Cooking from the Pantry: Chicken Stock, Crockpot Oatmeal and More

leftoverI try to review the items in my pantry on a weekly basis. It helps me save money by using up what I have before it expires or goes bad. By cooking from the pantry, using  items that were purchased on sale, on in some cases gotten for free, I can reduce my food bill. Paying less for groceries is one of my big goals this year.

My list of items to be used up included some frozen strawberries that were starting to get a little frosty, and a couple of ripe bananas. I still have a stock of inexpensive organic oats, so I used the frozen strawberries and the bananas to make Strawberry and Banana Cream Oatmeal in the crockpot. I still have more strawberries that will be turned into smoothies for snacks and lunches this week.

Since I roasted a chicken last night, I’ll be using the leftovers in a number of ways. The chicken bones, skin and wings will be turned into chicken stock for soup. It is simmering on the stove with a bunch of vegetables and seasonings, as I write. I’ll simmer it slowly for hours and get something from nothing, a carcass that would have normally been tossed out. Of course, I added in the few carrots and some celery that was in the crisper, and I used up the few small onions that were left in the vegetable bin.

The rest of the leftover chicken will be divided out for chicken pot pie and chicken with gravy. If I get too busy today to keep cooking, I can simply shred the chicken and freeze it for future recipes. Nothing gets wasted, or at least that is what I am striving to do.

Next week’s meals should be interesting, because the shopping list is slim with a lack of good deals in my area. I’m planning on visiting the local Amish farmer’s market tonight, where I can pick up plenty of fresh produce and eggs. With the exception of the bargain bin, I’ll try to ignore the bread. At $6 a loaf, that usually get me into trouble, and I can make our own for far less.


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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog