Friday, March 7, 2014

Full Freezer


I have a confession to make.  I am not happy, nor comfortable, without a grocery stockpile.  I guess you could say it is my security blanket.  I'm not quite sure why I feel so strongly about this.  The only thing I can attribute it to is the lean years when my son was a toddler and our finances were pretty dicey.

Back in those days I had less than $15 on any given week for groceries, toiletries, laundry and cleaning supplies.  I scoured the ads like a mad woman and managed, quite well, to keep us fed.  It is that experience that has led to my super thrifty grocery budget and the skills I have honed to make it happen.

Although we have never had a repeat of that experience something in my psyche must want to make sure we are never in that predicament ever again.  I thought I could handle weekly meal planning and shopping and keeping a smaller pantry and freezer stocked.  Apparently not.

Now that we have the new larger freezer my hunter/gatherer instincts kicked in and I filled that puppy.  Granted half of it is full of water bottles to freeze for ice for the refrigerator but I stuffed the other half.
 
I'm using my empty storage bins to help keep things organized.
Amazingly it only took two stops at two stores and it all fell into place.  I went to Albertsons and Fred Meyer and managed to purchase enough meat on sale and from the markdown bin to easily last us a good three months or so and I didn't spend much at all to do it.

I also have bread, veggies, one frozen pasta dish and an extra loaf of pumpkin bread I made tucked in there as well as some ice cream.  Got to have ice cream in this household.

In order to make this work I'll be going over budget a little this month but it will all even out next month because I won't need to buy as many groceries.  To me it's definitely worth it and gives me a lot of peace of mind. 

How about you?  Do your dwindling cupboards make you antsy?  Do you keep a stockpile?

11 comments:

  1. I completely understand! I get a little nervous when I see things going down. We recently had to do a 'pantry challenge', not by choice, it was by necessity, and we managed to buy almost nothing for months, just living off of what we had in the house. I think we did quite well during the whole time and every one of us gained skills in the kitchen that we didn't have before. We also gained more quality family time together as we all got creative making meals with what we had on hand- it was fun for us. But let me tell you, as soon as we were able we hopped in the car and stocked up on what we could. Our freezer is full of mostly loaves of bread right now, I got a good amount of meat this morning at the store (in my current blog post), and I feel so much better knowing that I can shop my own pantry for the next few weeks and create several meals again. So I get your 'peace of mind' feeling. :)
    I had to laugh at your ice cream comment- if it were up to my husband and my son we would have a separate freezer just for ice cream- haha!

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    1. With me working for a temp agency and the fact that sometimes I have to go without income for a short time I really feel the need to have a good store of groceries on hand. So neat to hear about you using your situation to make it more of a family time in the kitchen. I think that is wonderful!

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  2. I don't like bare cupboards. Now the freezer is okay if there isn't much. That's because of power outages where I had a full freezer and more than once had to throw everything out. I like to have basics in the pantry just in case the money is short for some reason or another. I always worry about that......rough times, economy, illness. So I always have spaghetti sauce and noodles, (GF) tuna, mac and cheese, soup. I used to, years ago, buy 5 lbs of hamburger and all my meat meals were made from that. I just wondered, do your girls every say that they don't like pinching pennies or living in a small space. I think it's great, but just wondered.

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    1. I have extra pasta, tuna and spaghetti sauce on hand too. Because I don't have that much pantry space I have it stored in a s hopping bag in my bedroom.

      I have awesome girls. To them this tiny house adventure is exactly that. They are having a blast and have actually asked me if we can do it next year too. As far as pinching pennies goes this is pretty much how it has always been so they really don't know any different. Now that they are older we talk about it and they are right in there with me.

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  3. I grew up poor... dirt poor. There was never food in the house and I was always hungry. So I tend to over-compensate with food... our fridge, freezers (deep and small fridge one) and our 2, yes TWO, pantries are always full. I never want my kids to be 'hungry'. My weakness I guess... so yes, I always have lots of food on hand!!

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    1. I completely understand. My girls spent a brief time in orphanages before I adopted them. There was never quite enough food to go around and it is deeply rooted in their psyches. Another reason I make sure there is plenty of food. I never want to reintroduce that trauma to them. You don't forget going hungry.

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  4. I definitely prefer to have a good food supply on hand. That said, I do find it useful to whittle down occasionally to make sure everything gets used, not wasted. Given out situation it is unlikely we'll ever go hungry, but I remember what it is like not to be able to afford healthy food, so this is a priority for me. I'm putting in seeds this week in hopes of having 'free' healthy food on hand in addition to what is in the fridge and freezers. Back when things were bad, I didn't have the cooking or any of the frugal skills I do now and those, along with a full freezer and pantry, are part of my 'security programme'.

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    1. I have to remember what is in my freezer and make sure I rotate it so it doesn't get freezer burnt. Same thing in the pantry as well so I don't forget what I have. I'm getting ready to plant some seeds this next week as well. I want to start some flowers, peppers and tomatoes.

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  5. I do not have a stockpile. Growing up my mom bought groceries when the cupboards and fridge got bare. My husband was my brothers best friend back then(he is 8 years older than I) and remembers them being hungry and there was like bread and molasses...lol! My mom is amazing with money, so it wasn't that she could not stockpile, she just didn't do things that way. She grew up poor, so maybe she was used to that. I in turn am pretty much the same way. I do not get anxious when the cupboard or fridge get sparse. My husband will mention it though. He'll say "looks like 266 Saskatchewan" which was my address as a kid. He makes me laugh.

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    1. My mom was that way. She shopped when things were low. I don't think she particularly liked to grocery shop. I, on the other hand, love it.

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