Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Pantry

So I have been absent several days. Gosh, darn it life has been busy. What else could I expect?

There have been several days with a husband out of town, then a party to be hosted here, and of course then came Easter.
We have also been finishing up some obligatory testing (don't get me started on my feelings about standardized tests!)...but we are compliant:-)
I have to say that it has been nice to just be us and not be cleaning up EVERYTHING! Laundry has not been done in 2 days!....Tomorrow I will climb the mountainous piles and see what I can tackle.

On another subject, I finally had time to head out and get the pantry stocked up a bit once more. I do keep boxed goodies and conveniences around some what. It is nice when the kids are playing or if we decide to pack up a lunch for the lake to have some items here. I must also brag that we never need to scurry out with the threat of snow to buy food, as is the norm here in Georgia for so many.

So how do I keep the pantry stocked and organized? well I start by having my big sister come visit and get it all organized for me. I then promise to keep it that way. So far, I have:-)

My first stop today was Aldis. Here is a sampling of what I got. Again, we were low or out of many items and the strawberries were on sale for .99 a pound. I will be making a yummy dessert this week and will post it. After we unload groceries I grab my sharpie marker.
When you buy bulk items or items for long storage it is important to mark the date on them. This allows you to rotate the food and always use up what's been around the longest. I even mark the tops of canned goods. For example I bought a case of mandarin oranges today , marked them and moved them to the bottom of my stack of oranges. Yep, STACK. My kids love to snack on these canned mandarins.

As far as essentials and "treats" there are a few items that we larger families should always keep around. Popcorn is one but also rice crispie cereal, marshmallows, rootbeer, ice cream and ice cream cones. It is a rule and I never break such rules, honestly. I do buy Breyers vanilla when it's on sale, and what I mean is I STOCK up when it's on sale. I have 3 freezers:-) I like to also buy the large bucket of neopolitan ice cream for cones in the summer, and my advice is to splurge on a name brand. The cheapo stuff is nasty tasting.

So here are the 2 sides of the pantry. See, sis, it still looks pretty good! Everything is pretty much labeled with a date and stocked on the shelves like a store. See those Quaker Oats? I despise them. I actually ran out of regular oats and panicked because I have NEVER been without oats before. In my haste I went to Costo and bought those Quaker oats. They are blah:-( Fortunately my big sister is bringing me like 50 pounds of regular oats this summer. Speaking of which....
Behind the pantry door is where I keep my buckets of wheat, sugar, flour, popcorn, beans, etc. When you feed this many, it is always cheaper to  buy in bulk and also to COOK DINNER! :-) We do not eat out often at all, and in fact if we do it is usually a cheap pizza. McDonalds will run us $40....I can cook a huge meal for $5.
Well, laundry did not get done today.......

I will keep it real for you and show a smidgen of what piled up over 2 days. I have to add diapers and all of the clothes upstairs to this mountain. Speaking of which, since I started making my own laundry detergent it has saved us a BUNDLE! I have an HE machine and this homemade stuff works great. You can find my recipe HERE. It costs me about $5 for 4 months worth of detergent!

I also must confess that I do keep to myself a couple of treats that as a mom to many, can make even the worst days better. Here they are:

...and they both can be found in my pantry:-)

Tomorrow I will post on what I am cooking this week and hopefully my laundry will be more caught up.
Have a great night ya'll!

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