    It’s been a successful couple of days here as we’ve used lots of leftovers from that little freezer over the fridge, including a crockpot full of turkey vegetable soup I made and took to the curling club for lunch on Saturday for a bonspiel and then last night I finished my Christmas ice cream – so another container is gone!!

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Everything gone means a little more white space!!! Yay for you. Keep going!!!!

    • Heather M says:

      Ok curling club…. i am utterly fascinated by curling. I could watch all the olympic coverage if I had time. How fun!! Also, good work on getting things emptied out!

      • Heather , there is some curling going on Las Vegas this weekend. It’s certainly on TV here in \canada, maybe it’s on where you are too.

  14. We continue to reduce the pantry and I am very proud to be using up so much, but at the same time, I’m stressed by this experience. It’s like being on a diet and you think about what you can’t have. I’m hoping I can stick with it and really change my behavior.

  15. Kathy in Denmark says:

    I hope you feel better soon, Jessica!

    B: Oats and milk for DH. Toast with jam for me and the girls. Milk for the girls and coffee for me 🙂
    L: Packed lunch for DH. Rye bread with different toppings for the girls and me. Veggies on the side.
    D: Medisterpølse (a Danish sausage that you fry in a pan). Veggie cutlet for DH. Boiled potatoes and carrots. Gravy.
    S: Christmas cookies, fruit, crackers

    We had a bad storm on wednesday, so when DD1 asked if she could stay home from kindergarten i happily obliged 🙂 This meant more time for breakfast but also a very tired mom at the end of the day, LOL.
    I made jam on wednesday and it turned out great! The gravy, veggie cutlet and medisterpølse was all from the freezer. I love when I have things in the freezer to make an otherwise timeconsuming meal an easy feat.

    Another stormy day, so DD1 stayed home again 🙂

    B: Oats and milk for DH. Branflakes and milk for the girls. Toast and coffe for me. The girls ended up having “second breakfast” with me, so they had toast with jam around 9 🙂
    L: Packed lunch for DH. I divided the packed lunch I had made for DD1 (before we decided to stay home) between the girls. Made myself a couple of slices of rye bread with toppings.
    D: Fried eggs on rye for the girls (a favorite!) Nachos with HM chili beans for Dh and me after the girls were in bed.
    S: Fruit, carrot sticks, crackers.

  16. We’re supposed to get 3 days of ice here in STL, so I went to the store yesterday to get essentials – milk, bread, bananas, oreos. The store brand oreos were not good, so I sent them with my husband to work. (He works at the hospital; no days off for them.) There was plenty of white bread, but NO wheat bread. Guess we’re eating bland white bread for the next week.

    Freezer is still packed; pantry is still packed. It’s slow moving with 2 people who also want to eat salads and fresh things.

    • Stephanie P says:

      LOL your list of essentials. Mine always includes coffee so I get it.

      • Oh we have plenty of coffee, don’t worry! I even pre-ground the coffee because we have a gas stove and french press, so we can still MAKE coffee when the power goes out, but last time we realized we only had whole coffee beans and no way to grind them! A manual grinder is now on my wish list. 🙂

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      There are only two of us, too, so everything is still packed at my house as well.

      It cracks me up that you sent the oreos you didn’t like to work with your husband. My husband works in emergency services (crazy shifts) and volunteers at a FD. Between those two places, it seems like they’ll eat anything. I ended up sending a box of Twinkies with him after they changed the recipe and I didn’t like them anymore.

      • I was so excited to see store-brand birthday cake flavored oreos, too! But it feels more environmentally responsible to send them to work with him than to return them to the store and have them throw them away.

    • Heather M says:

      We are only three, and I feel like we haven’t made a dent yet either. Maybe by the end of January we’ll both be able to see some progress?

  17. Jen in IN says:

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    B: chopped up the rest of the mini frittatas and we had them in wheat tortillas

    L: I brought a salad with baby greens, avocado, blue cheese, sunflower seeds and ranch.
    Oldest took a snacky lunch: cheese & crackers, yogurt tube, popcorn, and orange. My youngest took ramen, orange and popcorn. My husband had leftover chicken noodle soup.

    D: Bean Bowls: black beans, salsa rice, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and tortilla chips.

    S: made a batch of coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I took a dozen to a friend, froze a dozen (uncooked), and kept a dozen for us.


    B: avocado toast and eggs
    banana pineapple smoothie for the boys

    L: Salad for me: baby greens, apple, walnuts, blue cheese, craisins and maple balsamic vinaigrette. Yogurt and cinnamon pita chips.
    Boys took pbj, orange, and pita chips. Husband had chicken noodle soup.

    D: made pepperoni pizza rolls to take to church, along with some carrots and homemade ranch.
    Boys made tacos on wheat tortillas with the rest of the rice and beans.

    I stopped at Aldi on Wednesday and spent $5 on avocados and half and half. Their egg prices seemed a little high, so I went to Walgreens and got eggs. They were on sale for $1/dz, but I got them for .50 because they were dated 1/13. I bought 4 dozen. Eggs are one of my favorite frugal foods.

  18. Danielle L Zecher says:

    I hope you feel better soon! I took elderberry syrup when I had that crud, and it seemed to help. It’s also delicious. 🙂

    The 11th:
    Breakfast: Instant grits.
    Lunch: Leftover veggie pizza.
    Dinner: Kale & chick pea soup, beer bread.
    Hubby snacked on pretzels and hummus before work/on his break. I had a strawberry milkshake in between work and dinner.

    The 12th:
    Breakfast: Starbucks! I don’t feel bad b/c all of my coworkers gave me Starbucks gift cards for Christmas, and that’s what I used.
    Lunch: Leftover kale and chick pea soup and beer bread.
    Dinner: Hubby took leftover soup and bread to work (also picked up a birthday cake for a co-worker on the way). I had fried eggs and rice.
    We both snacked on hummus with crackers/pretzels – before work for hubby, after work for me.

    I did end up going to Aldi yesterday and spending just over $22.00. A little over $3.00 of that was for a plant and some tissues, though, so only about $18.00 and some change on food. We needed cilantro, milk, eggs, rice, and carrots (I’m taking dinner to our neighbors on Monday, and needed the carrots to go with the roast I’m making). I also picked up some avocados and tomatoes to go with dinner tonight. I did add a few extras, though. They had the spiral mac & cheese boxes, so I got a few of those. They also had cooking spray with canola oil rather than vegetable oil. Since i try to avoid soy I couldn’t pass that up!

    I put a lot of spinach in the freezer last night. We had one of the big tubs from Sam’s, and had only used maybe a quarter of it, so I froze the rest for later before it gets all slimy and nasty in the fridge.

    Can you freeze mushrooms? We have about half a container in the fridge that probably won’t get used before they go bad.

    • I freeze mushrooms all the time – I only buy them when they’re on sale. I chop them, cook them in the oven (in a pyrex casserole dish) with olive oil and salt. Cook until they juuuust start to dry out. Chill and freeze. Later we’ll use them in sandwiches, on pizza, in pasta, in bean dishes, whatever.

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        Thanks! So do they have to be cooked first, or can you freeze them raw?

        • I’ve never frozen them raw, so I don’t know. Good luck!

          • I’ve frozen them raw. They do ok, but there is definitely a change to the consistency. I’ll use previously frozen mushrooms in baked dishes or slow cooked soups. Otherwise, I find that they cook up to be a little rubbery.

        • I have successfully froze them raw. I just chopped them up and put them in plastic bags. They worked great when added to casseroles and soups frozen although I tried to use them up fairly quickly. There is an article with more information about freezing mushrooms at:

          Your might check it out or just google freezing mushrooms and see what you find. I have that problem with mushrooms and getting them used up in time.

        • I have frozen them raw but they didn’t thaw the best. They got liquidy.

  19. I have to learn to rejoice in white space and not feel the need to fill up. Long ways to go mentally and freezer/ pantry wise.
    Last night, chicken curry that used up cashews too, and leftover rice. Tonight, feeding grandkids, so will use 2 packages of veal chops, sweet potatoes and other veg. to be determined.
    Hope you feel better, Jessica. The college germs hit us at Christmas. Ugh!!

  20. Wednesday

    B – cold cereal, milk, and a cup of tea for me

    L – potato soup made with leftover scalloped potatoes and Polish sausage, plus various other leftovers

    S – the kids had snacks from the snack bin: pretzels, fruit, fish crackers. I had vanilla Greek yogurt.

    D – Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches and chips for hubby and kids. I had a big salad. Wednesday is Awana night at our house so I always make a quick and easy meal like sandwiches or burritos for the family.

    S – Hubby had a bowl of ice cream and an apple fritter after all the kids went to bed.


    B – leftover homemade cinnamon rolls, Apple fritters, grapefruit, and a cup of tea for me.

    S – snack bin again for the kids. A handful of peanut m& m’s for me.

    L – lawnmower taco, and refried beans for the fam. Leftover potato soup and a salad for me.

    D – Shake and bake chicken (Jessica’s recipe), rice, and vegetable stir fry. The family finished off the last of the cinnamon rolls, Apple fritters, and meringue cookies I had made earlier in the week.

    We were supposed to have friends over, but they had to cancel because they were sick so it was a relaxing “free” evening. Except for when the glass pane fell out of one of our windows! We had major hail damage way back in July (needing a new roof, siding, gutters, and Windows). We’ve been waiting all this time for our contractor to get the work done. So far they’ve only done the roof. But then this week we had hurricane strength winds (100+ mph) and I’m guessing it weakened the window even more. We duct taped it back in place and I’m hopeful it’ll last till the windows are replaced. And hopeful that all the other window panes stay in place!

  21. Stephanie P says:

    I hope you feel better! My daughter has a fever/cold that kept her out of daycare, and I’m praying my son or daughter don’t bring home the terrible stomach bug going around. Blah.

    I’m not even sure what I ate the past couple of days – goes to show I wasn’t tracking! I’ll just do yesterday.

    B: Coffee
    L: Part of a sandwich and sausage tortellini soup
    D: Delicious – Spanish chicken dish that I had learned about through Hello Fresh – so good.
    S: Really junky day for snacks. Wheat thins (spicy version) and Todd and I split the rest of a piece of cake.

  22. Yuck on the sick – that STINKS! Let’s see, on Wednesday morning we had breakfast burritoes with pintos/eggs/salsa/avocado/cheddar; lunch was leftover cabbage/meatball soup with mashed potatoes; supper was ‘I don’t want to cook’ so tomato soup canned from the past summer and grilled cheese/quesadillas.

    Yesterday breakfast was the same thing, lunch for hubs was hot dogs/roasted root veggies and for me was clean out the fridge quesadillas with pintos and leftover pad thai; supper was borscht with sour cream.

    I did go grocery shopping yesterday for the rest of the month and spent just under $80. I bought a lot of citrus and some items to bring a meal to a local friend who just lost her dad, as well as some stuff for our last Christmas party tonight. It also included some odds and ends like tape, dishwasher detergent, stain stick. All in all, I feel really good about the number. It also included farm fresh eggs, spinach, and lettuce.

  23. So sorry your were sick. I feel your pain as I had it Monday night and Tuesday. Not fun!! Take care of yourself and rest.
    Jan 11
    Breakfast–Husband had his eggs and I had PB toast.
    Dinner was pulled pork, potato wedges and corn.
    Snacks were fruit and the last of the cookies.

    Jan 12
    Breakfast–Husband had his eggs and I got busy and had my toast around noon with some chips
    Dinner– egg scramble with eggs, onions, potatoes, broccoli and cheese and French toast.

    It doesn’t bother me much to have empty spaces because I have a store 3 blocks away and several within 5 to 10 minutes from my home.
    I am happy that I haven’t been tempted to shop because I do enjoy grocery shopping. That said I will go today or tomorrow because we are expecting the same ice storm Sunday and Monday!

    Stephanie M I am glad that you are feeling good after your accident! Good luck with the car repairs!!

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Thank you so much Pat. I took the car today for the estimate. Thank God, I don’t have to pay for the repairs. It’s going in on Monday, January 30 and it will take a week to a week and a half. My insurance pays for a rental car up to $20.00/day so I guess that’s what I’ll be getting.

  24. Heather M says:

    Jessica, I hope you feel better soon! I feel your pain- days 10-11 my asthma was acting up badly , which i thought was odd since it usually only happens when I’m sick. Well, yesterday, day 12, i deteriorated throughout the day and my head is so full of fluid, nose is a mess, etc. (I have overreactive sinuses and dysfunctional eustachian tubes so any virus or allergic reaction and I can hardly hold my head up). Luckily the asthma hasn’t gotten worse, but I feel pretty blech too. On to our food for days 11-12:

    Day 11:
    B- son had cereal, bacon, OJ; hubs cereal. I stayed in bed since asthma was so exhausting.

    L: son took turkey and cheese sandwich (we always use whole wheat for sandwiches). clif bar, and a few pistachios; hubs took a salami and cheese sandwich, pretzels, and a banana. I was treated to a late birthday lunch out with a few good friends!

    D: I was super tired, but luckily had a few things for an easily prepped dinner- a can of trader joe’s chicken chili w/beans over pasta with a little shredded cheese and chopped onion for garnish. yum! Son isn’t a chili fan (he’s weird about food sometimes) and when he got home from working out (at dinner time) he ate baguette slices, a turkey corn dog from the freezer, a yogurt, and an apple.

    Day 12:

    B: son had cereal, turkey sausage, and OJ; hubs had cereal; I stayed in bed again

    L: son took a turkey and cheese sandwich, clif bar, and pistachios; hubs took a turkey/ham/cheese sandwich, pretzels, and an apple. I made myself the most delicious frittata- used the bit of leftover plain pasta from day 11’s dinner, chopped onion, rest of the leftover broccoli, ham and some shredded cheese, with two eggs. Oh it was delicious. And filling so I didnt’ eat anything else until dinner (It may have been the head filling with fluid that ruined my appetite though)

    D: I was feeling so miserable I called hubby and had him pick up peruvian rotisserie chicken with sides for him and our son; I ate the tiny leftover serving of spicy asian meatballs and rice noodles (too small for a normal serving under most circumstances – but i wasn’t very hungry)

    I did not get the banana muffins made or the eggs hardboiled – both things I need to do soon! Hopefully later today I’ll be up to it. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

    • Stephanie M. says:

      I hope you feel better very soon, Heather. 🙂 It seems there are a lot of people not feeling very good right now.

    • Hope you are feeling better! I was starting to drag yesterday so I went to bed super early. Slept the whole night thru, too, so my fingers are crossed that I slept off whatever was trying to come visit.

  25. Sorry you’re under the weather. Hope you recover quickly.

    Wed. 1/11/17

    B: Oatmeal w/ dried cranberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream; toast; OJ; coffee

    L: Son bought at school (a once-in-awhile “treat”). Hubs and I ate out with friends.

    D: Last of the LO enchiladas. (It’s a good thing we really like them. With only three of us, they last a long time.) More HM guacamole (used up the last avocado before it went bad–yay!). Salad. Mixed veggies.

    S/D: pistachios, banana bread.

    There’s one completely empty shelf in the fridge. Woo-hoo!

    Thurs. 1/12/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Son–packed (PB/PB–used up the last of the pumpkin butter; apple slices; yogurt w/ compote and granola; trail mix; string cheese; water). Hubs and me–1/2 grilled cheese sands; yogurt w/ compote (used the last; will have to make more) and granola; orange and apple slices; carrot sticks; hot tea.

    D: Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa Taco Soup (from Used up the last packet of BLSL chicken thighs and another lime. Also used some bell pepper I had in the freezer. Everything else was from the pantry. Didn’t have the cilantro the recipe called for, so I just left it out. A yummy soup for a chilly rainy day. Crackers. Apple and orange slices. Carrot sticks w/ ranch dressing.

    Leftover soup is now on the once-empty shelf, but dinner is made for Friday! 🙂

    S/D: banana bread

  26. Jessica I too take elderberry syrup seems to help with my sinuses . Hope you feel better soon.
    Yesterday pancakes eggs and ham
    L.leftover lasagna salad
    D. Stuffed sandwich veggie sticks

    Today French toast bake juice
    Salmon mashed potato broccoli (hubby) chicken mashed potatoes veggie sticks. Carmel cake for desert.
    Spinach pie for dinner peace everyone

  27. Feel better Jessica! It has been moving through everyone in our area too! No Fun!
    B-egg salad or granola
    L-Spinach salad and grapefruit for me, leftovers and apple for hubby
    D-Soup, cheese and crackers, oranges
    B-handful of dry cereal for me as I headed out the door to bring one of the kids to the orthodontist, eggs for hubby
    L-Daughter was over with grandbaby to help get things ready for butchering, leftover spaghetti, green beans
    and oranges, finished off some leftover homemade Christmas candy, one more pan empty
    D-Brinner- I made up french toast casseroles on Wed. evening because I knew I would be busy working on setting up our building for butchering. Had those with sausage links from the freezer and peaches and strawberries from the freezer.

  28. Hope you get to feeling better soon everyone. It does seem to be the season for it. I’ve been a bit under the weather and we have mostly been eating leftovers with a few things such as vegetables from the freezer added. Today I am fixing country style ribs for supper with baked potatoes which need to be used while still good. Hopefully will get some baking done this weekend if feeling better and the predicted storm leaves us with power so the oven works.

    Hot tea and chicken soup are pretty much my solution for when not feeling good. Also ginger ale, my all purpose cure for whatever ails us. Rest and stay hydrated as well. Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

  29. Oh my hope everyone feels better soon. I had a flu shot this year so hope I escape that. I too, overbuy on groceries. I am a little better but not much on that score. I keep trying but always have an excuse it seems. I live 15 miles from Aldi, 8 from a Wal-mart, and we only have one other store and it is 6 miles away and expensive except for sale items. We try and limit our shopping to 1 day per week due to the distance. If possible we combine other apts. and shopping to the day also. When I hear the weather person say stock up because a 2 or 3 day storm is coming I kinda laugh. I think we could probable last quite a long time and not feel deprived.
    11 th
    B. I had the very last of the beef stroganoff. I know it sounds wierd but I wanted it gone. We had eaten at least 3 meals of it. It happened to be a big steak and by the time I added everything else it just grew on me.
    L. Sandwiches and finished up one container of cottage cheese, yogurt with a spoonful of berry jam.
    D. French toast and sausage. I love the premade sausage patties but did not buy any because of the PC so used some sausage from the freezer to make my own patties.
    12 th
    B. egg and 1/2 bagel with cream cheese
    L. Big salad with bits of chicken and 1/2 a chicken wrap
    D. Taco salad and apple pie. I thawed out mexican rice from the freezer but forgot to use it. Oh well, tomorrow is L/O stuff from the taco salad and we can use it then.

  30. Feel better!
    We had fun with what we had on hand today!
    Breakfast – German pancake (or Dutch Baby) so yummy! Basically a baked pancake
    Lunch – leftover lasagna for me and turkey sandwich for anyone else looking – we finished off the strawberries and found a bag of pretzel chips to go with the sandwich
    Dinner – I used the leftover chicken from a few nights ago and mixed it with a can of cream of mushroom and chicken and a bag of mixed vegetables and baked it @ 350 covered until it was warm and bubbly. Made some biscuits and called it deconstructed chicken pot pie. Felt like we actually used stuff that wouldn’t have gotten used otherwise. 🙂

  31. Sorry to hear of the sickness running around – I’ve already had my share of it last month, hoping I can steer clear of any more!

    I agree w/ Heather in that I keep a stocked pantry in case of weather, sickness, crisis, etc. My PC consists of rotating food, conscious buying and creative meals.

    Stephanie – amazing you recovered so quickly, now the pain of being without your vehicle.

    Day 11
    B – grapefruit, 2 graham crackers w/PB
    L – split a small nacho platter w/a friend in town
    D – grilled chicken wings, oven fries, celery w/blue cheese (at a neighbors house)
    S – pistachios, alo drink, carrots w/dip & daily piece of dark chocolate

    Went to town to pick up a Rx and for blue cheese to make blue cheese dressing for the wings. Spent $14.07. Got onions, celery, and a few sale items: sugar, salsa, Melba toast & sour cream.

    Day 12
    B – grapefruit, 2 graham crackers w/PB
    L – grilled harvarti & bacon sandwiches, potato salad, veggie sticks w/ dip. ( hubs arrived home in time for lunch)
    D – Asian chicken lettuce wraps and veggie fried rice ( I added kale & it was really good). We had friends over for dinner and they brought brownies & ice cream for dessert.

    Melissa in GA

  32. Day 11

    B: egg spinach and cheese burrito
    L: Beef and barley soup
    D: Dinner at church

    Day 12:
    B: egg spinach and cheese burrito
    L: Chili
    D: Grilled cheese sandwiches and beef and barley soup

  33. I needed to add that my total spent for the month is $95.10

    We live about 12 miles from town. Once in town there is an IGA, Harvey’s and further down is a Walmart. I try to only go to town once a week. I have to drive 45 minutes to just over an hour to various larger towns around us that have Kroger and one has a Publix as well. Most of the time when I go, I am riding along w/a friend so she doesn’t have to make the trip alone.

    I truly enjoy food shopping. I guess maybe because I truly enjoy cooking. Having all that food brings me comfort as well. Food is a comfort thing for me and I struggle with my weight because of it. I try not to get too obsessed with the PC in that food is all I’m thinking about all day. Being so rural, no kids at home and it being winter – I’m food focused right now. We have moved to our homestead of 42 acres. Spring will bring chickens, a garden and lots of chores. I will be producing more of our food here and purchasing less at the store. But I see myself continuing on my own personal PC for a few more months.

    Melissa in GA

  34. still eating from the pantry. Started using up leftover fruit by adding it to jello. Need to do some baking today (1/14) and we decided on peach dump cake (I have peaches in frig needing used, any left will go in jello) Raspberry goat cheese strata(uses the black raspberries in freezer, goat cheese is frig drawer and the stale loaf of bread that go hide behind the toaster) Fresh apple cinnamon scones (apples need used and I need a carb at tea time to take my meds, thought colby or cheddar cheese would go nice with this also) Banana…something, pudding ? Bread? Muffins ? All??? got bananas to use up…maybe a couple cups in the freezer for smoothies. Leftovers tonight or flat bread pizzas, depending on what Hubby is doing with being a weather spotter, HAM radio operator connected to EMA and Homeland security.

  35. I figured something must be wrong for you to have not posted during a PC. I surely hope you recover quickly. I’ve a lot of friends who have suffered from a nasty bug recently and my mom is currently bedridden with something as well. I’ve been hand-washing like crazy in an attempt to stave it off around here!

    Wed 1/11
    B – bagel, cream cheese, last of smoked salmon
    L – he had another burrito, I had a salad with mozzarella and the last of the tomatoes
    S – I had 2 small pieces of stolen (have about 2 servings left), I forget what he said he had.
    D – finished one of the bags of meatballs that I served with the last of the alfredo sauce, used some old 7-grain blend and added in some canned green beans – not an exciting meal but a total win for the use it up campaign!
    S – brownie crumbles

    I used to drink a lot of tea. I loved the smell of coffee but not the taste. Then I thought having a Keurig would be good for when I had company who wanted coffee, and it had hot water for brewing the tea. DS bought me one for Christmas 2-3 years ago, and it came with a whole bunch of coffee pods. Suddenly I morphed from someone who maybe drank coffee once a year to someone who drank it nearly every morning. Apparently I should have asked for one of those instant-heat water kettles instead! Usually during the winter I’ll drink some of the tea as it is so nice and warm, but with the ridiculously hot winter (back into upper 70’s today) it has not been a natural inclination. The “Tea Roulette” game others are playing inspired me to start using up some of the multitude of herbal tea bags sitting around. I’m trying to brew one every night a little after dinner to sort of relax and wind down for the evening. This can use them up as well as try to make a dent in the 3 Costco-sized jars of honey in the cabinet. Not that a cup of tea uses much honey (some of the fruity ones don’t need any at all) but I have no idea why there are 3!! and I don’t use it all that much so that is nearly a lifetime supply.

    Thurs 1/12
    B – bagel and cream cheese for me, he slept in
    L – chicken burger (from freezer) and L/O bacon on a bagel for him, Belvita breakfast cookies and a yogurt for me
    D – pulled pork from freezer, L/O sweet potato, salad
    S – brownie crumbles

    I’m used to always having a fair number of things in the fridge. My fridge isn’t that big (the way the galley kitchen is laid out, only a small fridge will fit in the cubby hole designed for it so unless I’m taking out a wall…) and by the time you put in condiments and staples like milk and eggs and butter, it’s half used up anyway. Then there’s usually an assortment of foods ready to eat so you can almost always scrounge to find something if you don’t want to cook. It is really strange for me to open it and see so much white space and so very few leftovers. It’s a bit disconcerting. Plus it means I have to actually think about meals ahead of time! I pulled a couple of things out of the freezer to thaw so I’ll have meals for the weekend. I wouldn’t mind the white space in the freezer. Hopefully I’ll start noticing that soon.

    • That is a lot of honey, but I get through quite a bit drinking tea. It’s also good on toast. When I have a big jar I always put it in smaller jars to make them easier to use, or at least part of it in a jelly jar or pint jar. Anything bigger and it just doesn’t get used as often. I’m not sure how big the Costco jars are but I suspect they are really big.

      • 2 of them are 44 oz and one is 80 oz so I’m estimating probably about 120 oz left. That’s pretty close to a gallon…

  36. 1/13

    Breakfast – I had leftovers and he had the usual PB toast and fruit. We both had tea. He always drinks green tea, I had Twinings Prince of Wales.

    Lunch – Leftovers for me, snacky for him at work.
    Dinner – Country style pork ribs, baked potatoes and sugar snap peas with tea. My tea was cranberry vanilla this time.

    I usually have the regular tea in the mornings and then either decaf or herbal in the afternoons and evenings. I stopped by the store to stock up on extra dairy and eggs before the ice storm hit. I’m also hoping to do some baking today,

  37. January 11

    Breakfast: fried egg sandwiches with bacon for me, Hubs is sick so he had oatmeal.

    Lunch: work lunch out for me (planned and paid for, which was nice) Hubs had h/m chicken noodle soup and a ham sandwich.

    Dinner: Pork and Beef enchiladas from the freezer, with h/m enchilada sauce, also from the freezer. To my utter shock, hubs informed me that the enchiladas were too spicy! I’m blaming it on his cold, and maybe the combo of the enchilada sauce and his salsa. This guy will only eat hot salsa, loves hot chili, and just generally loves spicy food!

    I’m hoping it’s just the cold, because if the enchilada sauce is really too spicy for him I’ve got 9 containers of it in the freezer I’ll have to figure out how to use!!

    January 12

    Breakfast: BLT bagel at Tim Hortons before a morning meeting, also a peppermint white hot chocolate and an apple fritter because I have no self control. I managed to save the fritter for lunch. Hubs had cereal and milk.

    Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad wrap for me along with a piece of birthday cake and some chips from the meeting. Hubs had a left over enchilada (which was the source of the too spicy discovery)

    Dinner: hotdogs because hubby felt crummy and I was very tired. We also had popcorn for a snack. Truly not the best food day.

    • I did have a Timmies gift card, so I used that for my bad breakfast. At least the guilt didn’t cost me anything!!

  38. Kathryn M says:

    I am trying to save a little money this month by using what I have. I am a little late to the pantry challenge because I was out of town the first week of the month. I didn’t really get started until the 9th, but I will keep going till the end of the month on my challenge…..

    Last week I needed to use up some potatoes so I baked some and made chili, cheese potatoes for dinner one night. Then I made a ham and potato au gratin from scratch that came out all right – this dish gave me enough leftovers for a potato side that I put in a little casserole dish for later. I also made a couple of sack lunches out of the leftover ham/potato dish.

    I also used up a huge bag of potstickers from the freezer for a lunch and some sack lunch leftovers this last weekend.

    Last night i pulled out the other half of the Thanksgiving turkey to thaw in the fridge(we only used half for Thanksgiving since there is only 3 of us.). I will cook it on Monday for another “Thanksgiving” dinner and for turkey leftovers for sandwiches during the week. Monday is my day off work and I think I will check to see what I have on that day to cook for the rest of the week…..

  39. Today has been a day of cleaning carpet blah.
    I want it all done before baby #4 arrives in 13 weeks though. So my brand worked late last night and has been gone most of the day today so the three kiddos here are wrangled into helping me. So far the carpet is at least clean though it will be replaced soon. Also had the kids help with cleaning baseboards so that’s done. Tomorrow the upstairs will be done. They’ll love me. Lol
    Last nights dinner was homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella and pepperoni. Tasty. Mixed greens on the side.
    Today I am too wiped out to make a full meal…in addition to all the work around the house my littlest one was up at least 10 times last night and up for good at 4. I get up early normally but man, I am wiped out today. Tonight will be leftover pizza, salad, soup, whatever is in the fridge. I did make some chocolate coconut pumpkin muffins and mini chocolate cheesecakes today. So if nothing else we’ll have dessert.

    I stopped at the store yesterday afternoon for fruit and a few staples. The kids are off Monday and I didn’t want to drag everyone along. As bad as that sounds. lol I spent $69. Brings my total this week to $99 not too bad considering we eat mostly organic and no processed stuff. I am going to keep going with this challenge. My fridge is looking slightly empty (yay) and my upright freezer is def showing some white space.

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