Pantry Challenge – Week 2

 

To read earlier posts on this challenge, why I’m doing it, and how the first week went, go here:

Welcome to 2016!
Pantry Eating Challenge – Week 1

This is week 2 update.  Things are still going well.  I have to fight the urge to go grocery shopping almost every day, which I know makes me a total weirdo. 🙂  I went to the store twice this week, once for bananas, and then again because we were almost out of milk, yogurt, kefir, and fresh vegetables.  I still hadn’t used the asparagus I bought last week, but we went through milk faster than I thought we would.

What did I buy this week?

Dairy Fruit/Veg
Yogurt 3.9 Bananas (8) 0.6
Kefir 8.37 Blueberries 1.49
Gallon milk 2.69 Can pineapple 0.99
Spinach 1.49
Org. bananas (6) 1.82
TOTAL 22.34 Cucumber 0.99

 

The first store trip was just for the organic bananas, and I picked up a cucumber as well because I knew I had a little bit of dill left from 2 weeks ago.  Mixed with plain greek yogurt, it made an awesome topping for lemon pepper fish.  The second trip was Thursday, and I absolutely love that ALDI is on the ball with healthy offerings!  They now have many items from their own label which are gluten-free, organic, natural, etc.  They offer some of the best prices around.

Yogurts and bananas are a staple we go through pretty quickly.  The blueberries, to be honest, were an impulse buy because they were on sale and looked so good!!  And they really were, totally worth it.  Then the spinach was another staple item, and we were almost out of milk & kefir.  The pineapple was another impulse, because it’s high in vitamin C and I anticipated making smoothies at some point.  Or potentially another batch of cranberry sauce, because I still have about a pound of raw cranberries in my refrigerator.

The menu from this week included:

Jan 9 – Leftover seafood linguini
Jan 10 – Steak, rice, & steamed broccoli
Jan 11 – Lemon pepper breaded fish with cucumber dill yogurt and mashed potatoes
Jan 12 – Quinoa & red beans
Jan 13 – Beef roast, chopped potatoes & carrots, asparagus
Jan 14 – Shrimp fried rice
Jan 15 – Leftovers

Breakfasts included oatmeal with dried fruits & nuts, whole wheat English muffin with almond butter & jam, smoothies, or a fried egg sandwich on whole grain toast.  The bread products were purchased on super sale a while ago and in the freezer, as were the beef roast, steaks, white fish, and shrimp.  Potatoes can last for months at room temperature away from light, and carrots can last several months in the crisper.  Even if they start growing eyes or hairs, they are still edible.

Quinoa is a very healthy seed, and a whole grain.  I chose to use quinoa instead of white rice for the red beans, and it was a perfect match.  The beef roast I pulled out of the freezer and thawed in the refrigerator a day before cooking.  Fried rice is always a good choice, because you can add pretty much any vegetable ever, so it’s a good way to use up what’s about to expire and also you can spread out a smaller amount of meat to feed you several meals.  I used a pound of shrimp here, and the bag I purchased was two pounds, so I still have one more pound of shrimp in the freezer.

You’ll also notice that I incorporate leftover nights often, as well as taking leftovers for lunch.  I often make lots more than we need for one meal on purpose, because then I just pack it into single serve tupperware, and we have another meal just waiting to be heated up.  This makes packing a lunch super easy, and on days when I don’t want to cook dinner, we already have several different options available from the past couple of days.  Leftovers are an awesome way to cut down on the time spent cooking, as well as save yourself some money too.

Let’s see how this week goes!  Halfway there…

 

 

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