Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pantry, Prep, & Planning 2

Hey gals.  let's talk some more about being prepared for whatever hits us.
Several of you have mentioned that you are worried, like myself, about the state of our country.  It is so sad right now.  All the violence - hate crimes, home grown and foreign terrorism,  and of course all the crap going on with government officials.
Has anyone else ever noticed, that when there is a big political fiasco going on - there is a hate crime or terrorism act to gain our attention?   Coincidence?  Not in my opinion.

With that being said and not getting too political - folks we need to be prepared for anything!!!!  This world is getting just to dang scary and evil and no one is going to take care of you and yours - unless it is you!

Crystal mentioned in the comments last week about trying to prep, yet stay within a limited budget.  Let's talk about that some.  It is very possible to get and do a lot with small amounts of money.  I know some people are on very limited funds - so if you can add $5 worth of extras a week - that would help a lot.  Add what you can. 
Watch the sale, use coupons, and get extras. 
Let's say you normally buy 2 cans of corn, or a bag of beans a week - buy 4 cans or 2 bags.  If you do this every week - your stockpile will grow.

1.  Garden.  If you can garden - any at all - that is a huge plus.  You can save the money from eating fresh and use on other things.  If you grow enough - you can - can or freeze for the future.

2. Know your neighbors - if they garden, they may have surplus that they can give you.  It is always nice to be on good terms with your gardening neighbors!

3.  Barter - if you know anyone with a garden or who cans - barter with them.  Maybe you can tend their garden when they are on vacation, or help them in the yard.  Maybe you are a great baker, and trade baked goods for canned goods.  There are so many things you can offer for trade.  Use your imagination.

4.  Gather and glean where allowable.  Many farmer's harvest their crops, but leave tons of valuable produce in the fields.  See if they will allow you to gather it.  Heck tell them you will sign a waiver (if need be) to not sue them for any reason. (Many farmer's could be leery of lawsuits).

5.  Forage - do you have a neighbor who doesn't use the fruit on their trees?  Do you live near a woods?  Ask the neighbors if you can gather the fruit - which helps keep their property clean too - maybe even give them some of the end product.  Go into the woods and hunt for wild berry bushes, nut trees, crab apples, etc.
Know what you can eat from your own yard.  Research edible "weeds".  There are tons that are edible and so good for you.
There are even parts of plants you raise for one thing - that are good also for something else.
The leaves on broccoli plants are edible and FULL of vitamins, the outer leaves of cabbage plants are edible.  Grape leaves can be used in cooking.  Raspberry leaves are often used in herbal remedies and teas.  DO YOUR RESEARCH - it could save you money or your life.

6.  Don't forget about the dollar stores.  They aren't like the dollar stores of old - there are so many deals to be had, and many name brands.
I often buy pasta to add to stock, as I can get a 24 oz. box of macaroni for $1 vs. a 16 oz. at the grocery for the same price.
Many times you can get MUCH larger cans of sauces for $1 vs. smaller cans at the grocery for a higher price.
We love hominy - and I get a 1lb. 9 oz. can at Dollar Tree for $1 - whereas a 14 oz. can at the grocery can be $2 or more.
Cleaning products and health and beauty products are probably the best buys at the dollar stores (Dollar Tree).  Don't buy those items at a regular grocery.

7.  Bulk stores - these can be good, if you have a large family, have a way to divide items into smaller packages, or have someone you can split a purchase with.  It is NEVER a deal, if you buy a huge package of something, that you won't use in a timely fashion, and waste it.

8.  Cook from scratch - this is always cheaper than buying prepared food and healthier as well.  Make sure you have several cookbooks on hand (in case you have no access to internet).  I love the old cookbooks - because the tend to be more basic.  Our grandmas didn't use fancy ingredients, they kept things easy and frugal.

9. Farmer markets - try checking with them just about closing time!  Many vendors don't want to pack up items, and will give you a deal to rid of stuff.

10.  Specialty stores - I know there are a lot of towns that have scratch and dent stores (oh how I wish).  These are great for getting deals.  If you live near Amish territory, Amish stores often sell in bulk for a great price.  Take time to look at Asian, Mexican, Indian, etc. stores.  You would be amazed at how cheap you can get spices, rice, beans, and many times meat.

So, see there are many ways to stock-up on the cheap.  Try and think outside the box, and keep your eyes and ears open for deals.
IF you have a chance - spend a day going through you area dollar stores and specialty stores (Asian, Mexican, etc.) and make a list of all the items that are cheaper than the grocery.  This list will help you know if a grocery sale is really a sale as well.

I hope this gives everyone a few ideas on how to prepare for the future on a limited budget.  If you have other suggestions PLEASE let us know.  We are all eager to learn and save money.

NEXT 3 P's - will discuss non-food items we should have on hand.

HAPPY PREPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I was able to get some canned goods stocked up at the local Aldi's. And we have all the jam we need for a year now. Could figure on more peanut butter though, just two small jars in stock.

    1. Aldi is a really good source for sure.
      peanut not only is filling and goes with jelly, but a great source of protein.

      I like to keep 10-12 jars - so many uses.

  2. I will be going to the store today as I see they have 1 gal jugs of water for .88 and 5 lbs of flour 2/5.00. Bob's red mill flour, need to look for some coupons for it.

    1. Good luck Laurie.
      That's a good price on water & the flour. Remember to freeze the flour for a few days to kill any buggers!
      Do you have any old popcorn tins or even metal trash can - that would work for storing dry goods

  3. I agree with everything you said. And I am all the way over here in Australia and I am worried. Good post Cheryl thank you! xxx

    1. Annabel thank you so much. I really don't think it matters where we live any more - the problems are becoming the same. That is the sad truth about this world.

      Good day my friend!

  4. Great post and suggestions Cheryl! I have bought large 50 pound bags of flour in the past. I divide it up into 5 gallon food grade buckets that I get free from the bakery. Some of it I keep and some of it I share with my DIL who bakes all the time (she makes the most amazing and delicious desserts around). Another great buy at the Dollar stores, at least in our area, in pepperoni. I find coupons at Coupons.com (going through Swagbucks first so I get the points) for $1/2 quite frequently. That brings the pepperoni down to .50 a package. We use a lot of pepperoni around here for homemade pizzas, calzones and in pasta salads.

    1. You are so right about the pepperoni - that is where I buy mine too!
      I still need to check some bakeries for food grade buckets. I love that idea.

    2. Cheryl, if you have a Safeway near you, they will usually give them to your for free. In our area the IGA type grocery stores will too. :)

  5. Just ran into your blog, love it. I've enjoyed reading and browsing around. Love everything you share.
    Thank you.

    1. Tauna - thank you for stopping by and for the compliment.
      Hope you come back and share ideas.

  6. Cheryl, you always give such great advice. For those of us who have been doing this for a long time, it is now second nature to plan for, and grab 2 (at least) of something we think we only need 1 of, to add to our stockpiles.