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January New Year Pantry Challenge - Page 12

post #221 of 224
Look what I found in my cupboard - extracts!


I need some ideas for using these. We're eating primarily from the pantry and I want to keep things interesting.

No gluten, dairy, or soy, but I'm good at converting regular recipes and even cooking without recipes. Also nothing super sugary - we mostly don't use cane sugar, so using them as frosting flavorings wouldn't work for us. Mostly I'm looking for inspiration here.

I can't buy new ingredients to support this venture. I do have basic baking supplies. I also have spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. Raspberries, black raspberries, apples, oranges, dried raisins and cranberries and apricots, but no lemons or lemon juice. I have whole almonds but not sliced. I do not have any cocoa. I can make almond milk and I also have coconut milk.

My family would probably not go for me simply substituting any of these flavorings for the usual vanilla in muffins - I need a more exciting package. LOL.

Anyone want to give it a go?
post #222 of 224
And an update - I am trying to feed us completely from pantry, but I did go to the store a couple of days ago. I bought eggs, brown rice flour, vanilla, more apples for the kids, and a loaf of bread for DH (I no longer bake gluten bread, he doesn't like GF bread, and he's home all the time - he eats cheaper options if he can make sandwiches!)

Oh, and I totally forgot, my mom gave us a $100 TJ's GC, which I used to stock the pantry further and get some things I can't get nearby - canned baked beans (DH's favorite "fast food"), organic hot dogs (kids' favorite "fast food" - I guess this was a kind of treat), peanuts for picky DS, bread for DH, multivitamins (nutrition insurance - I figured my mom would want me to get something like that), Oxyclean, and toilet paper. It was very strategic shopping and I only spent 43c more than my GC.

At TJ's I resisted the urge to buy anything sweet or treaty, and I didn't even buy avocadoes. I feel like I practiced tremendous restraint!

I will need to buy eggs on an ongoing basis, but I think we can manage without other stuff for a good long while. We'll see.
post #223 of 224
This pantry challenge has been great for my kitchen. My freezer only has in it what I will use for the next week or two--frozen veggies and fruits and a couple lunch containers of leftovers for dh to pack in his lunches. Oh, and some ice cream that we forgot to eat on the 4-yr old's bday last week.

My pantry still has some odds and ends that I haven't figured out what to do with, but for the most part only has what I will use in the next couple weeks as well. I even got rid of a bunch of cookbooks that were in there!

As a result of this pantry shopping, my grocery bill has actually gone down. Not a huge amount, but I spent about 2/3 what I would usually spend. It's the gluten-free pastas and baked goods that get me the most, but they're so much easier than trying to find the time to make my own.

Are we going to continue this into February? I need the inspiration!
post #224 of 224
Thread Starter 
So I continued to go to the grocery etc for various things- when we got back from vacation I needed to go! The result- we have an organized pantry and were able to help a few families out a few times this month with meals. Also tonight, we normally have home made pizza- but we are having leftovers to get rid of them! When I do these challenges or big time menu planning (I keep a calendar to pencil in what we will eat) I have a day every 10 days or so where we have to have leftovers for dinner or all 3 meals. So tonight we have a leftover buffet of:

refried beans and tortillas
big big salad w whatever we have in the fridge

Tomorrow morning we go to pick up our side of beef.

Some of Next week's plan
mushroom lasagna (saw on barefoot contessa)
beef stew;
chicken kabobs

I am glad we were able to help several people achieve or make a dent in their goals whether it was save money, clean out the pantry etc!
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