Friday, May 09, 2008

A few more recession ponderings

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who has ordered at Amazon by clicking on the Widget in the sidebar. I was quite surprised to find out everything counts and it didn't have to be one of the books I have listed. Even though the amount is small, it adds up. By the end of June, I'll have enough to order two or three books... always a good thing. :)

I just loved the comments from the past few posts. I learned so much! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I grew with my mom always having stuff "put back" (even when she was a widow with a low income). My mother-in-law had shelves in her basement for her "pantry", an extra refrigerator and freezer, and the twin to my yellow "pantry" that I have in my kitchen photos, only nicely refinished by her sons.

My husband wanted to remove the old, chipped paint and rub a nice wood finish on it... just like what they did for the one his mom had in her dining area (his brother has that one now). I told him if he touched that chipped paint he would be in deep kimchi because I love that vintage look. My mother-in-law kept this one in the basement holding laundry supplies. Not everyone appreciates the shabby chic look like me (and my daughter).

I live in a somewhat small house with no basement but I have two sets of shelves in the garage, one holding extra food items and the other holds the cookware I don't have room for in my kitchen and my canning supplies. It's amazing all the unused space one can find in the kitchen cabinets, too... like those hard to reach corners! I loved Manuela's idea of making a pantry in the unused shower, too. (I am so sad that she is giving up blogging, hopefully it will be temporary.)

For the most part, I have extras of the basic ingredients to many of my recipes and just a few convenience foods which requires less space for storage (then trying to put back some of everything!). I keep an extra container (large size) of instant potatoes for busy days and to use for shepherd's pie. I also purchase things like instant rice or pasta foods when they are on sale, they make great side dishes when it is only my husband and I home for dinner. Otherwise, I find it less expensive and easier to store the basics. Those ingredients stored on garage shelves have to be kept in a protected environment (like Rubbermaid or Sterlite containers). I also have some delicious mouse kibble waiting for varmints intent on eating my food.

I would love to be pleasantly surprised but I have a really bad feeling about our economic future in this country. Many truckers are already in trouble financially, not to mention the airlines. I was just watching a news program recently where the person being interviewed said we will be forced to buy local foods again as the price of transportation begins to put some foods out of our reach. Once again, if you are (like me) on a tight budget, remember what went up in price the quickest during the last major recession and period of double digit inflation (which is probably where we are heading).... petroleum based products and imported products... then add crop shortages to the latest list (especially wheat based products) and you will know what to put on your list.

Of course, there are always the basics... those good items to have on hand regardless of the economy... the baking basics... oils... sugars and honey... salts... oats and other grains... flours... dried fruits and chocolate chips (and whatever your favorites require). Especially when they can still be purchased on sale. Then there are items like coffee and tea, which are imported (it was BIGELOW who now owns the U.S. tea plantation, thank you for letting me know!). There are great ideas about storing tea in the comments section of the last post.

Isn't it FlyLady who says "nothing says I love you like having toilet paper in the house"? I haven't begun to keep extra uh... "paper supplies" but I plan to soon. I have been putting back extra cleaning supplies each month.

Why am I spending time reminding you how important it is to put back today for tomorrow? Been there... not only during inflation but also job losses. I remember being a young wife of a graduate student and finding the prices at the grocery store had risen each time I went to shop. I also remember LINES at the gas station because the prices were not only going up but there were shortages of gasoline.

As long as you store your items carefully and then rotate (rotate, rotate) using the oldest first and replacing what you have used when possible (putting it on the bottom or in the back of your storage)... it is insurance you can eat, or wear, or read, or watch, or listen to, or give as a gift... you get the idea... been there. It probably won't be cheaper than it is today.

Always remember... fear not... God is still in control... Words worth pondering again:

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Proverbs 22:3

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:25-27

Photo: Wade's Vegetable Stand;


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post and suggestions.

Might you have any ideas for storage in a small home? No basement or attic. I do have a sun porch but it gets very hot in the summer (no cooling or heating there). Closet space is minimal.

Thank you kindly.

Maggie Ann said...

What good thoughts. Our economic situation is growing worse all the time. It seems Americans are taking it in stride which says what? That we have more than we needed in the first place and so are used to paying for what we want without stressing over it...yet? I like the verses you closed your post with. Wisdom cries out through the Word of God. I love it.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Lots of good suggestions, Brenda, as always. I shopped this morning and was sho-ocked at the rise in prices. I'm keeping all of this in prayer and trying not to be too much of a Chicken Little. After all the economy actually grew last month...slowly, but still. ;>

I had not yet visited Manuela today and ran off in the middle of your post to see what was going on. I'm hoping that it is just a breather she needs and that she'll return to Blogdom soon.

Tomorrow I get to chat with my son about the Joel Rosenberg books...looking forward to it.

Carrot Top said...

Love the tips! We found boneless/skinless chicken breasts on sale again, and bought another 30 lbs to can tomorrow. With a large family it won't take us long to eat all this, and we both feel so much better having things stocked up. When we moved last year the kitchen in the new house was much larger than my previous one. After unpacking I had 3 cabinets with nothing in them. These have become my extra "pantry" for what we are putting back.

Lyn, I don't know if it would help or not, but could you put sheets and towels in and "under the bed" storage box and free up some space in a closet or cabinet that way?
Blessings to all,
Carrot Top

Gumbo Lily said...

I was a cloth-diaper-mom back when my five kids were Littles. Now my son and his wife are expecting their first babe and she has all her cloth diapers bought and plans to breastfeed too. (and we know that breast is best) I can't even imagine buying diapers and formula nowadays.

I like to store my dry goods (beans, rice, macaroni, popcorn ) in canning jars or any large jar that I can find. Pretty to look at and easy to see what's inside.

I first saw my MIL buying toilet paper buy the case and thought that it was a bit "over the top," however, when you're not sure when you'll be back to town again, it's very comforting to not run short on these sorts of necessities.


Anonymous said...

Carrot Top,
That's a neat idea, I didn't think about reversing those items. Thank you for suggesting it!

Anonymous said...

These have been such great posts!

We think the same way about so many things..but you always can put the thoughts in print so well.

I have half of my linen closet as a pantry, large cookware and some food is on shelves in the linens are in one of my bedside night stands.

My husband has been in the grocery busines for 40 years and he says, like you..rotate,rotate rotate! I had to throw out some tomato canned goods a few months ago because I failed to do that.

Thanks Brenda!

freetobeme said...

Thanks so much for all your good ideas! And your scripture verses are an inspiration!

Linda said...

I'm not really preparing for worse to come, I'm just trying to cope with today. I've been in the process of trying to get control of my grocery budget for a while now and actually this talk of recession has helped me to be a more careful shopper. I am on a low carb diet which means more meat and veggies, the expensive stuff. I've been reading a lot lately about organics and quality and thinking that I really also need to be more picky about the quality, even if it costs more, probably eating less and cheaper cuts of meat. There is a list of the worst offenders as far as produce and which ones you should buy organic. So another thing to think about.

Storybook Woods said...

I am very for stocking up when things are dirt cheap. Sales pretty much dictate what we eat. Also I have a big bulk section and get a lot there. Clarice