February 01, 2009

Oh ye pantry, I challenge thee...

So I am in the middle of a highly customized Pantry Challenge. I was introduced to this idea my Heather over at Want What You Have (follow the links back to get the whole story) but it is really a very common concept. Basically you use only the supplies in your pantry, plus perishable staples such as milk, eggs, and produce, until you can no longer make a healthy, balanced, meal.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!) for me there is no way I could ever follow that exact description. Bear would leave me for Taco Bell by the second anything got "funky." He is not picky by any means but he is extremely particular. For example, I could eat a bowl of applesauce, a warmed tortilla, and a piece of cheese and easily call that a meal. But to him, those things just don't "go" together. Everything has to "go" together. I still trying to figure out what that means. Apparently there is some magical food rule book I failed to read.

The real problem is that Bug is allergic to me eating tomatoes. He get a terrible diaper rash and everyone is up all night. I was allergic too as a baby. I outgrew it but they still aren't my favorites. I think if I ate enough I might have problems and that is my body's way of keeping that from happening. I could never use every last thing without making a number of soups and Bear only likes tomato based soup. (Besides, soup is a threat to our marital bliss...)

I don't really want to do a full out PC anyways. What I do want to do is use a little creativity to use up the lurkers at the back of pantry and go past the point when there is "no thing to eat." I want shopping on the 20th and my plan was to go at least three weeks, possibly four, and to only spend 20 dollars in that time. Well, I've already blown it. But I still happy. Here's the break down.

On the 20th, I had a fairly good stockpile including a whole turkey and about 8lbs of brisket. I went shopping and got the following items:

2 crescent rolls
2 pie crust mixes
stir fry veggies
turkey sandwich meat
turkey bacon
sour cream
2 pinto beans
fruit cocktail
kidney beans
enchilada sauce
pineapple slices
cream corn
cream of celery
2 chillies
mandarin oranges
black beans
chili beans
cream of chicken
2 bell peppers
2 onions
4 potatoes
sweat and sour sauce

Total: 61.34

On the 25th, I went shopping with my husband (big mistake, he always makes me buy more than I planned):

all-purpose flour
5lbs 73% beef (on sale 1.30 a lb, good for around here)
olive oil (not even on the list)
2 onions (I use a lot of onions)

Total: 18.13

I just got home from shopping, the 1st. This was my list:

brown sugar
dry milk
chicken granules
flax meal
wheat bran

This is what I ended up with:
4 onions (on sale 0.58/lb from 1.48/lb)
brown sugar
yogurt (to use as starter)
flax meal (for bread)
frozen strawberries (to flavor the yogurt I am going to make)
chocolate trio (on sale, guilty pleasure)
2 frozen green beans


I rarely end up with everything on my list. The good new is that I usually get fewer things. I'm doing far from perfectly but I am still impressed. We are 13 days into it and my husband still hasn't run for the hills. This is about the time that I normally throw up my hands and head for the Hamburger Helper. I'm trying to be creative right from the start so all potential "funkiness" doesn't pile up at the end. I haven't even touched the old stand by recipes yet.

And yes, there is such a thing as two much funkiness...

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