Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pantry Challenge # 5 ...2016

(Spring flowers are pushing through the ground at my house!)

I recently came across someone who is cultivating a minimalist mindset and only purchases a few days of groceries at a time.  Life and experience has taught me that this is a dangerous way to live.  The massive snow storm that hit the eastern part of the U.S. last week and the resulting affects is just one reason why, not to mention the many things that can, without warning, reduce one’s disposable income.


My husband and I live in a small house and I continually work to keep it de-cluttered.  I will be the first to say that too much stuff can be a real problem.  In that respect I want to have a minimalist mindset, but when it comes to my pantry … absolutely not.  I want my pantry to be well-stocked and equipped to meet my family’s needs for an extended period of time without having to go to the grocery store should that become necessary.

The current minimalist movement has its benefits but please be careful and not carry it too far. I would hate to see someone stop building up/maintaining their pantry because of this movement and then have reason to regret it later.  

Now, let’s see what I was able to do this week to build up and maintain my pantry …

My to-do list from last time:
Vacuum seal dry pinto beans into jars … continue to work on this as quart jars become empty

Thaw frozen turkeys and can … didn’t get done

Make and can broth from carcasses of turkeys after canning meat … didn’t get done

In addition:

I strained up some more grease from cooking hog jowl.   I’m getting quite a good supply of ‘seasoning grease’ in the refrigerator.

We had pinto beans for dinner one night and I saved the liquid from the beans after we were through with the meal. I froze it, added it to my pantry and will use it to add to a pot of soup.

We also cooked one of the hams we got on sale (see below) and I saved the pan drippings from it and froze it for use in a pot of soup, just like the bean juice leftovers mentioned above.


I had a large bag of carrots in the refrigerator left over from holiday baking (carrot cakes).  It wasn’t enough for a full canner so I purchased 2 bags of baby carrots that were on sale at Aldi’s for $.69/bag to have enough to finish filling the canner.  I added 9 pints to my pantry.

We found mushrooms on sale at Aldi’s also for $.79/container.  I purchased 12 containers, brought them home and canned them up.  I added 7 pints of whole mushrooms to my pantry.

On the same Aldi’s trip we found banana’s on sale for $.29/lb.  We bought just a little over 6 pounds and I made whole wheat banana bread with part of them and added it to the freezer part of my pantry.  This will be a convenience food for us.

Our chickens have started laying again this week!  To say that we are excited is an understatement.  We’ve been buying eggs for the last two months plus purchasing feed for the chickens.  I’m glad their ‘molting’ season is coming to an end.

Our weekly grocery budget is $25.  If we have surplus from another area of our budget then we add that to our grocery budget. This week we had a little surplus.  I thought you might like to see what we purchased  ….

From Aldi’s:  

Bananas … $.29/lb

2 Avocados … $.59 each  (you can see a portion of one at the bottom of the picture. I accidentally cropped them out of the picture!)

Baby carrots …. $.69/each  

Mushrooms … $.79/each

Total Spent: $14.15





From Sam’s Club:   

10 lbs onions … $5.98

Hunts tomato paste … $5.98

2 free Nutri-Grain bars free from a kisok.

Total Spent:  $12.20



From Food Lion:  

2 spiral cut hams on clearance … $19.53




Total from all stores:  $45.88  





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

Continue vacuum sealing dry beans into jars
Thaw frozen turkeys and can 
Make and can broth from carcasses of turkeys after canning meat

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

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


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