Menu Plan Monday - June Pantry Challenge 2013 Week 1

John and I decided that we needed to do another pantry challenge - especially if we're going to eat up everything in the freezers before we start having to re-stock!  I inventoried the freezers - the small chest freezer we have (it's about the size of a standard electric clothes dryer) and the one on top of our fridge - and heartily agreed!  We have a ton of meat - very little fruit and veg, but a few things - that needs to be eaten.

So, for the month of June we're dropping our grocery/toiletry/paper product/etc. budget to $20/wk or $80 for the whole month.  We're  putting the other $40 from these first two weeks toward our CSA for next year.  Starting in May 2014 our budget will have only $20/week for this part of our budget so we need to get into practice now.  Right now, the plan is to go to $15/wk in July with the other $5 of the $20 going to our CSA.  We'll see how we're doing and adjust then!

So I went to the store on Sunday instead of my usual Saturday with my $20, a few store coupons and a list of a few things that were on sale. I missed the $0.99/lb peaches the week before but there were a few deals to be had!  Here's what I bought:

Total spent at 2 stores: $18.46
Total into our bulk meat purchase fund: $1.54

Here's how I spent that $18.46:

Store #1:
Mission Tortillas Burrito Size 8ct  B1G1 w/store coupon: 2 @ $2.87
2.59lbs Fuji Apples (5 apples) @ $1.28/lb = $3.32
Bunch Radishes $0.50
2lbs Yellow Onions $1.79
Cantaloupe $2
Total Store #1: $10.48

Store #2:
Cucumber $0.50
2 Fresh Express Spinach @ 2/$3 = $3
1lb Strawberries @ $2.50
18ct Large Eggs $1.98 with store coupon
Total Store #2: $7.98

Here's our menu for this week - all of the meat and the soups are coming from our freezers:

Sunday, June 2:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: At Church
   Snack: Cut Veggies
   Dinner: Turkey Pot Pie, Crescent Rolls, and Strawberry-Apple-Banana Salad

Monday, June 3:
   Breakfast: Yogurt with Bananas
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Shrimp Stir Fry with Rice, Pineapple-Strawberry-Mandarin Orange Salad

Tuesday, June 4:
   Breakfast: Waffles with Strawberries and Walnuts
   Lunch: Picnic at the Park with Friends (last day of school): Bring Cut Veggies and Dip
   Snack: Pretzels
   Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Bread Sticks, Strawberry-Pineapple-Banana Salad

Wednesday, June 5:
   Breakfast: Leftover Waffles
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: At Church: Bring a Tossed Salad

Thursday, June 6:
   Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Salad with Salmon, Strawberries and Mandarin Oranges

Friday, June 7:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins and Orange Wedges
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Chicken Barley Soup, Homemade French Bread, Apple-Pear-Melon Salad

Saturday, June 8:
   Breakfast: At Bible Study
   Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches, Cut Veggies
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Grilled Pork Chops and Potatoes, Golden Beets, Melon

I sat down this last weekend and made up a menu for all of June and part of July and only barely touched the meat in our deep freeze. I did manage to almost completely clean out the upstairs freezer with the menu so hopefully we'll have some room for things as we get our CSA and decide on a bulk meat purchase.  We're thinking our bulk meat purchase is going to be smaller - both due to quality of meat (we'll need less if it's good quality) and that we just can't store the sheer volume of meat that we had been contemplating buying.  I'm also thinking of delving into canning this summer - tomato sauce, salsa and pizza sauce mostly, which I've been freezing before but most likely won't have room for in the freezer this summer.  A friend offered to loan me her pressure canner until I decide if I want to buy my own, which will make it fairly inexpensive to try.  We'll just have to see what the summer brings!

My question for you all:  What do you do with extra zucchini and other summer squash?  I'm going to need some ideas!  Thanks!

What are you eating this week?


  1. I find that these zucchini bars (I leave out the raisins and nuts) go over well.

    1. Thanks Joanna!

      I can't wait to try those - I've loved every zucchini bar I've tried (even with raisins and nuts) but have never made them! I'll have to let you know how they turn out.

      Cheers, Lea

  2. Have you made my zucchini-potato pancakes? They taste like tater-tots!

    I've never had extra zucchini, though. It's too hot to set fruit here and I really struggle with growing them, between the squash bugs and the heat. It's 110º now and they don't want to set flowers when it's this hot. Sadly none of my plants lived this year. Our spring is so short before it gets hot, so growing them is a real challenge to me.

    I was really hoping to have them this year. We like to make fried zucchini with homemade ranch dressing. We'll have that for dinner!

    1. Oh my goodness Brandy, I had totally forgotten about your zucchini-potato pancakes! We've made them before and love them - I will definitely put them on my list again this year. Thank you so much for reminding me! I haven't made fried zucchini but that sounds yummy too. I'll add that to my list too!

      So sorry about your zucchini plants! We usually only plant one zucchini plant as we get enough zucchini to share with the neighbors. Last year between the zucchini and the patty pan squash we were just about buried in squash! Well, I guess there was the one year we had one zucchini the size of a baseball bat but that was a fluke. Too bad zucchini doesn't ship well in the heat or I'd mail you some!

      Your summer is the opposite of us right now - we're about 55F and rainy/windy/etc. We're typically mid-upper 80s F by this point in the year. Sigh.

      How is your front yard coming? I'm looking forward to photos!

      Thanks again,


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