Saturday, January 07, 2017
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - After the Holidays
As I'm writing this Saturday morning, I am nibbling a piece of dark chocolate with orange (for my health, you know) and listening to Michael Card's Starkindler CD. One of the songs on the CD is Morning Has Broken and that is the way I felt when walking out to get the morning paper on this very very cold morning.
I love that shade of blue the sky turns only in Winter, especially with a layer of snow on the ground... and then throw in the neighbor's red barn... well, how could one not smile? Even if one is sitting in the Study with layers of clothing and wool socks borrowed from the husband's sock drawer. Brrrr... Note to self: purchase a couple pairs of wool socks for me.
We keep it cool in the house during the Winter's chill so we can run the air conditioning all we need to in the Summer's heat. We are on the budget plan so it evens itself out in the end and we both agree that we need AC more than a warm house. Both of us have health issues (me as a diabetic, he with environmental allergies) that make that an easy decision.
As for the pantry, I was able to stock the freezer with ground beef, whole chickens, a large pork roast sliced in half for two meals, a turkey, a couple packages of sausage, and some frozen veggies in December. I decided to make meat protein a priority and work out from there. For instance, whole chickens can be baked and then soup made and enough meat left for another use unless one has a new kitty in the house and bribes her with chicken.
I don't know how it was where you live but I noticed a huge lack of after Christmas sales in the grocery stores. Except for Aldi's, which had good clearance prices on Christmas related food, there were few clearance sales after the Holidays in the three grocery stores I frequent. I did find some stock up prices at Thanksgiving but I didn't find baking supplies on clearance after Christmas. That is when I usually stock up for the year.
Grocery stores here are definitely not overstocking basic foods at the Holidays as they once did. Even such things that are usually half price after Christmas such as gift baskets, candy, etc. was only 30% off at the stores.
Instead, I bought two bags of King Arthur AP flour when it went on a good sale and I will purchase regular white sugar at Sam's Club. I don't use nearly as much white sugar as I once did. However, it is not only needed for baking recipes but sugar makes a good barter item should you be interested in such things.
Meijers eventually had Pillsbury Christmas sugar cookie dough on a 75% off clearance (plain sugar cookie dough that one can decorate) so I bought a few for the deep freeze. They will be perfect for baking and covering with homemade icing later. I did stock up on Christmas Ziploc containers, both small and medium sizes, when they went on clearance for a fraction of the original price. I'm sure no one will be upset if cookies or leftovers are sent home in a red container at Easter.
One of my Pantry goals this year is to purchase something for the pantry (even if it is a small purchase) each week is that there remain many reasons a pantry may be needed this year. Everyone needs a good pantry just to keep them from making a quick run to the grocery store in the middle of a recipe!
We've already experienced icing conditions that made it difficult to get to the store but news reports are full of stories about people in the Southern parts of the United States standing in long lines at the grocery store as heavy snowfall is predicted in areas which rarely see snow at all.
This is part of the logic of having a pantry... why not purchase items you know you will need and have them sitting on your shelf instead of Kroger's where one has to hope there is enough to go around and stand in long lines. As an aside... I purchase bread, milk, eggs, fresh veggies, etc. if I need them at the first hint there may be bad weather on the way. If a snowstorm is expected on Friday, usually the stores are still not crowded on Wednesday morning.
I have a container of dried eggs, a few containers of dried milk, a few dehydrated fruits and veggies, canned items, etc. should they be needed but living in an area where we know a storm is on the way... it only makes sense to assume the worse and make a few minor purchases. We live on a very tight fixed income but at the beginning of each month, I tuck back a $10.00 or $20.00 bill for such emergencies.
Always remembering that we can do something even if we can't do everything to prepare for unexpected emergencies, whether they are a loss of income or a Zombie Apocalypse. It is not a lack of faith to prepare for "what ifs", it is wisdom. Our great grandparents would have thought it crazy not to have a pantry, even if it was only filled with beans and rice. And coffee.
Since I have been asked, Florentine is slowly coming out of her shell but I'm thinking it may take a awhile for her to fully learn to trust people. She has definitely been slapped around for even when we start to pet her, she is afraid when there is a hand near her. It is cute that she isn't afraid when we are going to sleep for then she curls up next to one of us, usually my husband, and goes to sleep. She is slowly getting curious about other parts of the house but she spends most of her days on a fleece blanket I folded up and put at the foot of our bed. Her safety zone. :)
Mentioned in this Post:
Starkindler by Michael Card... here.
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Image: Sharing Grandma's Cookies