Ring in the New Year with a Pantry Challenge! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 43 Old 12-30-2010, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The title says it all! I love the challenges this time of the year! I have several bags of opened pretzals etc, cans of this and that plus supplies for baked goods that need to be used up.

 

With the holiday, I was able to stock up on various canned goods etc so we are pretty stocked. But, I still have various things that need to be used up. So lets declutter our cabinets and freezers, eat what we have and depending on how you roll-

 

-put off going to the grocery store for a few days (w exception  to fresh items such as eggs, bread, milk etc)

-stretch your food budget and use what you have

-whatever else you need to do!

 

 


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#2 of 43 Old 01-01-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm with you!  I have a fairly well stocked pantry and freezer right now, and would like to minimize grocery spending for the next few months.  I also want to make sure that the things I was stocking up on 'in season' actually get used  (fruit, half hog, 2 dozen chickens).

 

I will continue to buy eggs, milk and greens every week for sure.  Probably yogurt as well, though I may try making my own again (never really love the flavor, so I keep going back to my favorite plain store bought.) I'm sure there will be some other things in there, but I'd like to really focus on using what we have and minimizing cost.

 

Will be working on a menu for this week tomorrow. :)


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#3 of 43 Old 01-02-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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I'm in!  I need to cut my spending this month and use up lots of little things here and there so that I can concentrate funds on building a good pantry stockpile. 

 

 

Question about yogurt.  My kids love stoneyfield farms vanilla yogurt but they refuse to eat my homemade yogurt no matter how thick I make it.  They just don't love the flavor and they hate honey drizzled in after the fact.  Any thoughts on flavoring homemade yogurt?


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#4 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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We use jam to flavor homemade yogurt.  If you stir it in it tastes really good, and the whole thing is sweet.  I'd agree about the honey drizzled in--I only like that with one specific brand of greek yogurt.  Otherwise, it's too much contrast between the sweet honey and the tart yogurt.

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#5 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We started with baking a few pumpkin pies. Found some cannd pumpkin and condensed milk etc in the pantry and DH made up 2 pies. Now doing things like takinng a few items and making a cassorole, soup etc.


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#6 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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We love frozen blueberrie in yogurt! My son likes they way the crunch.

 

I am planning on sticking with January 2011 homecooking challenge and tie that in with a pantry challenge.  I have tons of jarred salas from the summer as well as store bought, pluse lots of dried pasta, rice flour, sugar etc.  My freezer is well stocked.

 

Hoping the combo saves me money and gets us eating healthier!

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1287830/january-2011-home-cooking-challenge


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#7 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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For breakfast this morning we did homemade granola with milk for one and the other two had oatmeal.  One had brown sugar, frozen blueberries, and dried apricots chopped up.  The other had brown sugar, coconut, and sunflower seeds.  They both scarfed it down.  Lunch at the zoo(man was it CHILLY! but the animals seemed to LOVE IT!) was bean and cheese burrito and apple for me and for the 3 year old was leftover diced ham, homemade applesauce, cheese stick, and a storebought yogurt.  I was tempted to stop for munchkins at Dunkin Donuts after that because she was such a good girl and we had so much fun but I was good.  I didn't stop.  Took her home and gave her a hershey's kiss leftover from Christmas cookie making.  Now we are going to be making bread and yogurt today and staying home for the rest of the day so it was a no-spend day and no eating out.  Zoo was a membership my mom gave me for mother's day.


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#8 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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My refrigerator broke overnight on 12/31...Happy New Year!  We were able to buy one on the 1st but it won't be delivered until the 5th.  For now we have two coolers on the back porch that I have to keep draining and refilling--let me tell you, it is not easy feeding a family of six out of two coolers!  My goal is to start over with the new fridge, fill it with new food and completely eat up what is in the coolers.  I think that today for lunch we will be eating hummus, boiled eggs, and whatever the mystery meals are that came out of the freezer and are now thawed. eat.gif


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#9 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I am trying to use up odds and ends to save money. Our resolution here to to stick to a grocery budget to increase our savings account this year.

 

The other night I was able to use a jar of leftover cranberrry sauce and stuff in the house already to make this http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/12/supuer-simple-cranberry-roast-beef-or.html 

 

I also found all the stuff to make chicken cachattorie over brown rice the day before.

 

I need to use some large pieces of wild pig too so I am slow rasting some in BBQ sauce this weekend to make pulled pork sandwiches for our homebrewing party :) I think I have all the stuff to make the rolls too!

 

 


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#10 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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Inspired by this thread, I have already:

 

-Used tomato paste, red lentils, and pasta that were sitting in the pantry (along with onions, garlic, and carrots that we also already had) to make pasta with red lentil-tomato sauce. Yum!

-Planned two meals around the kasha that has been sitting in the pantry for like a year, so that I can use it up!

-Used some buckwheat hot cereal that I bought months ago and never even tried.

 

Now if I can figure out what to do with the coconut, sunflower seeds, and cashews that have been in the pantry forever, I'll be golden. Oh wait, all those sound like they'd be good together--maybe I can make some kind of no-bake cookie with them. eat.gif


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#11 of 43 Old 01-03-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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Now if I can figure out what to do with the coconut, sunflower seeds, and cashews that have been in the pantry forever, I'll be golden. Oh wait, all those sound like they'd be good together--maybe I can make some kind of no-bake cookie with them. eat.gif



you could also use them all in homemade granola.

 


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#12 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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I was hoping to find this thread!  I need to do some serious menu planning around the items that have been sitting in my pantry for longer than I care to remember - assuming they are still good.  Rice noodles, I am talking to you!

 

We seem to spend a lot of money on groceries but it's mostly fruit and veg and dairy and mostly organic so I guess that's why it's so much.  But I'm hoping that clearing out the pantry will also cut down on spending a bit as well as preventing these items from going to waste.

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#13 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post

Inspired by this thread, I have already:

 

-Used tomato paste, red lentils, and pasta that were sitting in the pantry (along with onions, garlic, and carrots that we also already had) to make pasta with red lentil-tomato sauce. Yum!

-Planned two meals around the kasha that has been sitting in the pantry for like a year, so that I can use it up!

-Used some buckwheat hot cereal that I bought months ago and never even tried.

 

Now if I can figure out what to do with the coconut, sunflower seeds, and cashews that have been in the pantry forever, I'll be golden. Oh wait, all those sound like they'd be good together--maybe I can make some kind of no-bake cookie with them. eat.gif



nice job so far.  I say you make granola or granola bars with those.  you have oats right?  http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/06/16/recipe-connection-homemade-granola-and-granola-bars/


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#14 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have our annual beef 1/2 coming sooner than later so I  will use up my frozen stock. I am a bit under the weather today, so a hot n sour soup sounds like a great idea.

 

DH found in the Sunday paper, a great chicken pot pie recipe so I will thaw out some chicken thieghs and  use up some veggies in the fridge.


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#15 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Used  the last of an opened bag of brown rice, oopened bag of frozen peas, the end of a wedge of Parmesan and the last few squeezes of shrirach (sp) for my lunch today! eat.gif

 

I think by the weekend I might actually see the back of my freezer!

 

 

Quote:
 DH found in the Sunday paper, a great chicken pot pie recipe so I will thaw out some chicken thieghs and  use up some veggies in the fridge

 

Love a good pot pie!  What kind of topping-curst, biscuit, dumplings?


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#16 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post

Inspired by this thread, I have already:

 

-Used tomato paste, red lentils, and pasta that were sitting in the pantry (along with onions, garlic, and carrots that we also already had) to make pasta with red lentil-tomato sauce. Yum!

-Planned two meals around the kasha that has been sitting in the pantry for like a year, so that I can use it up!

-Used some buckwheat hot cereal that I bought months ago and never even tried.

 

Now if I can figure out what to do with the coconut, sunflower seeds, and cashews that have been in the pantry forever, I'll be golden. Oh wait, all those sound like they'd be good together--maybe I can make some kind of no-bake cookie with them. eat.gif



nice job so far.  I say you make granola or granola bars with those.  you have oats right?  http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/06/16/recipe-connection-homemade-granola-and-granola-bars/



Thanks for the link, that recipe looks really good. We just don't eat granola often. We are currently on a very restricted diet due to trying to figure out DD's food intolerances, so I actually do need some kind of cookie-like thing so I can have a treat and not feel like I'm totally deprived. I think I am going to try subbing the coconut, cashews (chopped so DD can eat them easily) and sunflower seeds for most of the oats in my no-bake cookie recipe. That'll also help me save the expensive gluten-free oats for breakfast oatmeal. Yum!


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#17 of 43 Old 01-04-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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I made a meal plan for the next 5 days that includes some of the mountains of quinoa and rice we seem to have accumulated as well as lentils, the rest of the disgusting macaroni and cheese stuff that DH likes and some salmon!  Now to stick to it...

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#18 of 43 Old 01-05-2011, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We used a pie crust recipe and DH added parm cheese plus a bit of sharp cheese we had in the fridge. We made the recipe but he added some brussel spouts, chick peas and a few other oddities. DD2 loved the sprouts. All in all, a mature taste and DD1 wasnt too crazy about it. DH loved it. I am calling it butter pot pie from the amount of butter he used (even though he cut it back from what the recipe suggested!).


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#19 of 43 Old 01-05-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Today is pantry convenience food night.  AKA JUNK!  Today is my youngest daughter's 3rd birthday so I made a dinosaur cake with lots of frosting and junk.  And for dinner she requested dinosaur chicken nuggets and french fries.  I'll have a veggie burger and some fries.  We are peeling up the last of the clementines to put on the side.  Breakfast was blueberry pancakes from scratch requested by the birthday girl.  I put some in the freezer for later as well.  Lunch was a mishmosh of leftovers.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by renaissanceed View Post

I made a meal plan for the next 5 days that includes some of the mountains of quinoa and rice we seem to have accumulated as well as lentils, the rest of the disgusting macaroni and cheese stuff that DH likes and some salmon!  Now to stick to it...



 


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#21 of 43 Old 01-05-2011, 03:48 PM
 
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My brand spanking new refrigerator arrived a couple hours ago. joy.gif  It is nearly empty right now and I love the way I can see everything.  I'm making a grocery list (most of our food had to be thrown out) but I do NOT want to overbuy like I often do, so I am going to make a menu first.  I have to buy soymilk tomorrow but I am going to try to avoid buying anything else for as long as I can.


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#22 of 43 Old 01-05-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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Went grocery shopping today and only bought two things not on my list, both of which were consumed at dinner tonight, so that means no 'extra' stuff for the pantry to store!

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#23 of 43 Old 01-05-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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I'm in!  I'll still buy fresh produce, but we can really use up some stuff in the freezer.    I cleared our pantry not too long ago so that's good.  But my huge freezer is piled full of stuff.  I also need to rotate some stuff in our food storage shelf.  I think some of those stuff are a year old.


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The menu plan is the way to go for budgeting, not wasting food, not having to think about what to make every single day...I am into it!

 

I used up my last bits of steel cut oats making blender batter rice/oat waffles this am. I have got the kids eating the odds and ends of dried fruit pieces for snacks.

 

I also had some lentils that were reallllly old so the kids are using those for art projects (glueing them onto paper)
 

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My brand spanking new refrigerator arrived a couple hours ago. joy.gif  It is nearly empty right now and I love the way I can see everything.  I'm making a grocery list (most of our food had to be thrown out) but I do NOT want to overbuy like I often do, so I am going to make a menu first.  I have to buy soymilk tomorrow but I am going to try to avoid buying anything else for as long as I can.




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#25 of 43 Old 01-06-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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LAst night- sausage and shrimp jambalaya.  Used the odd 2 sausages and 1/2 lb of shrimp that had been hanging around.

 

Tonight- spaghetti alla nonni (spaghetti with olive oil, anchovies, carmelized onions, and toasted bread crumbs)  baby boy loved this one, my little italian baby!

 

Next I'm going to defrost my last turkey:

night 1-  roast turkey, rice pilaf, gravy, frozen green beans

night 2-  turkey pot pie or turkey shepherds pie

night 3-  turkey noodle soup

night 4- turkey club sandwiches, pasta salad

 

damn, I love turkeys!!!

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#26 of 43 Old 01-07-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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homemade chocolate chip pancakes this morning for my 6 year old birthday girl(her request).    dinner is homemade mac and cheese, frozen peas, and some ham that was in the freezer.  Have to head grocery shopping for fruit/veggies and milk tomorrow after work.  Will pick up NOTHING else.  I might even be able to do this for "free" since I have wic checks.  Just have to watch my $6.


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#27 of 43 Old 01-09-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Tonight I am using up random bits of veggies in the fridge and feezer to make vegetable beef soup and some leftover homemade rolls.


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#28 of 43 Old 01-11-2011, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Everyone seems to be doing good with this! We are cooking a 6 lb brisket tonight. I had to let it defrost in the fridge for like 2 days. I have a zuccini, squash and a few other odds and ends and I am thinking of making those veggie style pancakes in the latest Mothering where they did the potluck.

 

Since I am clearing things out, I also took everything out of the fridge, tossed some old stuff (expired ewwww) and cleand all the shelves too. It looks brand new!

 

Since I feed the freezer during the summer and fall, we have been eaten these down. tomorrow is baked mannicotti. I made an extra tray over the holidays and froze it. DD1 will be excited! A few weeks ago, I found 2 large bags of organic frozen broccoli plus a bunch of cooked and diced up turkey left over from thanksgiving. Added some cream and a few odds and ends and made a cheesy broccoli and turkey casserole. Since it was a huge amount, made two trays. We ate one that night for dinner on a bed of rice. I pulled the other out yesterday and this is lunches for a few days.

 

Made beef stock and filled a ton of smaller containers so we have a cup or two here and there of stock for various recipes. Plus two large containers for soups.

 


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#29 of 43 Old 01-11-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post

My brand spanking new refrigerator arrived a couple hours ago. joy.gif  It is nearly empty right now and I love the way I can see everything.  I'm making a grocery list (most of our food had to be thrown out) but I do NOT want to overbuy like I often do, so I am going to make a menu first.  I have to buy soymilk tomorrow but I am going to try to avoid buying anything else for as long as I can.


So jealous!!! What did you get?? I am so wanting the french door/bottom freezer model!

 

 

I have been doing very well with the challenge and have gone thru lots of pasta, frozen veggies and and canned tomatoes.  Hoping to use up  my oldest batch of turkey stock this weekend so I can replace it with the ham stock I made this week.  Going to use some of the ham stock to make soup but will freeze the rest.
 


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#30 of 43 Old 01-12-2011, 03:16 AM
 
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I'm making butter chicken with some chicken breasts I found in the freezer.  Also found a half bag of basmati rice, yay!  Now I have found some over-cooked beef that's been frozen as well.  I remember it was very dry we could hardly chew it.  Is there anyway I can make it appetizing or should I just toss it?


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