Saturday, January 7, 2012

How I Make a Pantry Challenge Work For Me

The idea behind a pantry challenge is to use what you have on hand first.  My 3 freezers, while not full, have plenty of variety to keep us happy for the month of January.  For some, the idea of a pantry challenge is overwhelming  Here is how I make it work of us.

Contents of my kitchen refrigerator

1/2 bag shredded hashbrowns
3 breaded tilapia filets
grilled chicken strips - 1 buffalo, 2 asian sesame
1 bag corn
1 frozen pizza
2 boxes chopped spinach
1/2 bag frozen peas
waffles and pancakes
cooked rice - 3 (1 cup) portions
bread crumbs
3 bags uncooked chicken breasts
pecans, chocolate chips, toffee bits

Here's what's might be on our weekly menu based on the above list -

Tilapia Sandwiches and Cheesy Hashbrowns
Italian Bean Soup
Corn, Bacon and Potato Chowder (add chopped cook bacon before serving)
Rice Bowls
Grilled Chicken Salad or Wraps
Spinach Rice Casserole (sub spinach for broccoli in my favorite broccoli casserole)
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts 
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Toffee Pecan Bars

I can make all of the above by simply purchasing milk, lettuce, onion and buns at the store.  This would be enough for a week's worth of dinners with leftovers for lunch in addition to two desserts.  I will round out each meal with either salad or frozen vegetables, fruit and with the soups I will make cornbread or beer bread.  

How do you make the best use of what's in your freezer and pantry?

Linked to
Good Cheap Eats Pantry Challenge
Sundae Scoop
It's A Blog Party
Made By You Monday
Your Cozy Home
Beauty and Bedlam
Link It Up
Delighful Order
Somewhat Simple
Fireflies and Jelly Beans
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms


  1. Hi! We are doing a pantry/freezer challenge this month as well! Good luck!!

  2. I really need to do this too. I'm not lucky enough to have a big freezer. Just our regular fridge and a small fridge in our garage. Both of those freezers are packed full. You make me want to be creative to clear these spaces out!

    Sure sounds like you'll be eating well even if it is to clean out your old food. Wish I was there enjoying it.

    Thanks so much for linking to my party. Hope to see you next week too!


Please leave a comment to let me know you stoppped by!