Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pantry Challenge update

Meals this week
Sunday - I used this nifty triple crockpot to cook while we went to church.
In one pot #1 I put in a lean roast beef cut in cubes with some dry brown gravy mix bought in big containers at Sams. 
pot #2 was sliced carrots
pot #3 -was for instant mashed potatoes- they are not my favorite but my children are fond of them.  So,  I just measured out the water, salt and butter and put it on low to get hot.  When we got home from church,  I stirred in the dry potatoes  and butter,  and the mashed potatoes were ready as perfect as instant potatoes can be.  
We also had a big green salad with this meal.  

Monday- we had takeout from Panda Express

Tuesday- I cooked rice and served the leftover Sunday roast on top with some sauteed spinach and green salad.

Wednesday- Tuesday's leftover rice was made into fried rice with lots of veggies in it,  also heated up the last serving of  pepper chicken from Monday and more sauteed spinach.  

Thursday- shredded pork quesadillas with Mexican rice and a big green salad.  

I've been to the store twice this week- got basics like milk, eggs, yogurt, bananas, chicken broth. 

About that crockpot,  I had some Christmas and Birthday money from my parents.  I had so much fun spending it.  I got a sewing thread rack and about 80 spools of thread and dressmaker shears at Joanns- all on sale.  Then I got houseshoes,  a new Shark iron and that nifty crockpot.

This cooker holds 2.5 quarts in each pot.  
Each one has separate controls so you can cook up to 3 things at different temps.  
It also cooks slower, more like older crockpots,   so it may take all day to cook to something instead of just 4-5 hours like my big crock pot.  
I think this feature is great for when I will be gone or busy all day.   
One disadvantage is its size- the thing is almost 3 feet long and heavy!   I need to rearrange the storage pantry so it will have a place to be stored away when I am not using it.
I ordered mine from Walmart but I also so them in SamsClub when we shopped there recently.
They sell at both places for less than $40.

So far,  for the first 3 weeks in January,  I spent about $100 on groceries and household things.

Then, on Friday,  my husband had an appointment with his knee surgeon.
Husband's 8th right knee surgery could happen sometime in the next few weeks.
Since we were in the big city day and
 since the surgery and recovery will certainly keep us away from stores,
 we broke this challenge and  bought quite a few groceries that day.

Once again our kitchen is stocked but I did not make it all month on less than $200
 that is OK.
I still accomplished the goal to pay that bill with grocery/spending money.

So,  technically, I guess my pantry challenge is over but it is not.
The kitchen is full and  there will be no need to shop again for weeks.

My new plan is to get some things baked up ahead like par-baked pizza crusts and some cookies to put in the freezer for those busy days after surgery when I know we will be going to frequent physical therapy sessions.

Why do people think homemakers must be bored?
There always seems to be plenty of things to keep me busy
and to keep me on my toes.


  1. what yummy meals you are coming up with!! I am still with it, have only bought milk, eggs, and banana's so far this month. Thanks so much for this challenge I think I will carry on for a few more weeks. It's nice not to have to spend money on groceries!! Good luck to your huuby and his knee

  2. Bored? Never! At least I'm not. ha. How could we be? There is always something to do and new projects to beckon us. ha.

    I saw that triple crock pot at Sams and thought it would be so nice for holidays and a big crowd...just to keep things hot and free up stove/oven space. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

  3. Hi Rhonda, you've been very busy! and smart too. I think you spent your gift money very wisely. Ug, sorry about the more surgery for your dh! I hope he gets over it very quickly and that this will be the last one forever.

    My crock pot cooks everything so fast that I would never leave it. If I ever buy another one, I need to get one that cooks slower, like yours.

    My dh hates instant mashed potatoes, but I like them. So I make enough just for me in the microwave.

    I bet coming home from church to all that good food and the delicious smells was very nice.

    Have a great Wednesday!

  4. I am quite intrigued with your triple crock pot as I've never seen one before. And I enjoyed your menus for the week -- we cook the same way. Love those left overs "repurposed."

  5. Bored? Ha! I never seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. There is always something I want or need to do.

    Neat crock pot. The size would be the thing that would keep me from getting on. I can see that it would be very handy.

    Have a great day!

  6. I always have way more I want/need to do than time to do it, it seems!

    I've seen those crockpots--would work well for entertaining. I have a little 2 quart that's perfect for small things like veggies.

  7. Right! There's always something to do.I'm never bored unless I want to be :)

    That's a great crockpot - good choice! I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of it.

  8. Thank you for showing this. I have had my eye on it and didn't know anyone who had one or how they liked it. I probably would have jumped in a bought one had I had the pantry cleaned out and room for it!

  9. My mom always said being a mother/housewife is a full time job if you do it right. apparently I don't do it right because I've always worked!!! I tend to be a procrastinator and get more done under pressure. When I'm home, time just slips away.

  10. Bored?! Oh ho ho, what a laugh. I'm never bored. Granted, I sure have a lot more time now that I'm at home FT (since quitting my 3 day/week job last Oct.) but there's so many projects to do here, that I feel like I'll never quite catch up!

    Instant mashed potatoes, I agree with you on that one - gross! I don't like fake "anything" when it comes to food. ;-)

    Your poor husband with his knee. What is going on that he keeps having to have surgery on the same knee?

    1. hi Melanie, Jeff has needed a knee replacement for many years but drs. would not do them on him when he first needed one as he was too young. The first several surgerys were done at 2 military hospitals, 2 civilians hospitals and 2 at the VA hospital. Most were orthoscope procedures to clean out tears and bone fragments. One was a major surgery where they took part of his hamstring and rebuilt his ACL. Then 3 years ago he finally got a total knee replacement but it is not right, the spaces are too small and the ligaments have pulled away. Needless to say, he is miserable.


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