The OFFICIAL January NO-SPEND & PANTRY Challenges!!! anyone can join, come on in! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here it is folks, the start of 2007 and we are all here to help eachother make it thru the month of January without buying things we don't need.

These are two seperate challenges. Feel free to participate in one, the other, or BOTH.

The pantry challenge entails using what you have and not buying more. We want to clear space while saving money! Produce, Dairy, and meat if you eat it and don't keep stores of it are all allowed. Create your own rules, create your own exceptions. (examples: only checking out in the 10 items or less lane, allowed one on-the-road food purchace per week OR WHATEVER works to get you to pare down your pantry while saving $$$)
Don't forget to include all those pesky soaps and lotions that need using!!


The no-spend challenge is just not spending money on things you don't ABSOLUTELY NEED. Food, Bills, and Gas are all OK. PRetty much everything else isn't. Come on, You can go a month without a new shirt, a new lipstick, a new toy, a new tool, a new DVD, a new WHATEVER.
Create rules to help you get thru. (one of mine is I am just not allowed into Target, Walmart, or K-mart. If I *need* something in there I will send my husband. But I don't really need anything in those places anyway)



Are you up for it??????

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#2 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 01:59 PM
 
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I'm in for the no spend part. I'm already pretty good at it, just keep me away from amazon. The only thing extra that I plan to buy is new boots, mine are about 2 years old. Last night working in the rain it was slippery and I got to thinking how much I appriciated new tires on my truck when it's raining - yeah, I need new "tires" for my feet.

Except some bulk flour and extra ketchup, I use up my pantry supply every month anyway, so the pantry challenge wouldn't really apply to me.
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#3 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alright. I want to outline my personal rules so I have a little tool to keep myself in check.
I bet I edit to add to this post a lot.

I'm doing both challenges
  • I will only buy Gas, Produce, Dairy products, Fish/Seafood, bread, and coffee ~as I need them~ oh and deli meat.
  • The only stores I will enter are Grocery stores and Gas stations.
  • I will stick to the perimeters (not venturing down the isles) unless I need coffee.
  • I will allow myself two cups of coffee a week from 7-11, but I must be on my way to school. I will only buy food at school IF I have already eaten every morsel of food in my bag that I packed for the day. I will pack food every day.
  • I will be buying books for school, but I have all the other supplies I need and I will dig them out as need be.
  • I will allow my husband purchaces for him to pack his lunch (deli meat basicly)
  • Anyone who has a present coming to them in the next month or so is getting something homemade (unless I already bought it)
  • I will continue as long as it takes to CLEAR out my pantry completly. I will used the saved $ to buy fresh, organized stock for huricane season as well as a new bed to add space to our family bed for the coming babe. I suspect this will take me thru February.

Ok. I think I am ready.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#4 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Ok, I'm in on the NO SPEND (but not the pantry challenge).

We 'all of a sudden' have a bunch of money after a long dry spell so we bought a bunch of stuff. I'm pretty sure at least 90% of it was needed. We decided that starting in January we were going to set up a budget and stick to it. We need to pay off CC and start saving money.

The ONLY things I'm letting myself buy are:
  • 2 pairs of black pants for work
  • 1 pair of sneakers for work
  • a couch if I happen to see a decent one at a decent price (ours is literally falling apart, we'll probably buy second hand)
  • material at a fantastic looking sale at fabricville (starts Jan 8th) BUT only IF it's a good price and IF I have a specific project in mind
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#5 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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I am in!
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#6 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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count me in!

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#7 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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joining

Wife, and mother to a small fairy, a demolition expert, a special new someone this fall and a small dachshund.
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#8 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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me too!! last night i actually wrote in a notebook my goal of no buying anything for myself in jan. i work in a health food store and get a great discount so i'm always rationalizing purchases here and there. last week i spent $60 without even realizing how fast it adds up!

as far as the pantry challenge: i'm going to try......we have thrush so i may need to get a few supplies to see us through the month.

rules:

no buying something just because:
- "i usually use it and it's on sale"
- so-and-so would LOVE this! and it's on sale!
- it's on sale!
- i get a discount
- we've been wanting it for a long time
- 12 months same as cash! cool! what can i buy?

as you can see i have a HUGE problem buying things because they are on sale. don't get me wrong, i'm not one of those people whose houses rae filled with useless junk bought just because somethings on sale. i buy things we use, need, really want because we'll use it etc. i just spend more than i should.

plus we have some cc debt to pay and we just bought a new-used car in oct so now we have a car payment. ugh

okay, enough, i'm in!
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#9 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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Well, I have very little in my pantry, but I think I'm going to do the no-spend challenge.

January is a fasting month for us anyway, so I can fast from trips to the thrift store, too.
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#10 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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I am in for the no spend.

My rules:
  • Grocery shopping MUST BE ON BUDGET OR ELSE. Now that I'm at home I have time to cook, so no excuses on buying packaged stuff.
  • NO spending other than groceries except for one dinner date - $50 or less. DH deserves it.
  • NO more than 1 tank of gas.
  • NO late returns on library books!!

We are considering buying a place when our lease is up, and the money has to come from somewhere.
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#11 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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I'm in for the pantry challenge.

My rules:

Buy only dairy and produce
Spend 20$ or less each week
(I should manage to be well under 20$, so we'll see.)
We've got plenty of meat stocked and I plan to make our bread.
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#12 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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Hubby and I have decided to Compact in '07 and a January no spend challenge sounds like a good (but slightly scary! Yikes!) way to kick that off

I spent $179 at the grocery yesterday so we're stocked (not counting the stuff already in our pantry ... though some of it is "junk" and needs decluttered) and I *think* our goals for January are going to be:

- $pend only on gas, pet supplies, and fresh produce, milk, and bread (though I do have 3 loaves of bread in the freezer)
- a budget of $50 (or less!) for those fresh produce, milk, and bread and/or any other groceries
- Boo needs a pair of snow boots and if I can't find a way to trade for these, I will allow a purchase provided I have tried all other avenues first before spending money

Okay, mamas, I'm a little nervous, but I think I can do this! (I hope)

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#13 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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I'm in for both challanges! Our last trip to the grocery store will be tonight on our way to our movie date. We need a couple bags of candy to munch on during the movie and I don't want to pay the outrageous prices at the theatre. I'll bring my big purse and smuggle it in.

Other than that, our pantry is full. We have tons of baking supplies, dry pasta, sauces, rice, condiments, etc. The freezer has a side of beef, 3 or 4 large whole chickens, a bag of boneless chicken breasts, a ton of tortilla shells and some bread. We get our organic produce and our milk delivered weekly so I have absolutely no reason to step inside a grocery store all month. The only place I will need to go is the bread outlet down the road but that trip will be under $20 for 10 loaves of the good whole grain bread.

As for the no-spend challenge, that'll be a tough one for us as we both love to treat ourselves to new gear. We're going to try really hard though. We want to get our debt paid off asap and start planning our move to the country.

Luckily dh is on board so we can keep each other in check.

My rules:

1. Only buy dairy, produce and bread.
2. No eating out with the kids. We have a few gift certificates to various restaurants for $20-$30 each so we'll use those for our date nights.
3. Absolutely no spending on anything else unless something breaks and we can't live without it for the month of January.

. : Jill, mama to 5 kiddos, soon to be 6 in June 2013 : .

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#14 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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subbing, I will decide what I will be doing. But I am doing a frontier coop so does that count??

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#15 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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me me, count me in!

We don't have a pantry anymore, and we just moved, so what little stored food we have is all new.. but I'll do the no-spend challenge for sure.

My rules -
1. groceries, utilities, gas, etc. are all ok
2. i need to feed the freezer because baby will be here and we need to eat when i don't want to cook. so 3 meals a week will be 2ble and frozen
3. only eating out once a week - not family dinner, this is likely going to be lunch for dd and I while out running errands etc.
4. no buying stuff. we have everything the baby needs, and only need a few supplies for the birth, which are in the budget
5. taxes must be done as soon as i have all the forms in hand, hopefully before the end of Jan.

Everything is out the window for Feb. though, and I'm aware of that, which is why we will save the extra cash this month. I remember when dd was born we had a lot of take out and premade meals, which cost tons more than cooking. We'll get back in the swing of things in March sometime, and then work on getting the food budget back to a realistic amount.

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#16 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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I'm in for the pantry challenge.
I inventoried my freezer and pantry tonight.
I have already made a meatloaf and stuck it in the fridge for tomorrows dinner so I am feeling quite pleased with myself
I even used those old bran flakes in the meatloaf
I spent the day baking and have pancakes, waffles, and a batch of muffins in the freezer so DH can grab breakfast before he leaves for work. This will help ALOT as he likes to go buy stuff for that with the excuse that he just gets bored with cereal.

My rules for the month will be no groceries except dairy and produce....whoohoo! This is going to be so much fun
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#17 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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Wow, I have some things I know I NEED to use up in my pantry that are getting old...including some canned soups/canned fish and I think this would be a good chance for me to get motivated and creative.

So, I am totally in. I think I could very well spend < $100 this month on food doing it!

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#18 of 489 Old 12-31-2006, 10:28 PM
 
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Alright, after thinking about it I am in for the whole No Spend Challenge.

Rules:
1. I am slowing working to buy diapers for upcoming baby. Only used diapers may be bought at the moment and only $50 or less (hopefully most of my stock for less than that haha).
2. One date allowed with hubby if possible. I am thinking to the movies later this month.
3. Required living items, groceries and bills are okay.
4. Less than one time to Taco Bell a week for DD and I (usually lunch that's less than $5, but $5 is a lot of money to me.)
5. Books for school are okay, but I will be using supplies I have on hand.
6. All money saved this month is going to go to paying off my Chase CC debt. Period.

There I go. I am in.

For the pantry challenge:

I budget $75 a week on groceries as it is. I must stay within this amount. All grocery money will be taken out in cash so that I am not tempted to spend more. I will save as much as possible from my grocery budget. I will plan meals around what is already in our pantry and fridge/freezer. I will only buy meat (for hubby), produce, bread and soymilk/yogurt.

Whew. Never attempted either of these before but I think I can do it!

Rules:
1. I budget $75 a week on groceries as it is.
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#19 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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Subbing to this thread as well. I'm just doing the pantry challenge, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to not spend as much this month... Only buying milk, eggs, and produce. (I'm going to try my hardest not to buy any meat. I don't have much stocked up here, but I need to use it up, and we don't eat much meat anyway.)

I took a look at my freezer and pantry just a bit ago and made a list of different meals, dishes, and treats I can make with what I've got around. I thought that I was just about out of pasta, but I have two boxes of spaghetti, elbow macaroni, lasagne noodles, mini alphabet pasta, and egg noodles. (Not to mention three boxes of boxed Mac 'n' cheese.) That should give us quite a few meals this month.

I need to work on actually eating and using the stuff that I put in the freezer. I throw leftover waffles or muffins or sauces in there, and then never use it. So I've got a roasted pepper and tomato sauce, and a pesto in there. I'll make pizza, and also, of course, put it on the pasta. I was also craving chicken pot pie today, and was thinking I'd have to break down and buy chicken, but then I remembered that I had some pot pie filling in the freezer, so that will be my lunch/dinner tomorrow.

(Sorry for rambling, but the more I write, the more likely I am to actually follow through...)
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#20 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I'm in! We stocked up on toilet paper over the weekend , we already have most of a quarter of a steer and half of a hog in the freezer, plus we have our weekly winter CSA share of vegetables and a dozen pastured eggs, plus my pantry (and the rest of the freezer) is bursting with things we really need to use up.

I have a tendency to stockpile, which can sometimes be a good thing, but I need to make sure I use the stuff! : I think I have some fear leftover from my dire poverty days, so I'm afraid to not have a full pantry.

Part of my problem is that I tend to not eat many grain based things anymore (my blood sugar gets too wonky) except for whole grains in small amounts (like a piece of sprouted grain toast once a day), although part of my family loves them.

I also have a lot of weird gourmet things in the pantry (well, they're not necessarily weird to me, just to the pickier family members) like green picoline olives, canned oysters in water, roasted red peppers, and mixed vegetable tapenade. The tapenade could probably be used for a pasta sauce (again, not something I eat often), but I'm not sure what to do with the olives except eat them.

I also have a lot of flours in my freezer. I may have to start baking bread for the grain eaters. I'm also starting classes again this week (winter intercession -whee! 12 weeks of classes crammed into 3 weeks! : ), so I'm worried about time pressures too.

I may be posting in here pretty often for suggestions! I've got the "rubber chicken" idea down pat, but I need help with "rubber pork and beef".

Mama to Munchkin  and Chickadee ...and co-parent to 3 additional bundles of energy!
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#21 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 03:42 AM
 
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I'm in! (for the pantry challenge)
my rules:
only spend $20/week on produce/meat/dairy
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#22 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 04:06 AM
 
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#23 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 05:31 AM
 
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I am definitely in for both challenges. We put some unexpected expenses on the credit cards, and even though it's only 1% APR, we would like to pay them off by the end of February and save some money for a trip to visit friends in Las Vegas. My goals (I prefer "goals" to "rules" ):

--Spend less than $100 on groceries for the month. I need to stay on top of meal planning, use up what is in the freezer and pantry, and not buy more produce and dairy than we can eat.

--I do have a list of clothes and household items we need, but I will only buy them secondhand or at my pricebook lowest price, and I will use our Christmas gift cards whenever possible.

--I will only eat out on movie night (we were given a movie theater season pass for Christmas) and on Mom's Night Out, but I will keep it simple and frugal. Probably water to drink, a small entree or split an appetizer with a friend, and a salad...and with a coupon.

--I'm also working this into a decluttering challenge. In 2007, we would like to finish getting our house decluttered and organized. We have a lot of things to sell for extra income or to donate and deduct. I need to hop over to that forum to see if anyone has started a January thread!

Good luck, everyone! I'm really looking forward to this.
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#24 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 05:36 AM
 
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Oh, I do have a quick question for everyone. I need some ideas for using up five gallons of shredded zucchini and summer squash in the freezer. My garden was extra prolific this year. The thing is, I don't like the taste of squash, so it needs to be more along the lines of "filler" recipes. I'm planning to make zucchini bread and to add a little bit to meatloaf, meatballs, and spaghetti sauce, but I need more ideas. TIA!
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#25 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Count me in for both.I will only buy milk and produce. Today is my birthday and I got some money. I plan to spend it on fruit trees. My mom gave me gardening tools.....way cool. I plan to save for the supplies I need to start a garden. Cool

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#26 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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Alright, I have some dried tomatoes, pasta, and chicken. What else do you put in that to make a good dish??? I have tons of stuff like olives, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, etc...just not sure how to use the dried tomatoes (not even really sure why we have them???)
Thanks!
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#27 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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Okay, Here we Go!!

I'm in and here are my rules!!

1-$40 budget for the month for groceries and bathroom items (which I think we're stocked up on)

2-One meal out for DH and I for a date night.

3-I need a dress for a formal wedding I'm going to on Saturday so I need something for that.

4-Can spen on bills, gas, and maybe a haircut for me

I think that's it, I'm ready and hoping you ladies are willing to help with recipes!!

Let the games begin!!
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#28 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softmama View Post
Alright, I have some dried tomatoes, pasta, and chicken. What else do you put in that to make a good dish??? I have tons of stuff like olives, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, etc...just not sure how to use the dried tomatoes (not even really sure why we have them???)
Thanks!
I'd just throw the dried tomatoes in your dish like you would any other tomatoes. Maybe add one of the canned tomatoes, too, for liquid. Or add chicken broth. I'd toss the ingedients with olive oil and seasonings. Or, you could make something like this:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basil-C...ir/Detail.aspx

At allrecipes.com you can search for recipes with the ingredients you want...
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#29 of 489 Old 01-01-2007, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlace View Post
me too!! last night i actually wrote in a notebook my goal of no buying anything for myself in jan.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnittingKara View Post
Hubby and I have decided to Compact in '07 and a January no spend challenge sounds like a good (but slightly scary! Yikes!) way to kick that off
. . .
Okay, mamas, I'm a little nervous, but I think I can do this! (I hope)
Not only can you, you WILL unless you forget (which is my problem-- "oh, yeah. I'm not spending $$" always comes out of my mouth in one of these months)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunflowerMommy View Post
As for the no-spend challenge, that'll be a tough one for us as we both love to treat ourselves to new gear. We're going to try really hard though. We want to get our debt paid off asap and start planning our move to the country.

Luckily dh is on board so we can keep each other in check.

My rules:

1. Only buy dairy, produce and bread.
2. No eating out with the kids. We have a few gift certificates to various restaurants for $20-$30 each so we'll use those for our date nights.
3. Absolutely no spending on anything else unless something breaks and we can't live without it for the month of January.
Great rules, and it's awesome that DH is on board. That makes it easier. My dh is just tolerant of this, though he professes often about how much the pantry challenge months "suck".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
subbing, I will decide what I will be doing. But I am doing a frontier coop so does that count??
It's counts if you want it to count

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa2976 View Post
Everything is out the window for Feb. though, and I'm aware of that, which is why we will save the extra cash this month. I remember when dd was born we had a lot of take out and premade meals, which cost tons more than cooking.
I'm really hoping to make it thru February and then take March and April to figure out how to freeze meals (I've never done it before) so that in May I can avoid some of the take out that comes with a new baby. I'm sure there will be a bunch of eating out reguardless. :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softmama View Post
I spent the day baking and have pancakes, waffles, and a batch of muffins in the freezer so DH can grab breakfast before he leaves for work. This will help ALOT as he likes to go buy stuff for that with the excuse that he just gets bored with cereal.
This is going to be so much fun
Can you tell me about frezing pancakes and how to re-heat them? My dh loves the frozen waffles and stuff for breakfast, and I want to try to do it myself to see if it's significantly cheaper/healthier/yummier.

I like the attitude BTW

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
Wow, I have some things I know I NEED to use up in my pantry that are getting old...including some canned soups/canned fish and I think this would be a good chance for me to get motivated and creative.

So, I am totally in. I think I could very well spend < $100 this month on food doing it!
I have a ton of soups and a tond of canned fish too. I haven't decided about the soups, but I found some recipes I'm planning on using for all the canned Salmon. They look easy and like they won't take much that's not already lurking in the pantry.
I'll post em some time.
I hope to spend <$100 too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
--I'm also working this into a decluttering challenge. In 2007, we would like to finish getting our house decluttered and organized. We have a lot of things to sell for extra income or to donate and deduct. I need to hop over to that forum to see if anyone has started a January thread!

Good luck, everyone! I'm really looking forward to this.
If you find a de-clutter thread post it here too. I'd like to dabble with it too this month, though I have a lot on my plate so I'm not up for a whole challenge.
Another on the attitude


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
Oh, I do have a quick question for everyone. I need some ideas for using up five gallons of shredded zucchini and summer squash in the freezer. My garden was extra prolific this year. The thing is, I don't like the taste of squash, so it needs to be more along the lines of "filler" recipes. I'm planning to make zucchini bread and to add a little bit to meatloaf, meatballs, and spaghetti sauce, but I need more ideas. TIA!
I like zuccini in lasagna. It's hardly noticible. Put it under and on top of the cheese layer.
I'd be a good addition to pasta sauce too.
Or baked mac and cheese
Sounds yummy! I want a garden one day.





I have to say I'm super proud of myself. I did a rough inventory of the pantry and freezer. I know I missed some stuff, but I got most of it (I have 26 boxes of mac & cheese!!!)
I even came up with my first ever meal plan. I have dinners planned for every night in January. They are all realistic and they use up all sorts of stuff I haven't known how until now. ~pats self of back~.
When January is over I should have rice, quinoa, a bag of 15 bean soup, possibly canned green beans and corn, possibly some soups, possibly some canned fruits, and a few other things left over.
I am HAPPY

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Synchro246, we usually freeze wrap stuff with some machine Dh bought years ago, not sure what it's called.
But, he wasn't around and I didn't know how to use it, so I just wrapped the pancakes in bunches of four in tin foil. Then put all the little tin foil packets into a giant zip lock bag and stuck that in the freezer. this way we can pull out a packet at a time. This morning, I pulled out one packet for my son and just put the four pancakes on a plate in the microwave for 20 seconds. worked great. the waffles I freeze the same way and usually put them in the toaster to heat them through.
I am so impressed you did a meal plan for the entire month. If my kiddos go to sleep early enough tonight, I'm going to give that a try!! Well, maybe one week to start with
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