Day 13, Pantry Challenge 2020

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Some days are winners in the Pantry Challenge, and some days just are. Here’s how Day 13 went down for us.

breakfast and planner

Whew. It’s been a good day. We used up some things. Everyone ate very well. In my case, a little too well. I had some fun food stashed (BBQ potato chips and Moose Munch). I should have known better than to open one. Or both. Ahem. I guess I’ve had my treats for the weekend already.

Oy! I am probably going to feel it in the night. My tummy is not as young as it used to be. Processed foods just don’t sit as well as they once did.

Regardless, it was a good day.


This morning the kids and I had the usual: smoothies, eggs, toast, and Yogurt and Muesli. Still pretty good, if I do say so myself.

weekend meal prep

Meal Prep

After breakfast my 13yo daughter and I did some meal prep for the next few days. We made:

This should have use set for the next few days for breakfasts and snacks. I used up some breakfast sausage from the freezer, some chick pea pasta (mixed it with regular) that needed eating, and some quinoa flakes that were getting past their date.

salad with crackers and cucumbers


The kids were ready for frozen pizzas, but we had too many leftovers to use up. I made Super Easy Salsa and laid out the stuff for burrito bowls. They used up the pork tenderloin from the other night as well.

I made myself a big salad and used up the Ak-mak in the pantry with Laughing Cow, EBB seasoning, and sliced cucumbers.

imperfect produce laid out on table

Imperfect Produce

I had some promotional credit to use up from Imperfect Produce, so I put in an order earlier this week. Today it arrived. 

Again, I have mixed feelings about the service. The prices are not amazing enough to match the so-so quality. I think that’s just because I get crazy good produce prices here in San Diego County. Not sure. 

I customized the box to include: lettuce, sweet potato, butternut squash, potatoes, tomatoes, pears, blood oranges, lemons, limes, shallots, cilantro, eggplant, bell pepper, and cucumbers. 

Everything looked fairly usable except the tomatoes which were pretty green and the avocados which were none too pretty. We’ll see if they ripen in the 65 degrees that is my home.

Since I had credit, the box was free and my grocery spending doesn’t change.

pot of minestrone soup pan of cornbread and salad in bowl


For dinner, I made a big pot of Pantry Challenge Minestrone, using up some Spicy Turkey and Sausage Bolognese from the freezer as a base. I added potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, kale, macaroni, and garbanzo beans. Bryan added sliced jalapeños to his.

I had a cornbread mix that I had won in an Instagram giveaway that we cooked up, too. We did not like it at all. Very bland and a little foamy. It was baked, but had a really weird texture, definitely not what I expected from “southern” cornbread. (It was from Georgia.) Y’all will have to let me know if that’s normal.

I made a big salad for myself and used up some ALDI basil chicken meatballs I had in the freezer. They aren’t very delicious, either. They have the texture of hot dogs. Weird.

That said, we used things up today!

How is the Pantry Challenge going for you?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Kathy in Denmark says

    Day 13:

    B: Oats and milk for DH, DD1 and DD2. Toast and coffee for me.
    L: DH skips, packed lunch for kids, taco salad for me.
    D: WW Pasta with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.

    I used up salsa, taco filling, and crème fraiche for my lunch. I cooked extra pasta and sauce for dinner. After dinner I mixed it up and put it in an oven proof dish and sprinkled with cheese. I will bake it up for an easy dinner.

  2. Julie Smith says

    Day 13:

    Breakfast: eggs or oatmeal
    Lunch: kids ate school lunch, DH packed his own, I ate a
    Tuna salad sandwich with pasta salad side
    Dinner: meatballs, green beans, corn

    I baked about 32 pumpkin muffins for quick grabs for the weekend and sliced up the mast of the cukes and peppers.

    I was originally going to get some meal prep done for the weekend but we have too many leftovers that need to be eaten up right now, so that will be our lunch plan for the next couple of days. I am also holding off on a Kroger run but may need to do a Costco run for lunch meat and produce.

  3. Jennifer says

    Well, maybe it didn’t taste good, but you used a lot of stuff up so you succeeded in that regard!

    B – homemade chocolate chip muffins and raspberries
    L – turkey sandwiches, yogurt, veggies
    D – salmon, cous cous, fresh veggies

    So far no stomach bug for me, I am starting to believe I might not get it – however that is probably when I will get it. I have been drinking lots of grape juice and am sick of it and the sugar/calorie intake of drinking it. But I guess it is better than throwing up.

  4. Tasty says

    Guess we all have some of those things hidden away in our freezers Jessica.

    Thursday January 16th
    B – hubby had his usual – fruit, yogurt, granola and a muffin. I had a banana with toast and lemon curd

    L – toasted cheese sandwich at the coffee shop – planned

    S- pan fried pork fillet (from the freezer), roasted carrots and potatoes. Rice pudding that had been in the pantry for a while!

    Today I shall pick up some dairy we need before the storm comes in tomorrow. Otherwise, I think we’re good for the weekend.

  5. Maureen says

    Thursday was easy, as we had so many leftovers that we stuck with those. Still a few left, but it’s time to start cooking again. I need to dig around in the freezer and find a few more things to focus on.

  6. Stephanie M. says

    Thursday, January 16, 2020

    B – Paul had a whole wheat bagel and a yogurt parfait; I had a yogurt parfait

    L – Paul had leftover hamburger/veggie soup; I had a turkey, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on whole wheat

    D – Paul left after lunch so until next Saturday, it’s only me now and I had the last of the hamburger/veggie soup and 1/2 a banana

  7. Alice E says

    B – Oats, eggs, hot tea and toast for hubby
    L – he took pb sandwich and cookies, I had spaghetti
    D – one pot spaghetti with HB and veg

    I grabbed the lunch special spaghetti at my favorite pizza place while waiting for more meds from the drugstore after a second visit to the doctor’s office. It tasted so good I came home and made a variation of my own. That used up one of the packages of cooked ground beef from the freezer, most of a jar of sauce and just over half a package of spaghetti from the pantry.

    I’m still fighting an itchy skin rash problem but feeling a bit better this morning. The storm arrived overnight and we are iced in. The snow they predicted either didn’t come or has disappeared when the freezing rain started. I reckon it’s a good thing I have a pantry. (grin) Planning to cook up a pot of beans today.

  8. Laurie Gaither says

    Alice, have you checked your soaps/body wash for sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate? It is an ingredient used in many soaps. After much digging and connecting the dots, I discovered I’m very sensitive to those ingredients and would get very bothersome rashes/eczema. It’s also in most toothpastes. Switching to sulfate free products and goat’s milk soap has ended my rashes. The doctors never made the connection, I did.

    B – hubs had cereal and I had peanut butter toast, banana and milk
    L – hubs had stew and crackers, I had a chili dog using up a little chili from the freezer I thawed earlier in the week
    D – while hubs transported grands, I took some TJ orange chicken out of the freezer to cook, heated up the l/o pork fried rice from the night before and steamed some broccoli.

    • Alice E says

      Thanks for the suggestion, I will do some checking later. For now this seems to be a combination of dry skin and a yeast infection. Who knew you could have one on your scalp and back instead of the usual problem. (grin) I have to pick products that are unscented so I have always used a basic few things.

      Thankfully for now the new meds are helping.

      • Laurie Gaither says

        I’m glad you’re starting to get some relief. When my mouth became one giant mouth ulcer (painful and kinda hard to eat food), I looked for common ingredients. I was shocked to find sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate in every tube of toothpaste. I came to the conclusion that was my problem. I was right and now happily pay $11 a tube for my toothpaste and use sulfate free soaps/shampoo.

        • Alice E says

          Ouch, I’m glad you found a solution. That sounds really painful and frustrating!

  9. Roberta says

    Thurs. 1/16/20

    B: Cereal (Hubs had blueberries on his), toast for the guys, OJ, coffee.

    L: Packed for Hubs. Sent Son to school with a packed lunch as well, but he found out he made the varsity swim team and the coaches kicked off the season by giving the kids pizza and fruit for lunch. Son brought his packed lunch home, so it went into the fridge for Friday. I had salad w/ a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, a mandarin, and three energy bites (I was hungrier than usual; probably because I had cold cereal for breakfast).

    D: I had planned to do LO tacos, but we went to In-N-Out to celebrate Son’s achievement instead. He’s worked very hard, so it was totally worth it.

    I also made a loaf of French bread in the bread machine.

    I can actually see a tiny bit of space in the freezers. Amazing! 😉

    • tasty says

      Congrats to your son on his swimming success!

    • Heather M says

      Such good news about your son! Yay!

      • Roberta says

        Thanks, ladies. He set a goal for himself and worked hard to reach it. He’s pretty excited about it.

    • Good things all around. yay! 🙂

  10. lisa s says

    B: coffee
    L: leftovers
    D: we all had different meetings all over town, so I gave DH my $20 in cash to pick up chicken nuggets for all and we’d snack along with it when we all got back home at varying times. I know it didn’t cost that much, but I’m going to allocate it all to the grocery budget as I doubt I’ll ever see my change. Lol! So the total now is $216 for the month. I will need to get produce this weekend, but that should be it. Salad and fruit for sure.

  11. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    Hello all. I’m still “on the wagon” just unavailable for a few days. Trying to catch up with my logging and accountability. Enjoyed the comments though I was a bit behind in reading them.

    Roberta, a HM panettone sounds like a winner and made in the bread machine. Who knew?

    Jessica, thank you for the chocolate, cranberry snack cake recipe. It sounds delish, especially with the topping. I’ll keep that in mind when I get to the cranberries. I have everything I need for the cheddar coins. I may be making those as the snacks dwindle. They sound really good and I love cheese-its. So glad your niece is here. Your pink doughnuts and coffee to your brother was the perfect celebratory idea and so festive. Congrats to all!
    I still have stayed out of the stores. I’ve glanced at the sale flyers for this week and don’t see anything that I can’t live without, or more importantly that I need­. A good price on eggs (.77/doz), but I’m still good there, so not buying.

    1/14 Day 11

    B: cheese toast, coffee

    L: half ham sandwich, orange

    D: LO shrimp and grits, LO peas, fruit medley

    1/15 Day 12

    B: cheese toast, coffee

    L: yogurt and an orange

    D: some of the .39/lb leg quarters herbed and baked. Did one whole package to last for 2 meals. Had previously baked potatoes (which I’d about forgotten about) from the fridge with butter and sour cream, LO broccoli salad, LO peas, LO fruit medley

    1/16 Day 13

    B: finished up last of the shrimp and grits

    L: yogurt and orange

    D: LO herbed chicken quarters, made LO baked potatoes into re-stuffed potatoes, raw carrots with ranch dip, apple slices

    The temperatures have finally dipped into the “soup” range, so I took a ham bone out of the freezer to put in the crock pot. It will cook overnight so I can make Ham Bone soup for lunch tomorrow.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts for continued inspiration!

    • Roberta says

      Hi, Lynn. The panettone recipe is in More Bread Machine Bounty, a Better Homes and Gardens book published way back in 1994. I’ve not yet tried this particular recipe, but actually the bread machine is the perfect shape for a panettone loaf.

  12. Carol says

    Eating with son in law again. We’ll have burgers from my freezer, his zucchini, my beets. Those beets have been calling my name for a long time!
    Packages dont fall out of downstairs freezer when I open it. That’s progress. Upstairs freezer still jam packed though.
    I hope to make Jessica’s cranberry sauce to use up some that were in my friend ‘s freezer. I still have another package for snack cake– just not today.

  13. Karen J says

    Moose Munch, you are so delicious. My son was giving me the big Costco box every year at Christmas until I just had to say please stop. I have NO self control with that stuff.

    Day 13
    B-Finally tried Jessica’s quinoa egg bites recipe and they are so good! I was up way too early and had them made and cooled before 7 am. My husband is not sure what to do with this wife who is baking every day, but he’s not complaining. He dipped his into Sriracha. I used bacon, spinach, peppers onion and cheddar in mine.

    L-carrots and celery with hummus

    D-Husband was out with friends. I used my leftover quinoa and added half a chopped chicken breast, red onion, garbanzo beans, peppers and kalamatas with some balsamic dressing.

    The only pantry item I am out of is white rice. I have brown rice, jasmine rice, red quinoa, and farro so I think I will survive.

    • Heather M says

      Our go-to white rice is jasmine rice! You’ll be in fine shape without whichever is your usual. 🙂

    • Glad to hear you liked the egg bites! Don’t forget to leave a review on the post? Thank you!

  14. Pat says

    Wow Karen that is alot of rice substitutions!
    Roberta-Congratulations to your son!
    Jessica you sure did use alot of stuff from your freezer so count it as a win.
    Day 13–We had Asian marinated salmon and mahi mahi. Thank you Stephanie for the recipe! I made my own stir fry veggies with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and water chestnuts and served it over rice. for dessert we had pumpkin bread from the freezer.

    • Karen J says

      I am a chronic overstocker. Friends have said if there is ever a major disaster they are moving to my house as they know I could feed them for days.

      • Laurie Gaither says

        Karen, my friends and family say the same thing about me! 🙂

      • Heather M says

        Same! Although I’ve tried to be better over the years, and with only my kitchen fridge/freezer (no room anywhere for a deep freeze or 2nd fridge) it could be a lot worse, I guess.

    • Roberta says

      Thanks, Pat! He’s very excited to have met his goal.

  15. Angela says

    Agreed…some days just ARE.
    B- fruit for hubs, chia pudding with fruit for me
    L- event at Hubs’s school, so he ate there; I took leftover vegetable beef soup from dinner last night
    D- Breakfast! Cheese grits, scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns. I took what was left of the hash browns after my guys had their share, and tossed in some spinach and grape tomatoes (I didn’t feel like eating eggs!). Helped me get in my veg too.

  16. Jodi says

    Friday 1/17
    First, let me say I am in Texas and that doesn’t sound like cornbread from around these parts! 🙂
    Today was busy!
    b: usual coffee plus IP yogurt for me, bagel and yogurt for DH. Kids had cereal.
    L: I can’t recall what i had! DH took a frozen meal. Middle boy packed a lunch, youngest ate school lunch and eldest ate who knows what from fridge.
    d: pizza delivery for boys. Only time we got takeout this week so a big win! DH and I grabbed Chipotle on way to a comedy show we got tickets for.
    Found chicken frozen into back of freezer and added some marinade from pantry that was just last date to cook up on Saturday. We shall see how that goes. Need to plan for next week!

    • Good to know about the cornbread. It was pretty scary. I ended up chucking the rest of the bag, something I never do. LOL

      • Jodi says

        Good move! Life is too short for iffy cornbread!

Share Your Thoughts