WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Monday meal plan 12-13 and Pantry Challenge!

Posted December 13, 2010

It’s time for a pantry challenge, everyone. What that means is that we will be eating out of our fridge, freezer and pantry for about 80% of our meals this week. The only things I really plan on buying for us to eat this week are milk and produce. I have everything else I need and it’s time to use some of it up! I did shop at HT and Lowes Foods late last week so I have already purchased the deals I have referenced in the meals below. Anyone game for a fridge and freezer clearing pantry challenge? You will need the space for all your holiday leftovers anyway so why not clear it out this week and save a little money?!

If you choose to accept this challenge (said in my official sounding voice), post some of your frugal, creative, boring or fabulous pantry meals. Anything counts so get creative!  By pantry meals, I mean anything that you already have in your the fridge, freezer and pantry.


Baked ravioli (BOGO at HT a few weeks ago)
Steamed butter and parmesan carrots (2 lb bag of carrots on sale at Food Lion for $1.39 through 12/14)
Rolls (.50 marked down from Kroger a few weeks ago and stored in freezer)


Tuna casserole (No Yolks noodles BOGO this week at HT with .50 coupon from 10/10, green pepper .59 from HT e-vic sent to me in Friday e-mail, already have tuna, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, onion and cheese)
Rolls (more of the rolls from last night)
Sugar snap peas


Scrambled eggs (free from Harris Teeter’s meal deal a couple weeks ago)
Simply potatoes Southwestern hash browns (BOGO at Food Lion a couple weeks ago)
Tangerines (on sale just about everywhere right now – look for citrus at $1 per lb or less)


Spinach quesadillas (using Green Giant frozen boxed creamed spinach, tortillas, rice, cheese, sour cream and guacamole– all of which I have at home)


Palermos pizzas


Shrimp and pasta (Shrimp is BOGO at Food Lion this week, I have some in freezer from a few weeks ago, pasta is free this week at HT and .09 at Lowes Foods with the .55/1 printable Mueller’s coupon posted in the grocery deals this week – it’s on the website)


Not sure yet – maybe a sandwich buffet with macaroni salad (Lunchmeat and sliced cheese on sale at HT through 12/14 BOGO)





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  • dstrickland75 Dec 15, 2010

    Faye, do you have the tuna casserole recipe? I did a search and I see when you had tuna but never found the recipe. Thanks

  • starrsmi Dec 15, 2010

    Great idea to clean out freeze for holidays. Open mine up found grilled chicken breasts from a few weeks ago, several containers of homemade chicken stock, and a bag of mix vegetables. Peeled a potato, put all in the slow cooker, added a few herbs and a little cream with cornstarch and viola' Pot Pie Soup. Had baked wheatgerm, almond meal sourdough bread that afternoon. My mom stopped by and guess what? Plenty for dinner and for her to have a take home bag, plus enough for a couple of lunches. It was yummy!!

  • RealityAddict Dec 14, 2010

    The kids' leftover hamburger from Tacos this weekend. Mix that with the black beans, kidney beans and corn from weekend meals. Scoop corn Chips, sliced olives, taco seasoning and dry ranch dressing packet in the pantry. Sour cream and shredded cheese in frig. TACO SOUP tonight!

  • Nancy Dec 14, 2010

    Wow, you guys are good! I usually don't plan several meals ahead since it's mostly just hubby and I here.

    But today it's a roasted turkey breast (bought at Target @ .98 cents a pound) along with three different veggies - Birds Eye roasted potatoes, two other different mixed veggies in sauce - all purchased during SD's two times past when they ended up being nearly free. Homemade applesauce made from apples bought at the Farmer's Market and then frozen. And for bread? Pillsbury French Bread stick which of course cost pennies during the SD event.

    Dessert? Well, we have our choice of Edwards Singles or some of the cookies I've been baking for holiday giving and enjoying.

    Now, tomorrow? Probably TGIF skillet meals and leftover veggies from today.

    Next day, hot open faced turkey sandwiches and another array of good veggies stockpiled for the last couple months.

    Somewhere in all that I'll be making a batch of homemade turkey soup in the crockpot, adding a bag of mixed frozen veggies

  • sherri3 Dec 14, 2010

    M - leftover baked ravioli, salad, garlic bread
    T - bbq pork (made w/ leftover roast pork from freezer), rice, green beans, black-eyed peas
    W - homemeade veggie soup w/ homemade bread
    Th - chicken stir-fry w/ frozen peppers from garden, rice
    F - semi-homemade beenie weenies, veggies w/ dip, potato chips
    Sat - sausage and peppers, pasta, salad, homemade bread
    Sun - bbq chicken, rice, salad

    Will have to buy some produce.

  • donnaa1374 Dec 13, 2010

    kcampbell - I have never had good outcome with slow cooker recipes for more than 8 or 9 hours, and ones i have tried that say 10-12 hours are either burnt or "mushy". However, a few years ago, I found a solution, as I wanted to do slow cooker meals and worked long days. I bought a timer like you'd hook up to a lamp that is set to turn on/off at certain times; cost about $6., you plug it into an outlet and then the slow cooker into timer. You have to make sure the time is set correctly, then set the on and off time. Some foods can be delay started and even the ones that turn off even a couple of hours before you get home are usually still warm. Hope this helps you out.

  • kcampbell113 Dec 13, 2010

    Target website has a coupon for $1 off Boca burgers

  • kcampbell113 Dec 13, 2010

    Need crockpot ideas that can cook for a long time...I need to start the crockpot about 7:30am and get home about 5:45pm. I need recipes that can go for 10+ hours and am having trouble finding them. Please send ideas. Thanks

  • kcampbell113 Dec 13, 2010

    Chicken Tacos: bag of frozen corn, can of drained black beans, boneless, skinless chicken breast (I use about 2lbs), sprinkle a package of taco mix over the top of everything, pour salsa over the top (1-2 cups). I start with frozen chicken so it can cook all day. This makes enough for us to have leftovers for another meal. Using canned corn this week since thats what I have on hand.

  • Oxymoron02 Dec 13, 2010

    With a newborn around, we've been doing a lot of "fend for yourself nights" in my house. The newborn is the only one not old enough to use the stove, so he gets a pass on preparing his own meal. :)

    I've never been much of a meal planner, at least not more than a day in advance, which doesn't mean I run out and buy food not on sale, it just means I poke around the kitchen until a meal idea occurs to me based on what's there.

    Close my eyes, reach deep into the freezer and out comes ... ground turkey. Ground turkey = tortellini soup. Quick check, I have all the ingredients on hand, the turkey goes in the fridge to defrost overnight and tomorrow it's soup time!