Saturday, July 18, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - It will never be Perfect

So it is like this... I have spent hours upon hours doing research for preparing for an emergency and it used to give me a twitch.  It made me nervous.  It caused me to doubt God's Will and my own abilities.


Because of those darn lists.  You know, The One Hundred Things That Will Disappear kind of list.  Not that the above list is bad.  It is actually very good.  But if you are like me, you look at it and think why even try?  I can't afford a list like that!

Well, as it turns out, deepening a pantry is like all things where human nature is concerned.  If we can't do it perfectly, we tend not to do it at all!

I am here to tell you that having only a few extra packages of TP put back will be a whole lot better than none.  Just this last week, I ran out of garbage bags and it was quite wonderful to have two boxes in reserve.  Garbage bags.  You don't realize how important they are until you run out of them.  And most of us live in areas where the trash companies will only pick up trash in garbage bags.

When I receive a little extra money here and there, I restock the essentials.  Just a little.  I have priorities, of course.  Such as extra butter in the freezer, flour, sugar, honey, canned tomatoes and salsa and pasta sauce, dried pasta, frozen veggies and fruit, etc.  When possible, I buy whole chickens, beef for soups and stews, and a little extra ground beef for the freezer.

I try to think of items that would be a priority to provide meals should we not be able to go out and purchase them.  I've mention old fashioned oatmeal can be used not only for breakfast but when one mixes it with some oil and honey and perhaps a handful of nuts and bakes it... then throws in a couple handfuls of good-for-you dried cherries or cranberries... you have granola.  Oatmeal mixed with butter and flour and baking powder and sugar and dried berries or raisins and you have... cookies.

My son actually likes boxed brownie mixes better than my homemade brownies.  I think they are chewier.  Don't tell me what they contain that makes them that way!  But for $1.00 on sale, a few boxes set aside would be welcome when one wants a little celebration.  Same with a few cake mixes (I buy a simple yellow cake mix to use with other recipes).  A couple cans of premade frosting wouldn't hurt, either.  Even if like me, you normally make your own from scratch.

My mother told me when she was a widow (before marrying my father) with a lot of young kids wanting a special snack, she would whip together a simple frosting and put it on graham crackers.  Great idea.

The thing is, most of us cannot look off a list at a website and make out a grocery list and then go buy everything.  Most of us stock up a little at a time.  Sometimes if we find a great clearance price, we can really deepen the pantry in an area.  But mostly it is one jar here, a can there, a package put back... until we have two or three or four or a flat or however many we desire to "put back".

I enjoy hearing how my friend who does a lot of canning finds great deals on veggies or fruit and her larder is full of beautiful jars waiting for Winter.  But except when one is bringing in the harvest prior to bad weather, it is often done a little at a time each day.

We will never be able to stock up and prepare for anything that is possible to happen in this fallen of worlds.  But if we think through what we use most often, if we peruse recipes whose ingredients would be easy to buy an extra here and there and have on hand to put together a meal, we may not make it through WWIII but we can make it through... next month... or a few months.  Perhaps a year for those God calls to do so.

But we will never do everything Perfectly.  

I recently used the same reasoning about getting out of debt.  Unless a huge financial miracle occurs, that will not happen as we have a mortgage.  But I did decide to do what the financial experts recommend.  I paid off the small amount still due on our Veterinarian bill from when Victoria was ill.  That one was first as it had interest accumulating, however small.  Next month I hope to pay off the small amount we owe on my medical bills.  That gets two debts off the list with little effort.  A little at a time. Big results.

About that other "P" word... Procrastination.  I'm making progress on my goals.  Some have been met (Hallelujah), others have to be finished this next week, and yet a couple projects will have to be set aside until it cools down more.  Like the garage.  But even then, I am working a little at a time.

If you are waiting for a response to an e-mail, I am also making progress there a little at a time.  Since computer access can be ummm... limited.  We won't name any names in the household but it is not Victoria.  ;)


Lee Ann said...

paying off debt on a tight budget is amazing. Congrats on your hard work

rebecca said...

I was very excited TODAY to find canned tomato juice on the "Buy 10 for $10 & get one free" sale! Only 90 cents for the large can of tomato juice dated 2017!!!! Believe me, I bought a bunch. (I use it in my trusty old Weight Watchers Chili recipe.....)

Vee said...

So true that those of us who think everything has to be perfect may not accomplish much. Raising my hand here. My current plan is to stay away from the store. That way, I may have a dollar in my pocket come August. I always liked that advice about paying off the smallest bill and moving on to the next.

Mrs.Rabe said...

We have a mortgage too, but recently paid off a bit of credit card debt that we owed. That feels good!

Every week now as I am shopping I am buying a little bit extra of essentials and a few treats. You are right that sometimes we need a little something to celebrate with.

Thank you for these encouraging posts!


Deb said...

Bit by bit and line upon line. You've definitely got the right idea!

Sherry said...

i'm in process (seems never ending) of reducing our junque. and planning how to increase junque of the *prep* sort. your posts help keep me on track.. thank you brenda. :)

The Journey said...

Chocolate frosting and graham crackers best snack ever. We never had really fancy food except for Sun. roast. They just don't raise beef like they used to, mom's roast were the best.
More coffee is waiting for you here. lol Linda