or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Pantry/freezer Challenge! Help me use it up!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pantry/freezer Challenge! Help me use it up!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well I'm sure this has been done, but I could really use help here. I recently moved for the third time in the past year, so our food routines have been totally thrown off, and I'm trying to get into a groove cooking just for DD & myself. Seems like we end up either making soft tacos or reaching for crap. I have to spend as little as possible for the next few weeks; I will be able to get about twenty bucks worth of stuff from the farmer's market each Sunday but hopefully that will be about it. I have been totally neglecting my pantry since the move, tried making a large batch of beans and let half of it go bad, I just need some fresh ideas and accountability. There is a lot that can be done here but when I look at it all I see is what's missing! :( Here's what I've got:


tons of rice! 6 pounds of brown, ~2 lb white, 2 lb arborio, some instant brown,

also a little bit of cous cous and maybe a pound of millet.


dried: ~3lb of pinto beans, 2/3 lb small white beans, 1 lb red lentils

canned (15 oz): 1 garbanzo, 1 pinto, 1 black beans


24 oz can tomato puree & 15 oz stewed tomatoes (organic), 8 oz tomato sauce


1 lb medium shells, 1 lb orzo, 1/2 lb linguine


4 qts organic chicken stock, powdered veg bouillon


~3 lb almonds


12 oz box dried prunes, about a cup of dried cranberries


flour: ~7 lb bread, 4 lb WW, 4 lb white ww, 2.5 lb AP

~2 lb raw sugar, 2 lb powdered sugar, 1.5 lb dry nonfat milk,


tons of baking soda, 8 oz baking powder in the fridge, vanilla, um, a dozen Clif bars.


a couple jars of jam, 1/2 jar of conventional PB,


half a loaf of multigrain bread, 6 burger buns, 2 chickpea/spinach patties in the fridge,

the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips, a box of multigrain crackers,


salt, a grinder full of whole pepper, various dried herbs & spices, EVOO


large supply of radish & red clover seeds for sprouting


freezer: a whole chicken & one turkey breast (for crock pot),

2 lb tater tots, 1 1/2 lb peas, 1/2 lb corn, a couple rich appetizers, 1 qt ice cream


fridge: 1 gal milk (for yogurt or baking), wheat germ, flax meal, & more WW flour

tortillas, mango salsa, jarred pasta sauce, lettuce, cream cheese, kefir, rice milk, little bit of juice,

eggs, ketchup, bbq, mayo, soy sauce, a lime, unfortunately no vinegars except white


and a decent supply of granola. that's all I got. I'm thinking first objective, get those seeds sprouting!! I work from home, there is no excuse not to be able to take care of some sprouts. Definitely do the chicken or turkey in the crock pot (don't have a proper pan to do them in the oven & just never have), as well as a batch of beans. I also have a dutch oven, larger stock pot, two frying pans, an 8" square baking dish, loaf pan, 9" round springform pan, and muffin tray with a good supply of liners. So I have what I *need* ....help me use it efficiently. Thank you thank you!!!

post #2 of 5

I'll play - but it is assuming that you have onions and garlic and cooking oil or some sort of fat for cooking. Here's a week's worth.



Day 1

Breakfast - toast & jam & p/b + glass milk

lunch - chick pea burgers & buns + glass milk

supper - risotto (use 1/2 lb of the aborio & the chicken stock) + greens


In the evening, use 1 quart of the milk to make yoghurt for the next day


Day 2

Breakfast - yoghurt & granola

Lunch - left-over risotto + greens + glass milk

supper - roast chicken & tater tots + greens



Day 3

Breakfast - yoghurt & toast

Lunch - chicken sandwiches + glass milk

Supper - re-heated chicken, rice + greens


Day 4

Breakfast - yoghurt & granola

Lunch - bean-dip & bread (use the 1 of the cans and mix w/ some oil & vinegar & spices or crush the beans and mix w/ some BBQ sauce - maybe throw in some yoghurt?)

Supper - Fried rice w/ some corn & peas (do you have eggs?) and greens


[are you out of yoghurt yet? If so, make some more. If your fresh milk is gone, you can use 2 cups of dry milk to 1 liter of water to make a pretty good thick yoghurt]


 After supper - make some muffins w/ the dried cranberries, flour, & sugar


Day 5

Breakfast - muffins & yoghurt

Lunch - pasta & red sauce + greens

Supper - crock-pot turkey & beans + greens


Day 6

Breakfast - muffins & yoghurt

Lunch - left-over crock-pot turkey & beans + greens

Supper - finish off any other left-overs in the house [any bean dip left - eat w/ crackers?]


[that evening, make a loaf of bread]


Day 7

Breakfast - fresh bread & jam

Lunch - bread & jam & p/b or bread and jam & cream cheese

Supper -  red beans & rice + greens




post #3 of 5

You have chicken broth, olive oil and arborio rice...and from the sounds of it some veggies that you get from the farmer's market.  How about a nice risotto?  I do a really nice simple one with kale & mushrooms, but you can put almost any kind of veg in risotto and it works.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you both!! I have a place where I can definitely pick up some garlic and onions with spare change! And when we get some good produce ooh it's going to be so nice to have fresh stuff! I have been so lazy about prep & cooking lately, this might be the kick in the pants I really need.

post #5 of 5

you would probably get good ideas over in the meal planning forum

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Pantry/freezer Challenge! Help me use it up!