Celebrating Not Spending Money! - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 296432

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Not Spending Money! 
Jan. 30, 2013 7:59 pm 
Updated: Feb. 23, 2013 4:55 am

As I told you in my last blog, I am on a quest to shop out of my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer before going to the grocery store. I'm also trying to come up with something healthier than what I'd been eating during the holidays. Saving money and eating better are my goals.

Meal 1 is NOT particularly healthy, but I did manage to shop out of my own house and get rid of some of that processed stuff I had. It entailed using up a box of au gratin potatoes and the last of the Velveeta. I made Nacho Potato Soup (a Taste of Home recipe that used to be on this site) and served it with the Sweet Dinner Rolls dough I had put in the freezer. I pulled out just a bit of the dough, shaped it like cloverleaf rolls, and baked those to go with the soup. Portion control!

Meal 2 consisted of some Boston Butt meat from the freezer, No Cook BBQ Sauce, and Parmesan Baked Potatoes.

Meal 3 is one of my favorite Taste of Home soup recipes, Simple Taco Soup. Easy to prepare and delicious!

My 4th meal used a marinated apple bourbon pork tenderloin I had in the freezer as well as some field peas with snaps,  Cheese and Bacon Potato Rounds, and some leftover Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad I had made for a potluck church dinner.  

Meal 5 was the best of these five meals. The entree was Marinated Ranch Broiled Chicken. I wanted a simple pasta to go along with it, so I fixed Pasta e Olio. Delicious! I had seen a review of Quick and Easy Cheese Bread and wanted to try it. So glad I did! I used extra cheese and milk, but I think what really took it over the top for me was that I used extra sharp white cheddar cheese. I don't think mild cheddar would have cut it. The flavor of this bread with the extra sharp cheddar was fabulous!



Well, five days' worth of food and I didn't have to go to the grocery store. I'm saving money and using up what I already have. I think I have at least another week's worth of meals in the pantry, frig, and freezer. Let's see how creative I can get next week.

Jan. 30, 2013 8:00 pm
Here's the menu link - - - - http://allrecipes.com/menu/63502004/menu-from-pantryfreezer/detail.aspx
Jan. 30, 2013 9:07 pm
Nice job! For years I would't eat white cheddar and I have no idea why. Then I bought some by mistake and I haven't bought orange cheddar since. You may be eating frugally, but you are still having tasty meals.
Jan. 30, 2013 11:13 pm
Paula,your pictures always make me hungry.I was doing the same as you,then we decided to visit my sister and her husband in Arizona.Blew that out of the water,but when we get back to Nova Scotia,i plan on starting again.That is if our daughter,didn't eat us out of house and home:).
Jan. 31, 2013 3:56 am
I try and I try to cook out of freezer - it requires discipline so I salute you. Your meals sound & look delicious! I did manage to make a wonderful beef vegetable soup last weekend from leftover pot roasts I had frozen. You have inspired me to dig some more out of there!!!
Jan. 31, 2013 4:29 am
You had some pretty good stuff hanging around in your pantry. You did a great job with it all, great food fotos too.
Jan. 31, 2013 5:13 am
Well done. Every once in a while I start the eat out of the freezer routine but some how I always end up needing to run to the store for just a couple of things... were I then run into something else that I can't pass up. Sigh.... Recently we purchased a pasture raised pig and I was forced to clean out and organize my chest freezer. Oh my! I found the makings of some good meals in there. Now I have a freezer full of pork and the cycle begins again.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:10 am
BigShotsMom - I bought the extra sharp white cheddar specifically for a mac and cheese recipe for Christmas. Of course, I had to buy more than what the recipe called for. I love this cheese and it seems to have lasted quite well.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:13 am
Manella - I guess I had bought so much between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and for some reason or other, didn't use all of it. I also bought for my lactose intolerant mother-in-law who ended up staying with her daughter instead of us. So I guess I had that extra too.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:14 am
Maggi - Mmmm, that beef vegetable soup sounds good. Glad I could be your inspiration.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:15 am
Sherri - I made a list of everything in the freezer and pantry. That really helped. I'm just checking it off as I use it.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:20 am
Baking Nana - I recently bought some hormone and preservative/additive free chicken breasts from Zaycon foods. Honestly, those breasts were HUGE! I don't know how they grew them that big without hormones. I ended up cutting each one in half and packaging them by 2s for my husband and me. I'd love to have my freezer stocked with fresh beef and pork too.
Jan. 31, 2013 10:35 am
Good job, Paula! I need to do the same thing. Maybe I'll be inspired to do so now. My only problem is that I love fresh greens (i.e. not frozen), so I might have to give on that a little. Still wouldn't be bad if that's all I had to buy!
Jan. 31, 2013 11:49 am
Wisweetp - I have gone to the store to buy toilet paper, bananas, and milk. Oh, and all-purpose flour. But so far I haven't bought any fresh vegetables. It's killing me. I want some fresh lettuce and onions and peppers and on and on. I'm thinking the next 5-7 days will thin out my frig and pantry plenty. Then I can go shop and still use out of my freezer.
Jan. 31, 2013 2:02 pm
Your meals looked great! I buy stuff for recipes then either our plans change or I forget why I bought these items, store them and buy more at a later date! You have motivated me to work out of my pantry and freezer next week-the weather is bad and now I have an excuse to stay in!
Jan. 31, 2013 4:13 pm
Paula - the magic LIST!!! When my freezer gets more manageable I plan to do that. But, I did dig out some salisbury steak for dinner tonight that was hiding. It's something I bought on a whim & it was very good. Since it's Super Bowl (Not that I am a fan) maybe I should bake those lonely chicken legs. See what you started!!
Jan. 31, 2013 5:34 pm
Irayd8 - I see you do exactly what I do too! Glad I could motivate you.
Jan. 31, 2013 5:36 pm
Maggi - I understand the unmanageable freezer. I'll tell you a little secret. Shhh...I just made out my list because i could finally rearrange and see stuff in my pantry and freezer.
Jan. 31, 2013 6:01 pm
I love it Paula! I'm doing the same thing!! I took a butchering class in the fall and came home with a ton of meat (now in the freezer). Meat is so expensive so I am determined to use all of it! I also like to make as many meals as I can out of one protein...last week out of my freezer I made a thick cut ham steak, had dinner for 2 nights, cut the remainder in to cubes and made White Bean soup that I had for dinner and my daughter took to school for lunch...silly but I feel such a sense of accomplishment! I agree I do prefer fresh veggies but the frozen one will have to do for now. Congratulations on your freezer victory!
Jan. 31, 2013 6:34 pm
Paula, your blog and photos are inspiring. I have been trying to grocery shop less...plan more and use what I have...sort of shop my own cupboards as you mentioned, but I know now I have to step up my efforts...I can do better and hopefully in the process save some money. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.....
Feb. 1, 2013 3:05 am
Paula, I should have read this earlier and vowed to follow it! My pantry is full of cans, bottles and boxes of food ingredients - but what did I do last weekend?? Went to the grocery store and bought more! I wanted to make things that required ingredients I didn't have. I vow to stay out of the grocery store except for milk and fresh produce items until I can see at least a patch of the pantry shelf! Your meals look delicious!
Feb. 1, 2013 4:56 am
Way to go, Paula! I have to do the same thing. Like B'Nana, I will need a few things, but I have so many basics. I did a bone-in turkey breast yesterday that was a deep-freeze dive treasure. I passed some other interesting things on my way back up to the surface!
Feb. 1, 2013 7:09 am
p and q - Sounds like you did a great job of using ALL of your meat. I love having leftovers and repurposing I call it. How can it be leftovers when it's a whole new dish???
Feb. 1, 2013 7:11 am
ellie - shopping the cupboards is not too hard, especially when you use the advanced search up top. I just plug ingredients in and wait to see what AR will come up with. Tomorrow, I'm going to make my own enchilada sauce. That will be a first for me!
Feb. 1, 2013 7:13 am
Mother Ann, you and I have been doing the exact same thing! Shopping when I already have plenty but, in my case, was just too lazy to take the time to figure out what to do with all I had. Glad I could be of inspiration to you.
Feb. 1, 2013 7:16 am
Bibi - Well, I guess it's comforting to know I have a company of others who do the same thing I do! That turkey breast sounds good. Now, dive back in there and get the rest of that stuff :)
Feb. 1, 2013 3:52 pm
Paula - I tried making a list of my freezer and pantry stuff once, but wasn't very successful. Lack of imagination, maybe. How'd you organize your list? Details, please!
Feb. 1, 2013 6:59 pm
All I did was open my pantry and start writing down what was in there. Same thing for the freezer. I guess I just went from there, no organizing it at all. I let my imagination go and I used AR's ingredient search. For instance, I searched for recipes that used refried beans and corn tortillas. I came up with a recipe that also called for enchilada sauce. Well, I had tomato sauce, so I looked up a recipe for enchilada sauce and realized I could make my own. So that's on the menu for tomorrow night.
Feb. 1, 2013 7:01 pm
I also realized I had a can of green beans, wax beans, chickpeas, and black beans. I thought surely that was the making for a bean salad of some kind. So I used the ingredient search again and found a recipe.
Feb. 2, 2013 3:07 am
One thing I am trying to be much better at doing is labeling the items that go into the freezer. Those mystery packages that get shoved to the back are a thing of the past. I also try to think about where I put something in the freezer. Raw meats together, leftover meals, veggies, desserts, all grouped. My friend has a container that she uses for any little bits of leftovers that would be too small for another meal. They all go together into this sealable plastic container. When there's ""enough", she makes soup. Has been doing this for years and only a couple of times was not pleased with results. It's always different, but always good.
Feb. 2, 2013 5:35 am
Indiana Peggy - Great idea of grouping and labeling items! I label but hadn't thought of grouping them. What a time saver! Just a glance on a certain shelf would let me know if there are any more muffins or meals to pull out. Thanks for the terrific idea.
Feb. 2, 2013 6:54 am
Paula, you are so inspiring! I just trashed some items in my pantry that had expired. I think your plan of shopping in your pantry is a great idea. Right now, I need to figure out what to do with all the canned milk I bought over Christmas. A wonderful blog.
Feb. 2, 2013 11:12 am
Lela - I was reading all this aloud to my husband, and his suggestion for you is ICE CREAM :)
Feb. 3, 2013 7:12 am
Very impressive kid!!!!
kay s. 
Feb. 3, 2013 8:57 am
Great ideas Paula! My pantry and freezer are full, but I just keep shopping. I need to try this.
Feb. 4, 2013 8:40 pm
Thanks for dropping by and commenting, mauigirl and kay.
Feb. 6, 2013 8:45 pm
Very cool! I do this every once in a while too... I'm always astonished (and a little ashamed) at how much food I have in the cupboards and freezer that, instead of using, I just covered up with more food. We're very blessed that we have the luxury to 'shop out of out own kitchens'... millions of people could only hope to be so lucky as to have an abundance of food, right? Thanks for sharing with us!
Feb. 13, 2013 6:10 pm
til I looked at the draft ov $7328, I accept that my best friend was like they say actualy receiving money part-time on their computer.. there aunts neighbour haz done this for only nineteen months and just repayed the dept on there villa and got a new Volkswagen Golf GTI. go to, Great70.com
Feb. 23, 2013 4:55 am
You are my hero! I have tried this and never get through a week without a trip to the grocery store. I will give it another try now. I really enjoyed your pictures as well. Bless you and your family.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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