Monthly Archives: May 2012

Cleaning out the Pantry and Freezer – $75 food challenge

Yes, we are on a budget but who isn’t these days? With two kiddos and me doing a part time unpaid internship, I’m always looking for ways to stretch our money especially with 3 very hungry boys in my house.  I decided I was going to clean out our freezers (yes, we have two fridges to accomodate the mass amount of milk that gets consumed by only 2 members of this family and the meat we so kindly receive from my dad and his hunting buddies).   I also went through our pantry and took a note of all the items we have that have been lurking in the back of the pantry.  I want to see if I can clean these two places out and only spend $75 at the grocery store and eat for two weeks – I will keep you posted on how this comes along but I wanted to share what we have and how I’m going to do this.

Here is a list of what we have on hand:

FREEZER ITEMS

Two boxes Earth’s Best Chicken nuggets

10 homemade sweet potato pancakes

2 homemade veggie patties

10 homemade Quinoa patties

2 homemade turkey burgers

8 Dr. Praegers fish patties

2 frozen tilapia patties

1.5 bags Sweet potato fries

two bags organic frozen peas

1 bag french cut green beans

2 bags organic frozen corn

PANTRY ITEMS

Boxed falafel and tabouleh

6 cans assorted beans

2 bags ready rice

1 large quart dried brown rice

2 lbs split peas

Stuffing

Grits

Multiple cans of tuna

3 boxes spaghetti

3 boxes assorted pasta

1 box Annie’s Mac and Cheese

So, here’s what I plan to get at the grocery store to make our two week menu: **I cannot wait until our garden comes in so we can drastically reduce the amount of $$ we spend on organic produce!**

6 lbs Ground Beef ($15.00)

2 lbs Pork Chops ($2.99/lb)

Bag frozen Chicken Breasts ($6.99)

Chicken Nuggets

Tortillas

2lbs tomatoes ($1.99/lb)

1 watermelon ($2.99)

1 bunch organic broccoli ($2.99)

1 lb Organic zucchini ($2.99)

1lb peaches ($2.99)

2 packages bratworst and italian sausage ($6)

1 bag organic mini peeled carrots ($2.99)

1 bunch organic romaine hearts ($2.99)

Bread for Parker and I ($3.99)

Lunchmeat ($3.99)

Bagels ($2.99)

2 packages Premium Beef Hot Dogs **yes, Hunter loves hot dogs!** ($6.00)
This is his favorite way to eat hot dogs and how fun!!

As it stands, the total of this shopping trip should be: $72.00. I will update!

 

Here’s what I’m thinking for a menu – with Parker’s dietary needs, I have to do 3 different menus – Parker, Hunter and Isaac and I

For Parker and Hunter’s breakfasts, I usually do a large batch of dairy free waffles and pancakes and freeze them.  I usually alternate between waffles and fruit, bagels and fruit, eggs and fruit and toast and fruit – see a pattern? Fruits that are staples in this house include:

apples – strawberries (Hunter only)-watermelon (Parker) – peaches – mandarin oranges (Hunter) – and pineapple.

For lunches I try to stick with regulars making life a lot easier. Hunter will be changing to M-W-F at school so he will only be home for two days for lunches.

For Hunter:

grilled cheese – Pasta Salad (I usually do a big batch that lasts 3 meals for both the boys) – cheese, crackers and veggies with ranch – lunchmeat and crackers.  He’s pretty basic and most days he will only nibble lunches depending on the breakfast he had.

For Parker:

Crackers and lunchmeat (we do nature’s own crackers and nitrate/casein free lunchmeat) – pasta salad – grilled “Cheese” (we use Daiyo brand dairy, lactose free cheese, it’s awesome!) – “cheese” quesadillas. Avocado’s are a staple for him along with most meals andright now they are so cheap so I’m stocking up!

Dinner time for the boys can be tricky, I work late Monday’s and Tuesday’s so they are usually with the sitter for the start of dinner which makes things a little difficult when trying to get Hunter to eat.

For Hunter:

If we are eating meat, I usually get him to try it but he’s at that stage. Mac and Cheese Annies brand is a staple for us and Annie’s Pizza Bites although, I’m trying to figure out a way that he will like my homemade one’s again (refrigerated pizza dough!) – chicken bites (pizza dough wrapped around a chicken breast) – hot dogs – meatballs – quesadillas – beans and rice – nuggets. He always has a veggie with his dinner and it mostly consists of broccoli, raw carrots, peas or corn.

For Parker:

As you saw on the list above, he’s pretty set in the dinner department with what’s in the freezer. He’s a lover of all things sweet potatoes andman can this kid eat. At 10.5 months, he will down most of a full sized homemade turkey burger with peas in it, 1 avocado and some watermelon!

NOW for the good stuff; here’s a list of what I plan on making with the food we have on hand and the meat I will plan on getting at the grocery.

M – falafel and tabouleh

T- Pasta with black beans, spinach, chicken and tomatoes

W – Split Pea soup in the crockpot

Th – Spaghetti with sundried tomatoes (have a huge jar in the fridge) and chicken (boys eat too)

F – Pork chops and grits with green beans

S – Leftovers

Su – Tuna noodle casserole

M – Spaghetti with meatballs (boys eat too) ** will cook enough spaghetti to last two meals today and Wed)

T – Stuffing casserole with chicken

W – Spaghetti with zucchini and herbs from the garden

Th – Split Pea Dahl

F – leftovers

S – Beans and Rice with Chicken and herbs from the garden

 

So there you have it!  I will keep you posted on the actual totals at the grocery and what was a hit and what wasn’t with the kiddos.

**UPDATE – Yes, I am THAT GOOD. My bill at the grocery store $75.05!!

Do you menu plan? Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear it.

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Custom Wetbags now available on my ETSY shop!!

Check it out:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/100482299/custom-wetbag

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