30 Day Simple Meal Plan Challenge Week One: Use Pantry Staples

This week’s focus in the challenge is using what you’ve already got! (in your pantry, freezer, or anywhere you keep food in your house)

In trying to plan this weeks menu for the 30 Day Simple Meal Plan Challenge, I realized that I have so much food in my pantry and freezer that just sits there week after week.

First, I looked in my pantry (and freezer) and tried to just mentally process what is in there.

pantry staples Then I realized that this wasn’t going to work.  I’m one of those kinds of people who has to write it down!

pantry staples list Once I saw the list of everything we had right in our own kitchen, I got to planning!

This week’s menu:

Monday: Crock pot roast with carrots, potatoes (roast from freezer)

Tuesday: Baked spaghetti made with homemade spaghetti sauce and lean ground beef, salad (had all the ingredients on hand to make spaghetti sauce)

Wednesday: Crock pot cranberry chicken (will be posting recipe!), brussel sprouts, sweet potato (had all ingredients on hand except the boneless skinless chicken breasts)

Thursday: Easy Mexican Casserole, salad (using canned beans from pantry)

Friday: Homemade pizza  (have all ingredients to make homemade pizza dough on hand + olives and cheese)

(we never know what our weekends will hold, but we will stick to the plan of not eating out!)


What do you have in your pantry?

How to Use What is On Hand

  1. Write it down!  I know it sounds simple, but I spent a while this weekend going through all of my canned goods, dry goods and even freezer items and wrote it all down.
  2. Organize it.  As I was going through my pantry, I kept finding yet another can of tomato sauce that I didn’t realize I had because it was wedged between cans of beans!  If you have it organized, you can find what you need a lot easier.
  3. Plan some meals that use these items.  I know this seems like an obvious one, but if you just pick some meals that use these items you have, you will buy less groceries this week!

Having a plan will help us in this first week of the 30 Day Simple Meal Plan Challenge.  Remember, keeping it simple will enable you to stick to it and be successful!

What staples do you have on hand and what do you plan to do with them?

{Linking up to Life Made Lovely!}

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2 Responses to 30 Day Simple Meal Plan Challenge Week One: Use Pantry Staples

  1. Amy October 3, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I love this idea. I have so much stuff in my cupboards and freezer that needs to get used. Visiting from life made lovely.

    • Christen October 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      I know, it’s so easy to just let things sit there forever and not use them!!

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