Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This is Why! part 7

Previous entries can be found HERE.

Thus far we’ve talked about how I use leftovers to help stock my pantry, how I shop to fill my pantry, how I use the great outdoors to help keep my pantry filled and how I fill my pantry through food preservation.  In this issue we’re going to talk about using our calendars to help us stock our pantries.


Yes ma’am, read on …

In addition to bargain shopping on an ongoing basis for everything we put in our pantry I also shop with a focus using a yearly stock up schedule.  I try to purchase items when they are typically at their lowest prices and for the area I live in it looks like the following …

(I buy as much as I can and preserve it!)

67.   In January I focus on hog jowl and collards

68.  In February I focus on candy.  When I find a good after Valentine Day sale, I stock up and vacuum seal it in jars after I get it home.

69.  In March I focus on meats of all kinds

70.  In April I focus on ham

71.  In May I focus on beef, chicken and strawberries

72.  In June I focus on blueberries and strawberries

73.  In July I focus on beef, chicken and peaches

74.  In August I focus on fruits and vegetables

75.  In September I focus on beef and chicken

76.  In October I focus on candy

77.  In November I focus on celery, canned soups, spices, baking supplies, butter, ham, turkey, cranberries

78. In December I focus on baking supplies, ham, celery, canned soups, spices, butter, candy

79.  In addition to a monthly focus, I throw in a challenge or two throughout the year like   ‘this month I want to add 100 items to my pantry’ or a similar challenge.
In case you haven't noticed, I am very serious about keeping a well-stocked pantry!

Okay, I’ve shared with you how I use the calendar to help me fill my pantry, how about you?  Are there certain times of the year when you can get better deals on items you stock in your pantry?

Your comments are what will make this series more helpful so please share your wisdom.

To see how I incorporate all these ways in my daily life, join me at A Working Pantry.

A Working Pantry

My Other Blog  ... She Hath Done What She Could


  1. Patsi my calendar will seem so different! (Australia for anyone wondering!)
    So off the top of my head.... in January and Feb I focus on fruit as I have been flat out with fruit for a few weeks now. Also in January I focus on turkey as we can get marked down turkeys after Christmas and New Year so I usually get a few whole turkeys. This applies to hams as well.
    After Valentines Day and after Easter I buy chocolate from the sales they have to clear all this out after the event.
    About now or soon I usually buy up tomatoes. Mid winter is oranges, broccoli and depending on the season cauliflower, cabbage etc. Our prices vary enormously according to season and also weather. Like bananas were as low as $2 a kilo or have been as high at $18 a kilo after a cyclone (so that could happen again now) (a kilo is 2.2 pound I think)
    Meat is all year round as I can get massive markdowns at the end of the day and particularly the day before a public holiday. So I get that when I see a great deal.
    Last year some things were very expensive.... like broccoli about $7 a kilo and a cauliflower for $8 each. I buy up when they are $2 each! I guess we have to get to know our area and the cycles and pay attention to those.
    For summer all our fruit has been free. It is tough to beat free! So I have frozen lots, baked, made jams etc and we are set for the year.
    Tomorrow I will be looking for a box of tomatoes depending on the price. Currently cucumbers are really cheap, they are a best buy just now.
    I look forward to Wednesdays for your post! xxx

    1. Annabel, knowing our area is the key to be able to take advantages of 'stocking-up' prices. Great comment!

  2. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas butter goes on sale for about $2 a lb and we buy a lot! I always think I am buying too much, until I run out when it is $4 a lb! I have a lot of fruit in my yard so I can, freeze and stock up all summer. I only buy some bananas and oranges in the winter. I realize bargains vary from location to location, but I think if you monitor the sale papers from your local grocery stores and buy what is on sale and in season you will do fine. I never seem to buy enough though.

  3. I do not use a calendar but I do watch for sales and stock up. I raise most all my vegetables and fruit. We are a sugar free household(health reasons but I do stock some candy). I try to get meat as it goes on sale. Hoping to
    have a beef to put in freezer ( and can ) this fall.


    1. Hi Rue, we watch sales and stock-up all year too with special emphasis on the schedule in this post. I hope you can your beef! Great comment!

  4. I too do not have a calendar. I have budgeted prices I will pay and when I get the items at those prices I try to buy at least 3 months or more worth, for example no one eats cereal here now, but when they did my budget price was 50 cents and we would use at least a box a week so I would buy 12 boxes to last 3 months. Around the holidays I stock up on baking items and canned milks planning for 3-6 months, plus ham and turkey or any canned gravy or gravy packets. I think March is national pet month so that month I will try to stock enough pet supplies to last 3-6 months. At first my pantry didn't make much sense, but as I kept adding to it with what I could get on sale or with coupons it started to really make a difference. It's very easy to stock a years supply of pasta if you eat it. Part of the problem now is our tastes have changed and we don't eat as much processed food so as well as Where Do I Put It? I also have the question What Do I Do With It? lol!!


    1. LOL Vicky! When we changed our diets I had a lot of stuff that had to find a new home so I gave it away keeping a small portion to have on hand when I needed to prepare a meal for someone else.

  5. Hi Patsy;
    Love your post today! I especially love your challenges! I am going to challenge my daughter and granddaughter and myself to see how many meals we can put together (on paper for now, we'd kill each other trying to all cook in the kitchen at once, lol) It should be a lot of fun and will help us to decide what else is needed to stock in our pantry. With our below zero weather and snow storms, especially with an infant and 6 year old in the house, we need to be prepared all the time.
    By the way Patsi, I have been meaning to ask you what part of the world do you live in? Have a great afternoon. Hugs, Nana

  6. Nana, that's a great challenge idea ... maybe you all could plan to do it in shifts! I'm in eastern USA.

  7. After and around the holidays are times I also especially watch the sales and clearance sections. I often find good prices on hams or turkeys around Christmas or Easter, candy, gifts (bigger items, as well as little things to tuck in a Christmas stocking, Easter Basket or envelope), baking items and supplies. In the summer I look for things like steak, ribs, charcoal, school supplies, sunscreen and assorted things considered school supplies. Although I don't participate in Black Friday shopping, I expect a couple of the drugstores to have quite a few items free after their reward dollars. I like to purchase items I need from those and use the reward dollars for other things I need. Three of our local grocery stores give a 10% senior discount on the first Wednesday of the month. This combines nicely with sales, coupons and clearance items. On a weekly basis, I look at the sales ads and check a local blogger who highlights sales specific to my local stores and even matches coupons that are available. I try to match our produce to what is in season either in the stores or garden---lots of free citrus Dec, through March, sweet potatoes in Oct. and still a few in storage, etc.

    1. Great tips! I do a lot of those things too! Thanks for sharing!


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