Friday, February 8, 2013

My Pantry Breakdown

Sadly, I had a very cute post all ready to send and I hit the undo button and NOW ITS GONE!!!  Never fear, I won't leave you hanging.  You just won't get all the bells and whistles, sadly!!!!  But the bones, and the reason you are here, are still here!!  

So the first thing I would like to share with you is how I stock my pantry.  I believe that with a well stocked pantry, you can really make something out of nothing.  

So lets begin with WHAT I NEVER BUY!!!

I think all of these things are self explanatory, but in case not, I will just quickly say that I never buy individually pre-packaged junk food if there is another way to buy it.  It is just so much more expensive and lasts half as long.  I always look for the biggest size of whatever it is I'm buying {Cheez Its, Goldfish} and go that route.  My kids know that if they want a snack they will get a handful in a ziploc snack bag.  Things last sooooo much longer this way.  They really do!!  

As far as candy goes, we have Easter candy, Valentines candy, Halloween candy....  Good grief, there is no reason to buy it!  Plus it is astronomical in cost!  Just don't do it.  

Cokes are just a No No around here.  They are terrible for you, are outrageously priced, and just make no sense to me.  We drink sweet tea, water, milk, and OJ, and that is pretty much it.  Nobody seems to mind!  While I'm talking about drinks, let me say that individual pre-packaged drinks are just as bad as the junk food.  $3.00 for 8 pouches of sugar water.  Kool Aid is 50 cents and it makes a gallon!!  Come on....

Finally, paper towels.  I know that plenty of people are thinking I am crazy right now for not buying paper towels, but I challenge you to try it.  I promise you will not miss them.  We just use dish rags for spills or what have you and cloth napkins for meals {if we use anything at all}.  The good paper towels are like $8.00 for 4 rolls...CRAZY!!  I think if you try it, you won't ever miss them for a moment!!!

So, by cutting these things out of your grocery shopping budget, I think you could easily save $20-$30/month.  I think its definitely worth a try.  Remember, the more you save on things that don't matter the more you can spend on things that do....Blue Bell Ice Cream, Oreos, Laughing Cow cheese....did I say that out loud?????

So, okay, that is what I don't buy. So what do I buy.  Well, it just depends.  Usually I buy what is on sale. More on that next time.  And let me just say right now that I don't shop all organic, but I do try to buy local and products of the USA as much as I can.  We do have a garden and I rely heavily on our own produce, especially in the summer months.  I don't like Walmart but sometimes I do have to shop there and I am over feeling guilty about it.  Anything else??  No, okay, back to what I was saying....

I believe that a well stocked pantry solves a lot of stress at 5:30pm.  If you have a well stocked pantry you can literally make something out of nothing in 30 minutes.  Anytime!  So here are the must haves that I keep stocked.

stocked (adj.) - Ready supply of something at all times.
Usually in quantities of more than one of each.

Baking Powder 
All-Purpose Flour (at least 3 bags at all times)
Baking Soda
Powdered Sugar
Brown Sugar
Chocolate Chips
Yeast (pizza is a great go to recipe, yeast is for your crust)
Velveeta Block (I know its fake cheese, but it sure is good)
Worcestershire Sauce (love this as a substitute for anything)
Vegetable Oil
Non-stick cooking spray 
BBQ Sauce
Peanut Butter
Spaghetti Sauce
Canned Tomatos
Canned Beans (Bush's Baked Beans especially)
Canned Tuna
Salad Dressing (salads are a great last minute meal)
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Tony's or Season All
Black Pepper
Vanilla Extract
Jello Instant Pudding
Tea bags (we drink alot of sweet tea over here so I keep plenty)
The Trophy Mom Diaries is where I got my base for my pantry list.  She also recommends keeping the ingredients for your family's favorite 5 meals stocked in your pantry.  Great idea!!!
I would recommend slowly stocking your pantry one sale at a time.  Over time you will find that you are stocked and ready for anything.  There are a few refrigerator/freezer items that I am never without too...
Pie crusts
frozen broccoli (big bag or several small bags)
frozen okra (big bag or several small bags)
Oreo pie crust
eggs (we have chickens so that is never a problem)
Jiffy cornbread (its endless what you can do with this stuff)


So, now that you know what needs to go in your pantry, next we will get busy stocking it.  I will show you how I shop and what I buy and when.  Hopefully I can give you some pointers that will help you and not be overwhelming.  

Go clean out those pantries, and we will meet back here next week!!!!



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