Menu Plan Monday: Personal Pantry Challenge

As we get ready for out trip, it is my intention to use up what’s in our cupboards and fridge. There by saving money and using stuff up before it goes bad.

Saving money means more money towards spending on our trip. My last two weeks have been living pretty frugal. And I am okay with that.

This week’s meal planning, I thought it would be frugal to combine a few items from the grocery store to go with the food already in the cupboard. Let’s see how this goes (pen and paper on the kitchen table. Let’s see what I can scribble down).

(C) Cupboard
(F) Fridge/Freezer
(S) Store

(C)(F) = 9
(S) = 5 (panko tofu & vegan sour cream are from same package)

Not bad. With more practice I will get better. As you can see, most of what I need to shop for is produce. With that, I will only buy what is needed. And most of what already have stocked is produce that needs to be used up before it goes bad.

Vegan Lifestyle

I know this is a financial blog and I am rambling raw-vegan. But I am stoked! It’s been great! I have been listening to my body and what it desires to eat. I have been whipping up smoothies and eating salads like crazy! Those salads… I have been craving. Weird! But totally delish! And my body has been quenching up the thirst with water or tea. Last night I was offered a beer and I turned it down. Like my body doesn’t even desire or want it. Tried a soda the other day and it was the sweetest un-tastiest thing I’ve had. Out to dinner and it was a baked potato and salad for me. Or I’ve had soup and salad for lunch during work. Snacks: I mix my own trail mix with cranberries, nuts, and pretzels or eat an apple. I crave yummy goodness now. I love it!

I’ve also been listening to my body when it tells me its full. And my portions are rather small now. But I also eat 6 mini meals/snacks throughout the day to keep me nourished. I haven’t lost anymore weight, but I have maintained it well. I feel great.

Financially with a Vegan diet: it is not expensive for me. I am still trying to figure out why people think it is expensive to eat healthy. I think it might be that people are not aware of how to substitute products when cooking. There are always frugal alternatives to expensive ingredients when called for in a recipe.

When I shop, this is usually what I pay:

  • A block of tofu is $1.30 – $2.00.
  • Can of beans is $0.89 – $2.00 (usually get 2 servings, at least). or buy a bag of beans to cook and freeze in individual servings. Then you’ll get a lot for your money!
  • My salad bags are $2.00 and feed for a week.
  • Soup – buy what is on sale or even better make you own! When produce is near its end and needs to be used, I whip up soups for lunch.
  • Produce/Fruit – buy what is on sale

And all those meals will make great lunch leftovers (save more $$ :)) and the extra fruit will be used up in my morning smoothies. Loving it!

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13 thoughts on “Menu Plan Monday: Personal Pantry Challenge

  1. Alice

    So glad to hear the vegan lifestyle is treating you well. I too wonder why people think eating healthy is expensive – it’s loads cheaper than buying pre-packed processed stuff! We buy jumbo bags of dried beans from a local bulk-by health store and once a week make up a batch of beans in the pressure cooker and store in fridge or freezer so they are on-hand for meals. We also buy big bags of dryed soya mince, which lasts F.O.R.E.V.E.R! We soak this with stock, tamari, marmite etc and use it as a meat substitute for spaghetti bolog/lasagne etc – this saves loads of money πŸ™‚ Your meal plan sounds delish indeed!

    1. money funk

      I agree about being cheaper than buying the pre-packaged process stuff.

      I really need to get a pressure cooker. My Indian friend has one and uses it 24/7. Yet I am so afraid. What if the top pops off. LOL. (messy)

      Great tips, Alice. Thank you. Oh and the menu does sound delish. Can’t wait to eat it. I had a salad with European mixed greens, cranberries, and pecans for lunch. YUM! R U typing from the boat??? *jealous of your wonderful life*

      1. Alice

        i too was scared of a pressure cooker – no need!!! Honestly, it’s fab and great to do beans in – and curry πŸ˜‰ not typing from boat… back on dry land for a week to sort house out – internet on boat is slowwwwwww *sigh* so doing a bit of blog catch-up now!!!! x

  2. Forest

    This is an awesome awesome menu and I may have to try the panko tofu and the zuchinni fries…. I am hungover today….. not worth it! It’s quite rare for me to drink these days and each time I do, I remember why.

    I’m not vegan yet but seriously considering it, cheese is the biggest issue!

    Well done, it’s been awesome following you as you made this transition.

    1. money funk

      Oh, the dreaded hangover. I get them so easy. It sucks. LOL. Sleep, an aspirin, and a whole day of nothin’… you’ll feel better in no time! Or try a bloody mary. I thinks its the Tabasco sauce that makes things better. But it works. And then you’re eating a celery stick (for better health). LOL.

      The zucchini fries are soooo yummy! So is the tofu.

      It’s okay if you don’t go all vegan, raw vegan, vegetarian. But I think if one makes a conscious effort to include these types of meals in their diet than all the better! Or things like replacing some of the oil with applesauce in baking or drinking nut milk instead of dairy milk. Little steps can go a long way.

  3. Simple in France

    Knowing how to ‘shop’ from your own cupboard is a great thing. I find it works even better if you tend to have a few super cheap and non-perishable items on hand. . . like lentils!

    1. money funk

      Oh yes, love lentils! Love curries.

      I love to eat from my cupboard and could make yummy creations for days. But it is the family that choses to be picky eaters. LOL. But I am sure there is enough pasta and cheese available to keep them happy. πŸ˜‰

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  5. Mama Bird

    Hi Christine, do your kids eat Vegan as well? We are not vegan, but I do cook mostly vegetarian meals. My young boys balk at so much. My 4 yr old hates tofu though I’ve tried to feed it to him numerous times. The like refried beans/rice, so that’s an easy one. But my older one hates onions and capsicum. How am I supposed to flavour lentils without onions? Hubby and I love lentils and curries, etc. Too “spiky” for the 4 yr old. Sigh.

    Would love to know what your kids like. I know they are older, but still.

    I do find that eating healthy (especially organic) is much more expensive. I’m not going to give it up but I often envy the coupons all the crap food has.

    We are joining a CSA this spring/summer/fall so I’m hoping that will help some.

    BTW, have you ever made kale chips? YUM!

    1. money funk

      No. My son will eat and try everything I make. And would be fine as a vegetarian, as he never has liked meat much ever since he was little.

      My daughter and husband are carnivors or bad food eaters. I am hoping to bake with her this summer but in a healthy way. To teach her about putting applesauce in place of some of the oil in a recipe or adding a banana to moisten baked goods. Implement something easy.

      My children do love the zucchini fries (listed in menu). They are healthy and easy. Try those and compliment with marinara or a tarragon yogurt sauce (bit healthier than ranch).

      Now how are you to make those curries? Love lentils! Hmmm… that is a tough one. Maybe make a light coconut curry and without as much spices?
      or maybe separate a small portion of the lentils and cook them less spicy in another pot?

      I also make lentils as a taco filling and add taco seasoning. So good!

      But people need to realize that if you’re family is vegetarian than your cupboard is filled differently. Is it expensive because you buy in addition to a Standard American Diet? I find that is why it is more costly for me.

      I am thinking about joining a CSA, too. But need to learn how to can because I don’t know if I will be able to go thru all that produce so quickly. πŸ˜‰

      I have not tried Kale chips. But keep hearing good things about it. Especially with the addition of Nutritional yeast for that cheezy flavor.

      Good luck getting the kids to eat healthy. keep trying!

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