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Winter 2023 Pantry Challenge

14275 Views 388 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  marthamfi
Well a little early..put 2022 but realized 2023 is almost here!

Share your challenges or goals ..your sale finds! We all like a great discount shelf find.

or is rotating though your freezer or pantry? use it before it is bad.
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Hi al!馃檪 I鈥檓 here because I seriously need to do a pantry inventory and menu plan. I also need to get some freezer meals into the freezer for nights we don鈥檛 feel like cooking, or can鈥檛 cook.

We are starting with a loaded pantry and freezers. So much so that I will have to reorganize the upright freezer to make room for the freezer meals.
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Okay. Upstairs kitchen food is inventoried. We鈥檙e taking a break before starting the basement storage and freezers. Hubby cleaned the fridge while we worked together on this. That鈥檚 why it鈥檚 taken 2 hours so far! 馃ズ
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Finished the pantry/freezer inventory. Took three hours! Found a lot of interesting stuff hiding in my freezers, including some dead bananas at the bottom of the fruit bin. I pulled out six and made Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Banana Fudge Bars. Hubby is ecstatic. I want to freeze some. He thinks we should just eat them! 馃槀 They will disappear into the freezer tomorrow.

I decided to divide the food we have up into categories - grains, fruit, vegetables, meat鈥tc鈥t was very interesting. We have a lot of grains, vegetables and meat in the house, but we are consistently low on fruit and dairy. That鈥檚 what takes us on frequent trips to the store. And that鈥檚 when we are susceptible to buying treats. Hopefully having these treats in the freezer will decrease the temptation to buy them in the store.
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I made soup tonight with leftover broccoli bits (which had spinach bits frozen underneath), hm black beans, hm roasted tomatoes, egg noodles and pork stock leftover from a pork roast. Added some water, salt and pepper. Garnished with some gouda cheese that was going over the hill, and served it with hm maple cornbread. It was absolutely delicious!

Thank-you for the ideas @Contrary Housewife !

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We went grocery shopping this morning for perishables and special food items for tomorrow鈥檚 late Christmas. DD#2 and SIL#2 will be here for supper.

Supper tonight is Hamburger Helper from the freezer because I am joining an online Zoom meeting just before we eat.
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RedSpruce I used to make Hamburger Helper every couple of weeks ago for several years. 鈥
Hi hikr00! I make mine from scratch. We call it Mexican Skillet, but it鈥檚 basically the same thing.

Hubby is in the kitchen making tapioca pudding for dessert right now. I am feeling very blessed!
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@LifeFrames , I never had boys, but I had Hubby to feed鈥nd now two son-in-laws. My word! Do they ever eat!!! I am serving 1 son-in-law, Hubby, DD#2 and myself a 10鈥 tortiere (meat pie) and a 9鈥 cherry pie with ice-cream tonight. My guess is there will be zero leftovers. I feel your pain! Enjoy the soup!
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Tortiere, cherry pie and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables have been eaten from the freezer. SIL#2 made his version of mashed potatoes. I sent him home with a jar of hm pickles and hm salsa. I also divided the remaining supper into the three containers: a lunch for SIL, a lunch for DD#2, and a lunch for Hubby. I鈥檒l pass. It鈥檚 too heavy a meal for me. It鈥檚 diet time for me. 馃槱
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Went to Sobeys to pick up my meds. The insurance company raised the amount of the copay per prescription from $4 to $6 each prescription! Found TP and facial tissue. Very expensive. I鈥檝e thought about switching to cloth handkerchiefs, but I would use twenty a day! We did find a bag of stew vegetables for $2.99 - a small cabbage, big parsnip, two large carrots and two small rutabagas. That was about the cheapest thing in the produce department.

Stopped by the library for air fryer cookbooks. They were all out, with 10-12 holds on each one. It looks like I am going to have to buy one - either digital or in real life. I鈥檓 thinking of getting one from a local bookstore. But I think the cost should come from the household budget and not my personal allowance. Last year I was buying e-cookbooks using my personal allowance鈥.trying to figure out my new food dehydrator.
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Thank-you @Spirit Deer ! I think I鈥檒l do a little more sleuthing online before I buy another cookbook. Love your idea for keeping Internet recipes! 馃榾

ETA: Had the hm salmon chowder. Didn鈥檛 have creamed corn, so
I tossed in a can of corn and some leftover blend cream. I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. It tasted fine. Cleaned a zucchini, 2 carrots, 1/4 green pepper, leftover half an onion and a couple of celery sticks out of the fridge. A can of salmon and a can of partly skim evaporated milk used too. Also some spices and herbs. Very good, and there鈥檚 more room in the fridge and cupboards!
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I actually have to cook tomorrow. I鈥檝e put it off for two days now. I think we ate the last of thefreezer meals
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Leftover pancakes from yesterday for breakfast, with frozen wild blueberries and maple syrup.

Time to actually make a menu plan. We ended out bypassing our vegetarian meal for a beef based one last night. I鈥檓 thinking tonight might be spinach quiche.

I have a large bag of bacon bits that鈥檚 been in the fridge ever since we bought it from Costco. It鈥檚 about 2/3 gone and is now past its Best Before date by one month. Do you think I can still use them? In salads or just baking? Like the quiche? Or should I bypass them and not buy the big bag again?
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Thanks @Spirit Deer and @Contrary Housewife ! I鈥檒l use them in a spinach quiche I plan to make tonight for supper. That should about use them all up. I might have a few more for another meal.
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Quiche was great! Cleaned out spinach, some bacon bits, half an old onion, some powdered milk, 4 eggs, and miscellaneous other baking ingredients.

Tomorrow will be Shepherd鈥檚 Pie. Hamburger is out of the freezer thawing. Home canned tomato sauce on the counter. Just going to use frozen mixed vegetables for the filling and leftover mashed potatoes from last week for the topping.

ETA: just checked the mashed potatoes and it鈥檚 a no go. I waited too long. They went in the garbage. i do have a couple of fresh potatoes I might use to make the topping for Shepherd鈥檚 Pie though.
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@hikr00 , no french fries or tatortots in this house! I actually react to potatoes, so I don鈥檛 normally have them. But I made tortiere (meat pie) for a late Christmas a week ago and I just happened to have two big potatoes left over. So Hubby was kind enough to peel and chop them. I put them in a pot on the stove and did them up. The Shepherd鈥檚 Pie is in the oven!
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@hikr00 馃槀 I have had poutine a handful of times and can honestly say I am not fond of it. There has to be exactly the right cheese in it or it鈥檚 just gross! The only place I tried it and liked it was at a French Canadian pavilion during our local multicultural festival.

I鈥檓 not French Canadian at all. But when we homeschooled the children I wanted them to learn about French Canadian culture. So we celebrated a French Canadian Christmas. That meant tortiere etc.
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We finished up the teriyaki chicken tonight, and some herbed brown rice. I have coleslaw still. I have enough grated cabbage in the fridge for another batch. I may make a different dressing for it. The current one is oil and vinegar. Maybe the next one I鈥檒l use a mayo or cream based dressing. Hmmm鈥

I did a quick calculation on grocery expenses so far this month and we鈥檙e under $200 CAD. That鈥檚 good! Our budget is $500/month. But we have company coming for a week soon, and that might raise our expenses a bit.

Tomorrow night is lentil soup in the Instant Pot. I鈥檓 trying to get up the nerve to use all these appliances. I don鈥檛 know. All I see is disappearing counter space!
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@ermadunk , we haven鈥檛 done a serious shop all month either. Mostly the odd run for milk, eggs and fresh fruit and veggies.
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12 oz salmon out of the freezer and cooked in the air fryer. Yummy! Started a bag of frozen California vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower).

Company brought all kinds of Korean food in her carryon luggage. So I鈥檓 afraid we aren鈥檛 going to eat through much this week. She didn鈥檛 like the pulled pork, so we put it in the freezer for after she leaves. I have some cabbage to make coleslaw, but she doesn鈥檛 like that either. 馃様. As long as she鈥檚 providing the food I can鈥檛 complain.

She also doesn鈥檛 like my Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins! Hubby and I just shrug our shoulders and are enjoying them ourselves.

She made a special curry for lunch鈥nd spicy Korean noodles. I could handle the curry, but the Korean noodles were just too spicy. The best thing she brought was roasted seaweed snacks. They are nice and salty and crunchy, with really low calories. I can eat a lot of them. 鈽
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Finished off celery before it all went bad. Had to throw a lot in the compost. Finished off broad egg noodles. Used milk powder to make a cream of celery soup for a tuna casserole. Finished off the Jalape帽o Monterey Jack cheese. Finished off the saltines (which will have to be replaced). Two cans of Costco tuna in the casserole, and 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli. It鈥檚 great when I can use up stuff like this!
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