Featured Post

This is Why! part 4

Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found here . In the last entry we talked about how to use leftovers to help stock our pantries. This week ...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

If I Were Just Starting Out Building a Well-Stocked Pantry ...

I recently received a comment from a reader basically asking me where to start when building a well-stocked pantry.  Since I get this question fairly often, I thought it was time to do a regular post on it so here goes:

If I were just starting out building a well-stocked pantry, here are some things I would do ...


1.  Sit down and make a list of the things my family eats. This may seem overwhelming, but it is the foundation of your future well-stocked pantry so take a couple of weeks or longer and keep a journal of things your family eats.  It doesn't have to be fancy or a big deal, keep it simple and just make some notes.  Being armed with this knowledge will allow you to stock what you eat and eat what you stock!

2.  If I was able to grow a garden, I would take the list I just made in # 1 and determine which items I could grow, preserve or make … and I would follow through and do it.

3.  I would become a couponing queen utilizing them to the fullest including rain checks.

4.  I would accept any foods given to me even if I didn’t need them at the time.  I would bring them home and preserve them.

5.  I would buy in bulk and bring it home and preserve it.

6.  I would price match.

7.  I would know what was a good price by keeping a price book.  A small spiral notebook tucked in your purse or an ongoing list on your phone works just fine.  By having it with you when you shop you won't have to wonder if a sales price is really a good price or not, you can check ... and when I came across that good sale, I would stock up as much as my budget would allow.

8.  I would declutter my home so I would have somewhere to put my well-stocked pantry.  You don't have to have a regular pantry room or basement (although both would be very nice), you can get creative in storing your pantry 'out of sight' all over your house.

9.  I would look at this as 'a job' that pays off in savings and security for my family.  If one is serious about building a well-stocked pantry, it is going to take effort and sometimes lots of it.

10.  I would involve the whole family.  You will be surprised how supportive and on board family members can be when they are part of the process.

11. I would barter, swap and glean every opportunity I got.

12. I would take on the heart of a student and learn everything I could from research and reading and from someone who keeps a well-stocked pantry.

Those are 12 things I would do if I were just starting out building a well-stocked pantry. 

What would you do?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

The links in this post may be affiliate links.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pantry Challenge #49 ... 2015

I had a sinus procedure done this past week called Balloon Sinuplasty, so my to-do list was barely touched.  In fact, I did very little but give myself time to recover.

My to-do list from last week:
Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.   Didn’t get done!

Make a batch of Scrabble for the holidays.  Didn’t get done!

Finish preserving sweet potatoes.  Done!

Try at least one new recipe from my new Pieces of the Past cookbook.  Didn’t get done!

In addition:
We’ve been using the eggs I froze earlier in the year this week.  (Our chickens are molting which means they are not laying.)  We haven’t been able to tell a difference in the taste at all.  I thawed them in the refrigerator overnight, then mixed them together with my mixer and they were ready for use.

We got cover crops planted in our gardens.  We were beginning to think we weren’t going to able to get it done this fall but a warm spell gave us the opportunity!





I gladly received quilt scraps that belonged to a 98 year old woman.  Her daughter was clearing out some of her mother’s things as her mother is no longer able to quilt and asked if I would like to have them.

I also gladly received 5 really HUGE ferns that were given to me because the owner was getting ready to go out of town for an extended period of time.

I used a $20 Amazon gift card I earned by saving up my points and cashing them in from PineCone  and purchased a one lb bag of THM Sweet Blend and this used book, Bubbly On Your Budget by Marjorie Hillis which is the same book as Orchids On Your Budget by the same author.  When I found out they were the same book I opted for the less expensive one.  I was able to get both the Sweet Blend and Bubbly On Your Budget for just a bit less than the gift card amount!   I first learned of the book Orchids On Your Budget through Mimi’s blog, A Tray of Bliss.  I knew I wanted the book, it seemed to be singing my song with the financial challenges we’re facing in 2016, but there was this little problem called … our budget!  I am committed to sticking to it as best I can!  When my Amazon gift card was ready, I knew I needed to use it to purchase something we needed, not something ‘I’ wanted so I placed the Sweet Blend in my cart and there was a little less than $5 of it left.  I started searching for the book Orchids On Your Budget and found that it was more than what I had left … hmmm … then I started reading the reviews and found a comment that said Orchids On Your Budget was the same as Bubbly On Your Budget by the same author.  Now, things were getting interesting! I did a search for Bubbly on Your Budget and found it.  I previewed the sample pages of it and then I previewed the sample pages of Orchids on Your Budget and they WERE the same book.  Now, I was getting excited … the price for a good used copy of Bubbly on Your Budget was $.49 plus $3.99 shipping!  You know what I did don’t you, I added that book to my shopping cart all the while calculating in my head and wondering if my $20 gift card would cover it.  (If it didn’t, the deal was off!)  It did, it covered the item we needed (Sweet Blend) and the item I wanted (Bubbly On Your Budget) with a very small amount left over.  Is that some ‘fancy/creative’ shopping or what!!!!!!

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks which can be turned into gift cards.

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

This will be the last pantry challenge for 2015.  I’ll begin anew in January, 2016 with Pantry Challenge #1 … 2016!

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Did you know that you can earn cashback by shopping through EBates

The links in this post may be affiliate links.


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pantry Challenge #48 ... 2015

It's been another busy week with us racing against time to get outside things done before the cold, winter weather sets in for our area.

Here's what I/we got done ...

My to-do list from last week:
Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.  Didn’t get done.

Repot small trees that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the summer.  Done!  I planted 3 very small sapling trees, as in 3 – 4 inches tall, that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the spring when I visited her.   I don’t know what kind they are but the foliage is beautiful and it’s one more touch of my mama that I was able to bring home with me.

Put up my Christmas tree.  Done!  I cleared my schedule and took an afternoon and put it up.   It’s probably 30 years old and was given to us by someone who it had also been given too … truth be told, there is no telling how old this tree is.  But it has been well-cared for, is the right size for my house and serves our purpose well … and I might add, when it gets all dressed up (decorated) it is quite beautiful!  Being content with what I have brings peace to my heart.

Continue working on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.  I got it done … I got it done!!!!!  I now have candy on hand for baking and snacking!

In addition:


I found Libby’s canned vegetables on sale for $.50/can and I had coupons for $1 off 4. I was able to purchase 8 cans of canned vegetables for $2.  Score!







On the same shopping trip we found marked down bananas for $.39/lb.  We purchased 3 bags and brought them home to use/freeze.

I started preserving the rest of the sweet potatoes we harvested last month.  I washed and baked them to the half done stage, let them cool and then froze them.  We’ll use these to slice and fry and top with homemade gravy.  Hmm … hmm … good!

I printed off this free pattern and made hanging dish towels.  Instead of printing the pattern on card stock though, like she did, I printed it on regular paper and then made a ‘muslin’ pattern out of it.  It will stand up under lots of usage this way and I do plan to make several more.     

We winterized our chicken coop and made some needed repairs.  We got the chickens settled in after them having their ‘coup/house’ cleaned and strawed … but not before we had a ‘chicken chasing’ adventure to capture one that didn’t want to be captured.  Laughter is good for the soul and our soul’s got a good workout from that adventure.

I planted a hydrangea bush and two lilac bushes that we purchased in the spring at Sam’s Club on sale.  I had brought them home and planted them in big pots in the spring so that I could give them lots of TLC and get them through the very hot months of summer.  By planting them in the ground in the fall, they will have time to get established before next summer’s heat.  

I planted a Rose of Sharon bush that I sprouted off the mother bush.

I earned enough Swagbucks to get another Amazon gift card this week.

I completed 2 PineCone surveys this week and earned $6.  These small amounts when saved, add up to a larger amount that I can purchase something we need with when it is needed. 

Have you seen this cookbook ... Pieces of the Past ... I plan on trying some of the recipes in the near future.  Several caught my eye but this one in particular jumped off the page at me ... Potato Soup Mix … this is a 'just add boiling water' kind of recipe.  I am definitely making some of these to add to my pantry storage.  The book is full of tips like this one:  adding tomatoes to a roast naturally tenderizes the meat because of the acid that is in the tomatoes?   There's the tip and there's the why ... I love that! You'll be hearing more from me about this cookbook as I've been given permission by the author to share a couple of recipes from it ... after I've tried them myself of course.  Now, which ones shall I choose??? 

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed. 

Make a batch of Scrabble for the holidays.

Finish preserving sweet potatoes.

Try at least one new recipe from my new Pieces of the Past cookbook

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27



Earn Cashback By Shopping Through EBates!

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook

The links in this post may be affiliate links.

AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...