Breaking News on the Summertime Pantry Challenge

I’m making the most of what I have this month! This page will be my log of what we eat, how we organize, and what we spend in the month of July.

July 31 (last day!)

Dinner – burritos with leftover rice and chicken from last night

Lunch – Subway sandwiches <$30 (gift card)

Breakfast – Donut run

July 30

Dinner Baked Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Salad

Lunch DIY Pasta Salad and leftover pizza, veggies

BreakfastInstant Oatmeal, Bananas

July 29

DinnerHomemade Pizza

Lunch – Leftovers

BreakfastCinnamon Rolls (from the freezer), Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Applesauce

July 28

DinnerBean Tostadas, Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas (from the freezer)

Lunch – Costco hotdogs for the kids < $12, leftovers at home for me

Breakfast – Puffed corn cereal, Milk

July 27

DinnerMeatloaf and Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Artisan Bread

Lunch – Sunbutter Sandwiches, Veggies, Grapes

BreakfastPumpkin Scones, Milk, Cuties

July 26

Dinner – Hamburgers and Crudites

LunchArtisan Bread, Hardboiled Eggs, Celery Sticks, Sunbutter, Carrots (for kids), Salad (for mom)

Breakfast – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (recipe coming soon), Applesauce

July 25

Dinner – Grilled Cheese and Carrot Sticks

Lunch – Leftovers

Breakfast – Granola and Puffed Rice Cereal, Bananas

July 24

Dinner – Shrimp in a Tomato Cream Sauce, Spaghetti, Broccoli

Lunch – Subway = $25 with a gift card

Breakfast – Blackberry Cottage Muffins

July 23

Dinner – Grilled Fish, Quinoa, Salad, Broccoli, Bread

Lunch – Snacky Lunch

Breakfast – Brown Rice, served like oatmeal with toppings and such


July 22

Dinner – In-N-Out Burger for 8 people < $23. Homemade malts made at home.

Lunch – A Smorgasbord: Annie’s Mac and Cheese, some freezer sandwiches, Strawberries, Carrots, Cucumbers, and a Salad for me.

BreakfastBread and Jam, Blueberry-Nutmeg Muffins from the freezer, Strawberries and Banana

July 21

Dinner – Teriyaki Chicken Salad

Lunch – Zucchini Waffles, Strawberries, Greek Yogurt

Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, English Muffins, Strawberries, and leftover sausage from the other night

July 20

Dinner Bean and Cheese Tostadas

LunchChicken Noodle Soup and Fresh Artisan Bread

Breakfast – Applesauce, Smoothies, Leftover Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

July 19

Dinner – Grilled Sausages, Bowtie Pasta with Butter and Herbs, Corn, Artisan Bread

After my baking debacle of a few days ago, I have returned to Artisan Bread and everyone is so pleased. So easy and quick! Yes, dinner was a little carb heavy today. We’re actually running low on produce. Think we’ll do apple slices for dessert and call it good.

Lunch – Friends came for lunch! I had fun making “chick food.”

for the ladies: Roasted Vegetable Quiche, Butternut Squash Soup and Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Green Salad

for the kiddos: Chicken Noodle Soup (with last night’s leftovers) and crackers

Breakfast – Raspberry Baked Oatmeal with whipped cream (recipe coming soon!)

July 18

Dinner – Chicken in the Crockpot, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Cranberry Sauce

Lunch Beans and Rice Soup, cheese and crackers

Breakfast – apple slices, yogurt or smoothie

July 17

Dinner – Bleu Cheese Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Hot Dogs on Homemade Buns, apple slices, carrots and cukes

Hubs and I had a big discussion about the benefits of making my own hamburger and hot dog buns, the main one being that the spongy things that the grocery stores sell are no longer an inexpensive food item. I used to find them as low as 25 cents a package on sale. No more. We’re lucky to see them under $2. I haven’t done a price comparison, but I’d rather make my own than waste my two dollars.

Lunch – Shredded Beef Burritos for hubs and the kids. I had a packet of frozen shredded beef in the freezer and some leftover rice from an earlier meal. Add salsa, grated cheese, shredded lettuce, canned black beans and sour cream and they’ve got easy burritos.

Salade Nicoise for me since I’m trying to slim down. The salad fixins were leftovers from our sandwiches yesterday. Delicious!

Breakfast – Hubs took the kids on a donut run. They had donuts for breakfast while he and I ate leftover baguette for Petit Dejeuner

July 16

Dinner – Out to dinner as a family < $40 for 8 people; ice cream dessert at home.

LunchPan Bagnat, Veggie Tray, Apple Slices

Hubs surprised me by bringing home baguettes. Remember how I said the fam doesn’t realize we’re on a pantry challenge. It was a sweet surprise, however, I had no sandwich meat and didn’t want to go buy something. Canned tuna came to the rescue in a delicious, traditional French sandwich.

Breakfast – Bagels (with a gift card) and leftover Blueberry Muffins

July 15

Dinner – Grilled Pizza, Carrots and Hummus

The recipe for grilled pizza will be coming soon. It’s a great way to get out of the kitchen. I had a few flops this week — too high heat which resulted in burnt crust. But, I love it that there are fewer dishes to wash, so I’m going to keep trying.

Lunch – Sunbutter and Jam Sandwiches, Apples (for the kids), Hummus Veggie Wrap (for me)

BreakfastBlueberry Nutmeg Muffins, Smoothies

The recipe for Blueberry Nutmeg  Muffins is coming next week. Delicious!

July 14

Dinner Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas, Rice, Salad

I had originally planned to make burgers with the turkey, but since I found tortillas that needed to be used up, I went for enchiladas instead. Thanks to a well-stocked pantry, I had enchilada sauce and black beans already. The cheese supply was a little low, but we had enough to get through.

Lunch – Pasta Salad

Breakfast – Smoothies and English Muffins

July 13

Dinner – Grilled Chicken, Couscous, Avocado and Radish Salad, Baguette

The bread and radishes were purchases at Farmers’ Market this afternoon. Unfortunately, farmer’s markets trips are not what I wish they were. Prices are high and sellers non-too friendly.

Lunch – Picnic – Turkey and Tuna Sandwiches on homemade kaiser rolls, Juice, Veggies and Hummus, Breakfast Cookies

I’m watching what I eat so I had a big salad with garbanzo beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes, and feta.

Breakfast – Kaiser rolls with butter and jam, Instant Oatmeal Packets

July 12

Dinner – Pork and Hominy Stew (from the freezer), Rice, Salad

I had another taco salad with last night’s leftovers.

Lunch – Soups from the freezer, cheese, and crackers

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, sausage, English muffins, Pumpkin Scones (recipe coming soon)

July 11

Dinner – Chicken Taco Salad, using the leftover chicken from 2 nights ago, lettuce, rice, black beans, chips, and a great mix of toppings.

Lunch – Turkey Sandwiches, Beef and Barley Soup from the freezer.

Breakfast – a mishmash of whatever since we were in a rush to get to the ortho.

July 10

Dinner– Manicotti from the freezer, Green salad, rolls

Lunch – Turkey sandwiches, leftover salads from last night, canteloupe

Breakfast – a variety of breads, yogurt, applesauce

July 9

Dinner – (The plan) Grilled bone-in chicken with homemade BBQ sauce, potato salad, pasta salad, green salad, pumpkin rolls

Lunch – Leftover pizza for me; macaroni and cheese for the kids

Breakfast Berry Muffins from the freezer, applesauce, yogurt, bananas

July 8

DinnerHomemade Pizza

Lunch – We dressed like cows! It was so much fun to go with some friends of ours. Our two herds added up to two cows and 11 calves!

BreakfastCinnamon rolls from the freezer, applesauce, yogurt, bananas

July 7

Dinner – Grilled Fish, Quinoa Pilaf, Grilled Vegetables, Green Salad, Baguette

Lunch – leftovers 🙂

Breakfast – leftover cornbread, , bread/toast, hard-boiled eggs applesauce, yogurt

July 6

Dinner – Spaghetti with meatballs, cornbread, green beans.

LunchSnacky lunch for the kids; salad with hard boiled egg for me.

Breakfast – Made Maple Granola without the mixins. Served it with fresh raspberries (again, those dollar berries) and yogurt and milk.

July 5

We have been out of town for the last three days, and I’ve been offline. Not a whole lot to report. We ate some meals out and some meals at the grandparents’ house. Ready to get back to the pantry challenge — tomorrow.

July 2

Dinner – Scrambled eggs, English muffins, fresh fruit

Lunch – Leftovers

Breakfast – Bulk batch of pancakes with fresh whipped cream and more raspberries that I got for $1 a package. Out of many dairy products and a few other staples, so contemplating a trip to Walmart.

July 1

Dinner – Made homemade pizza tonight – 1 Jalapeno Burn and 3 Pepperonis. Well, the last pepperoni was half pepperoni and half salami. Making do with what we have!

Lunch out – Hubs forgot his phone at home and since he needs it for work, we ran over there and met him for lunch. Spent < $40 for 8 people. That’s the high end of our eating out spending, but everyone was stuffed.

Breakfast – Homemade waffles, fresh strawberries and raspberries that I got for a buck a package, fresh whipped cream – found some in the fridge leftover from dessert two nights ago (waste not, want not)


  1. Serah says

    I’m really looking forward to following this series!

  2. Emily says

    Is there an easy way to go straight to this page? I had to look around til I found a link from another post. Maybe it’s right under my nose and I’m just missing it! 😉

  3. Tracy says

    Hi Iam trying to organise blogs that I follow into buttons in categories ( is that a sign of OCD?) I was wondering if your blog has a button I could add please cant finde a code by the way I love it

  4. Lori heavey Hurley says

    I love the Pantry Series! The timing is absolutely perfect! My inlaws just left, which means a ton of half-opened things (8 different types of half-eaten breads, several cheeses, three bags of different lettuce, etc.) I love when they visit and I get lots of extra goodies to play with in the kitchen.

    We’re also getting ready for a vacation and need to clean out the fridge and freezers before we go. Of course, money’s tight with the upcoming vaca… so your pantry cleaning inspiration is perfect.

    Thanks for all the idea and for helping moms be a little bit healthier in the process! (trying to eat 50% raw/veggies these days)

  5. Lee says

    I really, really, really am looking forward to the pumpkin scone recipe – I was wondering what I could do with that last can of pumpkin in the pantry.

  6. jan says

    Oops! I would have sworn I read “Beef and Barfey Soup” … I’m certain that’s what I read 🙂 I’ve got quite a bit of cream in the fridge (um, 3 quarts) that I need to use up soon…thinking of that fresh whip cream you linked up to (and maybe some ice cream too) … enjoying the play by play you share!

  7. Jennifer says

    I gave my hubby the grocery money for the rest of the month and told him to hold on to it until the end of next week. I do have WIC for perishables so I am going to try to empty out some of our abundant pantry and freezer.

  8. This week I had to get all kinds of meals prepared, after cleaning my kitchen (wow was that a task!) I planned a menu, went grocery shopping, and made meals. I talked about it here

    I am glad to be getting stuff done, and I am enjoying meeting the local farmers at farmers markets

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