Friday, November 19, 2010
The winter storm way of pantry planning
However, I do want to talk about the comment regarding Glen Beck's latest show, advising people to stock up. I didn't see it even though I had planned to tune in (family duties calling me elsewhere). However, I know he has advised people to stock up on food and essentials since he was on CNN. Yes, he is a Mormon and no... I am not (different theology, same feelings about stocking up). ;)
Okay... here are my thoughts (and they are not in the canon of scripture so take them as just my opinion)... I think we're in trouble with a capital "T" (name that movie?) here in this country. Those of us who live on a fixed income are definitely the canaries in the coal mine and we have been hurting more as every month goes by. Yes, we do depend on food pantries much of the time and we have watched those lines become longer and longer.
I have lots and lots of good links on the sidebar, should you want to learn more about stocking up but one thing I'm asked often is... "What are your priorities when you do have extra money which you use for the pantry?".
I think of what I'd hate to be without in case of a winter storm, the kind when you look outside and whiteout conditions are so thick that can't see your car in the driveway so... unless you're pregnant and the pains are five minutes apart... you stay inside.
Thinking of priorities for the pantry comes easily as I was raised by a mother who 1) went through the Great Depression, 2) raised her original seven children on nothing, 3) grew up in the country without a car, and 4) was paranoid that some disaster would befall us and if we had plenty of food in the pantry... at least we'd eat.
Which probably explains moi'... my poor family. But I digress...
There are the obvious medical priorities such as my insulin these days but I always kept a prescription children's Advil on hand when Christopher was little (this was before it was available over the counter) as he was prone to very high fevers. Migraine Strength Excedrin would fall a lot further down the priority list.
Toilet paper is obvious but one would hate to run out of garbage bags, especially if you depend on trash pick up by a company which will only accept the garbage in appropriate bags once they can get to your house. I would hate to run out of laundry detergent or dish washing soap.
I once ran out of eggs when the trucks could not get "into town" after a blizzard so I'm usually well stocked with eggs.... they last for weeks and weeks if kept in their original containers in the refrigerator. All baking ingredients are winter storm essentials (flour, sugars, yeast, etc.) and I like to keep extra butter stored in the freezer (slipped into gallon size Zip Lock bags).
Of course, I buy extra milk if there is a winter storm watch but I also keep at least one or two of the aseptic boxes of milk which can be stored on shelves. You can't imagine how many times these have saved me during cooking and baking when I realized I didn't have milk in the frig. I do always have dried milk but when one is in the middle of a recipe...
When I think of a winter storm, I want to have on hand batteries and blankets and candles and matches and flashlights and things important should the electricity go out. Which also includes food which does not have to be cooked on my electric range (and I don't plan on grilling in a blizzard unless it is to heat water for coffee).
Have you ever been in the grocery store during a winter storm watch and notice what foods are in the carts? Along with milk and eggs, one almost always finds potato chips and cookies and donuts and ice cream and all kinds of comfort foods (including those alcoholic for those so inclined). It is almost as if, when one is threatened by a storm, it gives one a free pass to bad nutrition. At least that is my thinking when there is a box of Krispy Kreme in my cart.
What else do I consider of great importance with my budget? Well, coffee and coffee and ummm... coffee. Tea and a little sweetener. Milk or cream for the coffee. A French press for the coffee in case the power goes out. Perhaps some hot chocolate added to the list.
When we have been hit by the winter storm of unemployment in the past, I was very happy I had extra books to read, videos (DVDs) to watch, and board games to entertain. Having sewing and crafting supplies for projects on hand was such a blessing during these times. If cotton fabric continues to rise in price, you will be happy you stocked up on quilting fabric... as if a quilter needs any encouragement to purchase fabric.
Personally, I see storm clouds on the horizon and I think any extra funds which are put into essentials are going to be a huge blessing in the long run. If nothing else, they will be cheaper to buy now should inflation hit as those who are in the know and honest are saying (the two or three of them we can locate).
Like me, all you can do is what you can given what you have to work with... money, space, time... and leave the rest to God. I can't do very much but I do have friends who have helped just as I used to be able to help others.
Do I think stocking up (when possible) is showing a lack of faith? Absolutely not! If it were, then Joseph would not be a hero and he said it was God who placed him in Egypt to save his people by "stocking up".
Now, if I hoarded food and got all ugly and never gave any to my neighbors who were out of work... then we're getting on the non-Christian side of thinking... but the Word says it is a fool who sees trouble coming and does not prepare.
We are to always remember that "perfect love casts out fear" and God will always take care of us but if He leads us to prepare for what may be ahead... and you have that "gut feeling" He is doing so... then develop the winter storm pantry way of thinking. When you use an item or just think of it... knowing it is essential... write it down on a list you keep for such purposes.
Then, buy a little extra of what is essential. Just deepen your pantry with what you already use... and remember a little at a time is better than nothing at all. :)
Answer: The movie was The Music Man
Picture: Sharing Grandma's Cookies; allposters.com