Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Pantry Organizing

Hi Puffins,

I’ve been doing some kitchen puttering.  The change of seasons always has me organizing my pantry and planning meals that taste good for the weather.

Today (Saturday) the Farmer and I did some major stock-up shopping in the Big City.  Sam’s Club was a smallish shop with us just getting Toliet Paper, gallon-size Ziplock freezer bags, Saran-wrap and HalfnHalf cups for my office coffee.  These all should last through the holidays (well, maybe not the TP.)

The low-price grocery store has 25%-off sale on their bulk foods.  I love this sale. I try to buy enough for holiday baking and such.  Today, knowing I have Plenty of grains and most nuts; I only got a little over 4 cups of Deluxe Mixed Nuts and 3 cups of Pecan halves.  We’ll snack on the mixed nuts and I use them in Chex Party Mix.  The pecans I like in baking better than walnuts. Although I do have walnuts on hand and almonds from the last big sale.  I also have oatmeal and rice aplenty.  We don’t need the candy and I’ve been making my own raisins in the dehydrator.  We don’t eat much other dried fruits these days.  We also got frozen hash browns ($1.98) since we eat a lot of those and I’ll use them in a casserole for holiday meals.  Chili & kidney beans (.49) for soup.  And Parmesan Cheese!! (3/$5)  There are good sales on block and shredded cheeses quite often, but rarely on Parmesan.  I got 6 8-oz packages today but I may go get more.

The higher-end grocery had lots of good sales today too.  The better sugar (brown and granulated !.79 & 2.29ea), baking chips (butterscotch, I have plenty of semi-sweet chocolate 2/$4), the better smoked turkey ($4.99#) from the deli and Provolone cheese, sweet potatoes (.59#) and black grapes($1.49).  And then there was the yogurt (10/$5) Farmer likes and String Cheese ($5.99).  We got a few Braeburn apples, (.98#) since the Jonathan apples in the bulk bag I got last week are not nice.  Mostly mushy and quite bruised.  And 2 big avocados, (.88ea). for sandwiches this week. Shelf-stable broths for when my stock is not available. ($1.99) And Kellogg’s cereals!  $1.59 when you purchased 5. We got mostly Rice Krispies for holiday treats. I’ll store them in gallon jars as I empty those.

And then we stopped to get softener salt that was on a great sale with coupon at another store.  We got 6 bags which should hold us until the next sale.  ($4 per bag.)

We did very well at staying with the list and not doing much impulse buying.  I am rather amazed at that but I guess we both are trying to watch our spending these days.  The drought was hard on us and we have other plans for our limited funds.

After a quick lunch of salad with chicken for me and burger/fries for him; we headed home. Eating a larger lunch meant we had a smaller evening meal.  I had a turkey and cheese sandwich, with some pepper strips and pickles we had in the fridge and chips from the pantry.  I’m not sure what Farmer had.

All that stock-up food meant I needed to organized the pantry after we got home.  All the like-cans together, veggies on one shelf, baking on another, etc.  I noticed plenty of canned soups, canned pineapple (mostly crushed).  NO need to buy baked beans nor bbq sauce until next summer.  We have enough boxed dinners and cake mixes.  I may donate those to the food pantry since we rarely eat that anymore.  I normally cook from scratch and we’re past the busy part of the farm year now, so we’ll be eating lighter and earlier.

Since we will be able to eat from the pantry & freezer for a while now, I’ll just have dairy and produce on the weekly shopping list.   We have enough of what we normally eat in the Fall & Winter on hand.  I will need to get some tomato juice for Chili. But otherwise, we are mostly set.

In the Freezers, we are ready too. We purchased 1/2 of a small hog and had it made into sausage and I got 6 Organic chickens a few weeks ago that are in the freezer now.  We’ll butcher our beef in January.  We have been buying cheese whenever it was on sale.  I also got a case of the better bacon a few weeks ago when it went on a 2/$5 sale. It has not been on sale that low all summer and I double it’ll go that low now.  We also have 1/2 of a spiral ham from this Spring that we’ll use for Christmas.

I love the feeling of being prepared for whatever the weather may throw at us.

With all this food in the house, I’m also trying to not waste what we have.  Unfortunately I had to toss some hot dogs, baked beans and pizza sauce that all got freezer burnt. And then some homemade pizza we didn’t eat up.  And some celery that went bad.  All but the celery went to the cats for their meal, so I guess it didn’t really get wasted.

Here is my preliminary menu plan for the next week.  I tried to use the leftovers since we’re not eating them for lunch as much.  Of course it may all go by the wayside depending on how we feel each evening. (* Using leftover food.)

Sunday:  Lunch: Eating out.  Supper:  Everyone for themselves.

Monday:  Lunches:  K- sub sandwich*, F-ham & scalloped potatoes*
Supper: Sloppy joes for Farmer; Spaghetti Squash* with shrimp & veggies for me.

Tuesday:  Lunches: leftovers or sandwiches
Supper: Sausage* gravy on biscuits, fruit

Wednesday:  Lunches: leftovers or sandwiches for me, Eating out for Farmer
Supper: Tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches

Thursday:  Lunches:  Sandwiches
Supper:  Beef roast, potatoes & carrots & onions.

Friday:  Lunches:  Sandwiches
Supper: Broiled or grilled salmon, rice, cole slaw, biscuits*

Saturday: Lunch: any leftovers from the week.
Supper:  Veg-Beef Soup*

Sunday will be extra busy with my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary dinner and then the Fall Neighborhood Block Party at our church in the late afternoon/evening.  Monday should be interesting.

I’m trying to figure out mobile blogging so I can share more with you via my cell phone.  So far I can’t get it to post here, but when you see the strange photo of me up on on the hill on a walk, you’ll know I figured it out.

Otherwise I’ll be back here ASAP.

**By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.  ~Agesilaus

1 comment:

  1. Just stopping in to say are things in Nebraska? :) Come say hi.