I started Real Mom’s Nutrition pantry challenge last week. Her idea is to save money by keeping a grocery budget each week and sticking to it. My idea is to get creative in the kitchen using up what I have on hand before I run out and buy more….something I’m guilty of doing all the time. I have so much food in my pantry that I just don’t use. So, my plan is to only buy fresh produce each week and no pantry items at all — for a whole month.
I officially started last week. I went grocery shopping on Tuesday (October 29th) and the next time I go I’m only going to buy salad fixin’s — and only when I absolutely must. I have A LOT of food in my pantry so I’m really going to try to stretch it out. I’m going to force myself to get creative and stop making the same dishes over and over again.
My (very messy) pantry
So starting last week on Sunday night — I made my Superfood salad. On Monday I used up some kelp noodles I had in my pantry. I’d been saving them to test a Pad Thai recipe but wanted something warm and cozy after a rainy day, so I opted for the soup recipe on the back of the bag instead. Amazingly, I had all of the ingredients it called for on hand (gotta love when that happens). Tuesday night was another big salad. Wednesday was Halloween and I made escarole and beans (my favorite comfort food). Thursday night I had leftover escarole and beans and also roasted a chicken. Friday night we went out to eat. Saturday night I made a salad for me (husband went for a burger). It’s Sunday night as I write this and we went to my sister’s house for dinner.
So, below is my plan for dinners next week. Lunches are usually leftovers and breakfast is a smoothie, greens drink or steel cut oatmeal. This plan does not include Norah’s meals, which can be separate from mine, which can also be separate from Hany’s. Yes, I whip up three meals on many a night. Do you do that, too?
Monday: Quinoa & Grape Salad with Curry; plus chicken for Hany
Tuesday: Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf; side salad
Wednesday: Grilled Salmon Salad
Thursday: Cabbage and white bean salad with Parmesan; plus chicken for Hany
Sunday: Going to my sister’s
This meal plan is totally subject to change, but this is the plan as of right now. I’m going to post all of my new and exciting dishes, so stay tuned for the hopefully delicious end results!
If you’re interested in playing along – to save money or increase your creativity – below are the “rules” as created by Sally at Real Mom Nutrition. As you can see, I changed the rules a bit, so feel free to do so yourself…just leave me a comment and tell me your plans!
Real Mom Nutrition’s Autumn ’12 Pantry Challenge (began Sunday October 28th and ends Sunday November 18th)
- Spend $50 or less per week for food.* (your weekly budget can be higher– the point is to significantly shrink your current grocery bill).
- Draft weekly meal plans and try very hard to stick to them.
*Budget does not include toilet paper and other non-food groceries.