Monday, February 2, 2015

Success! We Rocked the Pantry Challenge

What matters is not spirituality, not religion, not perfection, not success or failure or this or that, but simply God, and freedom in His Spirit. All the rest is pure stupidity.  -from Simply Merton

Happy Monday.

A few things of note, then my pantry challenge news.

First... This post was going to be my DayBook, but I will do that tomorrow, or maybe even later on today! I have to be honest, for the past few years, I've lived my life perpetually behind. Do you ever feel that way?  I have to much to do, I'm unmotivated... then I make myself feel guilty... and I am happily working my way back to being more motivated and organized. Pray for me?!

Upon our tax returns I will see a naturopath and get some direction as to what is best for someone who can't take estrogen (you know, unless I want my blood pressure to be 200/100). Until then, you, my faithful readers, will just have to be patient. I thank you!  I am not complaining, mind you, just informing....   And NO - I am not giving up my regular doctor. I think modern medicine is great. But when they don't have solutions, I think it's fantastic to be able to consult someone who can present you (me, in this case) with options!

Catholic Women's Veiling Devotion Group. I left the group.  Last year, I really wanted to leave it and I did.. but I went back. When I started the group, I loved veiling and wanted to evangelize it. But in the end, all the men who tried to join, the women who want to be ugly to one-another... and the assumption that because it is MY group, I am the one who deleted this person or that... just grated on me. Not only that... but I got to the point where I wanted to say, "wear the veil, don't wear the veil, but shut the ___ up!" and I'm mature enough to know that is not a good thing. When you answer the same question 75 different ways for 18 months... when you spend your precious time deleting posts or telling women they can't say/do something because they just can't help being ugly... when women join who are so strange that they have to post pictures of themselves every day and post them online in ten different groups.. because they can't get enough attention... when you and the admin team are accused of somehow being involved in someone committing suicide (the person is very much alive and selling what she calls head coverings veils on Etsy) and her mother goes on some crazy rampage about it... when you are more traditional than not (not belligerent traditional), and you lose friends because you won't let the, tell others they HAVE TO DO SOMETHING the Church does not say they have to do - just because it used to be done... It gets old! I could go on, but I think YOU GET THE POINT! I You see, the devil is strong and I don't want any part of it.  I hope and pray the group will go on and do great things AND that the women in the group will realize the damage they do to one-another. But I want to veil in peace and enjoy the devotion I love.  Other Admin have left for the same reason. I had to step away. Any questions, read the quote above.

Pantry Challenge - Final Report.

As you know, we participated in the pantry challenge from Good Cheap Eats. Jessica has moved on to Whole 30 meal planning. I have not had a chance to read up on that, but I'm sure it is spectacular.

I can not tell you how great it feels to have a really great budget/meal planning Month.  Yes, I have always done meal plans. But this time, I approached the challenge in a different way. The challenge is going to be how we live our meal plan. We are going to (with the exception of dairy, produce, personal needs and pet needs) shop monthly. We are super excited about this. This will allow us to ONLY have things that are current (I'm still reeling from all I had to toss).

I have a spreadsheet of everything in our freezers/pantry. Well, actually I am adding to it today all the things we FoodSaved and replenished with over the weekend.

What I/we Learned This Year...

  • that I have not really done the pantry challenge right in years past, because I haven't taken it seriously. That may be harsh, but I figure, it's good to be honest.

  • That as a family of three, we really need to be careful what we buy and careful to use what we have before it ruins in the freezer.  We have so many frozen produce, sauce, and cooked beans...

  • planning breakfasts and lunches is a great idea. More work. But still good. I have resisted this in the past. But I'm into it now.

  • we can live off of about half of what we were spending IF we stay diligent. We saved over $400.

  • we really enjoy being creative with food. This we knew, but it's always good to be reminded. Leftovers can become something totally different.

Saturday, Marque and I went to Costco to replenish our meats. We have avoided it for over a month... and we enjoy Costco.  This is what our backseat looks like with Costco.  I know I know - Minecraft Books, Beer (Irish) and FoodSaver Bags, toilet paper, fruit, bagels... but no snacks and no junk. LOL Sigh.

[caption id="attachment_5285" align="aligncenter" width="500"]IMG_3078 Backseat after Costco.[/caption]

We love to buy bulk meat and split it into meals.

[caption id="attachment_5284" align="aligncenter" width="500"]IMG_3079 For us, this is 14+ meals. We are a family of three![/caption]

Additionally, we went to Kroger and bought some Cod and shrimp to round out our meats. Between the two, we have a month or so worth of meat in our freezer. And so, I start my own Freezer/Pantry Challenge Monthly.

I will share my menu with you tomorrow. But tonight is Stuffed Portobello mushrooms & veggie sides (Marque has greens. Christopher and I will have green beans).

And so - my post is done. I've got to get to my normal Monday glamour of laundry, homeschool, etc...

Have a great day.





  1. Thank you for your time on the FB veiling group. I'm really going to miss your no BS answers! That's my kind of Catholicism!
    Love the blog!

  2. You are very welcome. I loved it... and started the group with great intentions.
    Not everyone appreciates the No BS! LOL It's nice to know that you do... Blessings,

  3. I'm trying to figure out why a man would want to join a women's veiling group, and I'm only coming up with naughty answers.

  4. One was let in on accident once. He lectured on Islam.
    Sometimes they are guys with pictures of little girls.
    Sometimes they are hamsters.

    That part is wearing but FUNNY in some cases

  5. Whoo-hooo!!! So glad the pantry challenge was a SUCCESS for you! We're still eating down our freezer and pantry...Our family is about to shrink a little more when The Architect heads off to college this year. I've been used to buying and cooking for we're going to be three. I'm glad, though. We've saved several hundred dollars over the past few months. Now if I could only break Mr. Pea and the boys of their Dr. Pepper habits....

    Have a wonderful week, Emily!


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