sun teaSince deciding I needed to work on our grocery budget in earnest in order to redirect some of those monies into our household repairs coffers, I have gone back to my basics. The basics I learned, developed and used many years ago as a single mother of three children.
One of those strategies has always been not making a forecasted menu for the week ahead but rather (1) shopping for the lowest prices on food and (2) stocking up on what I can, when I can. Then (3) creating meals and snacks using the items I have on hand. So this past week, after taking stock of what I already have available, I began implementing that course of action again and thought I'd share what we've eaten.
My priority right now is to check expiration dates and use the oldest items first. That hasn't been too difficult since I always use the FIFO (first in first out) system when putting away groceries. Combining those things with the fresh produce that must get used right away makes for some tasty meals and snacks!
There were a few things that had to be thrown out unfortunately, some items in the freezers had not been used in a timely manner and we're inedible. Try as I may, I still lose food because of poor management on my part. I will just forge ahead and continue to try my best at not allowing food waste to happen.
I, myself, am not a breakfast eater but my husband is. This past week he has enjoyed:
• buttermilk pancakes
• cream of wheat, cinnamon
• oatmeal with raisins
• scrambled eggs with cheese, toast
We usually have a meal that we consider both lunch and dinner since he usually eats a late breakfast and I don't get hungry until this meal (sometimes I may have a snack beforehand). Many times we will have leftovers and will eat them a second (or third!) night or for snacks.
• fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp and broccoli, garlic toast
• grilled ham and cheese sandwich, chips
• homemade white bean, potato and bacon soup, saltines
• homemade vegetable soup, saltines
• egg salad
Snacks, Sweets and Treats
We all have a sweet tooth so, on Saturdays, while we have free electricity, I try to do some baking. I aim for a couple of different things to take us through the week to nibble on. Maybe a cake and a batch of cookies or two different types of cookies, depending on what I have to work with.
• oatmeal raisin cookies
• snicker doodle cookies
• coconut cake
• sun tea made from a variety of herbal, black and green tea bags
This, of course isn't all we ate. I did pick up a few other things at the store that were on sale. I just listed all the meals and snacks that I was able to make with foods we already had stored away. It's always exciting to me how creative I can be when I go on these self imposed pantry challenges!
I'll be back next week to let you know how that week goes and what all we ate.
Is anyone else out there doing a pantry challenge? I would love to hear the meals you are coming up with using up your stock! I know some are doing it in preparation and anticipation of the upcoming sales that happen around Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to those sales as well since there are usually so many great deals to be had! Being able to have plenty of room in the freezer for turkeys and hams (oh my!) is a wonderful side benefit to all of this.
I hope this has given you some meal and snack prep ideas!
Thanks for stopping by! ~TJ