So for the New Year, I decided to try a cook-from-the-pantry challenge. See this article for full details, but pretty much the plan is to cook mostly from what is already in my house (fridge, freezer, pantry) and $20 per week for fresh produce & dairy.
How’s it going so far?
Pretty darn well, actually. I’ll try to keep posting updates every Sunday on how the previous week went, and at the end summarize the whole month. But for the first week, things are going along as normal. Here’s the week’s menu:
Jan 1 – Pork roast & sauerkraut (leftover from day before, and it’s good luck on New Years Day!)
Jan 2 – Chicken & rice soup
Jan 3 – Chicken quarters & rice & broccoli
Jan 4 – BBQ spare ribs & baked potatoes
Jan 5 – Crock Pot Turkey Chili
Jan 6 – Seafood linguine (recipe coming Tuesday!)
Jan 7 – Pork chops w/apple chutney, mashed sweet potato, and cranberry sauce
Jan 8 – Spinach stuffed chicken rolls, rice, salad
You get one bonus day because Jan didn’t start on a Monday. 🙂
For breakfast, I have had smoothies using frozen fruit & fresh, wheat English muffins (from the freezer) with almond butter & jam, and cereal (cold and hot). Lunches are most often leftovers from one of the dinner meals, and one day this week I had a caprese sandwich for lunch out with some coworkers.
Oh, how am I doing with not shopping? That part is a little harder… as you may know, I’m a sucker for a good sale, and have no qualms snagging them and stocking up when I find it. Well, that’s a no-no this month, I have to make a strict list of only fresh veg and fruits we want or need, and stick to it. For me, this is the toughest part of the challenge so far. So, what did I buy this week?
|Kefir (2)||5.92||Bananas (5)||0.96|
|Org. milk 1/2 gal||3.5||Spinach (12 oz)||1.49|
|Heavy cream||1.69||Kiwi (4)||1.49|
|Asparagus (1 lb)||2.69|
Yup, I went over budget by a little more than 3 dollars… but honestly that’s still pretty good, given on average I spend $100 per week on groceries.
The cream was so I could make our own coffee creamer, (we are trying to get away from packaged, processed chemicals as much as possible) and organic, grass-fed milk is way more expensive than factory milk. But it is a choice we are making, to be healthier all around. The same goes for adding kefir to our diets, to get more gut-healthy probiotics.
The fruits will mostly be eaten as snacks and in lunches, and added to smoothies. The spinach & romaine will be salads to go with things from the freezer & pantry, and compliment any frozen veg. I already have. The fiancee eats a banana per day for breakfast, and both the asparagus & raspberries were on sale, how could I not buy them?!
Well, that’s it for this week, stay tuned for next week!
How about you guys, ever done a no-spend or low-spend challenge? Do you think you have more food in the house than you think you do? Could you go a month without grocery shopping as usual?