pantry challenge

UPDATE: Pantry Challenge – Week One

Wow… what a week!  It’s times like this week that make me really realize just how truly blessed I am to have the family and friends I have in my life.  I’m not sure I would have made it through this last week without their love and support.  It also made me realize how grateful I am to everything I need in my house to cook my family a healthy dinner without worrying about groceries and spending money.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, so it really did turn out to be a good week to do the Pantry Challenge.

This past week, our dinner menu called for:

Sunday, May 5 – Spaghetti and Meatballs
Monday, May 6 – Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Tuesday, May 7 – Korean Tacos
Wednesday, May 8 –
Sheet Tray Chicken Fajitas Leftovers
Thursday, May 9
Stirfry Meatball Subs
Friday, May 10
Pizza Out
Saturday, May 11
BBQ Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes Sheet Tray Chicken Fajitas 

Well… our week didn’t go quite as planned, but that happens to everyone.  We had a ton of leftovers in the fridge, so on Wednesday, we had leftovers for dinner instead, eating up all the little odds and ends.  I had beans, rice and some veggies, D.J. had a bean, rice and cheese burrito, Anthony had the last of the leftover spaghetti, and Joey ate a little bit of everything. We saved the meatballs from Sunday’s dinner and made meatball subs on Thursday, with some leftover buns and cheese that were sitting in the fridge.  I ended up getting dinner out because the boys were making my Mother’s Day present.  On Friday, we were supposed to have Anthony’s birthday sleepover and pizza party, but plans were changed when I had a pretty bad seizure, and ended up in the ER.  Our friends came to the rescue, took over the sleepover, took care of Joey and allowed D.J. to be with me the whole time.  All is well though, and honestly that’s all that matters.  On Saturday, we ended up having the fajitas for dinner.  It was an easy meal for either of us to make – just dump the ingredients from the frozen ziplock bag, pop it in the over and prep the toppings – easy peasy.  

Lunches were pretty much went as followed – leftovers for D.J. and I, some homemade lunchables and a couple days of school lunch (pizza and breakfast day) for Anthony.  Joey ate whatever he could get his little baby hands on! 

Because of the Pantry Challenge I didn’t have to do much grocery shopping this week, and I only splurged a couple little snacks for myself and Anthony.  Including milk and buying some paper towels for work, I spent $26.15 (or $29.44 if you count the stuff for work). 

Here’s what I bought:

2 gallons organic milk – $11.38
cookie for Anthony – $0.50
mini pitas – $2.99
16 oz cheddar cheese block – $3.29
hummus – $2.99
3 avocados – $3.75
paper towels for work – $3.29
1 L coke – $1.25

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a $26 grocery bill each week?!  Over the next couple of months, I am going to be teaching you through a series of videos and blog posts about how to drastically reduce your grocery budget without sacrificing the foods you love! Keep your eyes open for this!

I explained a little in my original Pantry Challenge post about taking inventory of your kitchen, and planning meals based on what you already have on hand.  Click here to get a free copy of the Inventory Printables.  Instead of looking at the weekly flyers or Pinterest to find a meal idea, plan your meals around what you already have!  Shop Your Own Kitchen!  You’ll probably be surprised about what you find in there.  I sure was.  I even have an extra corned beef tucked away in the freezer.  I have a feeling that Ruebens are in my near future.

Although last week didn’t go quite as planned, this has been a good week, and we’ve only changed up our menu twice so far to accommodate for our ever changing schedule.  But, we’re still keeping the same ingredients for the meals, just changing up the days a little bit.  Other than my little “treat your self” steak for Mother’s Day, we barely spent any money so far this week on groceries, and I don’t see myself having to go to the store for this weeks dinners!  Yay! 

Next week I will share about how this week of the Pantry Challenge went and our successes and challenges.  It’s been really fun so far, and honestly, other than produce, milk and coffee cream (see the theme of the importance of coffee in my life), I could probably keep eating up what is already in my kitchen for another two weeks. 

June’s Monthly Meal Planner will be available next Friday, June 24.  If you want a free copy of June’s Monthly Meal Planner (and July and August), join me in the Pantry Challenge, and post a picture of your menu on Facebook or Instagram and tag @momsbistro with the hashtag #pantrychallenge.  

Get your free blank meal planner by clicking the link below:

Pantry Challenge – 2 Week Meal Planner

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