July 22, 2011
Tightwad Gazette III - Day Seven - The Pantry Principle Update
Before I get into the content of this post, I wanted to say something that has really gotten my attention this week. There are a few visitors to my blog that have recently faced unemployment in their families. As far as recent, I am talking about within the past month.
If you or anyone in your family have been unemployed, it would be great to hear from you about that experience and how you got through it. Or in the alternative, perhaps you are still unemployed and struggling to find work. I would definitely like to hear your comments on what it has been like and how you have or are coping.
Now onto the Tightwad Gazette III. Tonight’s reading is an update from Amy on the pantry principle.
The Pantry Principle Update
In an update from a prior article on the Pantry Principle, a reader had written to Amy and asked what does a “tightwad” pantry include?
This is indeed a wonderful question. However, because people have different needs, preferences and resources, there is no real must list for a pantry according to Amy. Instead Amy offered a list of what was in her pantry and you can revise it to meet your family’s needs.
1. Baking supplies: Baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, cocoa, coconut, sunflower seeds, soy flour, eggs, bulk purchased gelatin, cornstarch, vinegar, paste food coloring and colored sprinkles.
2. Breads: Whole wheat loaves, bagels, English muffins, saltine crackers. (They make other breads.)
3. Cheese: Parmesan, cream and hard cheeses when the price drops below $2.00 per lb. (Remember, these are 1996 prices.)
4. Cold cereal: Any cereal when price drops to 7 cents per ounce, frequently corn flakes, rarely presweetened cereal.
5. Condiments: Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard. (They make jams, pickles and relish.)
6. Fats: Corn oil, olive oil, margarine, shortening, no stick spray.
7. Fruits: Apples, bananas, raisins, and occasionally, other fresh fruits when on sale. Canned pineapple and other canned fruit as it turns up in “mystery cans” from the salvage store. (They grew strawberries and acquire blackberries, blueberries, and pears from a relative.)
8. Grains: White flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, rice, popcorn, wheat germ.
9. Juices: Orange, apple, grape and lemon.
10. Legumes: Peanut butter, dried beans, dried peas, lentils.
11. Meats: Chicken parts, ground beef, ground turkey, whole turkey, tuna, ham, pork shoulder, bologna, hot dogs, bacon, salami, kielbasa, and other meats when sale price is low enough.
12. Milk: Dry milk, whole milk.
13. Non-nutritious beverages: Tea, ground coffee.
14. Packaged dinners: Macaroni and cheese.
15. Pasta: Spaghetti, macaroni and other pasta when the price drops to 33 cents a lb.
16. Seasonings and flavorings: A large selection of herbs and spices, wine and sherry for cooking, bouillon, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, artificial vanilla extract, maple extract.
17. Sweeteners: White sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup.
18. Vegetables: Onions, celery, potatoes, frozen French fries, instant mashed potatoes, tomato paste. (They grow a wide variety of items.)
So that is what is in Amy’s pantry and freezer. Mine is different and so is yours. For example, mine includes a lot of canned creamed soups, canned vegetables and fruits along with spaghetti sauce and canned tomato products.
When you keep a stocked pantry you can skip shopping for groceries when it is necessary, you rarely run out of an item and you save time by going to your pantry to make up your menus. It is a definite win win situation.