Saturday, January 3, 2015

Staying Home More and Making Do When the Groceries Run Low

 When the weather gets cold (and it has been lately!) and the snow starts falling (I heard we might be getting a blizzard!) then I just like to stay home if I can. I don't mind getting out for church on Sunday and Wednesday but beyond that I would like to just stay home. This week I did end up going out 3 times but the week before only once as midweek services were cancelled at church. Last year with moving and building and teaching music lessons away from home I was on the go a lot but I think this year we are ready for some home time!

  When we don't get to town much it generally means that I don't go the the grocery store very often either and that sometimes we might run out of things - like milk (we happen to be low on that just now) and cocoa powder and who knows what all else. So sometimes we have to get a little creative in the kitchen.

 We do try to keep a pretty stocked kitchen. We raise bees and then harvest and get our own honey in late summer (so we can still keep our sweet tooth happy). We buy 1/2 a grassfed beef and pick that up in October. We butcher chickens with my parents in the fall and then have a bunch of chicken in our freezer. We buy wheat (generally enough to last a year) in the fall and we also try to put up a bunch of garden produce either by canning or freezing. So it would take us quite a while to truly run out of food but sometimes some of the things we like to normally use run out. We have to get a little creative with what we do have.
   What we do if we run low on or out of....


  • Drink more water
  • Drink herbal tea (from herbs we dry in the summer) with honey - this can be either hot or cold.
  • Use butter (or ice-cream!) on our oatmeal instead of milk.
  • Use water instead of milk in baking. It really doesn't make much difference. 
  • Use whey (that we freeze in the summer when making cheese) instead of milk in baking and pancakes and such.
  • Use pureed squash instead of milk in baking and pancakes.
  • Use broth instead of milk in gravy.


  •  We stretch our eggs in things like scrambled eggs by adding things like baked potato chunks, pureed squash, tomatoes, refried beans, cheese, hamburger, ham, sausage, bacon, onions, green peppers, grated zucchini, milk and more. You can be very creative with this one. I believe I have made scrambled "eggs" for the 6 of us with only one egg before.
  • In baking you can substitute one tablespoon ground flax seed plus 1/4 cup water for the egg.
  • For breakfast protein we might eat cheese slices, sausage, yogurt or fried ham instead of eggs.
~Fresh Produce

  • I have made fruit salads using thawed berries from our freezer.
  • I make smoothies with frozen berries and fruit.
  • Start making sprouts. These work well on sandwiches and various other things and give you that fresh taste that you start to crave and need.
  • Try to eat plenty of other veggies from the freezer and cupboards.
~Cheese (This is something that we like pretty well at our place and so we miss it  a lot when we run out)

  • Make some ourselves if we happen to have plenty of milk. Here are instructions to make Mozzarella  or Ricotta.
  • Go through the international cookbook I have for meal ideas and most of them do not use cheese and many of my standbys do. 
  • Make homemade croutons or add something else that is special like olives or boiled eggs to the salad so we don't miss the shredded cheese.
~Lunch meat (Ken likes me to pack a sandwich in his lunch everyday. I have found that you can freeze lunch meat so now I don't have as much trouble with running out as I used to.)

  • Make a sandwich with leftover ham or sliced roast beef.
  • Make a chicken or turkey salad with leftovers.
  • Make egg salad.
  • Make tuna salad.
  • Instead of a sandwich substitute with a piece of homemade pizza or a tuna turnover.
  • I make my own - not all the time but at least I know how to do it when we run out. I looked for my recipe on this blog but couldn't find it so I guess I need to post about it still.
  • Some people might substitute butter for mayo on sandwiches but that just doesn't do it for us.

  • We will sometimes make our own pasta
  • Instead of eating pasta we will choose to eat rice, potatoes or a bread.
~Oil or Butter (Sometimes we will run out of one of these things or both)
  • Use fat that I get from off of meats such as chicken fat (which we get when we boil our chicken bones and skins), beef tallow, sausage or bacon grease.
  • Pull out the coconut oil that doesn't get used so often.
  • Substitute applesauce, squash(pureed) or yogurt for oil in baking.
Those are some of the things that we tend to run out of if we don't visit the grocery store for a while. We do run out of other things to but they aren't in our list of things we need regularly so we just do without it. How do you manage if you run out of things? What are the things that you might typically run out of?


magnoliasntea said...

Love all the substitions what we usually use in the kitchen. I've never tried it, but I especially like the idea of using squash instead of oil.
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. :)

Abbi said...

I hope that works well for you. Sometimes in can alter the texture a little and if I have oil I generally don't try to make a total substitution but if I don't have oil I will do it.

Lydia said...

Hey Abbi,

I love all of these ideas! I would love to know what herbs you dry for teas. We use spearmint and carrot tops, but would love to branch out from there!

Breanna S. said...

These are some really great ideas that I had never heard of.

Abbi said...

Breanna, I hope you will find them helpful! Thanks for stopping by.

Abbi said...

Lydia, I am sorry that I missed answering your question. We dry mint, catnip, calendula, raspberry leaf, hyssop, wild bergamot, rose hips and mullien for teas. This year we didn't dry enough though and are starting to run out of a lot of them. Oh well - next year we will do more.


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