August pantry challenge anyone? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-01-2006, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really need to do this. My cupboards (and freezer and refrigerator) are full, but our income is about to drop. Although I tend to find comfort emotionally in having a stocked pantry, I know there are some things in there that have been there for way too long, so I need an excuse to use them up!

I've never done one of these, so I don't know if there are any rules. For me, I know going in that it won't be a no spend month (I will need some fresh veggies at some point at the least), but I'd like to spend as little as possible and plan my meals each week based around what I have available. It's bound to be a huge improvement over the out of control food budget we have right now.

I'll be doing my inventory over the next day or so and making my menu for the week tonight.

Anyone with me?

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#2 of 22 Old 08-03-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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I am in, August is REALLY tight for us. I need to get creative with what I have on hand.

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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#3 of 22 Old 08-03-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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I always try to do these Pantry Challenges, and then I get bored with what I have and...go shopping. :

So far, so good this month, though. I have a (very short) list of fresh things I need to buy this weekend, but mostly we'll be living on what we already have in the kitchen.

Keep me on track and accountable, mummas!!

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#4 of 22 Old 08-03-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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We are allowed to buy perishables, right?

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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#5 of 22 Old 08-03-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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I think perishables are allowed. (Actually, I'm giving myself a $200 budget for the month to buy whatever I need to use up what's on hand.)

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#6 of 22 Old 08-04-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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nak
i'm in as well.
our grocery budget has gotten way out of hand and we are moving at the end if this month so it's a good time to "thin up".

plus i'm always buying things thinking i will use them and then end up wasting food.
i'll start today by harvesting all of our rhubarb patch and taking inventory on what is available around here.

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#7 of 22 Old 08-04-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artist Mama
...I'll start today by harvesting all of our rhubarb patch and taking inventory on what is available around here.
www.cindysporch.net has great inventory lists to help you catalogue what you already have on hand.

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#8 of 22 Old 08-04-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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That is a good site, thanks!

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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#9 of 22 Old 08-04-2006, 09:17 PM
 
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Kathirynne, thanks for the link!
Off to find ways to use the rhubarb i picked earlier.
We have a LOT.

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#10 of 22 Old 08-10-2006, 09:56 PM
 
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We did a pantry challenge during the month of July. I would all recipes to be the BEST site because you can plug in a few ingredients (usually the strange ones) and still come up with a good meal.

I made a full inventory of the freezers, pantry & frig. Then did a meal plan...

I had 2 columns....meals that I had EVERYTHING for and then ones I needed just one or 2 ingredients. I made a list of both so I could quickly see a full list and pick a couple of each for that week so I was buying just a few key ingredients.
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#11 of 22 Old 08-13-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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I am new to this area of MDC. DH just told me that we are really tight for money this month so I know its time to change my grocery shopping habits. Its just us and our 1 year old ds and I know we spend waaaayyyy too much money on groceries each month. I don't even know what I should set our budget at. We can easily spend over $200. I really dislike buying processed foods and that makes it even harder to spend less at times. I plan on joining this month's challenge but do any of you moms out there have any tips for stretching the dollar? I have been canning and freezing produce from our garden so I know that will help. I'd also love to bake our own bread but I wonder when I will have the time. I can't wait to see what my pantry list looks like!

Married to DH 7 years and have three fantastic kiddos! DS 6, DD 4, and DS 2 ...... lo and behold another is on the way!

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#12 of 22 Old 08-13-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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I've kinda started since I got back from vacation, the past couple of weeks. I did a fridge fling before I left, and am doing my best to go through produce, as we buy it. I didn't do so hot shopping this weekend, 'cause it's kinda hard to carry stuff from so far away with no car and no help. . . .I stocked up on Dr. Bronner's, fabric softener (health store kind), bac-out, dishwashing soap. I guess I'm still fresh from vacation. . . .

so tonight I made hot chocolate out of heavy whipping cream ('cause I'm out of milk), water, maple syrup, kosher salt, honey, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar, and droste cocoa. . . .and I'm enjoying it in my Craisy Daisy Corelle cup with saucer. . . .I got the cup and saucer and a few more at a thrift store. . . .man, this is living, but will get milk ASAP

My mom sent me home with leftovers, and family ate them, with a surprise steak DH made. I've been making a bunch of herb tea, and last week made a soup out of pantry beans, barley, and freezed chicken thighs, in the crockpot. Plan to get another crockpot bean meal (multibean soup), and a stovetop black bean soup together this week. Also I am making sprouts with some seed that I've had a while. . . .I've cleaned the heck out of my cupboard above the stove, and am trying to buy only what we need, with nothing I don't know what to do with. I bought fresh mint last week, and used it in herbal teas, peanut noodles, and brought the last of it to my girlfriends house to use to garnish waffles with ice cream, it was truly decadent. . . .

I'm definitely going to do a lot more shopping at home. Do any of you know what to do with omeboshi plums?
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#13 of 22 Old 08-14-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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I'd like to try this I think. We ordered 50 lbs of organic free-range beef, so that's going eat up most of my grocery budget this month.

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#14 of 22 Old 08-14-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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nak
i'm aready getting down to some odds and ends around here.
still lots of canned beans, dried lentils, rice, tomatoes.
i am finding obscure (for us) things like mozzerella cheese sticks (in bulk from costco) harder to use up.
i'm not sure what i was thinking but we cannot eat so much dairy at once.
plus cheese sticks are more of a snack/appetizer thing imo.

wait- i could probably put some of those in a casserole...
i'm like an iron chef over here. :

it's kind of fun to make up meals from what we have available.
it's forcing me to be creative.
i think i was relying too heavily on prepackaged stuff before.
really expensive when purchased from the hfs.
this way i can see what i'm capable of.

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#15 of 22 Old 08-14-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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I'm in. Sort of.

We just got back from an extended vacation that required cleaning out the fridge before we left. So, it's pretty bare!

My personal challenge is to do something with the industrial size can of chickpeas from Costco. It's a year old and it must be used. I start back at night school next week, so I'm thinking some freezer meals would be a good idea. Any suggestions? I'm off to allrecipes.com to see what I find.

I'll also make a batch or two of hummus.

Today's lunch was 'from the panty' - tortillas (left in the fridge), shredded chicken and beans (from the freezer), cheddar cheese (left from our trip, packed in the cooler), banana peppers (left in the fridge, picked the day before we left). And darn tasty too!

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#16 of 22 Old 08-15-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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NAK....


I'm in, too. We have 6 cans of pineapple to use up!! What was I thinking?!

It just always looks so good when I go to the store......
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#17 of 22 Old 08-15-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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We're doing mostly OK. The biggest problem is me and my tetchy pregnant tummy. Nothing tastes good except beef lo mein and stuffed grape leaves, so I've had to send DH out a few times. But other than that we're sticking with the program.

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#18 of 22 Old 08-15-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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I used the smoked tofu we had in the fridge. :Puke
The texture was great but the taste...shudder.
I think they used liquid smoke to flavor it.

We ended up scrapping dinner and using a Chili's gift certificate.
BTW, if anyone cares, Chili's food isn't very good.

Using up some more beans with my white bean and kale soup later (using one can of kidney beans and one can of white).

Do any of you have soups in the back of the cabinet that have been there since...well forever?
I'm not even sure if we should go near them. :

DS 6 DD 8
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#19 of 22 Old 08-29-2006, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to be honest - I did pretty poorly - and yes, it was my idea! August prooved to be full events and travelling and this led us to eating out and buying far more than I wished. Our income did drop and I can really feel it now

But there is a bright side!!! I did manage to meal plan pretty well around the various splurges and I printed out the inventory sheets from http://www.cindysporch.net/ to review my pantry. I have only now started this task and want to finish by the end of the week so that September is more successful! My goal for the end of this week is to have a menu plan for this weekend and through next week. I have found that I usually do pretty well the first part of the week but then by F or Sat things fall apart. I need to plan the *whole* week - not just the weekdays!

I personally am going to implement the challenge throughout September. I *must* get this spending and splurging under control - we just don't have the income to spare anymore and I hate that all of our extra cash is going to food!!! I also still have quite a stash in my pantry that needs to be turned over. I am pretty motivated now so I hope next month will go better!

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#20 of 22 Old 08-30-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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#21 of 22 Old 08-30-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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nak
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#22 of 22 Old 10-13-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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i see lots of you guys say you have huge/numerous cans of things. seems like you can get in trouble at costco/sams/bjs and waste more money than save. we just became memebers, so i will take note from you ladies and not buy too much stuff thats hard to use up. this pantry challenge sounds cool. i have never heard of such a thing til now. i might try it. i seemed to have too much sweetened condensed milk. what am i going to do with that?
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