Plan Your Pantry 7 Day Menu
Day 6: What’s For Dinner?
You’ve been very busy over the past 5 days, or more, on this Pantry Challenge for Beginners. You’ve organized your Spice Cupboard, Beverages Cupboard, and finally your biggest stash. The Pantry Cupboard.
Now is the time to take those inventory sheets you’ve prepared and create a week of meal ideas. The purpose is to make meals using up the items you already have on hand. Shop from your own store. This exercise will help you find out if there is one or two items that you still need to go and buy at the grocery store if needed. However, on the other hand, this exercise might show you how, with a simple substitution here or there, you don’t need to go to the grocery store at all.
This Pantry Challenge for Beginners doesn’t prevent you from shopping if you need to. It is designed to help you shop with more purpose and understanding. To help EMPOWER you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
What Are You Going To Make For 7 Meals?
As this is a Beginner’s introduction to Pantry Challenges, you don’t have to focus on all the meals and snacks of a week. You only need to focus on what you will make for 7 dinners for the next week. In this way you aren’t overly stressed by trying to plan 21 meals out of your Pantry. And your family isn’t questioning the switch-up of their routines for breakfast and lunch meals too.
To help you do this, download this handy 7 Day Pantry Meal Worksheet.
Do You Have Any Canned Meats?
So, what do you have on hand? Let’s look at what information you gathered over the past few days on your Inventory lists. By looking at your Pantry Cupboard Inventory list, you can see at a glance if you have any meat products. Do you? If so, what kind?
- Sockeye or Pink Salmon – try making a Crock Pot Canned Salmon Loaf
- Tuna – can easily be made into Tuna Burgers, or PepperTuna Steak
- Canned Ham – make some Wagon Wheel Canned Ham
What if you don’t have any canned meats in your Pantry Cupboard? You should consider adding a few cans to your Pantry Cupboard in the future. As these meats are cooked, they would make excellent emergency meals for times such as electricity outages or more. Just a thought for you to consider.
However, if at this time you don’t have any canned meats on hand, then you will have to check and see what other meats you have in your fridge and freezer. So don’t panic over whether or not you have canned meats. Remember, this exercise is to also help spark your imagination and creativity in menu planning.
What Do You Have For Canned Vegetables?
These canned vegetables could include anything from corn, potatoes, peas, green beans, or more. Don’t forget about canned tomatoes and even pasta sauce. So, what do you have?
Now you can decide whether you will use the corn and peas as a vegetable sidedish, or as an enhancement in a meat dish or casserole? These are some of the things you need to consider as you plan your 7 dinner meals.
Some possible uses for your canned vegetables could include the following, which can also be found in the Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook.
Sidedish, Soup, or Juice
- Rainbow Corn
- Corn Chowder
- Hot Buttered Tomato Juice
Then There Are The Beans—Canned Varieties
Perhaps you have a stockpile of canned brown beans, especially if you have children. Brown beans are so quick to grab and have with some wieners for a quick meal. Or perhaps you have kidney beans, chick peas, or even mixed beans. All of these can be used in a variety of dishes from salads to chili-con-carne. Here are some more recipe ideas to spark your imagination. Again, all of these recipes can be found in our Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook.
- Black Bean Salad
- Marinated Bean Salad
- Mixed Bean Salad
- Help Us Hash
- Quick Chili
What About The Dried Beans?
Have you ever just grabbed a bag of dried white navy beans in the grocery store? How about those bags of dried beans to make home soups? Now is the time to put those to use. Recently, I pulled out the Crock Pot and a bag of white navy beans. I forgot just how good homemade brown beans actually taste. And they aren’t too hard to make, just a lot of passive time as the beans soak and cook.
Give this authentic Canadian Baked Beans recipe a try this week if possible.
Moving Onto Dried Goods
Some of the dried goods that you should consider in your meal planning are things such as rice and pasta. Not only do these add carbohyrdrates to your meals, but they can also be fillers and meal bulkers.
The following recipe suggestions can also be found in our Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook.
- Cheese and Noodle Casserole
- Cheesy-Tomato Macaroni
- Souper Skillet Pasta
- Brown Rice and Eggs
- Cabbage Roll Casserole
- Chicken and Rice
- Tuna Creole Skillet
Maybe you’ve got a bag of rice that was given to you from your local food bank. Do you know how to cook them? Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t know just how easy it is to cook rice. I’m not talking about Minute Rice, but rather the long grain rices such as white, or even Jasmine. You can see how easy it is too, by checking out this article, How To Easily Cook Basic Rice.
Here Is My Week of Pantry Meals
What If You Are Short An Ingredient Or Two?
This Pantry Challenge for Beginner’s is about EMPOWERING you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE. So don’t panic if you find you are missing a couple of ingredients to make your meals. Remember, this isn’t a no shopping challenge—it is about shopping from your own home first. Then you can go and spend wisely and with purpose at the grocery store. However, maybe you do have the ingredients you need by learning substitutions.
So a BONUS for you is this Emergency Substitutions In The Kitchen booklet. Download it now and see if you can save a few more dollars by seeing what substitutions you can make from your own home store.
Are You Ready?
You’ve made your menu, figured out substitutions, and written a grocery shopping list. Go out and grab those last minute items you need at the grocery store. However, stay focused—only buy what you need. And we’ll see you tomorrow as you get ready to get cooking!! Don’t forget to stop by the Facebook group too!