Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Well, I decided to jump into the "Eat from the Pantry Challenge" for this month, hosted by Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom. I made a list of meals that I could make using mostly ingredients that we have on hand, and came up with almost enough to fill the month! My sister and family are going to be visiting my parents during part of the time, and I know we'll probably be eating at least a few meals over there, so that should make up for the empty spots in my menu.

Now I'm not planning to skip grocery shopping for the whole month (wouldn't that be nice, though?!), but I am planning to keep my grocery purchases to a minimum. I normally spend around $200-$250/month on groceries, so I'm setting a goal to only spend $100-$150 this month. This will cover milk, produce, and ingredients for things I make every week, such as granola and bread (although I already have a lot of flour on hand, so I shouldn't need much for that).

I think it will be great to clear some older stuff out of the freezer and use up some of the odds and ends from the pantry, such as partially used boxes of lasagna noodles. :) Here is my menu plan (suppers) for the rest of this month (not necessarily in order :)).

*Quesadillas, rice and beans
*Cheeseburger soup, rolls
*Mac 'n Cheese, biscuits, maybe veggies or applesauce
*Pancakes, bacon
*Pork roast, mashed potatoes
*Pork fried rice (using leftover pork)
*Spaghetti, garlic bread
*Lasagna, bread
*Chicken pot pie, rolls
*Chicken enchiladas
*Eggs, home fries, bacon
*Chicken/broccoli casserole with rice
*Hearty Penne Beef
*Mac 'n Cheese, applesauce, toast

This is just a quick list and very subject to change! And as you can see, I added some side dishes in, but those too are apt to change, depending on what I buy that week or what I already have on hand. You can also see that we eat pizza around 4 times a month (usually on Saturday or Sunday nights), and there are several other favorite meals that we repeat two or three times, such as quesadillas, mac 'n cheese, etc. I didn't list breakfasts or lunches, because we eat homemade granola for breakfast 99% of the time, and usually just sandwiches or leftovers for lunch. I'm really excited to see how the month goes, and hopefully I'll be able to keep within my goal budget!


Mary Ann said...

Great idea, Carrie! I am surprised at how much we accumulate in our pantry with just the two of us. I should maybe try this sometime. It's hard for me to come up with a concrete menu plan that pleases both of us. We are both very apt to change our minds about what sounds good or what I think my tummy can handle. I hope your store has some great sales + coupon deals that help you stay within your budget goals!

Alicia said...

Good luck to you! You are braver than I. :) My pantry is pretty scarce after the holiday feasting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie,
I enjoyed reading your meal plan.I recently had a baby and seem to have lost any creative meal planning.We do eat alot of homeade pizza.We also have been eating meat cooked in the crock pot with the bbq sauce that I think your mom may have posted on her blog.We have tried it numerous times and seems to be a favorite of my husband.Anyway....all that to say I think I may try to use up some of the stuff in our cupboards.Thanks for some ideas.

Carrie said...

Mary Ann, I'm hoping I can stay within my budget goals too . . . after today's shopping trip I'm not so sure, but staying fairly optimistic! :)

Alicia, I'm not sure if I'm brave or just crazy. :) My pantry isn't terribly full either, but I think I can make do . . . at least, I hope. :)

Anon, thanks for the comment! :) I am not very creative with meal planning after having my babies either. Glad to hear you have enjoyed the crockpot meat recipe from my mom's blog! You might also enjoy checking out the website There are a lot of yummy, but fairly quick and easy recipes on there that you might enjoy. :)

Mrs.T said...

I won't even say how much money we spent on groceries this week! Of course we are preparing for a houseful of people, having 12 people for dinner tomorrow night, and a potluck at church on Sunday, so all of that adds up, but still...

Maybe in February I will try an eat from the pantry challenge!