Okay, gotta say it’s a good thing that avoiding shopping wasn’t one of my goals with this pantry challenge. I shopped like MAD this week. Why? Well, when we’re driving all the way across town three times a week for soccer and passing all the grocery stores along the way, it seems to make the trip a lot more worthwhile if I stop in for couponing deals. So, um, yeah, I shopped probably a dozen times this week total. Came in at just about a dollar over budget at 26.00. There are definitely some items here that I usually wouldn’t buy, but ended up getting for convenience’s sake. We have been sooooooo busy lately and something has to give. If that means “buying” free whole wheat bread instead of making my own from scratch, so be it. I will get back to homemade as soon as feasible. Here’s my shopping:

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Not pictured was a package of turkey breast.

Edit: If I had paid regular price/no coupons I could have bought 2 1/2 out of the four boxes of vitamins. NOTHING ELSE.

Free items: snack mix, 8 loaves of bread, salt, breakfast bowls, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit.  Eggs were way on sale, turkey bacon was .50 per package, vitamins for .26 a box, olives .19 per pouch, also splurged and bought Autumn some premium orange juice for about .50 per quart.  She rarely gets juice, so she’s super happy! Markdown GF bread, egg nog, yogurt, and turkey were also great deals. Overall, it was a really good week, but I definitely don’t need to shop that frequently. 🙂

Although it seems completely counterintuitive, I added a lot of items to the pantry/freezer this week, too. I canned small batches of grapefruit and orange segments in citrus juice(mind-numbing work), caramelized balsamic onions (amazing on pizza), and cranberry conserve.

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In the interest of saving time and because I am NOT a morning person, I also stocked the freezer with gluten free breakfast items.  How does this fit into the “clean out the freezers” part of my challenge?  I made them with LOTS of frozen produce that really needed to be used up.  I found a dozen bananas (DH’s grandfather only likes them green, so when they get ripe, they freeze them for us instead of throwing them away), two quarts of peaches, a couple partial bags of nuts, and a pint of chopped strawberries during inventory and they went into 6+ dozen muffins (2 varieties) and 11 bags of banana pancakes.  Got an awesome deal on Amazon a while ago for the GF flour and everything else was in the pantry, even used up a bunch of cans of evaporated milk we got for free after coupons over the holidays.  I have a feeling that we’re going to go through this stuff pretty quickly between breakfasts and snacks and our busy schedule.

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And while it may look like all we’re doing is adding to the food stores, we’ve been plugging away at using up freezer items.  We are almost out of the surplus of fresh vegetables we started the challenge with though, so that might get interesting. Dairy is getting to be a challenge as well.  We’re out of milk, butter, half&half, etc.  Hoping for some good deals on dairy and veggies next week!

Oh, my first ever batch of sauerkraut is about done too!  I’ll try to post a picture next week when I stick it in the fridge.

And just FYI…fresh kale is AMAZING on pizza. Especially with homemade cheese, caramelized onions, homemade roasted eggplant sauce, whole wheat homemade crust, and pasture-raised pork sausage.

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