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January New Year Pantry Challenge - Page 8

post #141 of 224
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Okay, so I mentioned before that we are getting our side of beef in about a month. I updated my inventory in the meat freezer and rearranged, so I have about 5 cubic feet right now freed up. I need to free up about 1 more cubic foot. I have 38lbs. of very lean ground beef from a steer butchered over the summer and I have 16lbs. of sausage. I also have lamb, fish, a couple of roasts still from the butchering a year ago (plus one that will be for supper tonight), 4 whole organic chickens (plus one that will be Sunday dinner) and 26 chicken breasts.

Working with these meats, I need some yummy ideas for getting rid of about 10 - 15 lbs. of meat over the next month. This feels like a chore and I am totally uninspired even though I love to cook. Any ideas? Last gasp effort will be to can the chicken and beef, but I already have dozens of pints and don't really need to add because we rotate those less often.

I have absolutely no room at all in my other two freezers, so I can't move this stuff around. Help!!
DH gave me some ideas after I read your post. I can share any of my recipes. He also asked if you are in IL and if we could bring the truck over and take some of this off your hands LOL! He even said we would cook it all and bring half back for you.
His ideas:
Chicken parmasion
beef stew
chicken n dumplings
beef taco meat
roast beef sandwhiches.
post #142 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I have 38lbs. of very lean ground beef from a steer butchered over the summer and I have 16lbs. of sausage. I also have lamb, fish, a couple of roasts still from the butchering a year ago (plus one that will be for supper tonight), 4 whole organic chickens (plus one that will be Sunday dinner) and 26 chicken breasts.
Chili - you could always can the extras
Lasagna
Pizzas/Calzones
Moussaka
Zuppa Toscana
Pasta Fazool
Jambalaya
Apricot-Mustard Chicken
Chicken Tagine
Roast Chicken w/Sausage Stuffing


I just made a really delicious stoup this evening using this recipe. I used only 2 cans of beans, no peppers, but ended up using a quart of chicken stock and subbed butter for the margarine.

We'll be having the leftovers tomorrow.
post #143 of 224
We are still plugging away with the challenge. Made some soup last night, which used up a lot of odds and ends and am making stuffing now. Tonight, we'll have baked chicken and whatever leftover veggies we have as sides. I also have some frozen blueberries that I'd like to use up, so I'm thinking of trying a vegan lemon-blueberry muffin recipe that I found awhile back.

We did go to our local grocery store yesterday-since we're doing the challenge, we really only needed produce and dairy, but while we were there organic granola was at a rock-bottom price so we stocked up. DH loves this stuff for breakfast, so he has enough to last into the spring at 1/4 the price I'd normally pay.
post #144 of 224
DH was just laid off, and we can pay our bills and make it work as long as we spend only minimally on groceries. So I'm here for the pantry challenge.

I am taking a break from inventorying my pantry - my garage is about 20F right now and my fingers are chilly!

I would say we have a well-stocked pantry in all areas, but this will be a true test of how accurate that assessment is and how far it will take us.

I feel like with DH's layoff, it's like the music just stopped, and wherever I am is where I am. I'm excited to finally put my preparations to the test. Trying to think as positive as I can.
post #145 of 224
Thanks for the suggestions. Some very yummy ideas! I've written them all down and we'll decide today what we'll do this week. Dh (who is diabetic) will be gone, so we can have all the pasta we want this week!
post #146 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
DH was just laid off, and we can pay our bills and make it work as long as we spend only minimally on groceries. So I'm here for the pantry challenge.

I am taking a break from inventorying my pantry - my garage is about 20F right now and my fingers are chilly!

I would say we have a well-stocked pantry in all areas, but this will be a true test of how accurate that assessment is and how far it will take us.

I feel like with DH's layoff, it's like the music just stopped, and wherever I am is where I am. I'm excited to finally put my preparations to the test. Trying to think as positive as I can.
This is what it is all about! You are going to be fine. I know you've done a great job prepping. Let us know how you are doing.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the job loss. Is he in an industry that will allow him to find a job quickly? Sending good vibes his way. :
post #147 of 224
Tonight's dinner is hamsteak from the freezer, potatoes we picked last fall and whatever veggies are in the freezer, probably my green beans I froze last summer.

I'm also making broccoli cheese soup, banana nut muffins (from what I have in the house) and some bread today. The next week's menu is mostly from what I have on hand, I did pick up a few things though.
post #148 of 224
Yesterday for lunch we had all the leftovers from the week. It was nice to use everything up and not have to throw it away later. For dinner we had homemade pizza. We will have those leftovers for lunch today. For dinner tonight we will have spaghetti, I'll make some rolls as well. I have some blueberries in the freezer I should use up so I'll probably make blueberry muffins and dh can take them in his lunch this week.
post #149 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
This is what it is all about! You are going to be fine. I know you've done a great job prepping. Let us know how you are doing.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the job loss. Is he in an industry that will allow him to find a job quickly? Sending good vibes his way. :
Thanks, velochic - your well wishes mean a lot to me. I'm having a hard time feeling good about this. Or...maybe it's because I'm down to my last few servings of cocoa (which I will not be replacing) and I'm rationing the last two gallons of maple syrup (we don't use sugar). LOL. So maybe there's some stimulant withdrawal going on here, too!!

I have no idea what DH's job outlook will be. He is a developer/programmer right now for an online game company. He also has significant experience with database architecture. I am afraid the market is probably glutted with people with similar experience. On the other hand, he is smart and resourceful and has always managed to find a job when he needed one, even when the market was tough, so I'm hoping.

I'd like to start a discussion here about eating exclusively (or 99%) from pantry for an extended period in tough times.

Has anyone here eaten only out of a well-stocked pantry for a number of months in a row? We'd like to keep our grocery bill as close to zero as possible for as long as we can.

I know it will vary based on what is in one's pantry... I think I could use some ideas for how best to ration what is there. We eat pretty frugally and we eat pantry foods most of the time anyway, but it's going to be hard not replacing something when we run out.

I wonder if I can get through 2-3 months buying nothing but eggs? I bet I can. I think that is a good goal for me. After that, I will need to replenish some things, but probably not much.

How do I know when my kids are really hungry and need more food, vs.when they're just wanting more because they're used to eating more? I am sure we are used to eating more meat at a sitting than we need to.

I would love some BTDT ideas and encouragement.
post #150 of 224
I inventoried my freezer yesterday and here is what's in there right now:

1 1/2 bags chocolate chips
Half bag blueberries
1 loaf GF bread (will probably thaw and make crockpot stuffing this week)
3 cups snow (no, really! my 7- year old saved it from the one time this winter it snowed/iced here)
3 1/2 boxes veggie sausage
about 19 cups black-eyed peas--holy crap, had no idea there were so many!
1 gallon black beans
About 19 cups pinto beans--again, whoa!
about 2 cups navy beans
2 bags strawberries (will use a couple cups this afternoon for a smoothie)
1 cup pizza sauce
half loaf gluten bread
2 packs GF tortillas
1 almost-all-there package of Vegan mozzarella
1 lb. corn
1 lb. peas+ 1/2 pack
2 lunch-size containers of black eyed peas
1 pack cranberries
about 2 cups GF breadcrumbs
homemade vanilla frosting
1 pack GF hotdog buns
lunch-size container of black bean+corn soup
1 lunch-size container lentil soup
1 lunch-size container dahl+rice
about 2 cups lady creamer beans
1 bag edamame
1 bag pineapple chunks
dozen falafel patties (still cooling, will add later)
8 apple pie muffins (also still cooling)

Now I need to actually use some of that stuff, especially the black eyed peas and pinto beans. I think it's time for soup!

As for the pantry, I've been slowly using up the bits and pieces I've found in there. Also, I got rid of 21 cookbooks, that has cleared up some space in the pantry! Still have 30something, but that's more manageable.
post #151 of 224
I went to the grocery yesterday and got some produce, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas etc, only spent about $30 which is unheard of.

Last night we had Ham steaks, potato flakes and veggies.
Breakfast was eggs and toast
Lunch was Chef-boy-r-dee
Dinner is left over ham

Tomorrow
Breakfast god-forsaken poptarts
Lunch PBJ
Dinner Pizza and Salad

Tuesday
Breakfast Cereal
Lunch Grilled cheese and soup
Dinner Chicken and Pasta with salad and rolls
post #152 of 224
Hi!!! Joining in here... I had wanted to build up my pantry a little bit more, but then I had to face facts -- I simply have too much stock for my storage space and need to clean house! Plus, DH's work hours got cut, so that's a motivator as well.

I have a couple of meals planned for this week so far that will use up a few pantry items. Tonight will be meat loaf (ground turkey from the freezer), breaded okra (also from the freezer, and mashed potatoes (the powdered kind that I don't really care for but had been living in my pantry since it was free after a coupon). Tomorrow will be taco rice casserole - more ground turkey, canned black beans, canned corn, canned tomatoes, brown rice, and cheese from the freezer.

I did buy produce, dairy and eggs at the grocery store today. They had some holiday baking items on clearance. I bought 2 2-packs of pre-made pie crusts for $.50 each. I was thinking about making a chicken pot pie from pantry ingredients. Maybe some canned chicken, canned mixed vegetables, and a white sauce as "gravy"? Anyone have a good recipe for chicken pot pie from the pantry?
post #153 of 224
Myeh. Yesterday afternoon, DH pulled out the brand new gallon of milk I bought Friday, and said, "Did you know the expiration date was the ninth?" It's my own fault, because I almost always look at expiration dates for dairy, but, for whatever reason, missed this one. :

So, still smells/looks good, but, I switched up yesterday's dinner to Mac and Cheese (planned for Wednesday) to try to use up some of the milk. Tonight, I'm going to try to make something else using milk...maybe a bread puddding (I leave for work in twenty minutes, so, no time this morning).
post #154 of 224
Thread Starter 
We will be on vacation next week so I am trying to use up fresh stuff. I only ordered 1 gallon of milk this week w my produce delivery. I also ordered the "staple" box.

Today I will make soup again since we ate all my broccoli and cheddar soup by Saturday at lunch. We will have soup tonight w casadillas. I am thinking a creamy soup and a chicken soup too. My Maggie loves soup or as she says- "Its sooo yummy mommy!!" thus the reason the cheesy broccoli soup is now gone!

Saturday it was chicken kabobs, rice, and corn on the cob that came in the produce box.

Last night we had babaganush and falaful that DH made from chick peas. Ate up the pita bread we had too. I have the leftover today, DH has the leftover chicken.
post #155 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbell View Post
I did buy produce, dairy and eggs at the grocery store today. They had some holiday baking items on clearance. I bought 2 2-packs of pre-made pie crusts for $.50 each. I was thinking about making a chicken pot pie from pantry ingredients. Maybe some canned chicken, canned mixed vegetables, and a white sauce as "gravy"? Anyone have a good recipe for chicken pot pie from the pantry?
Hi and welcome. Pretty new to this thread myself but really striving to have a better organized and more efficient pantry this year. Here's my chicken pot pie recipe:

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (or 2 15-oz cans chicken, drained)
1 cup carrot coins, cooked
1/2 cup peas
1 medium potato, peeled, diced and cooked
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1/2 packet onion soup mix
2 prepared pie crusts

Prebake pie crusts as directed on the package.
Put both cans of cream of chicken soup into a large bowl. Slowly add the chicken broth to desired consistency (I prefer it somewhat thick so I normally use about 1/2 the can). Then whisk in the onion soup mix.
Add the chicken and veggies to the creamy filling, stir to combine and then fill the pie plates.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Notes: Veggies can be canned, fresh, frozen or any combo. You can add celery or onion (or anything else). The amount listed above will fill 2 pie plates and I do not add a top when I make it in the prepared pie crust. I bake 2 at a time and then freeze one for later. I thaw it completely and then bake it at 200 for about 30 mins to warm through. Makes a great gift to take to someone with a new baby! You can make this in a large casserole dish (the recipe above will fill a 9 x 13 pan) and use 1 stick melted butter, 1 cup milk and 1 cup Bisquick for a topping.


That's the basic chicken pot pie recipe. My friend has used cream of celery and veggie stock to make it plus some leftover frozen veggies (several bags with a little bit left in them) and it turned out great. You can use beef stock and leftover pot roast to make beef pot pie or leftover turkey and chicken stock to make a turkey pot pie. It's pretty easy to look in the pantry and sub things out. I've just used salt and pepper when I ran out of onion soup mix and it tasted just fine.

HTH,
Beth
post #156 of 224
So yesterday I did banana nut muffins (bananas were in the freezer from very ripe ones that no one would eat, everything else was in the cupboard), zucchini bread (zucchini I shredded and froze last summer) and broccoli cheese soup (I did buy the broccoli but it was so worth it). And then dinner.

Tonight we're having tuna filets my mil gave me, rice from the cupboard and whatever veggies look good stir fried.
post #157 of 224
Tonight is arroz con pollo. Chicken from the freezer, shallot instead of onion, the rest of the ingredients from the pantry. Probably I will serve it with salad and chips. I even have some guacamole in the freezer to serve with it! Yea!!!

I think we'll also have spaghetti this week. Breakfast for dinner one night. Fish sticks another night. And I have two casseroles in the freezer I can thaw for dinner one night. So far this week is looking good!

We have bought a few groceries, but are doing pretty well in that area. And haven't eaten out yet this month. Usually we eat out at least 2x/week.
post #158 of 224
it's been a few days since i've checked in. today was the funeral for the father that was killed last week. it's been an emotional roller coaster of a day around here.

so tonight's dinner is spaghetti and romaine salad with grape tomatoes. easy and no thought process involved.

not sure yet what's on the menu for tomorrow. i'll figure it out tomorrow morning.
post #159 of 224
DH is working late. Will be again tomorrow. Long story short, his boss' wife tried to kill herself last night, and DH is number 2, so, for a short time, he will be in charge.

DD and I ate dinner at work. Making a caramel bread pudding now to use up the milk and bread. Tomorrow will be whatever food I dredge up, since DH will probably just use our Outback gift card to get some food at work.
post #160 of 224
Wow, I'm sorry for all the sadness people in this thread are experiencing. Thinking of you!

Tonight we had leftovers (stuffed chicken) and I made an apple pie that I am eating as I type. I canned a ton of apple pie filling, and I figured we better start using it!
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