I once mentioned to someone that our funds were running low that particular week and so I would be doing pantry cooking for several days. "What's that?" they asked. Well, it basically boils down to searching your cupboards to see what you have and making meals out of those ingredients. Otherwise known as making do with what you have or trying to scrape by. It happens to all of us every once in awhile...the grocery money is scarce for the week, someone is sick and doesn't feel like going to the grocery store, or you have a lot of odds and ends in the cupboard and fridge that need to be used up.
That is where I am at this week. Last Saturday I actually spent $93 at the grocery store and have no idea what I ended up with because our cupboards are fairly bare. I was tired and needed to just grab a few things after our week long vacation and ended up just spending too much because I hadn't planned ahead. I could run to the store today and stock up on real food this time around but after spending $93 (which is above our weekly budget) I do not want to go shopping until this Saturday. Plus, I am coming down with a cold and just don't want to go anywhere. So that leaves me with three days worth of meals that I need to plan by looking through the pantry and fridge and seeing what I can come up with. Breakfast will be easy as we have plenty of cereal, oatmeal, and cocoa wheats. Lunches can still be fairly easy as we have peanut butter, some lunch meat, macaroni and cheese, and a few cans of spaghetti o's. It will be dinner that I will need to become creative with. My hubby arrives home hungry and likes a big dinner most days. There are the lazy nights where we just eat a frozen pizza or even just grab a bowl of cereal but most nights I enjoy cooking for the family and making a good meal. Now I need to find some good meals out of our limited supply and I am looking at this as an adventure. There IS food in this house, I just need to come up with some creative ideas to make a good meal out of this food. Frozen chicken breasts and potatoes will surely become one of those meals. We have plenty of frozen and canned vegetables and fruit so that will round out the meals. I have yeast and flour on hand so can make my aunt's famous rolls (Hi Auntie Jane!) that my whole family adores. So the next few days will be finding me being creative in the kitchen and using up some food that is just sitting in the cupboards. It teaches you not to run to the store for every little thing and while I may need to pick up a loaf of bread or gallon of milk at the convenience store, I will be steering clear of the grocery store this week.