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Pantry challenge – week 1 check in

How did everyone do this week? 

Since last Thursday I made:  pot roast on Thursday, takeout on Friday (oooooh, so bad!), Arroz Con Pollo on Saturday, and Sunday we always eat dinner with my parents, sis, and aunt & uncle.  I brought a peach and blueberry crisp for dessert and the fruit was found in the bottom of my chest freezer.  I also made blueberry coffee cake for Troy to take to his internship this morning.  That helps in two ways 1) I make a tiny dent in the 2 enormous bags of blueberries I’ve somehow found myself owning, and 2) I’m subtly letting the people in charge of Troy’s internship that you “have to hire Troy because his wife bakes”.

For next week, I spent $49.21 on groceries, barely squeaking by with the $50 +/- suggestion.  I didn’t buy all the much, but what kills my budget each and every week is lunch meat.  Mr. Frugal by Force loves sandwiches with a passion that is outlawed in 49 states (we lived in CA for 4 years, and know anything goes there!), and no matter how many leftovers we have for lunches, he has at least 1 sandwich per day.  And he is perfectly fine eating gross and nasty lunch meat, but I refuse to buy it.  So, we get the expensive all-natural lunch meat from the deli.  I know it’s still pretty much factory farm meat, but it’s my only fix for now.

This week I bought:

-organic pears ($6.63 – yikes, not buying pears again until next season!)
-2 bags of powdered sugar.  Yeah, I know I just posted on how to make your own.  But we don’t have white sugar in the house, and when I went to buy some I saw that powdered sugar was on sale.  Since it was premade, I just bought it.  It’s going in Jack’s birthday cake frosting. ($3.98)
-organic green onions ($.69)
-1 onion (my others seemed to have gone bad in the pantry.  Drat!) ($.43)
-4 avocados.  Jack eats them every day, and we had chicken tortilla soup for dinner on Monday.  That soup screams for diced avocado on top! ($3.92.  Crap, I didn’t realize how expensive those were until just now!)

-1 box of tofu ($1.49)
-1.5 lbs of Valencia peanuts ($.92) (check tomorrow’s post for a “make your own peanut butter” recipe!)
-grapefruit juice.  Juice is not usually something I buy these days, but it was on sale, and I had a coupon ($1.92)
-Thai spicy chili paste.  LOVE this and we use it on tons of stuff ($2.49)
-Sugar snap peas ($2.50)
-Organic carrots ($1.49)
-Bean sprouts ($.89)
-1 package of owl stickers.  Jack is now potty trained, but still requests “owl stickas” when he uses the potty.  NOT having to wash diapers every 2 days is worth its weight in owl stickers in my opinion! ($1.29)
-Lunch meat (1 lb of turkey for Troy, and 1/2 lb of sliced ham for Jack) ($11.85)
Not pictured because purchased from a local store the day before:
-2 free range local chicken breasts (not pictured) (can’t remember, but they’re $3.19 a lb)
– a little less than 1 lb of local bacon.  I have some in the freezer, but when I saw they were making peppered bacon and NEVER have it in stock and I happen to LOVE pepper bacon, I gave in! (Can’t remember, but $4.99 a lb)
Total: $49.21

So…how is all of this going to feed us for the next week?

Monday – chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot (1 frozen large chicken breast, some of my organic frozen corn, a big handful of organic dried black beans, some chicken stock, 1 can of organic diced tomatoes, 1 can of diced green chilies, garlic, onion, and this taco seasoning mix (seriously, don’t buy it.  Do you know how cheap it is to make your own?!  If you’re missing an ingredient, click here for a cheap tip on how to purchase spices).  Cook for 8 hrs on low.  Shred the chicken breast before serving, and serve with a side of my yummy homemade rolls, and it’s a perfect dinner for the crappy weather we’re having.  The only thing I bought for this meal was chicken breast.

Tuesday – Crepes with diced peaches from the freezer, baked bacon, and diced red potatoes mixed with olive oil and the dry ingredients from my ranch dressing mix (bake in a greased cast iron skillet at 400 for 20-45 min) – yummy!  I’m really looking forward to this dinner!  The only thing I bought for this meal was the bacon.

Wednesday – yakisoba with fried tofu.  Don’t knock it until you try it – super yummy and packed full of protein.  I bought carrots, green onions, bean sprouts, tofu, and peas for this.  I’ll be using the rice noodles I found in the pantry, and I have peanuts in the pantry.

Thursday – Chicken or beef (I have both in the freezer) enchiladas with spanish rice, black beans from the crockpot.  For the rice, make it in a rice cooker (or on the stove) with chicken broth instead of water, and some of the taco seasoning I posted above.  I didn’t have to buy anything new for this meal.

Friday – I’m gone all day and won’t be home until late, so we’re rocking my crockpot lentil soup and then I’m making mozzarella toast.  The onion and carrots I bought this weekend will go with the soup.  Other than that, I have everything else already on hand.

Saturday – I’m making Korean steak and rice.  Will likely serve with a side of peas from the freezer.  I have everything on hand for this, but the green onions I bought for the yakisoba on Wednesday will go well with the marinade for the steak.

Sunday – dinner at my parent’s again.  I’ll probably bring dessert or bread.  I have all those ingredients on hand.

It’s not too late to join the pantry challenge!  Click here to sign up.

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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10 comments on “Pantry challenge – week 1 check in”

  1. Way to Go. Last night we had chilli (meat, corn and spices on hand, purchased beans and tomatoes to finish it off) over left over chinese dinner rice and left over cilantro rice. In hind sight I could have used just the cilantro lime rice or the chinese rice. I had enough left over chili (1# ground beef and 8 cups of chili beans) for a nacho meal and a second chili meal. DH made cornbread using the cornmeal we had on hand.
    Tonight is spaghetti and meatballs. Again I had to purchase tomatoes for this (we use a ton of canned tomatoes)but the meatballs are leftovers from meatball subs, and the pasta we already have. I might pull out a couple of the hoagie rolls and make some nice garlic bread to go with it. Then I have salad on the side.
    I soaked tapioca and will be making tapioca pudding this evening and possibly trying an overnight rise on bread 🙂
    Still have shredded carrots which I haven’t decided what I am going to do with them just yet.

  2. You have just become my favorate blog. How have I missed you before? Great inspiration.

  3. @ lovecrafting – welcome to my blog! Glad you found us!

    @Tree hugging momma…I seem to remember you having some grassfed beef in the freezer. If you also have a few pototoes and maybe an onion, how about making a shepard’s pie with the shredded carrots? has a great shepard’s pie recipe.

  4. I had a birthday party for my almost two year old on Saturday so this week’s meals were all cooked last weekend and frozen. I spent $70 at the grocery store last week which puts me at about $35 for this week.

    I cook three meals a week so we eat leftovers three times and then a meal that I throw together last minute.

    This weeks meals are:

    Lasagna (Mon, Tues)
    Spaghetti Sauce from scratch (Weds, Thurs)
    I just realized I don’t have a Friday meal. WHOOPS! Maybe KicthenAid Pizza????

    We ordered a pizza on Sunday night because I was exhausted from the party.

  5. Love the new layout! All your dinner menu meals sounds sooooo good! You win. I am going to copy every single one!!

  6. Crap! It is finals week and I haven’t been documenting shopping or cooking! I will make up for that this weekend.

  7. I survived finals week and have some good food planned for the next week. The minus sign means I used it from the pantry and the dollar sign means I bought it. The recipes include more ingredients which I have on hand, like minced garlic and lime juice in the fridge… but since I lumped them in with condiments on my initial list, I will ignore them here.

    Monday – Friday:
    Tabboli with sandwiches and fruit
    – quinoa
    $ parsley
    $ fresh mint in bulk
    $ tomatoes

    Stir fry
    – 1 can baby corn
    – random carrots
    – chicken breast from freezer
    – 1 can light coconut milk
    – brown rice
    $ broccoli
    $ maybe a leek
    $ peanut butter

    Tortilla soup
    – chicken
    – stale tortillas turned into tortilla chip strips
    – 1 bag corn from freezer
    – 1 can crushed tomatoes
    – dried black beans
    – 1 pack chicken broth
    – 1 very old red onion
    – 1 horchata

  8. Oh, and the tabouli recipe is from Alice’s Cookbook which I got from the author at a Portland farmer’s market.

    And the tortilla soup recipe is from all recipes.

  9. Sarah, would you be willing to share the recipe for your blueberry coffee cake? I have blueberries to use up and I am a sucker for coffee cake.