Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Pantry Suggestions

We're in the midst of lawn work, March Madness (high school tournaments as well as the college basketball NCAA or NIT Tournaments for those in other countries), and St. Patrick's Day here.  I plan to serve fish and colcannon for dinner tonight.   The real history of St. Patrick is better than any legend.  :)

Today I'm also beginning a new Saturday series called Saturday Pantry Suggestions.  One can write only so many full posts about deepening the pantry and I'm constantly thinking of little ideas here and there.  So... I thought this would be a place to "park" them.  Some weeks may have a lot of information while others probably only a paragraph or two.

Today's suggestion is on the small-ish side as the perennials must be cut back before new growth starts this morning (who would think one would have to "beat the heat" in March!).  I wanted to share some ideas how I stocked up recently on a tight budget.

One of the ways I stock up is with serendipitous sales.  A few weeks ago I stopped by the grocery store to purchase a bottle of Mrs. Bragg's vinegar (the kind with "the mother").  It's cheaper there than at the health food store.  I was so excited to find a Manager's Overstock sale on the vinegar which put it less than half price... so four bottles came home with me.  For less than the price of two bottles, I was able to stock up.

Another spur of the moment stock up happened at Wal Mart recently when I noticed they had my favorite non-aluminum baking powder (which I hadn't seen there before and is expensive at the other grocery store) in small containers for 99 cents each.  I checked the expiration date and it was two years from now... so I bought three.

I love these opportunities and part of living a pantry lifestyle is developing a habit of looking for them.  For instance, after the Holidays I check the price of cranberries and as soon as they go on a good sale price, I purchase nine or ten packages, slip two or three of the packages in individual gallon size Zip Lock bags, and place the gallon size bags in the deep freeze.  (I bought just a few packages before owning a deep freeze and kept them in the refrigerator's freezer section.)

In the case of cranberries, I've learned to accept a good sales price and not wait on really cheap clearance prices.  I've only come across them a couple times and when I waited on them... suddenly there were no cranberries.  Since there is no store near us that sells them frozen, that meant no recipes with fresh cranberries until the next Holiday season.

Now to slip on the garden gloves and get to work while there is a cool breeze.  :)

Picture:  Apron Gals


Vee said...

Beating the heat in March...crazy! Brenda, as I was driving past a local convenience store yesterday, I noticed a big sign on the front yard that said: LOWEST DAIRY PRICES THE STATE ALLOWS. It dawned on me that perhaps I should be stopping in for my milk and such. It wouldn't take any extra gas as the store is right there. Do you ever shop convenience stores?

Have fun in the garden...

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better. Wish we lived closer to each other so I could help you when you are sick! : >) Oh well, I'm sure you have wonderful friends there too. I so enjoy reading your blog and when you miss a day, I miss you. Be blessed and enjoy the yard clean up and the promise of what is to come. Having a garden is one of the best ways I know to stock my shelves and freezer. Pam/SD

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great suggestions.
Do you open the bags and pour the berries into the freezer bags or put them in in the bags?
Glad you're feeling better. Being sick isn't much fun.
Isn't this weather crazy? We could get used to March feeling like June but at this rate, I wonder what July is going to be like.

Debbie said...

I do the same thing with cranberries and love those little blessings from God when He leads us to a good sale. :)

Anonymous said...

I got my extra aluminum free baking powder when I spied it in the mark down basket in the grocery store. They had decided to not carry it any more. I also got extra as the date was years from then. Isn't it surprising and wonderful how God steers us towards sales that were not in the ads. The other day I went to a free cooking class and won the very gardening book I had wanted for so long! The very things I am looking for to dehydrate shows up marked down but in peak condition and on His provisions go... I am loving the little pantry hints extra edition! :) Sarah

Mrs.Rabe said...

The weeds are loving the warm sunshine here too!

I love to stock up on these kinds of deals! I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce! It's great!

Hope you didn't overdo it in the heat!


moreofhim said...

Love your ideas and I have done the same things as it really does help to stock the pantry.

Your Goodwill finds are beautiful! I, too, love to thrift shop and have gotten some of my lovliest things from there and at a fraction of the cost.

Hope you're feeling better and that your insulin levels are back on track.

God bless you - Julie

Connie said...

Thanks for the tip on cranberries. I love those little red morsels. Love to add them to scones, biscuits, oatmeal, cookies , quick breads and pancakes. Yum I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Now, the part of your post that told about your warm March weather, I have to say that I'm a bit jealous, it is so cold here and the wind has been blowing so badly, that the chill just gets into your bones. But, truly I'm happy that you can enjoy some sunny days . . . ours will be along soon (my tulips are just starting to push through the soil). Have a great day, and come visit my blog, the welcome mat is always out. Your fan and follower, Connie

Catherine said...

I am going to enjoy your "Saturday Pantry Suggestions". Thank you for brightening my weekend.