Friday, January 1, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge!

I am super excited about what these two ladies are hosting for the month of January- instead of Baking Day, we're all taking on an eat from the pantry challenge! This is the first time I'll be trying to make a month out of it, but after taking stock of my inventory- I'm confident I can do this! The rules I have set for myself in this challenge are:
  1. I will only buy from the produce, dairy, and bread sections. Everything else must come from the freezer and pantry.
  2. I will go to the store no more than once a week (although I'm hoping to limit myself to 2-3 trips total)
  3. All money saved will be put into savings.

I'm working on a menu plan today (for the whole month- yikes!!) and this is what we're looking at so far (in order, although I may change things as we go):

  1. Hamburger meat w/tomato sauce and corn, served with tortillas- yumm!
  2. Turkey, Rice, and cheese veggie casserole
  3. Stuffed tortellini in red sauce with ceaser salad
  4. Tacos with Mexican rice
  5. BBQ chicken, hash brown casserole, and corn
  6. Beef and Vegetable Stew w/homemade rolls
  7. My mom's birthday- we might take her out for dinner
  8. Parmesean Crusted Tilapia with penne and broccoli in alfredo
  9. Grilled Peppered Steak with Cabernet Balsamic Sauce, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots
  10. Oven roasted Chicken Breasts, Stuffing, Green Beans
  11. Spaghetti with meat sauce, Garlic Bread, Garden Salad
  12. Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  13. Pork Chops: need to google a recipe
  14. BBQ Meatballs, pasta&veggie (maybe? this is not normal food for our house, but we might try it just for variety)
  15. Fish Fillets (frozen), Mashed potatoes, Corn in butter sauce (freezer)
  16. Dinner out maybe?
  17. Crescent Roll Lasagna (husband's grandma's recipe), Garden Salad
  18. Meatloaf, Hash brown Casserole, Brussel Sprouts
  19. Teriyaki Chicken w/Rice and Broccoli
  20. BLT's, pasta salad, and leftover hash brown casserole
  21. Spaghetti with meatballs, veggies with dip
  22. Cream Tuna on toast
  23. ?
  24. Steaks, homemade fries, corn
  25. pork chops: need to google a recipe
  26. Tostadas with crockpot refried beans
  27. Whole Roasted Chicken, Stuffing, Mixed veggies (freezer: steam bag with potatoes and green beans)
  28. Chili Dogs, veggies with dip
  29. tilapia: need to google a recipe
  30. Peanut Butter Chicken and Rice
  31. Baked Tortellini with salad

Did you make it all the way through? I know, it's a TON to read, but there's a bonus! Are you participating? maybe not? Either way, I have an envelope full of coupons (some set to expire in January, some not, including some FREE item coupons) that I'm going to giveaway. To enter, simply leave a comment here with your email address on or before the 4th and I'll select someone at random (using to win. It's not anything amazingly fancy, but it might just perk up your coupon binder!


  1. Yep - we're doing the eat from the pantry challenge, though I've limited it to two weeks because we are then going on a trip. I hope to do another two weeks when we get back.

  2. Hey, I saw that you had talapia as a menu item. I cook this with diced tomatoes on the stove. First I heat a bit of oil and butter, season the fish with salt and pepper, saute on each side until just starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Saute some fresh garlic (don't burn), add Italian Stewed tomatoes (or regular with Italian seasonings added), and a couple of pats of butter to finish off sauce. YOu can also add capers, if you have them. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8 minutes (heat turned down a bit). Turn off heat. Add fish back to pan, or pour sauce over fish.

    Here are other recipes.

  3. We will be joining the challenge too although on a smaller scale. My stockpile is just not there yet so we will be attempting 2 weeks.

  4. Your organization is an inspiration!

  5. I am not too sure if I am doing the pantry challenge - I an new to couponing and am not fully stocked...


  6. Sounds good-I liked lots of your meal ideas. I'll probably steal some:)

  7. Looks like you are well on your way to making the challenge- Good Luck!!

  8. I did this for about half of december, it worked out well. We were in the midst of a move so I never had a lot of time to coupon shop. Good luck!

  9. How fun, my stockpile's not big enough to participate this time around, but hopefully next time! I would love to win the coupons! Yay!

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

  10. I'm eating from my pantry out of neccessity right now. My hours at work have been cut!

  11. What a great list! And a month planned out? That is awesome!

    I am not participating in the pantry/freezer challenge this month. My stock pile is so-so, but more than that I want to continue my stock pile and use up more from my pantry and freezer after I have my baby in late April. In the next month or two I'll be adding meals as I can and stockpiling more for that exciting event!

    I would love to win coupons. :) How sweet of you!


  12. I realize I'm too late to enter the giveaway, but I still wanted to leave a comment. =) I'm not sure if I could do a whole month of pantry eating, but maybe in the future I'll try it (part of my problem is that I'm not good at making my own recipes up and that talent would definitely help when the pantry starts to get low!). I'm curious how long it took you to make your menu plan for the month. Did you take an inventory of your pantry first - in your head or actually write it on paper? Did it take long to find recipes to match up with you items? I'd definitely love to know more about the process of how you went about making your monthly plan...

  13. Sara, thanks for the comment! The month-long menu plan took me about an hour and a half (including inventory). I actually love making lists, so I went through everything I had and made several lists (freezer main dish, freezer misc, canned/pantry, and misc- this was pretty much just condiments or things that didn't fit anywhere else). Then I went through and tried to space out basics (one pasta dish a week, chicken dishes here and there) and then filled in meats I had on days I couldn't think of anything to make so that I could google recipes later. I crossed things out on my list as I went, so that I could see what was left. It's probably not the best way to make a menu plan ever, but it worked for me.

    You can see that I haven't come up with recipes for everything yet. We don't cook with a lot of pork, but I bought some for almost nothing so it's on the plan. I still have my list of miscellaneous, so when I get closer to the pork, I'll start googling recipes that use pork and whatever condiments/sauces I have.