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"
Showing posts with label pantry challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pantry challenge. Show all posts

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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pantry challenge-this weeks update

Good morning!
I did not intend to take a week off from blogging but you all know how life goes sometimes, right?

Anyway,  I am still  doing the pantry challenge.  We've ate at home every meal except lunch last Saturday when we went to the big city.  We also did a little grocery shopping while we there.
I've spent about $100 this month so far- a little more than I wanted but our normal grocery budget is $600 for the whole month and I hope to spend less than $200 this month.  

What I bought- 
produce at Sams like romaine, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrots
also mixed nuts and goldfish
at Sprouts- fresh pineapple and bell peppers, balsamic vinegar and bulk red pepper
at Aldi- dry milk, red onions, 
At Walmart- diet soda (yep I fell off the wagon and that is OK)  
glow in the dark Pull ups that don't glow nearly as well in real life as they do on the TV commercial

I bought more than this but I don't have my reciepts in front of me 

This is a picture my son sent me,  it is his favorite "go-to" meal to serve his family.
It is a baked potato,  topped with Aldi roast beef in a can,  topped with grated cheese- served on a real plate!  
Bobby says the Aldi canned roast beef is really good,  I've never tried it but do plan on buying a can or 2 and trying it out. 

If you are doing this challenge,  how is it going?  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pantry Challenge Day 4

My young grandsons spent the day with me but only one of them eats food.  
 My youngest son spent the day here too and had fun playing with his nephews.  
Breakfast - husband took about the same thing as previous days to eat at work.
Grandson and I ate banana muffins and pineapple.
Lunch - pigs in a blanket and chips
Supper - chili from the freezer with corn chips and cole slaw I made early this morning.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pantry Challenge Day 3

Just a short update on today's meals
Breakfast was the same as yesterday
Lunch- husband took the same thing except had ham and jalapeno cheese sandwiches on homemade buns for his main course.  I had a peanut butter sandwich and fresh pineapple.
Supper- a big green salad and homemade sausage potato soup, sort of like Olive Gardens, but this batch was spicier and really good and crackers.  

I've also been doing a sort of use it up challenge in my craft room.  
This week, I sewed up curtains for our living room, breakfast room and master bedroom- and used fabric that was bought months ago.  I'll post pictures later.  
I am also working on a picture for the laundry room- also with supplies on hand.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pantry Challenge Day 2

Another easy day for the challenge

My husband takes a packed lunch bag to work.  Today, it had a string cheese, a little dish of mixed nuts,  a peeled orange, some fruit cocktail, cole slaw and a dish of leftover blackeyed peas and rice along with a thermos of coffee.  He usually drinks orange and juice before he leaves for work and then eats what I pack on his lunch hour and morning break.
I had banana muffins for breakfast, skipped lunch and ate fresh pineapple for my afternoon snack.
Supper was a big green salad,  mixed veggies, and a casserole made with cooked chicken from the freezer,  a tube of crescent rolls left from Christmas and the last can of cream of soup in the pantry.  I don't plan on buying more cream soup and will try  some of the recipes to make it homes.  
I also made a batch of oatmeal cookies for dessert if we get hungry tonight and for snacks later in the week.  

Our local grocery ads started a new cycle today but I did not see anything in them we need right now.

We have some big financial goals for 2013.  
We think they are doable with a little planning and work.  

But,  today my husband got his first paycheck with the 2% change in SS taxes.  
2% is a big chunk
just a warning to you to be prepared when you see your first 2013 paychecks.  

I knew this was coming but it was still not a good surprise.  
It makes me even more determined to continue this challenge.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pantry challenge Jan 1st

many banana nut muffins
frozen in plastic containers that will be washed and reused- a better choice than freezer bags,
especially when there is room in the freezer for the containers.  

Breakfast- cereal and orange juice for husband
I had banana muffins.  I used 5 very ripe bananas to make a double batch of banana bread- it made 48  mini muffins and 17 regular muffins.  Most went in the freezer for future meals and snacks.  My grandchildren will enjoy the mini muffins and my big kids will like the regular muffins.

Lunch- nachos and quesadillas while we watched our town's university play in their bowl game.
Tortilla chips topped with Mexican cheese and diced jalapenos- broiled until the cheese melted.
Quesadillas- flour tortillas filled with leftover taco meat and Mexican cheese,  toasted on a griddle and cut into wedges.
both were served with lots of salsa.

Supper - what all  Southerners eat on New Years- blackeyed peas with rice and sauteed cabbage.  I will use the last of the Christmas ham to season the peas.
Ruby red grapefruit sections for dessert.  

In case you are wondering where I am starting from on this pantry challenge  -we have plenty of stuff!  
this is our pantry,  it is hard to get a good photo 

the freezer inventory wrote up a few days ago
it is not exact but it is close.

Today was easy- just 30 more to go!

linking up to the party
Walking Redeemed

Monday, December 31, 2012

Pantry Challenge

I read about this challenge on Dawn's blog  and I saw on Pinterest that Tammy is doing it too ,  but I am not sure if she is going to blog about hers. 

We have big goals for 2013- I will elaborate more about them in another post.   Our politicians may not realize it, but I know that big goals usually require both spending cuts and adding revenue.  We've had a bit of a revenue increase and I plan on making a big difference by cutting spending too. 

I was already thinking about doing this but the post on Good Cheap Eats  encouraged me to commit to it and to blog about it.  

We have plenty of meat in the freezer- probably an easy 3 months worth, maybe more.  
The pantry is full.
We've got plenty of non-food essentials like health and beauty things, things to clean with and paper goods.  

We have some fresh stuff but we will eat through it before the end of the month.

So my plan is to mostly use things at home, buying only needed fresh goods or things that we truly need.  
Other purchases will only be if  a low sale of the year price comes along.  
I hope to spend $100-$200 or less,  instead of the usual $600.

how about you?  are you stocked up enough to try a challenge like this one?