Stocking the Pantry

I’ve mentioned before our monthly grocery bills are ridiculously low.   We get our protein from grains and beans, we don’t eat fancy dishes (it’s pretty hot stuff if I serve more than one side dish with dinner), and I buy in bulk.  Oh yeah, and I make most everything it seems.  The food is good, hot, and there’s lots of it.  I try to buy produce in season too- it tastes better, and is loads cheaper.  If something is on a ridiculous sale, I buy 10 times as much as we need and freeze or can most of it.  We have a garden, but I’d be lying if I said it made a huge difference in our grocery budget last year.  We did get a lot of tomatillo salsa out of it though, and enough jam to last for the year, plus enough of both to give away as Christmas presents.

The credit card we use rewards back a certain percentage of all purchases, and we get a check (only good at Costco) once a year from them.  The reward only accrues on money paid back in the same month as the purchase, which we ALWAYS do.  Always, always- we’ve never had a credit card balance carry over.  If it was a temptation, we wouldn’t use it.  The check came a few weeks ago, and I took inventory of our pantry.  Lots to buy!  Here’s what I got with our check:

  • 4 gallons white vinegar
  • 25 lb. white all-purpose flour
  • 10 lb. chocolate chips
  • 6 lb. brown sugar
  • calcium chews (for the toddler…sigh, I don’t like supplementing, but it’s just in case)
  • Children’s Tylenol
  • 10 lb. egg noodles
  • 5 lb. salmon fillets (this is new for us- it turns out my kids LOVE fish, so I splurged on an $18 bag of frozen fillets)
  • 10 lb. baking soda
  • 3 double-packs of tortillas (I can’t figure out how to make these myself- mine are too puffy)
  • 10 lbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 large loaves Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese (another splurge- it’s a favorite local dairy.  I keep cheaper shredded cheese in the freezer)
  • 10 lb. Crisco
  • 5 lb. quinoa
  • 2 gallons milk
  • 4 gallons vegetable oil
  • tortilla chips (guilty splurge- my oven baked ones just aren’t the same!  These are so good with homemade hummus, or sprinkled over chicken salsa  soup)

With $1.80 tax, the total came to $180.46, and the clerk handed me $5.35 change from our yearly check.  I tried to buy enough to everything to get our basement storage back to up “last for a year” quantities- a lot of things needed topping off.  Some things, like flour, I don’t keep a year’s supply of- I have lots of wheat, if we needed to use it, and I keep 100 pounds of white flour on hand.  It’s nice to have, but we don’t NEED it.


8 Responses

  1. Wow, you really do buy in bulk. I run into the problem when I buy in that large of amounts on some things I don’t use it up in time/can’t find it, or no place to store. I do get guilty of basement storage other people have. They just don’t do it in Texas. Of course, I probably still wouldn’t use it very effectively. I’m working on that.

  2. I thought anybody north of the the Mason-Dixon line had to take Vitamin D supplements? It’s the cloudy, not enough sun to amount to anything type of thing…..

  3. Wow, that is super impressive! We buy all bulk foods but only a couple weeks at a time, lol. I’ve been trying to plan a bit better and stock up on my Co-Op’s member days, especially for things like nuts and tea.

  4. Man…you’re organized. 😉 Right now, the only things we “stock” are flour (50 pounds), sugar (20 pounds), rice (50 pounds)….and there are two big jugs of oil on my counter (canola and olive). I don’t have a good way to store food storage right now. I don’t have an ideal way to store it in the new place, either…maybe in the coat closet? Not sure yet.

    At the very least, there WILL be a chest freezer in my future!!!

    • EMBRACE THE CHEST FREEZER. And know you could lose everything if the power goes out for 4 days 🙂 (Me? Organized? Heh- I like that.) Everything is stacked in a nook under the stairs, next to the garage.

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