Having a well-stocked pantry has always been a goal of mine. When I was a teenager I spent the summer on my aunt & uncle’s farm, they were quite remote and I was so impressed by their well-stocked pantry. There are many benefits of a pantry whether you have a large family or are an empty nester.well-stocked pantry

 

Depending on where you live you may be minutes to a grocery store or you may live quite a distance from the nearest grocery store. My husband and I are empty nesters and we live in a rural area and it is at least a twenty-minute drive to a small grocery store. To go to one of the large chain stores or even a “box store” like Costco or BJ’s is a forty-five minute drive. When you have a well-stocked pantry you never need to worry about making those unexpected trips to the grocery store.well stocked pantry

 

Stocking up also saves money. You can take advantage of sales and you can also buy in bulk from your local food co-op. Once a year our local food co-op has a case lot sale. You can purchase all sorts of items but you must purchase a case. I can buy a case of beans for example, which helps me to have a well stocked pantry.

 

When planning to buy in bulk you must know the options for food buying in your area. Aside from the local grocery store there may be food co-ops, warehouse stores such as BJ’s or Sam’s or even local farmers. Be aware of the loss leader sale items, which appear on the front and back of sale flyers. These are meant to get you into the store and will usually beat any price in a wholesale store. Again, it is important to know your food prices so you can find the deals.

You may wonder why my husband and I even buy in bulk. Bulk buying isn’t just for large families; you just want to buy enough to get you to the next sale. Each family will buy according to their need. Be aware of expiration dates as well. There is no point in having a pantry stocked with items that are no longer good to eat! Buying in bulk will help give you a well-stocked pantry.

We have learned the lesson of why you should have a well-stocked pantry several times! One year we had a houseful of company and we were hit with a terrible flood, all the roads were washed out and we couldn’t get to the store if we wanted to! We were blessed to have a well-stocked pantry. We ate well that week without having to worry about getting to the store.well stocked pantry

 

A well stocked pantry can also help  during times when you are under financial stress. My husband was laid off from work and it was six months before he found another job. It was such a good feeling to know we could eat from our pantry and spend a minimal amount of groceries during that time of unemployment. There are many reasons for having a well-stocked pantry. I love the feeling of walking into my pantry and knowing we are prepared for whatever lies ahead.well stocked pantry

 

Having a well stocked pantry is just one of the goals of being more self reliant. During the month of May I am teaming up with other bloggers as we challenge ourselves to live a more self reliant lifestyle for the entire month!  Join us as we challenge ourselves to live a more self reliant lifestyle!

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead

Robin – A Life in the Wild

Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry

Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm

Ashley – Practical Self Reliance

ShawnaLee – Homegrown Self Reliance

Frank – My Green Terra

Maria – Maria Zannini

Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront (that’s me!)

Have you been following the Self Reliance Challenge blogs? For the month of May I joined up with a dynamic group of bloggers in the May 2018 ~ Self Reliance Challenge! 31 Days To A More Self-Reliant Life. We challenged ourselves to live a more self-reliant lifestyle for the entire month of May! In case you missed the list of bloggers here it is:

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead

Robin – A Life in the Wild

Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry

Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm

Ashley – Practical Self Reliance

ShawnaLee – Homegrown Self Reliance

Frank – My Green Terra

Maria – Maria Zannini

Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront (that’s me!)

For me the challenge was living a self-reliant lifestyle while having our house on the market. Real estate sales are slow in Vermont and we were told when the house first went on the market that it could take several years!self-reliance

Ever since we moved to Vermont over twenty years ago we have strived to live a self-reliant lifestyle. This included having a large vegetable garden, raising chickens for both eggs and meat and having a well-stocked pantry.

 

During this month of May my challenge has been to take a look at our current lifestyle and see where we can be more self-reliant.

 

I am still baking the majority of our bread, usually I have a couple of loaves in the freezer, as we don’t eat as much bread as we used to.self-reliant

 

I still do a little searching in the woods for wild garlic leeks and fiddleheads.

 

Although we could have an offer on our home at any time I still plant a vegetable garden. Not as large as we used to but enough to supply us with fresh herbs and vegetables.herbs, self reliant

 

Our rhubarb patch is just about ready to harvest and although I am not doing as much caning as I used to I will be making our favorite Rhubarbeque Sauce.Rhubarb Patch

 

Are you living a self-reliant lifestyle? How are you challenging yourself to become more self-reliant?

Hot Dogs & BeansWhen I look back on my childhood I have many fond memories of certain meals my mother cooked. She didn’t have a large repertoire of recipes and the meals were often tasty and simple. She led a busy life and I don’t remember her spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Many of her recipes I still make today such as Stir Fried Rice. One of my favorite meals growing up was a simple dish my mother would make which we just called hotdogs and beans. It made just enough for the family and we all seemed to enjoy it. This is one of those back to basic meals that comes together in no time and can be made with ingredients you probably have in your pantry.hot dogs and beans

 

I often made hotdogs and beans when our children were young and once in a while I still make it for my husband and I. Hotdogs and beans pairs perfectly with the brown bread I made earlier this week.hot dogs and beans

 

Hotdogs and Beans

 

 

hot dogs and beans

Do you have a favorite childhood recipe that you still make? Many of my childhood favorites are simple recipes made with ingredients you have on hand. In the next several months I will be sharing several more simple recipes from my childhood. I may not make hotdogs and beans often but its still a favorite!

 

hot dogs and beans

 

 

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Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

 

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit! Every week we get together here for another hop and I hope you’ll join us. The Hop runs from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Have fun exploring all the great ideas that have been shared, and add your homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling posts with us if you’re a blogger. I’m sure you’ll be blessed and inspired by all these great ideas!

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

 

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterestInstagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook
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Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

This week’s featured posts:

Most Visited:
Saving Money On The Home Frontsaving money

My Favorite:
Crock Pot Breadcrock pot bread

 

 

 

 

 

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight all of the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.



Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • Please note: By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured; no additional permission is required.
  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!


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Have you ever wondered if you could get your house off the grid? Completely and totally independent. It’s kind of a crazy thought, but why? We’re not talking about going completely off the grid in the sense that you want to hide in the forest and not let anyone know about your existence(although we suppose you could do this, too, if you wanted). But to be completely rent free, and not have to pay any electrical or water bills, that would be living off the grid. And that sounds pretty appealing. That’s money that could be going somewhere much more productive, right? If you’ve ever wondered what it would really take to get your house off the grid, here are a few tips!

 

Location is essential

 

Living off grid isn’t as easy as constructing a tiny house and slapping a few solar panels onto it. There’s a lot of planning that goes into a lifestyle like that. You have to provide all of the necessities for daily life, which is a lot more than you probably realize.

 

Are you wanting to live on the road? Or are you hoping to settle down into the home you’ll live in for the rest of your life? If living on the road sounds appealing to you, a sustainable mobile home is probably the best decision for your situation. You can also build your own small homes, or you can go through a Green Home company to purchase a pre-fabricated model. Before you make your decision, make sure you are familiar with the laws and regulations where you’re hoping to live. Since you’ll have to provide all of your own resources, you’ll have to make sure your home is somewhere you actually can do that.off the grid

 

Water

 

Humans need a lot of water. Living off grid means that you’ll have to be in charge of harvesting and harnessing your own water. This can look like a lot of different things. Installation of rain barrels, constructing swales, or cultivating living mulch are all great ways to harvest your own water. You can also find ways to capture water.

 

Food

 

If you’re off the grid, you aren’t going to your local neighborhood grocer when you’re out of food. You’ll have to go to your backyard, and harvest food from your garden. If you have planted your roots in a permanent home, you can plant some perennials such as fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and mushroom patches, that will all continue to produce food for you year after year. How you get your food depends on how “off the grid” you want to be. You can want to be off the grid, and still want to go to the store to stock up on toiletries and produce.off the grid

 

Alternative energy

 

Energy is a huge part of your quest to live off the grid. You don’t want to be relying on hand pumping water and using candles for light. There are a lot of great options for alternative energy. One of the most popular alternative energy options, is solar power. Solar panels are a lot less expensive than most people seem to think, and they not only add incredible value to your home, but you’ll save thousands of dollars on electric and energy bills. Even if you have a small space, or a home that you feel like may not be very accomodating to solar panels, we promise you can find a way to make it work! You can have them installed onto your roof, or even have your current roofing replaced with solar roofing. There are also other solar panels that can be placed in various places throughout your property to maximize your usable sustainable energy.off the grid

 

The great thing about deciding to live off the grid, is that you can do it however you want. If you just want to be a little bit more sustainable and self efficient, these tips are a great place to start to lower your monthly utility bills, and make you feel a bit better about your carbon footprint.

 

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My first goal was to update my goal list each week. We are almost halfway through the year, can you believe it! I am really enjoying keeping my goals in the forefront. Some goals I am doing really well at, like reading and completing my knitting projects. Others, like getting 10 K steps at least 5 days each week, I still haven’t accomplished! I have to say that thinking about the goals each week is keeping me motivated to complete them.goal setting

      1. Find a new hosting site for my  blog and make it secure. Done!! So excited after all this time I finally have a secure website!
      2. Monetize my blog. In the works, I have set up an account with Amazon Affiliates! Soon you’ll be seeing links to my favorite items on Amazon. Next on the list is to look into Google Ad Sense. I’ve also teamed up with an amazing heirloom seed company. Mary’s Heirloom Seeds  are a great source. check out their site, right now they are having an amazing 99 Cent Seed Pack sale! Click here for more information.
      3. Create a cookbook! One step at a time, get the blog running smoothly, increase readership and then I’ll be working on the cookbook!
      4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week. We’ve had some absolutely gorgeous days and my husband and I have been getting some evening walks in. No bugs yet and the light is just beautiful! Maybe my goal should just be to walk more! I did manage to get my 10K steps in 4 days this week! Almost to my goal! Went on a beautiful walk along an old trolley bed. Love when you can discover new places to walk!goal setting
      5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale, continue to de-clutter. We were away over the weekend and I only managed to get 5 things  added to the pile that is going to the school big yard sale –  134 items to go!goal setting
      6. Read 25 books this year! With the nicer weather I am spending less time reading and more time outdoors. I did manage to finish one book this week called The Big Oyster: The History on the Half Shell. It’s an interesting read all about the history of the oyster in New York City.. Still keeping track of the books I’ve read on Good Reads,what a wonderful app. I can keep track of all the books I have read, the books I want to read and the books I am reading. I listed on the app that I want to read 25 books this year, 8 to go! Beginning to think my goal here should have been a few more books!goal setting
      7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! Not so much food prep going on as far as making meals ahead but I was given a new cookbook to review and this may be happening more often. The cookbook, Prep Ahead Breakfasts & Lunches, is amazing. Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches will be released on May 15, 2018.  This book is filled with delicious make-ahead breakfast and lunch recipes, so you can quickly and easily make breakfasts and lunches for the whole week in just an hour or two on the weekend. Make your mornings flow smoother with premade breakfasts and prepacked lunches! Each recipe includes storage tips and if necessary, reheating instructions. If you pre-order the cookbook there is a bonus: Free enrollment in my Meal Prep Online Cooking Class (regularly $39.99)! Click on the image below to order!

        1. Finish 4 knitting projects. Third project finished. Loved the yarn I used to make my last scarf so I decided to use up what I had and make a hat! I love knitting hats as they go so quickly. The sweater ornament will have to wait.goal setting
        2. Clean out our freezer. Such progress! Freezer is well under control now. Downstairs there is just some tomato sauce and one loaf of bread I recently made! Making progress on the kitchen freezer and used up all the meat on hand with this weeks meals! Used up the package of hot dogs I had on hand and made an old family favorite Hot Dogs & Beans for dinner!goal setting
        3. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast. Our trip to North Carolina will be next month. We’ll be gone a week and will be able to visit family and at least three friends! Looks like we’ll have a long day of driving the first day but after that it will be manageable. It will be the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer. Plus we’ve been meaning to visit our friends in North Carolina for years! Hoping to get two other trips in this summer one to Maine and the other to upstate New York.goal setting

    Can you believe it’s May already!  Another month and half the year will be gone. I’m so thankful to be keeping track of my goals, I think I will have a good chance at completing them all!

    This month I also have a few goals related to the self-reliance challengeI am part of. My husband and I have always had the goal of being more self-sufficient each year.

    The goals for this month of May Challenge are the following:

        1. Get my vegetable garden planted.Managed to get some seeds in the ground, still too chilly for many vegetables.
        2. Do a foray and look for wild leeks.Think it’s still too early but am hoping to get into the woods this week and take a look. We have several spots we like to check out.
        3. Make my own bread this month and don’t buy any store bought bread!Made bread two weeks ago and have one loaf still in the freezer, I sure don’t make bread as often as I used to with four children under the roof!

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