Anyone up for an April Pantry Challenge? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 110 Old 04-03-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've followed some of the previous pantry challenges, and I'm ready to do it this month! For those who don't know, a pantry challenge is where you try to go the entire month (or as long as you can) without buying any non-perishable food items. The idea is to save some money and use up some of those items that have been sitting in your cupboard or pantry for months (or years??) You can buy fresh produce, bread, milk, etc., but that's it! We can help eachother with encouragement and meal ideas for those items we don't use so often.

I've got a pretty well-stocked pantry and freezer right now, so it just doesn't make sense to keep spending big bucks on food. I cleared it with dh yesterday. He thinks it's going to be oh-so-easy because he "always just uses what's in the house." I asked him how he thought those things got *into* the house, and how they keep replenishing themselves! He still thinks it will be easy. Our resolve will be most tested when we run out of oatmeal and salsa. That should be about half way through the month.

Anyone want to join in?

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#2 of 110 Old 04-03-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I am in, I have got to start eating more of what I have instead of going out and buying more.

Thanks for starting this.

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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#3 of 110 Old 04-03-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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I'm in! Today I'm making eggplant parmesan and homemade bread for dinner.
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#4 of 110 Old 04-03-2006, 02:29 PM
 
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I never seem to make it through the month with these, but I'll give it a try. Since I'm not the primary cook, I'll probably just focus on my lunches.

We are very good at eating at home, but I would like to cycle through more of the items in the pantry.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#5 of 110 Old 04-03-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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I'm in. Never heard of these before, but I was just telling dh the other day that the pantry is so full that I keep buying stuff we already have...its just hidden and I forget about it... this is a great idea!

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#6 of 110 Old 04-04-2006, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ack! I'm already running out of things I probably won't need, but fear I will! I used the last of the wheat germ in some muffins today. I often go a whole month without using wheat germ, but it's there if I *need* it, kwim? Hey, maybe this exercise will have some spiritual benefit as well as a financial one.

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#7 of 110 Old 04-04-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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I need to join! We're moving in a month, the pantry and freezer are FULL and I wanna pare down.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#8 of 110 Old 04-05-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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We're in...the pantry was bare and I literally just got back from stocking up, so we won't go out to get anything else until May! We certainly could use the saved money!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#9 of 110 Old 04-05-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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I just made a batch of Choc-Oat Chip cookies since we're low on flour but have plenty of oatmeal. Yum!
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#10 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3boysmom
I just made a batch of Choc-Oat Chip cookies since we're low on flour but have plenty of oatmeal. Yum!
Any chance you'd like to share the recipe? I have a bucket full of oats and we are all oatmeal-ed out.
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#11 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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im in... i already did some shopping this month, but not much, so im in the rest of the way

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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#12 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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woudl love to try this. i dont have many "good yummy" things in my pantry like you mamas, but i was telling dh that i would like to cook what we already have. i know he will appreciate the $$ savings.
so, we can buy produce,meat and dairy? just nothign that goes in the pantry??
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#13 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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I don't really expect I'll be able to go a whole month without shopping, but I could sure use some support in clearing out what I've got.

We've been living with my dad for the last year (sharing a pantry), and we just moved into our own place. The process of division was somewhat haphazard - I got six boxes of Jello which we never eat, but no sauerkraut which we love.

So I need to clear out the stuff that's just going to languish, to free up room for the stuff we like. I'm sure there are missing staples I'll have to buy, though.

Anybody got a good recipe for Jello? LOL
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#14 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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Choc-Oat Chip Cookies
1 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
2 eggs
2 T. milk
2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 C. uncooked oats
12 oz. chocolate chips 1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, oats, baking soda and salt; mix well. Mix in chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 12-13 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet befroe moving to rack to cook completely. Makes about 4 dozen substantial, chewy cookies.

Enjoy!
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#15 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC in KS
Anybody got a good recipe for Jello? LOL
That doesn't include mass quantities of booze?? If the answer is no, then I haven't got any usable suggestions. LOL
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#16 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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Ugh... I'm out already. I ran to the market for mushrooms, and without even thinking I bought a can of beans, polenta and 5 cans of tomato paste. (the prices were too good to pass up...) I need help... My name is Rosa and I am a grocery store shop-aholic. (What's worse... is I told my sister I was doing a pantry challenge...and she LET me buy those things - she didn't remind me about the challenge til we were in the car on the way home...)

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#17 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy1nluv
Ugh... I'm out already. I ran to the market for mushrooms, and without even thinking I bought a can of beans, polenta and 5 cans of tomato paste. (the prices were too good to pass up...) I need help... My name is Rosa and I am a grocery store shop-aholic. (What's worse... is I told my sister I was doing a pantry challenge...and she LET me buy those things - she didn't remind me about the challenge til we were in the car on the way home...)

Aww, you can still be in if you want -- we'll forgive you! I did tell dh that I reserved the right to take advantage of *extrodinary* sales on things we always use for stock-up purposes. No need to be financially foolish! I'm really going to try to hold myself to the "extrodinary" requirement, however. There are lots of sale prices that come around every few weeks -- I'm not falling for those.

I went shopping yesterday with 5 1/2 y.o. dd. I told her about the pantry challenge and we shopped only in the produce and dairy sections. Nothing better than a 5 y.o. to hold you to a promise! (Unless I got tempted to buy cookies or something -- then she would quickly become an accomplice in my downfall. )

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#18 of 110 Old 04-06-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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I'm in, I'v only been to the grocery once and it was a trip for bread, eggs, and a bottle of wine. I've never heard of this before, but I've done something similar on my own a few times. I did it in the summer before I would stock up for the new huricane season- that way everything in there would be good if I needed it. I think it will be fun with others to help brainstorm how to make a balanced meal out of cous cous, cranberry sauce, and potatoes au gratin. haha.
Let's see how long we can go. . .

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#19 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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I collect old cookbooks, mostly for the entertainment value. I was looking through a new one last night, dated 1966, and found this gem (in the chapter on Almonds, of all places!)

July Day Salad
1 box (3 ounces) lemon-flavored Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cups (1 pound) creamed cottage cheese
1/2 cup minced celery
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
Salad greens

Dissolve Jello in water and cool slightly. Add remaining ingredients except greens, and pour into a 1 1/2 quart mold. Chill until firm. Unmold on greens. Makes 6 servings.

What do you think? Will this solve my overabundance of Jello?
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#20 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC in KS

July Day Salad

What do you think? Will this solve my overabundance of Jello?
I'm sorry, but that sounds truly foul! Remind me not to go back in time to picnic in July, 1966...!
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#21 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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Jello: You could always make one of those multi-layered bundt pan things with it... You know, make a layer one color, let chill in the mold - then keep going til full. If you are daring, you can add fruit to the layers. They are pretty at least...

Can't think of anything else...and yea, I agree about the mayo + jello = foul... sorry.

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#22 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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We are TOTALLY broke and our pantry is WAY stocked now (thank God/ess). Ok, I actually do need to go get bread, pasta, cereal and coffee. But that's IT. And I could actually hold off on the cereal if I need to.

SO, how does this work? Do we share recipies? Do we post a list of ingredients?

I have a chicken in the crock pot and leftover potatoes in the fridge, so that's dinner for tonight. I plan to save some of the chicken and shred for tacos tomorrow.

Where do I go next?

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#23 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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Melina, I think a group like this is helpful for new ideas on what to do with the odds and ends in your pantry. A woman in another group I was in discovered she had six boxes of powdered milk, for example, just couldn't make that many cookies! So we all chimed in with other things to do with it. You might get just ideas, you might get recipes.

Here's one of mine. For Christmas, DH got a five POUND can of black olives. All I ever do with black olives is serve them as a side dish, or occasionally on a salad or tacos. Basically, they're a garnish to me. Anybody have any other suggestions?

KC
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#24 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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Oo! You could make tapenade and freeze it. . .

Put the olives (and if you have other types of olives) in the food processor or blender with chopped garlic, a little vinegar and some italian herbs (dried). Pulse until it's all chopped fine. If you are able to can it, great! If not, put small portions in the freezer. Then you can spread it on sandwiches, eat it with crackers, stir it into pasta sauce, add it to soups. . .

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#25 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgarda
Oo! You could make tapenade and freeze it. . .

Put the olives (and if you have other types of olives) in the food processor or blender with chopped garlic, a little vinegar and some italian herbs (dried). Pulse until it's all chopped fine. If you are able to can it, great! If not, put small portions in the freezer. Then you can spread it on sandwiches, eat it with crackers, stir it into pasta sauce, add it to soups. . .
You could use other canned items, right?? i just really dont like olives!! This thread is great...i also have a ton of stuff in the pantry! just dont know what the heck to do with it...mostly consists of beans..chic peas,garbonzo,black...and tomatoes i dont get canned fruit or veggies ever...i know i have some other misc stuff in the pantry as well. oh yeah i love articokes..so any good recipes would be wonderful, i need new recipes,kwim?!!!! thanks momas
emily

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#26 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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You can't really make tapenade w/o olives, so I wouldn't suggest other canned items for it. It was just a suggestion to help KC use up the 5 lb. can!

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#27 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC in KS
July Day Salad
1 box (3 ounces) lemon-flavored Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cups (1 pound) creamed cottage cheese
1/2 cup minced celery
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
Salad greens
YEEEUCK! Sounds like the person who invented that was doing a pantry challange. I have a few questions- what is "instant" minced onion? and what is "creamed" cottage cheese?

You know what I think I might have the ingredients needed for this (as long as the onions don't have to be "instant"). I'm going to make it just for the heck of it. Let's see how much I can eat before I puke.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#28 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing I have an over abundance of is millet. I'm not sure why I even bought it. It must have been on sale!

Any ideas? We do eat meat, so it doesn't have to be vegetarian, but veg recipes are just as welcome.

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#29 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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in order for me to do this, i need to take one trip to get things that i can actually use for all the crap i have in my pantry, such as flour, oats and just a few things.
this is what i have most:
pasta, pasta, pasta
tomato products (tomato sauce and tomatos)
soups
lentils
ramin (sp?)
a huge box of bisquix that i never use
a million bottles of dressing (dont ask me why...dont really know)
canned fruit (i eat it for lunch b/c its easy with the baby and i know fresh is better but sometimes im lucky to open a can and stick a fork in it, kwim?)


thats all i can think of for now.
im going to make some macaroni and cheese tonight, so that will exhaust my elbow pasta i think.

i can do another chicken soup and use my orzo for that.

would like to do something different...been watching a bunch of cooking shows. i have never liked to cook and am trying to learn to enjoy it. anyone else in that situation?
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#30 of 110 Old 04-07-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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For Millet - use it like you use rice. Add it to soup, use it w/ stirfry (I particularly like it topped w/ a curry-spiced stirfry), cook it in broth and serve it as a side. Also, you can add nuts, dried fruit and milk and eat it like oatmeal.

For Bisquick - make pancakes! or biscuits! Use it as a topper for shepherd's pie or a pot pie.

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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