I love the concept of pantry diving. It is the art of going through your refrigerator, freezer and pantry to make meals for the week without buying anything new.
Since moving Squirrel into college last week, combined with her 18th birthday, the food budget got a little tight in our pond this week and ......
This is what I have discovered:
Sunday: When we arrived home from our trip to JMU we ate the leftovers from Squirrel's birthday meal - Hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni salad, beans, etc.
Monday: I had an extra meatloaf [frozen] and added leftover macaroni salad and a can of [low salt - what else?] peas. [Anyone notice that is what my daughter ate last night? I mean the meatloaf and macaroni salad at college? hee]
Tuesday: The macaroni salad was still hanging around - so I added tuna salad and egg salad sandwiches [on leftover hamburger buns] to the mix with green and red pepper slices, celery [ all leftover from making the macaroni salad] and tomatoes from my MIL's garden. And pickles. Who doesn't have tuna and eggs in their stash, right?
Wednesday: I found a can of tomato soup [not old, mind you, just I forgot I had it]. Yum - and the only thing better than tomato soup is the soup with grilled cheese. Thank goodness the macaroni salad is gone. We ate that for five days - it is good, but c'mon - it was a bit much. Since it is relatively cool here [for DC, in August] Soup and grilled cheese is gonna be good. I am using our sandwich maker. I love this thing. Does anyone else have one of these? So cool.
Thursday: For some reason my lovely MIL gifted us with a honker can of turkey [I think she was cleaning out HER pantry] and since I always have a bag of frozen mixed veggies hanging around [what? you don't?] that is going into turkey pot pie for Thursday. I don't want to buy anything so I am going to cheat and use a chicken boullion cube [per directions] to make the chicken broth - and I will [once again, grrr] attempt to make the pie crust. This is Wallene's favorite meal. Here's hoping I don't disappoint.
Friday: Amazingly enough I unearthed an already cooked bag of ground beef [frozen]. YAY - so many options, but the pantry is starting to thin out - so I am going to cheat a bit and buy a .99 cent can of whole, peeled tomatoes and make ghoulash since I already have the noodles, meat and garlic - so I can spare the .99 cents. This is also a family fav'. [I am raiding the change jar for the .99 cents.]
For snacks we have cereal, popcorn, grapes, homemade oatmeal cookies and peanut butter cookies, celery, chunk cheese, crackers, icy pops, a whole gallon of milk [last longer now that Squirrel is gone YAY - the milk, not Squirrel], orange juice, [the dreaded] kool-aid and ramen noodles. So I think we are good to go.
Then I have to restock on Saturday.
I don't exactly know how we are going to do that since Squirrel's books need to be bought and her scholarship money [the overage] will not be refunded to her for three weeks. [We thought she could buy her books with the extra - but no-they just return it to her after all her tuition, lab fees, internet, etc. is paid. Stupid.] So we have to pay out for those on Friday. We are approaching the $1,000 mark for her books at this point - and many of them are used. College is a racket, I swear. :) [I know you all are laughing at me. Shut up.] In addition Wallene goes to school in a week and she needs everything that goes along with that. Sigh.
I do love the idea of pantry diving and the satisfaction that I don't have to do any shopping for a week, but it starts to scare me when I deplete our supplies like this. I try and keep it stocked up but this has been a long [and expensive] summer and I haven't been paying attention to all the stuff I should, I guess.
Oh well - at least I have an entire menu planned of simple and cheap meals, right? There is always a bright side tadpoles. Always.