I had one major project to finish before my husband arrived home last week, that was to wash the kitchen cabinets. I'm so glad I finished them and they look much cleaner but I have paid for it this week with back spasms.
The worst thing about them is they interrupt my sleep at night. So, I am writing this week very sleep deprived. But each time I walk in the kitchen, I think "this too shall pass" and the clean kitchen cabinets are worth it. They were very grungy.
The title of today's blog post came from an experience I almost had yesterday. After getting my monthly eye injection, I stopped at Aldi to do my monthly stock up there. I had already decided I didn't need as much as usual so imagine my shock when the total came to $100.00. At Aldi!
I never imagined the day when 2 1/2 bags of groceries there would cost $100.00. I purchased the usual items, adding only a couple like their fresh tilapia to make for dinner last night. Both meat and dairy products have gone up in price substantially.
I quickly stopped at Kroger for just a few items since I had groceries in the car on a hot day and I only needed salad ingredients. Thankfully, I had already experienced the shock of rising produce and other salad ingredients there. Otherwise, it may have been too much! When I arrived home, I told my husband that I felt sorry for people feeding a large family with today's prices.
We had filled up the van with gas the previous day and even with the Kroger fuel credits taking thirty cents a gallon off the price, it was almost $100.00. We had already been careful about combining errands when we went to the other side of town but this definitely falls into the category of "I never thought I'd see the day".
We had to go to the VA clinic the morning after my husband flew home from Boston for one of his checkups. Since we were in the same area of town as Sam's Club, we decided to stop by and purchase pecans and cashews. Sam's has the best prices on nuts that we have found.
We found it interesting that they no longer displayed prices on any of the nuts. I didn't look through other parts of the store to see if that was the case for other items but it is a sign on the inflationary times.
I decided to get a case of eight cans of Bush's baked beans (used alone and for a couple recipes) and a case of eight cans of cut green beans (used alone and in soup) while I was there. I have enough to use soon in the pantry but these are going to be a hedge against inflation.
I also bought two of their beautiful rotisserie chickens since we were there. When we arrived home, I took all the white meat and some of the dark meat off the two chickens, placing some of it in the refrigerator for salads and filling two quart size Ziploc freezer bags to freeze for later use.
The two carcasses were in the deep freeze but I needed the space and took them out this morning. They will be turned into stock tomorrow. Nothing goes to waste if I can help it, especially when the carcasses make great bone broth.
The only other thing I did this week (while I was having trouble sleeping and movement was very slow) was to try a few items that I had purchased "just one" to see if I wanted to keep more on the pantry shelves.
I used to keep boxes of regular Annie's mac and cheese on the shelves when the kids were home for quick, last minute meals. However, I read a recommendation ...by someone who kept a deep pantry... many years ago to keep the deluxe versions in the pantry as well as the regular version.
The deluxe versions have a package of already prepared cheese sauce in them, which is handy in an emergency situation. So, I had purchased a box of Annie's Rich & Creamy Shells & Classic Cheddar to try and I was surprised how much we liked it. I didn't look at the ingredients in the cheese sauce on purpose but the taste was excellent. There will definitely be two or three boxes of this product in the pantry.
I agree with the Comment about Heartway Farms on YouTube last week. They have become one of my favorites, too. Even though they are homesteaders, Annie's Cooking From Your Stockpile videos are excellent for anyone to watch. They remind me a little of The West Ladies' cooking videos.
One of the items that I purchased to try was a recommendation from her. That is the Pacific brand of Cream of Chicken soup. She usually makes her own "cream of" soups but she keeps a few cans for quick last minute meals. I haven't had a chance to try it but I hope to next week. We already use some of the Pacific brand soups in aseptic packages. All of the soups have gone up a lot in price.
I am convinced one of the most important skills all of us can do, even if we can't garden, is to learn to cook well. Cooking to me is like gardening, there is always something new to learn.
I am also going to include a link below to an instructive YouTube video for those wanting to stock up even a little but they live in small spaces. I thought her information was excellent and I agree completely that putting back some smaller packages of rice and beans are better than bulk buckets unless one has a large family.
All of us are having to learn how to feed our families in this age of high inflation. Have you had to stop buying anything? I have had a package of breakfast biscuits for breakfast most mornings for a few years now. They are whole grain and show exactly how many carbs I am getting.
They were often on sale for $1.99 a box if you purchased five boxes. I haven't seen that sale for a long time and their packages that were $2.49 when not on sale are now $4.49 a box... almost overnight! So, I may buy one box for days I need to be out of the house early but I'm going back to oatmeal or other whole grain cereals.
We are living in a time none of us have experienced before. We have had financial crisis before but not when prices are going up like this. I think this is much worse than the last inflationary period when we were newlyweds living in Married Student Housing. I am daily asking God to give me wisdom.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Heartway Farms Playlists on YouTube... here. (Click on Cooking From Your Stockpile and Heartway Recipes for great recipes and cooking tips.)
Sandy Steinbrook's video, How to Store Food in Small Spaces... here. I find her videos to be very practical.