Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eating down the pantry update

As I've mentioned before, one of my goals this month is to eat down the pantry. We've got a lot of stuff in the freezer that needs to be eaten, or we'll have to throw it out, and both P-Daddy and I cringe at having to throw out food that would have been perfectly edible if we had only gotten to it in time! Since we are headed to Guatemala for 10 days at the end of July, this is the perfect time to eat what we have on hand. Not only will we save money, but we'll also rest assured that we are not leaving things to spoil in the pantry while we are gone. Plus, Jessica over at Good (Cheap) Eats is hosting a pantry challenge this month, so there's support to be had - what great timing!

This past week, we started the challenge, but we quickly found that the week of July 4th, with a big family bbq and friends in town was not a great choice of timing. So we did not make as much progress as I would have liked. We did, however, take a few steps toward our goal.

First, we limited our spending. For the bbq, I made a fruit tray and a veggie tray using some of our co-op produce, along with a couple other things we had on hand already. I also made a pasta salad, with elbow noodles that we already had. For meeting up with out-of-town friends, we just grabbed a couple bags of chips, and I've bought milk and bread, but other than that, our grocery shopping has been minimal.

Second, we also made an effort to eat items we already had on hand. After the bbq, we had lots of leftover veggies, which I chopped up into a chicken salad (made with canned chicken we already had) on Thursday. We ate that on lettuce wraps, with corn on the cob on the side, using up some of our co-op goodness. On Friday P-Daddy pulled a pork roast out of the freezer and roasted it, using a large can of enchilada sauce mixed with a bag of frozen pumpkin - it turned out delicious, especially served on fresh corn tortillas.

Today, I'll be taking the time to chop up many of our vegetables, so that they are ready to grab for lunches or easy prep for dinners.

As we head into the second full week of the challenge, our menu looks something like this:
oatmeal X2 (we've got about 3 canisters right now)
cheerios X2 (2-3 boxes to work our way through)
frittata X2 (an easy way to get our veggies in)
fresh bread w/ jam

fresh fruit and veggies (every day)
turkey dogs X2 (2 packs to use up)
leftovers from dinner X3
I'll get creative with other lunches on the weekend

tuna salad (about 5 pouches to use)
pork roast X2 (I'm freezing some of this for next week as well)
pasta (about 4 boxes to use, and we've got chunky red sauce in the freezer)
chicken tenderloin from the freezer
out for pho
I'll have to stop at the store for a few things, including milk, yogurt, and eggs, but those are things we need all the time anyway. Pooh is a huge fan of pb&j, so we may need to pick up a loaf of bread for him too. He's happy to eat it on fresh-baked bread, but he goes through it so quickly that I'd probably need to bake bread multiple times this week, and I'm just not sure I'm up for that (even though the bread machine makes it super easy!).

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