The Shift to Thrift.

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The Thrift of a Glass Jar.

Nowadays I have a well stocked pantry and every time I open it I thank God for this blessing, however this has not always been the case. In another life I and my four flatmates- the now adult offspring- lived in a very small rented duplex that had one cupboard in which was stored the linen, the crockery and serving dishes, some kitchen appliances and there was one shelf set aside for groceries. One evening I had a group of ladies over for supper and one asked where did I keep my food. I replied my food was stored over at the supermarket which was within walking distance.

The stock in the pantry was basic and along with a well stocked fridge and fruit and vegetables we were fine. In fact it can be a problem to have too much food in the pantry and fridge as this leads to items being shoved to the back, forgotten, going off and needing to be discarded. In the shift to thrift it is this wastage which needs to be avoided.

Perhaps you know people who have three half opened packets of the same thing, the pantry is a bit of a shamozzle and really, who knows what is in there? Perhaps this is you?

The Thrift of the Glass Jar.

Over the years I have collected large glass jars with secure lids. Suitable jars which will serve this purpose are Moccona coffee jars of different sizes, I also like the Robert Timms coffee jars but there are many other jars of all different sizes and shapes which come from the supermarket filled with all types of products. Glass has many advantages; it is hygienic as glass can be washed in very hot water; it is air tight and water resistant so food keeps well; it is transparent so it can be seen at a glance how much of a product is left without opening canisters and tins. Other people can see what is available and it’s just great to look into the pantry and see everything lined up. Because everything is visible it is less likely that items will be forgotten or purchased again before needed.

It’s the camera that is crooked, not the bench! But you gotta love my Robert Timms Coffee Jars!

If through sight it is not obvious which product is in the glass jar, after emptying the product into the jar, cut out the information from the packaging and slide this into the jar. Some products which are easy to confuse are icing sugar and cornflour or plain flour and SR flour. I am reminded of the night I was having guests for dinner and had decided on making crepes with savoury and sweet fillings. I was trying to thicken the savoury tuna mix with what I thought was cornflour and it just would not get any thicker so I added more and finally decided to taste the mixture only to find that it was very sweet and that instead of cornflour, I had been using icing sugar- not a mistake I have made again and I was very cross with myself as that was waste.

Glass is better than plastic for the environment because plastic is non degradable and every piece of plastic ever manufactured is still in the environment somewhere? Google The Great Pacific Garbage Patch; you will be horrified!

Every now and again I have a pantry clean out and make a slice with the products which are getting close to the end. So last Sunday afternoon, I cleaned the pantry and this is the slice which was made from the almost finished jars.

Pantry Slice

A slice made with odds and ends from the pantry clean out.
  • Ingredients:
  • wholemeal SR flour
  • sugar
  • coconut
  • chopped dried apricots
  • raisins
  • a few weet bix crumbled
  • chopped almonds
  • In a saucepan I melted together
  • butter
  • apricot jam
  • tahini
  • coconut oil
  • bring to boil add a 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda as you would if making ANZAC biscuits
  • pour this mixture over dry ingredients mix well; adjust mixture to the desired consistency
  • press into pan and bake in mod oven

In the next post we will talk about how to adapt recipes and some thrifty kitchen hacks.

3 replies to “The Shift to Thrift.

  1. Good one Estelle. I wish we used less plastic – but then we would have to drink more coffee, which I don’t.


    1. Hi Chris. I hope you and Jan are well and that your sons who are both front line responders and their families are safe and well. Now Chris, you are just going to have to go to the op shop to get your glass jars 😁. Stay safe and healthy. Virtual hugs to you both.🤗🤗


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