Saturday, May 25, 2013

Living the Pantry Lifestyle


Today I'm going to confuse you temporarily as I change the title of my Saturday Pantry Suggestions to Living the Pantry Lifestyle.  For I think this will better describe the ponderings I do here each week.  :)

Also, the above picture has nothing to do with today's ponderings but I thought it quite pretty.  I'm growing boxwood basil in one of the cute Cath Kidson knockoff flower pots I bought last year.  It adds the perfect bit of color. 

Not to mention the beautiful dispenser of vanilla caramel hand soap... a frugal luxury from Tuesday Morning.   I wash my hands a lot while cooking and the aroma is lovely.

So.... my ponderings this week were sparked by the beginning of the vacation season.  While Hubby and I are staying home this summer, my children are traveling.  Mr. and Mrs. Christopher are at Cape Cod celebrating their first anniversary before Christopher heads off to to an Android conference in Boston.  (When he told me this, I started laughing and he knew exactly what I was thinking of... the Borg in Star Trek.)  ;)

My grandchildren are going on vacation this summer... here!  Oh, so are their mother and father.  We had such little time together during last year's wedding (although a wonderfully delightful event), this visit will give us a chance to just hang out and enjoy each other's company.

All that to say... vacations remind me of the way I used to purchase Christmas and birthday gifts throughout the year.  It was truly a Pantry Lifestyle way of making purchases.   I especially shopped for little gifts and stocking stuffers throughout the year, finding everything from handmade doll clothes at the summer "Art in the Park" in Michigan to pretend gold doubloons and other pirate loot on the Boardwalk gift shops at the amusement park.

So often we can find items while traveling that aren't available locally (this was before the days of Amazon and other online retailers).  I could stock my gift drawer with little things like regional candy and coffee, cooking and baking utensils, interesting toys, etc.  For instance, Stephanie did part of her Christmas shopping when we were at Colonial Williamsburg a couple years ago for there were so many items the children would love that were specific to their gift shops.

By shopping for gifts this way (a gift pantry so to speak), it spreads out the cost so one is not hit with a large outflow of cash once of twice a year.  I loved having a gift drawer (some have gift closets but I only purchased small items) after reading about them from both Emilie Barnes and Tracey McBride.

Not only are there financial benefits but it enables one to purchase "out of season" gifts.  It is much easier to find a wonderful Christmas gift for the gardener in May or June than say... November.  It makes it easier to put together a unique gift basket at Christmas for the gourmet cook when one has purchased regional jellies, jams, salsas, salad dressings, etc. when visiting other parts of the country... or world!

When Elisabeth was still a baby, I reaped the benefit of my daughter and son-in-law's visit to see his brother in Ireland with a gorgeous lavender-ish colored wool sweater that I just wore while running errands yesterday.  (I am wearing it in my "official" online picture, too.)   Although in that case, I must admit I dropped a few hints that an Irish sweater would make the perfect Christmas gift that year... before they left the States.  ;)

I just love living a Pantry Lifestyle!

11 comments:

Vee said...

I must do better with the gift pantry. I'm often at a loss when this should not be the case. Even if I made up a few tablerunners in advance or something. My mother had a gift bureau, which I imagine is still filled with gifts. How wonderful that your grands and your daughter and son-in-law will be visiting you this summer! Such fun!!

Angela said...

This is a great idea, one I have been terrible at implementing because I am NOT naturally a think-ahead person:( Just be sure to remember where you put the gifts -- both my mother and my MIL would forget and then find them years later under a bed or something:)

Anonymous said...

How lovely that your daughter's family will be vacationing with you this summer! Enjoy! My youngest son is going to be home for 10 days around the 4th of July! I am very much looking forward to it. Since he is living and working on the West coast, we don't get to see him much.

I like the idea of a gift closet/drawer. I'm going to look for things at flea markets/second hand shops/tag sales too, for people who are into the vintage look. Vintage items were made better anyway. What is better than old Pyrex or Corningware for instance? Take care. Hope we both get some nice tomato planting weather soon. My Early Girls are not going to be so early after all! Dee/NY

Judy said...

My favorite way to gift shop - there is such joy in finding something perfect for a family member or friend - something I know will delight his/her heart. It removes the sense of it being a chore to go gift shopping, and come Christmas the stress of finding time and suitable gifts is much reduced, opening up more time to ponder the wonderful Advent season.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

How wonderful that they will be visiting you this summer!

When my daughter was little it was a life saver to have gift closet. I used to always pick up little things on clearance since there was always some birthday party.

I still pick up items all year long for Christmas and Birthdays. But I do have a problem with remembering where I've stashed what!

Anonymous said...

When my children were small I also had a rainy day stash. Little things...new/used books, coloring books, a game or such, a new doll dress or little car. Anything age appropriate that would help when the kids were fussy or needed distraction. Or just to give them a treat! It was not hard to pick up things at yard sales and such for this. I now try to gather things for the women in the neighborhood who have little ones. Also it is nice to find a few things for the mother as we know mothers need a little lift some days too!! I have a sister who anonymously adopted a family and sets gifts on the porch for theme off and on. I like you, love finding those gifts so
perfect for someone we love here and there throughout the year. It is comforting to know we have some very special things set aside already. I remember an old Eight Is Enough show when the mother had died. Later the new wife found gifts here and there in the house the mother had bought and put away before she died for the each of her children. Sarah

Mrs.Rabe said...

I'm excited for you that Stephanie and her family will be vacationing at your home! Fun times ahead!

I love this idea of a gift pantry and buying ahead for birthdays or the holidays. I will have to keep this in mind this summer on my trip to England and Scotland.

Deanna

Simply Shelley said...

I love that sweet little pot of boxwood basil. The idea of a gift pantry is a great idea,especially for someone like myself who lives on a very low budget...shopping throughout the year makes it much more easier...blessings

Rebecca said...

Yes! I like that phrase - "living the pantry lifestyle"! And I DO buy gifts year 'round AND jot myself notes in my pocket calendar about what they are and where I've store them. In the past, I sometimes forgot and bought unnecessary presents 'cause I'd forgotten (or couldn't find) ones I'd purchased throughout the year.....

Terri Cheney said...

The gift drawer in my home is woefully low, with just one gift at hand at the moment. However, at the start of this month I realized I was going to be hit unusually hard with TWO baby showers, one graduation and two birthdays. An unusually high volume of 'events' for this month. I was worried how to manage it all but you know it all worked out just fine. I had Amazon credit to use towards one gift, pulled a couple of others from the gift drawer and I was done. Now to restock...

Anonymous said...

SO HAPPY for you that the grandchildren are coming to you this summer!! I am sure you will have a marvelous time!! We had 5 of our 6 this past week for about 48 hours...and of course, we are helping with 2 of them...so precious to us to finally with #6 get to hold, rock, sing and be with her so many hours a week!! Look forward to hearing all about the adventures you will have with yours soon!!
Elizabeth in WA now...