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Eating From The Pantry Challenge: Day 4

It's been 14 days since I've stepped foot into a grocery store and four days that we've officially been eating from the pantry. I have to say, I'm rather enjoying this challenge and was excited with the meals I came up with today.

The funny thing is, I keep feeling like we have "nothing left in the cupboards and refrigerator" and while they are barer than usual, we keep finding plenty to eat. It just makes me realize how truly blessed we are in the abundance we have. And this challenge has reminded me of this anew.

Here's what we ate:


Breakfast: Leftover biscuits (from dinner last night) with butter and honey, apple slices, and scrambled eggs with cheese

Lunch: Tuna salad sandwiches on hamburger buns with carrot sticks

Snack: No bake cookies

Dinner: Steak, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, ice cream

If you're eating from your pantry this week, I'd love to hear what was on your menu today!

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  • Samantha Witt says:

    I am kind of eating from the pantry this week too, except we ran out of milk for the baby yesterday so I had to send the husband for a gallon this morning. Other than that we have been doing great eating from what we have!
    Breakfast: Oatmeal and Banana
    Lunch: Chicken Wraps
    Dinner: Beef tacos (we were out of shredded cheese so we just used the pre-sliced stuff instead and cut it up.)
    Dessert: Ice Cream!

  • Jessica says:

    I found your blog recently and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! We are on day 3 and its going awesome! So far we have had pasta and leftovers but tomorrow we will have chicken veggie foldovers. You have inspired me to get creative! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  • Oh yes – we have been eating lots of our biscuit as well since I stock piled them.
    We had fish fillets, frozen meatballs, french fries, carrots and fruit for dinner. Yes, a hodge podge but we need to make room in our stuffed freezer.

  • kim says:

    For breakfast today we had ham and cheese omlets, mandarin oranges and nurti-grain bars. Lunch was Chinese Fried Wheat (like fried rice but with wheat berries instead of rice) and for dinner we had chicken caccetore with artisan bread that I made.

    We’re doing pretty good!

  • Megan says:

    Hello! I’m curious – do you and your kids just have 3 meals and 1 snack each day? For instance, did you just have 1 or 2 cookies for a snack today? I’m wondering how you do this – especially while pregnant or nursing. And with growing kids. Maybe mine are just little piggies! That would just never fill them up, so maybe you can tell us more about this.

  • Today’s breakfast:

    For the children: Omelettes with cheese and bacon (I keep Hormel Bacon Bits in my pantry (they have to be refrigerated after you open them). They come in a huge container at Sam’s.

    For me: I had the same, but I also added the spinach and the first asparagus from the garden (I steamed them while I made the children’s omelettes).

    My husband had his usual fried potatoes.

    Lunch: Homemade Bagels.
    We had cranberry, salt, plain, and everything bagels. I made a double batch (32 total) and I think there are 6 left at the end of the day. (Now you can see why I don’t understand freezing “extras”–we don’t HAVE many extras!)
    We were going to have salad from the garden, but everyone was full after the bagels, so that’s all we had.

    Snacks: Popsicles
    and everyone wanted more bagels

    Dinner: leftover soups
    Chicken and Rice
    Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup

    We had home canned pear sauce (it’s like apple sauce, but made with pears) for dessert.

  • Josette says:

    Hummis dip with veggies

    I soaked the garbonzo beans then with olive oil and roasted sesame seeds (a spice cupboard challenge) I made a lovely hummis dip

  • great blog! I started the same program on my own blog 14 days ago. One day after you. Some how I missed that you are anyone else was doing this to. It is great to know that someone else is out there to help with encouragement.
    I have about 2 more weeks, before I end the project with a trip to New York.

  • Heather says:

    Thanks for posting all of your ideas!

    We had leftover potatoes from our corned beef and cabbage dinner. I pan friend the potatoes in a little cooking oil, added browned ground beef and onions and two cans of cheddar cheese soup. We served it in tortillas. It was delicious!

  • Kristin says:

    I posted about this challenge yesterday, then got a bit nervous about being able to pull it off when I looked through our cupboards and freezers. I’m not sure whether we can do it, but I am going to try to hold out for as long as possible.

  • Vicky S. says:

    Just wanted to let you know I love your blog and read it every day! I’ve been following your eating from the pantry challenge and trying it myself and I am amazed at the food I have when I started going through the cupboards and freezer! Last night I had one chicken breast so I made a pan of chicken and dumplings(fromBisquick) mashed potatoes and broccoli and cheese. I’m looking forward to see what else i can come up with. Thanks so much!

  • Katie says:

    We started yesterday.
    Breakfast: eggs with cheese and watermelon
    Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich pretzels
    Snacks: apple and grapes and drinkable yogart (my kids are snackers -atleast they like healthy ones:)
    Dinner: pork chops cooked carrots and mashed potatoes (the kind in a box)

    I have planned out a week of Breakfasts, Lunch and Dinners for our week long eating from the pantry. I think we will run out of milk and fresh fruit, but We will improvise:)

  • It’s been great seeing your posts on this each day. I’ve been eating from the pantry/freezer as well, until we hit “reset” on the food budget next Wednesday. I was surprised that I could still get great meals out of it all. I love the challenge.

  • ChefLesia says:

    Judging by your dinner, I’d say eating from the pantry isn’t such a bad thing! 🙂

  • Mary in Ohio says:

    Breakfast – cold ceral with milk (kids choice)

    Snack – organic granola bars (these were basically free with coupons and store sale)

    Lunch – leftover pasta with butter and parmasean cheese

    Dinner – turkey breast (had one in freezer from a sale before Thanksgiving), mashed potatoes (used up last one from the bag), Sweet potato casserole (used the last of them from the fridge), biscuits from the freezer. Lots of leftovers for this weekend in lunches and dinners and some for the freezer too!

    Snack – popcorn and/or popsicles (that had been in the freezer for a while

  • fairy dust says:

    this has been so inspirational to read each day – I’m very impressed! Keep it up 🙂

  • Shayna says:

    My mouth is watering!

  • Rebecca says:

    This looks SO good. Your eating from the pantry challenge is reminding me of my shopping from the closet challenge. I too keep thinking I have nothing to wear but then come up with creative outfits. Limits help with innovation I think 🙂


  • Rachel says:

    We are keeping up the challenge as well, although I realized we are almost out of toilet paper, so I need to hit the store today. I hope I can curb myself from buying other items!! (My husband is begging for saltines too)

    Breakfast: Bagel with margarine, 1 slice of cheese
    Lunch: Leftover chicken – made a sandwich, baked chips
    Dinner: Chili (I had made a huge batch a few weeks back; put half in the freezer)
    Snack: Sugar-free pudding

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  • Katie says:

    Thanks for all the advice. The only trouble with some of the cookie recipes you mentioned earlier is that you measure in cups and I’m having trouble converting these into pounds and ounces.

    I have found that Shortbread is great to make when the cupboards get low – ingredients being
    125g/4oz butter
    55g/2oz caster sugar
    180g/6oz plain flour

    No milk or eggs needed. Mix all the ingredients together, roll out and cut into biscuit shapes, pop in the fridge for 20 mins, sprinkle with sugar and pop in a pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 mins gas mark 5/190/375. I do these and flatjacks when I need to save money. Flatjacks are a good breakfast when you are on the run.

  • Katie says:

    Oh – anyone got any nice recipes which involve tin tuna – I’ve found a mini stash at the back of my cupboards which I would like to use up?

  • auntie says:

    that breakfast looks so YUMMY! i’m a sucker for cheese on anything 🙂

  • Jen C says:

    Ok, yesterdays meals….
    Bfast–kids had poptarts, I had a little leftover homemade bread. (I have almost zero appetite in the morning) not sure about DH, cereal I think.
    Snack for me, or late bfast, spinach rice and cheese casserole…Again
    Lunch, kids packed lunchmeat sandwiches, Annies bunny crackers, and apples. DH packed leftover chicken and noodles in lemon butter. I had my bi-monthly lunch date with Mom and Sis. I ordered a Bfast burrito, it was huge!
    Dinner…I had second half of lunch burrito. Kids had homemade bread, green beans, bananas and cheese quesadilla’s. Hubby worked late and had taken tons of the chicken and noodles for lunch and had more for dinner.
    Snack for all was sugar cookies–pillsbury refridgerator style.

  • Carol says:

    Breakfast-Granola bars
    Lunch- Turkey Sandwiches & Rice Cakes
    Dinner- Shredded BBQ (made with leftover roast) & Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ butter & brown sugar
    Snacks- Yogurt & Oatmeal Creme pies

  • Mrs. Jo says:

    I’m enjoying this series on eating from the pantry! I do this about every month but still ususally need to run and get milk and a few odds and ends we really need. I suspect my family eats a LOT more than yours though. My hubby snacks constantly but still weighs the same as in high school and one snack for my kids is about two banananas and a cup of cheese crackers or a couple of slices of bread and butter. They have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day! They literally seem to eat out the pantry most every week so I have to shop weekly most of the time! Since they are 4, 2, and 7 months, I can’t imagine what they’ll eat in 10 years!

  • vickie says:

    I love reading all of the posts on this subject. I told my husband one evening that I thought we could go for a month without buying anything other than bread, milk and fresh produce and he took the challenge. We are on week 6 and purchased our first “new” meat yesterday! I love that my pantry is looking so organized and we actually know where everything is. (I’m guessing another 10 days and I’ll have to break down and do the grocery trip!!)

  • Honey says:

    We had cereal/milk for breakfast. Lunch was turkey and cheddar melts/doritos/pears. For dinner we ate cheddar wursts/coleslaw/corn. I went to a birthday dinner with some ladies ( had an appetizer platter) and my daughter said,”when you were gone daddy gave us some granola bars and some chips”…ah, the truth comes out…haha..

  • My mom practiced this challenge on a monthly basis as she raised 5 kids on 1 income. I can remember her creating all kinds of amazing dishes from our pantry, freezer, and fridge while waiting to go grocery shopping with the arrival of my dad’s next paycheck.

    Now it’s something I try to practice the last week of every month. Challenge is a good word for it. I always love to see how I can stretch what I already have into well-balaced, delicious meals. Great ideas, MSM!!

  • Deanna says:

    bfast – cereal or eggs
    lunch – turkey sandwiches
    snack – pretzels and juice
    dinner – spaghetti, garlic bread
    dessert – leftover choc. banana bread

  • Angela says:

    Your meals are pretty fantastic! You keep a great pantry. We’re on day 9. Since it’s just me and the kids, I’ve been making one big casserole about every 3rd day and just enjoying the leftovers.

    Today I’ll polish off the last of the Arroz Con Pollo and tomorrow, it’s on to spaghetti.

    Lunches/breakfasts/snacks have been pretty simple. Cereal, leftovers, granola bars, fruit, oatmeal…oh and lots of grilled cheese and tomato soup. 😉

  • Dawna Lunde says:

    I’m giving it a try, too. Breakfast was cereal and yogurt. Lunch was a big salad with craisins, walnuts, a chopped apple and the last of the fat free feta cheese. (Eek!) Snack was a FIber One bar for DD, rice cakes for me. For dinner, I stuck some chix breasts in the slow cooker, mixed up and threw in a can of 98%ff cream of chix soup, 1/2 packet of onion dip mix, 1 C. ff yogurt (didn’t have any sour cream). Served this ‘stroganoff wannabe’ on rotini pasta with toast. The salad was getting old, so I stir fried what was left for a veggie for me. (My salads are chopped cabbage, cauliflower and carrots, lol!) For dessert, I had a box of ‘you gotta make it yourself’ rice crispy treats.

    I’m looking forward to getting the pantry cleaned out. DH retired from the military, and for the FIRST time, we didn’t move after 2-1/2 years, so the PURGE hasn’t happened in the 4 years we have been living here.

  • Joy says:

    Crystal ~~ I really love your blog … so much that I have just tagged you for the Attitude of Gratitude Award. If you are unable to participate, that’s OK. I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me! Thank you so much for the time you invest in your posts!!
    ~ Joy 🙂

  • katie 8 oz = 1 cup hope that helps in your conversions

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