Saturday, January 23, 2016

2016 Food Pantry Challenge_ Week 4

This week's  FPC was a marked improvement over last week's FPC. However this is a pretty accurate representation of how I am feeling about the food pantry challenge, haha

Friday  1/15/16-- left over, whatever you find on your own day. We ended up eating the leftover cheese coney's, salad and a handful of chips. There may have even been a bowl of cereal. It was a long, tough week. 

Saturday 1/16/16--was a simple brinner dinner. Cheese omelette's, toast and bacon. I also drank several cups of chai tea. I am addicted to that stuff! It is kind of expensive habit, so I have a DIY on this (upcoming post).

Sunday 1/17/16--The original dinner plan was for baked chicken, green beans and a butternut soup. The hubbs wasn't feeling it, so I swapped out for cottage ham (more of the left over xmas ham), green beans, and potatoes with a side of cornbread. It was much needed on a cold, blustery day. The hubbs requested the leftovers for his lunch.

Monday 1/18/16--I was off work for MLK day. It was so nice to sleep in. I didn't feel guilty at all that the hubbs had to work. I just rolled right over and pulled the blanket over my head. haha  Tuna casserole was planned but since the hubbs had nixed the baked chicken for Sunday's dinner I made BBQ baked chicken and  Butternut veggie rice with a side of buttery brussel sprouts. I already had the chicken defrosted. The cool thing about the butternut rice is I found a package of fresh  butternut and veggies at the grocery. No extra prep work!

Butternut Vegetable Rice
1 cup of rice soaked for 30 minutes and rinse 2x
add rice to pan 2&1/2 cups of stock (I used vegetable) and 1 teaspoon of butter. Bring to boil and cook for 8 minutes. Add the squash soup blend. I also added 1 cup of misc. mixed vegetables I had leftover  (broccoli, celery, green peppers and diced carrots). Add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon garlic,  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Reduce heat to medium. Let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth as needed.  The butternut breaks down and combine with the rice starch it basically makes it's own sauce. A sprinkle of fresh ground himalayan sea salt finished it nicely. 

It turned out really well. I took the leftover rice in the day to work and sprinkled it with a little romano cheese. Yummy!

Tuesday 1/19/16--"Taco Tuesday" was replaced with open faced sloppy joes since I had rice for dinner and then again for lunch. I didn't have any buns in the freezer or time to make any, so I used toasted bread slices tossed a little shredded cheese with joes and called it open faced. Whatever works, ha. 

The next day was my work "tailgating" themed luncheon. So I made a monster batch (7 lbs!) of the most delicious, molasses, brown sugared, bbq'd baked beans. Which of course, we ended up having some with the sloppy joes. OMG-were they ever good. I know 7 lbs seems like a lot but there were approximately 150 people to feed.  I had to bake them in 2 batches and combine then when finished. All but about a cupful was eaten, so that was a good indicator that they were yummy.

Wednesday 1/20/16--Kielbasa and kraut was replaced by frozen pizza for the hubbs and a bowl of cereal and fruit for me. I was kinda sick of food after the tailgating party at work. 

Thursday 1/21/16--The sloppy joes from the original plan were moved to Tuesday. We ended up eating sandwiches and  I heated up some vegetable soup I had frozen from a previous batch. I  was glad for a quick fix because I worked over by 2 hrs and planned an early night. The forecast was calling for major snow so I had a 4 am wake up. bleh 

Wins for week 3
I was able to cook nearly everyday but didn't follow the planned menus.  Reduced food waste is great. Zero waste would be better.

I am not sure if this is loss or a win, but I didn't follow the meal plan except for 2 days.The objective is to use what I have on hand--which I did. and we didn't eat out at all this week, so that is a cost savings. 

Losses for week 3
  I can say that food waste is down considerably but we discarded 1 cup of baked beans, 1 &1/2 cups of veggie rice, 4 dinner rolls and 1 yogurt (the seal was punctured). With the exception of the yogurt the other food scraps were put out back by the woods for the critters.  

Oh the budget... Y'all--I am still struggling with this. I spent $71. Way, WAY over my target of $40. I definitely have some impulse buys,  after looking at the receipts, produce and back filling some staples are kind of pricey. For instance, coconut oil is $6, I spent $20 on fresh produce alone, and $14 in the deli. That was my entire budget. I am over budget by $77 for the month. I think a better budget would be $70 since that is the average over 3 weeks but I will see how things shake out next week. 

Meal plan for week 4
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
01/22/16 01/23/16 01/24/16 01/25/16 01/26/16 01/27/16 01/28/16
Kielbasa Home made Potato soup **Free Day** “Food Hangover” Home made Leftovers
Sauerkraut meatball hoagies Sandwiches It's my Birthday soup cheese pizza Fend for yourself
Mashed potatoes french fries fruit cups Go Shorty salad side salad That box of cereal is calling your name!
dinner rolls

Restaurant better be good! sugar free Lime jello w/
Or eat a poptart, I don't care
applesauce cups

No cooking for me! Mandarin oranges
Just wash your own dishes...


  1. Your Thursday comments on the grid cracked me up.
    I cook breakfast and lunch every day for hubby (retired)
    Dinner-well, you're on your own! Most nights he has cereal. I also keep a ton of different soups in the freezer in individual bowls he can just "nuke". But cook supper. No. No thank you. I'm DONE for the day!

  2. I'm just now catching up on your plans and going back each week. How cool that you are doing this. We have such bad habits of "what do you want for dinner?" "I don't know?" "how about xxx?" and then I go to the store and spend $25 on one meal. Going to see if I can learn from you!!!


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