Lunch Fail and Wasted Food. DAY 5 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge!

Are you guys still with me?!

It’s DAY 5 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge, and I’m trying to use up as much fresh stuff as I can before it goes bad!

As I was staring out the kitchen window this morning, overlooking the front yard garden, I was pondering what to make for lunch when my eyes fell on the big basil bush in the tomato bed.

It’s starting to flower, which means it’ll soon go to seed and the plant will die back.

Harvesting basil suddenly became today’s priority.

Since we have several boxes of pasta in the pantry I thought it would be perfect to make pesto basil pasta for lunch. I found a recipe in my copy of the Raw & Simple cookbook, fortunately I had all of the ingredients to make it, including the hemp seeds. (I absolutely love hemp seeds on my salads!)

After picking a large bowl of fresh basil leaves, I threw all of the ingredients into the blender and whipped up a batch of fresh pesto.

I wish I could say that the kids devoured their pasta for lunch, but when the meal was over the only thing they’d eaten was the fresh veggies. Nobody touched their pasta.

Lunch fail.

I rinsed some off in a colander and sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese, and re-offered it to the kids. Three out of four ate it, but it still wasn’t a hit.

Note to self. My kids don’t like pesto.

It stinks to waste precious ingredients. But I guess you don’t know ’til you try. A good reminder that when you’re planning your food storage you should store ingredients around meals that you know your kids will eat. Because if the kids don’t eat in an emergency situation, it won’t be good.

I was glad we had some fresh ingredients for a salad, but I’m almost completely out. What’s left in the garden is starting to rot or bugs are destroying it. My leafy greens are covered with caterpillars. I’m gonna have to get on top of that if I want to preserve any of it.

Fortunately the kids scraped their plates clean at dinner, so all was not lost.

In other news…

I was happy to find an empty shelf that we weren’t using that I could put in the kitchen to help organize the #10 cans I had opened. It doesn’t hold much but at least I can see some of what I have at a glance. It actually helped to free up a lot of space in the pantry closet.

Here’s the breakdown of Day 5’s challenge meals:

Brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal- quick oats, brown sugar (made from mixing cane sugar w/ molasses), cinnamon, instant milk, salt

Chocolate chip cookies
Banana chips

Pesto Basil Pasta- fresh basil, olive oil, hemp seeds, garlic, angel hair pasta
Salad- lettuce, fresh bell pepper, fresh cucumber

Leftover baked chicken taquitos
Spanish rice

How are you doing with the challenge? Still following along? I hope you’re finding it helpful as I share what I’m discovering each day! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

9 thoughts on “Lunch Fail and Wasted Food. DAY 5 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge!”

  1. I have found that our eating changes so some things I stocked up on we no longer eat, thinking I can trade/barter these items but also wasted space for items needed now. I also have started a binder with favorite meals. I was thinking to make it easier to find items I might try posting a list in each area & a master list in the binder.

  2. When I started our food storage program, I purchased all of the #10 of basics such as freeze dried vegetables, freeze dried meat, orange drink mix, banana chips, raspberries, butter powder.

    Then I made a list of our favorite meals, I found out that we a tomato sauce freaks. There are so many dishes that we eat that uses tomato sauce as a base. For example spaghetti, chili, swiss steak, stuffed bell peppers. Because of this I included 12 #10 cans of tomato powder. With this list of favorite meals, I was able to tailor my food storage purchasing.

    I purchased 2 of the highly recommended food storage cookbooks. I found them to be horrible. They had most breakfast and desert recipes with very few dinner recipes and the few that they had we would not eat.

    At a local prepper expo, I found a local prepper who was selling “The post apocalyptic home economics book and cookbook” which was available in PDF. This was the best SHTF cookbook because it looked at recipes and looked at how to cook them using fresh, freeze dried and dehydrated foods.

    • I wonder if I can find that cookbook online. I do have some SHTF CD-Roms that might actually have this book… I need to check into that! Thanks for the recommendation. I agree… I have a few “prepper” cookbooks and most of them require you to use stuff that you likely wouldn’t have in a real SHTF situation.

  3. I’ve been out of town but starting today, I’ll be joining in on this challenge. Eating only from my food storage for an extended period has been on my “to do” list for a while now and your challenge is just the motivation I needed. My food pantry will easily see me through 30 days but like you, I have trouble finding things sometimes and there is no easy way for me to see what items are the oldest. I’ll be using this as an opportunity to organize my food storage and to create a recipe binder for recipes that can be made entirely from shelf stable foods. Thanks for hosting the challenge!

    • Awesome, Carolyn!! I’m so glad to have you along! Please do share what you come across as you go through this challenge. Sounds like you’re already off to a great start!

  4. Really enjoying reading about your food pantry challenge! Thanks for sharing! We used your recipe for canning venison (except we used moose) and it was great!

    • Oooh.. I’ve never had moose, Anna. Interesting! Thanks for saying “hi” and letting me know you’re here! It’s encouraging to know that others are following along. 🙂

  5. This is an awesome experiment! Thank you for sharing.
    We can’t join in right now since we basically have NO food storage. (We live in a camping trailer while we are building our house.) But it’s totally something I want to do when we get the house finished.
    I love your tips that are coming out of this experiment. I will have to keep them in mind when we start stocking up again.

    • Hi Maridy! Thanks for joining the discussion :). I’m very glad to hear that these tips are going to be helpful to you as you build up your food storage again. Best wishes!


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