Anyone up for a Pantry Challenge in November? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That would be where you commit to not spending money on groceries and use up everything in your house. The thread provides a place for us to share ideas on using specific ingredients to help us get through the month using as little money as possible on food and clearing out the cupboards of food that has undoubtedly been there too long!!!

I'm doing it. I have a fortress of cookbooks and the internet on my side. I have stuff in my downstairs fridge and freezer that so help me I don't even know how long it's been there... and yet, I buy food. I HAVE FOOD, DARN IT!!!

So... anyone with me?

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#2 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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I'm with you! I can't commit to NO spending but I've set my grocery budget at $300 and for that to work we've got to eat what's in there! I also need to clear out the freezer - I have a big pork roast and a 20lb turkey that was supposed to be Christmas dinner last year, but being super preg it didn't happen. It's almost a year old, so it's time for it to go.

I'm going to write up a menu now (you've inspired me)!
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#3 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A menu... eh? Hmmmm... Maybe I should go through the stuff I have in the freezer and try to do the same thing. Just write down what I have and then find all of the accoutrements (sp?) I have and see what that would make.

Eggggggs-ellent she says, twiddling her fingers together with one eyebrow raised.

We should post our "hard to use" items. And like the "no-spend challenge", maybe we should post what we used up from the cupboards/pantry every day and when we had to spend money on food.

YAY!! I'm psyched!!!

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#4 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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Yes, me! I just inventoried my pantry this afternoon, and started a meal plan. I would like to do a Nov/Dec double-challenge so I can squeeze some Christmas money out of our budget. It sort of crept up on me this year. :

I will buy the things that will enable me to most frugally and nutritiously use up the stuff we have on hand. There are a handful of specific holidays and occasions for which I will go off my challenge (including Thanksgiving and an upcoming 4-day-weekend-vacation) but otherwise I will stick to using up what we have and buying nothing unnecessary.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#5 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Trying to be extremely frugal food wise right now, so I am definitely in! I am lucky to have a deep freeze with lots of organic meat (which has to be rationed because of the cost) and about 10lbs of frozen berries; a pantry with a good amount of beans, rice, alternative flours, dried fruit, some canned tomatoes/sauce; and a CSA share that is already paid in full for the season (weekly in-season veggies & fruits plus 2 dozen eggs). I don't want to use up *all* my supplies, just want to keep my grocery bill really low to save up for some upcoming expenses. I'm planning on focusing alot on soups, bean dishes, homemade baked goods while incorporating our CSA goodies.

I don't have time to write up a menu today, probably won't happen until Thursday and will only be until Tuesday. I usually meal plan on Tuesdays around whatever veggies we get.

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#6 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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I did this in October, and did pretty well. This month I am more motivated, though, and want to use up the "misfit groceries" in my cupboards (AKA stuff my friends gave me when they moved that I would never buy myself and have no earthly idea how to use, but am too much of a tightwad to throw away! )

Can we also do like a "declutter challenge" and post the things we've used up from our cupboards each week? That might motivate me to find a way to use things like Victoria sauce (I'm not kidding, I've got some. It's traditionally served with pork or chicken - um, yeah, we're veggie!

I will update my inventory and make my meal plan this week end, and post it on Monday. I would LOVE it if people could help me "fill in the blanks" so that I can spend as little on food this month as possible!

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#7 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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OK - so I just checked and without touching the turkey (when am I going to use that thing??? , I got 26 meals, including 3 days attributed to Thanksgiving. This is just dinners of course. It's just me for lunch, so I'll forage for scraps...

I'm set. I have no need for food purchases outside of fresh fruit/veggies and dairy...

I'll post more specific ideas when DS is not trying to eat the computer!
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#8 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
I did this in October, and did pretty well. This month I am more motivated, though, and want to use up the "misfit groceries" in my cupboards (AKA stuff my friends gave me when they moved that I would never buy myself and have no earthly idea how to use, but am too much of a tightwad to throw away! )

Can we also do like a "declutter challenge" and post the things we've used up from our cupboards each week? That might motivate me to find a way to use things like Victoria sauce (I'm not kidding, I've got some. It's traditionally served with pork or chicken - um, yeah, we're veggie!

I will update my inventory and make my meal plan this week end, and post it on Monday. I would LOVE it if people could help me "fill in the blanks" so that I can spend as little on food this month as possible!
I think listing what we use is a great idea.

Let us know what you've got and where the blanks are. I'm a tightwad too, so I'm sure I can help!

What is Victoria Sauce - maybe I can think of something to put it on if I knew what it tasted like or what it's made of.
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#9 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by michelle524 View Post
I think listing what we use is a great idea.

Let us know what you've got and where the blanks are. I'm a tightwad too, so I'm sure I can help!
That is a great idea and would be most helpful for me. For example I have random things like quinoa flour, millet, canned salmon, random GF baking mixes, etc that I would love to get some use out of. Its not like I don't ever use them, they just haven't been in our repertoire recently and I'm worried about them going bad.

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#10 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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Well, except for eggs, milk, and the obvious Thanksgiving meal, I'm in. I have PLENTY of food, plus we get a pre-paid produce box weekly and grain box monthly. Plenty of food already paid for there. If I can keep it to just the eggs and milk, I can save at least a few hundred dollars. Thanksgiving, though, will not be a pantry made meal!
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#11 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by michelle524 View Post
OK - so I just checked and without touching the turkey (when am I going to use that thing??? , I got 26 meals, including 3 days attributed to Thanksgiving. This is just dinners of course. It's just me for lunch, so I'll forage for scraps...

I'm set. I have no need for food purchases outside of fresh fruit/veggies and dairy...

I'll post more specific ideas when DS is not trying to eat the computer!
Are you hosting Thanksgiving? If not then maybe the day after Thanksgiving make your own T-day dinner to use it up, but go light on the side dishes. Then you would have lots of turkey to make turkey rice soup, turkey enchiladas, yum! I think you better use it sooner rather than later

~Rebecca~
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#12 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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i'll try; this will be my first time. i finally found out where the local food banks are to take stuff we don't like or can't eat (that i bought before finding out dd's allergic to tomato).

we have family coming to stay twice this month and we're hosting thanksgiving for 10 so i will be buying at those times. otherwise we should hopefully hust be buying produce, eggs and dairy until the food runs out.

sarah
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#13 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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So here's my menu plan for the month:

3 frozen pizzas
2 nights of chili (fed the freezer last month)
meatloaf (also in the freezer)
turkey sausage - either with pasta or as a saus/pepper/onion sandwich
pork roast
Pulled pork from leftover roast
tofu stir fry
steak stir fry
veggie burgers
steak (not stir fried)
spag/veggie meatballs
pasta primavera with chick peas
chicken - not sure what I'll do, I have some frozen cutlets
rice and beans
splilt pea soup/salad/bread
burritos
enchiladas
tacos

I have plenty of sides, should only need to minorly supplement.

3 nights of Thanksgiving
4 nights of take out (one per week)

There's one meal that's on the list that DH HATES!! So here's where I need a suggestion. I was going to make "Chick Pea Tomato Thing" which is a can of diced tomatoes, chick peas, onions, garlic, maybe some carrots... over brown rice. Anyone got a better idea with the chick peas? I need some CP inspiration. Oh, and I have no tahini, so I can't make hummus.
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#14 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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Not a good month for me to try this challenge. Too many good things on sale in November. Plus with the Feds contemplating cutting interest rates again , I fear inflation may be in the future. If gas goes up, so will food costs. I'd rather stock my pantry while I can.
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#15 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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I'll probably semi - do the challenge. My pantries are poretty much bare thanks to a month with no FS benefits. However my freezers are full - so I'm going to try for every meal to have at least 1 things from the freezer in it.
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#16 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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I'm in for this month. I am hosting Thanksgiving this year for 14 people so I will need to purchase items for that weekend. Those guests will be staying all weekend so I need to be stocked up. Other than that, my menu is partially made so I need to continue working on it. I need to look through my cupboards and use up some misc. foods. I'll come here looking for help.

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#17 of 313 Old 10-30-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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I'll join. I'm embarrassed to say, my freezer and pantry are full and have been for the past 2 mths. But I keep buying food! I keep seeing things on sale. I think it has something to do with hibernation/winter coming.

My goals are to spend less than $200 this month on groceries. (Milk, fresh fruits and veggies, cat food, misc)
Get creative and try new recipes!
Bake all our bread. No buying!
Bake cookies or muffins if I have the urge for something sweeter. No buying!


Items to focus on:
oatmeal
ground beef
rice
a small duck that I bought when it was on sale but I'm too intimidated by it.
lentils
apples
will add more later
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#18 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 04:59 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm in! I do the no-spend challenge, so why not the pantry challenge too?
We really don't have much in the way of a pantry... And I mean not much AT ALL... But I'll commit to using what we do have before buying more.
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#19 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ***Heather*** View Post
I keep buying food! I keep seeing things on sale. I think it has something to do with hibernation/winter coming.
Also, lots of staples tend to go on sale in September and especially October. It's no wonder you're seeing them!
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#20 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 08:25 AM
 
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I have been wanting to do this for sooooooo long. Definitely count me in.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#21 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 09:26 AM
 
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Ok, here's my first ingredient that I need help with... Condensed goat's milk. I have a can of it, and have absolutely no idea what the heck to do with it.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#22 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm in, too. I've been doing it for the last 3 weeks or so, half heartedly, but now it's crunch time. We just found out we're being transferred, so I need to eat up absolutely everything!! Aack.

My mystery ingredients--a jar of cajeta (I'm thinking a flan) and a jar of guava jelly.

Garbanzos? Do you like Indian food? They are good as chana masala, over rice or with naan (easy to make homemade). Raita is good, but not necessary. You can make hummus without tahini. We add them to salads for interest. Really good with pickled beets and Italian dressing. Weird, but good.

We also like them in this soup. It has a chili like taste, just different and good. We have chard in our garden, so that's what I use, but it'd be good with any green or just leave it out. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/re...ipe_id=1611739

Oh, and this one is good, too. It's not tomatoey, if that's your dh's problem with it. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/re...cipe_id=630121
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#23 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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I'm in TOO!!

Oh and I have a question, how would I know if my WW flour is stale? It smells a little bitter. Could i use it anyways? If I can then what could I make with it? (I'm thinking it may make tings taste bitter?)
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#24 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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I don't know if I've got enough on hand to make it through a whole month, but I was planning on trying for a couple weeks, anyway! So count me in
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#25 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle524 View Post
...What is Victoria Sauce - maybe I can think of something to put it on if I knew what it tasted like or what it's made of.
chopped rhubarb, chopped onions, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice.

I wonder if I could combine it with mincemeat for my mince pies at Christmas?

On another note, BetsyS, could I have your recipe for naan? We eat curry on a regular basis, it would be nice to have naan, as well.

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#26 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
Ok, here's my first ingredient that I need help with... Condensed goat's milk. I have a can of it, and have absolutely no idea what the heck to do with it.
I'd use it like regular condensed milk - maybe in potato soup or for baking with?
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#27 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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subbing
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#28 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Count me in... sort of.
'Tis the season of sales in my area though - baking sale this week, plus then comes turkey day so I plan to buy as many turkeys as I can to roast, strip the meat off, and freeze just the meat instead of the entire turkey (you usually get a turkey for $.22/lb with a $25 purchase, so I make a bunch of $28-$30 purchases that week - I also stock up on laundry detergent for the year at this time, too). I stock up on as much as I can during the sales, it's just how I roll with preparing how to feed my boys and with the good-sized pantry I've got. Especially if we end up getting a bigger freezer - right now I've got a dinky little 4-cubic foot one that takes quite a bit of juggling and squishing.


Condensed milk can go into a clam chowder... I have a recipe somewhere in my messy kitchen that only has like 5 or so ingredients - way easier than I guessed.

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#29 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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I'd like to try this, but I'm really bad at figuring out how to use specific ingredients so I don't know how well I'll do. But we spent about $800 in groceries last month, for two people. I feel that's ridiculous and there has to be a way to cut it down! I guess to start I should go through and inventory what we do have?

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#30 of 313 Old 10-31-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Kathirynne--this is the recipe we use http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Naan/Detail.aspx

Sometimes I make chapati bread, too. It is even easier. http://www.showmethecurry.com/2007/04/14/chapatti/
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