Are we up for the March Pantry Challenge? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 84 Old 03-12-2005, 02:10 AM
 
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I wish I'd found this thread earlier! Subscribing!

Mama Rana, do you have carrots? Do you have raisins or dates? If you grate the carrots finely and mix them up with the pineapple and raisins/dates, then let it sit in the fridge overnight, it makes a wonderful salad. You can make it without the raisins or dates but they really add interest. You can add chopped nuts when you serve it, too.

You can use crushed pineapple to marinate chicken, too. Or you can use it instead of the liquid in a muffin recipe (you might need to use a little more than if you were using milk or water, becuse it's thicker).

Anyone got any unusual cornmeal recipes (i.e. not cornbread, tortillas or polenta)? My friend brought us some very nice, finely ground cornmeal. It has a wonderful flavor but I'm kind of tired of cornbread
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#62 of 84 Old 03-12-2005, 10:54 AM
 
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make some corn tortillas or put the grains in the freezer- they will stay better and use them on another pantry challenge down the road!

Last night was falafel on pitas with spicy potatoes (use up some red potatoes) and rice (had to use up that last bit of basmati). Great vegan meal and perfect for lent. Also cucumber yogurt. This is a wonderful meal for the senses since it combines spicy, sour, grainy, and we served grapes for sweet and had some dry wine which really balanced things well. Of course we have a very musical morning with DH and I felling the aftermath of flatulence!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#63 of 84 Old 03-12-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlndocs
I wish I'd found this thread earlier! Subscribing!

Mama Rana, do you have carrots? Do you have raisins or dates? If you grate the carrots finely and mix them up with the pineapple and raisins/dates, then let it sit in the fridge overnight, it makes a wonderful salad. You can make it without the raisins or dates but they really add interest. You can add chopped nuts when you serve it, too.

You can use crushed pineapple to marinate chicken, too. Or you can use it instead of the liquid in a muffin recipe (you might need to use a little more than if you were using milk or water, becuse it's thicker).

Anyone got any unusual cornmeal recipes (i.e. not cornbread, tortillas or polenta)? My friend brought us some very nice, finely ground cornmeal. It has a wonderful flavor but I'm kind of tired of cornbread


oooh i do have carrots and raisins! are the proportions to taste? thanks!!!
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#64 of 84 Old 03-12-2005, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I am not giving up yet, but I had to go shopping today (it had been 6 days since the last trip) and it brought me up to a total of $287 total for the month. And we are not even halfway through! We were out of so many things--tea, flour, eggs, bread, butter, not to mention fresh produce, cheese, meat, etc.

I did not buy ANY packaged food, save for a box of stuffing mix that DH requested b/c he is sick. And even that was the store brand!

I found some great deals. I shopped at my favorite store, Stop and Shop, which had 10 lb. bags of flour for $2.09!! That is half the price of flour at any other store around here. Also their store brand organic eggs were on sale 1.99. I won't list all the deals I got but there were many. I avoided buying any household items since I've vowed to get those at discount stores or dollar stores from now on. I brought home a huge load of groceries with many staples for $117.00.

I do feel I am saving some money and buying quality, healthy food. Previously I was probably spending about $130 a week for a total of $520 a month. Plus trips to the health food stores for those extras and I don't even want to think about how much that added up to. A LOT. I wasn't really keeping track. If I were to be honest, I guess I could have been spending about $600 a month!

I guess it might be more realistic for me to aim for $400 a month or maybe $350. I don't know what it is. I swear I am not buying any junk, no individual servings of anything, no boxed mixes, nothing! I do buy some organic, as much as possible, and we do eat meat. I bought less expensive fruits and veggies--oranges, apples, cabbage, etc.

I think I live in an expensive area and I also think we eat a lot. We don't eat out, though. DH has a pretty hearty appetite--he can polish off half a large container of yogurt in about a day and a half! And being pregnant I am eating more than usual.

I am keeping my price book going and paying attention to where the deals are, though. I noticed today when filling in my book that Stop and Shop was .50 to a dollar cheaper on many items than the other stores in the area (except for WalMart, and I refuse to shop there for food or anything else if I can avoid it.) So I felt good about that.

I will continue to cook from scratch and use pantry items whenever possible. Today I used up some organic sausage from the freezer that had been just sitting there. It was good to throw that package away, finally!

How are the rest of you doing with your budgets/spending plans? Please fill us in!
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#65 of 84 Old 03-13-2005, 01:57 AM
 
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Hey all! Fell off the wagon a bit today, but it's still cool. My 13 yo brother is visiting, so we ordered Chinese take-out and bought some candy. Now DH is teaching him to play blackjack while I surf MDC. All in all, a good day.

Does anyone have any ideas for using vanilla yogurt? I always seem to feel better when I have a good dose of yogurt in my diet, but while I like it straight w/ granola stirred in, that does get a bit old after while, and I'd like to branch out a bit. TIA!
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#66 of 84 Old 03-13-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
Does anyone have any ideas for using vanilla yogurt? I always seem to feel better when I have a good dose of yogurt in my diet, but while I like it straight w/ granola stirred in, that does get a bit old after while, and I'd like to branch out a bit. TIA!
We put fruit and bit bit of honey or sugar in it and freezer it in frezzee pops. DD loves them.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#67 of 84 Old 03-13-2005, 02:20 PM
 
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i need to find ways to use the zillion cans of tuna I have....sigh
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#68 of 84 Old 03-13-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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jen, couple ideas for the yogurt. I like to make smoothies: yogurt, fruit (fresh, frozen, or canned), fruit juice or ice, and I like to add a bit of oats for texture. you can also use the yogurt to make a fruit pizza. spread it on some sort of crust (huge cookie, crescent roll or pie crust, precooked) then add fruit.

gl!
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#69 of 84 Old 03-13-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thia
i need to find ways to use the zillion cans of tuna I have....sigh
Since its lent, we have been eating a lot of tuna on Fridays for lunches.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#70 of 84 Old 03-14-2005, 03:08 PM
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re. chicken/turkey stock

I always add something acidic - vinegar or lemon juice- in the last hour of boiling the carcass. It leaches some of the calcium out of the bones so you get a healthier stock.

Also, I probably don't use as much water as the p.poster, and then don't add chicken boullion. I'd rather not use the artificial flavour if I'm going through the trouble of making homemade soup.

gisele

Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July.  Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.

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#71 of 84 Old 03-14-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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Hi all, I am new to this thread, but excited to give it a try. We are currently spending almost $600/mo to feed our family of 4 (one of whom exclusively nurses and another toddler who eats almost nothing!) . We do mostly organic with raw milk and pasture fed meats, which is very expensive, but pretty important to us. I need to start incorporating more meat-less, pantry meals and using the meat as more of a side dish to get our food budget down to manageable amount.

Annettemarie, where is your Amish store, if you don't mind saying?
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#72 of 84 Old 03-14-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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I have two (one is run by Mennonites actually)- one is in Mifflinburg, and the other is in Turbotville.

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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#73 of 84 Old 03-15-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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We live near a large Amish community, too, and I can't wait to check out what they have! I know there is a butcher shop, bakeries, general stores, a homeopathic health food store, a scratch-and-dent store (like Annette's "Amish store), a dairy, a farmer's market, and lots more. A friend of my mom's is close to many of the Amish families, and she's going to show me around. I've been trying to wait until my pantry/freezer get a little bit lower, but I don't think I can wait much longer.

Ok, back on topic... Thanks for those yogurt ideas! I can't wait to make a fruit pizza!
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#74 of 84 Old 03-15-2005, 02:01 AM
 
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Well, I made my macaroni and cheese to use up goat cheese and cream cheese. I found some gruyere ends at work and my sis had some jack, had some breadcrumbs in the pantry and it was on! :LOL
I actually made it for my sister's 30th birthday. I have no money but still wanted to make her something good, and so for her birthday she got a pantry meal. Pretty good, huh?
Well, I'm leaving Saturday for a week, and bought about $25 worth of neccesities and I think that's it for the month. This week I'm making pasta with canned sauce, maybe some tofu sloppy joes, pizza, and leftover night. I've got everything I need for those meals, I don't want anything sitting in my fridge while I'm gone.
Hey, I've got a question. What can I make to take on the airplane?

Mama to 3:
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#75 of 84 Old 03-19-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Where is everybody?!

I had a meal plan drawn up for an entire week, starting yesterday, and wouldn't you know it, DH and I both got sick yesterday. I'm feeling a bit better, but I'm still trying to take it easy, so we've been eating take-out and cereal.

It looks like my mom is coming to visit for Easter, so I'm going to bake one of the 10 lb turkey breasts in my freezer. Hopefully, I'll have lots of leftovers to make into freezer meals (turkey and stuffing casserole, turkey pot pie, and turkey & cheese sandiwches come to mine)
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#76 of 84 Old 03-19-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm making some tomato sauce to use up some crushed tomatos. We will eat it with meatballs tomorrow and ravoli (a late St Josph meal). I have gone thru a lot of tuna for lent ( I'm sick of it now)

I have been feeding my freezer with stuff from the pantry but the pantry is looking a bit robust so its time for a weeks worth of meals from there.

After easter I do my April detox so that might help get things out of there for spring.

But, I was looking in my checkbook at our balence and since we paid off our car, there is more $$ available but still there is more. I guess we have trimmed down on dining out and grocery shopping.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#77 of 84 Old 03-20-2005, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, Jennisee and all, I am still here!

I have been spending a lot of time on Diapering and in the TP b/c I needed some new cloth dipes for DS and the new baby...spent a bit but will sell a bit, too. My goal is not to buy one more bag of disp. dipes, even for the newborn baby coming in May, so I am trying to make sure i have everything I need!

I am up to $377 so far for groceries this month. A big improvment over previous months. With 1 1/2 weeks to go I think I can stick to $400 or less. That's probably $150 less than I had been spending monthly.

I made my own granola this afternoon. One batch was a little overbrowned but it's all very good and so easy to make! I put sunflower seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in one batch, and left another plain for DS. A heck of a lot cheaper than buying it!

Now I've got to go find a pound cake recipe for my mom's birthday and then get dinner started...thinking maybe an easy cabbage-pork casserole....
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#78 of 84 Old 03-20-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird
Hi, Jennisee and all, I am still here!


I made my own granola this afternoon. One batch was a little overbrowned but it's all very good and so easy to make! I put sunflower seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in one batch, and left another plain for DS. A heck of a lot cheaper than buying it!
..
Do you have a recipe of some sort?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#79 of 84 Old 03-20-2005, 09:23 PM
 
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Amy, I made my first recipe sans canned soup tonight. Followed your advice with the flour (ww), chicken broth, and milk. Added some italian seasoning, too.
It turned out yummy! Thank you.

I have a frozen pie crust that was crushed in my freezer, so it's in pieces. Any ideas?
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#80 of 84 Old 03-20-2005, 09:57 PM
 
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Use it as if it were a "store-bought" batch of crumbles in a recipe for some-fruit-crunch-or-another. (When you go to sprinkle it over the filling, you might want to sprinklle a teaspoon or so of extra sugar on there too. Or not, depending on how sweet you like things.)
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#81 of 84 Old 03-21-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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Stacy- glad it worked, if it didn;t Id be in trouble!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#82 of 84 Old 03-23-2005, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
Do you have a recipe of some sort?
Sure thing.

Blend in a large bowl:

4 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut
1 T brown sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
1 tea. cinnamon
(optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice)

In a small saucepan, heat on low til melted:

1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix this into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or your hands.

Put into a greased shallow pan(s) and bake at 300F for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally with spatula to turn over. Watch carefully during last 15 min. as it tends to start cooking quickly at that point. Be careful--the coconut and nuts can get overbrowned.

Remove and cool completely. Add raisins or other dried fruits. Store in airtight container.

Note: I soak this in milk for my 2 year old and he eats it with a spoon out of a little bowl. I soak it for about an hour in the fridge and it's then soft enough for him to eat. (I make it without nuts and raisins for him).
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#83 of 84 Old 03-24-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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thanks rainbowbird!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#84 of 84 Old 03-25-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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Yeah....finally used some of that tuna yesterday in a casserole and it came out great! The only thing it needed was a salad on the side, but I didn't have stuff for a salad. Bah!
So, now I know how to get using the tuna, I need to work on the bags of dried beans I have on the shelf. Dh and I haven't been to a grocery store in almost two weeks...hurrah!
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