Eat from the Pantry/Freezer Challenge Jan Wrap-up!

Whew!!! Today is January 31 and that means I am OFFICIALLY finished with my eat from the pantry challenge.It was a good experience but we had so many other things going on with the remodel and move that I was not able to devote as much time to creative cooking as I wanted to. Initially, I had these goals:

1.       1. Try new from scratch baking recipes (pita bread & corn tortillas) – Well, this didn’t really happen. I did use up the last of my scone packets and the remainder of my homemade pancake mix, but I was too busy to experiment much with new recipes. Well, one day I did make some muffins with a recipe I had been meaning to try. But as for pita and corn tortillas, it didn’t happen.
2.       Use meat from the freezer (especially beef soup bones) – Well…again, I used meat from the freezer, but I never did use the darn beef soup bones. My big excuse – I kept forgetting to get barley. I wanted to make beef/barley soup, but never had barley…
3.       Use up some of the frozen Okra I have in my freezer. – This I did! Twice. But there’s still more to use…
4.       Try at least one new recipe each week (bacon pizza,  taquitos, beef & barley soup, grapefruit salad) – I did try new recipes. The bacon pizza was a HUGE hit the first time I made it. The second time I made though, I skimped on the bacon, and it did not go over so well. I also tried a new pork roast recipe that was a hit. And, although I never did make that grapefruit and avocado salad, I did make a new tahini/lemon salad dressing that is delicious! But as it got busier later in January, I didn’t try anything new.
Finally…Reduce my grocery/toiletries budget to $150 for the month. I did it! Well, I went over, but not by more than $10 so I will consider that a HUGE success! I did not buy a lot of meat, but I still have a lot so I’m confident that I will be able to stick to our normal budget of $250 a month and STILL buy lost leader meat for my freezer. I did buy one 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters that’s in the freezer and 22 boxes of pasta for next to nothing. I’ve also got enough diapers to last me a good 5 months! Remember the hummus? I bought 12 containers of free hummus, ate a lot and froze a few. I am pleased to report, THAWED hummus tastes just fine. So, if you come across a sale where you can buy a lot for free, stock up!
So, was it a success? Yes and no. We ate out more than I would like to admit. I also fed a lot more people than normal though, since my mother and father in law, as well as our Oak Tree Homes employees have been working themselves to the bones on our house next door.  I’ve made them breakfast treats, snacks, lunches, and dinners! I will admit to buying about $30 worth of groceries on company money to help with that endeavor – mostly lunch meat to keep them satisfied.So, I’m not counting that in my $150 since I fed 4-5 extra people at least 3 times a week.
After we get moved and settled, I’m doing this again!! Did you participate? How did it go??

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Hopefully, I am not jinxing myself for posting this…but WE’RE MOVING!!! Our house is FINALLY under contract. That’s the good news…

The bad news is, now we have to move. We have had our house on the market because we have a small piece of paradise not far from here upon which we intend to build. However, we are NOWHERE near ready to build. We’re not sure what we want and it’s the middle of winter which means there is already at least a foot of frost in the ground here in Eastern Iowa.It’s kind of hard to dig a basement with frost in the ground.

Solution?  Move from our already small 2000 square foot, lovingly remodeled home into the even smaller 1500 square foot mess of rental we happen to own RIGHT NEXT DOOR while we figure out exactly what we want to build and how to pay for it!

So here’s my challenge! I shouldn’t be the only one to (ahem) suffer, right? 🙂 I am challenging myself to eat from the pantry and freezer. I would like to only buy fresh produce and dairy products from now until we move so we can empty our freezer and pantry. It will be good to purge old so we can start fresh. And it means I’ll have to carry less next door. Think I can do it? I’m not so sure…

I’m accepting Jessica’s challenge from her blog Life As Mom. I watched her do this last year but didn’t participate. I’ve been thinking about it all year and this year, I’m ready to go.

I’d like to reduce our monthly grocery budget from $250 to $150 to help force me on the way. I have several goals outlined on my monthly menu post that I hope to accomplish. Tomorrow I’ll post our monthly menu. If you’d like to join me in this quest, leave a comment. Give me some good ideas because I’m going to need help making this happen!!!