Saturday, December 17, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Buying this year to save in the future

I am writing late this Saturday.  I hadn't been feeling well and when I got a flu shot on Tuesday, it has brought mild flu symptoms.  Just enough to keep me feeling blah.  This is my normal reaction, which is why I don't get a flu shot every year but my doctor has said this year's flu is nothing to take a chance with.

We are now very cold and there is both colder weather and snow in the forecast so I made certain to have everything I need for our Christmas Eve meal already purchased.  This meal is pretty much the same I make for Easter, easy to make and with ham on sale... not very expensive.

Ham is definitely the cheapest protein to buy right now.  They freeze very well.  I bought a couple extra last year, the ham that has a large bone in it.  I made a ham bone broth out of it to use in bean soups last winter.  I saw that technique on a homestead blog and wondered why I had never thought of doing that before!

This year for my kid's Christmas (and their spouses), I bought a cookbook I thought each would appreciate and a various food items I didn't think they would buy for themselves.  Did you know they now have a Sasquatch brand of maple sugar?  I had to get a small bag for my New England family.

I think food will be appreciated by many people this year.  My kid's families enjoy cooking and trying different recipes (Christopher got a Japanese cookbook for his birthday) so I can try unique food items but if I was buying for some friends, I would keep the gifts to more common items... coffee, chocolate, good olive oil, etc.

I had an appointment in town early last week and my husband asked if I would stop by Hobby Lobby for Christmas cards while I was nearby.  They already have 60% off most Christmas items, 70% off of Christmas decorations.  I bought a box of cards for him and a package of treat bags for candy gifts but if I go back to town before Christmas, I want to purchase various sizes of gift bags for next year's gifts.

Usually I shop for half-price gift bags after Christmas but there have been very few left in the last two years.  It is also the time I buy Christmas cupcake liners, etc. to use next year.  I am even using Christmas Ziploc bags from last year!  All at a much reduced price than they were originally.

I think a lot has changed with COVID and the supply chain uncertainty.  Hobby Lobby had lots of stuff still available but Meijer's Christmas offerings were much less than usual at the store closest to where I live.

Oh, speaking of Ziploc bags earlier... the Ziploc bags I use in my deep freeze are the Ziploc XL bags that my store sells on the bottom shelf of the other Ziploc items.  They are often used to carry sports supplies or clothing.  They are heavy enough to hold the frozen food and the handles make it easy to bring up from the deep freeze.

I am currently making changes in my menu plans (which are very informal) to incorporate more winter vegetables and less salad ingredients.  Not only do they cost less at this time of year but some salad ingredients have not been up to their usual quality in produce sections.  

I grew up eating lots of cabbage in cold weather but my husband was never fond of it.  I have since found out that he loves it sauteed in butter instead of steamed or boiled.  Then again, I think he would eat just about anything if there was enough butter.

I did take advantage of the butter sale at Aldi, only a few boxes since I had some already.  Butter freezes so well.  I put a label with the month and year purchased on each package of butter when I put it in the freezer.  Recently, I pulled out a package of Kerrygold butter frozen last February and it was fine.  

I make certain that I stock up on Kerrygold salted butter when it goes on sale.  I keep a stick in a Pyrex butter holder on my kitchen counter.  Since it is salted, it lasts quite awhile at room temperature.  Irish butter is one of my few frugal luxuries.  I don't bake with it except for something like shortbread cookies, where the taste of the butter comes through.  But it makes even a cabbage hater a cabbage plus butter lover.  ;)

It is getting quite late and I do not have time to proofread much so please forgive any typos and strange putting together of words. 

ImageChristmas Glow


Nancy in Austin said...

I hope you feel better soon. I do not comment as much as I should but I have been coming to your blog for years and appreciate so much the time you put into your blog and the thoughtfulness and wisdom that you so generously share. You have blessed many people with this little corner of the internet! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Vee said...

Have a beautiful Christmas week free of all miseries. ☺️ Still no promised butter in stock. Disappointing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip about the ham and the cabbage. I find that my husband doesn't like cooked cabbage but he likes coleslaw.