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Pantry Challenge

post #1 of 192
Thread Starter 

***This started out as a Fall Pantry Challenge but it's moved on to Winter now. So lets keep this going. :)



***I hadn't seen one started yet. With the start of Fall I thought it might be appropriate.


The Fall tends to be a busy time for my family between homeschool, running practice, soccer, girl scouts, volunteering and DH's work schedule and hunting trips. We really need to eat from our pantry for the next few months as much as possible we have food we need to rotate through as well as make room in the freezer for game.

Edited by Paxjourney - 12/20/13 at 3:54pm
post #2 of 192
Thread Starter 

My personal goals are the following.


*Use up all fresh fruit and veg before it goes bad.


*To keep up with eggs (we have 5 chickens and sometimes we have a lot of eggs. I do trade a dozen with a friend who takes one of my kids to an activity once a week. )


* To not purchase any groceries for the next 2 weeks (9/27/13- 10/11/13) with the exception of supplies related to a birthday party.


* To use up a box of powdered milk I have that while it hasn't expired is close to the use by date.

post #3 of 192

Yes, me! 


My main goals:


*eat or process everything possible in the freezer (meat, fruit, leaf lard, etc).  We get our whole hog for the year next month and there is still too much stuff in there!


*meal plan so everything gets used and little is wasted (this also helps on these busy school days)


*stay out of the store and use what we have - to accomplish above goals and to also use the saved $ to pay for our pork


Tonight/Th 9/26   rice noodle soup with leftover pork, chicken stock, veggies

Fri 9/27  chicken "nuggets"  (homemade from boneless thighs), spud puppies, salad, cupcakes (birthday dinner for DD - her request)


working on planning out a few more days.  We're supposed to be gone all day Sat so I would love to have something easy planned.... 

post #4 of 192

I'll join.  My pantry is not too bad, but I have a shelf full of stuff in the storage room.  My goal is to use at least one item from pantry or storage everyday.  This might seem easy but not for me.  I tend to used to fresh ingredients all the time and ignore the non-perishables. :)


Tonight we're having: chicken (for the kids), roast beef (for adults), roasted potatoes, marinated cucumbers, canned vegetable soup and fresh bread (made from flours in the pantry).

post #5 of 192
Thread Starter 

Okay I made a meal plan for the week. I have everything in the house for this meals.


Tonight I had planned on making chili backed potatoes but DD's soccer game got moved to tonight so we've decided on a meal out at our favorite Mexican place.

Friday night is sort of up in the air.


Meal plan for the rest of the week.


Saturday: Rosemary Panco Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and apple crisp.


Sunday: Bacon homemade Mac n Cheese (made and froze a few weeks ago) with celery sticks and apple slices.


Monday: Breakfast burritos (made and froze a few weeks ago), home canned peach slices. (Soccer practice at 5:30pm) we eat a quick meal.


Tuesday: Sweat potato tater tot casserole . ( Science co-op from 12-2p,Running practice 2:30 4pm, girl scouts until 5pm, volunteer gig at 6:45p at our food co-op, plus I answer phone voice meal for our homeschool association. This by far is my busiest day) I will make this up in the morning or the night before and DH will pop it in the oven when he gets home from work.


Wednesday: Pasta bake with homemade sauce (I use lentils mixed with ground sausage and I also add carrots and zucchini ). Garlic toast (Soccer Practice at 5:30p, I will make this up during the day and DH will pop it in the oven when he gets home from work.)


Thursday: Roasted Organic Chicken with roasted potatoes, mixed veg and homemade rosemary garlic cheese bread. Only running practice this day :)


Friday: Chicken soup, possibly taco soup. cornbread waffles.


Breakfasts are either muffins I've made, oatmeal, cereal , scrabbled eggs and toast with fruit.


Lunches are either leftovers from dinner, pb and honey or jelly sandwiches, fruit/veg and snack.

post #6 of 192

holding my place

post #7 of 192

Count me in as well.  I am pretty busy with 3 part-time jobs and chauffering for Brownies, Daisies, and Chorus but we won't have food stamps next month so we are trying to keep costs down as much as possible to make this last month of money last.  I'll be getting lots of green beans, peas, and kale from the garden very shortly thankfully.  We should have broccoli soon and carrots hopefully.  The tomatoes are still coming in here and there as well which helps.  I have to clear out some space in the free*er(that key doesnt' work) for the pumpkins I'll be processing soon for the year.  Thankfully, the cooler weather has started and there's more love for the soups and breads that dominate our winter cooking.  Summer saw lots of sandwiches and fresh produce.  



Today:  B: oatmeal with various toppings.  L: refried beans, several veggies that needed to be used in the fridge(peppers, chard, tomatoes, garlic, and onion), a little cheese, and a little sour cream.  D: huevos rancheros and mango.

post #8 of 192
Thread Starter 

I'm really thankful for gardens that keep producing into the Fall.

post #9 of 192

I managed to clean my pantry out pretty well, but I'd still like to use what I can from it


My goals

To cook from-scratch for at least 90% of our meals 

To use up everything in pantry 

To can/dehydrate/stock up pantry when done finishing it : ) 



Whenever I cook from the pantry they are meals my kids grumble about. It's like if they open the door and see neat jars of rice, flours, beans, etc they get peeved there's nothing they can munch on RIGHT that second! So I need to work on having snacks on hand for them, whether I do it on a baking day or what (I do like the idea of having a day specifically for baking..) I also need to make sure that I have time to cook and I'm not rushing around at 6pm trying to toss something together. 


This week I'm going to use some of our apples to make a crisp, and I'm going to make a batch of muffins AND chocolate chip cookies with zucchini/flax/pumpkin (sounds gross, is really good) so that can be our snacks for the week (along with popcorn which I make as-requested with coconut oil..) I actually discovered I have FIVE jars of coconut oil! EEK! Anyway I will do that Monday (or Sunday) and than I'm going to use the rest of our apples for applesauce to have for snacks/meals. I'm going to be making chicken soup (which is good for one dinner plus a lunch) and I want to bake 1-3 loaves of bread..also going to start a batch of Kombucha..so we shall see! 

post #10 of 192
Thread Starter 

I love the idea of a baking day and it sounds like Mommarific you will have a very productive one. The choc. chip zucchini cookies sound good. I make zucchini brownies with applesauce a lot.


Last night I tried using up some dried split peas by grinding them into flour. I used it to replace half the flour needed in an apple oatmeal bread. My family had no clue and DH actually said he was glad I didn't add any "flax seed crazy weirdness" LOL. We are all out of flax.


* I've got him totally on board for the month of October as a pantry only month (with the exception of milk and bread). We are going to use the funds normally used for groceries for our roof that needs to have some repairs done.


The kids ate the apple oatmeal bread for breakfast and for lunch I'm making homemade cream of tomato soup (using tomato paste) http://www.badmamagenny.com/2012/06/14/instant-homemade-tomato-soup-from-a-can-of-tomato-paste/#axzz2gCsg8U2F. Only in place of the almond milk used in this recipe I'm using powdered milk. Along the side the kids will have ether popcorn or gold fish crackers.


Another goal I have is to use up random stuff we have in our pantry that we don't normally eat/buy. Impulse purchases or 'deals' that have sat taking up space. I have two boxes of boxed cake mix. I'm thinking of using as the flour in some muffins of cookies for snacks.

post #11 of 192

Found another 5 widemouth quart jars for canning today at a yard sale for $1 so that was AWESOME!  And I made an apple pie to bring to my parents' house for dessert tonight.  

post #12 of 192

I need to join. I'm hoping to spend $20 for some fresh fruit, but that's it. My plan then will be to make a menu and try hard to stick to it.


Sunday: grilled chicken, rice, and broccoli (from the CSA)

Monday: pancakes and bacon

Tuesday: goulash

Wednesday: beef stew

Thursday: ?

Friday: pizza (homecoming)

post #13 of 192
Thread Starter 

We all have a sweet tooth today it seems. DH got home from hunting a day early so we are moving our menu a day forward. In todays place we are doing pumpkin spice waffles. I  made up peanut butter choc. chip oatmeal cookies from food storage, In place of butter I used up some coconut oil. The 2 1/2 dozen will go towards snacks for the week. I've also made up a huge pot of homemade sauce. A lot of our roma tomatoes came ripe at the same time, I also used some zucchini, yellow split pea and lentils. All blended it up it makes for a thick sauce.

post #14 of 192

Been doing okay. Made my apple crisp + some homemade chicken soup using stock I had in my pantry, spices from the pantry, and chicken from the co-op. 


Also filled my freezer with raw milk! That makes me feel so good - I don't have to run out for milk for at least a month now! And running out is what kills us! We go and decided oh, yum look and this! And this! And this! $100 later....

post #15 of 192
I am joining too. I have two drawers of bulk stuff I am never ever looking at. Time to use it!!
post #16 of 192

I'm going to jump in also; I need to address my pantry issues and it sounds like fun to keep on track/encouraged alongside you other mamas. :)

post #17 of 192
I just wish my three year old was not so picky. That is the main reason so much is sitting unused.
post #18 of 192
Originally Posted by Springshowers View Post

I just wish my three year old was not so picky. That is the main reason so much is sitting unused.

Yesssssss. I am having a really hard time with this, and my kids are older. My son will eat most anything, though sometimes grudgingly, but lately my daughter is wearing me out with not 'liking' anything.


I got into the habit of then either going out for sandwiches or soup or pizza which made food waste at home (which really makes me feel terrible) and would blow my budget to smithereens. I don't have much money either so it's just not working out for me.


Additionally, their dad and step mom cook delicious fare, as well as her mom and his mom. They eat with them or their grandparents a lot and I just can't compete. I feel like a cooking failure.


I totally careened off topic here...sorry...:/

post #19 of 192
Allrecipes has a great mobile app for recipes that will give you recipes based on what you have. I bought the pro version today. I will let you know how it is.
post #20 of 192
Thread Starter 

My husband, who is a hunter got his second deer of the season. So I need to make more room in the stand up freezer. I had planned to do a pasta bake today but I'm making chili instead with some beans, lentils and ground beef that I pre-cooked over the summer. I also have 10lbs of potatoes to use up this month.


Since Elk season starts this weekend and DH will be gone I'm going to do an inventory of our pantry. It's been awhile since I've done an in depth one. I'm also hopefully going to pick up apples from a friend of a friend who has an orchard and can up applesauce. I'm hoping to get 50lbs-60lbs @65 cents a pound.


Lastly DH's company my go on furlough due to the government shut down. He works for a federal contractor, the company has cash reserves for 2-4 weeks but then furlough. He has already had 11 days this year furloughed.  


I think for a bit we will be ok. We have a decent size pantry, our mortgage is low, the kids fall sports and activities are all paid for with the exception of one girl scout uniform. Only foreseen expense is one daughter's birthday party but that has been budgeted for.

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