Just before the gardening season starts I try to go through our pantry and freezers and use up various food items that are lingering from last years harvest. Both our pantry and our freezer are well stocked. I usually have all the ingredients on hand at any given time to create a meal on short notice.

It won’t be long before the gardening season will be in full swing and I will have fresh produce from the garden to enjoy.

gardening, vegetables

Vegetables from the garden

To prepare for the harvest I want to make some room in both the pantry and the freezer! For the next 2-3 weeks I am going to challenge myself to use what we have on hand. I am only going to go to the grocery store to purchase items that are absolutely necessary! My budget for the grocery store will be $50.00 for the two weeks. During this time I will utilize food from the freezer and pantry. This will give me a chance to use of leftovers, pre-made dinners and make room in the pantry!

The first part of the challenge involves updating the inventory in my freezer. I was away when our ¼ cow wwas delivered and I’m thankful my husband packed it all away in the freezer for me but I like to know exactly where everything is and what I have on hand. So I emptied the freezer, updated my inventory and put everything back nice and neatly! Now I know what we need to work on eating up!

Newly organized freezer.

Newly organized freezer.

The challenge starts today and will run at least for two weeks! I will give you an update next week and share our menu plan as we go along. This is our meal plan for this week.

Monday: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs (two packages of chicken thighs from the freezer)
Tuesday: Corn and Cheddar Cakes (corn from the freezer)
Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese (pasta from the pantry, cheese from the fridge)
Thursday: Roast Turkey (we had a ½ turkey in the freezer left over from the turkeys our neighbors raised)
Friday: Mexican Turkey Salad (using leftover turkey)
Saturday: Bolognese Sauce (from the freezer)
Sunday: Easter Sunday, we will be eating with friends.

Breakfast is easy, we usually eat the same thing; homemade granola, oatmeal or eggs from our chickens. Homemade waffles are another option, which my husband loves! Lunches will be leftovers, soup or sandwiches from what is on hand using our homemade bread.

bread, whole wheat, homemade

Homemade Bread

I actually look forward to challenging myself this way each year. I cook from scratch most of the time and I like having to create meals from what we have on hand. Anyone else have a similar challenge? Care to join me?

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