Saturday, January 08, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - I'm back and almost rested

I hope you had a good Christmas season!  I always feel at a loss for a few days once the new year begins as I have been in Holiday mode since just prior to Thanksgiving.  The world went from Autumnal colors to the sparkle of Christmas to... the barren look of a winter scene without the snow.

But I do like winter, except for driving on slick roads.  I always feel that winter is the season for introverts.  As I write, I have an oversized pullover on, keeping me somewhat warm in the very cold Study.  My husband said I look like a bear.  That is fine, as long as I'm warm.

I usually enjoy the rest that is possible in that week between Christmas and New Years Eve.  It is as if the world gives permission to veg out for a week or so with no guilt.  However, that time this year brought a little apprehension (and a lot of prayer) when we found out we had been exposed to COVID.

We never experienced any symptoms, other than the weather related sinus issues from the ups and downs of the temperatures.  Our loved ones who did get COVID were sick for awhile but never had to be hospitalized.  They are better now and we thank God for His protection.

The one bright side of having to stay away from people was that it was a good week to quarantine in place!  We are vaccinated and so are the family members who ended up with COVID.  So, we are being even more diligent about wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitizer, and washing our hands as soon as we arrive home.

I have been away from the computer for the most part, only turning it on once since beginning my time away to moderate comments.  I kept up with a few people using the Amazon Fire tablet but I mostly used it to watch some YouTube videos and read using the Kindle app.

The stores where I live were very well stocked for Christmas at first but then problems began to pop up here and there.  I was very glad I had purchased the cream cheese I would need for the Holidays in early Fall (checking for the latest Use By dates) since many areas sold out completely.  

I didn't need any but I checked out of curiosity and Meijer had one box that had arrived the day I was there and was limiting the amount people could purchase. When I think of how many Holiday recipes use cream cheese, I was wondering if people were able to purchase what they needed.

That's why I believe part of living a pantry lifestyle is thinking ahead to what one will need to have on hand in the coming months.  Not only during the Holidays but planning on birthdays and other special events, stocking the pantry (refrigerator, freezer, etc.) with those foods and other items that can be purchased ahead.

I also noticed a week when there were no bags of brown sugar or confectioners (powdered) sugar.  It was a surprise since there had been plenty the last time I was at that store. There were some small bags of regular white sugar so I bought a 10 lb. bag just to pour some into an extra large Tupperware container I have in the garage.  Sugar will last for years and I figured it wouldn't get any cheaper.

Speaking of the small bags of sugar, I noticed a few more instances of "shrinkflation" recently.  What used to be a half-gallon of ice cream now looks little more than one quart (and it had not been an actual half-gallon in years).  I bought a package of granola bars at Aldi for the first time since the supply issues began and the packaging was the same but the granola bars themselves were smaller.

I realized once again that we are going to have to be careful when we are making our older recipes.  I have some that I got from my mother-in-law that have cans in sizes no longer made in that size.  When they were just a little less in size, it didn't make a difference.  However, with another reduction in size, it may take purchasing two cans or packages and doing the math to see what is needed (or, in my case, having my husband... the former engineer... do the math for me).

Now that the Holidays are over, I will be diligent about doing pantry related research again.  It was nice to concentrate on light reading (and watching) for awhile.  The little I followed in that time indicated that the people who do a lot of research are concerned.  Many say they do not see supply issues getting better and in some areas, there will probably be even more shortages.

That's not even beginning to take into consideration inflation but that is for another Pantry Post!

We are looking ahead to this year's budget and deciding what is a priority.  Last year, we made getting dental work caught up for both of us a priority.  That came about when we both, at different times, had a tooth become infected the previous year.  My father-in-law died when the infection from a tooth went to his heart.

It wasn't easy but when needed, we scheduled our appointments in different months to help the budget.  However, now that the year is over, my husband is all caught up with dental work and I have only a little more to go.   

There will be more pantry talk next Saturday, God willing!

Image Christmas Glow, (I figured it was still winter related)


living from glory to glory said...

Very pretty winter photo! I have always kept my pantry stocked, but as you stated things are getting smaller and harder to find! The store was almost completely out of brown and white sugar. I have enjoyed your blog and have had you on my sidebar for a long time. I need to try to comment more often.
Blessings, Roxy

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see that you are back posting. I look forward to your pantry posts.
Happy New Year!


Vee said...

Well that went by in a flash. So glad that The Lord took good care of you and Mr. Coffee and your family.

Saw a number of shortages. The ones stressing me are the pet food and pet supply shortages. And I don't have a pet.
Everyone else in the family does, though.

Stay warm! I'm sure that you make a cute bear.

PJ Geek said...

I was worried and checked your site daily and said some prayers. I know you take breaks and I’m glad it was a break. we are finding odd shortages. My husband does the shopping because he goes out more than I do. we wanted pillsbury cinnamon rolls and they were sold out of those and low in the canned biscuit area entirely. I am more at risk regarding Covid even though I am vaccinated and boosted. I work at home and happily can leave or not leave as I want. We live on a mountain with deer wandering about, so I’m a happy homebody girl. I’m having arthritis issues and have physical therapy appointments to go to now and other appointments for the next month. I ordered the higher tech face masks for going out. I’m a nurse and work for a busy hospital system and I see all the emergency room patient online charts. Very strange cases, some with ‘mild Covid’ coming in with mini strokes. many people with other medical issues that are found to be Covid positive, but asymptomatic of the usual symptoms though the docs think the Covid is a part of their issue. we have the usual very sick respiratory cases that will likely end up on a vent. some of the fully vaccinated are very sick.. There is no rhyme or reason. There are such very sick people . It bothers me to read or hear media say Omicron is no big deal. Stay safe.

Suzan said...

Here in Australia we haven't experienced the severe shortages that some places have had to endure. But that is now not the case. Our country. has opened up just as Omricon has hit. My state has gone from zero cases most days to over 18000 yesterday. This has brought about supply issues because so many are sick. We are told that there is plenty around but getting it to the stores and on the shelves is the problem. I am grateful too the stocks I have to hand. Now is the time to stay home and keep my mother safe as she has COPD.

This new variant is frightening. It passes from one to another with such ease. Many cases have occurred in those who are vaccinated. My son's best friend has been hospitalised despite having had three shots. He said that the hospital was jam packed and swears the government is playing down the story. He was hospitalised and stayed in a tent ward in a carpark. Far from ideal in subtropical Queensland with a cyclone/hurricane bearing down the coast.

So God bless and stay safe.

mdoe37 said...

I don't usually shop Meijer, but with mother and her hip, appointments etc, I've been stopping in because its handy. The cereal isle is meager and there are many limit signs in the store. I had not been seeing that at Aldi, Walmart or Family Fare to date. My closest Walmart can sometimes be hit or miss anyway, but the one I went to by the hospital was well stocked.

When mother went into the hospital, I took a moment to check her food storage. I cleaned out many items that were waaaay past date (way past) and then shopped to replace them. I managed everything except cheddar cheese soup. I don't suspect my mother is going to physically remover to the point of doing that much cooking in the one can on the shelf to talk about will be enough.

Anonymous said...

I too have noticed size differences in ingredient packaging, and the higher cost to prepare a meal or pan cookie recipe. To outsmart this..I use my 11x7 Pyrex instead of my 13x9. 😊