Pantry Challenge 2018: Days 7 & 8

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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.

empty plate with glass of water

Winter problems for food bloggers are not that it’s cold, but that the days are short, therefore the light is fleeting. Since it’s dark and rainy outside, it didn’t occur to me to take a picture of dinner until it was basically over. Hope it’s not too tacky to show you my (almost) empty plate.

It was taco night, and it was delicious.

No, I didn’t leave anything behind. I’m tracking my calories, so there’s no way I was leaving those two bites behind. In case you were wondering, three homemade taco supremes are about 500 calories. And totally worth it.

In other news, no, you didn’t miss yesterday’s post. I was just too sick yesterday to think about opening my computer. I drank copious amounts of tea and worked on expanding my book list for the year. I feel a little better, at least not worse, today, so here’s hoping yesterday was rock bottom.

The Challenge is going along fine, despite my being under the weather. We’ve done some buffet meals and some leftovers. The girls served breakfast this morning, and Bryan helped prep dinner tonight, so we’re still eating homemade even though I’m not operating at full capacity.

I did run to ALDI yesterday for eggs, produce, dairy, and a few ingredients I knew would make the week easier. Our total for the month is well over $100, but that is still far below my target so I’m okay with it, especially being sick.

Here’s what we enjoyed these last two days.

Pantry Challenge 2018: Day 7

Breakfast: Bacon Buns, Cereal, and fruit

Lunch: Burrito Bar (I had a salad)

Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Quinoa, Steamed Broccoli

Pantry Challenge 2018: Day 8

Breakfast: Mix and Match Muffins with ginger, apples, and cranberries; Chicken Sausages; Orange Juice

Lunch: Burrito Bar (I had Quinoa Salad)

Dinner: Tacos

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. Brooke says

    Monday’s are so busy. I work- kids have school then straight to 3 hours of dance with the Middle little lady- coupled with animals to feed in below-zero temps. This mama loathes Monday’s right now. Lol. But that said, it pushes me to get up extra early and start dinner OR make it on Sunday. Whew. We made it though. I feel like if the kids are in bed on time and I have lunches even partially prepped for the next day then I want to high five myself. Haha.
    Today’s breakfast was homemade whole wheat cinnamon raisin toast with scrambled eggs and melon on the side. I had tea with heavy cream. Go ahead judge me- it’s worth it. Lol. Oldest one took a homemade breakfast burrito on the run to School.
    Lunch for kids at school was uncured salami and cheese sandwiches with mustard. Fruit and popcorn
    Dinner was round steak made into Swiss steak. Mashed cauliflower and steamed green beans. So delicious.

    • Laura C says

      My Wednesdays are like that. I am at the dance studio with both my girls from 4:30 to 7:30. We almost always have leftovers or crockpot meal that night.

    • Alice E says

      Wouldn’t think of judging you, sounds heavenly. I’m just to cheap to buy the heavy cream. I do indulge in half&half for the baked eggs we eat most mornings and they are also worth it.

      • Brooke says

        If you have an aldi close it is very affordable!

  2. Laura C says

    January 8-Kids at home again but it finally got into the 40’s and started raining so alot of the snow has melted. They go back tomorrow 2 hours late.

    Bfast-Kids: leftover biscuits and muffins. Me-leftover French toast casserole.

    Lunch -took them to McDonalds to get out of house and for ice cream. We had a gift card for ice cream.

    Dinner-spaghetti, salad, garlic bread from freezer. I made the sauce in the crockpot to stay warm while me and the oldest were gone for her dance class.

  3. Danielle L Zecher says

    The crud has struck our house, so our eating has been a little weird.

    Sunday 1/7/18:
    Breakfast: I had a package of Ramen soup with a fried egg in it. Hubby slept.
    Lunch: Re-fried bean soup.
    Dinner: Re-fried bean soup and apple crisp.

    Monday: 1/8/18:
    Breakfast: I had blueberry bagel (from the freezer) and a scrambled egg. Hubby ate at work.
    Lunch: I had re-fried bean soup. Hubby had potato salad.
    Dinner: I had chicken and broccoli casserole. Hubby went to bed early.

    We’ve also gone through lots of tea, some juice, and hubby has been drinking lots of Sprite.

    • Heather M says

      Hope you guys are feeling better!

    • Karen J says

      Sorry your family is sick. It sure is everywhere.

      I’d never heard of refried bean soup so I googled a recipe (Genius Kitchen, I think) What a great pantry meal! I have everything except the green chilis on hand. I do have a can of tomato sauce with jalapeños so I’ll substitute that. I have a cornbread mix that should go well with it. I’ll be adding it to my meal plan for later this month.

      Thanks! I love getting ideas from other pantry challengers. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

      Danielle, hope your family is feeling better too. Wanted to make sure you’d seen the link to the soup recipe on day 4.

      • Danielle L Zecher says

        I just saw the recipe. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Brighid says

    B – yogurt and blueberries for me, cereal for everyone else (I make yogurt in my Instant Pot when life isn’t unbearably busy.)
    L – salad & leftovers, dh had corn chips too (We have a lot fo chips leftover from the holidays.)
    D- pork fried rice made with Sunday’s leftover pork, leftover jam cake – modified from this recipe:

  5. Julies says

    We had low sugar pumpkin cake (I made with whole grain gluten free flour I mill) flax seed ground instead of eggs in recipe to conserve my eggs. Cream cheese frosting . That was breakfast , along with a few mangoes .

    Lunch – I had some turkey, kids finished pumpkin cake, fruit, cheese.

    Afternoon loaf of oatmeal bread I made in bread machine for supper but kids were hungry from having a light lunch .

    Supper- chili from freezer, hot cocoa (just milk, cocoa powder , powdered sugar ), snicker doodle bread I baked Sun , again without eggs .

    I spent 45 at Aldi using a gift card from a friend , very thoughtful Christmas gift. I bought 1 gallon milk, 3 lbs cheese, and fresh produce . I have 4 young children at home and they ate the 3 cartons of blueberries the first day.

    I also don’t quite know how to categorize this, but I have ordered cod and chicken from zaycon with 22% off codes. They wont arrive until March and May, though, and we will definitely eat it all, I just feel weird buying during this month. But I have room in the freezer and will be cooking the last chicken breasts tomorrow to prep for enchilada casserole .

    • Sandi says

      If you won’t get it until after the PC is over, I personally would not count it as a purchase during the PC.

      • Jess says

        Heck no do not count it! AND… Do not feel guilty that you purchased it.. great deals are worth stocking up on!

      • Julies says

        Thank you Sandi!

  6. Roberta says

    Sorry to hear you’re still not feeling well. I’m impressed that you still managed to do some shopping and get home-prepped meals on the table. It’s a good thing you’ve got a bunch of helpers.

    Sun. 1/7/18

    B: Cereal w/ blueberries, toast, OJ, coffee

    L: Out w/ friends after church. Totally not healthy food, but the company was great.

    D: Nothing for son or me (we were still too full from lunch); Hubs had a slice of PB toast, some cheese, and some carrot sticks w/ ranch.

    S/D: Son had a mug of hot cocoa; we all had a piece of Christmas chocolate.

    Mon. 1/8/18

    B: Cereal w/ blueberries, toast, OJ, coffee

    L: Son had PB/apple butter sandwich on ww, 1/2 banana, mandarin orange, string cheese, and cookies. Hubs had PB/apple butter sandwich on ww, 1/2 banana, mandarin orange, trail mix, dried cranberries, and carrot sticks. I had a salad and hard-boiled egg.

    D: Sausage and pepper pasta, salad, pear and orange slices. Son had milk to drink; Hubs and I just had water.

    D/S: Son had a mug of cocoa and a couple of ginger snaps after school. Hubs snagged a cookie after dinner on the way out the door to scouts. I had a ginger snap as well.

  7. Sandi says

    B – sausage, egg, cheese croissant sandwiches using croissants and sausage pulled from freezer
    L – I had l/o chili, granola, and a pear; he had l/o chicken, broccoli, and rice from last night’s dinner
    S – fruit gummy snacks
    D – since it was college football’s version of the Superbowl, we had an appetizer dinner of pizza bites, cheese sticks, and calamari which all came from the freezer. It was completely not a balanced meal, but tough. (although looking at the day’s summation, I should have insisted on the salad I’d planned.)

    Go Dawgs!!

  8. Julie P says

    B: Ham and spinach egg bake
    L: Snacky lunch: fruit, deli meats, cheese
    D: Lemon chicken orzo soup and multigrain bread

    (Tried to serve pantry saltines with the soup. Turns out crackers that expired 13 months ago are disgusting! oops:)

  9. Karen says

    What are bacon buns?

  10. Sarah Gallop says

    January 7

    Breakfast: I had a bacon sandwich using up the last few slices of the turkey bacon. Hubs slept late and basically ate lunch.

    Lunch: I had a hot chicken sandwich using up the past of the roast chicken and gravy from earlier in the week. Hubs had the last container of hm cream of mushroom soup from the freezer with some crackers.

    Dinner: skillet gnocchi, steamed broccoli and pork chops with bbq sauce.

    Snacks: still lingering Xmas candy

    January 8

    Breakfast: English muffin with jam for me. Hubs had cereal a d milk.

    Lunch: meatballs, tzatziki and a pita, some roasted sweet potatoes, peas, carrots and hummus and a Nutrigrain bar. I was gifted a lovely serving of a friend’s pulled pork and potato wedges, so I will probably have that tomorrow. Hubs had another snacky lunch: sausage, cheese ball and crackers, sweet pickles and some artificial crab legs.

    Dinner: I had planned to have marinated chicken, riced cauliflower and a salad. Didn’t feel like any of that when I got home so we had nachos!

  11. Heather M says

    Sure do hope you are on the mend, Jessica! Yesterday (1/7) was a really good day- after our church we went to my bff’s church where her first grandchild (she’s a young grandma at 49) was “blessed”. We went back to their home afterward for Sunday Dinner, but early in the afternoon. They threw together a gorgeous chicken & veggie stir-fry, rice, and the Korean version of miso soup (her husband lived in South Korea for a few years back in the day). We spent the entire afternoon with them, which was a really nice ending to a fantastic weekend, even if it was bitter cold.

    B: None- we rushed out to church
    L: delicious meal at our friends’ home
    D: we all got a bit hungry around 7-7:30 and fended for ourselves. Hubs finished off the singapore noodles; son had taquitos; I finished off the port salut cheese w/multigrain crackers. We all ate xmas treats- moose munch and candy cane joe-joe’s.

    Today, another weird day. Busy morning led to unexpected early release for the schools, which feared an ice storm this afternoon. Luckily we stayed just barely above freezing(first day it’s even hit 30 since christmas eve maybe?) but MANY in our region did not. So it was a gift to my son. He brought a friend home and they polished off a bag of tortilla chips while watching a movie and playing xbox. I just tried to get things done, including a quick run to the store for a few things. I spent $18 on a bag of butter lettuce (I need salad, but will wait on romaine!), a pound of uncured, nitrite/ate and added hormone free ham($5! So glad it’s easier to find deli meats that are free of these items!), sliced cheddar for sandwiches, green onions (will help future meals this week-they’re my favorite!), eggs(only $1.39 for 18!- we aren’t having price issues like you in CA, apparently), and a bag of cuties/clementines. I’m at $38 for the month so far.

    B: Hubs was busy doing live radio hits all morning so skipped eating; son ate cereal, bacon, and OJ; I had a few cookies (oops)
    L: Hubs was busy all day and never ate; son took turkey/cheddar on ww, clementines, pistachios/almonds, Clif bar; I had the little bit left of the mac & cheese from the bbq place, 1 oz total of manchego and double cream gouda cheeses w/ multigrain crackers, a pear, and a few cashews
    D: So I used those veggies I roasted Friday night! Cooked linguini. While water was coming to a boil, I made a cream sauce from garlic cooked in a tiny bit of olive oil, chicken broth, a shelf-stable container of whipping cream I found in the cupboards that will expire on the 10th(!), and a little light cream cheese/salt(The block of cream cheese is almost gone and it needs to be used before dying). My son doesn’t like all the roasted veggies, so I pulled out a portion of the sauce into another pan and added peas for him, and in the larger pan I put the roasted veggies and a few peas. I also defrosted the last 1/2lb of cooked salad shrimp from the freezer and added it to both pans. Then I mixed linguini in each pan. Ok you guys, this was DELICIOUS. And I used up ingredients that badly needed using. And there was plenty for my starving husband.

    I also made a pear bread tonight. I had extra pears that were getting too mushy (not a great way to eat them), so I went searching for a recipe. It calls for whole wheat/AP flour mix and a small amount of maple syrup in place of sugar. I skipped the streusel on top- decided to try for sort of healthy. We’ll see how it tastes!

    • Sandi says

      Jealous. Our egg prices had been $1.19/dz at Trader Joe’s (by far the cheapest place I’d found them) and now they are $1.79/dz. Wonder why FL and CA are having price jacks but other places are not?

      • Melissa in GA says

        I think this may spread to other states – the increase in egg prices.

        • Susan says

          I’ve noticed the eggs at Walmart are in the $1.30 range for 18 eggs. Major store chains are close to $3 for a dozen. Crazy!!

          • Sarah Gallop says

            I’m in BC, Canada, and the cheapest I ever find eggs is $2.99/dozen, and that’s a steal! Most typically I’ll pay $4.99 for 18. Your egg prices are impressive!

          • Tasty says

            I paid $2.27 for a dozen eggs yesterday. They had been $1.97 for the longest time but went up in price a few weeks ago. That’s in Ontario!

        • Pat says

          Our egg price at AldiI’s is $.88 a dozen with a limit of 2. The usual limit is 6. I bought 2 when grocery shopping and bought 2 more when I was drivnig home from an appointment.

      • Alice E says

        My usual grocery store is charging about 2.29 to 2.39 a dozen for regular eggs last time I looked. So, I have been buying them at Walmart, since they are running .48 to .50 cents a dozen. This is obviously a loss leader, but since they don’t have a limit on them I show up when we are low and buy another big batch of eggs and not much else. Obviously they hope people buy the rest of their groceries there as well. But I have gotten pretty good at only buying what is on sale.

      • Eggs at ALDI were down to 99 cents on Sunday (down since Thursday’s $2.54), but they had a limit of 6. And their BB date is the 14th. Can’t make heads or tails of how they price their eggs.

      • Julie s says

        They are higher in the Plains. Hens don’t lay nearly as much in the winter. I think they were lower for holidays but now 1.79 at Aldi after being .49-79.

  12. Karen J says

    Sorry you are still under the weather! My husband had it for over a week, but is feeling better now. Lots of rest and hydration helped him.

    Breakfast-banana bread, tea
    Lunch-chicken salad with celery, red onion, mayo on toasted English muffins
    Dinner-pesto pasta, spinach salad, and garlic bread That’s the last of the lettuce. On to the frozen veg.

    Yesterday I made a pork roast in the crock pot. We had some for dinner after it had cooked for about seven hours. It wasn’t quite as “fall off the bone” as I wanted so I put it back in. Woke up this morning at 5 and remembered that I hadn’t taken it out. So it cooked for sixteen hours. Since it was on low and had lots of juice, it actually was okay-and very tender. Whew!

    • Melissa in GA says

      The roast I cooked on Sunday was the same way! After dinner I put the meat back in the crockpot on low and took it out around 945pm – much better the next night.

      • Karen J says

        I’ve had an instant pot for over a year, but still haven’t started using it. I LOVE my crockpot! Well, okay my three crockpots. We keep one in our travel trailer and I have two sizes at home.

  13. Melissa in GA says

    I’m amazed you can go out shopping when sick! I’m a hermit when I’m sick. Life does go on though, especially for moms!

    January 7th

    B – cheese grits, fried eggs, bacon and oranges, I think dad had a slice of WW toast too
    L – hotdogs & chili over bread (sliced up the hotdogs, fried a bit then added a can of chili)
    D – pot roast w/carrots and boiled red potatoes
    Dessert – banana bread, the guys had ice cream with theirs
    S – pistachios

    January 8th

    B – overnight oats for hubs, dad had fried eggs & toast, I had a graham cracker w/PB
    L – I had LO tacos, dad ate in town & hubs is traveling for work
    D – LO pot roast and veggies
    Dessert – chocolate
    S – pistachios while watching the championship game

    Our weather got warmer today but we now have rain. Not complaining though! Not having to run any heat right now.

    • I went slow and it was before I started feeling really terrible.

    • Sandi says

      GA has had a rough year for losing championships in the last few minutes, haven’t they? Falcons last year, Bulldogs last night. Made me so mad both times. 🙁 As soon as those stupid announcers put up that info about how similar the score was to a previous game and how AL pulled it off that time, I just had a really bad feeling about it. They should have kept their mouths shut!!!

      • Melissa in GA says

        Lol yes, Sandi it’s been rough. My poor husband was heartbroken over the Falcons loss at the super bowl last year.

        We are not normally GA Bulldog fans but we were rooting for them last night. I like AL and Nick Sabon but wanted someone else to have a shot at being champions. GA played hard and I knew the second half was gonna be hard.

        We are GATech and SC Gamecock fans here and usually root for whoever is playing UGA or Clemson, lol.

        • Sandi says

          This FSU fan has an irrational, unfounded, yet deep dislike for AL (absolutely no idea where it came from) so I’ll cheer for anyone playing against them. Kind of like the only time I will cheer for U Florida or U Miami is if it is a national championship because then state loyalty overrides state rivalries. LOL. Oh well. At least it wasn’t a boring game, even if I didn’t like the ending.

  14. Kathy in Denmark says

    Hope everyone who is still sick will get better soon! It really is the season right now 🙁

    Day 7:
    B: HM bread, softboiled eggs, OJ and coffee
    S: Carrots and hummus. Cookies. Bananas
    D: Leftover lasagna with HM bread and a tossed salad. Leftover cold pasta and hummus.

    I boiled eggs for lunches and took a piece of beef out of the freezer to make beef stew. I also took out filling for tortillas which was in the freezer.

    I added cubes of frozen clementine juice to our OJ – delicous! We ate the last of the carrots I peeled a few days ago. Apparantly my family will eat whatever quantity of carrots I put in front of them, at long as they are cut into strips 🙂 Since we didn’t have as much bread and lasagna leftover as I would have liked, I decided to also put out the leftover WW pasta I had in the fridge as well as some hummus. My kids love cold pasta and they will eat hummus with a spoon if I let them! This way we all got full and everyone had a balanced meal. The kids also had some salad and some bread 🙂

    Day 8:
    B: Oats and milk for DH. Rye bread with apple sauce, cream and butter for DD1 and DD2. Toast and coffee for me.
    L: Packed lunch for DH and DD1. Rye bread with egg and tomato or fish for DD2 and me. Veggies on the side.
    D: Tortillas with vegetarian filling, salsa, sour cream, cheese and guacamole.
    S: Christmas cookies and bananas.

    I added some of the beans I had cooked to the tortilla filling. I also added some dried soy protein, spices, a can of tomatoes and a packet of dried store bought vegetarian filling to the mix. It made quite a lot, but everyone was hungry so I didn’t put as much back in the fridge as I thought I would! DD1 helped make guacamole and odd jobs while cooking. I am trying to involve her more in the cooking, and she loves guacamole so she was happy to help. I froze the last of the chick peas and beans I cooked a few days ago. I like having cooked beans in the freezer, so I’m happy about that.
    We are still eating a lot of Christmas cookies, and let’s just say that I am leading by example 😀 I expect they will be gone sometime next week.

    The cold has arrived in Denmark, so our firewood arrived just in time! At least the weather is absolutely beautiful, which makes it easier to live with the cold!

  15. Stephanie M. says

    Sunday, Jan 7 – Day 7

    B – Hubby had an omelet with pepperoni , cheddar, and scallions, toast, and hash browns; I had bran cereal with strawberries/blueberries and peanuts; all blueberries gone

    L – Hubby had home made bean and beef burritos from the freezer and there was some white rice in the fridge leftover from the Chinese takeout the other night so I fried it in some butter and he had that with the burritos; I had a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat with arugula and tomato

    D – Leftover penne with meatballs and chicken sausage and a side of spinach sautéed in garlic and olive oil

    Monday, January 8 – Day 8

    B – Hubby had cereal; I toasted a whole wheat bagel thin and on top of that I put some arugula, tomato, and poached eggs; I also had 3/4 of a cup of strawberries/pineapple and V8

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had the last of the leftover tuna fish on whole wheat

    D – Fish Tacos; Hubby had some fried macaroni leftover from last night’s dinner with it and I had the last of the leftover spinach and a small side salad

    • Mona says

      Thanks again Stephanie!!!

      • Stephanie M. says

        You’re very welcome. Hoping your hubby begins to feel better today. 🙂

        • Mona says

          Not really Stephanie but he did go to the Doctor’s and got meds so we’ll see if it helps!

    • Melissa in GA says

      We love sautéed spinach in olive oil and garlic! I add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt – yum!

    • LeslieT says

      Pepperoni in an omelet…thanks for the idea! I have some to use up.

  16. Jess says

    Viruses are REALLY bad this year… We generally do not get hit that hard.. but both of my boys took rough hits( for them) this fall.. My oldest has finally started to lose that malingering cough he has had since early December…

    So on Sunday we had both sets of parents over for Supper.. I borrowed my moms electric roaster and cooked the 6 lbs of beef roast I picked up at Sams on Saturday.. Added the 5lbs bag of mini creamer potatos and about 3lbs of chunked carrots. I served 1 roast with gravy and veggies.. leftover veggies went into the fridge.. there was only about 2 bites of meat left. I cleaned the fat off the other roast and tossed that shredded meat, juices and the last of the supper into a dish and that is now frozen… and will be a ready made main dish next week!
    As a PC items….. I pulled 2 packages of rolls from the freezer to serve with supper!

    Lunch that day was last of the lunchmeat sandwiches… Breakfast would have been anything you find in the kitchen on your own!

    Got the early phone call that due to freezing conditions there is no school… Nice unintentional 4 day weekend for the kids…
    Woke them up by 830 and they had breakfast… I think they stuck to cold cereal and toasts.. I had an oatmeal packet and toast…
    Lunch… Leftover Soups and Chili from the weekend… Leftover rolls from previous supper…

    Snacks- pulled 2 bags of frozen shredded zucchini and let them defrost.. made a double chocolate zucchini bread from a recipe that looked amazing… It looked amazing.. it smelled amazing…. The flavor did not impress me.. But it is only 1 loaf and the rest of the people here are not as picky as I!

    Dinner- Still in my jammies since I have not wanted to go out…. Reheated the leftover potatoes- fried them crispier…My son helped me make corn dog muffins… Sliced up a package of hot dogs and made homemade corn muffins.. made a 12 ct regular size pan and a 12 ct mini muffin pan.. Kids loved it.. husband not so much! lol Every Day cannot be gourmet!

    • Karen J says

      Yes to electric roasters! I bought it at a thrift store a few years ago for $12. I only use it once or twice a year as that’s about the only time I cook something large enough, but it’s so worth it. I love how it frees up the oven for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve also made two pork shoulders at a time in it to make pulled pork for a party. Your beef roast sounds delicious!

  17. Terry calkins says

    The leftovers are out of control in the fridge again. I microwaved a potato for hubby to make his hash browns for breakfast. Served it to him with eggs and apple fritters. I had leftover rice that I made into ham fried rice. Put the rest of the rice out for the chickens. Took Mom to the doc for her wellness check. I took her the remaining apple fritters and pumpkin muffins. Stopped at the store on the way home for milk, cottage cheese, Friday freebie of fruit coctail, shredded cheese for tacos. Total spent 5.77
    Lunch I made a grilled sandwich from leftover ham and leftover egg salad. Had leftover onion rings with it. Hubby had tacos. Dinner I had bean soup. He had nachos.
    I packaged up 3 containers of bean soup for the freezer…left one serving in the fridge. Cooked a spaghetti squash from the garage storage for the chickens. Took the leftover cooked pumpkin and made pumpkin butter to use in pumpkin pie oatmeal.the recipe called for brown sugar and maple syrup. I substituted the last of a container of salted caramel. It was a great use up day!

  18. Terry calkins says

    The only good thing about high egg prices is that they don’t sell as well, then they get marked down when they get close to code. Saturday I got a five dozen flat for 2.00. I know they will be good at least 6 weeks, so we are enjoying lots of eggs now.

  19. Julie says

    Breakfast: eggs, biscuits, bacon
    Lunch: fend for yourself! Big kids made their own ramen, PB & J for the 3 y/o and myself. Hubby is complaining that I’m not being helpful in his lunch prep and keto support 😛 so that’s my plan for today, to help him get ahead. We have some ziplock lunch containers and I believe I’ll make him some meat and cheese “trays” that will be easy to grab and go.
    Dinner: keto friendly chicken parm and salad

    We have quite a few leftovers for today so it should be an easy day. Plus the weather is finally warming up after a 2 week cold snap-think we will celebrate by grilling out!

  20. Tasty says

    Monday January 8th

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, cereal fir me and we each had a cranberry sauce muffin

    L – toasted cheese for me, bagel for hubby

    S – cabbage rolls (freezer), carrots (freezer) with rutabaga for me (freezer) and Brussels sprouts for hubby

  21. Mona says

    Monday 1/8

    Breakfast – Oatmeal

    Lunch – Chicken noodle soup

    Dinner – Farfalle w/sausage & veggies

    • Mona says

      Sunday 1/7

      Breakfast – Oatmeal

      Lunch – Turkey sandwiches

      Dinner – Baked, cod, baked potatoes & carrot and peas

  22. Alice E says


    B – Oats, eggs, toast and hot tea – late
    L – Tomato Soup
    D – Pasta Salad, l/o black eyed pea salad, apples


    B – Baked eggs, WW toast and hot tea
    L – H took PB sandwich, I ate out with other volunteers at pizza place
    D – l/o meatloaf, potatoes and broccoli for him, I wasn’t hungry after pigging out on small pizza and had l/o pasta salad later

    a group of the volunteers I work with on Mondays frequently go out for a late lunch. It is a togetherness thing that started after one of us unexpectedly lost her husband last fall. It has been a really cool and fun thing.

    • Tasty says

      I have found the friendships that come out of volunteering are sp special!

  23. Pat says

    Jessica–Hope you’re on the road to recovery! Is your daughter better?
    Jan 7th
    Breakfast–Husband made an omelet using leftover veggies from the fridge. There was probably some meat as well. I had pb toast when I got home from work.
    Lunch–He had the rest of the vegetable beef soup and toast and a cutie. I skipped.
    Dinner–Baked tilapia, Jessica’s creamy rice pilaf, steamed broccoli and a breadstick.
    Jan 8th
    Breakfast–we had our regular breakfasts,
    Lunch–prepared lunch from the freezer with roasted almonds and a yogurt for snacking. I grabbed a cheese stick and a cutie.
    Dinner was taco salad with black beans and chicken. cuties and bread sticks
    I went over my $50 budget for the week, but it’s ok–alot of the things I bought will last a month or more, I spent $61.58. Unless there is a sale on potatoes I don’t plan on going to the grocery this week. We have everything we need. Yay!!.

    • My daughter seems to have bounced back faster than my husband did and certainly faster than I am. I’m hoping it bodes well for the other kids if they get it.

  24. Laurie in CA says

    Day 7
    B – Hubs had a protein shake, I had nuts and tangerine
    L – BBQ salmon, roasted cauliflower, brown rice for me, baked potato for hubs
    D – hummus and veggies for me, nuts for hubs

    Day 8
    B – ate out as we were doing an errand for a relative that took waaay longer than expected
    L – we weren’t hungry
    D – meatloaf, garlic green beans, baked sweet potato for me, baked potato for hubs

  25. Stephanie says

    Yesterday was a bit odd as the kids school and daycare closed mid day so I had to leave work to go get them. All of 1/4 inch (if that) of slush. Then they were home, so our dinner plans changed, as typically they and my husband go to his parents for dinner Tuesday.

    Me: Steel cut oats with banana and some peanut butter
    Kid 1: The very last of his “junk” cereal from Christmas – now he’s sad.
    Kid 2: Kix that she threw on the floor, blackberries

    Me: Lipton soup after coming home and leaving my lunch at work
    Kids: Both ate at school/daycare

    Me: Steamed mussels with kale, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives, with some pasta. Really easy and good.
    Kids: They didn’t want my planned dinner, and I hadn’t planned on them being home, so they got the last of the chicken nuggets and some plain ravioli, as well as carrots and clementines. In typical fashion, Kid 1 complained about everything and Kid 2 ate.
    My husband still ate with his parents.

    Snacks – Ate the rest of the brownies – so glad they are out of the house now.

  26. Laurie Decker says

    Day 7 & 8

    Sunday- 1/7
    B- The usual- Oatmeal for both of us
    L- Soup for Hubs and cheese and crackers for me
    D- Whole chicken in the rotisserie, rice for him, and green beans from the freezer
    Monday- 1/8
    B- Hard cooked egg for me and cream of wheat and a sweet roll for Hubs
    L- Bless the man that can eat the same things over and over and over. Yep. Soup again even tho I told him we having Pink Bean Soup for dinner! Lunch for me was a Cara Cara orange and a slice of french bread
    D- Pink Bean Soup and garlic bread. Delicious!

  27. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    Jessica, sure hope your family is finally on the mend. Rough times for all of y’all for sure.


    B: toast, egg, coffee

    L: more leftover soup. It’s so cold outside so it still hits the spot.

    D: pasta with spaghetti sauce (freezer), LO slaw, broccoli and garlic bread made from LO hot dog buns from freezer. I thought they were fine, but for my picky husband, not so much!


    B: grits, fried egg, coffee

    L: More of the LO soup

    D: ham, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, Waldorf salad. I’d planned to make baked apples since it was still so cold I didn’t want any cold food. But when I checked, I only had one very small apple which would not have fed us both if baked. So I repeated the Waldorf salad from earlier in the week. Once I added celery, pineapple and nuts to that pitiful apple, there was plenty for two big servings.

    Here it is Tuesday, and we are still out of school here on the coast of NC. Temps are in the 40s so melting has finally begun. We still had 5 inches of snow this morning in our backyard and our side roads are icy. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will-AT LAST-be a typical day for us. Our students have been out of school since noon of last Wed, and the first day back from Christmas break (1/2) was a two hour delay so about 9 hours of school since mid December. Not sure when we will make up all of this school. As one of my fellow southerners here pointed out here, we’re just not used to all this! My friend (a former Michigander) posted this from Facebook: Weather Warning! Southerners are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Northerners, you will need your big coat. 🙂 So true!!

    • Stephanie M. says

      LOL that’s so funny Lynn, but probably has some truth to it. Up here in the North we are so used to snow storms. It’s just part of winter here. Most people have their own snow blowers so they don’t have to shovel. We usually have bags of salt on hand to melt the ice and when we have five inches of snow or even more that’s usually only one day off for the kiddos, two if it’s around 10 inches. The streets are always plowed into the night and life goes on. So by now maybe the snow isn’t so enjoyable to you anymore but it’s not that common. For us, I’m sure we have much more to go before this winter is over. Stay warm. 🙂

      • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

        I thought it was funny too. We are so ill prepared for snow and ice here. No shovels, blowers, salt, snow tires, snow chains, snow plows, “big coats” or even items for play. As a child I slid on the few available hills on a trash can lid and my toddler son sat in a broiler pan for a sled. Yesterday I saw kids going down a sloped driveway with their boogie boards. Yep, that’s how sledding is done at the beach! We got the word that it’s a 2 hour delay for school tomorrow. Maybe Thursday will be a “typical” day! I must say, despite the absolutely.frigid.cold, it has been beautiful. I live back in some woods and it is still lovely with all our un-melted snow.

        • Stephanie M. says

          Well, enjoy the snow; I love it when we get a snow storm especially during the day and on the weekend. It’s so cozy and nice to watch it snowing outside and to have a big pot of soup cooking on the stove and hot cocoa ready for when hubby gets inside from plowing it. It’s also nice to stay in pajamas and watch movies all day. He doesn’t love the snow. He hates it. We have three very small dogs and usually the first thing he has to do is make a path for them to the yard so they can use the “facilities”. LOL Then he has to plow the driveway and the sidewalk in front of our house. Then there is an older gentleman who lives alone across the street and he plows his driveway too. But even though it makes for a cozy weekend, it’s also a pain in the neck after a while since we get snow quite often across the whole winter. We can get snow into March but by then, it melts quickly because we get some warmer days during that month as well.

          It all depends on where you live how prepared you need to be. Here in the north we don’t often get hurricanes accept once in a great while a tropical storm but rarely. So unlike people who live in hurricane central, we don’t have to have bags with non perishable food ready and evacuation routes. I remember when I was in South Carolina last year, we saw a sign on the road that said “evacuation route.” That’s not something we see here. When we had Tropical Storm Sandy, Paul and I bought a portable generator just two days before and it was the last one in any of the local Home Depots. But we were so happy we had it even though we only used it twice. It saved all of my food in the freezer and while everyone in the neighborhood lost power for days, I had roast beef in the oven. LOL But as far as hurricanes, we are not as prepared as you for that since it is not something we ordinarily deal with.

          • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

            Stephanie, that’s a good comparison, although thankfully we don’t usually have hurricanes with the frequency of winter storms. Yes, the evacuation routes lead people out of harm’s way-those that leave. Many of us “diehards” don’t. Generators are a wonderful thing and many people here have them, as we often lose power due to hurricanes, nor’easters and just random occurrences. We got our house generator installed after we lost power for 8+ hours when a boat dragging its anchor took out the power cable to our island! Made us realize how vulnerable we were. During this winter storm some people here lost power, but for less than a day. Thankfully it is all now behind us. The last stubborn ice and snow is gone today (Friday) after 9 days.

    • Alice E says

      I agree with Stephanie, it is what you are used to and what you are prepared for. I did live briefly in Georgia briefly one winter decades ago. Our towns and cities prepare every year for multiple storms and have trucks to plow and spread sand and salt. Homeowners also automatically prepare, because year after year we need it and people have learned how to drive and cope. When you haven’t grown up with knowing and learning how it is a much different story. Our schools also expect and plan for ‘bad weather days’. For areas that aren’t prepared it is a much more difficult process and always a good idea not to venture out if you don’t know how to cope with winter driving.

      Hope you are back to normal soon. I’ll admit that though I have coped with winter weather and still could, if it is bad out I stay home now that I am retired. My husband works, but his four-wheel drive copes better with the weather.

      • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

        Alice, I absolutely agree! I do not need to be out in this! Once (40 years ago) I was caught in snow and ice and about went down an embankment. Since that scary time, I stay home. I’ve ventured out only once, with my husband, in his 4 wheel drive in the past week. We went to the post office and back to mail a necessary item since we hadn’t been getting mail. Being at home has been great for the pantry challenge!

    • Danielle L Zecher says

      Did it finally warm up for you, Lynn? This afternoon was warm. I didn’t even have to wear a coat when I left for lunch. It was wonderful! I love what your friend said on Facebook. I always tell people the South Carolina Native sticker on my car means it stays parked during the snow. I really hope we don’t see any more snow or ice this winter!

      • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

        Danielle, we got up to the low 40s today but may make it to 50 tomorrow. Hooray! We aren’t dipping below freezing tonight so that too will help with the melting. Still have a lovely snowy vista out my back yard. I even went and checked just now to see how much has melted-not much! But soon, very soon.

  28. Laura in NH says

    I can’t remember which day I last posted, so here’s how yesterdsy, 1/8 went down. We ate HB eggs for breakfast, brought chicken salad on wheat for sandwiches with fruit and carrot sticks for lunch to the ski area, snacks in the afternoon were random, mostly fruit I think, and then a lasagna pulled from the freezer with garlic bread for dinner.

    I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, a couple of days sooner than I’d hoped to, and spent $115 on fresh food (produce, meat and dairy). I also spent $20 on household items that we were out of and actually needed – toothpaste, floss picks, hand soap, cat litter and white vinegar. I’ve spent about $230 in food so far which is much more than I’d like to have by this date. (((Sigh))) my original goal was $400 max and I know we’ll hit that. I recognized today though that one way I can stretch things is to make my kids meals more intentional. Other than dinner we tend to have a fend for yourself policy which often results in everyone being hungry at different times and the kitchen always being open. I’m going to to try to be more firm with the kids about eating meals instead of grazing on snacks. I find this to be one of our non-academic homeschooling challenges. Their snack choices are nutritious but they are ALWAYS eating!!!

  29. was so planning to start this again and got swept up in dealing with everything with the new house we are buying.
    So I am starting right now.Last night was one pot green beans, ham and potatoes and white corn bread, cherry pie and choc chip cookie on top of a brownie mix I had bought before Thanksgiving. Tonights is choice of last night’s leftovers or the pasta and meat sauce from the night before. Tomorrow is beef roast and root veggies as the son that didn’t make it home for Christmas due to work is coming for the day. I did buy a small roast (on sale and with gift card) to add to the other small roast I had in the freezer to feed the four of us.

    Goal is to eat the pantry down as much as possible before we move to the new house this summer.

  30. Terry calkins says

    Breakfast. Another attempt to get the leftovers under control. Hubby had hash browns and eggs. I had a cheese omelet with onions and red peppers from the freezer. Neither of us could finish. The dog got the rest. Lunch. I had a green salad with ham and egg. Hubby had tacos, baked beans and cottage cheese.
    Dinner will be the last of the bean soup. Thawed out some tomato soup for tomorrow. The leftovers are about under control again. Time to wipe out the fridge

  31. Laura C says

    January 9-The rain we had last night froze on the roads so kids were home from school AGAIN. Ended up throwing the whole day off.
    Bfast- muffins and poptart for kids. I buy poptarts once a year if I have a coupon. I ended up just having coffee.
    Lunch-we grabbed chicfila on the way to a playdate with friends.
    Dinner-leftovers. Had planned on cooking but got home too late for what I had planned.

    • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

      Laura, I’m right there with you re: school-at home! We’ve still got icy roads and snow as well. Where are you located?

      • Laura C says

        I’m in Richmond, Virginia. I grew up vacationing on the outer banks and my in laws have a vacation home in Kitty Hawk!

        • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

          I have lots of local friends who have “migrated” south from the Richmond area:) Despite highs in the low 60s yesterday (Thur), at 5:00 pm the sounds were still frozen in Nags Head. We had a wee bit of ice in our driveway when I arrived home shortly thereafter. THANKFULLY, it is Glad for life to return to normal.

  32. Janet says

    Day 7, we had an easy day in the kitchen.
    B: Boiled egg and a banana for me; I do not know what anyone else had
    L: Spaghetti Bolognese (sauce from freezer), green beans, blackberries
    D: Husband and girls had brats, hummus & chips, and blueberries. We had a small piece of steak leftover so I sliced it thin over a salad with a wedge of Gouda cheese leftover from Christmas

    Day 8, school was cancelled due to an ice storm so breakfast and lunch were not what I planned, but we still used up a lot of odds and ends.

    B: Boiled egg and a banana for me; milk and cereal for dad; my teenagers skipped breakfast. They used the snow day as an opportunity to sleep in.
    L: Cube steaks, mashed potatoes, bananas
    D: Eggs, bacon, and waffles with blueberries and blackberries

    We will need to purchase a few items this weekend. We are out of onion powder and gluten free bread crumbs, which I will need to use up other items in the freezer and pantry. We will also need some fresh produce.

  33. Lesley from Alaska says

    The last few days have been a bit of a blur, been pretty busy around our house. I know that we were staying pretty well on track. I did go to Costco with my sister and managed to escape with only tortillas, eggs and popcorn-so basically a win for me. Other than that we’ve been eating at home besides dinner at the BFs moms house.

    B-Scrambled eggs and the last of the toast
    L-Leftover cauliflower “alfredo” sauce on the last of my pumpkin shaped noodles (which I was sad to finish-so darn cute)
    D-I was sick so the BF picked up a box of mac ‘n cheese for us (my sick comfort food)

    I’m mostly better today, though did hit the store at lunch to pick up a loaf of bread, pack of muenster cheese and 3 soups to get me through the last of my sickness. Hopefully dinner will not be soup or grilled cheese for us.

  34. Felicia says

    Tuesday – JAN 9

    Breakfast – oatmeal and hot tea

    Lunch – slice of leftover Stromboli and more hot tea!

    Dinner – leftover sliced pork roast, green beans, black beans with salsa and brown rice, gravy for the pork A box of vanilla pudding from the pantry to make dessert.

    I roasted pumpkin seeds but I burned them. 🙁

  35. Joa in IA says


    B-. Protein shake and tea for me, Hubby had oatmeal. Boys took protein shakes with them.

    L- Popcorn, green pepper sticks and strawberry protein shake for me. Hubby had protein shake and grapes. Boys made Mac and cheese. They usually come home for lunch from school.

    S-. Corn crack dip with tortilla chips for 3 of us. Hubby not sure.

    Supper- Maid rites (aka sloppy Joes we call them Maid rites here in Iowa), pickles, sliced cheese, potatoes chips with dip.

    Boys had ice cream cake after supper.

    I did do a little shopping at Aldis. Bought odds and ends that ended up costing $53.10. Milk, 2 chocolate milk 1/2 gallons (hubby drinks more of it than any of us), 4 shredded cheeses, wheat thins, eggs, grapes, greens peppers, grape tomatoes, 2 tomato sauces, 2 alfredo sauces, spaghetti sauce, 2 tomato soup, 2 bags tortilla chips, fruit snacks (son#1 really wanted some haven’t any in years), pepperoni, 2 chili seasoning packets. Total spent this month is $65.04. Our normal grocery bill a month is $800-900.

  36. Cindy says

    Day 7
    Breakfast: oj, coffee & cranberry walnut bread w/cream cheese; hubby – the usual + cranberry walnut bread
    Lunch: NYE leftovers of baguette & cold cuts, hummus & carrots, Granny Smith apple
    Dinner: homemade egg noodles using stock & chicken from the freezer & romaine salad (we’ve had no issues with the romaine that we purchased from Costco)
    Dessert: more Chrstmas candy leftovers

    Day 8
    Breakfast: more cranberry walnut bread and coffee; hubby the usual of cereal, oj & coffee
    Lunch: cleaning out MIL’s freezer: Innovasian s&s chicken, vegetable fried rice & mandarin orange
    Dinner: spaghetti & homemade sauce using frozen garden Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions & garlic from the fridge and 3 cheese garlic toast again from MIL’s freezer

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