Pantry Challenge: What if I don’t shop this week? (menu plan included)

So this week was a busy one for me. I had family visiting, work was crazy and there just wasn’t time to do a big shop. I managed to do the menu plan, and I tried to focus on things that I already had around the house. Here is what it looks like this week:

Sunday: Baked Ziti and Salad

Monday: One pan chicken quarters (crispy) and roasted potatoes and veggies

Tuesday: Minestrone Soup

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Roasted Chicken, with salad with veggies, and couscous

Friday:  Chicken Soup with garlic toast

Saturday: Quesadillas and salad

I have everything I need for this menu – I bought chicken on sale about a month back, and so the freezer is full. I also bought 20 lbs of potatoes two weeks ago, and have salad and fruit left over from last week. I bought milk (in 4L, 3 bag portions) and froze them, so we have enough milk.

Sometimes we can look at what we have on hand, and try our best to make do with what we already have. It’s a great way to rotate the groceries in the pantry, and use up things that may have been around for awhile. Get creative, and see what new dishes you can make with the food you have in your pantry. Get out your flour and other baking supplies – quesadillas are so easy to make, and can be done in less than 15 minutes (and taste so much better than store bought!). You can bake muffins, cook oatmeal from scratch for breakfast; make easy soups with whatever veggies you have on hand (using the homemade stock you made from your saved chicken bones).

Some of the best dishes I have created came from being creative when I couldn’t/hadn’t gone to the store. Recently, we rediscovered couscous when I ran out of rice, and needed a quick substitute. Everyone loved it – it was a huge hit!

So go through your cupboards, and see what inspires you. Maybe it’s the instant rice you bought but never used, or the wheat berries to try with honey for breakfast, or the whole wheat pasta you bought with a coupon. Use up some of these different things – you may come across a new favorite!

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