Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Super Tight Budget Pantry Stocking

So you want to put some food by and think you can't because you're already struggling to buy just enough now to get you from week to week? Well, guess can put food by and have a well stocked pantry that will see you through whatever disaster life throws your way. In this post, I will share some ways that I have put extra up over the years and truly it has been pretty painless. And while it takes time to do it this way rather than going out and spending a fortune to do it all at once, it can still be done and the end results the same. So here goes: 1. Change your eating habits. If you eat meat everyday of the week have a veggie night. If you eat a lot of processed foods then scour the internet for scratch cooking recipes and use them. An easy meatless night supper is a baked potato and large salad. Processed foods first of all are terrible junk. My daughter calls them fake food. For the cost of a loaf of bread I can buy a bag of flour and with a few other ingredients have several loaves of bread, biscuits, and desserts. 2. This is a continuation of number one. Learn to cook from very basic ingredients, called scratch cooking. Basic ingredients are always much cheaper and you get more for your money. Typically, those boxes of pre-cooked microwaveable rice are one meal. With a bag of regular rice you can get several meals and spend less. Same thing with beans. Canned beans are one meal (if you have a small family) while a bag of beans is several meals and will cost about 1/2 what the canned beans do. 3. Shop discount grocers. Typically, these are called bent and dent stores. If a grocer gets in a case of goods and the case is damaged then they won't accept the case. That case goes to the discount grocer who buys it at a rock bottom price. Therefore the mark-up is less. Most times there is nothing wrong with most of the items in the case, they are even dented. But the retail grocer won't take the time to find out. Now, safety issue...dented cans are not recommended to buy however dented boxes are not an issue since it is the bag inside the box that holds the seal. Nothing a discount grocer sells is out of date or expired. They aren't allowed by law to do that with the exception of some meats. Some meats reaching their sell by date in a retail grocery can be pulled from the shelf, flash frozen, and sold as a frozen good in a discount grocery. Typically this applies only to meats that come from the packers in it's own package. The meats that are on the styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic must be discarded because air can get in those plastic wraps. 4. Shop farmer's markets for produce. Buying produce at the farmer's market will save a whole lot more money than buying produce at the grocery store. An even better deal is go to a "pick your own farm" and pick all that you can use and put up and then bring it home and can or freeze it yourself. I can't tell you how much I have saved over the years by picking my own. 5. Eat seasonally. This goes along with #4. Eat produce fresh when it is in season locally and put it up when it is in season to eat later when it isn't. Oranges bought in the summer are shipped (costs more). Oranges in season cost less and can be put up in a variety of ways for later. We eat so many oranges during the winter that we are completely sick of them by the time season is over. We don't eat many during the rest of the year so it is easy to put up a few for later. 6. Learn to can and freeze extra. This goes along with #5. Canning will save you money in the long run even though it does cost a bit to get started. If nothing else water bath can jams, jelles, pickles and tomatoes. You can do that in any old stock pot. 7. Glean free stuff. There are quite a few people who have much more than they can eat in their yards or who don't use what they have hardly at all. For instance, our church has a crab apple tree. Nobody picks those crab apples. When asked the church was more than happy to let someone have them. While crab apples aren't that great by themselves they make great jelly, which is an expensive buy at the grocery. Just two things. Please ask if you might glean from someone's tree/vines/garden and be respectful and don't take everything. Someone asked my mom this year if she could have some pears. Mom said yes. I went out to get pears (two loaded trees) and both trees were stripped bare. No pears for me this year. I have never had this problem with folks in my garden, but I know others who have besides mom. 8. Shop at restaurant supply stores and buy in bulk. Many bulk items are cheaper, especially staple goods. I can buy a 25 lb. bag of sugar for less per pound than buy a 4 lb. bag of sugar. Sugar keeps forever. 9. Shop sales and use them to your advantage. If you go to the grocery to get corn and canned corn is on sale for 59 cents a can, but you only typically buy two cans at time take advantage and stock up. By doing this then you don't have to buy items until they are on sale again, which they will be. When I run out of our homemade cheese then I stock up when cheese is on sale and freeze it. Then I can wait until it goes on sale again to stock up again. I never pay full price for cheese. Anyway, since I am sick that is about all my poor little head can think of for now. Tomorrow I will post some other things that will save you money in the long run. Blessings, Kat


living from glory to glory said...

Hello Kat I just was thinking about buying meat and pressure canning it. I am going to a class from our extension office on Tues.
I really do cook mostly from scratch. So many people just buy for one day or week at a time.
Blessings Roxy

Kelle said...

Love it Kat,
You are such a blessing, to those who mread and take to heart wheat you share!
As you know we do all of these and more but it's always nice to have a refresher and reminder in areas we are lacking in and you did just that with this article, Thank you :o)
Today I made fry bread for breakfast served with cantaloupe from the garden and maple syrup or honey to dip the fry bread in. For lunch/ dinner I made cabbage bun( all from scratch, even ground the wheat for 1/2 the flour for the bread dough. People get it in their minds that cooking from scratch takes to long, but in reality I can cook a meal, even beginning with frozen meat and have it ready in an hour or maybe alittle more. I don't use a microwave either, thaw things in hot water, it really only takes a 10-15 minutes( changing the water as it cools) Making the bread dough and all it only took me an hour and a half before our lunch was served :o) Again Thanks for refreshing me in areas I've been lacking in*wink* Have a very blessed week,

Kelle said...

Wo I should have proof read that*YICKS!* Sorry*grimmic* LOL!!!