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