Monday, April 28, 2014

Productive Weekend

The soft spring rains were nice on Sunday, right up to the time the wind picked up and started to howl down the alley and around the corners of my building.  It's funny how even though the inside temperature remains constant, it feels colder when I can hear the whistle of the wind and the sound of the rain being blown against the window panes.  So I grabbed a flannel shirt and a heavy pair of socks to ward off the imaginary coolness of my apartment, and got busy.

Sams Club has fresh chicken breast at a good price, so I bought several packages, cut the chicken into chunks and canned them.  27 pints of chicken are now on the shelves, making a total of 54 pints with what I had canned earlier.  Took the pieces of fat and scrap meat I had cut off the chicken before canning, boiled them up with a bit of seasoning and got 4 quarts of rich broth.  The cooked scraps are used for dog treats that make my two ankle biters jump for joy!  The chicken fat gives fried potatoes a wonderful flavor.  I had planned to buy hamburger to can, for I use that a lot, but their price was no better than the grocery store's, so I will wait for sales.

Sam's carries the huge 6 lb. packages of frozen hash browns, so I got three.  They dehydrate down to less than half the bulk which frees up my freezer space.  I put the last bag on dehydrator trays this morning.  I really like having the dry hash browns on my pantry shelf.  Takes only about 15 minutes to rehydrate them in boiling water and they are ready to use.

The price of butter is good - just a bit over $2 per pound, as opposed to $3.59 a pound at the grocery, so 24 pounds are in the freezer.  Yeast is really cheap in the vacuum sealed 2 lb. packages, and because I bake all of my own bread, I bought 8 lbs.  That should last me a very long time.

I believe that it is necessary to my happiness and well being to have an occasional treat.  I bypassed the barrel o' cheese puffs (although I was tempted) and went for the frozen blueberries.  Sams sells a 3 lb. bag for $6.88.  It would be tough to find a pound of fresh at the grocery for the price.  I bought three bags.  One I will just eat.  I like them as an evening snack once in a while, about half thawed.  The other bags will be used for baking or desserts or blueberry pancakes.

There was a lot more that my poor daughter huffed up the stairs for me.  The stairway I usually use is wide and gradual, with a landing half way up.  Had that stairway not been a crime scene that morning, she would have hauled the groceries to the landing where I would have loaded my cart and easily taken them the rest of the way.  As it was, we had to use the front stairs which are very steep and narrow.  She wouldn't let me try to carry anything up those awful stairs, but carted all of it herself.  Without complaint.  She has one knee that gives her trouble, and I'm pretty sure she had to go home and ice it down for a while.  How on earth I wound up with kids who help, even when it hurts, is beyond me.  I am so very grateful.

With all of the bad things going on around us, with a government that seems to delight in making us dependent upon it and with the same government that seems hell-bent on destroying our Constitutional rights, I tend to become a bit anxious when I know that I am not as prepared to take care of myself as I would like.  So even something like this grocery haul eases my mind a bit.  I will continue to do whatever I can to be as prepared as possible for whatever new and worrisome cards are dealt us.  I don't know how others feel, but it seems to me that the downward slide is escalating.  I refuse to be one of those fighting for the last loaf of bread on the shelf.


  1. Nice to see that you could stock up. My wife is again talking about a Sam's membership. Its a drive for us, so i don't know. We have to go to Maple Grove. I94 will be hell this summer due to road work. We could use the one in your neck of the woods.
    I am so over all the rain. We planned a yard work day and that was washed out. :) Have a great week.

  2. Rob...I'm glad I had the chance to go to Sams. I compare prices and get only what costs me more elsewhere. The fresh chicken breast is good at $1.88 a pound, and they are huge. Yeast is a really good price, as is the butter. I also saved money on things like baking powder (I make lots of biscuits), chocolate chips, the frozen potatoes, etc. Spent about $300. If I had more help carrying upstairs, I would buy rice in bulk, 50 lb. bag of onions to dehydrate, etc. If you can buy enough at one time to offset the price of gas, it would be worth the membership fee.

    I don't mind the rain too much. But I've got lots of inside things to do this week, and no yard to work on! So next is stirring up my bread for the week and a couple pans of blueberry muffins. Take care.

  3. I admire the heck out of we say down here.

  4. Stephen...Me, all embarrassed. Thank you, but there's nothing special here. Just doing whatever it takes to weather the storms.

  5. My boys ordered something like 31 cases of food, plus 6 cases of juice. The juice we will drink and not store.

  6. Rob.....Wow!! That is wonderful! I'm so glad for you that you can stock up this way. Those 31 cases will go a long way to keeping your family fed when times get tough. You have some pretty darned good kids to do this for your family. You must be proud.