It’s the time of year when I start hearing everyone talk about how they are going to spend their income tax return. I gotta say a trip to Cabo sounds really sweet right now. Or all new furniture. Have you seen some of the media rooms people have installed in their homes?
Compared to the choices above, we’re pretty boring over here.
Our income tax returns go towards things like paying off the costs of a certain Brave Hero. Good thing he’s cute, huh?
Since we were married we’ve also always built up our food storage using some of our income tax return. With prices going up as quickly as they have been, it has become harder and harder to make a paycheck last the month. Stocking up once a year makes it easier.
$1.67 a pound for butter is a ‘buy as much as you can afford price’ in my area. Luckily it freezes beautifully!
On Saturday I spent the morning cleaning out freezers and the pantries and taking inventory of what we’ve used up and what we need to replace and what nobody really liked.
My dishwasher was filled with the empty jars I use for storage containers.
My list was full of stuff I need to replenish.
I scoured my coupons for ways to make the entire experience a little less painful.
I’m putting the final touches on my list. Marking off what I’m not going to be able to afford, giving thanks for what I will be able to afford.
It is NOT about running out and putting yourself in debt to fill your pantry. It’s about making filling your pantry a priority and choosing to spend your money in such a way that allows you to pick up a few extras each time you go to the grocery store.
Here’s a few reasons why I go through all this work:
- Stocking my pantry frees up a bit of cash each month that I can use for cherry picking, or purchasing that week’s loss leaders. Like the .49 cent bottles of pasta sauce I stocked up on last week.
- It also means that if a month comes a long that the grocery budget needs to go to other places, say something that Parker can’t live without, my family will still be able to eat. No, maybe not gourmet meals, but healthy meals that will keep them going.
- With all of the storms across the US these days, it’s also a good idea to have some foods on hand that can be eaten cold, in case the electricity goes out. Canned foods (especially home canned variety!), nuts, sprouting seeds, dehydrated fruits (don’t forget the water!), peanut butter, powered cow and goat milk, shelf stable cow, almond and rice milk, good quality granola bars. You get the picture. Don’t store anything you don’t already KNOW your kids will eat. The whole idea that a person will eat anything in an emergency ain’t true.
- Stocking up on the essentials is like money in the bank making me interest. Have you noticed how food is going up in price each month……or even week? When I have my essentials on hand, purchased at the lowest prices possible and in bulk, I’m saving money by not having to run to the store for that one item, and by not having to pay full price PLUS the price increase.
If you need more incentive to go through your own pantry and freezer on a regular basis and make an inventory read this The Cause Of Riots And The Price of Food. Just don’t do it before bedtime.
This year’s freezer and pantry list is shorter than last year’s, which was shorter than the year before. Part of the reason is the rising costs. Part of the reason is leaning how to make more of what we eat rather purchasing it’s store bought version, and part is due t the fact that we’ve substituted it or simply cut it out of our menu. Seriously. Debt or steak. Debt or steak. It’s not that hard of a question to answer. I can find plenty of cheaper, healthy protein sources that allow me to continue our quest to pay Parker off.
This year’s list includes:
Chicken from Zaycon (Think Bountiful Baskets but for meat!)
Lentils (2012 was a HUGE lentil year for us for some reason)
Oil Oils and coconut oil
Whole grain pasta
White, brown and powdered sugar
Soy power (a great egg substitute)
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Dehydrated pinto/refried beans
Powdered Goat milk I’m trying to create an emergency stash for Parker’s blenderized diet and yogurt and kefir making.
I find that if I purchase things like diapers, probiotics, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, etc., with tax refund money that it helps to not add a shock to the monthly budget. $50.00 bucks a month for probiotics eats up a grocery allowance quickly!
And now on to my VitaCost info. I purchase things like Bac-Out and Ecover fabric softener there. And right now the Encover is on sale for $2.98. Encover is one of the very few fabric softeners Parker and I can use, and it is cloth diaper/trainer friendly. It runs close to $5.00 at the health food store. I use half a cupful with about 3x the amount of water in the little fabric softener dispenser.
I also purchase the VitaCost brand iron pills, and a few other things when they go on sale. If you
If you shop through Parker’s referral link you will get $10.00 off your first order of $30.00 or more AND Parker and I will receive $10.00 towards the stuff we get for him there. Then you can share your referral link with your friends.
Yes, that was a total shameless plug, but did I mention how expensive Brave Hero’s are?