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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Share your goals for the Fall season! Holidays are coming up so any plans for stocking up with the sales ? Getting your favorites? Canning? Rotating stock? Or just doing the status quo? Being better with leftovers ? With prices going up everything helps!

I know I stocked up on some meat over labour day and need to go though the pantry to use up stuff and donate if needed. I need to stop buying stuff that sounds great to try but then forget about like fresh pineapple pickled relish...that just threw out.

Thanksgiving here in a couple of weeks cus north of the border so ham etc will be on sale. So plan on getting one. We are having a warm Sept which is not normal so cuts back on the easy oven meals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well just got bread etc. Need more dry cat food and milk. picked up 4 cans of baked beans.

bacon went bad and no wildlife wanted it not even that off but guess the brand is not good. not normal one. pineapple relish, yogurt and moldy bread in garbage. old pancakes to the raccoons. wild rice mix, beans, farmers sausage, onion used besides coffee milk etc.

I have to go though freezers etc and use up stuff. have to see about the veggie bins and refresh some things in water.
 

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I'll be using up the freezer and pantry over the next few weeks. Dh mentioned we had expired soup. I found one that was 4 years old. Way in the back. The others the date was last week. We'll eat that soup instead of the other I planned on Sunday. Lots of meat in the freezer. Bits and pieces of leftovers to use up. Ham bone will make bean soup and cornbread. My granddaughter wanted to cook a pumpkin, so we'll do that tonight. I'll probably freeze the puree for later. I already had some pumpkin that needs to be used up. We'll be making muffins. I have large cans of tomatoes to use up. I think I'll just put them through the blender and make lots of spaghetti sauce and freeze it. I have lots of good intentions. I just need to find the time to get it done.
 

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We did a big stock up and brought home a van full of groceries yesterday. I hate marathon shopping! We'll go again in November.

I want to have the dry beans under control by spring. We will be eating a lot of beans over winter to accomplish that because we have way too many and they're all outdated. Glad I got over my mom's dire warnings against cooking beans in the pressure cooker, because that's such an easy way to make them.

I'm getting to the end of the outdated canned goods. I do fairly well rotating that stock but it got out of control during covid, so now it's time to do better.

I also plan to add 3 lazy Susans to the pantry for better corner access. I will lose some space but the convenience will make up for that. I'm going to build at least one can rotator to see if I like it. If so, I'm hoping to make room for a total of 6-8. We'll see how that goes. Those will be winter projects.

Condiments are a whole other issue. The lazy Susans will help with that, but I'm still trying to find DIY recipes for many condiments so I can make a small batch when we need something, instead of wasting space in the pantry, then the fridge, and then throwing out something we don't use very much.

Lots of pasta to use up, though not as bad as beans. Then I want to decide on one or two shapes plus spaghetti, and not have as much of that on hand at one time.

Freezers need to be defrosted and all 3 reorganized, then DIY freezer meals made and restocked. I didn't have room for frozen meals during covid, but I do now.

I wonder how much of this will actually get done by spring, but at least I have some ideas about how to improve food management here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The idea is in your mind at least ! half the battle for me. me my problem is time flies and before I know it stuff is bad. I know I have some old canned stuff evap milk canned pumpkin at least 2 yrs old but not sure if they are good. pasta sauce etc no problem ..think a can of shrimp expired a few months but that should be good. chrisco too. old cheese soup. not sure if any of that is good.

forgot to say got 2 cans of wild crab meat for salad they call it but for 2.98 a can that was cheap so thought why not. used to make crab quiche. used to be stuff I would eat for lunch etc but I don't really eat lunch much or it is just breakfast and dinner not stuff family will eat. so will have to make an effort. dd took the bag of stuff for the food bank. so that is done.
 

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I’ve been doing well using up freezer items but not so great in the pantry. I’ve definitely made a dent but I’ve also added some things. For example tonight I am making chicken parm casserole. I cannot for the life of me find another can of sauce. When it’s on sale at a buck a can I always stock up. I can’t believe I’ve used all of the cans I had here. I need to tear the pantry apart and see what’s hiding in the back of the shelves.

Hopefully by spring I’ll make a dent in the mess!

Today I used three cans of sauce, a half bag of breaded chicken strips and a box of pasta. I also used some additional spices and finished up a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese. Progress.
 

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Plan right now is to keep using garden produce as long as possible and supplement with grocery sales. Trying to eat a pepper a day but they are coming faster than that so I will dry them when I get a sheet pan full and then make my own pepper flakes. Tomatoes will keep coming until we get a hard freeze sometime in Nov. Already put up cherries and berries this year. Have pantry staples like rice, beans, dried potatoes, canned tomatoes and fruit already, not planning to stock more unless it is a really good sale.

Have cut back on extras and trying to get out of the mindset that "just one won't hurt" or "I deserve it". Maybe I do deserve it, but I don't need it, especially sweets and treats. The cupboards are already loaded with chips and cookies I bought this summer. When we finish the current boxes of popsicles and ice cream that's it until next June.

I've been buying very little meat the past month or two, with exceptions for good sales and markdowns. Chicken quarters are .69/lb again and I'm going to get the 10lb bag and cut them up like I did this spring. Some I will smoke and freeze for winter.

Holidays aren't much of a thing for us. We don't need candy (and I have some from 2 yrs ago in the freezer) and we don't have big family gatherings. We'll do some things with friends, but it won't be expensive. I have a turkey left from last year, as well as cranberries and some pumpkin/squash to use, and like usual I'll spread favorite seasonal dishes through the month(s) and not try to cook everything in one day. I hit a very good sale on wine a couple weeks ago and we're fine for another year.

This coming month, as it gets cooler, we'll be digging into the freezer leftovers from spring. Hearty soups, chili, sloppy joe mix, baked beans, pot pies etc. We're just about done with the coffee we bought on our trip in 2019, which means I can soon open one of the 3lbs given to us since then.

Hoping for a good fall sale on baking goods. Didn't get one this spring. Would like a bag of bread flour and more sugar. My yeast is still good, and I've been keeping the spices and seasonings stocked up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I still have stuff from last year hamper.. I do this place where you pick what food selection hamper you want and pay monthly etc so have all that stuff coming in December for xmas season.. choc, pasta w sauce, appys, sidedishes, cake mixes, juices, cookies, canned fruit, soup, breakfast stuff etc basically if you had to entertain for x amount of days and feed everyone you are set. getting the 8lb prime rib and a ham with it so with all the ice cream etc that comes with it need to make sure the freezer is empty enough. Some things I will donate like minute rice but keep most of it. but I have some things from last year still. I may have to try out chicken rice casserole w mushroom sauce. I used to get rid of some things like soup cus there was always something at kids activities or school that needed a food bank donation.

since thanksgiving is in less then 2 weeks here have to get a ham or in trouble w the family. 1.95 a lb on sale then a ham bone for lentil soup too. not going to make split pea anymore kids like lentil instead but all made the same way.

I organized the freezer downstairs and took out a marie callander dutch apple pie, krogers cool whip, scheiders pots pies and mini quiches and a bag of tater tots. w a can of baked beans is dinner seems maybe another kid over too. plus ds took a bag of chips to friends. I am having some w dip. dd finished the cinnamon buns.
 

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Used up some cabbage for supper tonight by frying with half a ring of sausage, 3 potatoes, and a couple small onions. We love that and should eat it more often. We need to get back to eating more veggies.

Martha, organization does start with ideas. I hadn't thought about it like that, but it's true.

I got out a pkg of dates I was going to give to my mom. The date on them is 2018 but they've been frozen since we bought them, so I'm sure they're still okay. Husby said he likes date bars and would make some. Well, alrighty then. He was just finishing making a big pan of bar cookies, so he froze those and will make the date bars tomorrow. We also discussed cutting the bar cookie recipe in half since he doesn't have enough Tupperware dishes he likes to put the bars in. If he halves the recipe, he will have plenty of dishes and not hog up so much freezer space, and won'tbe eating the same bars till he's tired of them. He thinks it all makes sense, so I hope he does it.

A lot of this is long term planning. I want to try to fit into a smaller house eventually. We need to develop "smaller" habits now or it will seem impossible when the time does come to downsize. It takes time to change habits, and it won't hurt us any to try to make some changes now, just to get used to having less.
 

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One thing I really need to tackle is pots and pans. It might be just me but I have one cupboard stuffed with pots with lids and another bigger cupboard full of baking pans etc. With all of the options I have I use one large stock pot, one fry pan (rarely as I usually use the cast iron one), two 13 x 9 pans and one that’s a bit smaller. That’s it. Why do I have seven pots? I’ve got stuff jammed in there willy nilly and it’s a bona fide mess.
 

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I am plowing through the stash! Beans and dried hominy type corn are at manageable levels now but the lentils still need to get eaten. I went with the usda 'thrifty' amount for this month's grocery budget. About 75$ over my summer budget.
Could use more flour/grains in the pantry and some baking staples like the low sodium baking soda. And I need more tinned fish like low salt sardines. I eat more when I am protein starved and that does not save $$.

I have few pears I can turn into pear sauce today, not enough apples to bother. And I hope to cam some chicken meat with a friend later this month so I am eating up the last of the 2021 chicken broth this week...frees up the jars.
I need to stock up some sprouting seeds in hopes of not trying to buy expensive lettuce for winter sandwiches and salads.
I made space for a hit more stores food today too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hear you Hikr on my list to do go though stuff downstairs.. and yet I have a bid on some vintage pots and pans lol like them cus normally better quality cheap.

shrimp skewers and last 3 burgers from freezer, onion, 4 peppers, and 2 yellow squashes for bbq veggies. dh picked up creamo bread buns etc.

still leftovers from last couple of nights and no drive for cooking lol
 

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I have the menu done for the month, and a list based on that, now the ugly part-- I have to go through the cabinets and freezers and double-check that I am not buying anything we already have. Also, we have been doing alright with pulling down overstock/stock-ups, so I need to reorganize all that area and figure out what needs to be restocked and what doesn't.

I haven't told the local extended family yet (they'll howl and I don't care), but I am probably not going to be hosting any holidays this year-- I'll either be working at the new job, or if I DO get one of the holidays off, we will probably be rushing down to NC to see the in-laws, since the summer trip was cancelled. Bottom line is-- I'll want enough to do something with my little group, but I won't need to do the big stock-up, and should be careful not to over-buy...
 

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I'm working on this month's dinner ideas. My children (especially my youngest) like me to make "Halloween dinners" in October, and there are a few I can do inexpensively. I do like the idea of using the USDA "thrifty" guidelines to set my grocery budget for the month.

I'm trying to use up what I currently have in the freezers in the hopes of completely emptying them before I purchase any holiday foods in November. There are a few "fossils" in there that I might just end up tossing because no one has touched them in a year or more.

I'm also making a large batch of soup each week. The family isn't big on soup (one of my frustrations), but it's nice to have on hand for those of us who will eat it and still ends up saving money in the long run. I've been making stock out of the chicken scraps leftover from stripping rotisserie chickens (Costco still has the cheapest ones for $5 each), so that's practically free and keeps the cost of the soup down. Today I made a pot of soup from 2 quarts of the stock, meat from a quarter of a rotisserie chicken, some mushrooms, celery, and shredded carrots from the fridge, an onion from the pantry, and a bag of frozen spinach. I had some for dinner, will probably have some tomorrow when I get home from work, and I'm sure it will be finished off within 2 days.
 

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My children (especially my youngest) like me to make "Halloween dinners" in October, and there are a few I can do inexpensively.
Our "traditional" Halloween dinner has always been "Mummy chunks and worms with blood sauce" (aka spaghetti and meatballs, and you can use a little green food coloring on the meatballs if you REALLY want to sell it...) One year I went all-out and made bone-shaped breadsticks, but that really wasn't worth the work...

I haven't done the picture below, but it is saved to my pinterest board to try "one of these days..." Pigs in blankets, mummy-style...

Joint Shoe Photograph White Product
 

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I haven't done the picture below, but it is saved to my pinterest board to try "one of these days..." Pigs in blankets, mummy-style...

View attachment 59905
I have and it was a mess. The thin strips of dough are sticky and break easily, and are hard to wrap as pictured. Not worth the time, and none of the adults cared for the hot dogs. Kids might like them more. It's easier to keep the dough in big pieces and do body bags, or summer camp sleeping bags. :)

Our traditional Halloween dinner has been road kill chili. I started doing that back when friends gave us a bunch of frozen venison. I'd add whatever I could get to fil it out, a little bison or turkey, for example. For parties I make jello jigglers with the halloween molds. You can find them sometimes at thrift shops, on ebay, etc. Sometimes the grocery stores have them, they're pretty cheap.
 

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Looking at prices for fruitcake fruit. Safeway came up with some incredibly low priced 1 lb bags @ $1.50 on sale. So I went to Safeway, looked and looked, and could not find them. I think the universe is saying don't make fruitcake this year. :cry: I only know 2 people besides me who like it - brother and BIL. So probably better not. There are other options - like cookies.
While at Safeway I did get a package of London Broil 50% off because last day of sale. :)
 

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We love fruitcake! Home made, of course. I'll have to add that to my list of things to bake. I use golden raisins, dried pineapple, cranberries, dates, candied ginger, whatever I can find. My recipe only uses ~2 cups of dried fruit. Since it all soaks in rum over night it's a great way to use up the old dried stuff.

Anyway, since it's predicted to drop into the 40's tonight it looks like I am harvesting basil and making pesto today.
 
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