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Use It Up {A Fresh Start – Meal Plan}

Posted By Amy On January 7, 2013 @ 12:39 am In In the Kitchen,Menu Plans | 6 Comments

What are the statistics?  Is it that 40% (or some other insane number) of the food Americans buy goes to waste?  That.Is.Crazy.  I’m pretty sure it’s not that bad around here, but I’ve sure felt the guilt when cleaning out the fridge a time or three.

One way to get a fresh start in the new year is to use up what you have.  What’s lurking in the depths of the deep freeze?  What’s hanging out in the back corner of the pantry?  January is a great month to dig it all up.  Get creative with what’s on hand and maybe save some cash on groceries in the process!

We started our little pantry challenge last week, and my people are none the wiser.  I haven’t been to the store since December 23.  My husband made a quick run for stomach bug supplies (gag), and my aunt picked up some flour and sugar for me one day (hmmm, must have had a cinnamon roll [3]hankering).  We’re nearly out of fruit and veggies now, though, so to town I will go tomorrow.  Hopefully it’ll be a quick trip.

Here’s what we’re eating this week.


  • Breakfast ~ oatmeal with raisins (4 bowls if you’re the famished toddler), homemade granola [4] with dried cranberries and dark chocolate (if you’re the husband who won’t touch oatmeal)
  • Lunch ~ bacon, fried eggs, homemade hashbrowns [5], oranges, and pumpkin butterscotch muffins [6] (courtesy of 1/2 a bag of butterscotch chips in the pantry)
  • Supper Smorgasbord ~ french bread pizza leftovers, twice-baked potato soup leftovers (recipe coming!), a random assortment of fresh fruit and veggies, and “Mom Rocks! Nachos”.  I had some leftover burrito filling and no tortillas, so I made the filling stretch with some homemade refried beans [7], then topped tortilla chips with the mixture plus shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, and sour cream.  Definitely a winner.


  • scrambled eggs with cheese, muffins [6], fruit
  • french toast, fruit
  • fried eggs, toast, fruit
  • oatmeal or homemade granola [4]


  • sloppy joes [8] and homemade french fries, veggies and dip
  • roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots
  • veggie beef soup with rice (I’ve had soup bones brewing up some beef stock in the crock pot)
  • ballgame food (hard boiled eggs, popcorn [9], cheese sticks, fruit, Santa cereal [10])
  • egg fried rice [11], fresh fruit and veggies

With all the illnesses flaring up everywhere (is it rampant where you live?!) I feel the need to keep meals both simple and rich in fresh fruits and veggies right now.  Lucky for me, that’s our kids’ favorite kind of eating.

Anyone else cleaning out the fridge and pantry in January?  Find anything interesting lurking in there?   (I’m fairly consistent about planning our weekly menu, but really bad about posting it here.  Should I be better?  Do you find it helpful at all?)


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URL to article: http://amysfinerthings.com/use-it-up-a-fresh-start-meal-plan

URLs in this post:

[1] via RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheFinerThingsInLife

[2] via email: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=TheFinerThingsInLife

[3] cinnamon roll : http://amysfinerthings.com/moms-cinnamon-rolls

[4] homemade granola: http://amysfinerthings.com/basic-easy-homemade-granola-with-lots-of-variations

[5] homemade hashbrowns: http://amysfinerthings.com/homemade-hashbrowns

[6] pumpkin butterscotch muffins: http://amysfinerthings.com/pumpkin-butterscotch-muffins-2

[7] homemade refried beans: http://amysfinerthings.com/homemade-refried-beans-recipe

[8] sloppy joes: http://amysfinerthings.com/sloppy-joes

[9] popcorn: http://amysfinerthings.com/how-to-pop-popcorn-on-the-stove

[10] Santa cereal: http://amysfinerthings.com/santa-cereal

[11] egg fried rice: http://amysfinerthings.com/pork-fried-rice-recipe

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