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June is looming...

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
I know that it's still May, but I am in need of a Pantry Challenge for June.

For one thing, my friend moved to Washington D.C., and gave me a whole bunch of groceries that she didn't have room to haul with her. (Which I really need to use up, because now I don't have room to store it all!) For another thing, I had to pay $500 to have a wisdom tooth extracted, so $$$ is a little tight this month.

I plan to go back to www.cindysporch.net and download her "Shop at Home First" lists. (I had them, but they seem to have mysteriously vanished. Could it be a result of my five-year-old daughter's need to colour every blank piece of paper she can find...even if it's only blank on one side? ) With a thorough inventory and a detailed menu plan, I may only have to shop twice between now and September!

If I use what I have on hand (augmented by only a few things), I should be able to spend less than $200 for the whole summer. (Seriously, she gave me a ton of groceries!)

Who's in?
post #2 of 52
That's great that you should be able to use up your inherited groceries! Hope your teeth are healing well.

I am in for June! I was not so good with preparing lunches in early May, but I've got new resolve. DH cooks most of the dinners, and I don't want to try to dictate what he can and can't use or buy from the store. But I'm going to try to further reduce our pantry and freezer stashes whenever I do the cooking or make lunch.

We did some home improvement projects and the credit card bill arrived - ouch! So, any purchases I can avoid sound like a good idea.

I started on my Cindy's Porch inventory lists , but there was just too much in the pantry for me to get it all done! How sad is that?

My pantry goals are:
- continue working through the coffee flavorings and teas (I could open a darn tea shop with the quantities I've got)
- make veggie chili for the freezer
- make rice and bean burritos for the freezer
- figure out more ways to use rice
- use the salad dressings before they go bad
- use the canned crab meat
post #3 of 52
count me in for june! It's my 1st challenge, so I'm not too sure how I'll do but I'll give it a try. I'm drowning in canned goods and WIC foods!

My goals:

Not eat out except for lunches (impossible to take packed lunch most days)
plan meals ahead of time with items we have.
figure out a way to use up lots of Milk and Juice
not buy anything that isn't a major deal or a staple item that we need.

Right now we're spending around $500-600 a month on groceries for 3-ish people {I'm pg, and occasionally the housekeeper eats our food, which makes 4}. I'd like to get that down to $300 or thereabouts.

Any tips?
post #4 of 52
I'm really not sure how much we spend a month. But I'd like to join the challenge! So basically the only "stuff" I will buy is refridgerated stuff, that gets eaten and needs to be replaced. I have TONS of stuff in our pantry that just sits there. Soups, chili, beans, etc. I'm doing the "no spend june", so I'm already on my way to saving!
post #5 of 52
I'm in! Our finances actually take a turn for the better at the end of the month when I no longer have to pay for child care (I'm a teacher) but our house needs MAJOR work and I've been kicking myself for overshopping for awhile now. The tea/coffee idea is a great one!
post #6 of 52
I'm in! I have to be, no money at all for groceries.

I've got a good way to use up rice - rice salad. It's especially good on hot days, I just made a huge bowl that will last us a few meals. Chop all the veggies you have into small pieces and add cooked rice and top with a viniagrette or dressing of some kind. The possibilities are endless. I serve it room temperature or cold.

I used a wild and brown rice blend this time along with a chopped cucumber, yellow pepper, peas, carrot, vidalia onion, red cabbage, some chopped spinach and grape tomatoes. I also added a handful of sunflower seeds. I am topping this one with a lemon/pepper/garlic viniagrette.

In the past I've made them with carrots, celery, raisins, cashews, apples and a tofu based curry dressing. That was really good! It's also really good with a tahini based dressing on it.

You can throw cooked beans in too, or shredded cheese, or chopped eggs and make a heartier wrap or sandwich filling, too.

Thanks for the cindysporch site! That's great.
post #7 of 52
You all have inspired me. I'm in. I have to figure out just what my plan of attack will be. We've got a lot in the freezer and in the pantry.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by HydeParkB
I started on my Cindy's Porch inventory lists , but there was just too much in the pantry for me to get it all done! How sad is that?
Don't feel bad, I've been running into the same problem! I had to create a new spreadsheet to do the inventory because the one on Cindy's Porch wasn't big enough! : I guess that means we'll be good for the June pantry challenge, right?
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey
I've got a good way to use up rice - rice salad. It's especially good on hot days, I just made a huge bowl that will last us a few meals. Chop all the veggies you have into small pieces and add cooked rice and top with a viniagrette or dressing of some kind. The possibilities are endless. I serve it room temperature or cold.
This just reminded me of my favorite rice salad -- brown rice, kalamatta olives, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes, parsely, red bell peppers, S&P, olive oil, rice wine vinegar. I stole the idea from my HFS after I had their salad a couple of summers ago. YUM!

Maybe I'll make this for dinner for myself and let the older boys fend for themselves?
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 

Day 2

Last night I made a really yummy "Asian fusion chicken salad".

I used up the chow mein noodles, French fried onions, Caeser salad dressing and sesame seeds in my cupboard. (I would never buy any of those things; I "inherited" them from someone who moved and didn't have room to take them. ) I also poached two of the 20 lbs of chicken breasts that I have in the deep freeze, and put the whole lot over salad greens that I bought on sale for $1 per bag.

I added hard-boiled eggs to the leftovers, and took it to work today for lunch.

I am so loving this challenge!!
post #11 of 52
Everyone's been sick at my house lately, so meals have been a bit sparse.

Last night's dinner was Pork ribs with a can of beans, and then later I fixed some chicken fried steak with a packet of alfredo noodles for me since this baby doesn't like pork!

However, we're going to have to go to the store! We're out of eggs, and my WIC doesn't come in until the 11th, which is just too long to wait because we use eggs daily.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desdamona
This just reminded me of my favorite rice salad -- brown rice, kalamatta olives, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes, parsely, red bell peppers, S&P, olive oil, rice wine vinegar. I stole the idea from my HFS after I had their salad a couple of summers ago. YUM!

Maybe I'll make this for dinner for myself and let the older boys fend for themselves?
That sounds great, but it will have to wait until after the pantry challenge because I don't have anything like artichoke hearts in there anymore. :
post #13 of 52
Hey AtH... Would it be considered cheating on the pantry challenge if I sent you a jar of marinated artichoke hearts? This salad is seriously yummy!!

DH about divorced me due to having to eat everything out of the pantry as much as we did vs. shopping every week for a full shop. Little does he know that at least 4 meals out of the week are pantry challenge style dinners and I haven't bought anything (minus salt) since my (over)stocking of Auntie Anne Mac ~n~ Cheese when it was on sale at Big Lots for $0.80 a box.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 

Week 2

We are at the mid-point of week two in our Pantry Challenge. How's everyone doing?

So far, I have been rather successful. (Although I could use some lentil recipes that kids will actually eat. That's the trouble with inventorying your cupboards, you find things you didn't know you had! )

The good thing about a Pantry Challenge is that you come to realize what groceries you've bought but never used. (And you can avoid buying them again in future! )
post #15 of 52
Hey Desdemona, guess what? I found a jar in back of the pantry!

I am still hanging in there.

Will your kids eat lentil burgers? There are a zillion good recipes for those out there on the net.
post #16 of 52
Hey, ladies! I haven't forgotten, just had a bunch of births in the last few weeks, and the FLU has been quietly taking us down, one by one, as well. I was finally the victim this week. Dh raided the freezer for several helpings of hot dogs while I was down (and some mac 'n' chreeze, too, at least twice that I smelled...) So, I'm in. Except for the CSA produce that we broke the bank (literally) for, we're gettin' notin in the way of groceries this month, so...here goes! But, boy is that produce gonna be NICE when we get it!
post #17 of 52
Hey, Atilla, lentil burgers sound yummy. My DH (read that that's supposed to be extra noticable...he's a food FREAK) might even be convinced to swallow an entire one of those down. And any good recipes?

Desa, I really DON'T think that sending AtH a can of artichoke hearts would be anti-pantry challenge. SHE wouldn't be shopping for them, right?
post #18 of 52
We're doing well. We've used some beans and tomatoe sauces. And a bunch of chili and noodles too.
post #19 of 52
So far, so good. Ate pasta and meatballs from the freezer for dinner (along with salad from the crisper), pulled out some flank steak from the freezer to thaw and make into stir fry tomorrow.
post #20 of 52
The best lentil burgers I've ever had came from right here on MDC. http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...veggie+burgers

Also, how about lentils in spaghetti sauce and served on pasta? They are surprisingly meat-like that way.

So far I've used a can of beets, a can of corn, a bottle of BBQ sauce, a can of curry paste, a can of coconut milk, a can of pineapple...

Tonight is pizza night, I think, and I have alot of veggies on the verge of not being edible so I will sautee them with onions and garlic before I put them on the pizza.
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