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Menu Plan and Pantry Challenge Update

We are entering the last week of the pantry challenge and although I have not done quite as well as I hoped to, I did use up quite a bit of food from the freezer.

A few really good sales, like the 10 for $10 sale at a local grocery store, and a trip to the Asian Market to buy rice, were not exactly in the plan, but I could not pass up the good deals. Plus, there really were no rules to this challenge. Or at least that is what I am telling myself.

I do have a few more odds and ends in the freezer that need used up, like stew meat and roast, but really we are going on almost a month of triple digit weather, and roast and stew do not sound very good. I think those things will have to wait for cooler weather. Which I am hoping comes before October…..

And with the hotter temperatures I have not been using my oven at all, really only about once a week. I have been trying to avoid any extra heat in the house, but I think this week I think I am going to break down and use the oven at least a few times. I miss baking and using the oven for dinner.

I also have quite a few new dinner recipes to try this week. Actually, I think all but one recipe on the dinner plan is new this week. I hope my family survives my experimenting this week.

Here is the plan.


homemade granola

creamy scrambled eggs (I plan to make a big batch of these for the kids to eat over several days.)

yogurt and homemade granola bars (pictured above)

cold cereal


spanish rice and salad

cheeseburger pasta and fruit

mexican lasagna

spaghetti rice and salad

taco meatloaf and potatoes

out to eat

hamburgers, chips, and fruit

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

And for more pantry challenge ideas see

  • Jessica from Good Cheap Eats
  • Amy from The Finer Things in Life
  • Erin from $5 Dinners
  • Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
  • Shaina from Food for My Family
  • Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes
  • Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


    1. The heat is horrendous, isn’t it? This is the time to pull out your crockpot if you haven’t already. Doesn’t heat up the kitchen!

      • @Sandra, My crockpot and grill have been getting a lot of use. I think it is the baking I miss most in all this heat.

        • @Lynn,

          I love my crock pot as well; we had a couple of roasts that were going bad in the fridge, so I cooked them in the crock pot the other day. Then, before they fell apart, I took them out and let them cool. The next night, my hubby cut slices & put them in foil, then we grilled them for dinner! 🙂 Another thing to try…

    2. Oh, I have a non-roast “roast” recipe for you!

      Chipotle Roast for Tacos & Sandwiches

      *Crock-pot recipe. Beware – this is spicy, but is an excellent shredded beef for tacos, sandwiches, burritos or enchiladas!

      3 lbs chuck roast , trimmed of visible fat (I actually use whatever cut is on sale. I have even used chicken or pork.)
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon pepper
      2 teaspoons chili powder
      2 teaspoons cumin
      3 chipotle chiles in adobo , chopped
      1 (4 ounces) can green chilies
      1 (7 ounces) can salsa verde (I have also used red salsa.)
      1 cup sliced onion
      3 teaspoons minced garlic
      1 cup beef broth

      1. Place roast in large crock-pot and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, chili powder and cumin.
      2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on high for 5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
      3. Shred the meat with a fork and simmer on high for additional 10-15 minutes.
      4. Serve in enchiladas, tacos or on crusty rolls with the juice for dipping. Usually we make burritos with this meat.

      I would also suggest Broccoli Beef for your stew meat. I can give you that recipe, too, if you would like.

      Hope you enjoy!

      • @Ashley, I have made something similar to that but without the salsa. The recipe came from a friend, but I have not made it in quite awhile. You are right, it is a great non roast type recipe. I may have to make it again soon. Thanks for sharing your version.

    3. From Cristin To Mommy says:

      we will be using the crockpot a lot more
      our oven has been broken for a long time now(my parents wont fix it because we may be moving)
      we use the grill and toaster oven too
      but i miss the oven because i have wanted to bake lately and its hard to make a big batch of muffins or cookies in the toaster oven!!

      I’d love if you visited my blog and checked out my Menu Plan/Pantry Challenge Update!
      Have a great week!
      From Cristin To Mommy

    4. beingjennifer says:

      You could use the stew meat for kabobs. Dang, that sounds yummy.

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