Home > Archive: January, 2024

Archive for January, 2024

Freezer Inventory

January 29th, 2024 at 07:04 pm

Fell off the wagon with the pantry challenge a little bit this last week due to an busy work stretch. I picked up some groceries (will try to find the receipts to add up for the challenge). This includes some extra jars of Indian simmer sauce that were on a great sale. I debated on that because I still have a ways to go in the pantry, but I haven’t seen a good sale like this in a couple years.


Today I did a partial freezer inventory (the stuff in the door and top compartment, without fully emptying it out):

1 bag riced herbed cauliflower

2 half bags of frozen cauliflower (oops!) plus another full bag unopened

Package of shrimp

Container frozen pesto

Loaf of frozen bread

Tupperware of frozen split pea soup

1.5 packages cream cheese

Small package plant-based fake crab cakes

Serving of butter pecan ice cream I transferred into a small container to save room

2 plant based chicken patties

Bag of shredded cheese

Package of ravioli with plant based sausage


The two open bags of frozen cauliflower will probably go into a casserole tonight. The frozen bread will be either French toast or a French toast style breakfast casserole. Will use the chick’n patties for random lunches at home. I am thinking of making pink sauce with the cream cheese to serve over the ravioli ( ). The shrimp I am not planning to use up now- it’s pretty new and I have company coming in February, so I will keep it on hand for that time.

Pantry Challenge Update

January 20th, 2024 at 12:43 am

General pantry challenge wins, since I’m not posting in detail every day:

-Made mushroom stroganoff from a cup of leftover sour cream from the fridge

-Ate most of a noodle meal packet I was gifted months ago, although the seasoning was quite odd

-Took some vegetable stir fry that past me froze in Tupperware at some undetermined date to work for lunch

- Finished 5 plant-based chicken nuggets and a small microwave bag of pre-sauced vegetables from the depths of the freezer

-Working my way through a large frozen tomato sauce tub that didn’t turn out very well. I have been incorporating this into other strongly flavored dishes such as curry, etc to improve the taste

- On the last box of old cereal, though this one is very sugary and so I am going through it slowly in small portions


And I have used up various other odds and ends. My fridge is emptier and the freezer is starting to have more space in it. I have made a couple stops to pick up groceries here and there on different days, which I will summarize here:


Frozen broccoli: 3.49

Stroganoff sauce mix packet: 2.19

Mushrooms (for stroganoff): 3.35

Giant total: 9.03


Grocery Outlet

Two cans of baby corn at 1.29 each: 2.58

Egg noodles: 1.39

Rice noodles: 1.59

GO total: 5.56

I kind of fell off the pantry challenge wagon on that one; I wasn’t out of canned vegetables or rice noodles yet, but was getting a little tired of making myself eat down less favorite items from the kitchen and decided to splurge and make a nice plate of pesto noodles after a long work day

Back to Grocery Outlet today

Tortilla chips (for nachos) 2 for one deal: 4.98

Broccoli crowns (fresh) 1.8 lbs for 3.66

Tomatoes, 1.15 lbs for 3.44

Block of cheese: 3.49

2 bags of shredded cheese at 0.78 each: 1.58

Coffee creamer: 3.49

GO total: 20.64

I am going to freeze that shredded cheese because that was an insanely good deal and I will use it. I’m on my last bag of pantry shredded cheese from the freezer now. 

Total grocery spending for the challenge: 35.23 listed above plus 34.55 previously = 69.78 so far, day 23 of the pantry clean out challenge.

I’m not counting coffee, snacks I buy at work, or eating out (rare). That’s not bad for one person and sometimes a second person joining me for meals (boyfriend, he also takes turns cooking for both of us on days we spend together). The real goal for the pantry challenge is to make sure I use up what I have to minimize food waste from things going bad, and this had definitely made me more mindful about checking what I have first before shopping. I plan to continue working on this

Pantry eating continued

January 8th, 2024 at 05:30 pm

Looks like the site lost my last update post- oh well. I continue the pantry challenge but did get some groceries Friday ahead of winter weather.


1 dozen eggs – 5.18

12-pack of microwave popcorn – 4.82

8  packets of ramen noodles – 2.40

1 box chocolate pudding mix  1.57

1 quart of milk – 5.32

2 bags of frozen broccoli cuts at 0.88/each – 1.76

Pack of 5 garlic bulbs – 2.50

Total this trip: 23.55

+ $11 from last trip = 34.55 so far.



The eggs, frozen broccoli, and popcorn are core staples of my diet. The jello mix and milk are for a  dessert recipe to use things up, and the milk will also go with the cereal.



Friday I had udon noodles from the cabinet with some sesame oil, frozen peas from the freezer, and sauteed cabbage with an egg late morning. At work I had tea, a banana from home, and  an ice cream sandwich (I caved!). For dinner, I found about a cup of what looks like sushi rice in a little jar that I inherited when a friend moved a couple years ago, so I made this into fried rice with some odds and ends of older vegetables from the fridge. It actually made enough for two meals.


Over the weekend I hung out with friends for some meals, but managed to use up from the pantry: a can of sauce, a box of dough mix, a can of soup past the best buy date, a can of olives, and half a box of crackers. For dinner last night I made udon noodles (pantry) with frozen broccoli and some sesame oil (pantry) and an egg, then later had some microwave popcorn as a snack.


Today I didn’t feel well in the morning and am working from home, so I didn’t try to eat until lunchtime. I thawed some frozen pasta sauce from the freezer and had that with some gnocchi, also from the freezer.  This batch of sauce was not great when I made and froze it over the summer, but it's perfectly edible. One thing I have definitely noticed from this challenge is that some things hang around in my pantry because I didn't love them on the first try, but this is a good reminder to make the effort to try to fix them (different seasonings, etc) instead of wasting food.


Eat from the Pantry Challenge and grocery store stop

January 2nd, 2024 at 07:06 am

I’m sure I won’t do a post every day, but will add updates as life allows!


Today I ate pasta with an egg, Greek dressing, and some bamboo shoots from a can in the pantry before running out the door. Had some unexpected issues pop up so I didn’t have time to pack a lunch for my shift and ended up getting a foot long Subway sandwich, which lasted for both dinner/second dinner, along with a banana I had on my desk. I also finished the last bite of hummus from a container in the fridge after work. Drank homemade coffee and tea, as usual.


I think I will track the groceries I do buy during this challenge, just for interest/comparison purposes. So far I made one stop to get a replacement canister of coffee and a large creamer to keep at work plus 4 bananas for healthy snacks. With the donation round  up at the register, this came to $11 and the coffee supplies will last quite a while.