Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday, Building the pantry from with no reasources.

     Thanks for all the  comments on my pantry post.  Mom has kept me hopping most of the last three days.  She just had to make peppakake (ginger or pepper cookies).  She does not have the energy to roll and cut out and switch cookies around.  I had the formal dress from He!!, to finish up.  I worked on that for 2 days.  It was a beaded dress that had been worn and modeled in many a style show so it was pretty worse for wear, I swear I had to re sew
Peppakaker thin, spicy Delicious
almost every bead.  The new owner had purchased it at a trunk show.  I about went nuts with that thing.  Then I was running up and down stairs to try and help mom.  Ahhhhhrg!

     Mom is growing ever weaker and her eye sight gets steadily worse.  I have watched her go from slow functioning to almost no function.  She can still stand and walk very slowly.  Her balance is terrible.  Her sight is so bad I cannot really trust her  to cook by herself at all any more.  She starts out slow and then cannot finish and she makes such a horrible mess, because she cannot see.  Now she can no longer make her bed by herself.  She always made her bed first thing in the morning, but it is too much for her.  She needs help putting on socks and taking things off.  She cannot turn on the shower any more and she must shower every day. This afternoon I needed to take her to get new lenses put in her glasses.  She could not find her glasses,I found them under her bed, she could not find her tooth, finally it appeared in the tray where she usually keeps it.  I checked that tray 3 times and suddenly it appears which means she had put it some obscure place and did not want to get caught so she put it in the tray and then accuses me of not looking.  She did not have her check book to pay for her glasses.  It just goes on and on.  I am trying to be patient and pray and smile my way through her shenanigans.

     I had to go make a deposit at the bank today and also pick up a few things that were loss leaders at two of the stores. I had many customers here today and I still have a pair of pants to hem and alter, a mans suit to alter and stripes to put on a police uniform before I go to bed..  I hope to spend most of my morning tomorrow pulling my geraniums, dusty miller and bacoppa out of their boxes, and putting them into cold storage so I can reuse them next year.  Hopefully the shop will not be so busy tomorrow that I can't get that done.

     On with the pantry building.  Today when I was out and about I looked at the prices of my basic list from yesterday.  We  have a canned food outlet here, much like an Aldis.  It is overstocked marked down food stuff.  You need to watch the dates on things and they have what they have.  They might stock things only once.  But they do have most basic foods.  Here I found a real savings on almost every baking item.

soda .59
bake powder  .59
rice 5 lbs 2.69
tomato paste .39 a can
spices 3/1 on cinnamon, ginger, pepper, Italian spices, bullion cubes. 2.00
salt .69
2 /3 4lbs sugar  3.00
2/3 5lbs flour  3.00
brown sugar 2lb .99
pasta .69 a lb box
quick oats .50 lb so 2.00

     After two weeks you will know what you need more of.  You will probably have left over rice, some beans, sugar and flour.  You will not have to buy salt,soda,spices, baking powder.  You will buy less of what you have in leftovers.  It won't be much about $3.75, if you buy say 1 less bag of beans one smaller bag of rice,no white or brown sugar and 1bag of flour, you could have as much as  11.00 to spend on other pantry items.

     Remember this is just getting by we are not stocking a pantry at this time.  We are getting the basics to feed ourselves.  You will always have to buy, milk, bread, flour,pasta, beans and rice.  But eventually you will add and add.  At this time I would add say two packages of cheap hot dogs, and 2 packages of bakery outlet buns.  A bottle of ketchup and a small bottle of mustard.  Buy two cans of tuna fish, two cans of peas, add another carton of eggs back in and a jar of peanut butter a jar of your cheapest jelly or jam. One can of cheap chili .99

Hot dogs .99  1.98
buns .50 1.00
ketchup .99
mustard .69
Tuna .69  1.38
peas, .59 1.18
eggs additional .99
peanut butter 1.99
jelly or jam .99
chili .99

     You have now added a tuna casserole to your menu  once a week and hot dogs and chili dogs augment with extra beans.  So you will eat less red sauce.  Now the third pay period  you add a few more spices, and replace items  as needed.  You might be able to add chicken thighs, or ground beef bought on sale.  But you will be able to eventually feed your family and build your storage a can or two at a time.  A box of pasta at a time. You will start to add more fresh foods as you can put them in your budget and more protein foods. 

     With some basic baking skills you can still make your family some goodies.  Popcorn is cheap and when popped the old fashioned way on a stove top with a little oil, you can make a huge pan of kettle corn for peanuts.  I have never been into a second hand store yet that does not have at least 2 air popper machines, usually for 2.00.

Popped corn as much as you think you will eat
1 cube of margarine
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup syrup, any kind , karo or any corn or pancake, bring to boil for one minute cool, pour over salted popcorn. 

This will make a huge bowl.

You can make a batch of snicker doodle cookies
You can make a strussel coffee cake
you can make a white cake or yellow
you can make bread pudding
Add a .99 box of cornstarch and you can make puddings
Add a can of crisco one week and you can make biscuits and pie crusts. 4.99
Add a.99 bag of choc chips for, muffins, cookies, pancakes,
Add a can of bakers chocolate 2.99
Add a bag of apples,2.99
Add more carrots and celery for snacking not just cooking
add a 2 lb. block of cheese,  they go on sale here for 4.99 at least once a month

  Every time you add an item you vary your menu.  You will have something left over you will not have to buy and you use that money to buy some thing else.
You must learn basic cooking skills and you must cook.  Convenience foods can be added later.  You are building skills and a pantry.  You are eating well.

Again I cannot emphasis this  enough, ask for help if you need it.  Utilize you food banks, your church resources, your family your friends.  Always offer to work for your goods.  Then when you are on your feet pay it forward.  There is no shame in charity given or charity taken.  You are willing to work hard and cook from scratch you will climb out.

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



  1. I am continually horrified and amazed that you can run between cooking and sewing. I would get food on my clothes and transfer it to my sewing. Plus, going out to work in the garden and then in to sew. I did nothing but sew when I sewed. I did not even carry a glass of water into my sewing room. I even changed my clothing after I cooked and before I went in to sew. That was when I sewed for others.

    With tiny children and infants, this was often not possible. But, I was not sewing for other people then.

    Sorry about your mother's aging so.

    1. I just wash my hands and make sure I am not dusty. I wear garden clogs and change shoes. My thing is poking myself and bleeding.

  2. This is such an excellent series on pantry building. Back in the day, we had a grocery budget of $25/week. I used to employ of lot of these ideas. I am a firm believer that good eating and good health can be accomplished on a lot less than people think.

    1. I believe that also. I think we always ate well maybe repetitive but with a nice treat after dinner, no one complained.

  3. So sorry to hear about your mom's continuing decline in health. My dad has Parkinson's and, while he is still doing alright, it's hard to watch the steady decline.
    Thank you for doing these posts! I love reading them and find them so insightful and interesting!

    1. I am so sorry about your dad. My husband has essential tremor and although not a steady decline it really affects what he can do. Thank you.

  4. I'm sorry about your mo's health. Your pantry series is very good-useful. My daughter has done well stocking basics in her home. She is only a household of one, but frequently has a friend over at dinner time, so when she really doesn't feel like stopping for groceries or money is tighter, she can throw a rice pilaf or risotto with vegetables, a veggie curry, or an improvised soup together with the few items she always has on hand, rice, coconut milk, canned and frozen vegetables, chick peas and spices.

    1. This is the secret. I love my mom but she is a lot of work and very trying at times. Thanks.

  5. THat's too bad about your mom's health! Even though it's stressful, I'm glad she's with you. I can see that happening here too with my MIL. THe problem with her tho is that she's even more sneaky than your mom...

    1. Oh I think we have a competition going on. My mother in law wants to live with us when Hub's dad goes. Help me!

    2. Kim,
      Plead exhaustion and present the problem of earning a living. You just do not need another guest that is always on the decline. Promise you will help her shop for a new home.

  6. She knows you look after your own mum real good and she wants the same lol

  7. Actually she sees me as a rebel and hopes to change me. No really we don't have any grandkids close so our house is quiet.also I am just fun:)