Christmas is less than six weeks away. Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away. You might want to run away and hide from the holidays because of the stress, but if you’ve busted your budget or run out of a needed ingredient at the worst possible time in past years, it’s time to talk pantry supplies. I know. Most people are talking about how to take care of yourself through the holidays, including me. But, having your pantry well stocked is a great way to alleviate holiday stress. It’s a simple thing to do, and the return on your time investment is huge.
Take recipes you know
Here’s the deal. Most people have traditional recipes they make every year. For me, those recipes include the easiest fudge ever, 100s of Christmas cookies, pumpkin muffins, stuffing, baked apples, ham, turkey and Christmas Bread. I know the ingredients of all of them without looking at a recipe and most of them store for a long time. I buy them over a period of time and/or when they’re on sale, so I can save money and time later and have everything I need in my pantry and/or fridge and freezer.
How to save $25.00 on butter
For example, a couple of weeks ago our local grocery store ran a sale on the brand of butter we bake with most often. This brand normally runs $5.00 per pound but was on sale for $2.50 per pound that week. I purchased ten pounds. I froze it, and it is available whenever I need it. The best part is I saved $25.00 just on butter. Who doesn’t love a bargain like that? I’ll do the same with sugar, brown sugar, flour, muffin liners and other pantry staples if I get the chance. I purchase things like cream cheese, chipped beef and items that store for a long time as well over the next several weeks.
Easy pantry meals
The other thing I do is stock my pantry with ingredients for easy to make meals on those nights when the dinner plan gets thwarted or I need something simple to make. One of my favorite recipes is something we call dump soup. You can find this recipe and several more in my Happiest Holidays book. Click here to order your copy. (Note: It’s called Almost Homemade in the book because it sounded better at the time.) The easy part of this soup is that you dump the items in a slow cooker, Instant Pot or a soup pot on top of the stove and you have an easy, quick meal. It’s a basic recipe you can change up to suit your taste using two boxes of readymade soup. My favorite combines corn chowder and a roasted red pepper and tomato soup with veggies and a protein source. I use frozen mixed veggie, a can of diced potatoes and diced ham. Heat and serve.
To see a video of me making this soup click here
Variations for the soup include changing the base. I’ve used Southwestern Corn Chowder, Potato Leek Soup, or you could use a squash or carrot and ginger soup. The veggies can be premixed, single or mixed any way you choose. You can use any protein source. We’ve used diced, canned and rotisserie chicken, as well as ground beef taco meat. You can use a nonmeat protein source to give yourself a vegetarian meal. Add some nice bread and/or sprinkle with cheese or some freshly chopped herbs if that’s part of your diet, and you’ve got delicious, easy meal. The possibilities are endless. If you have a family like mine that prefers more than just soup for dinner, a grilled cheese or Panini sandwich is the perfect complement and will satisfy the biggest of appetites.
Last tips for a stocked pantry
So, what does your perpetual grocery list for the holidays include? Are you a spice person who needs cinnamon, ginger, garlic or dried citrus peel? Are you a baker who needs fresh baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar or corn starch for your holiday delicacies? Do you need to check your basics like salt, pepper, sugar, flour, brown sugar or powdered sugar? Is there an item you always seem to forget like almond extract? Now is the time to make that list and make sure you have everything you need for the holidays. Comment below or send us an email to let us know what items you may have forgotten in the past that this post reminded you to get this year or your best tip for remembering all your supplies. While the holidays are upon us, we can still be prepared for them. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day.
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