My musings…

Pantry Challenge Day 7

Had to stop at the store yesterday – 1 gallon of milk and 1 bunch of bananas ran $5.xx. It would have been cheaper at Aldi, but I also would have had to run a few extra miles which I didn’t feel like doing after work yesterday and might have cancelled out the savings anyway.

Today’s plan:
B: mini muffins, eggs, black beans, strawberries and blueberries
L: chicken, bean and cheese quesadillas, carrots and hummus
D: spaghetti
S: mandarins and bananas

B: oatmeal with banana, peanut butter and cinnamon, coffee
L, D and snacks: provided at work (all day meeting)

Pantry Challenge Day 6

Okay here we are on Day 6. Refrigerator is looking a little bare, but I suppose that’s the point. Also I pick up the CSA share tomorrow…we haven’t had a pick up since Dec 17 because of the holidays, so I’m hoping it’s a big one. 🙂

Well, the woke up super early this morning so…
First breakfast
S2: pancake with Kelly
S3: tortilla with egg and black beans
Second breakfast: banana mini muffin
Third breakfast (if they still ate it at SIL’s): pancakes, cottage cheese, strawberries
Lunch: chili with rice
Snacks: cheese sticks, mandarins, bananas

B: eggs with mushrooms, spinach and feta
L: lunch bunch (someone else is cooking)
S: blackberries, apple, carrots and cucumber

Dinner: salsa chicken in the crockpot which I’ll probably make into quesadillas

Pantry Challenge Day 5

One thing I neglected to mention on my Saturday post is how stinkin’ hard it was for me to avoid purchasing some things at the grocery store…seriously. chicken breasts were in sale for $1.49/lb. I don’t think I saw that price at all last year. But we have chicken breasts in the freezer that need to be used. And they’ll likely be on sale again at the beginning of February. And hams were $5 off, too! But I had just cooked an entire ham for Christmas and the bone and some scraps are in the freezer waiting to be made into soup. But still. So hard to resist and not throw them in the cart.

Also, I haven’t made a weekly or monthly food plan and here’s why: the boys don’t always want dinner, sometimes my sister in law feeds them and sometimes they just aren’t hungry so then whatever was made for dinner that night (since I almost always have it in the crockpot or have at least thawed something) becomes dinner for the next night. I have a list (in my head) of things I can make with what’s in the freezer and pantry so there are a few meals that can be made at any time.  Also, I have a CSA share that I pick up on Thursdays, so what’s coming in that is always a bit of a surprise. I know there will be lots of greens (hello quiches and soups), but beyond that, who knows?

Day 5 plan:
First breakfast: mini muffins and milk
B & L: sister in law is making
D: chili and rice
S: mandarins

B: eggs with sauteed spinach and mushrooms, coffee
L: taco salad
D: chili
S: blackberries, mandarins, carrots and cucumber

Pantry Challenge Day 4

Today is the first day back to work since  December 23. You better bet it was hard to get out of bed this morning. Doesn’t help that the temperatures are finally seasonal…I definitely appreciated those warm December days. Anyway I took a few minutes yesterday and made taco salads for lunch


1/4 c salsa
1/4 c black beans
1/4 c quinoa
1/2 ish c ground turkey with taco seasonings
Sprinkle cheese
Fill jar with greens

I only made 4 because 1 day a week we have a “lunch bunch” – a group of people get together 1x/week. You cook once every six weeks or so and eat what other people cook the other 5 weeks. It’s nice to have that plus to eat with colleagues instead of at my desk.

The boys and H normally get leftovers for lunch and they don’t seem to mind.

My meals today:
Breakfast: cereal and protein shake
Lunch: taco salad
Dinner: chili (from freezer)
Snacks: mandarins, cottage cheese and strawberries, carrots and cucumbers

B: pancakes, cottage cheese and strawberries
L: Mac and cheese, chicken and green beans
D: chili
S: mandarins, bananas, pretzels

Okay so yesterday the boys requested French fries so H took them for fries but he used a gift card to pay so I don’t count that. I had a bowl of soup and PB&J for lunch. Then we were out and about and I hadn’t started anything for dinner and the boys asked for Pollo Campero, so we picked up a dozen pieces and ate those with the leftover coleslaw. Another $20+…

Today was much better.
Breakfast: bacon, eggs, black beans and tortillas
Lunch: still eating Christmas leftovers, though I think today was the last
Dinner: chicken, stuffing (using ends of bread I had in the freezer) and green beans

a.k.a. why not to take your 3 year old grocery shopping.


This is what I picked up for the week. As you can see, it’s over the $20 limit I had set. And we will probably need another gallon of milk later this week.

Took S3 with me which is why we ended up with green beans, blueberries and strawberries. I probably wouldn’t have picked any of them up if he hadn’t been with me, but he does eat all of them and who wants to argue with a 3 year old who wants green beans?

January 2, 2016 meals:
Breakfast: pancakes and bananas for the boys, tamales and black beans for me and H.

No Spend January

Coming off of the holidays, I thought it’d be fun to participate in a Pantry Challenge. Other bloggers do this both to reduce spending and to use up ingredients in their freezers and pantry. Since we’re in a small apartment with only the refrigerator freezer, I don’t have that much in the freezer, but the pantry is definitely overstocked. I don’t think that figuring out something to make each day will be a challenge, rather it’s not shopping that will be hard for me. I’ve already cancelled our Amazon Subscribe & Save for the month – I use it mostly for diapers and wipes, but always get a few other things as well…but we’re pretty well-stocked on those.
I will purchase dairy, eggs, and fresh produce (mostly fruit since we have a CSA share), but I set a limit of $20/week. This morning I noticed we are out of honey and almost out of maple syrup which I will replace since I prefer to use those more than white sugar. (I found a jar of honey in my pantry this morning. I knew we couldn’t be out yet!)
I’m going to try to blog about the experience. I’ve downloaded an app to my phone so hopefully that will make it easier.
As far as other household products (toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.) we’re fairly well stocked, so I don’t see that being an issue throughout the month, either.

Day 1: January 1, 2016
Breakfast: whole wheat banana pancakes, bacon and (the last of the) eggs
Lunch: pork, sauerkraut, potatoes and green beans (
Dinner: barbecue ribs and coleslaw
Snacks: apples, pears, popcorn