Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mom, there's nothing to eat!!!!

We are on week 2 of "Pantry Week" (have you heard the moans coming from my house) Now, you may be asking what exactly is pantry week - good question!

Pantry Week is when I stop grocery shopping and try to eat only what we already have on hand - I did cheat a little because I bought milk - actually Cam bought it and also came home with a box of Yodels!! Since I like to stock up on products when they are a good price, we tend to have a surplus of food. When I feel like it hasn't been rotated out quick enough or if we are planning to go away I stop buying. Since both were happening last week - we were going down to my brothers and we were getting a little overloaded = Pantry Week.

It's always a good idea to clean out your fridge before you go away - my mom was famous for this. When we would leave on vacation the only thing left in the fridge would be a bottle of ketchup and the light bulb - she was famous for her fried bologna sandwiches! I hated this, but as any good parent will tell you, we tend to do the same things our parents do! So there!!

I also clean my house and do all the laundry before I go away - this is just psychological or is that psycho- it is nice to come home from a trip to a clean house and the only laundry you need to do is in your suitcase. I also make sure there is a meal waiting in the freezer - since obviously there is no food in the fridge.

So when we returned from our trip, I anticipated a trip to the grocery store, but no one has been complaining about the lack of food, so I bought milk and we are now on week 2.  I am going to see how long I can make this last!

I've had to be creative to make it this far, below are some of the meals and snacks that we've had:

Chicken - lots of chicken
Carrot and Squash Soup
Grilled Cheese made on bread that had been in the freezer a little too long, but tasted delicious as grilled cheese
Steak that we had received as a gift for Christmas
Pasta - lots of pasta
Salad with leftover meat on top
Mediterranean Orzo Salad

And now for the snacks:
Chocolate cake
Rice Crispy Treats
Celery and Peanut Butter
Carmel Popcorn - this recipe is courtesy of my sis in law - and is too good not to share:

 Microwave Carmel Popcorn  
1 Cup Brown Sugar                           
1 Stick of Butter
                              1/4 cup light corn syrup
                                      1/2 tsp salt
                                  1/2 tsp baking soda
          4 quarts air popped popcorn- place in brown grocery bag

Combine first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. When blended, add baking soda and stir quickly till frothy - pour immediately over popcorn in the brown bag, close and shake vigorously. Place bag in microwave and cook for 1 minute, remove, shake, repeat. Then spread hot camel popcorn on clean surface and let cool. Store in an airtight container - if any makes it past the cooling stage - we eat it right off the counter!
This is a great treat to send to college students - it's light, cheap and delicious!!

Back to my story - so I'm going to see how long I can go without shopping and try to use up some of my bargain groceries - everything does eventually expire. Meanwhile, I will be searching for a recipe that calls for 20 cans of dented tuna fish. Saving money by skipping a few weeks of grocery shopping - that makes cents!


  1. I love it! and now I officially have a name for the days when we are scraping at the shelves of our definitely forces creative meal and snack having!
    As for your abundance of tuna fish, have you ever tried tuna and avocado sandwiches? I have some avocados so you wouldn't have to buy any :) you put tuna on one slice, ripe avocado on the other, and grill it up. Had it while in South Africa. Very yummy.

  2. I just did this as we are going away today and thanks for some ideas on uses of food in the fridge and freezer when we return! I love not going shopping and stock up on deals and use my dehydrator now too if food won't make it and we're short on freezer space :)

    Love Beth

  3. I've got a good recipe but you need crescent you happen to have them in your fridge or could Ryan sneak a visit to ACME???

  4. You're a genius, Mary! So glad I found your blog! Kate told me of an earlier post on "Jobs Posted" that I should read....thanks for this ministry to all of us! Tiffany

  5. OK, Mary, just one more "super orginazational" post and I am not sure we can be friends anymore!!! Just kidding, I'll always love ya'....

    PS Did I tell you about 2 days ago when I was cutting Amyanne's hair and she started crying halfway through....good thing hair grows fast in the murray home...

  6. haha this is a popular post! i am living on pantry week too...breaking out ths soup and pasta. all my hard cheese is gone :( can you send me some caramel popcorn!!! just kidding it wont get here in time.

  7. I've been thinking about this post for the past several days now and wondered what you did about produce? Did you shop for that during your eat from the pantry weeks?

  8. Ok - so remember I sent Cam out for salad and milk (he came back with yodels, too) But in the winter I don't buy too much fresh produce, other than carrots and salad - I also had a lot of squashes - spaghetti and acorn. But mostly we ate frozen veggies. When I ended up at the grocery store, I was nervous, but I ended up spending just $60 more than my normal budget - and hadn't shopped for 2 weeks -not too shabby!


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