Saturday, August 1, 2015

Eating from the pantry - a week too busy to shop

The last few weeks I have gotten this wild hair to do some major spring cleaning.  I am seriously decluttering and purging my house of things we simply don't use, can't use, won't use, don't want, etc. (I'll post about that later, too.)  This has been pretty time consuming and I have not been doing the standard laundry/grocery shopping upkeep that I typically do. This means we have been eating out of the pantry and freezer a lot and since I'm not done with this purging kick I'm on, we will most likely be keeping it up for a few more weeks!

We are pretty good at buying the foods we eat in bulk, so we almost always have an excellent supply of eggs, milk, oatmeal, apples, pasta, bread, cereal, cheese and peanut butter-now we just have to get creative! I do make a trip to Costco about every 6 weeks and although I don't buy that much food there, I did grab a giant container of animal crackers last time I went and that has lasted us quite a while. An additional note, I don't eat a lot of meat and my kids are pretty picky, too, so when my husband is away for work we don't eat meat unless it happens to be leftover.  That alone cuts back our food budget!

Sunday:
Breakfast- Oatmeal w/ pb or brown sugar and milk, depending on who is eating it & milk
Lunch - Veggie Patch Mediterranean Patties (super yum- from Costco), applesauce
Dinner - hotdogs and chicken breasts my darling husband grilled up, strawberries, canned peas
Snacks - yogurt, animal crackers, canned peaches

Monday:
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast w/jam, bananas
Lunch - PB & Js, string cheese, chips (free lunch where I work)
Dinner - pasta w/butter and parmesan cheese, green beans, hotdogs
Snacks - cheese, animal crackers, cereal

Tuesday:
Breakfast - toast w/pb
Lunch - leftover pasta, bean burritos, bananas
Dinner - leftover grilled chicken, veggie patties, peaches
Snacks - yogurt, cinnamon toast, popsicles, dry cereal
(This was an odd day because my husband was out of town, my oldest was with her cousins and my youngest had tubes in that morning, so she wasn't really hungry.)

Wednesday:
Breakfast - oatmeal, toast
Lunch - bean burritos, bananas
Dinner - pasta w/canned alfredo sauce, leftover chicken and frozen broccoli
Snacks - yogurt w/granola, animal crackers, push-ups

Thursday:
Breakfast - yogurt, oatmeal, cereal w/milk
Lunch - crunchy chicken wrap, celery w/ranch, nectarines, chips (free lunch offered where I work a few hours a week, so the girls and I got to eat something different again! Yay!!)
Dinner - tomato soup with cheese and crackers, applesauce
Snacks - mandarin oranges, animal crackers, stray granola bar I found in the pantry, popsicles

Friday:
Breakfast - yogurt, cereal w/milk, banana, toast w/jam
Lunch - leftover buffet (everyone ate something random from the fridge)
Dinner - bean burrito, canned pears (The husband and I went out for the evening, so it was just the girls).
Snacks - chocolate pudding, animal crackers, applesauce

Saturday:
Breakfast - oatmeal, cereal (I went to my monthly mom's coffee and had a coffee & scone!)
Lunch -leftover pasta, leftover soup, leftover canned pears
Dinner - We went out for pizza! :)

There are a lot of repeats since my kids are picky and leftovers always reheat nicely.  I finally got to go to Aldi Saturday morning, but we were out and about a lot that day and reheating leftovers to make room in the fridge for fresh fruits and veggies was easier then cooking up something new.  I ended up spending $32 at Aldi.  I refilled my milk, yogurt and string cheese stash, bought tons of fresh fruit and a few veggies we don't have in our garden and even got the kids a treat! I feel we eat more simply when we eat from the pantry and that habit carried over to what I thought we NEEDED at the grocery store this week versus what we could have bought. I am certain in a few days someone will tell me they are bored and I'll have to come up with some more dinner ideas, but for now it has worked out pretty well.

I am certain I will have another week like this soon, so help me out: What are some foods you always have on hand?  What ideas for pantry meals do you have?  I obviously need a few more - oatmeal, yogurt and pasta can only be tolerated so much before the kids (and the husband) start to notice.

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