Here we are, nearing the end of the year and I’m so ready for it!  I want to organize all the things, be a minimalist (my definition of it), get donate in order to live with more peace.  For now, I start with Shelf-Cooking, again.

This is really simple for me because I do not like to waste food.  I can make a casserole out of any leftovers.  Soup is my jam.  I’m creative.  Those things I can say with complete confidence.  I am not a food prepper/hoarder.  We buy what we need and we use it up.  I simply do not have the funds to go and stockpile things like Jordan Page.

Faithful Viewer

I was a faithful viewer of hers but over time, I realized she is not on the same playing field as I am.  Yes, she has 8 children.  Yes, as she states CONSTANTLY, they are “hers” and “biological” and she has “given birth to all” of her children.

Congrats to you.  For some reason, that just rubs me the wrong way.  Why do you have to stipulate how your children came into your family?  I mean regardless, my kids are my kids.  I gave birth to them one way or another.  There is no difference in how they came to my family.

I digress.

She also has like 5 kitchens, 2 nannies, and a husband that stays home with the kids.  She has multiple freezers/fridges and she has an insane storage area of food.  That is simply  not me and not my life.

For the Normal People

We are not big grocery bill spenders.  However, in the past, we did buy a cow and a pig once a year to help with meat costs.  Plus the meat was VERY good, lasted all year (and then some) and we got it at a crazy good deal because it was my granny’s cattle.

That hasn’t been an option for us the last few years, so we have had to add that back into our budget.  There are also times when (like during the holidays) that we have gone overboard in what we have bought.  That isn’t often, but with 7 kids, 2 son-in-laws, and 1.5 grandchildren, we have a lot of birthdays.

I cook for minimum of 5 people a night but we usually have my oldest kids and their crew over or my parents.  There are always a lot of people.  I do think about when it will just be my husband and I.  Like how do you even cook for 2 people.  I’m struggling when I only cook for 5 people.

Take Inventory

I take complete inventory of all things in my small chest freezer, my kitchen freezer, fridge (we only have 1), and my pantry.  I combine what I need to combine.  I write down what we are low on because I will forget.

I get my list, make my list, and then I create.  For every meat I have, I can come up with a meal.  This meal is either a staple (spaghetti, chili, hamburgers, chicken noodle soup, or breakfast) or it is a bit more complicated.

I try and use every thing I have and I only purchase the items that I am completely out of or what I need to complete a meal.  There is, however, that list of things that I’m running low on.  That is a running list for when I do my big shopping.

My Big Shopping

That occurs when I have completed all my list of suppers.  That is when we take the bare minimum of what we have (cream of some kind of soup, veggies that need to be used, 1/2 boxes of this or that) and I create a menu for a week.

Before, I would cook for a month.  Right now, we do not have the freezer space to do that.  So, until we buy another freezer, I will cook for a week.  I have the room for that.  Sometimes, if I have the space, I will cook for 2 weeks.

A lot of things can happen in 2 weeks and a lot of scheduling changes can happen.  I have had to learn to be flexible and move things around.  It isn’t easy for my Type A personality, but it is where I am at.

My Goal

My goal is to have an area that I can have my staple, easy meals on hand.  This is for when I go to hospitals, road trips, extremely busy, or things like that.  These are meals that my husband can easily cook and knows how to cook without me in his ear telling him step by step.  It also will prevent us from eating out…which saves money.

I’m not quite there (lack of space) but will hope to be there in the new year.  For now, I’m cleaning out, organizing, making lists, and preparing for what I hope to be a new habit in the new year.  I’m all about saving money, not wasting food, and creating enough to feed my family.

You will be amazed at what you can create with what you have and how that can save you money at the end of the day.  We are finally at a point where we have more money at the end of the month instead of more month left with no money.

We have come a long long way.

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