Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

After finding no room in my freezer last month to put Christmas leftovers, I realized I needed to clean out my freezer. When I read about Money Saving Mom's Eat from the Pantry Challenge, I immediately decided I NEEDED to take on this challenge.

I am a bit embarrassed that I could probably eat from my pantry/freezers for at least three months without really challenging myself, but I'm committing to the challenge for the month. I took a complete inventory of my pantry and freezers and wrote up a list of meals.
I started out with one dinner per day, but already the 2nd day of doing the challenge, I realized I don't need a dinner for every day. My husband will be traveling for work for much of this month, so I will be able to take advantage of eating lots of leftovers.

I'm watching a friend's 20-month old son this month, so I'll be feeding him as well, but he doesn't quite make up for what my husband consumes!

Here are my rules for the challenge.
1. One grocery trip per week with the purchase only of dairy, produce (mostly fruit and lettuce), and as little bread as possible.
2. I will need to break one time from the challenge for an Indian potluck I'm hosting. I will spend no more than $15 on my dish for the potluck (hopefully less if I can find a recipe using mostly ingredients I have on hand).
3. Grocery budget for the month of January is $65 (includes $15 for Indian dish).

I'm looking forward to this challenge and seeing how well I can stick to it! Especially with my current pregnancy and making sure I don't always give into temptation. Like today, when I just HAD to have a milkshake, so I loaded both kids into the car and drove to Steak 'N Shake and arrived two minutes after Happy Hour. I begged the guy to give me the Happy Hour deal (because otherwise I would have left) and thankfully, he did. Then I was bummed because my shake didn't taste nearly as great as I thought it would in my head.

As I mentioned above, 15 dishes should cover the full month for me and if it doesn't I do have a backup list of meals. The first meal I made, quiche, fed us for dinner, lunch, and will be tomorrow's breakfast as well!

Breakfasts will be cereal, eggs, pancakes, etc. I have plenty of all of these items to last at least a month.

Lunches will be mostly leftovers or if necessary, quick meals that I already have in the freezer or pantry.

Here's my list of 15 dinners, in no particular order, because determining the day I'm going to eat a meal?? Well, let's just say Hell hasn't frozen over yet. We eat fruit with every meal, so that isn't listed.

Broccoli & Ham Quiche (mix is already in the freezer), salad
Homemade Veggie Pizza & Salad
Chicken Pot Pie & Cut veggies
Chalupa (pork and pinto beans already in freezer) served over shredded lettuce with tomatoes, avocado and Spanish Rice
Turkey Sausage & Eggs Florentine scramble
Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs, Salad
Italian Wedding Soup, Homemade Bread
Turkey Tacos, corn
Crockpot Beef Roast and Veggies
Shepherd's Pie, salad
North Carolina BBQ Pork, Homemade Coleslaw, served on Buns
Spicy Pork, Vegetable Gumbo Soup served with Rice
Turkey Burgers, Oven Fries, Green Beans
Philly Cheesesteaks, Sweet Potato Fries
Hoisin Pork Stirfry (includes veggies), Rice

I'll let you know how I'm doing with the challenge. Unless I eat my arms from hunger...


Brandy said...

I'm intrigued by this challenge. I could probably live off my stockpile for 3 months too. Especially since I have 30+ pounds of pork in the freezer. Crazy I know.

Anyway, I didn't join up but I might try the lowkey version of it.

Good luck!

Deanna said...

I am doing the opposite! Trying to restock my freezer!

Aubrey said...

Your monthly grocery budget is $65?!?!? CUH-razy! LOL Maybe that's because I have my hubby and teen son at home every night for dinner!

The menu looks delish! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Jen Holt said...

how funny, i didnt know you were doing this! sounds like you've good a great base, cant wait to hear how its going! by the way, what kinda meat do you buy to make the philly cheesesteaks?