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November Pantry/freezer Challange - Page 3

post #41 of 80
1. spaghetti, sauce from the freezer, noodles, salad DONE
2. tacos, meat from freezer, shells, tortillas, guacamole, cheese, yogurt DONE
3. pizza from the freezer already made DONE, lunch
4. salmon, meat from freezer, quinoa, california mix veggies freezer
5. chicken soup, homemade from crockpot, noodles, carrots, onions, potatoes
with homemade bread or rolls DONE
6. chicken drumsticks, wild rice, fresh veggie stir fry
7. pork loin, mix veggies freezer, mashed potatoes
8, chicken breasts, barley pilaf with fresh veggies, salad
9. lasagna, noodles, parmesean, ground beef, eggs, need ricotta cheese

I'm doing pretty good. My family got here today and was very happy to have hot homemade chicken noodle soup for their cold Florida bones up here in Ohio.
post #42 of 80

Well

I am not going to do an inventory.......blech. yucky blech blech.

I'll just wing it!

Liz:
post #43 of 80
I'm going to join you guys - well, sort of....

DH was off work in October for an extended vacation so we used up a LOT of my pantry/freezer stash (he is really good at it!!!!). However, I still have quite few odds and ends that I want to use up before I restock things too much. So I know I will be restocking meat and some other things, but I still want to try to get creative with my various grains and legumes that I'd like to use up

Today I planned out our dinners for the next week and did a grocery run to supplement (we were out of all of the basics).

Some of the things lurking that I want to use are:

Hulled barley (we don't eat beef so I'm not sure about soup?)

Okay - more than that but have to go for now - I guess I'll make another post to ask about my mystery pantry items LOL
post #44 of 80
Artemis -- I am vegetarian and I LOVE barley soup. You can make it without any meat. I haven't made any in the longest time -- I'm going to check and see if I have any barley in my pantry and try to rustle up a recipe...
post #45 of 80
Okay I think I'm in. I'm actually ashamed at how much food is just sitting there in the pantry/freezer not being used. This is the menu so far without having to buy *anything* extra. I'm sure I'll come up with other things as time goes on:

Homemade chicken and veggie soup DONE
chili
lassagna DONE
spaghetti
ham quiche DONE
homemade pizza
macarroni and italian sausage casserole
tuna sandwiches
salmon patties
Tostitos with a homemade dip
ETA another idea: pork fried rice
ETA some more ideas:
Eggrolls
baked mac and cheese with some sausage and veggies on the side
All with various types of veggies that are currently in the freezer
post #46 of 80

$45/$100

I spent that much at the grocery this week. Most of it was to round out my Thanksgiving menu, so I don't feel too badly about it.

I started my inventories. (Did anyone else download their inventory sheets from www.cindysporch.com ? I really like hers; she separates the groceries by category.) I only got the freezers done, though. (I knew I had a lot of food, but I actually have more than I thought, even!)

I will post my inventories when I get them done. In the meantime, here's the meal plan for this week.

Monday: curry (with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers on the side)
rice
tropical fruit salad

Tuesday: hot dogs : (They were in the deep freeze!!)
tater tots : (See above )
pasta salad

Wednesday: baked chicken legs
mashed potatoes
baked squash
green salad

Thursday: tacos
Spanish rice
corn

Friday: spinach and tofu manicotti (SHHH! My children think it's cottage cheese )
garlic bread
green salad

Saturday: bean soup
no-rise yeast rolls

LOVING this challenge!
post #47 of 80
Thread Starter 
Well, this is tough...

I have spent $103.00/$100.00

Partly because I had to buy 100lbs of wheat berries and that was $26.00-- but I still need milk and eggs for the rest of the month.
I just didn't realize what a challenge this challenge would be! :-)

I've been putting off making an appt. w/ WIC-- so maybe I'll do that now.
post #48 of 80
Kathirynne---I love you for turning me on to Cindy's Porch. Thanks!!

Okay, I did my inventory. I was surprised by how much food we have! I didn't think it would be this much, but when you write down every item, well...it adds up.

Do you all inventory things like flour, sugar, spices? I used those so often that I figured I would know when I needed more.

Feel free to skip this, it will be long and boring but since I took the time to actually go through all my food, I want to type it all out. I'm weird that way.

Pantry:
1 new jar PB
1 can corn
1/2 bottle ketchup
1/2 bag stuffing
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 large can pumpkin pie mix
1 can mixed veggies
1 can white corn
1 can green beans
1 large can pumpkin
1 small can chopped olives
1 can beanie weanie
1 can tomato sauce
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large jar pasta sauce
2 cans chx broth
2 cans Chunky soup
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 jar applesauce
1 box Annie's mac
1/2 bag oyster crackers
sprinkles
3 servings mandarin oranges
4 servings peaches
1 serving applesauce
5 bottles BBQ sauce (MIL brought us a sampler box from S.C.)
1 box vanilla pudding
1 box chocolate pudding
1 box gelatin
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag almonds
1/2 jar local honey
1 box orzo
1 bag stars
1 box stuffing
1 pkt. chili seasoning
1 instant potatoes
1 muffin mix
corn meal
bread crumbs
grits
bag wacky mac
1/2 bag egg noodles
bag brown rice
1/2 box instant white rice
1/2 box instant brown rice
1/2 bag barley
1 box ww rotini
1 box bowties
1 box spaghetti
3/4 box ziti
1/2 box penne
1 box saltines

Fridge:
1/2 gal lemonade
1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 galon apple juice
1/2 gallon milk
1/2 gallon OJ
1/4 gallon milk
1 dozen +1 eggs
dijon mustard
ranch dressing
jar of flax seed meal
reg. mustard
3/4 jar wheat germ
1/2 jar jam
1/2 cont. mayo
some celery
lemon juice
worc. sauce
1.5 bottles BBQ sauce
1/2 bottle choc. syrup
minced garlic
maple syrup
soy sauce
1/2 jar relish
1/2 bottle fish oil
tabasco
4 juice boxes (ds snack at school)
1 chocolate milk box (Horizon makes these)
1/2 box pancake mix
1 can slimfast
3/4 bag coconut
1 beer
7 apples
2 pears
1 artichoke
1 bag baby carrots
4 carrots
2 halves of an onion (from 2 diff. onions)
5 Yobaby yogurts
6 Diego yogurts
4 regular yogurts (hey, we like yogurt)
4 pudding cups
15 pepsi's (they're dh's I swear!)
1 cont. Brummel and Brown
1 container Caramel fruit dip
1/2 jar parmesan cheese
1/2 container of hummus
1 carton egg beaters
3/4 container of sour cream
1 package string cheese
1 package shredded cheddar
1/2 bag shredded mozz.
tortillas
sliced cheese
brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup velveeta
a few slices of pepperoni
3/4 lb. turkey
1 package of hotdogs
1 lb + 1 stick +3 Tbsp butter
(these are all on top of the fridge)
3 boxes cereal
1 box oatmeal
1 bag pretzels
1 box infant oatmeal

Freezer (will this ever end?!?):
5 servings of pancakes
hot dog buns
6 pancakes for the baby
3 containers of chili
2 servings of waffles
box of boca burgers
3/4 package ice cream sandwiches
2 pounds ground turkey
1 package of hot dogs
1 box beef patties
2 ripe bananas
6 ind. ice cream cups
2.5 jars pancake mix
soup bone
2 bags chopped broccoli
1 bag peas
1 pound ground chicken
1 bag corn
1 bag green beans
1 bag baby green beans
1 bag brussel sprouts
1/2 bag wings
1 can apple juice concentrate
1 pizza
1 package of brussel sprouts with butter sauce

Snack Pantry:
1/2 box baby cheese crackers
1/2 box baby seasoned crackers
1/4 can fruit puffs
1/4 can veggie puffs
1/4 bag arrowroot cookies
3/4 can wagon wheels
2 biter biscuits
1 box +1 piece zwieback toast
1/3 bag dried corn
1/3 bag dried apples
1 box cheddar bunnies
1 bag craisins
1 container raisins
3/4 bag golden raisins
3/4 container of prunes
1.5 boxes TLC crackers
1.5 boxes TLC granola bars
1.5 sleeves graham crackers
1.5 boxes popcorn
1.5 loaves bread
2 pkgs buns

Wow. I was going to not post this, but then I'm glad I did because I realized how much packaged food we buy. I have actually come a looong way (used to eat Hamburger Helper and those 'entire meal in a box' things *every* night) but didn't realize how much longer I have to go. Looking forward to using up what we have and then finding alternatives to a lot of it. Like buying popping corn rather than bags of microwaveable, baking my own bread, making my own granola bars.

And there are plenty of things to cut out all together. We don't need all the "baby" specialty food, for instance, and what I thought was just a treat or two has turned into a lot! I don't need caramel fruit dip or chocolate pudding, you know? I could make those things but I (and my waistline) really don't need them at all.

So anyway, this is a lesson in more ways than one. Now to figure out how to meal plan so I can use all of this stuff up!

Oh yeah, and I only spent 53.00 at the store when I usually spend over twice that much. It's funny how many full boxes and bags of things I had when I still had over half a box or bag already. I have some sort of 'stockpiling' issue passed down to me from my mother, which was probably passed down to her from her mother who was in the Depression.
post #49 of 80
Thread Starter 
OK ladies-- we're a week into this- how are things going?

Are you sticking to your menu plan/budget?
post #50 of 80

I am!

I love this challenge. It's amazing how much less stress I have when I know what I'm making for dinner.

(Not to mention the fact that inventorying my kitchen has forced me to organize my freezers, shelves, et cetera. )
post #51 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelagain View Post
OK ladies-- we're a week into this- how are things going?

Are you sticking to your menu plan/budget?
Yep. Bought only more eggs & bananas so far.
post #52 of 80
You can use the evaporated milk for fudge! Just do a Google search on "evaporated milk" fudge for tons of recipes!

I just got finished taking inventory of my pantry and entering it into my PDA. I don't think I'm totally up for the challenge yet, but I'm well on my way to emptying a lot of stuff out!
post #53 of 80
I'm still working thru my meal plan. I improvised last night and made a delicious broccoli chowder all from stuff in the house already! I served it with pork chops and corn bread, all from the freezer. I'm going to make the lasagna on my list for company on Thursday, I just need to get ricotta cheese at the store, but I have to go anyway to get milk and fruit. I should spend less than $20.


1. spaghetti, sauce from the freezer, noodles, salad DONE
2. tacos, meat from freezer, shells, tortillas, guacamole, cheese, yogurt DONE
3. pizza from the freezer already made DONE, lunch
4. salmon, meat from freezer, quinoa, california mix veggies freezer tonight
5. chicken soup, homemade from crockpot, noodles, carrots, onions, potatoes
with homemade bread or rolls DONE
6. chicken drumsticks, wild rice, fresh veggie stir fry
7. pork loin, mix veggies freezer, mashed potatoes
8, chicken breasts, barley pilaf with fresh veggies, salad
9. lasagna, noodles, parmesean, ground beef, eggs, need ricotta cheese thursday
post #54 of 80
It's coming along slowly. I had to go to Whole Foods this week because we were out of essential basics - like oatmeal. (69 cents a lb!) The kids eat it at least three times a week, there was no way I could go without buying more. I only bought a few non-essentials, but those few were still too much. Then Dh went out last night to pick up OJ and bought a pile of stuff. Now I realize we are already out of milk and eggs, so I'll need to hit Costco tomorrow.

::sigh::

My MIL is coming next week and we are going out to this grain mill place she knows to buy 50 lb sacks of oatmeal and whole wheat flour. I'll spend some money, but it will be worth it to have a supply for all winter.

I am trying, and I think doing reasonably well with, getting rid of pantry stuff. When I wrote out my inventory it was six pages front and back (which is why I'm not posting it) and I've posted it up inside of my cupboard so I can cross stuff off as I go.

I am NOT doing well with meal planning though. I'm hoping that when my computer gets fixed this week I can get back to searching out recipes on the internet. Until then, I've only got 20 min of library time...
post #55 of 80
Gillian - I think the meal planning is the key. Figure out your families favorite recipes and start there.

We are actually doing very well with our challenge. I planned meals out for the entire month and have been doing well sticking with it. I look at it each evening to make sure I don't have to do anything (like soak beans) and then in the morning to make sure I don't need to take anything out of the freezer. I think it's been hardest on dh since he likes having lots of snacky foods...and we haven't had as many of those.

but I spent about $30 so far this month on groceries. I have to go tomorrow, but it's for things like milk, cereal, baking powder... It should be relatively inexpensive.
post #56 of 80
Why don't you list for us several of the things you'd like to get rid of and we could help you brainstorm recipes?
post #57 of 80
Thread Starter 
I agree w/ babybugmama--

And this has really helped me stay on top of things, like what do I need to do to prepare the night before? And I'm doing better this month with making the bread instead of deciding I don't want to put out the effort and buy it.

Oh Gillian-- Those grain stores are SO fun! When I lived in WA I used to drive across the river (to Portland, OR) and go to Bob's Red Mill-- I loved it. I'm bummed we don't have one here... they sell their stuff at Albertson's, but it's not the bulk stuff- I miss that.
post #58 of 80
Not as good today at the grocery store. But in my defense we all NEEDED toothbrushes and I had to get cat food - that right there was almost $40. But I kept it to list of essentials...I did get dh one treat and me one treat...$6.00 total. If it makes him happy and keeps him from eating out, it's worth it.
post #59 of 80
Wow, i am doing so good. we haven't bought anything this month so far. I know it is only the 8th, but i usually go to grocery every few days.

i have so many beans, dried and canned. what besides chili can i make with these. every color, white, pinto, kidney, pink...
post #60 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by selena_ski View Post
i have so many beans, dried and canned. what besides chili can i make with these. every color, white, pinto, kidney, pink...
Refried beans for burritos/tacos, bean soup, I'm sure you can find some casserole recipes. You can add a couple cans diced tomatoes to semi-mashed beans, w/ taco seasoning and use it for a chip dip- "taco in a bowl"
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