Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The priority list is working

Shelves in my kitchen

I truly can say we are back in the 70's inflation again (even if the government does not). Everything is not only going up in price, but making a drastic move on the upward side. Whoever puts out government statistics does not know math... only creative bookkeeping. :)

We are on the budget plan for our utilities, where the bill is the same each month until it is adjusted to another level (up or down) in the summer. We just received our natural gas bill with the adjustment for the coming year. We are going from approx. $90.00 a month to $130.00 a month. Last year I believe the adjustment was only a couple of dollars. Yikes! I'm very good at keeping the house cool in the winter but I can do much better at using less hot water. This is war, my friends between us and inflation.

When I was cooking last night, I thought of those items I had purchased from our priority list this past year. The skillet, saute pan, and the sauce pan were all purchased with some of the money I earned at the bookstore. They are all great quality and make cooking from scratch much easier and healthier (since my nonstick skillets had all been chipping the Teflon-- or whatever-- for awhile).

As I've mentioned before, we keep a Priority List so when we get "extra" money in (working at the bookstore, birthday, Christmas, and other gifts) we don't blow it on things we don't really need. Our purchases are well thought out, although I'm sure some people wouldn't always agree with our choices. As I told my daughter recently (concerning comments made about them purchasing the better washer & dryer), I try not to let those kinds of words bother me. We should not judge what is deemed important to other people.

I was telling her about the purchase of the large jars to hold my unbleached all purpose flour and bread flour (shown on the bottom shelf of the above picture). Some would say I should have used the gift card for pantry items but I knew how much these would be of value in the long run. I use a lot of flour and these two items hold more than the average container and they have a very tight seal. Not to mention the red lids make me happy... and sometimes just having things around that makes us happy is a very good thing. :)

Another good thing about buying the large jars, I was able to use the jar which had previously been holding my bread flour for keeping wheat waiting to be ground for whole wheat flour (which is stored in the refrigerator after being ground). It can be seen off to the right, sitting on top of the off white container which now holds soft pastry wheat... the gift that kept on giving... of organization.

The bread knife was purchased with the same gift card. One does not know how dull their old bread knife is until they get a used one. I should have replaced it ten years ago. Although I'm not throwing it out! It works very well for slicing foods other than... bread.

With prices going up, how good it is that we have made those purchases of items needed already. I thought of the difficult time I gave my husband in the beginning of spring when he wanted to use the money he made at the bookstore to get the deck cleaned and sealed. Yes, I have thought of it every time we have had huge storms and enormous amounts of rain pounding that deck. Sigh... it was money very well spent.

I just wrote out a new priority list in my scrapbook journal. Hubby's continues to be added to on an 8 1/2 x 11 page of scrap printer paper. Either way, they are becoming more essential as we must think through our needs as inflation continues to eat away at our income (it has already taken all of our discretionary funds!).

Don't let anyone put you down because of what you know to be important purchases for you and your family. Large jars with sealed lids that are a pretty color of red... keep the bugs out and make my heart sing. With a world that seems crazy right now, items that make your heart sing will become even more important as we spend more time in the kitchen and at home.

This post is part of the Recession Ponderings continuing series of thoughts and ideas.


Firefly Nights said...

Little things that make one happy are always important.

I hope the tough times still allow you to shop sometimes at your Goodwill store. You are a master at turning up treasures.

Your shelves looks very cheerful with all the red.

Susan P. said...

I am in total agreement with you about the state of our economy, Brenda. Each new day seems to bring on even more worrisome news. We are so blessed that we have an anchor to cling tight to during during the storms.

I also want to thank you for giving me a good giggle about your jars ~ I was just picturing you doing a commercial for them and telling people how functional they are, they not only keep out the bugs, they will also make your heart sing!!!lol I love it!! Yes indeedy, we all need little things now and then to make our hearts sing:o)

Anonymous said...

Your canister set and jars are very pretty. I especially like the red in your kitchen!

Yes, sometimes the little things can make us smile and help keep our sanity too. :)

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Another thoughtful post! Like you, I'm not quite sure why no one is saying "recession" yet. To me if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose then it's probably a rose...not that there is anything too sweet smelling about $4.50/gallon gasoline and quality milk almost that high!

Like you, we've made it through a few downward spirals with the national economy and a couple more rough financial times for personal reasons, I know the value that having a few "nice" things to look at and few special treats to eat or drink can be. Just one or two special things can be such sweet blessings!

I really like your red topped jars!

Daughter of the King said...

Brenda...most useful and so honest...downward spiral, to be sure..what a great post to get serious...and to plan and prioritize..I needed this post....

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love your blog and your canisters. :)

I am not much of a homemaker...but I am becoming inspired by your blog, and have a question for you.
I recently purchased a 20 lb bag of flour and am wondering about the best way to store it. I expect it to last a long time (3-5 months depending on how much pizza we make :)) Does it need to be in a sealed container? Is plastic okay or should the container be ceramic/glass? I live in southeast Alaska - it's very wet and rainy here...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I've been working on stocking up my pantry some based on your recession proofing posts.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I must tell you, things here in NYC are truly horrible right now. I am so very lucky that the company that bought my company retained me -- at a MUCH lower salary, mind you -- because I have several friends who weren't so lucky, and they aren't even getting temp work. It is heartbreaking to know that dear friends, who were so close to retirement, now have nothing to fall back on for the few years between now and when they turn 65.

I wish you could come to my home and help me organize! Your shelves and red jars look great!

I hope you are feeling better, and thank you for your wonderful blog.
Wendy at ethelsmommy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog this week & really enjoying what I read.
I think you did right to buy your Red Lidded jars, after all, they are cheerful AND Useful, so you get double value from them, don't you ?

Hereford UK.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Brenda, another great post! Do you think maybe the government wants to make us feel better by not saying 'recession'? It doesn't matter we are all out there in this boat together. You are very wise to have taken so many precautions like you have done. I always find your blog so educational and warm.

Simply Heart And Home said...

This still my first visit to your blog (I left a comment on your "at least making an attempt to simplify" post.)

I like your big jars. In the long run, you will be saving more money by keeping the flour fresher and bug-free. Makes sense to me!

I love all the red and white in your kitchen. My kitchen is white and blueberry with splashes of red here and there (my toaster, teapot, etc).

Have a lovely day


flmom said...

Fantastic, fantastic post! I really like the idea of a priority list (rather than a "wish" list) and will add one to my household notebook. I couldn't agree more that everyone has to make their own decisions for their own families and we should not judge. It's something I've reminded my oldest child of many times (such as when he doesn't understand why some homeschoolers we know don't have television, etc.).

Manuela said...

Obviously most government officials are living in an alternate universe! I think I'll soon have to stop watching the news and Glenn Beck as it's becoming more doom and gloom each day.

Love your jars and that whole shelf looks so pretty and cheery (I'm a big fan of red). I love things that are pretty and also useful.

Hope you're feeling better!


Sharon said...

I love your red shelves and jars with red lids.I believe that,when possible,a thing should be functional as well as beautiful!And that one needs things in life to make one's heart sing but especially during hard times on any level.I am intensely practical but I also need beauty in my life.I must have beauty as well as bread.Great post Brenda!Blessings~Sharon

Beth said...

My husband and I have a similar system to your priority list. Sometimes by the time we have the money to purchase an item we discover we've been blessed with a either a different/better way to handle the need or just a change in our desire for that particular thing. I think, ultimately, not having the money to spend immediately saves us a lot long-term...we have to think very carefully about each purchase.

Would you please tell us where you purchased the pretty jars with the red lids? I am using zipper bags to store flour right now, while looking for a more permanent solution.

G.L.H. said...

I think the Proverbs 31 woman surrounded herself with just such things that Made Her Heart Sing!

I love red in the kitchen, too!


Maggie Ann said...

Speaking of bugs...of all weeks, the week past I discovered little black bugs around all the bottoms of my flour (I hardly ever use flour anymore) and sugar bags...what work to empty the cubboards and clean and pitch out! Thanks for the suggestion about the glass jars..I'll look for some or plastic. We do keep our oatmeal and brown sugar and rice in glass...thankfully that wasn't bothered by these bugs. This is the first time I have EVER had a problem like this and hope never again!