Monday, January 25, 2016

The "Bare Essentials" Challenge: The Main Menu Options

Well, so much for my dental appointment tomorrow.  Between my daughter sneezing all over me the last two days (seriously?  It's like you raise children in a barn the way they act sometimes.  Geez!) and my son sneezing on me among other things, I woke up this morning with a sore throat that has quickly gotten worse as the day progresses and I've got the "getting a cold" ucky feeling.  So, I had to cancel my dental appointment until I'm feeling better.  So, there's one anxiety that can continue to haunt me for a while *sigh*.

Anyway, onto the point of the post.

I've been asked (by some people I know locally) a bunch of questions when it was found out that we've had to live off our food storage, mainly about how we went about doing it.  Sounds like an odd series of questions to ask, but I get what they are saying.  I mean you have a pile of food stuffs staring at you, but how do you translate that into meals from day to day?

My advice is this.  Go through what you have.  Make a list of everything you have (no you don't have to write down exact numbers if you don't want to be that OCD), so you know where to start.  Then, figure out what your family will eat, what they might eat and so forth and then figure out how to translate what you have into what you can use.

A BIG help when you need to live off what you have is, I have found anyway, to make a main "Menu List" of basic items to give you ideas in the lean times ahead.  You'll get an idea of what I mean here in a minute.

So, here is the main menu list that I'll be referring back to for inspiration in the coming months for my weekly menu plan.  This took some planning on my part as I wanted a list that was lengthy, to give me ideas, but also realistic in the items I came up with so my family would, you know, eat them!

  • Blueberry Muffins (dried blueberries)
  • Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Cranberry Orange Muffins (dried candied peel, dried cranberries)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch Muffins
  • Rhubarb Concentrate Poppyseed Muffins
Crepes (fillings for)
  • Jam
  • Ham and Cheese
  • Cream Cheese and Jelly/Jam
  • Cinnamon Sugar and Melted Butter
  • Chocolate and Rehydrated Fruit
  • Blintz type application
  • Canned fruit
  • Same as crepes for fillings.
  • Maple Syrup or Blueberry syrup on top
  • Layer pancakes with filling in between for a kind of cake application
  • Dutch Baby/Puffed Pancake
  • White
  • Whole Wheat
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Cinnamon Swirl (from Cinnamon Swirl Bread)
  • Egg in a hole
  • French 
  • Eggs Benedict on toast instead of an English muffin
Granola:  Can be used as cereal, a snack, on top of yogurt

  • Steel cut oats/porridge (not many left)
  • Rolled Oats, as oatmeal or cookies
  • Quick Oats, microwave oatmeal or baked oatmeal
Cinnamon Rolls/Orange Rolls:
  • Yeast raised
  • Biscuit based
  • Bread and Jam
  • Peanut Butter/WOW Butter and Jelly/Jam
  • Ham Salad sandwiches
  • Tuna sandwiches
  • Egg Salad sandwiches
Beef a Roni
Dinners (Meats to Use):
Chicken (whole, thighs, drumsticks)
Turkey (1)
Ham (1 whole, 1 sliced)
Pork (steaks, one large shoulder roast that can be cut up, loin chops)
Ribs (beef, very few)
Fish (some)
Beans (substitute for meat)
Canned Meats:
  • Beef
  • Pork 
  • Chicken
  • Spam
  • Crab
  • Shrimp (not much)
Side Dishes:
Green Beans
Frozen Vegetables
Rice dishes
Mashed potatoes
Potatoes Au Gratin
French Fries/Tatar Tots
Beans (various)
Spiced and candied nuts
Crackers (see crackers list), with cheese, meat or jam
Bread and butter/jam
Iced Tea
Rhubarb Concentrate (reconstituted)
Juice (various, from pantry)
Hot Chocolate
Soda (primarily for son)
White with bread flour
Whole Wheat (grind wheat)
White with all purpose flour (requires milk.  Use powdered)
Cinnamon Swirl (made with white all purpose flour recipe)
Corn Bread/Corn dabs
Cinnamon/Orange Rolls
Nun's Puffs
Soda Crackers
Branch Bread
Graham Crackers (pantry)
Oat Cakes
Ice Cream (while it lasts)
Pancakes/Crepes with Sweet fillings
S'mores (use chocolate chips instead of chocolate bars)
And, of course, "Things as I come up with them/other" could be added onto each category *laugh*.


  1. I hope your family appreciates how organized and how well thought out you are saving money and feeding them. I look at my freezer some days and wonder what the heck is there to eat. I am lucky, only my dh and me, he will eat whatever is placed in front of him. Cheryl

  2. I have to start off by mentioning that I am very impressed by your dedication and resourcefulness. You are an amazing person! My husband is going through some scary time at work and we are feeling the repercussions of some unexpected medical bills at the end of last year ( due to less than adequate health insurance, because we are self employed). I am trying to cut the fat out of our budget to prepare for lean times ahead and to pay off medical debt. You have listed some great ideas for eating out of food storage that I am going to implement. I really enjoy reading your blog. It's helping me stay motivated to be as frugal as possible. Thank you!

  3. It looks like you have tons of good ideas! It's always very encouraging to me to see what other people do with their stored food.