Sunday, July 17, 2022

Week 6 -- Store bought staples



  So, let's talk about some of the other things you'll want in your pantry.  Things like mayonnaise, mustard and things that have nice long shelf lives.  Here's the thing:  you want survival foods, but you also want everyday foods.  Disasters are not going to hit you one right after another.  Usually.  lol  And some reasons to keep your pantry stocked are not tornadoes and hurricanes. Some reasons are  much more every day and mundane, like losing your job, illness, injuries, etc.  Out here it can be something as simple as unpassable roads or power outages.  I love not having to freak out when I can't get to the store.  I can go into that pantry at any given moment and find the stuff to make easy tasty meals. That is priceless.  Do you know that big box stores keep only about 3 days of stock on their shelves ? What happens if gas dries up or prices make it impossible for trucks to roll ?  No deliveries. 

   Here's my story. I have been a stocker and thrifty witch for a long time.  Probably from growing up kinda poor and watching my mom struggle to put food on the table in the middle of paychecks. And from living in the lower echelon of society myself. So, when I can, I buy a little extra and put it away.  One Memorial Day weekend, we were coming home from a meal out when my husband fell asleep at the wheel and rolled our car. The car was totaled, we were taken to a hospital and treated. I was just banged and bruised but he (the breadwinner in this family) broke a vertebrae in his back and couldn't work for 3 months. We have limited available savings and pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. The company he works for gave him all his vacation and holiday pay for the year, his last paycheck and held his job. What a blessing.  But 3 months is a long time for no money coming in (except my monthly disability check) while money is still going out to pay insurance and electricity and stuff.  I had just downsized our cell phone bill and plan, thank God. I was looking around at where I could cut spending to make this a little easier.  And the very first thing was the grocery bill. I thought I could probably not have to buy much in the way of food. This was surely going to be the test of stocking up. I got a pad and pen and went to the pantry.  I started with a list of breakfast foods and made a menu from what was in there. Did the same with the other 1-2 meals a day.  I checked my freezers too, which were pretty well stocked. Long story short, over that 3+ month period, I spent less than 38 dollars at the grocery store. Had to buy olive oil, toilet paper and a couple of other small things.  By the time it was over, my pantry was bare and so were the freezers.  But we made it. And garden season was in swing, so I was able to replenish a lot of things from there.  THIS --  this is the reason I prep.

  Okay-- so if you look at the picture above, you can see things like baking cocoa, ketchup, artichoke hearts, salad dressings, peanut butter. Of course, there's a whole shelf of home canned jellies and jams.  lol  I also have a shelf of plastic gallon sauerkraut jugs that are filled with flour, sugar, pastas, beans, salt, things I have dehydrated etc. Another shelf has some canned marinara sauces, mayonnaise, jars of peanuts, black and green olives. I have baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch.  You know what your family eats and you know what you can make. . I know that I need to keep a backup 1 pound cake of compressed yeast for baking bread. When the pandemic started one of the first things I couldn't find was yeast. That won't happen again. I always think too that if things get really rough, I will need some things that aren't just survival foods.  I will need comfort. Sweets. Special foods (artichoke hearts). Peace of mind. 

  Happy stocking.

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