Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pantry Challenge Wrap Up

So yesterday was the last day of the pantry challenge and I think we did a pretty good job of eating from home, but I am planning on expanding on this challenge for another couple of months.

First, I have decided that our "food budget" needs to be more than $500 a month.  Gluten free groceries (bread, bagels, pasta, cereal bars) can be close to $100 or so on their own.  So for February I am going to set $600 as our budget.

Second, meal planning did make a difference.  I know I should know that by now, but it was so much easier to shop, budget and cook with a plan.  I have decided on a loose plan for each week:

  • Monday - Hodgepodge - Which at my house means we eat up the leftovers and such from the fridge.
  • Tuesday- Pasta Night - Kid #1 has basketball practice on Tuesdays.  A nice pasta meal will give him fuel for practice.
  • Wednesday - Soup and/or Sandwiches - We are at church late and a quick meal is perfect for Wednesdays.  I have made soup or we have had it out of the can.  I am going to try more soup recipes in the slow cooker.
  • Thursday - Poultry night - roasted chicken, chicken bites, chicken/turkey breasts, ground turkey something or turkey burgers.  Poultry will be the main ingredient on Thursdays.
  • Friday - Breakfast for dinner - During the pantry challenge we have had french toast, waffles, and pancakes.  It is again a night Kid #1 has piano, so a yummy breakfast meal as a family is great before Little House on the Prairie.
  • Saturday - Treat night - We will have pizza (homemade or takeout depending on the budget), nachos or tacos, Thai or Chinese food (again depends on the budget).  As a kid we always had one night were we could eat something yummy. 
  • Sunday - Big Family Meal - I will make a dinner with all the trimmings.
Finally, I will start cooking ahead and freezing stuff.  I am making a huge pot of Turkey Joe's today and will freeze it for the future.  We are also going to get a beef share and join a poultry CSA.  Thanks to Life as Mom for inspiring me!


  1. I started grocery shopping with a limited amount of cash on hand. This made all the difference for me. I have also tried out different stores. It's amazing what you can get at Kroger, Meijer, and Aldi, when you let yourself spend only so much! Every now and then, I will splurge and got some really tasty stuff from Plum Market, and I do like to go to Busch's occasionally. They are more enjoyable to go to than the other places, and they do support a ton of community programs.