March Pantry Challenge! Join us...you know you want to!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 83 Old 02-29-2008, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I guess this will be the thread.

Here are my personal pantry challenge rules:

No more than one trip to store a week.
Only buy what is on the list. No exceptions.
No processed foods. None. Zip.
Use up what I can from the fridge and freezer.

Please post your pantry challenge rules/goals.

Good luck!
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#2 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I hope so. Can this just be the thread. We are still working on that ever-full freezer. Had some sausages out of it for dinner tonight. I think we must have at least three packages of of those. I wonder if I could clear one shelf of in the next month. That would be amazing!

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#3 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Did a big stock up yesterday and am doing some freezer cooking today. Should be set for the month with meals. Just have to keep from buying snacky foods, like a personal chocolate stash! That is going to be REALLY hard!!!
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#4 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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Wow, I am doing the opposite. I am stocking the pantry and freezer with as much as I can. Invariably, the dollar will be worth less next month than it is this month. That means that anything I buy now I will see huge savings over buying it next month.

I do have the goals of not wasting any dollars on junk and luxuries and making every single dollar stretch the best way I can.
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#5 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Well, we stock our freezer with a lot of the produce from our garden and our u-pick-it CSA. And since that starts really soon, we need the space! Plus, we have beans and rice in the pantry that are way old - I'm not going to count on them being good for another year.

Last month I was going to use some jarred curry paste. It was probably 3 years old. Well somewhere along the line it must have been dropped/knocked out of the pantry because there was a dent to the lid and the seal was broken. (The 'button' on the lid would go up and down.) Good thing I had a backup plan for dinner, and noticed that before using it. Otherwise we'd look like this for a few days:

We also have a lot of pickles and canned goods. I'll to free up enough jars so DH doesn't go buy new ones again this year.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#6 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Im in again. Of course my house is full of food because I've stocked up since I've been doing the challenge since Jan.
I need to use up the handful of items that have been sitting around forever. Already looked up recipes, now I just need to use them.
Only buy things that I know I will use at the market. And if it's something I'm experimenting with, only buy a little bit.

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#7 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 04:38 PM
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I'm joining you this month. I am a food shop-a-holic. I am a hoarder when it comes to food too. Don't know why. There's just something very satisfying about having a well stocked pantry and freezer. I mainly shop from our coop. I like home slow cooked meals. We eat meat and dairy, but I choose to cook vegetarian/vegan alternately with meat meals. When we do eat meat it's only for dinner.

I have a good supply of staples. A variety of rices, beans, grains. I have great seasonings and sauce bases in the pantry. I really should not have to buy food for a good while. LOL My coop is at the end of the month and I need to reserve my grochery budget money for the coop to re-stock on the staples.

My rule is going to be to only go to the store for what I need for fresh produce. I am also not going into town more than twice a week (to take ds to preschool). I have dentist appoinments all month for one of those days, the other day I will read a book at a near by coffee shop and stay out of the stores. My other addiction is kitchen gadets.

I want to cut my gas budget in half so we can go home for easter. Spring is coming and the kids will need a new supply of cloths next month. I would love to pick those up while we are visiting home and catch the sales.

The move has cost us thousands and thousands of dollars, so our budget is very tight now. Time to buckle down.
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#8 of 83 Old 03-01-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I'm in! I've got most of March's menu planned and I should only have to purchased milk and fresh fruits and veggies.

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#9 of 83 Old 03-02-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leomom View Post
Ok, so I guess this will be the thread.

Here are my personal pantry challenge rules:

No more than one trip to store a week.
Only buy what is on the list. No exceptions.
No processed foods. None. Zip.
Use up what I can from the fridge and freezer.

Please post your pantry challenge rules/goals.

Good luck!

I don't know. I guess I'd like to use what we have this month and save as much as possible.

I just spent about $150 and I have food in the pantry/freezer and a garden. I'd like to see how far this will go for our family.

So I suppose my challenge is...to use what I have while redirecting our diets back to sit down meals together.

ETA:
March 3rd - B: (cereal, soy milk) S: nanners & plums L:cheese ravioli S: nilla wafers
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#10 of 83 Old 03-02-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Used up some cocoa nibs I had in the freezer for forever and made some raw fudge. Good stuff.

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#11 of 83 Old 03-02-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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I made oatmeal butterscotch cookies today - everything was on hand, and we have a ton of chips (butterscotch, chocolate, white chocolate) to use.

And for dinner DH made tacos, from items on hand. We didn't have taco seasoning and he was going to go to the store. I said, "Don't we have the spices to make taco seasoning? You should check the internet." So he found a recipe and I made up a batch of seasoning. Yea, us!

Now I just have to make the cookies last for the week.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#12 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's awesome about making your own taco seasoning.

Anyone have a good recipe of making spaghetti sauce from scratch, without using anything canned?
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#13 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 01:25 PM
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You need lots of really ripe tomatoes. Cut them up and take out the seeds. Cut up an onion, mince some garlic and place the three on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and some salt and pepper, basil/oregano/thyme. Slow roast for 2 hours in a 350F oven. Then put in a pot with some chicken stock. Simmer for an hour or so, then using a hand blender puree or keep it chunky if you like. Keep simmering until you have a deep thick red sauce. You know it has simmered enough when the liquid does not seperate when you ladle it into a bowl. You could skip the oven portion, but I think it adds a ton of flavor.

1c. onion
20 fleshy tomatoes like Roma's
2 cloves garlic
1/4c. olive oil
spices to taste
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#14 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 01:32 PM
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Ds has the flu. It's really easy not to make unnesessary trips to the store when you have a sick kids and dh is out of town. LOL

I did manage to whip out for 5min yesturday to pick up some veggies. I spent $30, but $10 of that was the depost for the water bottle. I also picked up a sack of wheat berries.

I made some delish cookies, cakes, muffins, squares and quick breads all using veggie purees from veggies in the fridge that would have normally been binned in the next few days. So I stocked the freezer for the girls lunches, which will stop me from running to the health store to pick up lunch box treats. And they are chocked full of veggies to boot.

I made some oatmeal knot buns last night that turned out so yummy. Today I'm going to use the same recipe and try to turn it into a loaf of bread. I am going to soak some beans and get them cooking. I am working on my menu for the next few weeks using as much as I can with what is already in the pantry and freezer. Thank goodness for my well deversified supply of cookbooks.

I'm making ds and I some home made chicken noodle soup for lunch, that I already have in the freezer. I think I will make a refried bean layer dip with tortilla's and cut veggies for dinner.
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#15 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Making red bean and quinoa chili today. Both from the pantry, also using up some tomato sauce in the recipe (I've got a ton of cans). Will probably serve with corn tortillas from the freezer.
I might make some cranberry muffins today using up cranberries I've had in the freezer forever and some cornmeal and applesauce.

Mama to 3:
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#16 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I'm joining! We've got such a well stocked pantry I'm ashamed that so many nights I complain "there's nothing too make."

Of course that may be more of a problem with the actual cooking than the pantry situation.

I'm starting the $70/wk menu at Hillbilly Housewife with dinner tonight. Looking through the shopping list I acutally have everything (or an OK substitute) on it!

My goals for this month:
~ One trip to the store a week for milk/eggs/fresh fruit.
~ Cut back on the juice. Drink more fridge brewed tea & water.
~ Use up the huge stash of dried beans/peas/lentils.
~ Start using the bread machine again.
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#17 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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I joined Jan & Feb but didn't post so much in either thread. I've had a lot of success but I still have some really annoying foods I need to use up.

1 can cranberry sauce (the gross jelly stuff)
1 bag frozen peas ( DH won't eat them plain)
1 can mushroom soup
3/4 bags dried beans. white/kidney/etc... ( I secretly hate beans)
2 cans corn (Also Dh won't eat plain)
1 bag frozen corn
1 can bean sprouts

I need recipes ideas for these things. I know it doesn't seem like a lot but they've been following me for 2 months now and I'm getting tempted just to throw it all out just to "win" the pantry challenge and have cycled through this stuff Once this is gone, we're going to be carefully restocking,cooking, and freezing whole meals with a meal plan for after the baby arrives in April.

So what would you do with these things? (Besides just eat them lol)

XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#18 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 05:45 PM
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I made bread! Happy Dance!!!

Bread is a big part of our budget. I grind my own flour, but bread never turns out. So after the oatmeal knotty buns turned out so great yesturday I decided to double the recipe and turn it into bread. Had everything on hand and enough ingredients to keep making it for the month (most likely two or three months). I turned it into three loaves which are in the oven right now.

Now for those who have read any of my bread threads, I suck at bread. Can't do it. This recipe was so great. It used regular rolled oats which has gave it a nice chewy and soft texture (so I don't have to use buttermilk for this result). It even had a little rise in the oven so it has those nice risen sides that you're supposed to get with home baked bread. Can't wait. So proud. Just saved myself $8!
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#19 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 05:55 PM
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xekomaya, make a chili with the corn and beans. Chicken or turkey chili is very tasty with corn. You could make some muffins and put a dallop of the cranberry sauce in the center. Choose a plain muffin recipe, put some batter in the muffin cup, some sauce, and then top with more batter. Bake as per instructions for the muffins. I would add the peas to some smashed potatoes, something about peas and mashed potatoes...yum. I have never heard of bean spourts in a can. I would toss the mushroom soup...seriously it's just not a good food.
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#20 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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I am new here, but I would like to join. I have an extremely well stocked freezer and pantry with some items that I need to use up. I would like to not really have to buy any meat(chicken,beef, etc..) for at least a week if not 2, I already have meals planned with what we have here. I have a couple items that I am unsure what to do with, they are caribou sausage(from a friend), and some huge rib steaks from my dad. I thought maybe spaghetti with the sausage and broil the steaks for one dinner, cut the meat off of the bone and then use the rest for stir-fry. I would like to only have to purchase milk, veggies and maybe cheese(I have WIC so I can get those in a couple days).

So my goals are: try to use up as much as possible at home for a few reasons-save on gas(WA has the 3rd highest prices in the nation) and to get my freezer ready to clean up, try to make a bigger credit card payment to get that sucker down, and to be able to do another "big" shopping trip in a few weeks to restock supplies that are low.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#21 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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1 can cranberry sauce (the gross jelly stuff) - mix with apples and make a fruit crisp
1 bag frozen peas ( DH won't eat them plain) - mix with some macaroni and cheese
1 can mushroom soup
3/4 bags dried beans. white/kidney/etc... ( I secretly hate beans) - so many things...make bean dip (hummus type)
2 cans corn (Also Dh won't eat plain) - mash up with avocado for guac
1 bag frozen corn
1 can bean sprouts

Mama to 3:
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#22 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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DH and I appear to be broke again, so I need to join! I've been feeding the freezer for after the baby's born (in a few weeks), so the aim isn't to use stuff up per se; it's just to not spend money!

So, today's Tuesday, and our meal plan/budget week starts on a Wednesday. Tonight's dinner is sorted--lamb chops in the crockpot--and I'll freeze the leftovers. After that, our first goal is to spend nothing whatsoever on groceries for the week!

That's gonna take some creative meal planning... I'll make flatbreads one night, and hummus from our dried chickpeas (which DH won't eat in their regular form, grrr), and have a kind of Turkish/Middle Eastern dinner with yoghurt and veggies for dipping... and stuff.

We have a packet of lamb stir fry meat in the freezer, which will do us for another night; and a can of tomatoes, from which I can make some kind of tomato soup (we're low on onions though, vexingly, and I just used the last of the garlic). Maybe I can make risotto one night? And... we have lentils. Something lentilly. And then something potatoey. I'll think on it and let you know.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#23 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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I'm in.... I just stocked up from Costco, Publix and Big Lots, so we are good to go. My problem .... I have some very late nights and feel too tired to cook, so we end up eating out too much. I made a meal plan for the next two weeks to help us out.


My goals for the month:
1. Buy only fresh produce, veggies, organic milk and bread for the next two weeks.
2. Work through the odds and ends of the pantry such as
light coconut milk(canned)
hoisin sauce
sun-dried tomatoes
canned mango

Any thoughts??

3. Use the crock pot on late nights
4. Have one bean/rice meal 1x per week-- I have tons of dried beans to use up:


Dawn
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#24 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Hmm. Maybe you could make some kind of arty curry out of the mango and coconut milk? (You could even do a vegetarian curry with beans, if you're really desperate to use your beans up!).

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#25 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mbtmom2000 View Post
2. Work through the odds and ends of the pantry such as
light coconut milk(canned)
hoisin sauce
sun-dried tomatoes
canned mango
Make a smoothie with the mango, part of the coconut milk, and a handful of ice. Or whatever other fruits you have around that sound yummy to add.

If you have turkey burger around sun-dried tomatoes are excellent if you chop them up & add them to it. Along with lots of seasonings, chopped black olives, & mozarella or feta chunks.

The tomatoes could also be good on flat bread. Kind of like foccacia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by isosmom View Post
1 can cranberry sauce (the gross jelly stuff) - mix with apples and make a fruit crisp
1 bag frozen peas ( DH won't eat them plain) - mix with some macaroni and cheese
1 can mushroom soup
3/4 bags dried beans. white/kidney/etc... ( I secretly hate beans) - so many things...make bean dip (hummus type)
2 cans corn (Also Dh won't eat plain) - mash up with avocado for guac
1 bag frozen corn
1 can bean sprouts
A really simple lazy dinner is cream of mushroom (or anything) soup over some sort of toasted bread with a bit of seasoning added.

Peas are also good in macaroni salad.

Shephards Pie is good to use up corn.

~~~~~~~~

My favorite crock-pot recipe is:

3-6 pieces chicken. I usually use boneless, skinless breasts I got on sale, but I'm sure bone in chicken would work as well.

1/2 - 1 jar Italian salad dressing of your choice

1 medium onion, chopped.

Toss chicken in, cover with dressing & top with onions. Cook on high at least 5 hrs. Use a slotted spoon to serve. It will be falling apart. Very good with rice or couscous & a veggie. Slice up left overs to go in tortillas or shred to make chicken salad for lunch the next day.
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#26 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Okay, just remembered we're having the in-laws over for dinner on Monday night. Help! Here are our 'assets':

--some eggs
--some frozen bacon
--chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, more lentils of different colours
--brown, white and arborio rice
--possibly a pumpkin (it's growing in the garden, not sure if it's good or not though!)
--lots of potatoes
--tinned tomatoes
--a small thingy of lamb stir fry meat
--stuff to make bread with
--some cheese

My MIL is picky, but I can't give you details about that, as I only tend to find out after the fact (blame DH). They're used to eating meat, so if I make something vegetarian it'll have to be pretty 'mainstream', if you know what I mean. Maybe I could do a lentil and tomato lasagna? But we don't have any garlic--and really, I'm pretty incapable of cooking anything without garlic. Bah. Perhaps we'll have to just buy some garlic... As for dessert, we have a few 'fancy' ingredients--some coconut, chocolate chips, canned peaches, sweetened condensed milk. No cream or anything, though. But dessert shouldn't be a huge problem, I'll think of something.

*ponders*

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#27 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Okay, just remembered we're having the in-laws over for dinner on Monday night. Help! Here are our 'assets':

--some eggs
--some frozen bacon
--chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, more lentils of different colours
--brown, white and arborio rice
--possibly a pumpkin (it's growing in the garden, not sure if it's good or not though!)
--lots of potatoes
--tinned tomatoes
--a small thingy of lamb stir fry meat
--stuff to make bread with
--some cheese

My MIL is picky, but I can't give you details about that, as I only tend to find out after the fact (blame DH). They're used to eating meat, so if I make something vegetarian it'll have to be pretty 'mainstream', if you know what I mean. Maybe I could do a lentil and tomato lasagna? But we don't have any garlic--and really, I'm pretty incapable of cooking anything without garlic. Bah. Perhaps we'll have to just buy some garlic... As for dessert, we have a few 'fancy' ingredients--some coconut, chocolate chips, canned peaches, sweetened condensed milk. No cream or anything, though. But dessert shouldn't be a huge problem, I'll think of something.

*ponders*
Breakfast supper. scrambled or omlet eggs with cheese, bacon, skillet potatoes (use lots of onion instead of garlic). Eggs & bacon should be "meaty" enough for them.

If you have syrup or jam you could make up thin pancakes (like crepes), butter & flavor them, then roll them for a breakfast dessert. Or you could melt some chocolate chips & spread thin layer of chocolate on them then roll them up.
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#28 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Okay, I have got to stick with the pantry challenge this time! I started it in January...then kept going grocery shopping. But now I've only got a few bucks to last us till the middle of the month.

Today I cleaned out the whole fridge. It's sparse in there (but at least it's clean!). We have a block of cheddar; string cheese to put in my boy's lunch box. Hummus, yogurt. Veggie hot dogs. Eggs (cage-free of course!). A bunch of condiments including sour cream.

In the cupboards...black beans, pasta, a few lentils left, cans of crushed tomatoes. I have baking stuff...can make pancakes and desserts with it. We have bread, PB&J, cereals. Juices and some milk. And that is just about it! Which is weird because I feel like I'm always grocery shopping!

Tonight, I made the honey-baked lentil recipe and some rice; cut up red peppers and cukes to munch on.
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#29 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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Is there some website where you can type in random stuff that you have in your pantry and it will list some recipes?

Mama to Munchkin  and Chickadee ...and co-parent to 3 additional bundles of energy!
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#30 of 83 Old 03-03-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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I want to say it's allrecipes.com?

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