Pantry Challenge 2018: Day 4

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The Pantry Challenge is on! This month we’re focusing on what we have, to use it up and save money.

oatmeal with berries

I had a rough night. Despite my efforts at self-care last night (exercise, hot tea, several glasses of water, and a hot bath), my cold kept me awake. Cough. Cough. Praise God for Vapo-Rub. It quelled my cough when NyQuil could not.

That said, I ignored every alarm in the universe and slept until 8. Kids were all still asleep, so hopefully their bodies are fighting off this bug.

I was super thankful for lemons and honey this morning and that I had little jars of steel cut oats in the freezer ready to go. Tasted great with fresh berries atop. The kids had cereal or granola/yogurt with their berries. Eggs are now gone, so Bryan picked some up at ALDI for me this afternoon.

That didn’t go as well as I hoped. Eggs went up in price last week, from 54 cents to $2.54. Not what I expected. Several things cost more than I expected and Bryan needed waters for work which brought our total to $43. No likey. So, we’re in the 60-dollar range already on Day 4. Ahem. Anyways…

Freezer full of food

Since I declared it a jammy day, I was able to get the freezer inventoried. I was pleasantly surprised to find enough proteins to last us the month of dinners. Lunches might be a little wonky, so hopefully what I found in the pantry will help make up for that (rice, beans, canned tuna, etc.). I see Stone Soup a twice-weekly feature on the menu.

I am trying to pare down our dessert habits, but I did find cupcakes, cake, and cookies in the freezer as well as a small quart of Butter Pecan, my ultimate favorite. I plan to celebrate with that baby on the 31st. 😉

In addition to my inventory, I also brainstormed some recipes to make with what we’ve got on hand. As luck would have it, I may be able to update some old recipe photos while I’m at. I’m hoping that this is the year that we get all the recipe posts updated here on the site.

Pantry Challenge 2018: Day 4

Breakfast: Berries plus cereal, granola, oats, yogurt; I ate the last hard-cooked egg, too.

Lunch: Snacky Lunch with crackers, various cheeses, deli turkey, salami, veggie dippers, hummus; I made a salad. Those away from home packed leftovers from last night.

Dinner: Asian Bowls

As always, thanks for sharing the Pantry Challenge with your friends. The more the merrier!

What did YOU cook up?

About Jessica Fisher

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

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  1. Melissa in GA says

    My luck is if I send hubs to the store, they’re either out, he can’t find it, it’s not on sale like I thought or its just the wrong darn thing! That price on eggs is outrageous- wonder what is up with that? Eggs have held steady with great prices in our area but I am just thrilled to have chickens again. When all else fails, we can cook eggs.

    I sure hope you get to feeling better soon!

    January 4th
    B – the guys joined the old farts cafe and I had a graham cracker with PB and some fresh pineapple (finally cut it, been on the counter a week!)
    L – guys had egg and bacon sandwiches and I had a salad.
    S – made banana bread with some very soft bananas
    D – homemade tomato soup and dad bought some Italian cheese bread when he was in town (he loves bread of all kinds)
    Dessert – dark chocolates

    Staying warm and trying to get all my Christmas stuff put away, ugh!

    Melissa in GA

    • Roberta says

      We love having backyard chickens too.

  2. Janet says

    We had several planned social events the past two days so we ate out several times.

    Day 3
    B: hard boiled eggs, oranges,
    L: work luncheon, kids had blueberries, blackberries, cheese and cashews
    D: Pork fried rice using leftover pork from New Year’s Day

    Day 4
    B: hard boiled eggs, oranges
    L: date lunch with husband; kids had blueberries, blackberries, cheese and cashews
    D: church dinner

  3. Tasty says

    Thursday January 4th

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, sausage and egg on an English muffin

    L – beef and veggie soup (leftovers from yesterday – the rest is in the freezer)

    S – l/o chicken, potatoes and stuffing from the fridge with fresh Brussels sprouts

  4. Karen J says

    So sorry you had a rough night. Sounds like you’re doing everything you can. Just hope it runs its course soon. Yuck.

    That’s an awful rise in price for eggs! Here in Washington our Safeway has them for $0.99 a dozen this week. I usually get them free and fresh from my daughter’s chickens, lucky me. There is nothing better than fresh eggs.

    breakfast out with my teacher friends-every Thursday during the school year for over 30 years. Such good friends!

    lunch-ham salad sandwiches on toasted English muffins

    dinner-leftover black beans and rice, topped with leftover chicken with bbq, then avocado, cheese and leftover french fried onions. Very yum!

    Glad I’m not living in a blizzard state! Hope everyone is keeping safe and warm.

  5. Melissa B says

    B zucchini bread
    L cereal with milk for me dd had leftover pasta
    D Chicken or turkey pot pies from freezer
    I need to inventory my proteins going to commissary with my sister they usually have some good meat prices

  6. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    Jessica, hope you will feel much better soon. We’ve stayed inside due to the brutal cold here in the South, and the 4-5 inches of snow we received last night. Good soup weather!

    B: boiled egg, coffee
    L: the last of the LO Brunswick stew, LO mini cornbread muffin
    D: LO salsa chicken over rice (freezer), LO slaw and sliced strawberries
    S: apple slices, mandarin orange

    Made broth from b/i chicken breast bones from earlier in the week. Then used the broth plus items from the freezer and pantry to make African Peanut soup. It’s cooking tonight in the crock pot so will be ready tomorrow. Stay warm everyone!

    • Danielle L Zecher says

      Lynn, do you have the recipe for African Peanut soup? That sounds intriguing.

      That’s crazy for you to get that much snow on the coast. We’ve been dry, but super cold. The feels like yesterday morning here (near Asheville) was 4.

      • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

        It IS crazy. The sounds are frozen over and we still have snow (and ice underneath) everywhere. Don’t see it going anywhere until late Sun early Mon since the high temps will remain low 20s. At least our winds have subsided so the wind chills are a bit warmer. I think we were down in single digits here as well as a result of the wind.

        I do have the recipe for the African Chicken Peanut Soup. It is a really different soup and I think it is really tasty if you like the ingredients (and don’t have peanut allergies). I use my own hm version of chicken and rice soup and find that it needs to cook longer than the recipe says for the sweet potatoes (I know, sounds weird, but good!) and the other vegetables to get done. If you used LO cooked sweet potatoes it might go faster. I subbed green pepper for the red and shakes of cayenne flakes for the jalapeno. The peanut butter (again, sounds weird) gives it a creamy taste without any dairy. I’ve already eaten several (!) bowls on this cold day. If you try it I hope you’ll like it:)

        • Danielle L Zecher says

          Thanks for the recipe. It sounds really good.

  7. Laurie in CA says

    All of our meals while on our mini vacay come out of our travel budget and not our food budget. I do try to bring some things from home to help cut down on the cost.
    B – The inn where we stay includes a continental breakfast of coffee, fruit, muffins, bagel and juice, I brought my egg cooker and eggs and hard boiled a few. I ate a little fruit, an egg and some cashews I brought. Hubs ate what was in our breakfast basket.
    L – hubs had fish, calamari and chips. I had grilled fresh salmon and a salad
    S – the inn puts out a veg and cheese tray so hubs had that and I brought veggies and hummus from home to snack on
    D – hubs had a burger and slaw, I had pot roast, mashed potatoes and roast veggies

  8. Sarah Gallop says

    January 4:

    Breakfast: English muffin and coffee for me. Cereal for hubs.

    Lunch: snacky lunch again for Hubs – meat, cheeseball, crackers, pickles, etc. Chicken, pickles, olives, cucumbers, peas and hummus for me. With a diet lime Pepsi and some pretzels, almonds and caramel M&M’s. So much Xmas candy!

    Dinner: homemade pizza from scratch. Dough from Jessica’s cookbook!

  9. Kristy says

    Sorry you are feeling under the weather, the cold this year is a knock out drag out one so I am totally impressed you not only got out of bed but also got the freezer inventoried!

    I am still trying to use up fresh stuff that languished while a cold went through our house the last half of December and trying to do some baking restocking as we ate all the bread and chicken stock in the freezer.

    So today I made:
    Bread – we were low
    Banana chocolate chip bread for hubby’s lunches which used up bananas and milk
    Crumb topping banana bread which used up bananas and milk
    Chicken stock – this is a staple and there was none in the freezer but I had a frozen carcus and the freezer veggie scrap bin had all that I needed.

    Breakfast- I really cannot remember.
    Lunch. Leftovers from last nights supper and night before that.
    Supper. Pizza beans, rice pilaf, and carrots. And we finished off the milk that had today’s date. Yay us.

  10. Heather M says

    Brrr… we are cold in the DC area! We woke up to only an inch of snow, and fierce winds. But they’d canceled school anyway at 5:15am, so when my son awoke to his alarm, he went back to sleep until 11! Luckily the airports weren’t impacted and my daughter left this afternoon back to school. She, too slept this morning and finished packing. Hubs had already taken the day off to be with her, but worked until 2:30am on a late breaking news story on his beat, but from home. After we got back from the airport I dove into cleaning up the utter disaster that was my main “get stuff done” room(it’s an office, tv room, guest room, library all in one). It looked like a christmas cyclone hit it, I could hardly see the carpet! It’s in much better shape now, after several hours of organizing, tossing, putting away, etc. Only the mail and newspaper piles remain for tomorrow. and the actual cleaning. Feels good! I also cleaned out the fridge since trash comes tomorrow (at 10pm!). It wasn’t as awful as I’d imagined. A few old leftovers to toss, but not much. Some veggies that were complete toast. trimmed and peeled the few carrots left, and trimmed the cauliflower of its browning areas. the bell peppers need to be cooked badly as they’re limp but not moldy. and surprisingly the small half head of cabbage that’s been in there a month is perfect. As are the already cleaned and washed pieces of lettuce- not enough for salad, but great for sandwiches. fruit’s in good shape, too. Won’t buy any produce until next week. Needless to say, eating was strange and off schedule today. I’ll break down what was eaten by whom, not by meal, since we didn’t have a proper meal.

    Daughter: ate a bowl of leftover Singapore noodles right before we left to the airport; now she’s gone and it’s only the 3 of us (though she gets plenty of our $ :/)
    Son, never saw him eat, but saw the evidence: frozen pizza, pretzels, pistachios, 4 chicken taquitos from the freezer, cookies – talk about a teenage boy diet today!
    Husband: leftover Singapore noodles and pork fried rice. That’s it.
    Me: only person who ate before noon, and only a slice of HM stollen the neighbors gave us for christmas; then right before the airport I had 4 water crackers with small pieces of Manchego and double cream gouda cheeses, leftover from the gorgeous cheese tray i took for xmas eve (oh it was awesome); after we got home at 3;30 I finished off my leftover lunch from yesterday-we we went to a place that’s like chipotle for lebanese/middle eastern food and the bowl was huge, and healthy(chicken shawarma, rice, arugula, hummus, olives, cucumber salad, tahini, garlic sauce, etc.); then later tonight when I finally got hungry again I ate the last 5 bites of potato salad from last night’s bbq restaurant, a hawaiian roll, and the last tiny little piece of chocolate mousse cake (it was teeny but still yummy).

    Bizarre eating today, and not particularly balanced at all. Tomorrow should be better in that regard!

    Jessica, hope you feel better soon!

    • Jess says

      Who cares if it is balanced.. it is so nice to clear out the random containers! I love when the fridge shelves are empty…Then I look at all the random containers in the sink to wash! lol

      • Susan says

        We have been doing this same thing all week. Every meal has been leftovers of some sort and the guys haven’t complained at all! Then I look at the sink and all the containers to wash 🙂 Oh well, good news is we’ve cleaned some space in the refrigerator and the guys are excited for a freshly cooked meal this weekend. Ha!

      • Heather M says

        You’re so right! Plus with being such a weird day, balanced wasn’t really a priority. Sure was nice to throw out containers that were almost empty and/or containing dead stuff yet taking up space. Felt really good! 🙂

    • Kathy in Denmark says

      I feel like we ate that way for a lot of days during Christmas break. The good thing is that you eat up a lot of leftovers and everyone knows you won’t eat that way once you are back to normal ?

      • Heather M says

        Yes, Kathy, that’s I think how I rationalize it? During normal times we do eat balanced and mostly healthy, so over the holidays? ah well.

    • Pat says

      Since there are only two of us now I have started putting most of my containers in the dishwasher to fill it up! I only have to run it once a week. When we are down to 4 plates I start putting the containers in so it will get full.

  11. Kathy in Denmark says

    Jessica, I am so sorry you are still ill. I really hope you feel better soon!

    Day 4:

    B: Oats and milk for DH. Oatmeal and milk for DD1 and DD2. HM roll and coffee for me.
    L: Packed lunch for DH and DD1. Rye bread with fish or leftover roast for DD2 and me. Veggies on the side.
    D: WW pasta with vegetarian bolognaise and parmesan cheese. DH and I shared the last glass of white wine leftover from NYE.
    S: Bananas, chocolate, cookies, kransekage and cava for the adults.

    I made vegetarian bolognaise in the slow cooker, cooked up pinto beans and chickpeas and made apple sauce with some apples that were going south. I also peeled carrots for snacks and to use in soup with butternut squash.
    We had 960 kg (2100 lbs) of firewood delivered wednesday at 5 pm. Since it was delivered so late, we just covered it and I wheelbarrowed it into our carport thursday afternoon. Since I was home alone with the kids, I put on a movie for them and worked as fast as I could, poking my head in every once in a while to check om them. My kids are 6 and almost 3 and apparently quite fond of chocolate slices and cookies! I gave them permission to eat the cookies, but when my husband came home just as I brought in the last of the firewood, our youngest had used a stool to get to the chocolate slices in the cupboard. There was half a piece left and she had chocolate all over her face lol. I sometimes have to remind myself that having resourceful kids is a blessing, even though it challenges my sanity on a daily basis!

    I had planned on eating lasagna for dinner, but since we got in late and were all hungry, I just boiled up some pasta and served it with the sauce i had made. DH went to the store for me while I tucked in the kids and assembled the lasagna so it is ready to go. Here’s hoping Friday will be a little less crazy 🙂

    • Jess says

      lol! Those are the days you just have to laugh and consider it all good! You got work done that was needed.. and if the worst the kids did was eat too many snacks.. it could have been MUCH worse!

      • Kathy in Denmark says

        I know, it could have been a lot worse! I did check on them a lot, since I know they tend to take advantage when mom is not around lol

    • Alice E says

      Okay, I’ve got to ask, what are chocolate slices? Somehow this doesn’t compute for this Kansan. Doesn’t quite sound like just a piece of chocolate candy, but not a term I am familiar with. My kids are grown now, but I remember the crazy days when they were young. I still have days when the plans for dinner shift due to the reality of our schedule and my energy level.

      • Kathy in Denmark says

        They are a Danish thing, I think. We call it pålægschokolade, and it’s basically a very thin slice of chocolate which is meant to be eaten on a piece of bread.

        • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

          Kathy I googled that and those thin slices of chocolate look delicious. No wonder your children wanted them:)

    • Heather M says

      Ah, kids. You’re right to be grateful they’re so resourceful. It is a challenge when they’re young, but bodes well for their futures! 🙂

  12. Sandi says

    Jessica, have you tried Fisherman’s Friend cough drops? I’ve never tried them myself but some co-workers had the crud over Christmas and used them. They are SUPER strong drops but my friends said it knocked it right out. One lady has had a persistent cough for MONTHS from last time she was sick and she’s stopped coughing completely now. I was thinking I might pick some up just in case…

    B – I had vegetarian ginger curry on rice. He had a beef empanada. Neither would be considered normal breakfast foods, but… we never said we were normal.
    L – I had brie, crackers, olives, and a fresh pear. He finished the cheddar soup with some crackers.
    D – burrito bowls using shredded pork from freezer, l/o rice, and some seasoned canned beans – there is enough left for one last bowl for him to eat tomorrow.

    The bowls finished off the salsa, so I might end up buying some more of that. We do use that a fair amount and if he gets hungry, he often does a chips and salsa snack. It’s easier to deal with strange meals or foods you don’t actually enjoy as long there are snacks you do like, right? I’ll see if I can hold out, but I won’t mind giving in on that one point.

    • Karen J says

      Another shout out for Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. As Sandi said, they are super, super strong and taste rather nasty (I usually can’t keep one in my mouth the whole time). BUT, they do work.

    • I will check them out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  13. Julie says

    Breakfast: banana bread
    Lunch: homemade lunchable for one kid, school lunch for another, PB&J and blueberries for the 3 year old, spinach & egg omelet and blueberries for me
    Dinner: NYM chicken noodle soup “pantry style” ? Used spaghetti noodles vs egg noodles, and threw it all in the crock pot. Edible but not as good as the original recipe.

  14. Mona says

    Thursday 1/4

    Breakfast – Oatmeal

    Lunch – Finished off the beef stew

    Dinner – Baked salmon, baked potatoes & peas

  15. Jess says

    Much to the kids dislike it was not cold enough for school to be called…I woke them all up with promises that it was the last day b/c Friday’s weather was predicted to be too cold for school.. ( I was correct.. so much so that they called today off by dinner time on Thursday! Here in Ohio at 830 am… -3* is the temp.. with a feels like of -21*)

    B- I pulled out a bag of frozen homemade pancakes.. tossed them onto a baking sheet and flipped the oven to heat up.. Kids had milk or juice and hot pancakes for breakfast.. with vitamins!
    I ate 2 fried eggs with the last of the bakery Italian bread from NY dinner.
    L- 2 bought from school.. packed the girl a PBJ, apples, pretzels, water and granola for after school activity…
    I took a leftover chicken burrito bowl from previous night supper.. Husband ate the other bowl for his lunch
    D- the temps have significantly dropped! I planned to grab something at the store when I picked up meds.. but I got distracted. After picking kids up from afterschool activities and dropping friends off at home.. Im too tired and cold to pick up anything takeout..
    Found a bag of precooked ground beef in deep freeze.. seasoned it and with pantry shelves made a huge pot of beefy tomato sauce.. Served over shell macaroni along garlic bread slices… Mix of fresh and canned fruit on the side…
    S-Baked a boxed Halloween cake mix to keep the oven going a little longer…make a quick frosting with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla/milk..

    Jessica- I hope that the extra rest helps kick this cold for you!

    • Alice E says

      Isn’t precooked ground meat in the freezer a wonderful thing! I have used in often with pasta or for a quick pot of chili.

    • Heather M says

      Oh I hear you re not wanting to go back out in the cold! We’ve been abnormally cold in the DC area as well. We’ve had to go out in it, but If I had to go out just to grab some food or takeout(well, aside from a dinner out on my daughter’s last night home)? No thanks. We’ll make do with what’s in the house. Bet your dinner was better than most takeout anyway! Garlic bread always makes things better. 🙂

  16. Terry calkins says

    The pantry challenge is going well here. I have only been to the store for milk this week. I ended yesterday with a taco salad. Hubby had smoked cheese and crackers. I cooked the chicken cacass and wings yesterday and bned out what was left. The dog got the cooked scraps and skin.i planned to make chicken noodle soup today but there are no veggies in my drawer xcept carrots and onion. I might use most of the broth to cook rice or pasta and use the rest to make cream of chicken soup.
    The chickens will get the stale cornbread today for their breakfast with smaltz on top. They are molting and look so sad.
    I made stuffing yesterday. I still have leg quarters and one breast to use from yesterday’s chicken

    • Roberta says

      Do you have a heater for your coop? I feel bad when our chickens molt, and it’s never terribly cold here in So. Cal. They look so pitiful though!

    • Melissa in GA says

      I gave our chickens some leftovers yesterday and they were so excited. They’ve done well with the cold weather – not molting thank goodness. They do look bad when they do. Lol

  17. Hollie says

    Good morning! We used up freezer odds and ends for breakfast and lunch yesterday. 1/4 of soup stash is gone, and I made and froze a double batch of mini muffins (2 of my goals underway). Breaking into the sauce and meatball stash tonight. Slowly but surely.

    I also got both freezers inventoried and organized for cleaning out. And I prepped 3 Lbs of burgers.

    We have a HUGE weekend of drum lessons and a basketball game and a sleepover for my son’s 13th birthday and a biology DNA project and packing for middle daughter’s two nights overnight school field trip. Now that I have an inventory, we can eat here and not feel tempted for takeout.

    I always feel so much calmer about food during a pantry challenge.

  18. Alice E says

    Sorry, you are fighting the cough. Hope last night was better! You might try honey for the cough, in tea or by the spoonful) a suggestion from my doctor who was also prescribing a codeine cough syrup, which I bought even though pricey and not covered by insurance. But, once the worst was over, the honey did help. I also find the Vapo-rub or ben-gay helpful. Maybe, get your husband to rub it on your back (supposedly your lungs are closer to your back) and rub some on the soles of your feet and wear socks over it. An old wives tale that helps me. As an asthmatic, I have more trouble than some with coughing.

    I didn’t get posted yesterday, so this will cover two days.

    B- same both days, baked eggs, WW toast and hot tea. He drinks green, mine varies, right now I’m drinking Prince of Wales.

    L:- He takes peanut butter and butter sandwiches, I had $2 burger.

    D – Leftover meatballs with baked potatoes, coleslaw, cucumbers and avocado on day 3
    Rotisserie chicken, baked sweet potatoes, cucumbers and l/o slaw day 4.

    Tonight will be something with the l/o chicken. They were on sale at the store for $4.99 so I bought one.

    • Yes to the Vicks on the feet. Funny thing is, I got hot and took the socks off. And started coughing right away! I think it really does work.

  19. Danielle L Zecher says

    I’m not sure if you’ve tried it, but I’ve had better results lately with Robitussin DM than with Nyquil. I hope you’re feeling better.

    Breakfast: I had baked blackberry oatmeal. (Blackberries from the freezer). Hubby ate at work.
    Lunch: We both had various leftovers; potato soup, bread, meatloaf, black eyed peas.
    Dinner: Hubby had an assortment of the same leftovers. I didn’t get home until late so had animal crackers (from Christmas) and tea.

    Has anyone heard or read anything about staying away from romaine lettuce? My M-I-L sent me this article last night. I usually buy romaine, especially when we’re trying to eat healthier. I’d like to get back to having salads a few days a week, but I’m nervous about it now.

    • I just looked up the romaine. Looks like the cdc hasn’t issued a recall which means you can’t get your money back or know particularly which suppliers are infected. Thanks for the head’s up!

      • Danielle L Zecher says

        I don’t have any to throw out, but I was planning to buy some. Now I’m not sure I want to. On the one hand, NC isn’t a state that shows up as having had an issue on the map, so I think maybe we’re safe. On the other hand, though, if I end up with a food related illness I typically end up in the emergency room, so I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

        What’s the most similar lettuce to romaine? Butter lettuce?

    • Laura C says

      Romaine is almost all we buy! I usually buy organic but no mention if that is impacted.

    • Karen J says

      I was going to pick up romaine at Costco today until I heard about the health issue. I don’t usually fret about such things, but am putting off buying it. Romaine is our favorite lettuce too, as it seems to last the longest.

    • Heather M says

      We eat a lot of romaine, but also other lettuces. I haven’t bought any lettuce yet since the holidays and think I’ll skip romaine for now and buy butter lettuce( I LOVE it!), spinach, arugula, maybe a spring mix if it doesn’t have baby romaine? Until they get the source figured out, I’m not going to chance it. And VA has one case so far, and it seems the entire mid-northeast and northeast canada are where the cases are. A little scary.

  20. Lesley from Alaska says

    I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, was extremely tempted to be lazy at dinner but opening the fridge reminded me of all the produce just waiting on me. Ha, nothing like that to kick your butt into gear. The BF hit up Costco for us and picked up some cherry tomatoes, 1/2 & 1/2 as well as some peanut free butter for him.

    Breakfast-Again my usual scrambled eggs and toast. It’s quick and easy when I’m short on time before work.
    Lunch-Finished off the leftover roasted beets/carrots and some of the barley couscous. I swear I make 4 servings of that couscous but it really ends up being closer to 6.
    Dinner-Cauliflower “alfredo” over fusilli noodles with roasted broccoli and chopped tomatoes.

    So I have now finished off our cauliflower and broccoli. Sad to see those gone, but happy for a little more breathing room in the fridge. This weekend I’m hoping to hit the pantry a little harder. Maybe (BIG maybe) will even consider making some biscuits that I can freeze.

  21. Pat says

    Jessica– I hope your feeling better soon and the rest of your family doesn’t get it. You don’t need a repeat of last year!
    Your egg price is outrageous. Our Aldi had them for $.88 but there was a limit of 2 instead of 6. I spent $29.13 buying said eggs,4 packs of bagels, 2 ranch dressings, 2 bbq sauce, 3lbs sweet potatoes, coffee and 12 yogurts. I need to do a Sam’s run. The only food I’ll be buying is 10lbs oatmeal, a case of individual serving applesauce, and Vidalia salad dressing. We need TP, paper towels and bleach. Those purchases should last 6 months or more.
    Jan 4th
    Breakfast was the usual
    Lunch–Hubs had training and ate out. I ate breakfast mid morning so skipped it.
    Dinner–was a piece of l/o chicken fried chicken, l/o sliced roasted potatoes, frozen broccoli and chopped onions and the last of a bag of cheese mixed with eggs. We also had a piece of ww toast and cuties.

  22. Tasty says

    Stores in Ontario, maybe all of Canada, have withdrawn romaine lettuce fromthe shelves!

    • Danielle L Zecher says

      I haven’t been to the store here to see if they still have it. I’m assuming it’s still available since the CDC hasn’t said it’s definitely the romaine. I hope stores are at least putting up a sign. I won’t know for a while since I’m staying out of the grocery store.

  23. Laurie Decker says

    Day 4 1/4/2018
    B- leftover Italian Sausage Pie. It was great and enough for both of us.
    L- Soup again for hubs. He’d eat soup every day in the winter and love it so I’ll make lots of chicken soup and freeze it in quart jars. I can’t eat that way. I become bored. I had a leftover chicken enchilada.
    D- Pork loin from the freezer and thrown in the crock pot with teriyaki sauce. I served it with rice and veggies. The remaining pork will be made into fried rice sometime this week for lunches maybe. I’ll have to think about that!
    I also took out two ham bones that had been lingering in the garage freezer. This morning I put it in a big pot with water. I’m also soaking beans. Not sure where I’m going with this but I know it will be good.

  24. Roberta says

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Thurs. 1/4/18

    B: Waffles, fried eggs, OJ, coffee.

    L: LO pizza, grapes, orange slices, carrot and celery sticks w/ ranch dip, and son added a string cheese to his meal.

    D: Orange chicken, steamed rice, grapes.

    S/D: Trail mix, chocolates from Christmas.

    I did make it to the store (two, actually).

    Sam’s Club

    organic maple syrup 32 oz. (Sam’s changed; they used to offer regular maple syrup for about $2 less. I need to check out other sources.)
    string cheese 48 oz. (’cause school resumes next week)
    Honey Bunches of Oats w/ Almonds 48 oz.
    Post Raisin Bran 76.5 oz.
    Tillamook med. cheddar 40 oz.
    bananas 3 lb.
    2% milk gal.
    skim milk gal.

    Spent $45.61. Ouch. All but the milk and bananas should last the month, however, so maybe we’ll be ok anyway.


    fresh pineapple
    fresh garlic
    green bell pepper (This somehow didn’t make it home, but since it was only 50 cents it wasn’t worth going back to the store to look for it.)
    organic celery
    organic kale
    red bell pepper
    red cabbage
    red leaf lettuce
    romaine lettuce

    Spent a total of $11.66, and now we have salad fixings again. Yay! I like this total much better, but I’ll still be glad when the garden starts producing again. 😉

    We’re now at $57.27 for our grocery spending for the month, which is higher than I’d hoped. (I’d forgotten we were running out of maple syrup, and cheese is pricy too.) The good news is that we’ve been eating at home! Pressing onward.

  25. Laura in NH says

    We are trucking along here as well. I did go to the store Tuesday and spent something like $120 which will see us through for a while and means I’m about on track for my goal of $300-400 for the month. We are still low on meat even though I bought some Tuesday so that will be a challenge going forward. The kids and I made cupcakes yesterday and I have granola baking now. We are low on grab and go snacks but since we homeschool that’s usually no biggie. I’ll probably make some granola bars this weekend though. Thursday’s meals looked pretty normal for us: egg salad and toast, LO ratatouille and garlic bread, tomato soup and grilled cheese with applesauce for dinner. Yogurt, apples and pears, and cheese and pepperoni for snacks.

    Hope you feel better soon!!!

  26. Roberta says

    So I didn’t read about the romaine scare until after I’d gone shopping, made a huge salad, and eaten said salad. Here’s hoping no one in our home gets sick. I’ve had food poisoning a couple of times in my life–no fun at all.

    • I’ve been researching it further since I have at least three bags/packs containing romaine in my fridge. It says the last documented case in the US was December 8. Since it’s highly perishable, it’s unlikely the same lot would still be on the shelves.

      • Roberta says

        That’s good to hear. We love our salads here, and romaine is our go-to lettuce.

      • Heather M says

        This is good to know! Thanks!

  27. Julies says

    Hope you feel better soon!

    I don’t have too many random things to use up this month, but today I made sesame turkey and finished off the soy sauce and rice vinegar and sesame seeds. I had cooked a large turkey after Christmas and froze most of it and didn’t have any cooked chicken in the freezer so it worked out.

    I’ve been serving a lot of smoothies too to use all the random frozen fruits/veg I’ve stashed in the freezer. If someone peels an orange and it dries out over the day I just put it in the freezer. They are fine in smoothies although not good to eat on their own.

    No money spent yet since Dec 27th, but do plan to go to Aldi over the weekend for some milk, eggs, and produce.

  28. Stephanie M. says

    Thursday, January 5

    B – Paul had toast using some of the Calandra sliced Italian bread with butter and ham, a yogurt, and a banana; I had a whole wheat bagel with lite cream cheese and peanuts

    L – Paul had the last of the leftover prime rib from the freezer from Christmas Eve dinner and the leftover roasted potatoes and carrots from last night; I had a salad, 1 slice of whole wheat toast an apple and V8

    D – Paul had eggs and tator tots; I skipped dinner, wasn’t hungry

  29. Laura C says

    January 5- Another snow day for the kids! Our streets haven’t been plowed yet so looks like I wont be going anywhere til Sunday at least. Not supposed to be out of the 20’s til Monday. Husband has gone to work but he has a 4wd truck.

    Bfast- Me-muffins and yogurt. Kid-egg, French toast sticks (freezer), bacon
    Lunch-Kid-leftover beef roast, smiley fries (freezer), Me-last of vegetable soup and rolls (both from freezer)
    Dinner-Homemade pizza, Cut up veggies and homemade ranch dressing. Trying to get back into habit of making homemade ranch. I had gotten out of it and recently threw out a jar of mayo that had a best buy date of September and I think it had been opened since summer. We don’t eat mayo in anything but chicken salad or homemade dressing. Sorry to waste it but moving forward.

  30. Julie P says

    Off to a pretty good start!
    B: Egg “Mcmuffins”/banana chocolate chip muffins
    L: Leftovers
    D: Buffalo turkey wraps, ranch pretzels, carrot and celery sticks with dill dip

    B: Smoothies/ scrambled eggs with LO kielbasa/ banana chocolate chip muffins
    L: LO Pasta with meat sauce
    D: Buffalo chicken salad/dinner at church (loooove that our church offers this!)

    B: Bagels with cream cheese/fruit/pumpkin muffins
    L: LO pasta with marinara
    D: Chicken fajitas

    B: Muffins/bagels/yogurt
    L: Chicken fajita burrito bowls
    D: Brats/ baked sweet potato fries/steamed broccoli

  31. Cindy says

    Day 4, January 4th
    Breakfast: tea, avocado toast & fresh pineapple; hubs: Basic 4 cereal, oj & coffee
    Lunch: leftover lemon chicken, pepper, onion, carrot stir fry over rice & 1/2 honey crisp apple
    Snack: NYE leftover cinnamon cranberry goat cheese and crackers
    Dinner: salmon patties (can of salmon lurking in my pantry since lent 2/17) frozen peas and romaine
    Dessert: the last of the NYE apple dumplings

  32. Sandy says

    I’m finally getting to post for the first time! I’ve been participating, but it has been the craziest week and I haven’t had time to post anything. I definitely need to do the PC. I see excess everywhere in my kitchen and freezers. I even held back buying and making some of the Christmas treats and we still are busting at the seams. I need to empty freezers somewhat in the next 2 weeks because we will be doing our beef and pork butchering with our families and will need lots of space. We also started the year badly. Our 16 year old was dropping a friend off on New Years Eve and his car started on fire. Had to call the fire dept. and it was a total loss. It looked like an electrical fire and he and his friend were fine, but super scary!! So, now we are car shopping which we hadn’t planned on, ugh!! We always pay cash for cars and I really didn’t budget for that expense right now. Still not sure what to do, but obviously we will be cutting back on everything for awhile. I didn’t start until Jan. 2 because I didn’t have the energy on the 1st after adventurous New Years night.
    Jan. 2
    B- Eggs, cereal or fruit
    L-Leftovers for everyone, can’t remember it all, but it cleared a lot out
    D-Taco meat, tortillas, toppings homemade refried beans, oranges
    Jan. 3
    B-Eggs or cereal and yogurt
    L-Leftovers for hubs, spinach salad for me and kids back at school
    D-Ham bone soup, homemade bread and apples
    Made 4 loaves of sandwich bread and 2 loaves of French bread, cooked up 2 ham bones from the freezer and cooked up a bag of chicken thighs from the freezer in the crock pot to use later on. So, lots of things used up and lots of meals prepped. Not to mention it’s been a stressful week here and temps are so cold that we are having lots of problems on the farm, so a day cooking was good therapy for me!
    Jan. 4
    B-Eggs with homemade bread, fruit
    L-Had to run son to orthodontist at lunch so packed summer sausage (from the freezer)and cheese sandwiches on the French bread to eat on the drive along with oranges and chips for him. Left enough for sandwiches for the hubs.
    D-Made spaghetti with 3 different leftover sauce containers from the freezer. Yay, that created more space!!, salad, fruit salad using up odds and ends from the crisper drawer and cookies from the freezer.

    • Heather M says

      YIkes, that car situation! Glad all was ok, except the loss of the car. You were super productive in the kitchen on the 3rd. I’m impressed with the bread baking! Nice job!

    • I am so sorry to hear about the car! Glad the boys are okay!

      • Mona says

        Not the way you want a New Year to start but so glad that the boys are both good!

  33. Maureen says

    My youngest has recovered from her stomach bug, and so far no one else has gotten sick. Hoping that’s the end of it.

    I made a big batch of spaghetti sauce last night (thought I had some frozen and wouldn’t need to make it, but no luck), so that was dinner and now 4 meals worth in the freezer. Used up the ricotta in the fridge by making muffins. And finished off a few partial containers of nuts (and some M&Ms) making trail mix for my son’s lunches for next week.

    We ran to the store for perishables (since we just got back into town) and spent a little more than I hoped, but got a ton of produce and a treat for each kiddo. As long as we eat the produce, it was worth it…off to a good start because I prepped a bunch of the fruit when we got home and the kids have eaten quite a bit already. Lunch was leftovers. I dug through the freezer and pulled three types of sausage for dinner and roasted some languishing potatoes. I still need to inventory the freezers, but I can get by for at least a week by just digging each morning, so I’m not in a big hurry.

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