Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Wasn't Joking

Note: Cross-posted from private blog (originally posted on 12/13/09)

So I wasn't kidding when I said I had a lot of food storage. My pantry is full! I also have two freezers (not counting one attached to 'fridge) full of items too. It is ridiculous, but also strangely comforting if and when we ever needed to live solely from the stores. I have been making most of our meals from the storage, but have not had time to make menus and such yet (I have been cleaning though!)

I was reading Tansy's blog tonight and I noticed a blog title on her list with the title 'Pantry Challenge-Day 3 & 4'. Seems someone else was thinking similarly to us all! I like how she randomly picks things from her basement storage and then challenges herself to create meals around the items. This is really more my speed than menu planning. So, I am going to try her challenge this week (of course, there is always an added challenge in my life because I am basically a single mom during the week-it is extremely hard cooking for two picky eaters and myself). I had thought of doing something similar in that I would plan meals, 'shop' the basement and bring it up to the cabinets in the kitchen to use. I thought by doing this I would use up a good percentage of the food storage by summer.

I haven't blogged about this yet, but Shawn and I are attending church regularly (well, he is, I should say, I've skipped a couple of Sundays due to not wanting to deal with squirmy toddler, but today Sr came home and said, "Hey, they have Sunday School for children Lyndon's age...") Sr is Catholic and this is the religion we are trying together as a family. Being back in church seems to be a good thing for Sr. One of the topics they are discussing is money and debt. So, finally, I may have him on the right page with me this next year. Our goal is to eliminate all our consumer debt (including truck loan) by the end of the year (maybe even sooner).

Food remains one of our biggest expenses. I shop for food without a plan most of the time. I like to shop at the Amish bulk store and the grocery liquidator so it is hard to actually have a plan (as their inventory is not regular). I have been reading a lot about couponing and such and may give it a try (if I can find the patience for it), but really we are set for months in the food dept. if we eat from our own "grocery store", I really think we will bring our expenses done for the good.

So, I decided to post some pictures of my hoards stores:

FIL built me two of these shelving units (sturdy & wonderful). This is ONE of them (number two is just as full) and contains my canned goods plus some odds and end grains and beans. I also have water stored here and there between the food items. This is mainly items canned between winter 2008 and current. I actually canned a lot less than the previous three years.

Blurry picture, but as you can see I have a ton more food on this one (already in basement when we moved in). I mostly keep commercial canned goods here, but I also have the original home canned items I moved from the old house. Some of these things were canned in '06! I have more water stored here and a couple of boxes of wine and beer bottles for that spirits I never got around to making. (O, ignore my falling insulation. I couldn't find the step-stool to get up there and fix it!)

This picture is sideways, but is the worst of my storage. I just cram things in here and really need to spend sometime organizing this space. I tackled my spice cabinet last weekend and it is nice! The basement stuff is not perfect, but at least I can see the items. This cabinet is just horrible!

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