Day 26, Pantry Challenge 2020

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omelet for breakfast with daffodils

Hey hey hey! Here we are with just two days left in the month. It went by fast, didn’t it?!

My apologies for somehow not hitting publish last night when I wrote yesterday’s post. I wondered why y’all were so quiet this morning until I realized that yesterday’s update was still in draft mode. Sorry about that!

It was tempting to go to the store today since I’m low on my “usual” ingredients, but I resisted.

Here’s how our day went down:


We still had a bit of Sunday’s meal prep: the muffins and oatmeal. The boys made quick work of those. The girls made smoothies. I made an omelet and filled it with taco night leftovers.


The kids had a melange of leftovers, including burritos buried in the fridge freezer, veggies, and ham from the deli drawer. I ate some chips and some freezer meatballs when I came home from Bible study. 


It’s Bryan’s birthday so he chose pizza for dinner. I forgot to feed the starter last night so I made my Basic Homemade Pizza Dough. While that is very good, we’ve been having my Sourdough Pizza Crust for so long, that we didn’t enjoy the former very much. We were all craving the latter!

We ended the evening with a Chocolate Bundt cake made from a mix I picked up at the holidays. Bryan prefers simple chocolate cake with powdered sugar so that’s what we delivered.

Two more days to go!

We’ll be tackling the challenge of getting more efficient in the kitchen starting Saturday. Stay tuned for more details!

About Jessica Fisher

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

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  1. Lsurie Gaither says

    B – leftover waffles, bananas and and milk for both of us
    L – l/o pork tenderloin and carrots for hubs, salad w/ pork tenderloin for me
    D – hubs is finally feeling like eating again. He was craving Panda Express and picked up some after grands drop off. I ate half my chow menu, broccoli beef and green bean chicken and will eat it tomorrow

    Now that hubs appetite is coming back he wants all kinds of food he hasn’t felt like eating over the past week. I really want to eat up leftovers before I start cooking a lot more food. We’ll see how this pans out.

    • Laurie Gaither says

      Good grief, I can’t even spell my own name! Lsurie I’m not!

  2. Stephanie M. says

    Happy Birthday to Bryan!!

    B – Paul had cereal; I had a yogurt parfait

    L – Paul had the leftover pasta with shrimp and asparagus from last night and an apple; I had turkey, lettuce, and tomato on whole wheat

    D – Grilled Asian salmon, rice pilaf, green beans (Paul had the leftover hollandaise on his), and salad

  3. Tasty says

    Wednesday January 29th
    The month has gone by fast and althoi haven’t bought much (to eat this month) still lots of choices – lots and lots of choices!

    B – fruit,yogurt and an English muffin – the last of them.

    L – we were both out for lunch different friends,different places.

    S – l/o soup and a bun.

  4. Alice E says

    B – Oats, eggs, hot tea and mandarins
    L – he took pb sandwich and I had l/o spaghetti from freezer
    D – leftover cabbage rice soup and brownies supplemented by fat free biscuits.

    Hubby forgot to take his cookies for lunch and bought himself candy. It was a cold day so biscuits and soup sounded good for supper. I haven’t got as much cleared out as I would like due to health issues sapping my energy, but I will keep on plugging at it. Each year I learn a bit more about wisely managing my freezer and pantry. As the month nears an end, this seems a good time to say thank you Jessica for hosting this and all your suggestions through the year.

  5. Karen J says

    I’m down with a cold/sore throat so not 100%. Most likely from taking care of my daughter’s sick family last week. I had my flu shot, so have told myself that it’s just a cold.

    So anyway…
    B-tea with honey and toast
    L-chicken noodle soup (from a lone can I found in the pantry-whew salty!)
    D-rousted myself a bit and took pulled pork and some HM hamburger buns from the freezer. I also made a quick coleslaw from a cabbage that’s been languishing.

    Mayo is on sale at Safeway this week, so I will pick up some before next Tuesday. Other than that I’m carrying on with PC. I looked at my list of the very few things I’ve bought this month-mostly basics, bread, milk, eggs, lettuce, Nutella . I still have a few dollars left of my original $25. Kind of goes to show that I had PLENTY of food on hand at the first of the month. I haven’t even had a real chance to use my creativity yet.

    I want to add on to Alice’s comment above and say Thank you, Jessica, for all the work on your part to make January Pantry Challenge so successful and fun. You have developed a great community here.

    • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

      Karen J, mayo is on sale at my Harris Teeter this week til Tues, so I’ll be picking some of that up before then as well! I think I’m down to about 1-2 tablespoons. Our pattern continues 😉 LOL. I’m with you re: the canned soup. So very salty. That’s one of the main reasons I make my own soups-the salt, plus mine tastes better (and is thrifty)!

      Same here re: the PC. I’ve not had to get very “creative” yet either, though my proteins are definitely getting limited as are vegetables. I think I can stretch them a bit farther but will keep an eye out for some good buys on them in the upcoming weeks. I’m completely out of potatoes so will use some of the pasta I’ve got instead. Won’t be as strict come Sat, but I’ve been pleased with how I am slowly using up some items that have been around awhile. I want to continue on so I can see a REAL difference in the freezers. My pantry is thinning out a bit, as is the fridge. But I still have plenty of food as well. Meals may begin to be less “balanced”, so we’ll see.

      DH is requesting chips and dip for the Super Bowl along with other items for a party platter. We’re out of those, though I think I can make some substitutes (chips from tortillas, dip from cream cheese with add ins). I’ve got some Chex cereal and nuts, so thinking I’ll make Chex mix. We’ll see if these will be suitable substitutes for him!. It’s been a fun January and it’s on to February!

  6. Tasty says

    I’ll also add thanks to Jessica and all those who have taken part.this month. I always enjoy the camaraderie.

    I have just done a new inventory of the kitchen fridge/freezer and have come up with enough dinners from there to see us thru til this time next week, still having a decent and varied menu. As we’re going to see my Mum late next week,we’re in good shape.

  7. Roberta says

    Wed. 1/29/20

    B: The same thing as Tues.

    L: The guys had their usual packed lunches. Used up the last of the strawberry jam on their yogurts. I had the last of the salad w/ a hardboiled egg, string cheese, an orange from our tree, and apple slices that Son didn’t finish from his lunch yesterday (they weren’t pretty, but still tasted just fine).

    D: Pepperoni and olive pizza (got rid of a bag of shredded mozzarella from the freezer), carrot sticks w/ ranch, apple and orange slices, home-canned peaches.

    I also cooked up a big batch of pinto beans to turn into refried beans (which will go into the freezer for those nights when I don’t have any cooking creativity or forget to thaw something). I also finished baking the cheddar coins.

    We did get one gallon of milk at Sam’s and spent $2.85, bringing our total to $121.69.

    I, too, will chime in to thank Jessica for organizing and hosting this challenge. I find the interaction to be so helpful and encouraging–it keeps me motivated and accountable, and I learn so much from everyone who contributes. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming challenges.

  8. Janet says

    B: Bagels, assorted toppings and fruit
    L: Sandwiches, chips
    D: Roast beef from the freezer, rice, green beans

    I kept a few proteins back to finish the month strong. I have a pound of ground beef and a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. We still have more grains left than I had hoped, but otherwise we have done a good job of eating down the freezer, fridge and pantry. Really looking forward to going to the grocery store on Saturday. However, I promised myself I would not go until I had a meal plan completed. My project for tonight.

  9. Terry says

    Etoday was another quiet day. Hubby has been struggling with sleeping, so he slept late this morning. I had oatmeal with frozen bananas cooked in and homemade orange marmalade to sweeten. Lunch was eggless veggie fried rice with a little of the teryiaki cause I made for the veggies last night. And for dinner a veggie soup from the freezer adding a little leftover chicken and the leftover broth from French onion soup.

  10. Sarah says

    I agree with everyone else and thank you Jessica for this challenge! It’s just what I needed to get out of my cooking rut and to save money, too.

    I’ve grown so attached to everyone here! Hope we can have some more challenge posts where we can keep commenting!

    My goal for this weekend is to inventory the rest of the pantry and meal plan around what’s leftover. I know I can do it.

    B: protein shake
    L: cobb salad
    D: scrambled eggs and cheese with the last of the chicken sausage and gluten free toast (freezer) with butter and sugar free jam.

  11. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    1/29 Day 26

    B: cheese toast
    L: LO minestrone soup
    D: creamy chicken pesto pasta, glazed carrots, orange wedges
    S: cinnamon bun

  12. Pat says

    I also want to thank Jessica for hosting this forum for the pantry challenge. It was so nice to get back in touch with all of you from the previous chatter groups that went on and on after the official month was over.

    Day 29 was General Tso’s chicken from the freezer with rice from the pantry and my on version of stir fry veggies with what I had available. I used broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts. It was so good.

  13. Jodi says

    Breakfast was the usual oatmeal and coffee for me, bagel and yogurt for DH and cereal for boys.
    Lunch: yogurt for me and chicken strips for oldest boy. Other 2 had school lunch.
    Dinner: used up last of frozen chicken strips for boys, plus I made a HUGE pan of cheesy potatoes to use up potatoes that were nearing iffy status.
    Will need dairy tomorrow as all milk and most of cheese is gone. A lot left in freezer. Will extend challenge a few weeks to get that cleared out so I can defrost.

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