Saturday, January 10, 2015
The Pantry Lifestyle - Deepening the Pantry?
Once in awhile I will have a new reader ask why I use the term "deepening the pantry" when talking about stocking up on food and essentials. It is good to explain it once in awhile.
I have been interested in the subject for absolutely ages, probably because my mother kept a pantry as deep as possible. When my father was alive, he worked in a job where he was laid off every winter so the family became used to stocking up when he worked and eating from the pantry, freezer, etc. during the months he didn't.
Then in the 1990s, I was an Administrator on a Survivalist website. Yes, you read that correctly. Except the website was geared toward women and most who took part in it were homeschool moms and small scale homesteaders.
I was a part of that website during the time many people were getting interested in "prepping" due to Y2K. Through my own and their experiences, I learned what people actually used from the purchases they made to stock up "just in case".
What did they actually use? Those items which they would have in their pantry, anyway!
As a result of that experience, I started using the term "deepening the pantry" rather than stocking up (and certainly instead of food storage!). For you see, preparing for possible emergencies goes far beyond buying and storing. Anyone with the money can buy stuff and put them on shelves. Truly being prepared is to have extra of the essentials you use all the time.
My family used most of what we had purchased. We gave away some pails of beans because (at the time), we didn't eat beans. We gave away some food that was dehydrated, used some of it, and eventually threw some away (that was a waste of good money!).
We could use all the extra lighting, candles, camping equipment, etc. that was purchased... and still use many of those items today.
That is why I have written that your list for purchases should be your own grocery list. Use a list from a website only as a spark for your imagination and not to take to the store. Don't purchase items others tell you are absolutely necessary if you will not use them (unless you have lots of extra money and space and can set aside items other people may be able to use). For if you do not use them now, you may not use them in an emergency.
Now, having said that... it is a good idea to own and use some essential items. For instance, an item like an oil lamp (or multiple lamps) is a good thing to own so you can use it now (for they are quite beautiful), one which you learn how to fill and light and keep clean when there is no emergency situation. Don't buy an oil light and lamp oil and then store it on the garage shelf. For should you have a power outage, it won't do you any good on the shelf.
You certainly do not want a learning curve for any product during a time of crisis.
It is a good thing I learned some lessons in the nineties for I have little income now for stocking anything extra. However, because I know what is important then I can use birthday and Christmas money to make extra purchases of important items.
I believe the times we live in make it a very good idea to deepen your pantry as much as you can given space and finances. If you feel God has set this on your heart, then definitely do not delay even if it means only purchasing one or two items a week "extra". Think of those items that, when you run out of them, send you to the store immediately.
By the way, just recently I heard a pastor put down people who stocked up items for Y2K. He certainly did not have all the facts. Y2K was a nonevent because the problem was discovered in time to fix it before the crisis could happen. By the end of 1999, most experts believed everything would be fine but there were no guarantees.
It doesn't take an emergency to the extent of the grid coming down for God to nudge you to deepen your pantry. It is simply a good idea. It may only be a weather related emergency that keeps you from getting to a store for weeks. We do live in an imperfect world.
The generations before us all understood the concept of deepening their pantry every harvest season.
So I will continue to preach the Joseph Principle that it is a good thing to put back extra of what we eat and essentials we use everyday when the sun is shining and the rain is falling and the crops are coming in just fine. Great grandmother knew the joys that could come from a nice, deep pantry... and she didn't wonder how to use military MRE packages.