|White wheat waiting for grinding...|
I'm feeling better! Isn't it true that there is nothing common about the common cold? Yuk! I'm thankful the guys went through this first as I've followed exactly what they experienced.
Yesterday I thought I was going to die and today I woke up feeling well enough to write this post and clean out my yellow pantry... and not have to fall on the sofa. Of course, I will take it easy for a few days so I see a little more reading than usual in the near future. :)
Now, for the last post in this Pantry Ponderings series (I promise to do another later in the spring!). I get e-mails all the time from people who have that same "gut" feeling I do that another shoe is going to drop in the economy, perhaps worse than the crash a few years ago. (If you are an NCIS fan like me... and I know many of you are... you know that Gibb's "gut" feeling is always right on TV.)
Well my friends, I just read that there are gas stations here in my part of the Midwest that are now charging over $4.00 a gallon for gas! I know we tend to be more expensive because we're not far from Chicago but it can't be long until we see this price throughout the nation.
I'm sure part of it has to do with what is going on in the Middle East but we can't forget there are refineries offline in the East. How do I know that? Because a big part of a pantry lifestyle is keeping an eye on what will cause food to skyrocket as well as possible shortages (which helps prioritize what one uses their stock up money for).
The easiest part of deepening the pantry is buying things and putting them on a shelf, especially if you have the extra money to do so. The real (and necessary) work takes place in your thinking and praying and doing.
For instance, when one lives a pantry lifestyle then we can translate news into possibilities... when semi truckers have had to pay too much for fuel in the past, what did they do? They parked their trucks!
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, what happened to food deliveries elsewhere? My dear friend in New Mexico (not exactly where one would think of hurricane preparedness) had semis diverted from her area to the Coast so her family experienced shortages when the shelves of her local grocery store were empty of various items.
When last year's hurricane hit Virginia, some there were prepared but who didn't think of preparing? The families who live far from the ocean in New England who experienced power outages as well as those who went through horrible flooding conditions (my daughter was without power for almost a week). I read many stories of empty grocery shelves.
Having a pantry lifestyle mindset helps to set your priorities for limited funds. As most of you know (and I have told you ONLY so you realize if I can stock up even a tiny bit then most people can)... after our Social Security check comes in, there can be no cash left at all. As careful as we have been with our budget, health issues drained our savings long ago.
We have to live on very little coming in but God has provided in miraculous ways. Our experiences have taught us SO much, though... the lessons learned from having to (as I've called it before)... live off the financial grid. Forced frugality can be a very good thing, indeed.
It teaches you what days one of the grocery stores puts their packaged salads half price and what time of day another store slashes the price of their meat... all in excellent condition but near their sell by dates. It teaches you to stop by Goodwill when you head for the grocery store or library... looking for specific clothing needs or 99 cent English teacups or expensive cooking/baking items at a fraction of their cost (even with increased prices).
Having a pantry lifestyle is far from living without... instead one learns how to decorate their home beautifully with thrifted items... how much better homemade cookies are than those in a package... how to get our vitamins in inexpensive food when we can't afford to buy pills... that a great mechanic is more valuable than any highly paid executive... that a great cookbook is worth the price if you get even one often used frugal recipe... that you can learn to sew, knit, crochet, mend, cook, bake, garden, use a pressure canner, etc.
Did this happen overnight? Oh, my... I remember how hard it was when I had to learn new ways to think and shop and plan and cook and just do... when I suddenly had more time than money (and at times... no money). I was a true Yuppie in the 80's! But I did learn...
So, if you have that "gut" feeling things are not right with the world and the squirrel-ish feelings of stocking up are prevalent... if you find yourself drawn to books about frugal living and wartime England and America in the Great Depression... you are not alone.
Just remember this... God is still in control even if it seems the world has gone mad at times. (I think they're putting something in the water in Washington... but that is only my political opinion.). I am absolutely certain that God is in control!
Just do what you can with what you have. Even an extra box or can or package here and there works. Reading a book or blog link about living life in difficult times... it all helps. Keeping your eyes open for grocery bargains works. Stopping by the thrift store or Goodwill when in the area, anyway... it works.
Learn to do and make and think before buying. Develop skills. Talk to likeminded families.
Trust your gut... or to be more ladylike... listen to that still small Voice. ;)
Picture: Wheat in the two containers I keep it in to grind and use for fresh bread.