Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday, How a pantry saves money

    
 Having a well stocked pantry can save you so much money on your grocery budget.  We all have to eat right? Keeping a spare or two of all the foods you use on a regular basis, will keep your grocery budget to a minimum.  This is a habit I developed long ago as groceries were the only place I could really stretch my dollar.
I never had a budget for groceries, I only had bills to pay.  Once the bills were paid I would take what was left for groceries.  There was usually nothing left and also a few bills not paid.. So how did we eat?  The pantry and something we have always called the storage.  Now I am not talking long term storage like Wheat, I am talking about everyday meal things.  Items you would need to throw together a fast meal for a family.














I think the first thing one needs if you want to build a working pantry for yourself/ family is a list of meals you make on a regular basis.  Think about what your family likes. Think about meals that you have cooked in the past month.  Jot those down and determine what is needed for each of those meals.

Pantries consist of different sections.

1. staples or baking needs
2. canned goods, jarred items, boxed items, dry goods

3. fresh staples that keep well  unrefrigerated
4. fridge items
5. freezer items
6. paper/personal items

Each of these sections plays an important part in building a working pantry.

1.  Under staples and baking needs would be:
flour, sugar,soda,salt,baking powder, cocoa,cinnamon, pepper, brown and powdered sugar, molasses, corn syrup, corn starch, cooking oil, shortening, corn meal, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

2. Canned food, jarred items, boxed items, dry goods
Anything your family uses from a can, a box,or a jar goes here.Canned soups, vegetable, beans, meats,fruits,boxed mixes, cake mixes ,rice a roni, again what your family eats. Jarred or bottled items  such as condiments, pickles, jams, peanut butter.  Dried beans,legumes, rice, cereals. Lots and lots of pasta.  
Canned goods that will be added to my pantry


3. Fresh staples unrefrigerated
Potatoes, onions,some fruits are my main items that are used often and when used regularly do not
spoil.  Hardy garden vegetable like squash also store well.

4.Fridge items
carrots, celery, salsa, sour cream, butter, margarine, milk, juice, cheeses condiments used in cooking. Fresh vegetables and fruits.

5. freezer items
meats,breads, baked goods, vegetables, baked goods, meals made ahead.

6. paper/personal items
toilet paper, paper towels, bags paper /plastic, tinfoil, wax paper, parchment paper,napkins, shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, dish soap, personal soap, feminine needs, razors, dental hygiene needs.

Once you get a working pantry established you should have most of the ingredients you need to make any meal you want.  This will take time.  Most people don't have the money to go out and stock a full pantry.  But you can slowly build one up a few items at a time.

Last week canned goods such as beans (all kinds) canned corn and green beans, tomato/chicken noodle soup were on sale at what I would say is the lowest they will go.  So I ordered several cases of things we will eat this next year.  My grocery budget for the week was $81.49 all spent stocking up canned goods, I also bought milk, and peanut butter.  This was  more than I usually spend at one time, but it was a stock up shop I won't need to go to the grocery store again until I run out of milk or (diet coke) :)               

Here is how the pantry principle works to your advantage.

      Mrs. Gunderson needs to feed her family dinner.  She doesn't have any ideas or much on hand so she runs to the local store.  Here she buys a lb. of ground beef, spaghetti noodles, a jar of sauce, a loaf of french bread, a bag of salad greens, a small jar of Parmesan cheese and prays there is still some dressing at home. Now this is all based on prices of house brands not on sale.  She doesn't have time to shop, it is 5 o'clock and her family is home and hungry.

ground beef  $3.99
noodles         $1.49
sauce            $2.19
bread            $1.99
salad             $1.99
cheese          $ 2.99  (will have left overs)

She gets home and slaps this together only to realize one jar of sauce is not enough, but she makes do.  Total spent for this meal with tax, over $15.00 and there was not enough sauce.
    

     Mrs. Gustafson needs to feed her family dinner.  She pulls a lb. of burger out of the freezer, grabs an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, a can of tomato paste, a can of chopped tomatoes, noodles, spices,cheese, a head of romaine lettuce a carrot and what ever veggies she has in the fridge to doll up the salad. If she has time she can earlier in the day set out a bread sponge for two huge loaves of french bread, if she doesn't she can pull a loaf or a 1/2 loaf out of the freezer. 

     While the hamburger is thawing in the micro wave, she dices the onion and minces the garlic, and blooms them in a pan with a couple of teaspoons of oil,  buy the time the burger is thawed, she has started a pot of water well salted to boil.  She adds the burger browns it and when the water is boiling, she adds the noodle to the pot.  Then as she is bringing the pasta back to a boil she adds the can of tomato paste to her onions, and burger,  she browns the paste,  adds the appropriate amount of water and the can of tomatoes and spices to taste. Her bread is in the oven or she has sawed the loaf she pulled out of the freezer in 1/2 and is thawing it in the micro wave.  She chops up some romaine, peels and slices a carrot, adds a few cucumber bits and a few pieces of fresh tomato. Dinner is served.

ground beef  $.99 bought on sale as she happened buy the meat counter
noodles         $.50  bought on a loss leader sale
sauce paste   $.39   "  "      "  
tomatoes      $.50   "   "     " 
lettuce          $.50  bought in a three pack for $2.99 she uses 1/2 a head
carrot/veg     $.25 this is a high estimate
bread            $.50 home made but even if she bought a loaf the meal would still be only $6.13
Parmesan     $.50  purchased on sale with a coupon in a large container.

Cost of meal $4.13 and there was plenty of sauce. If she was really organized and smart she would bake two large loaves of french bread and freeze one.  She would also quadruple the sauce and freeze ahead for 3 other meals.  If she canned her own tomatoes and grew her own lettuce she could save even more at certain times of the year.

     I can assure you  that in the time it took Mrs. Gunderson to drive to the store, park, run through said store,stand in line at the check out, drive home and open that jar of sauce  Mrs. Gustafson will be sitting down with her family.

If you want to save money and stretch your budget you must have a pantry.

Mom's awake and I am off to the races.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while in the negative.

Kim
     



27 comments:

  1. I hate grocery shopping, and even more, the late dashes. I'm not a great pantry planner, but can get by if needed. Nice compassion work, Kim!

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  2. I am a loss leader queen and always on the look out for a bargain. Thank you for the compliment.

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  3. Good solid advice - I know you'll never go hungry! I keep a good supply of staples in my pantry. I make a lot of soups and stews that will stretch the little bits of meat that I buy. So I keep a lot of dried beans/navy beans and lentils on hand to throw into the soups I make. I can literally have nothing in the house and still make a meal :)

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    1. That is a great way to live. Less stress more travel.

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  4. I completely agree. I would be lost without my larder, two freezes and two fridges (the second one is only for drinks,parties and leftover - no waste here). There is always something to make a good dinner with and you dont need to shop so often.

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    1. I could feed an army if I had to. Good for you.

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  5. With my dehydrator, I don't have the need for using lots of vegetables and fruits before they go off. Plus, the dehydrated is always there with no need to buy it every month, no need to chop, no need to peel or wash. I chop onions once or twice a year and dehydrate and store in pints. I am still eating off quarts of bananas I dehydrated three years ago. I can rehydrate those for banana bread. I just eat them as snacks.

    I do buy spaghetti sauce even though mine is better. There is just me to feed.

    I remarked to exbf long ago that no one with me would ever go hungry. Mostly, I buy loss leaders and use coupons. In a week I only need bananas and milk, I work hard to find something cheap to use as stock up and still don't spend much at all. Sometimes, I just grab a few extra jars of pimientos as they never go on sale, anyway.

    A pantry is the only way to live as far as I am concerned.

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    1. It would be really hard to cook for one. I have a hard time cutting back for three of us.

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    2. I never cook for one--NEVER. I eat the same thing for several days, even twice in one day. Plus, I send home meals or the meat or vegetables for meals for exbf. He does not cook at all. He loves my home cooking and he helps me. I put six boneless chicken legs in the crockpot and put those in three freezer bags. One or two potatoes will go in each one and probably one large or two small carrots. He might open a can of peaches to eat afterwards or something. He can even heat up another bag of food and eat all or part of it. I really have no desire to cook for one when leftovers are so delicious and so easy. They are planned-overs.

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  6. And I build my pantry by shopping through my mothers pantry which also saves me time and money! Right now we have the pickled section down ( I feed three Canadians a day you need lots of vinegar) pretty much only go to the store for milk and Diet Coke as well 😂 When did I become my mother! ? Stocked cream cheese on sale and my hubby made an absolutely perfect pumpkin cheesecake for under 5$ for my office Halloween party. Didn't get any photos but no cracks! He swears by the double boiler bath. Saved a piece in the freezer for you and grandma!

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    1. Oh yum He has to show me how to make his cheesecake I have never tasted a cheesecake as creamy as his. I thought I was low on peanut butter was it you or B? Mirror, mirror on the wall you are you mother after all.

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  7. I keep a large pantry and love having it! I love buying at low prices and seldom having to pay full price for anything:) I also grow a garden and can and freeze the excess. That does save me a great deal, as well, beyond the summer growing season. Of course, we eat the veggies fresh as long as they are available.

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    1. I will buy veggies that are below 1.00 a pound. So when broccoli or cauliflower goes below 1.00 I buy some.

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  8. Great example!! I try to do the pantry thing, but every now and then I pay way too much for a 'cheap' meal, too. I'm learning so much through yours and others' blogs!

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    1. Hey I am guilty of that once in a while also. Sometimes you look at the cupboards and say I want Taco Bell!

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  9. Trult enjoyed this post. I have done both scenerios above and much perfer the cheaper and healthier one.

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  10. I was shaking my head yes to everything you said. I am Mrs. Gustafson for sure. I love having a well stocked pantry. I sometimes see people peek into my cart and they must think I am crazy with my 20 boxes of pasta. I buy low, stock up and save.

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    1. BTW... if you ever wonder why a man named Charles Bridwell is following your blog... that is my husband. My blog is connected to his google account so I sometimes show up as him when I follow blogs. Annoying.

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    2. How aggravating as he is no where near as pretty as you.

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  11. Trult enjoyed this post. I have done both scenerios above and much perfer the cheaper and healthier one.

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    1. Oops double booked but hay two replies from you in one day it always a treat! Warms my soul.

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  12. Just found a clearanced deal on tuna fish pouches at Weis...reg. 99¢ each at 3/.99¢. Wanna guess who bought them out? lol Tuna noodle casserole and tuna melts on the menu through the Winter here.

    I want to hear more about Skparent15 and those 3 Canadians.....hehehe

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    1. Hey read the following comment from Janetticut, a bastardized version of someones name.

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  13. Daughter number one here. Whatever Martha, I'll just run home from the courthouse between hearings to set out my bread sponge.

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