Winter Pantry. Humble Living.

Tis the season for egg nog and toilet paper shortages. It is becoming a seasonal tradition. First quarantine was in Spring and now we will be celebrating it again this winter…possibly. Shortages and drama have already begun. YouTuber channels are getting those views with titles such as “Food Shortages!” “Global Economic Collapse!” “Food Prices Skyrocketing!”

YouTubers have become like news channels, beware. They are getting views and making money off your fear. Turn away. There are some shortages, get over it. No toilet paper? Get a bidet, you’ll be cleaner than you’ve ever dreamt possible. No flour? Get ancient grains. No yeast? time for us to try that sourdough starter. No cream (that is the latest)? Make your own plant based creamer.

This is history. How do you think our grandparents felt with two World Wars, the Spanish Flu that wiped out towns, a drought called the Dust Bowl that lasted 10 years, Diphtheria, Polio, food rations, soup kitchens, and little government assistance until the end. quarantines, lack of necessities and food, death, malnutrition, struggle and hardship were par for the course back then.

Now we have refrigeration, advanced medicine, government assistance, sanitation, and better educations.

What we don’t have is the skills that our grandparents had. I see that some people are waking up and learning to garden and stock pantries but still so many are reliant on stores and the government. And we always will be to an extent.

Let’s go back in time and learn some self reliance so that the coming years of challenge can be easily managed, maybe even enjoyed. There are a lot of hidden gems in learning a little homesteading skills. It gives you a sense of well being and satisfaction. It creates abundance and some control over life.

Here are the skills we need: learn to stock the pantry well. Learn to garden. Learn to raise chickens if that suites you. Learn to mend holes (still working on that). Learn to live humbly, simply, on a smaller scale. Down size your life. Save with an intensity.

I have a well stocked winter pantry. This includes my toiletries, cleaning supplies, medicines, first aids, and vitamins. I have canning and dehydrating equipment thanks to a lady who was cleaning out her garage. I have prepped my winter garden with compost, horse manure, leaves from our yard, and wheat rye as a cover crop. I’m saving all my cans from gravy, green beans and such to turn into pots for my seedlings. I have some from last year but I intend to garden big come Spring.

As for money, we are earning less by choice. I’ve stepped away from YouTube for now and Patreon is not the same money wise but it’s peaceful over there. I took the ads off this site. Bali works less because we need time with him. I just produced a little book, the first in a year. My focus is on home and family and not working like a dog to produce content and books.

So, out comes the ringed binder to write out a new budget. My grocery shopping is different. I rely on WinCo and can’t do as much organics and fair trade for now. I returned my GoPro and all the gadgets that Best Buy sales man talked us into. That was eating at me, spending all that money for a camera I wasn’t crazy about. We put the money back in savings.

For Christmas we found a big sale on bikes for the boys at Walmart. $58 each and sturdy bikes. I spent another $150 on both of them and I’m done. I treated myself to some holiday scented waxes and now all shopping will cease and desist.

I spent $500 to finish stocking up everything.

We will only buy essentials from here on out. Shelter, food, water, lights, gas for car to get to work, seeds for the Spring, and that is it. I will read my books that keep me inspired; We Had Everything But Money, some Connie Hultquist, Mrs. Sharon White. People that live on very little but enjoy life and make it work.

We will spend the winter Christmas baking, learning to cook easy, inexpensive dishes, reading novels, writing books, playing outside, long trail walks in the woods, watching good movies, listening to spiritual talks, doing inner and outer work on myself, taking the boys to the park to play with their friends for hours, filling in my garden calendar, journaling about my homemaking, and economizing.

A humble life is peaceful, slow, and soulful. It takes time to adjust to this lifestyle but so, so worth it. Read books about it. Find people on YouTube doing positive things to save money. A new channel Bri told me about the other night: The Perfect Refuge or Il Refugio Perfetto: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6rWB83cxqfb72-HEagGv2Q

She does so many simple, affordable, delicious recipes. For us vegetarians, it’s easy to replace items with plant based.

Make your homes sweet, clean and cozy. Settle in. Find ways to enjoy your life at home. Get off line. Cut up the credit cards. Stock that pantry.

I’ll be posting a Pantry video on Patreon in the next few days. You don’t need to join but that is where I am. I left it open to donations. You can pay as little as a dollar a month. That is were I reside these days.

My Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/shesdrinkingcoffee?fan_landing=true

36 thoughts on “Winter Pantry. Humble Living.

  1. THANK YOU for this post. I keep saying these same things to people and they just keep freaking out. Panic and drama are making the entire world go mad.
    Life isn’t nearly as complicated as everyone wants to make it. We all need to stop and think and use a bit of logic. Simple is lovely.
    Again, thank you. It makes me feel a bit more sane in this craziness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does that mean you aren’t doing You Tube any longer? I won’t be going to Patreon – just too many different platforms any more. I will stick with blogger and You Tube. Last I heard you weren’t going to do Patreon. I will surely miss your videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously, YouTube is like watching the news anymore. I am not worried about this new shut down. I have also cut back tremendously and surprise, I have so much more joy. I have paid down debit and we have become closer as a family because of it.

    Time is not our friend, we will never get time back, I am savoring this time I have now. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love a tightwad series! Iโ€™ve been getting email notifications for blog posts but couldnโ€™t see them. Sounds like you are well.
        Valerie in SC

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      1. Hi Kate – I, personally, would LOVE to see you do a Tightwad Life series on YT. There are so many different ways and extremes to being a tightwad it would be nice to see all of your ideas for each season. I think both your videos and the the community’s ideas in the video comments section would be fantastic! I’ll keep my fingers crossed you’ll return with a new series soon. And I certainly do agree to your point about so many panic-ridden titles for YT views. It’s too bad. I always appreciate your perspective and honesty.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A tightwad series would be great. We just miss you. I don’t watch ANY that have a scare tactic headline – not why I go there. I just like having a vast choice field and no cost to watch.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve had a busy life the last couple of years. Since you moved and got the house and yard all fixed up you haven’t had much of a chance to just live in it and enjoy it. It should be exciting for you to have your family around you for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s festivities. These are the years the boys are making the memories they will remember the most throughout their lives. I’ve been working on my little fixer upper for over a year now and finally have a drywall guy coming the first week in January to finish it up. Then it will be painted (have family to help with that) and done. So there goes an extra chunk of money. But I have no debt and can start building my savings up again. I can’t wait until I’m able to unpack my decor and put it on the walls and tables. I’m so looking forward to having it done and just spending a leisurely winter reading and watching the snow fall. For months and months I have been buying a little each time I’ve gone to the grocery store so my pantry is full. And I bought a bidet. I feel like a squirrel all stocked up for winter haha. I’m trying not to go out into the world of controversy any more than I have to. I’m very happy in my little bubble planning my yard and garden out for Spring. Makes me happy to see others feel like that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just read your new book over on Amazon. Thank you for making it free for the weekend! Even though I am a long-time follower of yours, I learned some new things and am grateful for your enthusiastic encouragement. We all need a little bit of that – even we life-long frugal folks. Best wishes to you and yours and many thanks!

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  6. Most of us are truly spoiled. The truth is, there may be things we can’t find easily but it’s not likely any of us able to read your posts are going to starve. You mentioned cream being the latest shortage and I found that to be true at our local Aldi. I’m still not going in stores and in our small town the only options I have are to have Instacart pick up at Aldi and deliver to my daughter’s porch in town or a regional grocery store that does curbside pickup. Well, Walmart does pickup but I haven’t shopped in a Walmart for about a dozen years.

    Anyway, back to the cream…Aldi is out but the other store still had some so I added two cartons to my pickup this past Thursday. I do like to put a little in my tea and coffee but I can use half and half or milk for that. I’m wanting to bake some pies for Thanksgiving and have whipped cream to go on top. But you know what? That’s not a necessity. If I hadn’t found any I would have just made a different dessert.

    Disinfectant wipes are almost impossible to find but I bought a huge package of Handiwipes which I can soak in hydrogen peroxide (or alcohol would work, too) and use in the same manner. I didn’t grow up with disposable disinfectant wipes so they aren’t something I have ever used in my regular house cleaning. They are handy to have right now, though, but there are definitely workarounds.

    We have plenty of toilet paper but if we didn’t I would certainly be willing to consider a bidet. In fact, if our master bathroom didn’t have carpet (wouldn’t have been our choice!) I would probably have already have purchased one.

    We just need to count our blessings and tap into our creativity. We can do this! Btw, my all-time favorite book to read when I want to be reminded of just how fortunate we are is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You’ll feel positively rich after you read it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was happy to buy your book, even though I could have waited for the free weekend! Happy to contribute a bit to your coffee fund ;). I really enjoy your blog. Like other commenters, I also like the idea of a tightwad series, Amy Dโ€™s books were fantastic. One aspect of her books that I enjoyed was the variety of topics, formats, and contents. I never felt like I had to stick with a long treatise on a topic.

    Also wanted to say thank you for being positive and offering up a way to stay focused on the home rather than the insane world! It goes back to the circle we can control versus those things outside our control. I have mostly stopped watching news and general news websites, and now am very selective about what enters my pea-brain ;). Thanks again for the time and effort you spend on this blog and your books.

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  8. I would love a Tightwad series too! That would be fun and inspiring. Did I say fun? It doesn’t seem like anyone knows what that is anymore. ๐Ÿ˜ We never got on the chaos train with everything that’s happening. Our hope is in the Lord and He is not the author of confusion. Have a good week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. It’s amazing how cooking from scratch can stretch a pantry! I have stocked up on the basics and I am ready to hermit away this winter….like I always do lol
    We only buy for the kids and adult presents are homemade candy, baked goods, and crochet items.

    Liked by 1 person

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