Saturday, May 22, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - This and that in May


Before I forget, I want to share an announcement that I have been forgetting to tell you.  If you subscribe to Coffee Tea Books and Me through Feedburner on the sidebar, they are going to stop their email subscription service sometime in July.  Right now, it seems the only subscription option for blogs on Blogger is an RSS feed.  If I find out any more information, I will let you know.  You can follow the blog on Facebook, information on the sidebar.

I titled today's Pantry post "This and that" because today's post is all over the place.  There is nothing deep at all but lots of the hit and miss kinds of pantry reporting.  I know, but there are weeks like this.  ;)

Let's see, first of all I will share about a part of the pantry I don't think I have ever written about.  That is the way we purchase our clothes on a budget.  We are blessed with a local Goodwill store that has lovely clothes available if you shop right.  I have learned to shop most of the time during the opposite season we are experiencing at the moment.

For instance, I have a lot of pretty summer tops available thanks to looking for them in the winter months when most people are not thinking of summer clothes.  I have many brands that are originally expensive and many that I get compliments on from time to time.  All purchased for a few dollars.

Recently, I was at the grocery store when an employee remarked on how pretty my short sleeve sweater was (it was still cold) and I told her it was from Goodwill.  She laughed and said that was her favorite place to shop for clothes, too.  I love to meet fellow thrift shoppers who appreciate bargains.

A few weeks ago, my husband told me that his favorite flannel shirt had finally started falling apart.  It was very sad looking.  So, the next Senior Discount Day, I went to Goodwill and looked for flannel shirts since it was beginning to get warm and people would be doing away with winter clothes (the start of a new season can make for good shopping, too).  

I found a lot of very nice flannel shirts and it was easy to find three in his size and favorite colors.  At 30% off, that made for three very nice shirts at a fraction of the price for one shirt retail.  By finding good clothes at Goodwill, that opens up the budget for when we need to shop at the Mall for a much needed piece of clothing.

This past week, I spent quite a bit of time listening to various prepper videos, economic videos, reading the same, and just keeping my ear to the ground with my usual favorite news links.  There is a lot going on in the world right now that is affecting not only the supply chain but other events are bringing about shortages.

We have all been hearing about the semiconductor shortage that is beginning to shut down some auto plants in the country.  I know a plant in our general area was temporarily shut down until they could get a new shipment of the necessary parts.  There is a shortage of plastic, aluminum, and steel at the moment.

Some of the shortages are caused by higher demand than companies have the ability to produce as they come back from COVID regulations but some are also caused by the shortage of shipping containers (and a backup of shipments) in some areas coming into the country.

While the reasons behind the semiconductor shortage are more complex, some of the other shortages have me adding such things as batteries to our next Sam's Club list to purchase.  I already bought one extra roll of thick aluminum foil.  I don't use a lot of it but when it is needed, nothing else works as well.  It was one of those items that was not always in stock during the shutdowns.

I heard there is a chicken shortage but we can still get plenty of inexpensive chicken thighs and legs.  Then in my research, I found out why they are still inexpensive.  It is mostly because of the high demand for chicken breasts now that so many fast food places are selling chicken sandwiches and, of course, so many restaurants are selling chicken wings. So, that leaves an excess of the other chicken parts.

However, the chicken shortage in itself is very real caused by a few different events, not the least of which was the extreme cold that hit Texas and other states that killed thousands of chickens.  I had my monthly injection of medicine into my eye yesterday and I usually stop by KFC to get chicken for our dinner that night.  I placed my usual order without looking at the prices (that was a mistake).

I couldn't believe the price on a 4-piece meal.  It was now over $9.00 and there was a sign on the window that said because of the chicken shortage, some parts of the chicken may not be available.  I doubt I will be choosing KFC for awhile on the day I get the eye injection.

The other big news people are talking about is the worsening drought in the western part of the U.S. and Canada.  I have dear friends praying for rain right now or their seeds that have planted will not germinate and grow.  This will seriously affect the wheat crops and while corn is also grown in my part of the country, there has been flooding here so a corn shortage is also being predicted.  

Not to mention that California is where a lot of the vegetables and nuts are grow in in our country.  I heard in one report that almonds are expected to become more scarce if the drought continues in California and it is already worse than it has been.  They said almonds take a great deal of water to grow.  

Even if vegetables, fruit, and nuts grow in various areas, the prices are expected to skyrocket.  So... I have turned my pantry attention to purchasing some more cans of green beans and organic corn.  Corn is the only canned vegetable I prefer organic and at my main grocery store, there is only one brand of organic canned corn sold.  It was often out of stock during the COVID shutdowns.

I like canned vegetables but my husband, whose parents had a huge garden each summer, was not raised on canned veggies like I was so he does ummmm... not prefer them.  However, he will eat canned green beans and corn in vegetable soup but no amount of coercing can get him to eat canned peas.  I can't stand canned spinach so I guess we all have our dislikes.

Purchasing some extra cans of vegetables is important to do now while the prices are still reasonable, although they are much higher than just a couple years ago.  Remember, the cans on the shelf currently are from last season's harvest.  We don't know what the availability or the cost of this season's harvest will be.

I will keep up with the research as the weeks go on and, of course, let you know what I am learning.  I'd love to hear in comments if you follow any pantry news, too.

On a brighter spot, I have two new items that I am really loving.  One is a piece of cooking equipment and the other is an inexpensive cookbook.

The King Arthur cooks raved about the Danish Dough Whisk and while I love my stand mixer, it is good not to have to use it all of the time for mixing up things like quick breads.  This was inexpensive, so I thought I would give it a try.  It works great and is easy to clean up.  They also recommend it for bakers who make sourdough bread.

I love cookbooks that are enjoyable to read, have beautiful photos, and really good family recipes.  I enjoy them as much, sometimes even more, than novels.  The Gathering Table is such a cookbook and it is also faith based so it covers everything I enjoy in a cookbook.  I have to use my magnifying reader to read the words in the prose but otherwise, it has been very enjoyable and I already have a few recipes to try.

I know this is all over the place but don't say I didn't warn you!  ;)

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Danish Dough Whisk as recommended by the bakers of King Arthur Flour (this is what I bought but there are numerous options)... here.

The Gathering Table: Growing Strong Relationships Through Food, Faith, and Hospitality... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.


Anonymous said...

In the winter fresh vegetables are more expensive since they have to be imported. Also they aren't as good since they aren't really that fresh.
Canned vegetables aren't a bad substitute but frozen tastes better.

mdoe37 said...

Thought of you last weekend Brenda! I was at your favorite Michigan port....South Haven. :)

Is that what that whisk will do. Seriously, I bought one years ago...for decoration, I guess, as I don't think I've ever used it. Shame on me!

I've never owned any Tupperware storage containers, maybe a few little cheap items that I bought when there was a party. (Gah). I needed some for the North Camp so that I could keep a few pantry items in the cupboard. I've been cruising Goodwill for months. I am now the proud owner of a fairly large set of Oval Modularmates..12-15. They run anywhere from $10-20 new...just no!! Paid $1 to $3 each, all with lids....and some days on senior discount day...20% off. (Senior discount day at my local GW is age 55...never have I been more excited to get carded!!) Its just doesn't get any better than that!.... Well maaaybe the Martha Stewart 4 softcover books I sagged (Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pies) $24.95 new...$1 each.

never by retail if you don't have to!

Jenny said...

I follow your blog through feedly & have never missed a post.

Vee said...

I love my Danish Whisk so much that I wish I had not invested in the fancy Kitchenaid.

The finest flannel shirts can be found at the thrift stores. Someone else has gone to all the trouble to break them in getting them to that just right place of softness and coziness.

These certainly are challenging times once again. Prices going up, up, and up. It's another way to keep us at home.

Margie from Toronto said...

While I keep a supply of canned veg (and are up on them) - I now prefer frozen when I can't get fresh. But - I do find that I can use the canned veg in things like Cottage pie and other ground meat dishes. Also - popped into a casserole at the last minute is also a good way to use them up.

Prices are up noticeably here - and often within a week or so - so I am stocking up when I can. This week I'm looking for ground beef, long life UHT milk and canned beans to add to my freezer and pantry. When I see SPAM on special again I will add another few cans. I'm going to go to COSTCO with my friend the next time she goes to try and find more canned meats as they seem to have more options.

Amanda said...

I love my danish dough whisk; it was my discovery in 2020! Always love your blog!

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