This year, we plan to really expand our garden and grow quite a bit more than we did last year so that we have more home grown foods instead of store bought. I’m so excited! I can’t wait for the planting to begin! I love the feel of freshly turned soil between my fingers and toes! To me, there is no better reason to look forward to spring!
In addition to my wonderful pantry, I also have a full freezer! I’ve filled it with produce from the garden, great deals on meats from the store, and I’m starting to fill it with our very own chickens! Yes, we raise our own chickens, some for meat, but most for their wonderfully fresh eggs!
I finally got my freezer organized a couple of weeks ago, and now I have to reinventory everything. This is the key to frugality – keeping up with your inventory. This keeps you from buying duplicates of things you don’t need, and helps you with your menu planning. You’re not saving any money if you’re buying things that you already have on hand and/or things that will go bad before you get them all used up. This is something that I have not done since moving, and I definitely need to start doing again. It’s on my "To Do" list for this weekend.
As to the blessings of a well stocked pantry:
1) I can throw together a meal at the drop of a hat
2) If we have unexpected company, I don’t have to worry about not being able to feed them at meal time.
3) I can make my own breads, desserts, etc. from scratch which is much healthier and definitely much tastier!
4) I can pick and choose what I buy at the store each week. I don’t have to buy everything every time I go.
5) I can make my menu and then tell at a glance what I need to purchase to fill in any missing ingredients.
6) If there is an "emergency" such as job loss, illness, etc., I know that I don’t have to worry about what to feed my family. In these economic times, this is definitely a plus.
7) If someone at church needs a meal, I can throw something together very quickly to help out.
I know God has truely blessed my family through a well stocked pantry over the years, and in turn, we’ve been able to bless others. I pray that He will continue to bless my family in this way.
Tomorrow is my shopping day, and my list is not too long. I’m hoping to take advantage of a few sales this week as well as pick up the items that I need to get that we’re either out of or almost out of. My budgeted amount is usually $200 every 2 weeks, but I would love to keep it between $100 to $150. I really would like to see my grocery spending decrease again. I’ve done it in the past so I know I can do it again. Wish me luck!