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2023 Spring Pantry Challenge

8094 Views 255 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Contrary Housewife
Spring is here. Share your pantry stocking challenges and goals. Are you trying to use it up, or starting a stockpile? Did you find a good deal? Or do you need ideas?

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I just ordered 3 cases (24 ct) of ramen noodles. Dgd loves the stuff and will eat 2 packages when she's here. Sometimes she asks for it but doesn't always eat it. I'd rather throw out 35 cents than $10 at McDs. I went to the store to stock up and they had very little. Bought a different flavor just so I'd have some and then came home and ordered.
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I cleaned my desk, threw out my old lists, and took an inventory of the kitchen freezer. Came up with 15 meals out of what is already in there. (leftover spaghetti sauce, chicken tenders, partial bag of fish sticks, half bag of dumplings, ham slices from christmas, etc) That is not counting the chicken we have 2-3 times a week or any vegetarian-ish dinners like salads and soup. So, it's more like 3-4 weeks of meals. All I need to buy is vegetables.

Looked in the garage freezer and found a large pack of chicken wings, and a flank steak. So I'll be working those into the meal plan next, probably after the end of the month.

The one thing I don't have is ground beef, so I'll be watching for a good sale on that. I've got 4 bags of sourdough bread ends to use up, and at $7 a loaf I'm not wasting a single crumb of that bread.
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I like to keep stocked up but more that now it will get hotter and when I don't want the oven on so use up the items that take a long time in the oven like the mrs smith pies, roasts etc.
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Will continue looking for good deals to stock up with. It's time consuming. Target prices on staples is my baseline. If I am going to another store I compare that store's prices to Target and adjust my list accordingly. Taking advantage of all store bonus offers that are applicable and discount/clearance items for things that can be used right away. For example priced Milk Bone Dental chews from 3 different vendors, pretty close. But got a massive discount at PetSmart using loyalty points - 2 bags of 35 chews under $3. Jackpot. 💰
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Here one part of the govt is calling out the grocery chain owners about higher prices yet record profits so the whole we have to raise prices isn't flying well. so at least one that owes a few different ones is doing more sales though meat etc still high. but everyone is having dry pasta sales etc. Tomorrow the chain is saying 20% off their brand one day sale so will see if worth it. of course not everything on sale. If I have to pay such high prices for their meat think I will go to local place and get their frozen packs deals which is better organic meat.
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I’m still in the process of using things up from the pantry and the freezers. I used two cans of pasta sauce and some seasonings and put that in the crock pot to simmer. After a bit I added half a bag of wide egg noodles to cook in with the sauce. I’ve got frozen breaded chicken patties in sauce and garlic bread also in the freezer so we will have those with the pasta and sauce. I need to watch my carbs so I’m skipping the pasta but I’ll have a slice of garlic bread.

i do have a lot of canned pasta sauce (it goes on sale 10 cans for 10.00) so I’m not sure I’ll ever run out of that. But I would like to get the number down some. Dh will be disappointed as he wanted spaghetti and he’s getting the egg noodles instead. I’d have had to open a new box of spaghetti vs finishing up a half empty bag of egg noodles so I went with the noodles,
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I agreed Hikr! I am down to just the cans of spaghetti sauce no more classico except maybe alfredo.
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Yes, @marthamfi its like I just can’t walk past the 10 cans for 10 bucks sale on pasta sauce even when I have 40 cans at home. LOL
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Bought mostly vegs, eggs, milk, and yogurt today. Bacon and gr beef on sale, and also had to get cat food. Still came to over $90, even being careful not to let things "fall into the cart by accident." Got 3 boxes of flavored rice marked down, also a box of crackers with a big dent, and 2 boxes frozen breakfast patties for DH marked clearance.

M, lots of complaining about grocery profit on top of high prices here, too. Cost of everything has gone up, not just food but cardboard boxes and plastic to wrap it in, etc. The store I go to now puts tags on the shelf to point out special values each month, $1, $2, $4 items. Usually only a few cents off regular price, but still shows you the cheapest stuff.

Shopped the asian marked. Vegs were 40-50% cheaper than grocery store. Broccoli 1.78 vs 4.99, for example. Zucchini was $1 vs 1.99.

Hikr, I'll have to look for $1 a can sauce. Used to make it from scratch growing up, but a long time ago I found a jarred brand that was better than my own and have stuck with it. DH doesn't like red sauce, so a jar lasts us a long time 'cause I'm the only one that eats it.
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Martha, is JT getting the blame for inflation there like our prez is here? As if any one country's leader can cause or prevent global inflation. 🙄

I used up a head of cabbage, 4 potatoes, a small 1 lb ham, a big onion, and the core of a cauliflower. Is it still halusky if it has potatoes instead of noodles? Either way it's a favorite meal I haven't made in a while.

I also made a double batch of chicken(less) bouillon so I could make a double batch of cream soup mix. That used a variety of herbs and finished a partial bag of powdered milk plus a little of another partial bag. Too much stuff got lost in the pantry during covid. Still need to mix up more taco seasoning mix. The house sort of blew up my quest to collect ALL the good HM mix recipes since I've lost focus in looking, but I'm happy I already found so many good ones.
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No JT isn't getting blamed ..we all know stuff has gone up but the chains are posting record profits like more then normal so that means the prices aren't all inflation. Also one huge chain ..they own a lot of diff stores....was found guilty a few years ago of fixing bread prices with other chains pre covid. also used to jack up the prices before xmas of goods and put them back down after until they were found out. I mean if you are billing yourself the cheapest... not walmart lol don't think walmart was here then.
Ch I have to start doing that too going to farmer markets etc too lucky we have lots of options here. Flyers are out every thurs/wed so can see the completion. I have about 8- 10 ethic stores and veggie places within a mile or so plus so many grocery stores. our walmart is on top of the local chain. funny though people just assume walmart is cheaper but it isn't always and quality on fresh can be dicey.
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i am still in use-it-up mode here.
used a can of coconut cream to make chia pudding for a few breakfasts. that made a dent in the chia seeds and i threw in some of the blueberries i have been storing in vinegar.
used some of the blueberry vinegar with stevia to make a sort of shrub to drink instead of buying kombucha.

i did buy a head of cabbage and a melon yesterday for some fresh food to go with all the pantry food.
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Hunt's pasta sauce is frequently on sale for $1/ 24-oz can (not a jar). It's nothing special but I'll use it if there are other things in the recipe adding flavor, like lasagne or on pizza. That's cheaper than buying a can of tomatoes.....
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I just use tomato sauce and add oregano, basil, and garlic powder to taste. There's something in those ready made sauces that never tastes right to me.
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I just spread some of the chia coconut cream pudding on 2 slices of the free keto bread I got (toasted to make it more like hot dry saw dust instead of cold frozen sawdust...) and that was really good! Just hope all that fibre doesn't land in the middle of my 3 hour zoom meeting...(TMI?)
The coconut cream was already pretty thick and the chia made it like cream cheese. being non-dairy this may be a good option on potatoes at holidays. The coconut cream is spendy so I rarely buy it even on sale.
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CH I’ve tried making it myself from scratch but I just on more than one occasion but I just don’t care for it as much as I do the canned sauce. I do usually toss in some extra seasonings though.

Marthamfi people here think Wal-Mart is the cheapest place too but it’s not. Some stuff is but a lot is not. The other thing I’ve found is I have had a good piece of meat from there. I’ve tried various cuts of meats and switched between chicken, pork, beef etc and they just weren’t great. Same with produce. It would mold by day two. I avoid going there if at all possible. Target is my jam! Hahaha.

MaggieTru you reminded me I have a can of coconut cream in the pantry. I’d bought two cans as I was making a coconut cake and I didn’t realize I only needed one so I stuck the other one in the pantry. Forgot it was there. I bet dh would love another coconut cake!

DLRCPA Hunt’s Pasta Sauce is the same brand that you mentioned, it’s canned and goes on sale for 10 for 10. I also add some extra seasonings to it. But we really like it the best.
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lol think Hunts is universal.. there is the primo brand but don't get that much. the store brands aren't as good. I remember asking dd to bring up a can and she bought up tomato sauce.. no lol

Yes I think people don't look at the prices much or just assume it balances out and dont' want to play the watch the sales game. is like the superstores chains here too. they have lots of great frozen canned etc name brands but fresh...nope. since I have seen behind the scenes over the years get picky. But only safeway has butchers now. but like I said spoiled here. lots of asian, european choices. but I admit I just sometimes pay just cus I don't want to make a stop for couple of things.

We wanted the USA version of Target here but we didn't get it ..was so lame and expensive..guess though we were dumb or something. no stock no choices.. so now all filled by walmarts lol I have to say two places I always want go too when travelling is thrift stores and grocery stores.
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I think a lot of people go to WM 'cause not a lot of other choices, even here in the city. Nearest WM is ~3 miles, only dollar stores and Aldi closer than that. Target and Kohl's are ~10 miles away. Have to drive farther if I want stuff not made out of plastic or not made in China. People way far out in the new suburbs have to drive even farther. So why spend all day driving around when you can get shoes, car parts, dog food and groceries all in one stop. I hate WM though, bad customer service and stores here always smell bad, so I don't shop there.

Hikr, I get the Hunt's tomato sauce for pizzas. I noticed it was what my favorite restaurants were using, only in gallon sized tubs. We used to use tomato paste to make pasta sauce, but haven't done that in 30 years. I figure everyone has different tastes, that's why there are so many brands of pasta sauce. :)
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Marthamfi I’m not sure if we have the Primo brand here. I’ll have to look and see. I’ve quit looking at other pasta sauces after we found Hunts. Lol. We were in northern Maine with our daughter and we commented about how beautiful the area was, gorgeous fields, mountain in the distance and how private it was. She said “there’s no Target. I can’t live without a Target”. 😂

CH Hunts would make a good pizza sauce. The deli at our grocery store sells containers of pizza sauce which are excellent. The taste is just a little different than Hunt’s. One day when I was there I saw they were pouring sauce from a large can labeled “Original Pizza of Boston”. I’d like to buy a large can and freeze it in individual containers with each one having enough for one pizza. They only sell it wholesale though to businesses. I’ve tried tomato paste too and that’s not bad.
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