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Summer Pantry Challenge - Stock up, Use it Up, Preserve It to Save Money - Page 2

post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by HydeParkB View Post
I am SO WITH YOU on this. Unfortunately my cravings are usually for JUNK.
Yes, definitely! I have been eating these processed gluten free toaster waffles daily but they really add up! Not to mention I would rather not eat stuff out of a box. I have a bunch of stuff that I need to eat here anyway. I am actually *really* glad that I was already in the mindset that I was not going grocery shopping until next payday (already picked up fruit and lunch stuff with my $30 for the next 2 weeks). It turns out we don't have any $ left for groceries until next payday anyway after an unexpected expense
post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie1972 View Post
The last challenge was great for me so I am in. I am down to about half what I had and keeping the grocery budget in line.

Anyone know what I can do with a lb of uncased raw chorizo sausage? I was thinking it would be good freid with onions and peppers and cooked with some red beans for red beans and rice but I don't know. I stuck it in the freezer and need to use it.
You have described what we call gallo pinto and you can make it with red beans or black beans. We fry the sausage and onions, add the other vegie (peppers or celery or whatever is around), toss in the cooked beans and rice near the end. We season it with some fresh garlic, salt, and cilantro (opt.). We also fry some eggs on the side. Yummy! My DH often eats this for breakfast.
post #23 of 112
I'm in! I love pantry challenges. I need to redo the inventory this weekend while DH and DS are out of town. We are still eating meals I prepared ahead of time and froze in April. But I have a lot of misc. in the upstairs freezer that I lose track of. And for some reason my pantry cupboard is always overflowing but I feel like there is nothing to eat in it.
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Any ideas on whole frozen tomatoes though? It was part of my experimenting on freezing last summer and now I have no clue what to do with them.
Amy to the rescue!!!...Get a larger stock pot. Pour olive oil in the bottom and put on a lower heat. Chop or grind up a few onions and garlic and brown a bit.

Take the defrosted tomato and grind up OR just dump it frozen and whole in the pot and let the heat defrost it and mix with the onion/garlic oil mixture. When defrosted and simmering, add fresh chopped up basil or dried basil, oregano, salt pepper and a tablespoon of sugar.

I usually take my hand blender and grind up the tomato at this point but you can grind it up before hand. Simmer for 1-2 hours.
Presto, you have homemade sauce!

Serve hot with whatever, but taste it to see what you need to add. If acid tasting add a bit of sugar.
Once you cool it down, you can fridge it up to 5 days, freeze it into portions whatever. YUM!!!

:
post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Amy to the rescue!!!...Get a larger stock pot. Pour olive oil in the bottom and put on a lower heat. Chop or grind up a few onions and garlic and brown a bit.

Take the defrosted tomato and grind up OR just dump it frozen and whole in the pot and let the heat defrost it and mix with the onion/garlic oil mixture. When defrosted and simmering, add fresh chopped up basil or dried basil, oregano, salt pepper and a tablespoon of sugar.

I usually take my hand blender and grind up the tomato at this point but you can grind it up before hand. Simmer for 1-2 hours.
Presto, you have homemade sauce!

Serve hot with whatever, but taste it to see what you need to add. If acid tasting add a bit of sugar.
Once you cool it down, you can fridge it up to 5 days, freeze it into portions whatever. YUM!!!

:

Great! Thanks!

Our dinners for the rest of the month, using only what we have in the house:
chicken strips & french fries
spaghetti
steak bites, honey carrots, twice baked potatoes
clam chowder, homemade bread
grilled chicken salads
pork chops & rice
tacos
grilled hamsteak, roasted potatoes, stir fried veggies
fish cakes, roasted green beans, pasta
post #26 of 112
we're still eating most of our pantry.. dh doesn't get his first paycheck for another 2 weeks
post #27 of 112
I want to stock up my pantry while I am still getting food stamps - things will be pretty tight once they run out - and i'm not sure when that'll be.

I don't have money to buy bins to keep beans and/or grains in...but we are vegetarian and eat both of these things a lot so I'd like to try to store them anyway?

I've been told freezing your grains/beans/flour, etc keeps the bugs away - right? Well, I live in an apartment and only have a tiny and PACKED freezer...would it still make sense to just buy smaller bags to freeze if that's all that can fit? I know the savings wont be as big, but is it still worth it to save up for hard times? Help? Thanks!
post #28 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
I don't have money to buy bins to keep beans and/or grains in...but we are vegetarian and eat both of these things a lot so I'd like to try to store them anyway?
I keep my beans in glass jars - reused spaghetti, saurkraut, mayo, etc. Plastic would probably work fine too. I have been able to get jars and lids at the recycling center. You can use cardboard flats to make them a little more stackable.

I would say it is worth it to save up. I usually buy 5 lb bags of beans when i see them on sale.

We haven't had problems with bugs in our beans - it's usually the flour and dried peppers.
post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
I want to stock up my pantry while I am still getting food stamps - things will be pretty tight once they run out - and i'm not sure when that'll be.

I don't have money to buy bins to keep beans and/or grains in...but we are vegetarian and eat both of these things a lot so I'd like to try to store them anyway?

I've been told freezing your grains/beans/flour, etc keeps the bugs away - right? Well, I live in an apartment and only have a tiny and PACKED freezer...would it still make sense to just buy smaller bags to freeze if that's all that can fit? I know the savings wont be as big, but is it still worth it to save up for hard times? Help? Thanks!
Are you on WIC too? I have a nice dry bean stash from our WIC coupons (I totally prefer canned beans).

A few months ago we were getting $400 a month in FS so we stocked up then. Now we are getting $100 a month and DH just started his new job (and is working out of state) so we have been living off our food storage, and using the FS for stuff like soymilk and fresh fruit/veggies.
post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
I want to stock up my pantry while I am still getting food stamps - things will be pretty tight once they run out - and i'm not sure when that'll be.

I don't have money to buy bins to keep beans and/or grains in...but we are vegetarian and eat both of these things a lot so I'd like to try to store them anyway?
This won't be a fast fix, but if you buy the biggest things of pickles you can find, then you'll have large glass jars for storage once you finish them. Not every store sells them, but Mt. Olive pickles (our favorites) come in 1 gallon jars, and Vlasic pickles come in a bit smaller jars. Walmart usually sells the big sizes.
post #31 of 112
Oh, man! I hadn't thought of that. There is NO WAY we'd ever eat that many pickles. I would love to have them for flour. Way cheaper than the apothcary ones I was eyeing, too.
post #32 of 112
Awesome! I am in!

I reorganized my spices/seasonings, all of my baking supplies, and my pantry (everything except canned goods - that's in a seperate cabinet and I still need to do that) and threw away old "bad" stuff and have it where I can see what I have better now!

I also want to inventory my regular freezer and my deep freeze.
I'm really wanting to cook up and re-freeze things.... for example, I have a bunch of odds and ends meats in my freezer (leftover from when we did the Angel Food boxes...not meats we'd normally buy, but I'd freeze them from the box). I want to cook the meat up as an entree and then freeze in individual portions to reheat for quick lunches OR freeze in family sized portions for meals.
If I don't do it, the meat will just sit there forever. I hatttttttte cooking from frozen unless it's in the crockpot. lol


We're trying to eat more at home. We've been bad and eating out WAY too much but it has to stop - too out of control
post #33 of 112
So this week I need to:

I put my produce/dairy delivery on hold this week to use up what we have. Looking thru my pantry shelves, I have a ton of grains. So I need to start using that up.

I have a ham hock in the freezer and a vat of black beans so I am thinking black bean soup this week. YUM.

Tonight, burgers (from meat stash) and I have a few potatoes in the fridge so I will slice those into french fries and fry those up. We have a noon party today so instead of dinner there, we will have dinner here later on.

A couple of rotton bannanas will make an excellent bread this week.

I want to make up a batch of choco chip cookies. Normally I bake about 2 dozen and freeze 2 dozen in cookie shape to take out later to bake.

A couple of ways to use up a bits of this and that- a salad or pizza. We will do both this week.

Also, I have a beef brisket in the freezer. Any ideas how to cook and serve? I have had it several times but never made it.
post #34 of 112
So dh brought a huge bag of hamburger buns home from work that someone misordered. I'm thinking alot of hamburgers and bbq meats with those.

And my mom gave me a ton of frozen fish and 3 big bags of hashbrowns. Instead of emptying my freezers, they're getting fuller!
post #35 of 112
I SOOOO need to do this. I have no idea what we have anymore, but I know it is a lot, and somehow we never have anything to eat. Being pregnant and having cravings/adversions and piles of morning sickness that I cannot get over makes it really difficult, and we've been spending about 2-3x as much on groceries as normal in the past month.

To boot- we're koshering our kitchen, and need to eat up/get rid of anything not kosher this month.

My goals are to have a list of what I have, stop wasting foods- especially produce, and use up lots of things. I want to go to the store a lot less often, but I don't know if that is possible right now.....
post #36 of 112
Thread Starter 
I read a tip that I am starting to use in our refrigerator.

At the stores, the older stuff should be moved to the front of the shelf with the newer stock behind it. So I am starting to move the older leftovers to the front of the refrigerator, in hopes that we grab that first. I didn't tell my husband about this plan - I'm hoping to get him to grab for the older stuff without thinking about it.

It worked for me. This morning, after moving the green tomato pickles to the front of the refrigerator, I just grabbed the jar to finish up at work.
post #37 of 112
Anyone have a dehydrator and not afraid to use it?

The growing season is just beginning here, and I'm wondering if I should start dehydrating chives and kale to use this winter. What would you do?
post #38 of 112
This challenge is working in more ways than one! Even though we have eaten several meals away from home this past week with holiday parties etc, we are making strides in getting the fridge spacious.

Its also caught on with the whole house. There is a rummage sale at a local church so I went thru all the toys etc and cleaned out a ton of stuff.

So I am eating thru the different stuff in the crisper and threw out a few jars of this and that. Its almost ready to wipe out the shelves.

We are eating a tray of mannicotti I have in the freezer, swedish meatballs, and risotto one night as well. I also need to make a bannana bread and choco chip cookies again.
post #39 of 112
I am still on track... suprising to me I also am reusing a big almond container from BJ's for snacks for the counter.

Anyone ever redecorate one of those> Ugly and I wish the lid were a different color... but I like the kids seeing the options instead of grazing.

Plus, I needed counter jars and these were cost effective... read: FREE!
post #40 of 112
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