Wednesday, July 1, 2020

FREEDOM = A Stocked Pantry

I truly believe that a fully stocked pantry (home) is FREEDOM.
As we have all seen this year STUFF HAPPENS - and then what?  Panic????  Why not just be prepared and go with the flow?

It sure pays to be prepared in all ways - not just your food pantry.  You need medical supplies.  You need paper products (TP) or alternatives.  You need pet supplies.  You need cleaning and antiseptic supplies.  You need food.  You may need cash.  You need seeds.
I know it sounds overwhelming and expensive - but it doesn't have to be.

Many people are on fixed incomes and stocking up seems impossible.  Do a little at a time.  Even if you can only do $5 or $10 extra a week - add to your supplies.  Each item you add - is something that will sustain you later.  Don't stop - don't slack - just DO IT!

I will give you an example from personal experience.  When hubs was here - we had to be careful to keep anyone away that was sick - getting the flue or even a cold could have had devastating affects for him.  I always had masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer on hand.  Honestly in all the years of having these things - they were only necessary a couple times.  BUT boy did they come in handy this year!!!!!  I had what I needed and I was not in a panic like so many trying to find supplies.  I still have ample supplies and I know I wasn't taken advantage of with price gouging!

Learn new recipes and open your mind to trying new recipes and alternatives.  Have good old basic recipe books on hand (you never know the libraries may close again).  It is nice to have your own - then you can mark special recipes or tag pages that you like.  Get creative.
Realize that you don't have to have meat everyday!  We have some plant foodies here and they are surviving just fine.  There are alternatives to meat for protein.
Go visit Belinda at Frugal Workshop (see side panel).  She has been listing a lot of recipes lately that are great for stretching the budget and the pantry.

Keep dry goods on hand.  Evaporated milk, buttermilk powder, powdered eggs.  You can get just about anything in powdered form - really!!!  Vinegar, butter, sour cream, honey, milk, eggs, horseradish...………..the list of powders goes on and on.  I have always found just about anything I can think of at Spices, Etc.  I get milk, buttermilk and eggs at the store - but other things can be hard to find at the grocery aisles.

Make sure you have cleaning supplies.  Soap, vinegar, alcohol, peroxide, laundry supplies, baking soda and health and beauty supplies.

NOW is the time to buy your holiday baking supplies.  I know that maybe prices can get cheaper at the holidays - but who says they will be there or you can get out to purchase them.  Get them now.  Be prepared.  I am not banking on the holiday season being 'normal' - but this girl wants to make it as normal as possible.  That includes some baking!!!!  That includes gifts - start NOW!

Think about buying extra veggie seeds for gardens.  Here in the U.S. it is about time for stores to be marking that stuff down.  Get garden supplies now - just in case.  They will be good for a long time.

I know we all get complacent and when things seem somewhat 'normal' and we tend to let our guard down.  You should have learned that is not what we should be doing.  We all need to be prepared for anything at anytime.

I keep seeing people on FB pages ask "I am new at this - what do I need to stock?"
My answer is always - stock what you use!!!!!!
Then they ask "how much should I have?"
Well - how long do you want to be prepared for?  A month, 6 months, a year or longer?  Decide how much of everything you use each week or month and then multiply it out.
Make sure you have FUN foods or treats as well.  If you are bored and stuck inside those fun things hidden away can make life seem more tolerable!

I know a lot of people are talking about this subject - but right now it is important.  We all need to make sure we take advantage of sales, clearance and deals.  Take advantage of gardens and fresh produce markets.
PLAN AHEAD - it doesn't get more clear than that!

IF "it hits the fan" AGAIN this year - do you want to depend on the stores to have what you need or do you want to depend on your PERSONAL store of goods?
Me - I want to have what I need and not depend on others.  I don't want the stress and worry about not finding things.  I want to stay home and be content - and just go on living a good life - no interruptions.
I want the FREEDOM my pantry supplies provide me.
Think about it.

GET BUSY and do SOMETHING - it will all be for the good in your future.
Do NOT be complacent.

Tomorrow: recipe ideas


  1. Great Post. Thank you. I'm doing exactly what you suggest.

    1. I am glad to hear it. Being prepared for anything sure beats being left out. We need to take care of our families.
      Thank you!

  2. We also had gloves and hand sanitizer and Lysol disinfectant on hand before the pandemic hit. It is much better to be prepared before an emergency hits than trying to scramble around afterwards trying to find what we need.

    1. It sure is and you know you paid less than the asking price when it all hit! Best to be prepared.

  3. Thank you for the shout out, Cheryl. :)

  4. I have already taken this very good advice to heart!

    I have about 6 months worth of "hygiene" products on hand already - soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste etc. I'm going to stop purchasing anymore until late Sept. when I will replenish for the winter. If SHTF then I can stretch what I have for a couple of extra months.

    I have lots of PPE but will place another large online order at the end of July - masks are now mandatory here so will stock up a bit more. I have a good supply of Lysol wipes & spray but will add more. Bleach is still a bit scarce here so I am on the hunt for that.

    The food pantry is in good shape but I am still adding a bit here and there as I find things at a good price. And yes, I am adding a lot of baking supplies. I will be looking for more powdered items as you suggest as they are handy to have as back up - the bulk food store where I normally buy these things is only doing curb side pickup at the moment so I have to check out their website and find out how things are being packaged. There is one right in my neighbourhood so it would be easy to do the pickup but I'll have to think about it.

    Keep up the good advice Cheryl - bet there are a lot more people paying attention these days!

    1. Good for you! There are so many things that we need to be aware of and stock up on. I haven't bought bleach - but never did. I have always used alcohol or peroxide.
      Glad you have shopping options. So happy to see you thinking ahead.

      I sure hope people are listening - I can't imagine anyone wants a repeat of March/April.
      Prepare not panic.

  5. I had to run my pantry down when I moved and now I have less room and a smaller freezer but am gradually building it up again. I am fortunate that I can take advantage of special offers and spend extra each week. Sadly there are a lot of people in this country who live hand to mouth sometimes through no fault of their own but also through lack of knowledge. We have a couple of really good blogs over here who help teach frugal cooking. My favourites are Thrifty Lesley and Jack Monroe who has written several books on the subject.

    1. Glad to hear you are re-stocking. It may be so very important. Prices will only continue to go up - so buying now and cheaper makes sense.
      I love that people have access to blogs, You Tube and libraries. There is so much info out there to help folks from all walks of life!

  6. Very good advice. As testimony to the advantages of a well-stocked pantry even in "normal" times, when my first husband left me and my two young sons and cleaned out the bank account, I was able to feed us for five months from my pantry, using my part-time, minimum wage money for perishables and essentials. We didn't eat anything fancy, and I skipped a lot of meals, but I didn't have to apply for food stamps until I nearly ran out. And when I did get food stamps, I'd never had so much money available to purchase food, so I made sure to stock up on everything while I could. (I did finally find a full-time job, and he finally had to start paying child support).

    I'm trying to stay stocked for six months and replacing as I use things. For those reading this who live in very small houses or apartments, storage requires creativity. My auxiliary "pantry" is under Husband's bed. H&B and paper products are stored in the utility room (just keep things away from the water heater, furnace, etc.) As tempting as it may be, storing canned goods and non-perishables in a place that is damp, freezes or gets very hot (garage, shed, etc.) is not a good idea. Paper products can be stored on a mud porch or garage provided they are in a water-tight container. TP left in the package will mold when it gets damp (been there, done that).

    As for PPE, I found disposable masks at Aldi this week, 10 for $6.99 or 50 for $29.99. I keep plenty of bleach and cleaning products around all the time and am stocking up as space to store permits.

    Husband thought I was crazy when I stocked up on seeds from Burpee (online) back in January. Even I was a little surprised at how many seeds came in a package versus the packages from the retail stores. I am storing them in the refrigerator in hopes they will germinate next year.

    1. Thank you for the testimonial!!!! It always helps others when they can relate to someone else's situation. Sounds like you children were lucky to have a creative and frugal Momma!
      It is never crazy to keep stocked. My goodness - absolutely anything can happen. I went several months after hubby passed without an income - and I always had plenty. Luckily I had a savings - but some people don't. Things happen when you least expect them to. Just be prepared for anything.
      I love your creativity on storage - why waste the real estate - use it!

      Like the old adage - prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

  7. Good advice Cheryl! Interesting that you mentioned having your own cookbooks and not having to rely on the library. Before COVID 19 I had gotten rid of many cookbooks and reading books as well. I didn't want them taking up space. It never occurred to me that the library might close! So I am back to collecting books and cookbooks again.

    I am also working on stocking my pantry again. I don't want to be caught unprepared!

    1. Funny how one thing changes so much. I had never heard of the library closing before - but it sure did!
      I love having my own books - just in case and I can read at leisure. I can mark them any way I want and I just love having the reference there.
      Good for you on stocking the pantry.
      Nope - don't be caught without!

  8. I just told Dh this evening that we needed to start thinking about what Fall/Winter items we need and get them. We have been looking for a new ice cream maker and they are scarce, like pools, and other summer, at-home fun items.
    Seeds are 20% off now. I'll wait a few weeks and get what I need for next year.

    1. Absolutely. Now is the time. Sadly, we just never know what might happen. I guess one event (or 2) makes a person a little leery.
      Great idea.

  9. This pandemic will get worse, much worse. Mark my words. So far, the scarcity has not affected me much. I had enough tp, but bought more back when I first heard of the virus in January. I am still stocking up with an eye to the future as I always have. I want to have enough for a year, and I am just about there.

    1. Good going on your part. A year or more is my plan as well.
      Best to have more than you need and maybe be able to help someone else - than to not have nearly enough.
      Good job.

  10. Cheryl I al ways enjoy your lovely blogg. Can you give some ideas on how you work out what is needed for a years stock for two people, thanks so much Marie

    1. I typically answer that - figure out how much you use per week or month of various items and then just times that by the number of months you want to prep for.
      Example - 1 can off coffee a week normally - X 52 weeks.
      ! bag of flour a month - X 12 = gives you a years worth.
      Also keep a bit more of dried goods like beans and rice - just in case you need extra inexpensive food or protein.
      Hope that gives you an idea of how to proceed.

      Thank you for reading and following along. Glad to have you here.

  11. Very good post and a timely reminder. I have always bought bulk beans and rice even back in the 1970's. But other stuff like canned goods, I'm only adding now. I have a picture on my blog if you want to take a look. I haven't figured out the 1 year items break down yet but will do that this week.

    1. Thanks. Those of us who have been stocking for a while - just know we need to be ready for anything.
      I'll come and take a look.
      Have a good one

  12. I love this...freedom = a stocked pantry.
    This virus has really shown me that we can't depend on our government to help people. Sad isn't it.
    Since I used many of my pantry supplies to stay out of the stores, I am slowly stocking back up. It took more supplies than I expected to feed the four of us, so it will take a while to build back up. But I want that freedom and peace of mind.

    1. Thanks. It is true isn't it? We have so much freedom to just live our lives as best we can (especially when bad stuff happens) when we don't have to worry.
      I depend on me and only me. If I let me down - well I can't blame anyone else!!!

  13. I live in Victoria, Australia, and "it" has hit the fan again. Fortunately I am stocked up on the things that are again being rationed, like toilet paper, flour, pasta, antibacterial wipes. This stockpile came in handy earlier this year when there was a problem with my pension. The change over from one type of pension to another meant no income for 3 weeks. Thank goodness for savings and a stockpile. Hopefully our libraries won't close again before I can get more reading material, I have read and reread everything in our home library.

    1. Margaret I am sorry to hear that IT has hit again for you. Things are still moving slower here, but some things back to 'normal'. I continue to stock when I can - I want to be prepared.
      I am glad you have your pension taken care of now. I spent most of last year with no income, but had savings to help. It isn't fun.
      Blessings to you and yours. Get those stocks taken care of NOW!