Day 9, Pantry Challenge 2020

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Nine days down in the Pantry Challenge! Here’s how we are focusing on what we have and buying enough to supplement it.

plate of eggs and rice

Today’s is a quick update.The day kinda of got away from me.


I missed breakfast. You know that rarely happens. LOL!

The kids fed themselves: eggs, toast, and smoothies. No surprise there.


For lunch I pulled out leftovers: pasta from last night as well as Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Mexican Rice from yesterday.

I fried a couple eggs to add to mine and it was really yummy.

stacks of cheddar coin crackers

Snacks/Recipe Testing

During the afternoon, I reshot Cheddar Coins aka Homemade Cheez-Its. I forgot how yummy those were! 

My 13yo daughter helped me prep and shoot a new cake recipe with you. It was soooo delicious. Stay tuned!


The kids had friends over to play D&D so my kitchen table was full of teenagers. They hadn’t been promised dinner, but how can you have a house full of kids and not feed them?

I cooked up a few pounds of Easy Instant Pot Black Beans and then made a big batch of Taco Soup. I served shredded cheese, hot sauce, sour cream, and tortilla chips  as well.

For myself, I made a quick salad.

cart of ALDI groceries

Grocery Shopping

Since I prefer to go into the week with groceries on hand, I ran out for produce to get us into the week. I spent $37 on milk, eggs, half & half, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, coleslaw, salad mix, kale, potatoes, mushrooms, blueberries, cilantro, and bell peppers.

That brings my January total to $168.

We’re hanging on! I’m excited about the meals on the docket this week, so it should be pretty tasty.

How is the pantry challenge going for you?

About Jessica Fisher

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

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  1. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    1/12 Day 9

    B: cheese toast, smoothie, coffee

    L: Last of soup with pimento cheese sandwiches

    D: shrimp and grits using Andouille sausage, shrimp and bacon from freezer, gouda cheese for grits, last broccoli spear for broccoli salad and orange wedges

    S: last of ice cream

    Still no grocery shopping though I may shop a bit tomorrow as I could be required to be out of town for several days this week and would need to leave a bit of produce for my husband. Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts.

    • I have yet to try pimiento cheese, but it’s on my list!

      Last night we watched The Peanut Butter Falcon and that had us looking at the map. I had NO IDEA what the outer banks looked like. Wow!

      • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

        Yes, we’re kind of like a strand of pearls and “one of the last stopping off points before Europe” as I like to say 🙂 It is beautiful here. Didn’t know if you realized that one of our towns is Kitty Hawk, location of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

        I hope you liked The Peanut Butter Falcon. We, here, of course on the OBX are biased. One of the co-producers, Tyler Nilson, is a friend of my daughter’s. They went to high school here together as did the costume designer. Most of the names are actual names of locals, with lots of nods to the community so we’re all thrilled at the movie’s success. We’re so proud of Tyler and Mike for the inclusiveness of the movie and its ability to highlight Zack Gottsagen So glad you watched it!

  2. Laurie Gaither says

    Ah Sunday, what a weird food day! Best laid plans, eh?
    B – I had a protein bar while getting ready for church, hubs had cereal
    L – i wanted to stop by Trader Joe’s after church so hubs decided he was starving and went in to the pizza place a few doors down fir carry out. I bought bananas, tomatoes, avocados, cole slaw mix, broccoli, cauliflower, 2 lbs whole carrots, spinach, spring mix, 1 pkg frozen corn, 2 lbs honey crisp apples, zucchini, pint 1/2 n 1/2, small can tomato paste, 1 gallon milk and chicken nuggets for the grands. I spent $42.
    D – I ate a bit of the chicken breast from last night, baby carrots a piece of sourdough toast. I’m not even sure hubs had anything other than berry pie

  3. Pat says

    It’s hard to believe we are already 9 days in! There is some white space in my fridge and the freezer compartment, but not so much in the upright. We only need lettuce and bananas. I might try salad kits for variety.
    Day 9-The roast planned for today never made it out of the freezer so Plan B it was. We had half a turkey breast from the freezer, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted veggies and corn. I bought and cooked the whole breast in November.
    Have a great week everyone!

  4. Stephanie M. says

    Sunday, January 12, 2020

    B – Paul had cereal; I had a yogurt parfait

    L – Paul had the last four mini pizza bagels from the freezer and a bowl of soup (our store has a “can can” sale every year and anything in cans is on sale so he bought 10 cans of Progresso soup for $1.00 each). I had a salad and a New York garlic breadstick from the freezer (3 left)

    D – Pork Roast, leftover mini penne from last night with gravy and sautéed cabbage

  5. Kathy in Denmark says

    Day 9:

    Brunch: Softboiled eggs, rolls, fresh orange/clementine juice, coffee, jams and cheeses from the fridge
    L: everyone skipped
    D: Steak, vegetarian steak, potaotes, corn on the cob, broccoli, sauce Béarneaise (from Knorr)

    The oranges and clementines were getting past their prime, so I squeezed them and we all had a lovely glass of juice.
    I thawed a steak and DD1 and I shared it. DH had a vegetarian steak. DD2 doen’t like steak – real or vegetarian! The corn on the cob was from the freezer and the broccoli had been in the fridge for about a week and needed to be used up! I had a bit of the broccoli and DD1 had the rest. Yes, she can eat an entire head of broccoli in one sitting. Along with steak, potatoes and sauce! She’s 8 and very slender. I wonder were she puts all that food LOL
    I chopped and cooked a lot of onions while preparing dinner. I will use them for onion quiche later this week.
    I am seeing white space in my freezer, so hope to stat making freezer meals soon.

  6. Julie Smith says


    Breakfast: pancakes
    Lunch: kids had sandwiches, hubby packed his own for work, I had a tuna salad sandwich and salad
    Dinner: fried rice…some people had chicken, some didn’t

    Feeling good about using up and making do!

  7. Tasty says

    Sunday January 12th
    B – fruit, yogurt granola and a muffin for hubby, banana and cereal for me with a muffin

    L – tourtiere from the freezer, (Canadian meat pie) and salad

    S – soup from the freezer with h/m onion buns

    A lazy cooking day around here

  8. Jodi says

    Sunday was a pretty quiet day here
    B: I had coffee, DH had usual bagel/cream cheese/yogurt, kids skipped. But full disclosure – no one got up til after 11!
    L: Because we got up so late, lunch was also more mid-afternoon. I made queso with sausage i needed to use and Dh and I ate it for lunch. Kids ate rest of the penne alfredo from saturday.
    D: DH and I had pulled pork I made day before. Kids refused to eat that so youngest 2 had hot dogs and chips and I have no idea what oldest had. He eats on his own timetable generally so I let him forage if he isn’t awake or at least visible at mealtime lol!
    I have a LOT of random items in the pantry so I made an apple pie for dessert.
    I am not a good meal planner so I have been winging it and it has gone pretty well. We have a lot of fruit for DH to take this week for lunches but I will need some salad fixings for him and more goldfish for boys. they eat those things like crazy! I have been staying out of stores so I won’t overspend but I will plan to go later today with a full belly and a list so I stay on track. We have a very full schedule this week so I am going to take a stab at planning out the entire week. Cheers, y’all!

  9. Maureen says

    I realized this weekend that I’ve had to run the dishwasher 2 extra times in the last week (I usually just run it once a day). Some of that is that my girls baked twice, but much of it is that we’ve had more full meals and virtually no take-out/eating out…therefore more dishes. I tried a new coffee cake recipe for breakfast. Lunch was snacks and leftovers, as we all ate at different times before heading out the door. The kids haven’t loved dinner the last two nights, so I switched up my meal plan to something that I knew would be well received. I pulled shredded Mexican chicken from the freezer for tacos and quesadillas. I forgot to start the rice in time, so we had extra tortillas and lots of fruit. I need to organize the fridge a bit. It’s looking a little chaotic after having everyone home this weekend and I don’t want to lose items in the back and have them go bad.

  10. lisa s says

    B/L: coffee, blueberry protein muffins, biscotti
    D: breakfast burritos and watermelon: we used up one of the three lbs of breakfast sausage I had squirreled away in the freezer, and made breakfast burritos with the sausage, scrambled eggs, kale puffs (also to help clean out the freezer), cheese) all smothered in breakfast gravy made from the sausage drippings left in the skillet. The gravy was new for us, and we loved it and will likely keep that up even though some chose salsa and sour cream instead. Most voted no on the kale puffs however.
    S: used up the molasses on chewy gingerbread snickerdoodles which was also voted a keeper.

    • I made breakfast gravy for my weekend meal prep this week. Gonna have it tomorrow over biscuits. Yum!

  11. Carol says

    I made blueberry muffins,( .berries from the freezer. We had picked them, so old.)
    Supper will be stone soup with some burger from the freezer and bits and bobs to clear frig.
    Finally had to go to the grocery. We needed milk. Stuck to the list and only spent $36.!!

  12. Karen J says

    School’s closed due to snow, however the roads don’t look THAT bad so I am heading in to Safeway to buy eggs for $o.99 and to get my free burrito. Life is so exciting some days.
    Sunday meals…
    B-crepes with jam and bacon
    D-at friend’s for football party Hawks/vs/Packers. We were losers 🙁

  13. Roberta says

    Two days’ worth of reporting since I didn’t check in yesterday.

    Sat. 1/11/20

    B: Breakfast burritos, mandarins, applesauce, OJ, and coffee. Son also had some donuts and other things (?) at a training at church.

    L: PB/apple butter sandwiches, mandarins, applesauce.

    D: Burrito bowls, salad, mandarins, applesauce.

    Can you tell we have a lot of applesauce and mandarins? We also obviously like–and stock the ingredients for–Mexican food. I also baked three more loaves of bread on Sat.

    Sun. 1/12/20

    B: Cereal, toast for the guys, OJ, coffee. Three mini-scones (one for each of us) at church.

    L: Grilled cheese sandwiches, orange slices (mandarin for Son), applesauce.

    D: Greek scramble (scrambled eggs w/ oregano, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and feta), toast, mandarins (!), chocolate/banana/applesauce muffins for dessert.

    S: Pretzels and popcorn while playing a family game of Uno.

    I had four VERY ripe bananas, so I made banana bread and the muffins to keep the bananas out of the compost pile. I also made a batch of energy bars (to which I added some shredded orange peel I had stashed in the freezer). The bars required peanut butter so I whizzed up a batch in the food processor. (I know I could buy peanut butter and spend less than I do on peanuts, but I prefer to make our own so I know exactly what’s in it–peanuts only.)

    • Bananas rarely last long around here, so I love every opportunity to make banana bread!

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