Monday, March 23, 2009

Why stock up?

I'm still dealing with some kind of a bug or something. Yesterday I had to skip church and ended up sleeping off and on. Today I'm still quite weak but I've been able to get some basic housework and laundry done... so I'm (hopefully) on the mend.

There was a comment left on the Sunday Afternoon Tea post, asking what is the purpose of stocking up for a month or so in case of emergency. That's a great question.

Actually, I live much like those who came before me (especially both sets of our parents and all of our grandparents) who kept a pantry and "deepened" it as they could. In our case, we add to the pantry when financially able and whenever possible we purchase items when they are on sale. It's just a way of life.

We feel it is a frugal way of living and shopping and helps us get through the lean times when we're living only on our Social Security. I've written lots about how we came to be in these circumstances, not what we expected at all when we were younger. :)

I find having the items I use most in the pantry and freezer to be freeing when doing my daily cooking and baking. It also keeps me from having to drive into town for an emergency grocery store run (most of the time).

However, some people who have never deepened their pantry are feeling like they should do so in these uncertain times. It is insurance you can eat in a time of rising food prices, should you lose a job, or there be some disruption to the trucking industry. As I've written before, my friend in New Mexico found the shelves in her grocery stores empty for awhile when trucks were diverted after Hurricane Katrina.

I believe the Government is now suggesting more food "put back" then they used to after seeing what happened after Katrina, too. If a family has their own extra supply of food, water, and other essential items then they don't have to depend on help from the government. They may find they are able to be of help to others during an emergency.

In my own family, we have been so thankful to have food in the pantry and freezer after job losses, first due to the economy and later illness. There was one time we were employed and doing well financially and we were able to take from our pantry and freezer to help our best friends when they went through a job loss.

I have learned (and am continuing to learn) not to do anything out of fear as you are so right, food can run out and then what do we do? Well, all we can do is what we personally feel God is leading and then trust Him for the rest. My trust is not in my pantry, or my bank account, or another person... but in His promises which have proven worthy in the past. Believe me, my pantry items would not last very long these days. :)

The Bible talks about faith, patience, experience, and hope... one coming after the other. When one has walked through many storms of life and finds themselves able to look back and see answers to prayer (often only seen in retrospect)... then a pantry becomes practical but not an idol.

Someone else asked about lists for a pantry... there are quite a few available on the sidebar in the section where I have "Pantry" links. I use my typed out and printed grocery list for most stocking up and then I'll look to see what other people consider important and add those items. I keep an overall stock up list in my scrapbook journal (with pretty cutout pictures on the side). :)

I'll add a few more pantry and recession posts this week.

ADDED NOTE: I forgot to tell you I added that delicious cheesecake recipe to my recipe blog.


Vee said...

I was reminded of another reason as I was reading your post. It dawned on me that one of the simplest reasons to have a deepened pantry is to be able to host when unexpected company arrives. My mother and my grandmothers before her could always feed unexpected guests. To my embarrassment, I have NOT always been able to do that.

Of course, this is not the most important reason, but it may be one of the most practical.

Vee said...

I just went back to read the comment you spoke of... "Then what?" Indeed!

But, I think that deepening the pantry is more a matter of being able to get through until other systems are in place or until the resources being redirected to affected areas are back on line.

For me, it is about being prepared and about buying products when they are on sale. It's not fun to be without the basics...milk, bread, coffee, tea, sugar, flour, canned goods, etc. It's why I keep a running list on the refrigerator so items that are getting low are being restocked. For example, I'm almost out of baking powder! That's shocking. ;>

You suggest that by being prepared, we aren't running to the store for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. It's a much more efficient way of living.

Goodness! I am terribly chatty today. Thank you for all you do, Brenda, to help us think about this aspect of creating a functioning home. I mean, really, if it's a beautiful home, but there's no toilet paper...

Anonymous said...

Vee,... I really enjoy reading your comments and you sure do have a nice blog. Jody

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons I have always had a pantry and enjoyed having one is that if I can find a new recipe to try I almost always already have the ingrediants. We have had so many work layoffs and such. Knowing we always try to keep extras of the basics is so soothing to our minds. If we don't need the things we can help anothers who needs it since we have it. Naturally since we 'shop ahead' we can then get the best price for each along the way of gathering it up. I am trying to not only have the food for unexpected company but what recipes I will use. Sometimes when comany comes my mind is in a flutter and I can't think straight...having the easy recipes for a crowd ready is a help to my scattered mind! :) I love your idea Brenda of having goodies set aside from your priority list money just for company use. I am trying to make and freeze some extra cookies, cassereols etc and got some special tea etc. Thankyou again. Jody

Anonymous said...

Hello, Brenda.
I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog since I found it. I came over from down to earth, I think, and am so grateful I did.
I wanted to comment about today's writing that God himself led us to homeschool ( my husband and I are pentecostal ministers) because of what was going on in the school system. The final clencher after many nudgings from the Lord just happened to be when he reminded me that my son would never learn about Him in the public school. That is our life's calling as a family and we should ALL be together, learning together, teaching by example together, and praising and living by example TO our son. My son can't see us doing that if he is in school 8 hours a day and then 3 hours homework. We love this life and am so thankful to be able to teach my son about the Lord we dedicate our lives to.
Now I want to say thanks to all the posts you write about the pantry stock ups. I have enjoyed them and learned alot from you.

May God bless your family abundantly.

Jeanie Walker in KY

Anonymous said...

OK, I understand wanting to have a well stocked pantry for company, and not having to run to the store for a couple of items, and having stuff for guests, etc.

What I am talking about is that pastor who urged people to have 30 days worth of supplies on hand. What's that all about? That's where I ask the "then what?" question.

Clif said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on BJ Hoff and John Adams. I am happy to hear that your husband has her new book....I drop by every few days and always find your posts interesting and informative. I rarely comment because I know so little about stocking a pantry. I'm learning--not teaching.

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Thanks.