Pantry Challenge? - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > Pantry Challenge?
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 12:24 PM 10-19-2010
Anybody interested in starting this?

We have so much food and while I do stock up on sale items, I really need to use what I've got more. I do have to go grocery shopping today but I'm hoping to not go back for a month after this (I will get fresh fruits and milk, stuff like that). Our grocery bill isn't too high or anything but it really could be much lower.

So who's with me?

Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 12:42 PM 10-19-2010
Me!!!!!!

I am currently stocking up on sale items, making stock, soup etc as the weather changes. I would love to join in!
bluebunny's Avatar bluebunny 03:33 PM 10-19-2010
I'm in! We're in the process of moving and my pantry needs to be cleared out. I am a big sale shopper and tend to keep my pantry stocked.

Last night, we had white chicken chili. I had one chicken breast left in the freezer, plus two cups of dried beans that I had soaked and frozen. I added chicken broth, spices, a can of corn and voila! Served with blue corn tortilla chips, cilantro (left over from Saturday's meal), and grated monterey jack (pepper jack) that was in the fridge and needed to be eaten.

Tonight is meatloaf that I found in the freezer. I have some potatoes in the pantry and broccoli in the fridge that need to be eaten. I also found a pie shell in the freezer that needs to be used....quiche tomorrow?
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 04:01 PM 10-19-2010
Tonight we are eating out since we won't be home until late. We don't eat out alot usually but the last few weeks we have and I hate it. Other than a weekend away next month, we shouldn't be eating out, especially with the amount of food we have in the house.

Anybody have a recipe for tortillas? We go through alot and it would be so much cheaper, and healthier, to make my own.
Chicky2's Avatar Chicky2 04:36 PM 10-19-2010
My dd just made tortillas using the recipe outta Joy of Cooking. I thought they were pretty good. Really, though, any recipe is good, it's just how ya cook it! Don't overcook, and make sure your griddle is nice and hot.

I'm in as I'm currently in a pantry/freezer challenge here anyway. Both for financial reasons, and clean out the freezer reasons, lol. It is also teaching me what I SHOULD have had more of, and I am taking notes!

Last night we had quiche w/eggs we are getting tons of, swiss cheese, onion, grated carrot, and swiss chard outta the garden. I also made a pear pie w/keiffer pears we got from my mom that were found to be ripe RIGHT NOW and needed to be used. I added fresh minced ginger and lots of orange zest and it was possibly the best pie I've ever made.

The night before we had leftover combination home made lo mein and take out Chinese. Leftover leftovers, lol.

We recently had a great African rabbit stew to which I added tomato and 2 kinds of sweet potatoes and swiss chard.

We've also had rabbit soft tacos.

We've been eating sauteed pears w/a variety of flavors.

I have no clue what's for supper tonight but I do need to get going on it, lol.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 06:00 PM 10-19-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Anybody have a recipe for tortillas? We go through alot and it would be so much cheaper, and healthier, to make my own.
These are fabulous, I like to make them with mole pork roast: http://www.grouprecipes.com/1603/who...tortillas.html

I'm in, I was just looking in my freezers, pantry, etc and I have TON of food. Good stuff too, not just odds and ends weird things. Pretty much I could make just about any meal right now as it sits.

So I am making a plan, I feel like I need to start meal planning again because my cooking has been kinda random due to my work schedule lately.

Here's my plans:

Tonight: homemade chicken strips, yukon gold parmesan fries, salad with homemade ranch dressing

Wed: Marinated pork loin roast(found in back of freezer), rice pilaf, salad

Thurs: I work DH and kids eat whatever they make

Friday: Stirfry with leftover pork loin and the bunches of veggies in the fridge

That's what I have so far.
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 06:36 PM 10-19-2010
Seeing as how DS and I are moving and I hate to move the pantry and I really dont want to leave it all for my stbx roomie I think I will join you...

For lunch today I had a sandwich and chips.
tonight will be potluck, I have a 5pm appt

There are pork chops calling my name in the freezer for tomorrow's dinner yummy

Most lunches are packed so they are either leftovers or sandwiches and sides.

I really need to take inventory and see what we have.

DS also wants 'breakfast' for dinner one night... hummmm
Poddi's Avatar Poddi 08:59 PM 10-19-2010
I'll join! Well more like a freezer challenge, my pantry is not too full right now. I'd love to clear out half of my freezer and buy this bulk meat pack from a local, ethical butcher.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 11:48 AM 10-20-2010
So yesterday's grocery shopping trip was mostly to replace some items we'd run out of. And they had HFCS-free ketchup on sale for super cheap so I stocked up on that.

Tonight is lasagna, salad and french bread. I think the kids are having lunch at school, ds1 had cereal for breakfast and ds2 will probably eat at daycare. Lunches for dh and I will be leftovers.
busymama77's Avatar busymama77 11:55 AM 10-20-2010
I will definitely join in! Ours will be a pantry/freezer challenge as both are definitely overflowing! I'm a sale shopper, too and use coups like crazy. I will be stocking up on soup soon since a local grocer as them on sale. Other than that, a lot of homemade stuff will be made!
Chicky2's Avatar Chicky2 01:37 PM 10-20-2010
Tonight will be rabbit soup. Don't know what kind and won't until I start adding stuff, lol. That's how I roll.... I have my soup bones/parts in a pot simmering. I don't usually simmer my rabbit stock overnight (or longer) because it rarely gels anyway(young rabbits), or not nearly as well as the others I make. I am thinking some of those green 'maters out of my garden plus some coriander, cumin, onion, green chilis, jalapenos (tons in garden), and who knows what else...I have cabbage and cilantro to use up, too. Chili soup?

Breakfast is oatmeal, lunch is leftover chana dal/veggie patties and mac and cheese.

I have gobs and gobs of berries to use (loganberry, blackberry, Brazos berry, raspberry), peaches from our tree, pears from my moms tree, grapes from our vines, soup bones (rabbit, chicken, goat, lamb, wild pig), and goat milk in my freezer. Oh, and some pumpkin, cornmeal, a few chickens we just butchered, and some blue gill my kids caught. I am seriously lacking veggies, but my garden is still putting out swiss chard, tomatoes (not sure if they'll ripen), a handful of okra a day, and lots of jalapeno peppers. And basil and Italian parsley. I also have eggs coming every day from our chickens. And some dehydrated carrots, celery, red bell peppers, and mushrooms (white button), and kale (it turned to powder, lol).

Any suggestions? I have all the basics as far as baking soda and powder, spices, yeast, ww flour, oats, sauces, condiments, and vinegars. Only canola oil and 3 sticks of butter.

I am sort of in a rut. NO ONE will give me suggestions and I'm considering telling them to cook!
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 05:47 PM 10-20-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poddi View Post
I'll join! Well more like a freezer challenge, my pantry is not too full right now. I'd love to clear out half of my freezer and buy this bulk meat pack from a local, ethical butcher.
Funny you say, I use the pantry challenge to also go thru and deal with any strangers in the freezer as well as feed the freezer!

We are expecting our full pig next month. That is about 100 lbs of meat in the freezer and the pork will last until oct 2011. We receive our side of beef in Jan and that starts to run our around late nov/early dec.

I have cut down my grocery bill and adjust my expectations to cost of living and inflation. Now, I am thinking by Jan 1, going to once a month grocery shopping. I hit 4 places for groceries and either do 2 and buy enough to last more than 2 weeks and then in 2 weeks hit the other 2. Such as I buy certain things at Aldi and Trader Joes. I also hit our local grocer. Plus a larger ethnic grocer. Then we get organic delivery for dairy and produce.

Sorry, I am babbling...

But do I do like during first of the month, go to TJs/ Aldi and then the last part of the month hit the other 2?? Or just hit all at once in a 4 hr stretch?
I am playing with all of this the final months of 2010 to decide. Any ideas???
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 12:15 AM 10-21-2010
Last winter and until quite recently I have been doing a once a month BIG shop, stocking up the pantry and freezer. Then I was going about every 2 weeks or so for perishables. For you though you get a delivery of fruits, veggies and dairy....I would break it into 2 trips personally so I didn't feel too overwhelmed. I find that for myself I like shopping every couple weeks, doing the biggies, but lately I am doing a weekly thing more-so. Due to the things I want to stock up on being on sale.

I also am going through my freezer, the pantry, eh not so much. I have some odds and ends I do need to get rid of and replenish supplies.

My little things are a couple cups of pinto and black beans, some lentils and some other stuff. I think I'll be making refried beans out of the pintos, soup with the black beans and the lentils.

One of my biggest reasons for doing this is I need to meal plan again. I haven't done it in a couple years due to pregnancy and postpartum. Now my son is one and eats smaller versions of what we eat, I know that he has a couple allergies, so I am trying to make most of our food.

I discovered in my fridge some jalapenos and limes, so Friday I'm thinking pork fajitas instead of stir fry. I have tomatoes from my garden and the makings for wilted cabbage salad. Maybe I'll make those tortillas and the refried beans.

My idea are for next week:

Sat: Stew with homemade bread or biscuits
Sun: work
Monday: Rosemary chicken in the crockpot(new recipe I've never tried) mashed potatoes
Tues: Pork Steaks, rice, veggie, salad
Wed: work
Thurs: Pizza maybe?

That's what I've got so far.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 11:31 AM 10-21-2010
Tonight is leftovers. Dh and I ate one tiny corner of the giant lasagna last night so we'll be eating that for lunch and dinner until it's gone. Good thing we like lasagna!

I made the kids vegan spaghettios the other day. They actually turned out really well and taste just like the canned version, so they'll have those. Except of course the noodles aren't O shaped, but I got them as close as I could.

Ok scratch all that. We're going to have steak, salad and some kind of potato. The steak's been in the fridge a couple days now and it needs cooked.
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 03:10 PM 10-21-2010
Tonight is ground turkey swedish meatballs on noodles. I will make a larger batch and freeze half of it for a later date.

We have all kinds of odds n ends in the fridge so we will have some interesting toppings on pizza.

I started making smoothies with wheat grass so I am able to use up all the fruit we have. My kids love smoothies too, but wont eat the ones with the wheat grass. My 4 yr old is almost a smoothie chef. She picks out the ingredients and they come out great.

One big temptation is that candy aisle now with halloween approaching!
justmama's Avatar justmama 10:56 PM 10-21-2010
woot! I love the pantry challenge threads. So many awesome ideas. I'm TOTALLY in. We stocked up in a big way and I need to start going through it all. We are so stocked we will only need perishables for the next few weeks to a month probably. Tonight it was just me for dinner so I had leftover tvp/veggie/cheese burritos from last night. tomorrow's breakfast will be yogurt with homemade granola and mango for 3 and grapes for 1(because she despises mango). Lunch will be peanut butter and jelly for the kids and a veggie roll-up with hummus for me because it's a busy day of errands. Tomorrow night is homemade pizza because it's a fun night with activities at the gym and swimming.
artemis33's Avatar artemis33 12:46 AM 10-22-2010
definitely in. Traveling in 2 weeks and then picking up a 1/2 hog when we return! So yeah, need to eat all the fresh up anyway, and get meat from the freezer.

I still intend to stock up on seasonal items as they are available (coming soon: baking supplies, nuts, etc) and am still preserving a little (applesauce this weekend), but want most of our meals for the next, oh, 6-8 weeks to be pantry/freezer based.

Tonight is leftover shredded pork tacos with avocado and a salad (from the garden).

Don't have a plan beyond that yet!
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 11:17 AM 10-22-2010
Tonight is pizza for the kids and dh and I are having leftover lasagna.
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 01:52 PM 10-22-2010
So tonight pizza, tomorrow night we have a party so set there esp since the kids are going to Grandmas!

Sunday, I am making a beef stew and adding some of the parsnips etc the produce boxes are loading up on as a typical fall box. I am also enjoying a butternut squash soup I made with the squash, chicken stock from the freezer and I diced up a bunch of different "root veggie bag" things that arrived with the box. I dont think I have ever made the same soup twice because I just always add what I have.

Since DH's bday is next week, we are eating the fillets from our side but I am thinking of inviting his parents and one of his brothers for the stew on Sunday to celebrate his bday. I can make an apple pie too for the dessert with the frozen apple pie filling we made from apple picking earlier last month.
jellybeanandkids's Avatar jellybeanandkids 02:37 PM 10-22-2010
I'm in. Tonight I'm using up some tortillas and beans, making some sot of quesadilla meal.

My pantry needs to be organized too, I have no clue what I actually have.
Mom2SammyJoe's Avatar Mom2SammyJoe 10:03 PM 10-22-2010
If I join do I have to stop shopping?
Is it a bad thing to look forward to weekly grocery shopping as an outing/recreation?
Anyway, I have been sale shopping and couponing a lot lately, and we are well-stocked. But we are moving in a few weeks (as soon as the house is done) and it will be work to move groceries! I have tons of my home canning to move, and that is fine. I just love having a stocked house!
I shopped yesterday, and will just try to really cut back how much I get each week. I will still get any super good deals. And I'll need WW flour.
I have 2 weeks of dinners planned now. I am going to focus on using what we have. I plan on five dinners a week and pick each day what to make from them depending on time and desire.

tonight-beef and bean tacos on homemade tortillas (this thread inspired me to finally try making tortillas. yum!) sliced apples and pears
lentil and veg soup with dumplings (Hillbilly Housewife)
salmon patties, creamy mac and cheese (heavenlyhomemakers.com), veg
pot roast, potatoes, carrots
beef stew with leftover roast, rolls
smoked sausage with vegetables and rice (one dish meal)

chicken noodle soup and soft pretzels
meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn
homemade pizza, carrot sticks
cheesy beans and rice, tortilla chips, salad
pork chops, fried potatoes and onion, applesauce, green beans
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 11:33 PM 10-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2SammyJoe View Post
If I join do I have to stop shopping?
Is it a bad thing to look forward to weekly grocery shopping as an outing/recreation?
Some do keep out of stores, some buy only perishables, some(like myself) are attempting to use some of the odds and ends we have. I'm trying to clear out some of my freezer stuff, but I am also stocking up on things.

Tonights tacos were amazingly great, cabbage salad, pico de gallo, refried beans it was awesome.

I did shop yesterday at the baking sale at my local store, I bought butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar.

I'm just gonna keep on going and planning around my little extras.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 12:21 PM 10-23-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2SammyJoe View Post
If I join do I have to stop shopping?
Is it a bad thing to look forward to weekly grocery shopping as an outing/recreation?
I normally shop sale items and stock up and then cook from what we've got in the house. So no, you don't have to stop shopping.

I am trying to cut back because we do have tons of food in the house, but it's really hard to resist a great price on something you use.

Tonight we're having leftovers: steak sandwiches, lasagna or spaghettios.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 01:36 PM 10-23-2010
Alyantavid-what's this vegan spaghettios recipe, I'm interested.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 01:43 PM 10-23-2010
I'll have to post it later, it's at home. It's very simple though and tastes just like the canned version. The only trouble is finding circle-ish pasta.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 11:09 AM 10-25-2010
The Vegan Spaghettios

1/2 lb small pasta (I used the radiator ones, I couldn't find anything closer)
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Boil pasta, drain and set aside. Combine tomato pasta, vegetable stock, onion powder, garlic powder and sweetner. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and, stirring occassionally, cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through and well combined. Stir in nutritional yeast then combine with cooked pasta. Mix well and serve.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 04:11 PM 10-25-2010
I made this this weekend. It was ok, not spectacular, so I think I'll keep to my regular mac and cheese recipe.

We had alot of leftovers over the weekend and didn't cook alot but my fridge is still pretty full! We're going to my mom's for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we're having some kind of chicken casserole, but I'm not sure what yet. Casseroles are a little harder now that one of us is dairy free. I hate to always make him something different.
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 02:00 PM 10-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2SammyJoe View Post
If I join do I have to stop shopping?
Is it a bad thing to look forward to weekly grocery shopping as an outing/recreation?
first, Welcome!

Second, looking over your planned meals, can I come too? YUM!

I still shop and receive my produce/dairy delivery. Sometimes I cut back just to use up, make room for new things. Also, its a great way to keep your budget open so you can take advantage of some of the great sales coming up over the next 8 weeks or so. With holidays approaching, baking supplies are on sale, turkeys, etc.

and no, grocery shopping can be recreation. Esp if you are able to save money, really stretch your dollar etc.

I have seen pantry challenges where a few people are only using what they have on hand and limiting their grocery runs to milk, eggs and some fresh ingredients.
Mom2SammyJoe's Avatar Mom2SammyJoe 04:32 PM 10-26-2010
This is what I made for supper last night. I have been making this since we were first married 6 years ago. I like this recipe because you can use whatever veggies are on hand. I had chopped peppers in the freezer from MIL's garden, and those worked great in this. I have tried this with brown rice, but then the veggies are way overcooked, so usually I use white for this recipe.
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/C...usage--N--Rice

Tonight will be salmon patties, which I have never made before and I don't even know if anyone will eat them. I won't know if I don't try!
We will also have this mac and cheese, which is very good and very easy!
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/high-f...mac-and-cheese

I have my grocery list ready for tomorrow with 9 items on it. We'll see how it goes! Since DD has a Dr. appt right before shopping, I should be ready to get out of there fast.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 06:25 PM 10-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
The Vegan Spaghettios

1/2 lb small pasta (I used the radiator ones, I couldn't find anything closer)
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Boil pasta, drain and set aside. Combine tomato pasta, vegetable stock, onion powder, garlic powder and sweetner. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and, stirring occassionally, cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through and well combined. Stir in nutritional yeast then combine with cooked pasta. Mix well and serve.
Thanks

I'm doing well, but I can't help my stocking up mentality

The economy has put a major feast of famine mentality with me and my family. DH was laid off most of last year and so I just really want to make sure we are fully stocked up at all times. Yesterday I went to our nearest "big" town, and bought coffee, and some other things that are way cheaper there. Cali pizza Kitchen Pizzas were on sale and I had coupons so I had to buy frozen pizzas, it's just a one of those things we like to have in our freezer.

I changed my plan after I wrote it down the other day, we are trying to conserve in a few ways so I am trying to use my slow-cooker more often. I also found some country style pork ribs that needed to be cooked, so I decided to make Pineapple BBQ pork ribs, and ranch pasta salad. I am accomplishing to things of course, clearing out pantry supplies that need to be used and the freezer. I had BBQ sauce, pineapple, onions, added some ginger and soy sauce and threw them in the slow-cooker. I also have an abundance of pasta, so I cooked some up added some grated carrots, tomatoes(still from the garden), chopped red onion and olives. Used a half bottle of ranch dressing and some leftover grated cheese and I have an awesome side. Whoo-hoo!

I am going to stock up on some turkey, ham, etc....my local store has a great deal on a turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, potatoes, and a couple other things for $20, I will be getting those again, last year it was a super great deal. The ham alone is a really good one and they are $14.

I'm so glad to be meal planning again, it is one of those things I just really enjoy when I have the time and effort to do it.
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