That summer cold knocked me flat for a solid week. Worse, was that sinking feeling when you find yourself throwing back Nyquil cocktails just to keep going. Deep down I knew a quick recovery was futile. I was doomed.
This is the first sickness in 15 years that I didn't have to manage alone. Husbands, I've discovered are very handy. The dogs were sweet too. It's funny how they know when you're not feeling well.
There's something about getting sick that:
1. Makes me think of all the things I have on my to-do list.
2. Drives me into purging mode as soon as I feel better.
On Sunday, I attacked my pantry. I have a wonderful, big pantry, but it was time to whip it back into shape. It had begun to look like a catch-all for every little thing, and I was having a hard time keeping track of my staples.
Because it's a long drive into town, I try to keep my pantry and fridge stocked. Most of my grocery runs are for fresh vegetables and anything that goes on clearance. If I wanted, I could go for weeks without hitting the stores, but I'd miss fresh veggies. My summer garden is all but spent.
I've started the fall garden which is looking great. I'll share some of the details on the next State of the Homestead report.
Back to the pantry. Even a small pantry can increase your ability to save money on food. In the early days, I started small, buying a few extra cans of whatever went on sale. I'm fastidious about checking expiration dates. And while I sometimes "try" something new, I generally stick to the things I know we'll use regularly.
Loyalty cards: In the US, many grocery stores offer loyalty cards. Kroger, my local chain, regularly sends me coupons and freebies. I may not always use the coupons but I always grab the freebies. Even if I don't use it, it can be donated to a food pantry.
Double down on holidays: In the US, you are guaranteed some great food prices right before major holidays. Set aside a little extra cash to use in November when grocery stores have their biggest sales on baking supplies, turkeys, roasts, and frozen foods.
Freeze it: Every box of baking mix, flour, rice, or pasta goes straight to the freezer for two weeks. I don't take chances with weevils which you'll find in almost every package if you don't use it up quickly. Food distributors can't help it. For the record, weevils aren't harmful, but I still don't want to see them.
Use Glass: I retired nearly all my plastic containers years ago. Although glass is heavier, I find it easier to clean and disinfect. Plastic tends to absorb the smell of whatever was in it last.
Go in with a friend: Those big warehouse stores are great for large buys. If you can't use up a whole bag of flour or sugar, divvy it up with a friend that way you both save.
When I lived in an apartment, I dedicated one bank of cabinets to food. I stored my pots and pans in the dishwasher because I never used it. Big Reveal: This is the first year (in 40) I've used a dishwasher regularly.
I know most people can't live without a dishwasher but it was only me and Greg and I felt it unnecessary to use the extra energy. Now I'm just busy. Easier to load the dishwasher and go on to another chore than do them by hand.
So how about you? Do you store food for more than a couple of weeks? Are you lucky enough to have a pantry? Do you use a dishwasher, or ever use it as extra storage?
What tips do you use when buying in bulk?
Because Melissa McClone reminded me...
If you want more tips on grocery shopping, try this book: smart grocery shopping