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Eating From the Freezer and Pantry Challenge: Week 1

Eating From the Freezer and Pantry Challenge: Week 1

That’s it. No more shopping for you.

Or me, for that matter.

It’s time to begin our “Eating from the Pantry and Freezer Challenge“!

What I’ve spent so far

I had about $230 remaining for the rest of May out of my $450 budget (the other $220 had been spent at the beginning of the month).

I’ve set aside $150 cash for my savings, which I’m not allowing myself to touch.

The other $80 is being used for:

  • Raw milk, free range eggs, sour cream and yogurt: $45 (I already spent this on the weekend)
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: $25
  • Just in case: $10 remaining (this will probably go towards more eggs and possibly sour cream, because I didn’t buy enough before)

When June 1st arrives, I’ll set aside another $150 for savings, and give myself about $80 for fresh foods again for that 2nd two week period of the challenge, before finishing up on June 18th, at which point I’ll let myself use the remainder of that month’s budget, if I need it.

What our family will be eating this week:


  • Breakfast-  Soaked oatmeal with raw milk or cream and honey
  • Dinner- Bierocks (beef and cabbage stuffed pockets). We like to dip them in organic mustard.
  • Prep- Soak muffin batter. Thaw short ribs in fridge.



  • Breakfast- Scrambled eggs and toast (options of butter, peanut butter, or homemade jam from last summer)
  • Dinner- Roast whole chicken (in crockpot), rice, and this Pear & Bleu Cheese Salad (but I use Feta cheese instead). The extra chicken meat will be packaged in bags and put in the freezer for later meals.
  • Prep- Soak large pot of dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans).


  • Breakfast- Pumpkin Walnut Bread and fruit smoothie.
  • Dinner- Chickpea Wraps (fried chickpea patties, wrapped in a tortilla with lettuce, mayo, cheese, etc.)- these are from The Everything Beans Book, which has so many creative ideas.
  • Prep- Soak baked oatmeal.



  • Breakfast- Pancakes with homemade honey butter syrup and fruit (my pancake and syrup recipes are both from Sue Gregg’s books)
  • Dinner- Quick French Onion Soup, possibly with fresh crusty bread- we’ll see if I have the time or inclination, otherwise we’ll just have a slice of regular bread. I got this recipe from a friend on Plan to Eat. I have no idea if my kids will eat it or not. I guess we’ll find out!


  • Breakfast- Yogurt or milk, homemade granola (I’ve been using the Granola Bar recipe in Healthy Snacks to Go and making it into granola instead), fresh or frozen fruit. This is becoming a standard Sunday morning breakfast, since it’s so quick and easy before church.
  • Dinner- Roast beef, made with this recipe (later in the week, I’ll turn it into shredded beef for fajitas, etc.), with a recipe I’ve made for roasted root vegetables like carrots, beets and sweet potatoes (you can get some ideas from this post— but is this a recipe people would like to see, even though it’s spring?)

You’ll notice that I don’t plan lunches. Basically, that’s because I like to keep them really free and simple. If there are leftovers, we eat those. Otherwise, we make quick basics like sandwiches, yogurt, fruit and veggies, smoothies, quesadillas, etc. The thing with meal planning is that it has to serve you. There are so many different styles and ways to do it, with something to suit every family!

Don’t forget…

During this month-long challenge, all of my ebooks are on sale. Use the coupon code CHALLENGE25 to take 25% off any single ebook, OR use codeBUNDLE50 to buy all 3 of my ebooks at 50% off!

It’s your turn to share your money-saving meal plan with the rest of us.

We would also love to read your savings goals and your progress with those goals as the challenge goes on!

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  1. I wish I could do this challenge with y’all…but my freezer is currently stashed in my aunt’s garage 30 minutes away. 🙂 Have fun!!!

  2. I made out my menu plan, and went to the grocery today – only spent $27. That will take us through next Monday – all meals and some fun snacks too!

  3. I went ahead and linked up my menu this week with a few exceptions (on my end) that don’t follow the challenge exactly. I actually did a bit of freezer cooking last week and made it through the week with only pantry/freezer meals. Yay! Alas, we’re out of a few necessities now, so I’m headed out soon to pick those up. I like this idea though and will try to include some of our budget/spending numbers on next week’s post. Thanks for hosting this challenge! I always loves these kind of things and I hope they’re helpful for my readers as well.

  4. Love this challenge. I’ve adapted it somewhat to be a ‘save $ on gas’ challenge. Just bought all groceries for the month and plan to stay home as much as possible this month. So far $250 spent for all of us and animals, includes all non-bill buys.

  5. I made my menu plan and went shopping today for mostly produce. I only spent $34! Hoping I can stick with the pantry/freezer challenge for the next couple weeks until vacation.

  6. I really like this idea! I wish I had seen it sooner. I think I am going to get the book and do it, I may be a day or 2 behind 🙂

  7. I made my menu plan through Wednesday of this week so far. I base my produce shopping of off the Wednesday farmer’s market, but I’ll start with Thursday next week.

    Thanks for hosting this!

  8. I have been following your blog for some time and I see you mentioned in this post your Plan to Eat. I use it very often as well. Is it possible to become your friend at PTE so we could share recipes? Thanks and keep up the great work here in your blog.

  9. Brilliant! My husband has been griping at me for having a too-full pantry and still over-spending on groceries for 2 people ($110 last week…seriously?!). I think I need this kick-in-the-pants. I have no idea what some of the things on your meal plan are, but no reason why I can’t learn!

    By the way…why not buy a little extra milk & make your own yogurt and sour cream? It might work out cheaper. I have a yogurt recipe on my blog and you can modify to make sour cream & cream cheese. 🙂

    1. You’re totally right that making my own yogurt and sour cream is cheaper. It’s actually just a time limitation right now. In slower seasons, I usually make all of those things. Right now, I’m really crunched for time with a busy season for our home business, so I’m buying some things instead. 🙂

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