Menu Plan ~ Stockpile Rotation

I am reluctantly joining the eat from the pantry challenge this month. It isn’t that I don’t need to join, I don’t want to join. I am a bit burned out on cooking after the holidays, so creating interesting, heathy and delicious meals from what I already have in my house doesn’t sound like fun. Fun is so overrated isn’t it?

A quick survey of my freezer, fridge and pantry made me realize I do need to participate because there are more than a few items that have overstayed their welcome. Keeping a well stocked pantry or freezer is wonderful and frugal, but not rotating your food is a bad idea. If you don’t eat from your stockpile, eventually your food will go bad and then you have wasted money.

Items we need to eat this month:

  • 5 boxes of pasta
  • 1/2 box instant potatoes
  • 1 bag of brown rice
  • 1 box of white rice
  • 1 box jambalaya
  • 1 box taco shells
  • 1 bag dried pinto beans
  • 1 bag dried split peas
  • cream cheese
  • yogurt
  • tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of tomatoes
  • venison meat
  • chicken breasts
  • 1/3 bag shrimp
  • 1 bag chopped pot roast
  • 1 bag pierogies
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 small bag frozen carrots
  • half a bag of potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 8 cups pumpkin puree

I definitely have enough food to make two weeks of meals. My goal is to keep my grocery bill under $100 for the next two weeks.

Here is my pantry in all its predecluttering glory! I can’t wait to show you my after picture…

Meals ~ Week of January 3, 2010


French Toast, Whole Wheat Pancakes, Whole Wheat Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls


Sandwiches, Smoothies, Leftovers, Beans and Cornbread (This meal is super easy and super cheap. Add it to your menu when funds are tight.)


Beef Soup in a bread bowl

Made with leftovers


served with homemade tortillas and all the fixin’s

Beef pot pie

served with a salad

Venison steaks

served with rice, whole wheat bread, corn, salad

Mexican Chicken Skillet


  1. I love your pantry closet. I am jealous. I wish I had one of those. We are working on getting a cabinet to use for food storage.

    Menu looks great.

  2. Love the size of your pantry. When we were at Meade we had just a typical pantry, but here at Fort Wainwright we don’t have one. How I miss our pantry?!?! We are also participating in the “Eat from you Pantry Challenge”, it will be good for us.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      We didn’t have a pantry on Meade either. We live off base now. The pantry is one of the MANY benefits, lol!

  3. Love your big pantry. Can you share your reciepe for the beef soup in a bread bowl? Thanks!

  4. the food that you prepared all look delish! will definitely try out your beef soup in a bread bowl recipe 🙂

    RJ’s day to day activities
    Journal of RJ’s mom

  5. Wow! I’m so jealous of that pantry! Mine is only 18 inches wide by (maybe) 2 feet deep. Thanks for the ideas! I am planning to participate in the “Eat from your pantry” challenge too. I need to take inventory tomorrow! Thanks for the encouragement! I’m glad I found your blog!

  6. too funny! my plan for the next two weeks is to also use up what i have in the fridge, freezer and pantry. but i had no clue there was an organized “party” going on in blog world!! my plan is to make my menu tomorrow and post it … then keep my grocery bill under $75 for two weeks for two of us. i know it’s possible … thanks for the great post!

  7. Great post! I will need to do this too! Where did you get the bread bowls? My daughter wants Panera Bread for her birthday (she really just wants a bread bowl with broccoli and cheddar soup in it!), and since I really didn’t want to spend $100.00 to take the family to Panera, I thought I would do it at home…

  8. Oh, that sounds soooo delicious!! Good luck with your pantry challenge- that is awesome!!

  9. Your Mexican chicken skillet is already a favorite here 🙂

  10. I am going to try making your tortillas. I’ve always wanted to but thought it would be hard. Thanks for the recipe.
    I am debating on the mexican chicken skillet. Is it really flavorful? That’s my problem with the boys. It has to be flavorful!

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I think the skillet is very flavorful. For extra flavor, try throwing in come cumin, chili powder, or more garlic.

  11. What a nice, big pantry! I sometimes take it for granted that we just have plenty of food all the time. We had a single, college friend over and he could not believe how much food we had. I need to take stock of everything. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. I looked at my freezer and need to use a few things. Lots of fruit that I froze a few years ago needs used. But will have to add chicken and hamburger to my freezer cuz it’s almost gone. But that’s for this next pay check! Am gonna use up my lasagne noodles, which my husband will be happy about! I buy it then don’t make it. It’ll be crockpot lasagne, yes you can do that!! Happy DAY!!
    I did buy that bigger crockpot and will post it…cooked turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. It wouldn’t go in the smaller one, even if I crunched it down.

  13. Okay, I’m trying. So far I’ve used up a whole bunch of chicken bones from my freezer (for stock) and now I’m cooking all the other leftover frozen chicken pieces in my crockpot. (Applesauce chicken…let’s hope it works…)

    I also need to use up pork chops and ribs, a whole bunch of canned stuff, a box of couscous and assorted jams and sauces in jars. (Lingonberry…!!!)

  14. Hi there,thank you for the great recipes,i too am doing my freezer and Pantry challenge, we all must have caught the bug, i love the photo’s of the snow, we here in Adelaide,Australia,are having really HOT weather, and i keep wishing for cooler condition’s,but after looking at the snow,i don’t know what’s worse,i would’nt want to go out the door in that either,at least when it’s cold, it’s great for cooking lovely hot meal’s, salad’s get boring, i made some flat bread yesterday, 1st time i tried it,very easy,came out great, have them with hummus!!!take care in the cold over there, love your Post’s, Regard’s Carol

  15. One thing that I will do when I have odds and ends to use up is to take a few items and Google “fish, taco shells, avocados recipe” and I will get a recipe most times. Or, “ground turkey, cilantro”. It’s surprising what will pop up!

    A money saving and time saving idea is to purchase large quantities of vegetables that freeze well: onion, celery, beans (farmers market), peppers, jalepenos, banana peppers, chopped pumpkin, zucchini and chop and freeze. This makes soup/stew assembly really quick.

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