Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...
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Feb 2, 2013

Happy Half-Way Day & Groundhog's Day, Thrifting, Pantry Closet Update

Anya's ready too!

Happy Half-Way Day & Groundhog's Day-
I read today that we're at the "cross-quarters" of the seasons, Imbolc . Half way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It feels like it a bit here- finally thawed a bit, the snow's melting and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, predicting an early spring. We'll see if he's right! I hope he is. WAY TOO COLD lately. I'm ready for spring.

Famous Phil
Thrifting- I de-winterized the inside of the house today- took done all the winter decor, deep cleaned and reorganized. Then I added some RED! I knew I needed a few more things though. I don't own a lot of Valentine's Day stuff. It gets to be just too much. Some I added some other things that are red. I found some Chinese New Year (Feb. 10th this year) at the local Asian foods store- 

                                            Red money envelopes for gift giving and a red tassel            

A Happy New Year and Prosperity banner
                                         Chineses new year A4 Snake3 Chinese New Year 2013 Resources
                                    I found some great items today at the Craft Warehouse and Goodwill-

$1.00 (90% off)  for the star and $4.00 for the gnome at the C.W.

                   A whopping 28 cents, a Pier One item, ha! At G.W. I love the color of the peppers

greenery at G.W., $3.00

Old Navy scarf, $1.00 G.W.

Brand new Ikea jars, 99 cents each. GW. I may use them for ointments or salves

White pips, 99 cents, also G.W.

Here's how I used some of these:
Before: de-winterized and ready for something

After: all spruced up with some pink and red

Chicken wire basket-all red flowers and white pips

A few of my normal reddish things out now- polka dots, rooster and blender

something red in the main hall

something red in the living room- I used a SW rug for a table runner for some fun!

Pantry Closet Update-
I set out over a year and a half ago to start a working pantry closet. Working means I use the food and then replace it, on a fairly regular basis. With limited kitchen cabinets it was a logical idea. It's much more of a process than I thought it would be, however. Turning a spare bedroom closet into a closet full of shelving was the easy part. Dave about had a coronary when I started buying quite a bit of extra food to get the pantry going. Then it's a matter of figuring out - 
*what to buy
*how much to buy
*will you actually eat it?
*emergency only foods/drinks- what to buy?
*misc.- all the stuff you'll think of later, like paper plates for emergency use.
*storing freebies?

Freezing & other food storage ideas: I will add, buying a medium-sized chest freezer was also a great idea! We did that last spring, when we bought a freezer after doing a bit of research. We got ours at Costco. I have REALLY saved a lot of money by buying things in season and freezing for later- peppers, berries, etc. Things when they are cheap- chicken in the summer for barbecuing, bulk bacon, anything on sale. I learned to double bag the meats, squeeze out the excess air. I used some chicken from last summer this week, and it was perfect! No freezer burn.

You can also store other things without freezing. I also stock up on vacuum-packaged like broths, soups and items like this-


Here's my recently reorganized pantry closet-

I try to keep things together in sections- veggies, fruits, juices, baking supplies,
proteins, grains, sugars

I try to have a good mix of dried beans, but also some canned for work nights.

I also store my big kitchen items, like the huge mixing bowl (for canning) and small appliances 
I don't use that much. The big silver bag has a big bag of unbleached flour with oxygen packets inside.

The girls- finally out in the main yard, digging for bugs, long since frozen...


Candy C. said...

Love seeing all your great thrift store finds and how you use them! I'm soooo jealous of your pantry closet. I wish I had the room. I do love my freezer and being able to stock up on things when they are on sale! :)
Happy Imbolc!

Nancy po said...

Thanks! It easier to do a pantry with the kids gone and the extra closet....

Susan said...

I bet your house is cheerful with those wonderful red highlights! I should fly you up here to organize my canning shelves!

Nancy po said...

Ha! But you have more LAND! I'll swap!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I am sorely short on pantry space as well. I think you have done a great job. I would love to use a little walk in closet in our dining room for one eventually but for now it holds lots of toys my youngest still uses. I wanted to reply to your comment but you have it on the no reply setting. I too am the mother of four daughters and I absolutely hate what society tells young girls. We say we are a society of equal treatment of women but that is so far from the truth. Where is the pressure to stop the exploitation of women? You never hear anyone talk about that. Sex sells and that seems to be all they care about.

Nancy po said...

Thanks Elaine. I thought I fixed the email thingy, will try again!