January 2014 Pantry/Freezer Challenge

I’m participating in the Pantry Challenge with Good Cheap Eats … the goal is to clear out the pantry and freezer of items that have been hanging around for awhile, save some money and get a little more organized … come on and join me!

Some meals are just me and Hubby, and other times it 6 of us (the kids and their boyfriend/girlfriend) … so figure an average of 3 mouths to feed.

To read the latest information, just go to the end of this post … thanks!

January 1st

I started the day off with a cup of coffee and 2 slices of toast. Umm, yes, a little headache was felt. Maybe next year I can wake up on New Years Day feeling like a new woman?

Sonny Boy made waffles for everyone. He just wanted to use the new waffle maker Santa brought for the family … all the recipes in our cookbooks call for buttermilk, Hubby googled and found an easy recipe that didn’t and we had all the ingredients, including real maple syrup. It’s a keeper.  Served some apples in my special way as I have quite a few in the fridge.




Late lunch for me was leftover roasted broccoli with chicken, topped that with some salsa (made yesterday with pantry items). Kids and Hubby had pizzas from the freezer (yeah, 2 large things removed!)

Dinner, on the other hand, was NOT pantry/freezer related. Me and Hubby were both dragging butt after staying up too late and getting up too early and then putting all the Christmas stuff away … so we ordered Chinese … $38 later (tip included and plenty of leftovers) … I think my budget may have been knocked down this week!

How are you doing on the pantry challenge?


January 2nd


Day 2 was easier than Day 1 … maybe because I had a good nights sleep and no alcohol the previous evening?


Breakfast for me was a smoothie … kids made oatmeal and Hubby probably skipped





Lunch was leftover chicken and broccoli from fridge, no clue what the kids did, Hubby had leftover stuffed shells


Dinner was leftover Chinese for all.  Hubby cooked up the 2 packages of bone in chicken thighs I had pulled out of the fridge. We will eat them Friday night with a mix up of veggies. I might try a new recipe “party taters?” as it will remove a bag of potatoes from the freezer and I have all ingredients.


I did send Hubby to Aldi today … imagine that, I let him visit before ME! Oh well … boneless skinless breast were $1.49 / lb so he picked up one package to try. Also got some salt (39 cents a canister!) and milk ($2.49!) … then he got distracted by the maraschino cherries and stuffed olives and PAID for a paper bag … all in all he did good.


Total Spent $18.01


January 3rd

Day 3
Made a smoothie for breakfast as did Hubby and Sonny Boy …

Lunch was more chicken thighs and broccoli with some diced carrots

I was feeling a little under the weather when I came home and wanted chicken noodle soup … Hubby texted me to say there was NONE in the pantry. WTF? How can that be? So I came home, opened up two cartons of chicken broth, dumped them in a big pot and had every intention of chopping up the remaining chicken thighs and tossing the carrots and broccoli in to make my soup … (hubby was busy waxing Brutis) … then I said, NO, there HAS to be a can of soup in there … sure enough, all the way in the back, there it was. One lonely can … I opted to eat some leftover shells instead and laid on the couch for the rest of the night. Hubby ate the rest of the chicken and broccoli, Sonny Boy went to girlfriends and Princess was at work.

January 4th

Day 4

Made eggs and ham for breakfast. The Boy made hash browns in the waffle maker … I made some more apples for everyone to snack on as Princess and the Boyfriend made an appearance 

Lunch was ham or chicken sandwiches. Gave the options for carrot sticks and pickles. I was still feeling pretty crummy so didn’t really give a whole lot of guidance. I was just glad there was BREAD and MAYO to be had 🙂

Dinner brought life back to me! Yea!  Hubby rooted around in the freezer and pulled out red sauce, tortellini for the Boy and G/F and chicken ravioli for us. The big deal of this night was that Hubby found a stray can of crescents, unrolled them, brushed with melted butter and crushed garlic, sprinkled fresh parmesan cheese and rolled them up, brushed with more butter and garlic, baked and can I tell you, I was in heaven!!!  When I am sick, I crave carbs … we ate early, which is unusual and watch the Colts make a HUGE comeback (I’m a Hoosier Girl!)

Hubby was the hero of the day in my opinion!!

January 5th

Day 5

Woke up feeling like a new woman, thankfully!

Breakfast was between Hubby and the Boy and served around 11ish … sausage, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs. I pulled out the leftover apples from yesterday and sliced up some cukes from the fridge.

Dinner was a new concoction (that I could make because I had everything!) of buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese dressing that I also made. As we are getting low on the milk (which we will be buying this week) I went ahead and grabbed a packet of dry milk and reconstituted it for the dressings (also made ranch while I was at it!)  Sonny Boy felt the need for carbs and made himself a few quesidilias to go along with the salad. We fed him and the girlfriend so 4 of us total.

January 6th

Day 6

Ahhh…Monday and time to get back to work with the NEW YEAR!

Breakfast was a smoothie for me … the Boy ate oatmeal and Hubby probably ate a protein bar (one that the Boy had made)

 
Yes, I am impressed with his cooking skills!
I had more buffalo chicken salad for lunch. Hubby had the leftover ravioli and sauce. The Boy was gone so I’ve no clue what he ate.
Dinner consisted of the rest of the buffalo chicken salad for Hubby, the Boy was gone, Princess was at work and me? Ummm …. a bag of popcorn. Don’t judge … it was a LONG day.
As you can see, I’ve mixed up the menu plan already.
I stopped at Winn Dixie on my lunch hour as I wanted to get TP … picked up some knockwurst ($1.50 a package x 3) and 2 Polish Kielbasi for $1.50 each.
Total spent $7.xx … not including the TP as that’s not a consumable item 😀  How are you doing so far on your challenge?
January 7th
Day 7
Breakfast was smoothie for me and no clue about the rest of the family as I had to go to work ;D
I skipped lunch, unless you count the handful of peanut butter filled pretzels that I scarfed down at the office? Had to run my dad to the VA for a doctor’s appointment and time just got away from me beforehand. Repeat of breakfast for the balance of the family …
Dinner, however, was the HIGHLIGHT of my day!  Hubby made a broccoli and cheese soup and I served wedge salad along side. Yuummmm.  Hubby went to the store and spent $8.xx or so he said. Half and half, fresh broccoli and something else, so he may be telling me the truth 😀 … we had the cheese, broth etc on hand, and actually he could have used frozen broccoli but was following directions of a recipe I printed out (I know! So unusual for him to do that!)
I stopped at the produce store on the way home and bought $11 worth of veggies: 2 heads of iceburg lettuce, mini peppers, 3 vine ripen tomatoes, 2 large green peppers, 2 green onions, 3 yellow onions, 2 sweet onions and 1 red onion (thinking of French onion soup soon).  All stuff that will be used and hopefully stretch out the balance of the month.
Total spent $19.xx
January 8th
Day 8
Breakfast was eggs and bacon, taken with me to work. Boy and Hubby and Princess ate oatmeal, so I’m told.
Lunch was salad for me, leftover soup for Hubby and the boy with grilled cheese sandwiches. Princess ate at work
Dinner was salad for Hubby, I had a plate of nachos … good choice, but I couldn’t stand the 3 bags of chips with crumbs in the bottom, so I ate them up 😉 and the Boy and Princess ate wherever they were at.
I am obviously deviating from the menu plan, which sort of disappoints me. I spent 3 1/2 hours at the VA with my dad earlier and when I got home, I was just drained. No excuse for poor food choices but I just didn’t feel like anything. I even asked Hubby if he wanted to go grab something to eat (!!!) and he said that he would rather have soup and salad. So he got salad 🙂
How are you doing on you Challenge??
January 9th
Day 9
The day started out like any other day, eggs and bacon for me, rest of the household did what they wanted (smoothies, based on the evidence left in the vitamix)
Lunch was soup and salad which was leftover … all 3 of us had the same.
Dinner was soup and salad for Hubby, the Boy made quesidillas and I had … ahem, a small cup of soup and popcorn. I know. But at least it’s what we had on hand
I had stopped at Aldis and spent $28 … zucchini, eggs, brown rice, cheese slices, sour cream, bread, taco shells, bags of salad for 49 cents and some other stuff … BUT they didn’t have the powdered ranch mix that I was looking for in the first place!
Total spent $28.xx
January 10th
Day 10
Its Friday! Breakfast was smoothie for me and the other FOUR people had eggs and toast.
Lunch was salad for me, family had sandwiches and whatever leftovers could be found
Dinner was a problem. We had 6 additional people hanging around the patio, thanks to the Hookah thing that someone brought over (ok, the grape flavor vaporish stuff? Taste very grapey … yes I tried it … it’s not all hippee, pot-headish like I figured it would be ;D)  Hubby grabbed the Princess boyfriend and they headed to WinnDixie with the $5 off $30 coupon … picked up 8 burgers, buns, chicken wings, mac and cheese (these last 2 were premade items) another 12 pk of beer and a few other things … I’m not sure how much he spent but Matt said he used his coupon and got change back from a $20 and a $10 so that’s not so very bad, is it? All in all, we had a great time and I could have made everything he bought with what we had on hand, IF I had been prepared for same (as it was, I had polish kielbasi out but 2 of the kids don’t do pork) … that will be dinner soon then!
This was in addition to my stop at the store for cat food and beer (which I have on a separate category for ME during this challenge) and I also picked up 2 pizzas for $5.99 total … those went in the freezer 😦
Total spent $37.xx (a wild guess between the 2 stops)
January 11th
Day 11

The day started off with everyone making their own breakfast, eggs, toast and oatmeal were had.

Lunch was a bag of chicken wings that had been taking up a LOT of space in the garage freezer … they weren’t the greatest (precooked and seasoned) but doable for a Saturday afternoon lunch for all with ranch and blue cheese dressing on the side!

Dinner was just me and Hubby…polish kiabalsi pan fried and party taters (new recipe, not so sure I liked).  All in all it was a good day, I’d say.

January 12th
Day 12

Sunday mornings are generally a family breakfast day, but not today. I made myself some eggs and bacon and then Hubby made a sandwich. The kids all finally woke up and they made themselves breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast.

Lunch (the kids had brunch as they got up too late) was a ham sandwich for me and Hubby had a protein bar that the Boy made.

Dinner was tacos … thankfully I had everything to go along with it, including margaritas! Figured the bottle of premade stuff was taking up too much room in the guest fridge so I made a round for everyone (just 3 of us) and grabbed a lime from the garage fridge too. 

I’m thinking that this isn’t too bad … I’ve got a pretty well stocked kitchen and used to say that we could eat for months if we had to. The kids are sort of crabbin because there isn’t really a whole lot of chips and such which I told them to feel free to go buy some if they really want!

How are YOU doing on the Challenge?
 
January 13th – January 15th (sorry, getting caught up a few days late!)
Day 13, 14 and 15
 
It’s been busy around here but I’m still pushing through … just not as good as I was:
 
Day 13 had a smoothie for breakfast, lunch was a salad with ham and dinner was tuna salad on lettuce
 
Day 14 had McD for breakfast and carried over the hash brown for lunch. Dinner was out with Hubby and the Boy (not sure what they did for breakfast and lunch)
 
Day 15 was (again!) McD for breakfast. Lunch was catered stuff from an open house which I took home for dinner too.  Funny in that the kids wanted pizza so they made a frozen pizza and then dug out the ice cream maker (yeah, room in the freezer for the canister) and made ice cream. We didn’t have condensed milk, so they googled how to make it. The ‘ice cream’ tasted like frozen butter with chunky butter bits. Ummm, not so much of a good thing so it went down the drain. Live and learn!
 
Stopped at Aldis as I had a $5 off $30 coupon and they had some great produce deals (shrooms were cheap!) but of course, they were sold out by the time I got there. Spent $31 after the coupon. Should have just grabbed the creamer and bread and eggs and left, but no, I felt the need to browse the aisles. Uggg.
 
And … thats the first 15 days so far!

1 thought on “January 2014 Pantry/Freezer Challenge

  1. Great idea to go through and clean out the pantry! How did the challenge end?

    Like

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